Urbanisation, Progress and Other Misnomers

Looking at modern day cities from above (unless you were its Architect) the sight of urbanisation is a depressing one at best.

And despite all of the warnings about global warming, we  still don’t seem to have understood either the problem or the solution.

Outrageously, in some parts of the UK we are still prepared to sacrifice the countryside in order to pedal the ‘Good Life’ dream of ‘A well paid job, a nice house and a nice car’  … etc.etc..

However this is the belief that we have all been ‘mis-sold’. This notion that what we are doing is an improvement.

It clearly isn’t working.

The idea that prosperity for all through urbanization solves all problems simply isn’t true, and the planet is reacting naturally as a result.

CO2 levels are going up, and ‘Nature’ is doing what nature does – it adjusts accordingly and without the need for thought.  It just follows the laws of physics – like water flows to the lowest point, regardless of any effort that we might make to prevent it.

And it is as well to realize and accept at this point that we need to keep the natural world in balance for the sake of ourselves and for the future lives of our descendants.

Because, put simply, if we continue to behave as a species in the same way as we have been doing for the last 150 to 250 years – since the advent of the Industrial Revolution – then our trees and woodlands,  parks and gardens will not survive.

Atmospheric levels of CO2 will increase beyond recovery, and our intellectual ability to solve the problem will be gone.

CO2 levels go up because – in the name of progress – an increase in urbanization brings an increase in industrialization and more CO2, to provide the type of jobs our ‘Western’ society believes that we need.

Conversely, the countryside, primarily woodland, and of course the oceans takes CO2 from the air and lock it away. Trees and the plants in the oceans produce Oxygen. This is why the vast rain Forests are referred to as the ‘Lungs of the World’. Before plants were here, there was no Oxygen … it is a by-product of their existence.

So it should be clear for all to understand that an economy which leans more towards Arable Agriculture and Forestry as it used to do would begin the process of turning things around. Why not build with timber. Some of our oldest buildings are made of wood. Some concrete buildings are a wreck after 30 years. Look at the recent aerated concrete scandal. Why rip the earth apart to quarry for stone and iron, or further pollute the atmosphere making steel ?

The truth of course is that we in the West don’t want to hear that. We tremble at the thought because we are frightened to death that we might have to give up something. 

Don’t think for one moment that our current actions will bring about the end of Planet Earth – they won’t. The Earth has been here and has evolved into what it is today without any help from us. A Billion Billion Billion tons of plastic and industrial waste and polluted seas might eventually kill us and our fellow creatures –  but Planet Earth will survive without an atmosphere as it did before.

And once we’ve all been wiped out, maybe as its evolution continues, the next form of ‘intelligent’ life that lives here will have a better sense of responsibility and survival than we have.

But here’s the thing. If we don’t give up some of these harming ways, we are going to risk our very existence. 

But take a lesson from the town planners of the past who gave the towns ‘lungs’ in the form of parks and gardens.

Whilst we may not have been to New York, it’s common knowledge that they have a massive Park in the City – Central Park.

Similarly there are dozens of large and small Parks in London and other major Cities. This one is Hyde Park.

We ourselves are hugely fortunate to live where we live because the town planners gave us a forest of trees to live within.

However as a global species, we still need to change our ways.

If everyone in the UK planted a tree, there would be 60,000,000 + new trees in our Country breathing new Oxygen into the atmosphere.

That is roughly 600,000 Hectares of new woodland, taking CO2 out of the air that we rely upon, and locking it away out of harms way. Imagine the global difference if the whole world followed suit ……

I’m a lucky one. I’ve planted hundreds of thousands of trees in my long career.

And under the stewardship of our new younger leadership, that is why whenever we receive a 5-Star review, we pay for a tree to be planted in your name, somewhere in the world where it is needed most.

But don’t wait for us to do it for you …. go on ….. 


You know you ought to.