In North Carolina, the State legislature has passed a law giving free license to billboard marketers to cut down greater swaths of trees to put up more billboards. This law has been met with a significant amount of incredulity from many fronts, but the Republican led legislature is less concerned about these issues than letting this business group have its way.
The concerns are several, but let me highlight a few. Billboards are about the biggest eyesore, beyond trash, on highways and interstates. To me, they are a waste of space, in that going 55 to 70 miles per hour on the interstate, I don’t have much liberty to pay attention to billboards. When I do, the only utile information I retrieve is if a restaurant of choice is coming to a near exit. I am not inclined to make a college, hospital or investment decision based on a billboard. And, being a father, seeing billboards for naked women at the next truck stop, is not my idea of good taste.The distraction to a driver of a two ton vehicle going such a high speed is not conducive to safety. We have enough distractions as it is.
In these days of global warming, which is here folks, we don’t need to be cutting down trees without the replanting of new ones. We need these trees to absorb CO2 and give back the needed O2. There is some wording about replanting in the NC law, but it does not have any teeth and this industry has ignored earlier requirements, for the most part.
Yet, if safety, impact on the environment and lack of marketing impact were not enough, billboards are just unattractive and tacky. When I see a signifcant number of billboards, the words quality of life do not come to mind, unless spoken in a negative context.
I recognize this is more of a local issue, but green steps are best done at the local level. Many feel this is just not a step in the right direction.