Friday, 27 December 2019

They are cutting down trees

to make way for an "upgrade" to a main road so that people can shave a few minutes off the time it takes them to travel to work. 
The trees are mostly river red gums that  have been growing there for more than two hundred years. Most of them are probably older than the year in which the first white settlers came. They might be four, five or six hundred years old.
It is an absolutely stupid thing to be doing. The ever increasing demand for "shorter travel times" and "increased speed limits" on the main roads is not achieving anything. Our road toll has gone from 75 for the whole of last year to 108 so far this year but people are still demanding these things. They claim "boredom" and "frustration" are causing the accidents. 
Is cutting down trees and shaving three minutes off the time it takes to get to work going to solve the problem? 
We lost a river red gum in the local park a couple of years ago. It went naturally. It is fortunate that it fell into the park and not into the road. If it had fallen into the road or into any other direction it would have done immense harm . We mourned the loss of the tree but I was told that it was at least five hundred years old.  "It had a good life," someone told me, "I'm just sad that the birds have lost their homes as well."
And that is part of the problem. It isn't "just a tree". It's part of an entire ecosystem which is being lost every time they cut one of those trees down. We have lost so many trees up in the hills because of the fires. We have lost more than two thousand koalas and will lose many more when they succumb to their burns, injuries and lack of food. There are other native animals and birds who have received severe burns and other injuries or succumbed to smoke inhalation. The last thing we need to do right now is cut down any healthy tree.
People should be getting up a few minutes earlier instead of cutting trees down. 

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