Tree Theft on the Rise in Germany as Heating Costs Increase - SPIEGEL ONLINE With snow blanketing the ground, it's the perfect time of year to snuggle up in front of a fireplace. That, though, makes German foresters nervous. When the mercury falls, the theft of wood in the country's woodlands goes up as people turn to cheaper ways to heat their homes. "The forest is open for everyone to enter and people just think they can help themselves, but they can't!" says Enno Rosenthal, head of the forest farmers association in the northeastern German state of Brandenburg. "Naturally, those log piles belong to someone and there is a lot of money and work that goes into them." The problem has been compounded this winter by rising energy costs. The Germany's Renters Association estimates the heating costs will go up 22 percent this winter alone. A side effect is an increasing number of people turning to wood-burning stoves for warmth. Germans bought 400,000 such stoves in 2011, the German magazine FOCUS reported this week. It marks the continuation of a trend: The number of Germans buying heating devices that burn wood and coal has grown steadily since 2005, according to consumer research company GfK Group. Plato?s Tree Cut Down For Firewood | Greece.GreekReporter.com Latest News from Greece Greeks, desperate to find fuel to stay warm because they cant afford heating oil that has been ghit with big tax increases, have been taking to the woods and even city parks to cut down trees and now authorities said someone has felled the olive tree under which Plato sat in ancient times. Police said they believe at least two people cut down the famous tree because it was massive and heavy. Some residents of the area reportedly said that homeless people cut the tree, while others allege that a group of gypsies did it. Platos Olive Tree, was said to be a remnant of the grove within which Platos Academy was situated, which would make it approximately 2,400 years old. The tree comprised a cavernous trunk from which a few branches were still sprouting in 1975, when a traffic accident caused a bus to fall on and uproot it in 1975. Since then, the trunk has been preserved and displayed in the nearby Agricultural University of Athens. Good job, liberals. Burdensome taxation of energy is directly driving this. Not to mention all the pollutants wood- and coal-burning stoves put out.