Monday, May 4, 2015

Makes Sense, Doesn't It?

Ben Franklin was a very savvy man, bordering on genius if not actually over the line with smarts.  He was the initiator of so many things that had a positive impact on a large population world-wide.  For one thing, he was concerned about the dangers of fire on the citizens. 

He belonged to a group of firefighting men in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Thinking through how things were done, he formed the Union Fire Company.  Under his direction it was decided to start a fire insurance company.  He met with other fire companies to form the Philadelphia Contributorship Insurance Company.

The fireman paid a premium to the company which would pay out for property damage from fires.  They signed on for seven years.  At the end of the seven year period they would receive back the monies they paid in minus the amount paid out.  The first year they had no fires among the insured.  At the end of seven years they all got some money back.

Franklin also noticed how mature trees interfered with fire fighting.  They prevented immediate access to the burning building which hampered firefighters when getting into position for their work.  After some thought he suggested the city council require the removal of all mature trees in town.  His idea was approved and made into a city ordinance.

The citizens were not as impressed with this idea.  Think about it.  This was a time where there was no air conditioning.  Without mature trees, there would be no shady areas to allow a person to get some relief from a brutal sun.  Being inside the house would not assure you a modicum of relief, especially since cooking was often over an open flame in the house.  You know those kitchens would get unbearably hot.

I'm sure many also sat outside to catch any breeze blowing through the area.  Without the trees, would they instead have straight line winds blowing through, possibly with greater force than the less intense breeze of the wind slowing as the wind met the trees? 

Whatever the reasons for the controversy surrounding the passing of this ordinance, the population had a vigorous say about the situation.  The ordinance was rescinded.

However, Franklin must have been proud of the citizens for protesting to the city and expressing their concerns and feelings.  He did believe in the democratic process, and that process does not assure you will always get your way, only that you can have your say.

How would you feel if a like ordinance were suggested where you live?

No comments:

Post a Comment