Monday, July 28, 2008

How Many Alamedans Will Be Alive After 40 Years to "Benefit" From Newly Planted Trees?


For far too long, Alamedans have failed to ask the tough questions about trees. I am the only person who is independent-thinking enough to ask why the City is spending our tax money to plant spindly little trees that will take decades to reach their full height, if they survive that long. How many people who are paying taxes now will be around to "enjoy" these full-grown trees forty years from now?

Even if a tree planted today escaped such pitfalls as Squirrel gnawing and runaway skateboard damage, and reached its full height, how do we know that there would be any actual advantages to having it in our town? Some claim that trees prevent run-off, but I tried pouring some water over a tree in my neighborhood and it was abundantly clear that all of it was running right off the branches and straight down the trunk. Then there's some nonsense about trees providing shade for parked cars along the streets. Well if it's so important to have shade for parked cars, why isn't the City bringing in fully grown trees so that we can have that shade without waiting for it? With today's technology, it can't be difficult or expensive to uproot a twenty-foot oak tree, truck it into town, and excavate a space for it on some shade-deprived street.

But it's blatantly obvious to anyone who is paying even the slightest amount of attention that everything is always a zero-sum game - where somebody wins, someone else loses. So who loses? Right-Thinking Alamedans. Planting trees shifts the so-called benefits of forestation away from Right-Thinking Alamedans and over to the Squirrels and the politicians who do their bidding TODAY, with a promise of a future benefit (shade for the precious parking spaces in front of one's house) to Right-Thinking Alamedans in the future. 40 years into the future - the typical lifespan of a quote-unquote tree. How many people are aware that Muir Woods is NOT covered by Alameda's Master Tree Plan, and yet Muir Woods was somehow able to grow redwood trees big enough to drive a car through without government subsidies? Were there any studies done to examine if the recently planted trees at Wood Middle School could have been similarly grown without the use of funds from City coffers?

Consider the Master Tree Plan - a scheme more diabolical than any hatched in the twisted brain of the most evil of Squirrels. What's in it for the current residents of Alameda to plant any trees at all? While Big Arborist and the Squirrels will make money and gather nuts, respectively, and the politicians will declare "victory" over "sun" and for creating shade, we Right-Thinking Alamedans will have to wait 40 years to see any supposed protection for the precious parking spaces in front of our houses. How many Right-Thinking Alamedans reading this can imagine that they will be here in Alameda 35-40 years hence to realize the so-called benefits of these trees when they mature?

Dave Williamson

No comments: