An Interview with Diana Beresford-Kroeger
You may have read about scientist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger in The New York Times or seen her interviewed by Jane Fonda on Fire Drill Fridays.
Ms. Beresford-Kroeger is uniquely skilled at helping us understand our spiritual and biological connection to forests - and provides the answers we need for climate renewal. A blend of mystic, scientist, and visionary, she understands ancient Celtic wisdom as deeply as the fields of botany and medical biochemistry.
In her vast earth-changing work, including the documentary, Call Of The Forest - The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees, she clearly explains "the science and enchantment of the global forest."
More good news: Diana is on a mission to save the planet in a simple and effective way that everyone can do right now: by planting trees.
Lese Dunton: How can trees save us?
Diana Beresford-Kroeger: If each person plants one tree every year for six years, we will have approximately 50 billion trees. That can stabilize, and give us time to re-regulate, the carbon cycle.
LD: That's something people can easily do.
DBK: Yes, it's simple and cheap. We can do this.
LD: What's the first step?
DBK: People can go to CalloftheForest.ca/plant-a-tree and find out everything. It gives you the title to plant and where to plant. It also shows one in four healthy trees to protect because there are a few that are literally going extinct, you know?
LD: It's great that you have a North American map so people can locate the native tree that's right for them, based on where they live. Plus short videos. Quick modules if you want to learn more.
DBK: Yes, and if you can't take action, you can enable somebody else to take action. No action is wasted. Everybody can do something. Like a drop in the ocean. Every drop matters.
LD: Your work with planting trees and saving trees is spreading far and wide.
DBK: It's gone to Brazil, Korea, and China. The Global Forest book is published in China and they did a wonderful job with it. I'm trying to get it out to everybody. Yes, I am. I'm doing a lifetime of work. I've also done a bioplan for the southern part of India, Israel, Northern Pakistan.
LD: What's a bioplan?
DBK: The replanting of native trees worldwide to help mitigate climate change. I've done a bioplan for Northern Pakistan where the people are so poor, they're cutting down their forest. But I'm pointing out to them, they have to replant them, and how to replant them.
LD: A lot of people have come forward to help you.
DBK: I have the power of people and I want the power of people. It's too important for politics. Only the public can do it. Don't wait around for others. This is for us to do. If not, we lose everything. We lose our homes, we lose our family. It's our health as well. I'm looking to do a series of big events and am planning television, radio, and public speaking.
LD: And in the Spring of 2024, you'll be coming out with a new book. What's it about?
DBK: It answers the questions to climate that ordinary people can put into action and save their planet. I've expressed it in very simple terms. It has answers. If people think, my God, we can't do anything, well, if we leave it in the hands of the politicians, then no, you won't. You'll do it yourself instead.
LD: That's good because I know sometimes people feel powerless. They feel sad. They want to do something, but what?
DBK: Especially the children. When I have stuff to do with children, I always ask them, "Do you have a ghost in your head? Are you afraid of the future?" And they're all afraid of the future. We cannot do that to our children. We cannot get away with that. Because fear ran the Egyptian Empire and fear is now at the point of running a lot of countries. And fear, my God, is a really bad master.
LD: Love is better.
DBK: It's love. Get some of the AI people to define love. I defy them to do that. We need more love amongst people. More care and compelling compassion. Life is a vestment. Wear it with love and with care.
LD: Is there a way to keep track of all the tree growing and planting? Like a tree database might be interesting.
DBK: Well, that happens in Germany. They know every tree. In the Black Forest particularly. So, it is possible to do that. And with the photonic computers, the quantum computers that are coming up along the line, it would be easy to do that with them. It can be an enormous scientific project for all the universities as well. It's endless, the things that can spin out of this. It's just to keep that bus going, to keep the whole thing going and running. So you can get to that point.
The thing is, the forests themselves have to be correct. The forests have got to be kept because they're like a huge organism. And then added to all over the world, to the point where you bring your carbon dioxide down to the three hundreds, 350, and then you are stable, then you are in harmony with nature and with the natural world itself.
You can't bring it down too low because you are going to use the timbers and you're going to use the trees from that, but you do it very smartly, with some thinking behind it, rather than just straight greed, you know? It's a whole different set of thinking patterns that people have to have. And I have to leave that in other people's hands.
I'm putting out the facts that we have to do this, and also backing it up with the medicine behind it and writing books. And I've been asked to help with another project. They said it can't go on without me. It's about healing gardens for hospitals.
LD: That's fantastic.
DBK: You are closely related to the tree you plant by way of a genome. And that tree actually will help you by urging oxygen going into the atmosphere, which will oxygenate your lungs, and it will reduce the carbon dioxide and the particulate pollution of 2.5 microns from the atmosphere. It gives you better health in all of your circulatory system.
It's really phenomenal. It's like a miracle of the world, and we're waking up to the miracle. We never knew it was there in front of us.
Also, for people who are suffering from depression, all of the Willows of the world are anti-depressive agents. So what you do is you go and visit a Willow where there's running water near the Willow. And that dissolves maybe something in the region of 22 different chemicals that go into your body.
I don't like talking down to people. You know, the ivory tower academia thinking of, oh, I have this knowledge and it's privileged information and blah, blah, blah. It belongs to everybody. That is your ancient inheritance. And it's mine too. We share that together. I like the kind of thinking like they have in New Zealand where they're naming forests as people, they're naming a river as people. That means you can't pollute it. That means you're protecting it. Protecting the treasures of Eden really. And I've got all kinds of beans that the Aboriginal people have had. Wow. I've got the trees that they used as a food tree and as a medicine tree.
When I was a little girl in Ireland, and I'm sure when you were a little girl, your parents and your grandparents thought very softly and kindly about nature. I mean, there was an acceptance of something that was great outside their door. And now, because we think we're the proud owners of Concrete Castles, we think we're better. No, we're not.
The power of meditation and the power of prayer, and the power of good deeds. Doing good things for people. There's enough misery in the world. There's really enough of that. I think we can do good things. Yes. I do think so. I know we can.
Here's how you can start planting:
Other handy links:
Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree for you. $10 minimum: arborday.org. And if you get a "Stay Wild" T-Shirt for $24.95, that will plant a tree for you also.
The "Power of Trees" exhibit and program series at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through October 2023 - https://www.bbg.org/poweroftrees.
The Climate Museum - building community around solutions, education, and events - https://climatemuseum.org.
In Israel, they have a tradition of planting a tree when someone passes on - https://www.nationaljewishmemorialwall.com/plant-a-tree. We could start doing this in the U.S., along with a new tradition of planting a tree when someone is born. The child can later name the tree and they will grow up together.