Pacific Lumber

Pacific Lumber started its long history as an environmentally respectful company, however it has not continued that into this decade. The millions of acres of Redwoods that once densely covered the western land have been taken away for financial reward. Before selling, the company way was sustainability, now it is profitability. Because of the efforts of essentially one man, the business has over-harvested the supposed protected Redwood. It is not a simple answer as to why this has happened, nor is any explanation of environmental destruction. What people want often overrides the needs of the land, creating our society of selfishness and greed.
As Hardin points out in his article, people were not always so fast to put the needs of themselves in front of the land. Years ago, people depended on the land for survival, but in a more direct way then today. In "The Tragedy of the Commons," it is explained that maximizing for the greatest good is what we are striving for. Maximize the population, maximize growth and maximize growth. Industrialization brought with it the belief that more is better, money is power, and status is how much you own. We do not live with the land and respect it as we should, we live off it, and it dies off us. To create the greatest wealth is what we are striving for as a whole, regardless of the impact to our land. To live with the land would mean less economic growth, less income, fewer cars, fewer mahogany desks and tables, basically, living with less.
Pacific Lumber once practiced sustainability with the Redwoods. Before one man allowed greed to get in the way of morality and values. The company only harvested as fast as the trees could grow back. They were in harmony with nature. One tree goes to the mill, one grows so it can be used some time in the future. They did not, as a company, focus on continual growth, expansion or profit. The company focused on its employees and the health and condition of the forest.
With the sale of the company, everything the company was respected for was lost. The new way of doing business meant cutting the trees faster and more efficiently to ensure the highest profit. Without regulation, Redwoods are still being cut that should have been protected many years ago. There have been attempts at regulation, but is that the way to stop environmental damage? Hardin points out: "Prohibition is easy to legislate; (though not necessarily easy to enforce)" The same is true with the forests, how do we effectively enforce regulations? Politics play too big a role for most of us to know these answers. Lobbying in political venues by lumber and paper companies and financial tradeoffs create turmoil and corruption in trying to stop or even slow down the clearing of forests. A picture was taken of Bill Clinton and Hurwitz together in Houston, raising serious doubts about government and their role with business\'s such as Pacific Lumber.
Regulation must start with our greatest problem, the population explosion. Without some control over what is an exponentially increasing epidemic, how can we slow the demand for any product, including Redwoods? Taxing is another step, by using the money raised by taxes on Redwood products, the government could invest in saving the forests. Appealing to a manufacturer to make an alternative out of more renewable resources is an immediate short-term change that could save trees other then Redwoods. With government help, an existing or new manufacturer could develop a product close to the properties of Redwood and sell it at a cheaper price.
Stopping the cutting of Redwoods will take more then simple regulation by government, a group that may or may not be ready to extend a hand to the environment. It will take extremists like the girl who is currently in the news because she is protesting by sit-in; sitting in a tree that is. On the NBC News, the young women said, in her own words, "doing all she knows how to make a difference and save some of this beautiful forest." The loggers continue to cut all around her, putting her life in danger. The viscous cycle goes on,