Do a few trees matter?The context of all the above is not only the preferences of a few tree lovers. It’s found in the map below:
It seems that at every point in what passes for debate these days, we’re being asked to choose between the environment and people. There is no choice: people are dependent on the health of the environment. Whatever affects the environment, affects people. Large trees have a softening effect on environmental extremes…and extremes are what we are increasingly facing.
And on another matter to do with the fragility of nature: anecdotal evidence is coming to us of a relative absence of insects in the region this summer. People have observed that they aren’t being as irritated as they usually are by flies and other insects. And when was the last time your windscreen was spattered with insects? This may be just one of those seasonal variations, but for over a year now reports have been coming in about a massive decline in insect populations worldwide. You can find a couple here and here. Does this have to do with rising temperatures, or vegetation clearance? Science is cautious on the matter…but we’d argue that in any case, the precautionary principle should apply: whatever makes natural systems more resilient in hard times is good; whatever damages them should be avoided.