“A study in the May issue of Urban Forestry & Urban Greening reports metropolitan areas are experiencing a net loss of about 36 million trees nationwide every year. That amounts to about 175,000 acres of tree cover, most of it in central city and suburban areas but also on the exurban fringes. This reduction, says lead author David Nowak of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), translates into an annual loss of about $96 million in benefits—based, he says, on “only a few of the benefits that we know about.” The economic calculation involves several such benefits that are relatively easy to express in dollar terms—the capacity of trees to remove air pollution, sequester carbon, conserve energy by shading buildings and reduce power plant emissions.
Nowak and a USFS colleague, co-author Eric Greenfield, found tree cover had declined in metropolitan areas across 45 states. The biggest losses on a percentage basis were in Rhode Island, Georgia, Alabama and Nebraska, together with the District of Columbia. Only three states—Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico—saw increased metropolitan tree cover, all by “nonsignificant” amounts.”
From article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/…/u-s-cities-lose-tree-…/
Some food for thought…
As a society, the way in which we place value is reflected in our actions and our economy. As the desire for all that is “bigger” and “better” consumes our world, the cost is high. Those deep thinkers of the world may wonder: why are human beings the only species that destroy their own habitat? What is the value of our advanced intelligence, when cost analyses fail to account for the destruction of the very things that maintain us?