climate change

Profitable Deforestation

Because every city refuses to stop building to create more affordable housing, the urban heat index continues to rise. Sure, they claim supply/demand economics, but the trick is that investors buy vacant homes to stimulate fake demand, thus spurring more development, and the toxic cycle continues. No one is considering that continued development means that deforestation is being excused as a way to create affordable housing. In the minds of the dominant narrative, trees and vegetation need to be destroyed for people to be housed. Say that again out loud. Such nonsense disregards that trees provide much more cooling and shade than any building ever could.

So many people believe that a life of excess is there for the taking if people are just “willing to work hard enough for it.” Thus, these lightweights think everyone has the means for and access to a car. This is not true, and it is emotionally immature to believe that everyone will feel comfortable and safe once their lives revert to sitcoms from the 1950s. Cars–and everything that comes with them–are more expensive, and too many people are already working too much just to close their doors. Cutting down trees purportedly to build and lower the costs of living ignores how pedestrians, cyclists, and everyone else without a car stands largely unprotected in triple-digit heat. Moreover, not everyone has access to manage body odor once they reach their final destination.

Speaking of body odor, cutting down trees is effectively torturing unhoused encampments. Those who smirk and talk about how every unhoused person made bad choices disregard reality. Housing is too expensive, and the real estate industry is arrogantly flaunting its dismissiveness about renters. Cutting down trees and criminalizing homelessness means that unhoused people are forced to swelter in blistering heat, and climate change only means that temperatures will rise. In short, those who relentlessly advocate for nonstop development are advocating for torture, since they have yet to prove that building lowers housing costs–and they know it.

Finally, trees also clean the air, and there is a rise in childhood asthma. While the sycophants believe anything developers tell them, children are suffering from a lack of trees. Additionally, high medical costs mean that developers are aiding the healthcare industry in extracting profit from the most vulnerable. Once the trees are gone, it takes years to redevelop the type of protective canopy that stabilizes breathing patterns–especially in communities where power plants and landfills were placed to protect the precious. The response most local governments offer when confronted? “We have to build to lower the housing costs,” even if some state governments deny the responsibility of water breaks.

Life on earth is changing, and a lack of trees makes life even more difficult. Those who know it are sneering while they line their wallets, depriving the less fortunate a reasonable quality of life. The failure to grow more trees while destroying the ones that exist means that income will further limit access to climate comfort. When swaths of people collapse from heat exhaustion, the same people will parrot the same lines, but they will be lucky to maintain an audience.

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