Lifestyle & Belief

A Christmas ecology story


Burning frankincense still has ceremonial uses just as it did when it was presented to the infant Jesus by the Wise Men. But a new study says the aromatic wood that is the source of the world's frankincense may disappear before the end of the century.



According to the Journal of Applied Ecology, the scholarly publication of the British Ecological Society the aromatic scent of frankincense may soon be just an olfactory memory. The tree from which it is produced, the Boswellia, is in steep decline.

Found primarily in the Horn of Africa the Boswellia could decline by up to 90 percent over the next half century.

Scarcity is likely to drive frankincense prices up, claims Britain's Independent newspaper. It currently sells for £37.33 ($58.48) a kilo. With Myrrh apparently twice as expensive and gold over $1,600 an ounce the inescapable conclusion is that if Jesus were born in this day and age not only would the magi who visited him have to be wise, they would have to be extremely rich.