WATER: As Precious As Gold Or Oil, Yet People Being “Fashionable”, Allow Their Palm Trees To Drink It Up Insatiably

As many tourists visit Arizona, California, and/or Nevada, they are amazed at the vast number and variety of Palm Trees growing in these water deprived states. With Palm Trees being estimated by some ‘Tree Evaluators’ at numbers of 1,000,000+ in those states, collectively, we ask: “Beyond aesthetics, what functional duties do Palm Trees provide?” The many ‘shortcomings’ of Palm Trees, beyond their visual appeal, should be understood by those who consider themselves to be: “Climate Conscious”, “Conservationists”, “Environmentalists”, “Gaiaists”, “Greens” or “What-Have-Yous”.

Californians decided to import approximately 25,000 Palm Trees into Los Angeles for the July, 1932 Olympic Games. Tens of thousands of additional trees have been planted throughout Southern California, since 1932. At the time, water shortages were unique to the ‘locals’; but not now.

As for Nevada, Benjamin Siegel, thought the trees would be aesthetically correct for his new “Flamingo” Casino/Hotel in Las Vegas; other Casino-Hoteliers soon followed. Today, Clark County Nevada, [of which Las Vegas is one municipality therein], has approximately 6,000 Palm Trees it owns; this is in addition to the estimated over 400,000 planted throughout the County by residents and commercial developers.

Arizona, of which the Phoenix area, in particular, was developed into a winter oasis for ‘Businessmen and their families, from the Mid-West and East Coast’ at approximately the same time Mr. Siegel was developing Las Vegas. The Palm Trees were viewed, as today, as being quite ‘fashionable’ and exotic [Rabat, Morocco, perhaps]. It has thousands of Palm Trees in its Valley of the Sun.

Beyond the aforementioned ‘Aesthetic’ intentions of Landscape Architects, are the shortcomings of Palm Trees; those being accentuated in grave scale in certain geographies by a lack of water availability. When one realizes the ‘gargantuan’ thirst of these ‘pencil bodied’ flora, and multiplies it be the sheer number of such trees in the Southwest United States, one may shudder.

Israeli Agronomists have performed years of tests on Palm Trees and have stated in many publications, their findings: These trees consume up to 1,000 liters {264 U.S. gallons} of water a day! [‘Gargantuan’ thirst indeed!] If one merely uses the 25,000 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles number of Palm trees times 264 Gallons of water per day, one acheives 6,600,000+/- gallons (25,000,000 liters) of water being consumed PER DAY! Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley will shudder, at their possible loss.

Another shortcoming of Palm Trees, particularly in hot environments is “Heat Island Effect”; that is, a thermal build-up by buildings, homes, and roadways of radiated energy from the Sun [as well as by vehicles, et al in urban areas]. Palm trees provide ‘next to NO SHADE’, so it is estimated it and the lack of significant transpiration by such trees [not adding moisture to the air] have at most a -17.22 degrees C (1.0 degree F) reduction is urban area heat. Typical shade trees being planted, also provide much greater transpiration to the environment. The results vary: from lowering air temperatures -15 degrees C (5 degrees F) to wide-spread shade tree applications in city centers, temperature reductions of -12.77 degrees C (9.0 degrees F). These results have been measured in many cities in America! Kilowatt savings are too great to ignore in that less electricity is needed to cool structures when ambient weather is ‘hot’. Carbon usage drops dramatically through Shade Tree efficiencies.

A further ‘deficiency’ in Palm Trees, as to the environment in urban areas is the lack of meaningful “Acoustic Attentuation” vis-a-vis automobiles, noisy motorcycles, and trucks; as well as other noise sources. The aforementioned ‘Pencil Bodied’ configuration, dearth of significant branches and leaves, provide no meaningful mechanical barriers to acoustic waves being generated by the noise sources.

As International Businessmen, we try to pay attention to everything possible: All actions and events up-front, and/or those down-stream will interconnect in varying capacities (as many are homologous). As we consult to others or invest for ourselves, we constantly strive to find synergies that are possible or probable, but most of all reasonable; our expenditures of time constitute [a most unreplenshable commodity (as to farmers of the world, is Water)]. Replacing Palm Trees With Shade Trees would help to mitigate some ill-effects of Climate Change.

Reality: At times, aesthetics immediacy of reward, to one’s psyche, can produce financial costs of long term, to one’s pocketbook.

Reference: https://financialpost.com/investing/water-joins-gold-and-oil-for-first-time-as-traded-commodity-on-wall-street-amid-fears-of-scarcity