In 1820…

A tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it. It can’t be determined if it made a sound.

In 2020…

A tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it. However, a surveillance drone captures the tree falling on video.

A scientist studies the video of the tree falling and then creates a study of why the tree fell. The scientist publishes a report, concluding that the tree fell prematurely due to accelerated soil erosion driven by climate change.

The Sierra Club tweets out the report with the attached video of the tree falling to draw attention to the effects of climate change. It soon goes viral with fans of the environment everywhere.

The video is reposted on a conservative Facebook page calling the report bogus. They put out a statement that the tree fell of its own free will and was not co-opted by some leftist climate movement.

In response, a new Facebook group, “Friends of the Fallen Tree,” is created to counter misinformation spread by conservative media.

Rush Limbaugh catches wind of the story. He claims that, rather than climate change, the tree was strangled to death by excessive tree-hugging and blames environmentalists for it falling over. The President retweets the claim.

Greta Thunberg changes her Twitter bio to “Excessive treehugger.”

Top 19 funniest “Falling Tree” memes trends on BuzzFeed.

Wolf Blitzer invites the scientist who published the report using the now-famous video of the falling tree onto The Situation Room as part of a panel featuring environmentalist Bill McKibben and two climate change deniers. After the predictable shouting, the scientist is the last to speak, and he gets in 23 seconds to discuss his report before Wolf tells him, “We’ll have to leave it there.”

Joe Rogan offers to buy the fallen tree and chop it up for a giant bonfire for the “1st Annual Rogan Weenie Roast.”

Concerned about the fallen tree’s fate, a group of Greenpeace activists go and form a protective “peace circle” around it. They take turns reading from The Lorax during the vigil.

Young men across the South and Midwest start the practice of “renegade tree falling,” chopping down random trees to protest the silliness of all the commotion around the falling tree video.

The outrage caused by these young men cutting down innocent, healthy trees forces the U.S. Lumber Coalition to issue a statement condemning their acts and recommitting their members to only responsible and sustainable practices in their industry.

The outrage does not subside, and activists start pulling down Paul Bunyan statues across the country in protest. At the behest of PETA, statues of Babe the Blue Ox are left standing.

Sean Hannity airs a segment on his show called, “Crazed Left-Wing Radicals Attack and Maim Our Proud American Lumberjacks!” Nowhere in the segment does he mention that the lumberjacks under attack are inanimate replicas of a fictional folk hero.

Fearing a boycott, Georgia-Pacific clarifies that The Brawny Man is not nor ever has been a lumberjack, but rather simply, “a strong, sensitive lover of nature and the outdoors, especially the forests!”

Kid Rock sings a modified version of “The Lumberjack Song” by Monty Python to show his support for the "Renegade Tree Fallers” and loggers in general.

Eric Idle files a lawsuit against Kid Rock for using Monty Python’s song without permission, referring to him as a “lowlife thieving reprobate.”

Right-wing conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman post a deepfake video of Al Gore pushing over the video’s falling tree. It is immediately debunked by Snopes, Politifact, and the Washington Post. It still gets shared a few million times before being tagged and finally removed by Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci issues a statement in response to rumors and false reports to confirm that Coronavirus is NOT the cause of the tree weakening and falling over prematurely.

In a sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kimmel interviews Groot to ask him his feelings about his “colleague” falling in the woods. As usual, Groot only talks about himself.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez invites the scientist who wrote the “falling tree” report to deliver testimony on the report’s proposed climate change solutions. The hearing in front of a House subcommittee is commandeered by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, who delivers a 35-minute epic diatribe against the scientist. Gohmert explains that The Bible says the Lord created trees for the use of man to do what he pleases, and since that first apple tree in the Garden of Eden, trees have been trying to subvert their duty to man by tempting them to commit sins. He concludes by saying that we should not try to protect trees from falling in the woods prematurely, but instead look at them with suspicion and disdain, as the real aim of the falling tree was to have man commit more sins under the guise of the heretical climate change movement.

In a tragic turn of events, the tree and square miles of the surrounding forest are completely destroyed in a fire caused by a gender-reveal party stunt gone wrong. (It was a boy.)

Spearheaded by Leonardo DiCaprio, a fund supported by Hollywood celebrities pays for the ashes of the “falling tree” to be collected and interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. In his eulogy at the tree’s memorial service, DiCaprio noted, “We have brought the tree here to our special ‘forest,’ where it can remain a symbol to remind future generations that we need to stop trees from needless falling.” They watch the video of the tree falling in silence.