Wednesday, December 13, 2006

When progressives get dopey

I like being a progressive. I think that progressive ideas and beliefs are the most positive force in politics today. But every once in a while, a progressive idea is taken way too far.

Given that TJ and I aren't beholden to any groups or individuals in our writing here at LO, its our providence to point out stuff that one or both of us think is lefty nutjob-ness.

For example:

Micki Carrier, a neighbor in SW Portland’s Maplewood neighborhood, is on a mission to save Portland’s trees. She was the woman behind a tree funeral in August, to protest a development’s threat to neighborhood trees (those trees are still standing, Carrier proudly notes). I tend to think of Carrier as Portland’s tree fairy godmother.

Tree funeral? Seriously?

I'm all about saving trees and reforestation. You won't find a more ardent supporter of sustaining renewable resources and careful stewardship of the enviornment than myself.

But holding a funeral for a tree is stupid. It infers assigned traits to trees (human/animal type feelings, for example) that have no business in that assignment. It also just looks ridiculous. Trees have a number of important uses as a post-harvested product. They can be responsibly replanted and managed appropriately. A "funeral" further infers that the loss of a tree is irrecoverable, IMO.

If Carrier really wants to make a difference for urban forest renewal, how about drafting a stringent urban reforestation plan with local urban arborists who understand the local species? The Portland City Council isn't exactly a raving bin of rightwing anti-enviornment lunacy. A well thought-out, responsible draft would certainly be considered, at least.