Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Spare That Tree
'Please Don't Burn Me' said the notice tagged on to the tree (in fact, on to a whole row of trees) on Kensington High Street. Being a tender-hearted fellow unable to resist such an eloquent appeal for mercy, I set aside my flame thrower and read on. The notices are products of a campaign called, with admirable directness, Stop Burning Our Trees - and it's come not a moment too soon. How often have you stepped out in the morning with a song in your heart, only to find a blackened stump where once a proud tree stood in all its leafy glory? It seems they're burning our trees to fuel power stations (boo) instead of making tables (hurrah) which would 'lock up' carbon. So it would presumably be okay to make all our trees into tables - hmmm... In point of fact, wood is used very little in power generation, its burning generates 50-80 per cent less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels, and - what all these 'save our trees' campaigns always overlook - trees are an endlessly renewable resource. Still, hats off to SBOT for staying the hand of the Royal Borough, whose officials were no doubt on the point of torching its rather fine street trees without a second thought.