“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.”
At least once a month for the last 19 years, I’ve thanked former president Ronald Reagan, for without him, I possibly never would have ended up working for ESRI.
Let me explain. In 1987, I was an Environmental Scientist working at Engineering-Science, Inc. (a division of the Parsons Corporation), focusing on highway and airport noise modeling and dabbling in cultural resource assessment on the side. Michael Fene’ and I were responsible for the budding GIS implementation at Engineering-Science, so we actually ended up touching a lot of different disciplines.
President Reagan’s legendary references to pollution-causing vegetation lead one agency to hire Engineering-Science to develop a model of all the pollution emitted from all vegetation within the state of California, so we immediately set about trying to find a suitable state-wide vegetation database. As part of the project, Michael and I spent half a day out in Redlands with some ESRI staffers. I was so impressed that later that night, I started working on my resume.
“Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.”
Enough already! Stop picking on the late Ronald Reagan! OK, maybe there’s room for just one more quote…
“If you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all.”