May 9, 2017

BW photograph of three trees and some clouds.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A tree is being removed in the neighborhood-the loud buzzing of chain saws began early this morning.  It happens to be the tree to the far left in this photograph, which is also in the preceding post.  That means the two photographs from that earlier blog, the image above (which was made yesterday) and the moon shadow (which made at 3:00 a.m. or so this morning), are no longer possible.

BW photograph of a fallen tree that has been segmented as it fell across a road.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The other trees included in this post were brought down following weather events-the one above was subsequently segmented as it had fallen across a road.  I remember the storm that knocked it down because I was on that road the following day and had to turn around as the tree had bisected the road.

BW photograph looking up into the trunk of a fallen tree.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This one fell into a field and was therefore left to its own demise.

In the above two cases, there is evidence of the role disease played in the felling of the trees.  It also appears that disease played a role in the removal of the one in the neighborhood.  This 2015 article references and discusses the number of human-removed trees dropped each year on a global basis-15 billion.  As per the report, this amounts to a loss of 46% of trees since humans evolved.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and are thus an important resource in the removal of that greenhouse gas.  Once a tree is downed, it is no longer able to participate in that process.  If the tree is subsequently burned, not only is more CO2 created, the amount of CO2 the tree has stored over its lifetime is also released into the atmosphere.  Globally, forests are cut, a process called deforestation, for building supplies and to clear land for agriculture and other forms of subsistence living, as well as for heat and cooking.  When the forests are cleared for the raising of cattle, another climate change issue emerges:  cattle release methane, another greenhouse gas that is actually much more potent than CO2.

And thus becomes the dilemma.  If a tree is diseased, especially one in a neighborhood, it presents a risk to the built structures-better to remove it systematically then to wait until it falls, right? (I had to make this decision a few years ago when a large, large Norway Maple in my yard became diseased and appeared to be a threat to mine and my neighbor’s houses.)  However, what of the trees that are cleared to build those neighborhoods to begin with?  The issue of global poverty is quite real-while the rate of extreme poverty is decreasing, it still reflects 10.7% of the world’s population (as of 2013) according to the World Bank.  How to address this?  Also, there is the point being made here about the interaction of deforestation and poverty.  The cattle/methane issue speaks specifically to diet.  As long as there is a reliance on beef for consumption, the pressure brought to bear to grow and feed the animals increases-this requires land to raise the animals as well as the feed.  What to do?

Here is one answer.  Note, though, the net loss of trees discussed in that article.

It is important to consider others.

Take care.



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