Thursday, February 9, 2012
Cut trees down for backyard housing?
"Laneway infill," "backyard rental housing" ... these are ways of squeezing more people into urban space. But after they do, where's the space? We're all on top of each other, which is bad enough (ever heard of the overcrowded lab rat studies?) but even worse is the fate of the trees that used to be there. How many people who want to make room for a revenue-creating rental hut in their back yard, will get rid of the trees that used to live there? Will it matter if said trees are scarce or heritage varieties? Will home-owners get permits to eliminate trees anyway?
The municipal heritage tree protection measures are very shaky to begin with. Somebody says a branch might fall on my roof, or a fungus has taken up residence in the bark (which a fungus is supposed to do ... trees co-exist with other lifeforms and are indeed a "platform" for numerous species, but arborists hired to get rid of trees ignore this). So what chance does the tree have? And this despite the fact that every municipality plus the provincial jurisdiction claims to be concerned about climate change.
BULLETIN: THE MAIN CURE FOR GLOBAL WARMING IS TREE COVER! It is not biking, it is not "getting people out of their cars," IT IS THE OXYGENATING AND CARBON-ABSORBING ROLE OF TREES.
How does this backyard paving project sit with the erstwhile "urban forest master plan"? Is there still an urban forest master plan?