Bass on Bass

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Parkway Elm's Future

  O.K. I know 2 independent arborists brought in by the village said it should come down, but being the stubborn cuss that I am, I came up with this plan to save it and eliminate up to ~90% + of the risk (0% risk being impossible for even the most ideal old trees)to passing motorists and pedestrians via storm winds. Note that the upper limb shown to be cut sort of twists around a more vertical one ~ same size at that crotch. The second picture is of the 3 generations of the von Rentzell boys around the tree on Mothers Day.
   I spent 2-3 hours studying (not to mention previous hours doing same) this morning, trying to figure the various loading factors and probable effects of actions of various limbs of the "problem" trunk branch of the tree in severe winds. I assumed torque to be the most important factor promoting failure per the "fault" involved and more horizontal limbs the likeliest to exert the torque.
  I just found out that the story about this tree loss is appearing in this week's issue of "The Doings", one of 2 prominent local papers.

Friday, May 13, 2011


   We have a national choice to make. Either we allow ourselves to be the victims of change by taking no measures to wean ourselves from carbon fuel burning for our energy needs or we incentivize change away from carbon fuel use. There is a double whammy vs double benefit between these options. As a nation we depend on petroleum, coal and natural gas for the bulk of our energy use. These are GLOBALLY PRICED fuels. The US is becoming less and less influential on that global price! Biofuels are largely dependent on what we now use as food crops. If we use crop plant "waste" for the carbon fuels we deprive the soil we grow the crops on of much needed restorative organic matter, jeopardizing it's ability to sustain production of the crops. 
   Leaving carbon fuel use behind us will allow us to determine our own economic future instead of having it dictated to us by carbon fuel producing or consuming foreign economic powers.
   Then there's the environmental damage of contributing to "Global Warming". There are serious arguments about the human influence on global temperatures rising and falling, but the science is pretty definitive of the currently rising temperatures world-wide. It seems ridiculousness to me that humanity would have no influence on at least the speed of that process by release into the atmosphere of trillions of tons of carbon that was stored for eons in subterranean deposits!

    Here's a take on the consequences for our State of Illinois and opportunities for avoiding them, the "pay now or pay later" list.