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Aerologging
Aerologging


According to the Forest History Society, aerologging is logging with the use of blimps and balloons to transport felled trees.

This practice, they explain, has economic and environmental benefits, as “[l]ifting the logs could help limit soil erosion, as logs would not be skidded along the ground. Logs also suffered less breakage moving through the air, and the use of balloons would theoretically lessen the need for additional forest road construction.”

Aerologging


Cue parallel world.

In this parallel world, the world's rainforest are off limits to logging thanks to a U.N. Security Council resolution making deforestation a war crime. It was passed as a way to combat climate change.

With the supply of precious jungle timber chocked off and the sub-par quality of wood from the still legal tree farms too offensive to the sensibilities of flooring aficionados and grain-conscious Scandinavian furniture designers, aerologgers are hired to provide them with some contraband logs. Just one or two, these smugglers and their clients reason, won't make much of a negative impact.

So floating in on their stealth blimps, they scour the forest for some nice specimens, abseilling down with their chainsaws when found. Once felled, they haul the lumber up and make a run for the border and out to sea, where their cargo is dropped and picked up by speedboats in the night, bound for clandestine sawmills.

Sometimes they find trees that, while much sought after like an Old Masters painting, aren't in the job ticket, so they mark their GPS coordinates for later retrieval. This inventory is like a map of secret ruins, whose artifacts can be selectively picked off depending on their client's wish list.

Aerologging


In any case, these botanical pirates are careful to avoid detection not only from the forest police but from other pulp traffickers as well, all floating in their own blimps. To avoid being spotted, they dive down below the canopy, all silence on deck, and bob to the surface again when the coast is clear — like an aerial narco submarine.

If two belligerent parties meet, however, then it's a Master and Commander engagement of airborne vessels: first a cat-and-mouse chase through fog banks and tempestuous storms culminating in a proper aerial battle. There is also brief sojourn for ecological tourism.


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2 COMMENTS —
  • faslanyc
  • July 23, 2011 at 8:10:00 AM CDT
  • incredible find. Of course, you forgot that in the parallel future we will be inhabiting the low-level troposphere, below flight altitude but above the tree canopy, in all sorts of blimps and domes and platforms. Balloon engines will be our new power plants as we will have vacated the earth's surface, turning it into a great carbon sink as rewilding takes places on a global scale. All the pirates would have to do is "blend in" to that ghastly assemblage of floating orbs- admittedly a bit tougher when you're hauling a load of ocotea porosa out to sea...


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