Remember Global Warming? Is sacrificing 100 year old trees a way to head it off?
No one appears to be counting,
but someone should.
Highland Bridge is going to cover 122 acres of formerly open earth with concrete. The City's claw back of what little open space existed in its original design means that green space is going to become even more rare with multiple variances reducing open space, as each new project is proposed.
Concrete, is described in a Guardian article as the most destructive material on earth for many reasons, but primarily for it's several contributions to global warming. The author asserts that "By one calculation, we may have already passed the point where concrete outweighs the combined carbon mass of every tree, bush and shrub on the planet."
So the very last thing we should be doing (at the same time) is ripping down what remains of St. Paul's tree resources. This has already begun which can be confirmed with a drive along Mississippi River Blvd. adjacent to the site, or past the ball fields off of Cleveland Ave.
This is the engineering equivalent of a lung removal because trees, especially as they age, retain lots of CO2 (up to 22 tons!) in their trunks. If they age and die, this is released back into the atmosphere, if they are cut down, it is not, doubling down on the disaster.*
This thought needs to guide us as Ryan and subcontractors move ahead with the Highland Bridge development. If not we all may find ourselves increasingly at the mercy of negative climate change, and we will deserve it.
*Wohlleben, P. The Hidden Life of Trees, Greystone Books, Vancouver/Berkeley