Why Trees are Evil

Mike L. would say that Trees are Evil because they pump volatile organic compounds into the air, thusly causing global warming and smog. If we cut down all of the trees, there will be no VOC’s to mix with the other pollutants. Go us!

I, however, would say the trees are evil because you can run your vehicle into them. That is why this bi-week’s edition of Talking Traffic concerns clearzone, and why we evil civil engineers cut down all the trees by the roads. This should address the conversation some friends of mine were having at the Landmark Diner during Dragon*Con.

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3 Responses to Why Trees are Evil

  1. Annie says:

    I realize the reason for clear zones. However, as we brought up from the discussion over how many endangered raptors are injured or killed along the side of roads because of the open spaces, there is a delicate balance between protecting human lives (much from our own stupidity) and protecting the environment around us.

    And, in my opinion, trees aren’t evil. In a car accident 11 years ago, if it weren’t for the tree I hit, I probably would have rolled my car down a slope and landed on a rather bulky wooden fence.

  2. Bill says:

    You’re right, of course. There are considerations that go beyond the premium effectiveness and safety of road design. What the podcast emphasizes is that the maintenance of the clear zone is a hard and fast requirement, the abandonment of which can lose you BILLIONS of dollars in federal matching funds. Stacking that up against the average endangered species and you have a recipe for engineers and planners thinking that the environmental aspects of a project are a pain in the butt, to be dealt with as quickly and quietly as possible.

    How to address this? I don’t know, but it will start with policy setting at the federal level. Congress will have to change the law in order to change the attitude. The lates highway apportionment act (SAFETEA-LU) is better than the previous ones, but still nowhere close to what a die-hard environmentalist would want.

  3. Annie says:

    When has any government created something that a die-hard environmentalist would want?

    I’m in no-way a die-hard environmentalist. As a psychologist, I realize there’s a certain amount of protecting people from their own (and/or others’) stupidity that needs to be done by other folks than the one’s being stupid. Unfortunately, some of that protection comes at the cost of other species that seem to be a bit smarter in relating to their world than we humans tend to be.

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