APRIL 23, 2013
Months after a U.S. city deliberately killed hundreds of trees to make room for the transfer of the space shuttle Endeavour the feds are celebrating a $1.5 million program to plant new trees in the area.
It’s just one of a multitude of examples of senseless government spending. While the federal government gives Los Angeles $1.5 million for a heavily touted initiative to revitalize “urban forestry” in the sprawling municipality, nearly 400 trees were cut down recently just to make room for the space shuttle Endeavour to roll through on a 160-wheeled carrier.
The retired space shuttle was taken to its new home at the California Science Center a few months ago and it had to be transported to the facility by ground after landing at Los Angeles International Airport. It was a huge celebration with a big parade, but a sad moment for the state’s powerful green movement because nearly 400 big trees had to be eliminated to make room for the monstrous space shuttle to clear the 12-mile route.
Many locals were furious that these old “majestic” trees, many of them large magnolias, firs and pines that had lined the streets for decades, were chopped down. A website dedicated to covering “green news,” quotes one longtime resident who seemed insulted at the prospect of simply planting new trees to replace the old ones. “It will be beyond my lifetime before they will be tall like this again.”
Incredibly, this same area has received $1.5 million from Uncle Sam for an initiative called “Million Trees L.A.” that has reportedly planted 400,000 new trees in the city. The money came from President Obama’s scandal-plagued $787 billion stimulus that was supposed to jump start the economy and put Americans back to work. As is the case in many of these government cash giveaways, local leftwing nonprofit organizations were the recipients.
The federal agency that distributed the funds, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), took time to celebrate the tree initiative in L.A. last week. “While urban forestry improves quality of life and contributes to a healthy environment, these efforts also create good jobs,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. He added that “urban forestry efforts” in California generate billions in economic benefits each year. No further details or examples were offered to back this up, but the hug fest between Vilsack and L.A.’s self-proclaimed Chicano Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, was quite amusing.
This costly effort will provide a solution to many of Los Angeles’s most pressing environmental challenges, according to a federal document that justifies the investment, by among other things claiming that trees “fight global warming.” They will also protect water quality by reducing storm runoff and will intercept air pollutants that cause smog, something L.A. is well known for. This all makes sense, which is why the following question comes to mind; why are the feds rewarding the area with $1.5 million to plant new trees when 400 perfectly good ones were recently chopped down?
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