Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This is not a real verdant forest

From an article in HuffPo:

A dazzling video has hit the Internet in response to a promotional ad by Enbridge that omitted about 1,000 kilometres of islands along B.C.'s Douglas Channel.

The Enbridge animation is supposed to illustrate the marine route for oil tankers. It's part of promotional materials for the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, which would see oil sands bitumen piped from northern Alberta to Kitimat on the B.C. coast, and then shipped to Asia.

A breathtaking new video called "This is not an Enbridge animation" fires back at the energy giant's erroneous campaign. It features time-lapsed panoramas of actual locations along the proposed route, including mighty Kinuseo Falls, unrippled Burns Lake and the scenic coast of Kitimat.
Comments at HuffPo ran along the lines of "...gives me serious goosebumps and tears. wow."  As usual, it simply boggles my mind that nobody seems to notice that more than half the trees in these scenes are completely DEAD!
I guess if people can't even recognize a dying forest when they are WATCHING A VIDEO OF IT then it shouldn't be so surprising that they don't notice dying trees in close proximity, perhaps because they are too busy staring at their iphones to notice - or maybe they just forgot what healthy trees look like - never mind wonder what it is that's killing them (hint:  O3, and if you don't know why yet, read the book, it's free!).  I imagine the endless squabbling amongst bloggers (the most recent spate - there are many more examples - perhaps instigated by Guy's clarion call to GIVE UP already) about how fast the collapse will transpire could be settled if any of them bothered to bestow just a lingering glance upon the actual condition of the ecosystem around them.  Enjoy the "dazzling, breathtaking" video and hell, sign the petition...why not?

*This is not an Enbridge animation from Shortt and Epic Productions on Vimeo.


  1. I just got back from driving the coast mountain circle tour here in bc:


    It's not anywhere near the area mentioned in your article, but some of what I saw nearly made me feel sick with dread.

    There were entire mountainsides that were dying off just a bit north past pemberton. This was not beetle kill area. It is rainforest in that area predominated by what appeared to be firs and spruces. There were entire mountainsides turning brown. I never expected it to be that bad in that area. It honestly scared the shit out of me. Of course the deciduous trees had burnt foliage.

    Throughout the whole route there were various degrees of die-off. Some spots requiring a very keen eye to be able to tell and others so bad it nearly made me sick to my stomach.

    That being said the drive was unbelievably beautiful and I am glad I was able to accomplish it before everything is a barren wasteland.

  2. That looks like a lovely trip. Does it normally get snow there? Yellow cedar death further up towards Alaska has been blamed on warmer winters, less snowpack and frozen shallow roots.

    It's spotty on Cape Cod too. Everywhere you can tell the trees are unhealthy, and here and there the clutches of completely dead trees are mesmerizingly horrible. So I know your feelings well.

  3. Yes it definitely gets snow there as it is quite high elevation.

    Though I'm not sure how warm the winters have been up there lately.

    A year or so back I got into a big argument with my parents about how all the trees were dying everywhere. They assured me it was just my OCD (I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder in my early teens) and that even if most of the trees were dying that our best scientists would be on it and find a way to fix it.

    My parents think I just can't see the facts because of my disorder, but I know what I see. My parents bring up my disorder as a means to automatically dismiss almost anything I say regarding the environment and the state of big business/government. Your blog reminds me that I'm not crazy. Thanks.

  4. My mother tells me that trees just naturally don't grow very large on the Cape - even though I pointed out to her that there *are* some very large trees still. My father just ignores me.

  5. i am sooo terrified. last night, i spent hours gazing at the big maple tree that brushes my bedroom window. it did not have many leaves this summer and the ones it had were very small. now they are all falling (way ahead of time). but what is more disturbing, the branches seem to curve, like if they were in a Dali painting. the branches are loosing their vitality and becoming limp! it is so scary to look at the tree through the window and becoming numb in the night. death everywhere. and loneliness among 7 billions...

  6. The perception thing is puzzling. For 57 of my 60 years it was possible to recognize a dead tree. City parks and parkways never had dead trees, they were cut down when they started to die. The hazard of falling limbs was understood. Even on private property any tree that remotely presented a public hazard could be ordered cut by the city and they got cut down w/o huge resistance or cognitive dissonance. Over the years I've advised more than a few friends and clients to trim or cut their trees and I was listened to. Now they are invisible. No one wants to talk about it.

  7. Good interview with Biologist Francis Mangels about changes in soil pH ... even growing better tomatoes.


  8. Gail,

    Homo rapiens (John Gray's term used in his book Straw Dogs) is axing the last remaining trees to make room to move the space shuttle to a museum.

    Tree removal for space shuttle arrival tempers excitement
    Los Angeles TIMES, September 3, 2012

  9. I saw that story on yahoo. It was encouraging that almost all the comments were against chopping the trees. If I lived there I would lay down on the street in front of the trucks. Morons.

  10. Been helping a friend move here in southern New England, which has meant getting out and about with a good opportunity to look at a lot of trees.

    Thin crowns, gray-green leaves, yellow-spotted leaves, brown-spotted leaves, leaves just yellow, brown, or already dropping. Can't blame it on the drought--here, there is no drought. Can't blame it on the arrival of autumn--The weather remains hot to warm. It just looks terrible, with a disheartening threat of worse to come.


  11. I have to say that here in England the trees look pretty healthy. I have been reading your blog on and off for a year or two, so I do tend to look at the trees when I'm out and about. I don't see landscapes where half the trees are dead, as you do there. Most of our weather comes from the Atlantic on the prevailing westerly winds, so maybe we benefit from cleaner air, whereas you're downwind of an entire continent of industry and internal combustion engines. Just speculating...

  12. Hi Icarus, thanks for continuing to read -

    Perhaps in your travels you could check up on a few of these trees, I wish I were able to track them down myself!


    England is much smaller and more intensively manicured that the US, which still has huge areas of untended forest, and even in suburbia the yards are often large and it's very expensive to remove trees, so more and more they are prominent in the landscape.

    It could be that your dead trees are being removed more meticulously, so you just don't see them. I was terribly disappointed when I went to see the New Forest (which is centuries old) where all the old trees were broken and there were no healthy young trees - and that was before I realized that trees are suffering globally.

    So perhaps you aren't seeing dying trees, but certainly a google search of "trees dying england" has over 22 million results.



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