Now that we're about two years into the latest campaign to undo Measure Acorn, the low tree-density restriction in Alameda, I thought it might be a good time to summarize and re-cap some of what we've learned. To wit:
Measure Acorn critics like to blame the people of Alameda for planting so many trees. They claim that some people actually like having big, leafy Squirrel magnets all over town! But scientific studies have shown what the real driving force behind tree proliferation is. Squirrels burying acorns and other seeds, and then failing to dig them up before they sprout, cause the growth of untold numbers of trees every year. So I guess it's the Squirrels who are to blame for our tree overcrowding problem, and not people at all.
Measure Acorn critics also like to say that the presence of trees can increase property values. But we know from a 2005 study done by the Prestigious Institute of Sciurine Studies that high tree-density suburban cities tend to have much lower property values than we do in relatively tree-free Alameda. It is clear that people prefer to live in places where there are not many trees per acre, which is why housing prices are so high in our City. So I guess what this tells us is that Alameda is perfect just the way it is, and allowing higher tree densities would completely destroy our ability to profit from real estate transactions.
They say trees provide shade, but I ask you, is that not what umbrellas are for?
But, they argue, trees help prevent run-off by absorbing water. Well, so does Kentucky Bluegrass, so what do we need trees for?
Birds like trees, but who likes birds? Any creature that would treat automobiles—those shiny, turbocharged instruments of our Alamedan freedom—with such flagrant disrespect has no right to live in Alameda!
And, as I've already pointed out, trees are a haven for Squirrels. Measure Acorn critics try to convince us that this is not a problem, that we should like Squirrels because they are cute, to which I issue the following scathing rebuttal: "Nuh-uh!"
One could (and indeed, one often does) go on and on - so many of the claims by Measure Acorn critics have been debunked by now - but this covers the main issues that Measure Acorn critics have tried to raise over the past couple of years. But I think Alameda residents are smart enough to see through the smoke screen created by Measure Acorn critics to hide their real agenda - undoing Measure Acorn to allow Squirrels a free ride to maximizing tree growth and nut production at the expense of residents.
Thursday, March 20, 2008