Floods could be stopped- If only we had some trees

Please click the image to help victims in Balkan Floods
Please click the image to see how you can help victims in Balkan Floods (Photo Credit: AP / Davor Javorovic / Pixsell)

We have destroyed our Planet. This is the only thing going through my mind these couple of weeks while Mother Nature is raging through the Balkans. Looking at the first video and photo coverage from the terrible floods that hit the Balkan region this past month,  I just stood silently and refused to believe it’s true. But it is real, and we did this.

For years environmental activists have been warning people that we should stop polluting the Planet, stop wasting it’s resources and stop cutting trees…so why didn’t we listen!? The climate has dramatically changed all over the world, it keeps changing and there’s no way to tell what weather awaits tomorrow.

Two days ago, Macedonia had the worst storm it has ever seen, the rain and hail flooded the streets in 15 minutes. It was scary watching all that water through the window and not being able to do anything to stop it. And we could’ve stopped all this if we only planted trees and shrubs instead of cutting them down to build. No, really.

most_poplava_1
Skopje 25/05/2014

Apparently trees and their root systems make the soil more porous, which means water can more easily and quickly be absorbed into the ground, and those same roots hold the ground tightly packed, so they also help prevent land slides. Trees have a strong root system, which is why they have been used at river banks to prevent soil erosion, since forever. Those same roots absorb a lot of water from the ground and keep it nice and dry so when it rains like crazy, it’s ready to absorb a larger amount of water. And even the tree leaves have their role in absorbing water. The drops that would fall on the ground, fall on the leaves instead and when the sun comes they just evaporate in the air. And you know those same trees are also guilty of creating a more favorable microclimate locally, and prevent climate change globally.

Photo237largeBut lately we were in such a hurry to make money, so we just leveled all the trees and shrubbery and put concrete in their place. And we all know that concrete is NOT porous. We also like to throw garbage on our concrete streets, and it was that same garbage that plugged the drains and only helped water build up faster.

So yes, I feel really sad right now. Because if we hadn’t cut down our trees we wouldn’t be in so much trouble now. WE could’ve stopped all this, but the thing is- we didn’t.

E.N.

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