Sometimes, satire can help us to understand the world around us. The best example of influential satire that I’ve ever read is George Orwell’s Animal Farm which lampooned communism. While I’ll never threaten Orwell in this realm, I hope that readers will find this satire a bit amusing and more than a little relevant to the Cape Wind saga.
Due to circumstances beyond the scope of this tale, humans have lived for centuries on an Earth without trees. There is a growing movement that promotes the planting of trees but, like anything new to society, trees are controversial. Most Americans burn dried peat moss for their heating and cooking. Steam engines powered by the burning of peat moss power transportation. There is a lobbying group sponsored by the peat moss fuel industry called The Alliance to Protect us from Trees from which we hear, among other things:
- Trees will cause shade and drive grasses to extinction.
- This will disrupt the production of dried peat moss.
- Trees will endanger people and buildings by falling.
- Tree wood will be an extremely expensive source of fuel compared dried peat moss.
- Society does not possess the technology and experience to plant, prune, harvest, and produce firewood from trees.
Many Americans worry about these concerns which are trumpeted by a well-funded opposition. While trees have been planted in Asia, Americans have heard conflicting stories of their success or failure there.
But then, someone somewhere in the US is brave enough to plant some trees: To establish a Tree Farm. Even though this small experiment presents little risk to society it is fought tooth and nail by The Alliance to Protect us from Trees which raises every objection in the book, including patently false and fabricated objections.
Yet the first trees are planted and it turns out that none of the lurid criticisms of the Alliance come to fruition. There are a few struggles along the way and a few growing pains, but in the big picture the planting of trees spreads over the decades and society benefits greatly.
After the planting of trees has proven beneficial, historians are very critical of the absurd initial opposition to trees especially from the Alliance to Protect us from Trees. They note that, even if the 1st attempt at growing trees had failed, society would not have suffered. That is, historians agree that - even without the benefit of hindsight - the initial experiment with planting trees was well worth the paltry risk that it represented to society.
And the rest is history.