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, our elected leaders – some, even at a local level –  still don’t seem to have understood either the problem or the solution.

Outrageously, some UK councils 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, follows the laws of physics – like water flows to the lowest point without any need for thought.

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 the leaders of our ‘Western’ society believe we need.

Conversely, the countryside, primarily woodland takes CO2 from the air and locks it away. It also produces Oxygen. Before plants were here, there was no Oxygen.

However, 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. Why rip the earth apart to quarry for iron and further pollute the atmosphere making steel ?

Of course, 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.

But here’s the thing. If we don’t give up some of these harming ways, we are going to take the whole planet down with us.

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.

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.