A couple of weeks ago, a Google Earth image was posted to Facebook with a caption that read: “How can we get to 100% of the ground in 20 years?”.
It was a question that a lot of people had asked.
And, indeed, this is something that’s been a big problem for the country for decades.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the number of people who die from falling trees has risen steadily from the 1950s through to the present.
It is now about one-fifth the rate of people dying from falling objects, and in 2015, there were 1.2 million tree falls across the country, and the number was forecast to rise to 1.6 million in 2020.
This has been happening for a long time, and even though it has been a bit of a shock to many, it’s also a problem that’s now hitting home.
As I write this article, I am still in the midst of getting my licence, and will be going to the Forestry Commission of NSW (FCNS) next month for the first time.
It’s been quite a trip and I’m sure it will be a bit easier now than it was back then.
I’ve written about the issues with falling trees before, so I’ll save you a little time, but one thing I think a lot people will agree on is that trees are not the answer.
We are a country that likes to think that our environment is a beautiful, orderly place, but what we really need to do is get to grips with the issues that we have with the trees, and with the way we use them.
In the end, the answer lies in the forest.
It doesn’t just mean clearing away the brush and scrub.
It means moving away from big areas of scrub that are so important to the health of our forests that we should also look at the bigger picture and try to think about how we can better manage the land and make it healthier.
And for that, I’m going to need a lot more time, a lot fewer trees and a lot less brush.