Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do the metal trees count?

How many trees does it take to make a lot of trees? That's exactly the forest that City Hall won't see for spending $350,000 to survey trees on 450 private properties this summer to produce "a near-precise estimate of how many trees are in London and the kinds of benefits the city draws from them." We could just say "more than plenty" without the expense, but no modern university-trained expert will take whatever anyone else can see with their own eyes as an answer if there's no make-work project in it for him.

What degree of precision constitutes "near" from such a small sample set is a matter of qualification, unless the surveys are being used as "ground truth" to check the accuracy of image analysis using the colour orthophoto data the City acquires each year in any case. Whatever the precision or confidence of the results, however, it will be far more than can be said for the near-empty drivel that London's tree "experts" use to rationalize the project in the London Free Press video below. Considering the ridiculous anxiety over tree coverage that Council has been projecting over the past couple of years, it's probably safe to assume that the degree of useful sense or meaning contained here will be in direct inverse proportion to the degree of regulatory control over trees that the City will employ in response to the findings.


basil said...

I don't see why they're so worried about losing the city's Forest City "brand" name. Government's are always eager to give their chums in advertising a little business by needlessly changing their logos (post-Liberal victory Ontario trillium).

Let's face it, trees cost money to maintain. "Pothole City" is an obvious and easy to maintain "brand", and we can save money for a performing arts center because the less we spend on roads, the stronger the "brand" representation.

Honey Pot said...

They are going to pay people to go around and count trees on private property in the city?

Looks like someone's kids down there need a summer job.

No doubt they want the information to levee a tax on greedy tree owners, or to bring a law in to fine you, if you cut one down on your own property.