thomas m wilson

Way To Go

April 26th, 2007

Roger Short, at a recent conference on science journalism at the University of Melboure, made the point that when we are cremated it has a negative effect on global warming, both because of our bodies becoming carbon dioxide pollution, and because the oven has to be heated up to 850 degrees for an hour and a half and uses massive amounts of fuel. Traditional burials are also no good as the places we use just have grass on them, and no biodiversity.

Smart thinks we should have vertical holes drilled, and we should be lowered down amongst leaves as a kind of padding. And then a tree should be planted over that. Over a century a tree sequesters one metric ton of CO2.

I love Short’s idea, not just because his science is so spot on and because he has thought of an important change for us to make in our burial rituals, but because of the associated symbolism of returning to the ecosystem. Edward Munsch’s painting ‘Metabolism’ springs to mind…