From the parent's link:
According to the Supreme Court, a compilation is not copyrightable per se, but is copyrightable only if its facts have been "selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship," citing the definition of a compilation in 17 U.S.C. 101.
This holding overruled numerous lower courts that adopted a "sweat of the brow" or "industrious collection" test of copyrightability. Under this test, if a compilation was created as a result of a great deal of effort (such as the collection of thousands of names and addresses), copyright protection would extend to the compilation regardless of the creativity or originality in the selection, coordination, or arrangement of the facts.
The Supreme Court expressly stated that this "sweat of the brow" analysis was faulty, and that copyright extended only to the original selection, coordination, and arranging of data, and not to any unprotected facts contained within the compilation.
1) You are correct that such a method is a timber farm and that a normal ecosystem will not exist. But since the goal of the forest is not to provide usable tree products, the need for pesticides in not present. If a disease runs through and wipes out a large number of the trees, we simply bury those trees earlier than we wanted and start growing new ones.
2) If you think that managed forests in developed countries are still often clear-cut, you know very little about the timber industry as they have been selectively cutting trees since the eighties.
3) This plan would not put a pressure on landfills because it would require a specialized location anyway. To get around the methane problem, this area would have to be far deeper than an above ground landfill. In fact, it may be easier to turn the trees into woodchips and fill up abandoned mines with them. Or perhaps produce a wood-pulp slurry and inject it back into former oil-fields.
If the solution to autonomous driving is to modify every road with extra features to help vehicles navigate themselves, that was accomplished long ago with far simpler methods than those in the article.
Even the accomplishment of using magnets is not that impressive, it is basic engineering and control systems. The focus of actual autonomous vehicle research is to allow navigation without the cost of upgrading every road across the country.
(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.