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Old 11-10-2010, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,187 posts, read 7,500,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swande View Post
Certainly development and the environment can coexist. However, there is also the matter of private property rights. If one owns a piece of property free and clear, it ought to be the discretion of that one to retain all, some, or none of the vegetation or trees on said property. I know some may think that's a simplistic view, but hey, I still think the Constitution means something. The lack of trees on a piece of property does not constitute a negative externality worthy of public regulation.
Not only a simplistic argument, but a selfish and ignorant one as well. Sure, fall back on the Constitution as a crutch argument. Some of us live in the realities and science of the 21st century, not the 18th.

Do you think the framers could foresee everything for all eternity? Were they gods? Or did they set up a system where reason would prevail...
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Living in the 21st century does not negate the rule of law that is the Constitution. Is it really selfish to say I can cut down a tree on my own property if I choose to do so? What gives you or anyone else the right to tell me how to handle my own affairs? Such is the type of over-reach and arrogance that is damaging to individual liberty.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,187 posts, read 7,500,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swande View Post
Living in the 21st century does not negate the rule of law that is the Constitution. Is it really selfish to say I can cut down a tree on my own property if I choose to do so? What gives you or anyone else the right to tell me how to handle my own affairs? Such is the type of over-reach and arrogance that is damaging to individual liberty.
So you went from mowing down a forest to cutting down a single tree? Such is the type of fallacy and flawed logic that is damaging to reasonable discourse.

"The rule of law that is the Constitution" also included slavery and gave only landed gentry the right to vote. Should that not have been modified? Should reason not have given women the right to vote, or blacks to the right to not be, uh, property? Or renters the ability to decide who makes the rules?

The world ain't black and white. The Constitution is not a simple document. There is room for reason and modern science.

And BTW, there are plenty of communities in the U.S. who have regulated the ability of landowners from clear-cutting their land. Such regulations have survived Constitutional arguments. However, the people of this state have decided that destroying the ecosystem as a whole around them is less important than their individual rights to destroy it in little pieces at a time.

Last edited by Art123; 11-10-2010 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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From a Constitutional standpoint there is not difference whether it is an entire forest or just one tree. You reference modifying the Constitution. There is a process for that. If the majority of states ratify some kind of tree ordinance, then it shall be the law of the land. Until then, property rights, legally, remain unfettered.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,187 posts, read 7,500,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swande View Post
From a Constitutional standpoint there is not difference whether it is an entire forest or just one tree. You reference modifying the Constitution. There is a process for that. If the majority of states ratify some kind of tree ordinance, then it shall be the law of the land. Until then, property rights, legally, remain unfettered.
Then why have all the other regulations (in other states) that restrict deforestation withstood judicial review? I did not mean to suggest that the Constitution needs to be amended for local governments to regulate deforestation. They already have that ability. The U.S. Constitution does not have to be amended for local governments to regulate how many trees you have to leave standing in a forest (personal property or not). This does not require the majority of states, just the education of the ignorant and the will of the local people. Like I said before, SC is about 20 years behind other parts of the nation in this regard. People used to think the world was flat. It took a long time for some to catch up with that scientific fact. You can't allow large swaths of one of the largest deciduous forests in the world to be destroyed without major consequences to the people that live in it.

Last edited by Art123; 11-10-2010 at 08:39 PM..
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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I suspect we will not agree readily on this issue. Given the state of the judiciary these days, it would be no surprise for any law which strips the right of the individual to be ruled as 'should stand.' I yet challenge you to find a legal reason, other than the will of a majority, which would force anyone to be subject to a tree ordinance. Lest you forget, the majority, at one time, approved of slavery. Why should any private landowner be slave to the will of the majority, provided there are not substantial negative externalities with regard to the landowner's actions? If you wish to preserve forested land, buy it; don't impose untenable restrictions on those who wish to do what they will with their own private property. You, or anyone else, ought to have no say in whether I choose to have my private property forested or cleared for fields.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,187 posts, read 7,500,599 times
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I am not a legal scholar. But under your reasoning the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, etc. would all be unconstitutional. However, they are not. They all affect what you can do with personal property because what an individual does affects everyone else. Very conservative courts agree with this notion.

My parents have property in Texas and are required by law to keep a certain percentage of the trees on their land.

I own property in Colorado and am required by law to keep a certain percentage of the trees on my land.

Such laws are common in the U.S. because what we do as individuals affects those around us. We do not live in millions of individual bubbles. If I dump millions of gallons of fertilizer on my land, it effects and hinders the rights of those around me, especially those downstream. Same goes with cutting down all the trees, albeit to a less-obvious extent to the more ignorant people of this world.

An easy comparison is the Freedom of Speech. You can say what you want in America, but that does not give you the right to cause the panic that would result from screaming "fire" in a crowded movie theater.

If you want a piece of deforested land, buy one. But if you want to cut down parts of a forest that has been here for thousands of years, and the destruction of said forest affects the well-being of those around you (as it does), that should be the subject of reasonable regulation.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
5,681 posts, read 9,669,890 times
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NOBODY here is advocating hatred of trees and plants! But development needs to happen, if there's a market for it. The fact of the matter is (and I've already brought this up here) that there are already tree ordinances in place in the city & county (Greenville) for development of public spaces.

What a private citizen chooses or needs to do on their own private property should be sacrosanct. That is the test of a society that presumes to call itself "free". I would imagine that the vast majority of people will only take trees down if it has to be done to accomplish or make possible what they view to be a better use of that land.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Anderson, SC
181 posts, read 347,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swande View Post
Well, I guess if all development 'destroys the natural beauty of the Upstate,' we should certainly not have anymore developments like CU-ICAR or BMW Phase II, or Reedy River Park, right?
Proper planning can mean we have the best of both. Urban sprawl is not going to be for the best option for the Upstate in the long run IMHO. Consider what Pickens County Vision 2025 envisions.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:45 AM
 
26 posts, read 36,955 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art123 View Post
I am not a legal scholar. But under your reasoning the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, etc. would all be unconstitutional. However, they are not. They all affect what you can do with personal property because what an individual does affects everyone else. Very conservative courts agree with this notion.

My parents have property in Texas and are required by law to keep a certain percentage of the trees on their land.

I own property in Colorado and am required by law to keep a certain percentage of the trees on my land.

Such laws are common in the U.S. because what we do as individuals affects those around us. We do not live in millions of individual bubbles. If I dump millions of gallons of fertilizer on my land, it effects and hinders the rights of those around me, especially those downstream. Same goes with cutting down all the trees, albeit to a less-obvious extent to the more ignorant people of this world.

An easy comparison is the Freedom of Speech. You can say what you want in America, but that does not give you the right to cause the panic that would result from screaming "fire" in a crowded movie theater.

If you want a piece of deforested land, buy one. But if you want to cut down parts of a forest that has been here for thousands of years, and the destruction of said forest affects the well-being of those around you (as it does), that should be the subject of reasonable regulation.
Again, you seem to be misconstruing my argument. If someone dumps a million gallons of toxic chemicals on their land, and those chemicals leach into the groundwater aquifers which are used as potable water, of course that constitutes a negative externality and the person then has no legal right to dispose of said chemicals on their land. However, clearing a piece of property of trees to make way for pasture or grassland certainly does not mean it is a negative externality if you drive by and look at my property. If you don't like it, don't look at it. Let me just say that I love trees. I preserve them any chance I get. However, such ought to be an individual choice, not the imposition of the collective.
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