By Lee Pitts
I swear, sometimes I think a lobotomized Suffolk sheep has more brains than our public servants. Have you seen the Forest Service’s latest answer to saving our national forests?
While the KNP Complex fire in California was raging out of control, it burned and killed 20 percent of the world’s old growth Sequoia trees. As the fire got close to one of the world’s oldest trees, a tree called General Sherman, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) knew exactly what to do and raced into action. They wrapped the base of General Sherman in aluminum foil to protect it from the flames. So now instead of managing our forests properly, I suppose USFS stands at the ready with tin foil in hand to save our forests. The way our national forests have been burning every summer and autumn you might want to buy stock in Reynold’s Wrap before next fire season.
The insanity is everywhere. I live on the edge of a state park where greenies ride their electric bikes with wheels about the same size as those on the old Honda 90s environmentalists banned from the same trails. Funny thing is, those electric bikes with their oversized tires make the same ruts as the fossil fuel powered Honda 90s did, but the Honda 90 riders were seen as despoilers of Mother Earth while the bike riders are seen as green because their bikes run on batteries instead of fossil fuel.
Sometimes I wonder what we’re going to do with all those batteries when they go deader than a roadkill armadillo and start oozing whatever it is ruining countless alarm clocks and flashlights? I suppose we could just stack all those old batteries next to all the spent uranium 235 nuclear rods we have no idea what to do with which have a radioactive half-life of only 700 million years.
There is yet another nearby state park where I frequently walk where the trails are cluttered with trees which blew down in a violent windstorm years ago. Park employees cut the trees into 30-inch lengths and then just left them there to rot. An acquaintance loaded up one of these chunks in his pickup which he intended to use as a base for his anvil. On his way out of the park he was pulled over by a park cop and given a ticket and a hefty fine and was told to put the wood back where he picked it up. On my last walk I noticed this chunk of wood is still decomposing and providing a nice home for bugs and termites emitting carbon and contributing to climate change.
In my county you have to get a permit to cut down a tree on your own property, even if it’s a pine tree slowly turning brown because the bark beetles are trying to kill them all. Because few people want to go through the hassle of getting a permit, not to mention paying for one, there are far too many rotting trees which just attract more beetles, and all the deadfall will serve as kindling for the next massive wildfire to decimate Western forests.
In yet another move to save our forests, the National Park Service has made it illegal to climb on any tree in all U.S. national parks. Many state parks and several municipalities have also banned tree climbing even though I’ve yet to hear of a single tree dying due to an adolescent tree climber.
We’re doing all these ridiculous things in the name of climate change and to reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, you know, the stuff every human on earth expels all day, every day for the duration of their life? You know the stuff plants need in order to grow?
While our government is busy devising new ways to tax and regulate everyone’s carbon footprint to prevent the temperature of the earth from going higher, or lower, one or two degrees, like it has done countless times in the history of the earth, there is a simpler solution. If everyone would just stop breathing for four minutes, the cancer – being humanity – would be cured instantaneously. But don’t forget to wrap yourself in tin foil, or your dead body could still emit carbon as you decay.