another one bites the dust

Yesterday, I watched as a dead ash tree was cut down before it could come crashing down on a house during a wild winter wind. It was pretty cool to watch the skill and the carefully placed cutting to bring the thing down without incident to people or things. It was a good thing.

At the same, however, it bugged me (so to speak). It is, of course, thanks to the emerald ash borer that the tree had died and posed a threat. And the emerald ash borer, as we know, arrived here courtesy of international commerce. As I recall, the ground zero, if you will, of the emerald ash borer in Michigan was Wayne County, specifically, on pallets delivered to the automotive industry from Asia.

So, where’s the accountability here? The homeowner has to pay to have the tree taken down, or risk life and limb doing it. They lose a piece of their property doing it, as well. And if they don’t take it down, it will eventually come down anyway, jeopardizing whatever and whoever is in its path.

This has played out over and over and over again as the damage of the emerald ash borer ripples outward through the state, having already marched its way through the entire mitten part of the state, despite quarantines. It is so commonplace that “dead ash” is a completely understood and accepted term with all that it implies. We’re talking millions of trees.

Think of the millions of dollars worth of damage and loss. Homeowners and tax dollars going to clean up and live with the mess that industry made. And no one even talks about it, everyone just eats it.

And yeah, I get that it’s certainly a complicated thing to place and effect accountability on this, but it’s also pretty complicated to mobilize thousands of homeowners and government agencies to respond. I just don’t buy that it’s impossible, and that the entities that caused the whole problem get to skate on the whole thing while everyone else pays.

I think someone knows exactly where that first borer was delivered. I recall early on reading some very specific information about it, and in fact, those quarantines started out with a few counties ringing the original location of the pest.

And, if nothing else, why is it that we can’t learn the obvious lesson? That we need to manufacture here. We need to make things here, right here.

This entry was posted in business, Michigan, nature and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to another one bites the dust

  1. ehpem says:

    Great point you make. That kind of accountability, if it were practiced, would lead to greater care and fewer introductions of problem animals and plants from other places. Probably would have been a more vigorous response to the initial stages of the outbreak as well.

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