- Acid Test by Quixote - http://www.molvray.com/acidtest -

Insurance companies cause global warming

Seriously. I’m beginning to think they’re the source of all evil. Think about it. Insurance companies are at the heart of the US health care disaster. This post is an off-the-cuff rant, so I can’t be arsed to dig up the links, but go read Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, Kevin Drum. Even I have a post about it. It’s obvious to the meanest intelligence.

But what brought this on is that my neighbor is cutting his trees to ten feet high. (Pollarding is the technical term.) I like those trees. They’re almost the only trees left on my street. This is a low rent district, full of little, ramshackle houses. With trees, it looked like something out of Harry Potter. Without trees, it looks like a slum. Even more important, the hummingbirds who visit my feeders live in those last few trees. They are currently Not Happy.

Now, my neighbor is a nice guy, so I went out to moan at him about what he was doing.

“It’s the insurance,” he said. “If I don’t cut them shorter, they won’t insure the house.”

What he means, of course, is that they’ll insure it, but they’ll want bags more money in case a branch comes off in a high wind and knocks off a roof tile or two. The trees themselves are too small and too far from any house to fall right over on one.

So, because the few little trees might, someday, cost the insurance company a few hundred dollars, it’ll either jack up premiums to the point where he has to pay hundreds extra every goddamn year, or it wants them gone. The neighborhoods I live in, nobody has an extra few hundred a year, so all the trees disappear, one by one.

This is the third neighborhood I’ve lived in during the last decade or so where I’ve seen this happen. Multiply that times thousands of neighborhoods, because I’m sure it’s the same thing everywhere. Then calculate how much CO2 that residential urban forest could have taken up. Calculate the increased heat island effect because the trees are no longer there to evaporate acres more water. Calculate the increased air conditioning used because there are no trees to throw shade. Calculate everything, and there’s only one conclusion.

Insurance companies (help) cause global warming.

Why aren’t we regulating the piss out of these bastards, and making it impossible for them to aid and abet the murder of trees?

Crossposted to Shakesville [1]

3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Insurance companies cause global warming"

#1 Comment By minstrel boy On 14 Nov, 2007 @ 09:13

pollarding is a very usefull gardening technique. it is best when dealing with shade trees. by cutting back drastically, during the dormant time, there will be a multitude of brand new green shoots that bear multiple leaves when the spring comes. i do it to my mulberries every year. come summer i’m in dark shade and bird nesting heaven.

#2 Comment By Terrible On 14 Nov, 2007 @ 10:14

I agree with you 100%!

#3 Comment By quixote On 14 Nov, 2007 @ 19:18

minstrel: there’s pollarding and there’s pollarding. My neighbor is taking 30 foot-plus trees down to ten, which really changes the landscape and from which they’ll take years to recover. He’s not cutting them down completely because he really doesn’t want to. He wouldn’t be cutting them at all if it wasn’t for those mafiosos in three piece suits.

But, yeah, just taking it in isolation, you’re right. It is a useful gardening technique.