India just planted 50 million trees to take on climate change.

Quick! Trivia question: How many trees is a lot of trees?

Photo by Abrget47j/Wikimedia Commons.


50 trees? Yep. You could argue that's a lot.

Photo by Nickrds09/Wikimedia Commons.

500 trees? That's definitely a solid amount of trees.

Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons.

5,000 trees? Ah yeah, that's nice. Nice, healthy chunk of trees.

Photo by Hansueli Kraupf/Wikimedia Commons.

What about 50,000,000, though?

What. About. 50,000,000?

That's how many trees were planted by volunteers in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in the span of 24 hours.

Photo by Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP.

"The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard," Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of the state, told participants in the effort to set a new Guinness World Record, according to an Associated Press report.

The group was attempting to shatter the previous record of 847,275 trees planted in 24 hours, which was set three years ago in Pakistan.

Peach trees in Pakistan. Photo by Junaid Ali/Wikimedia Commons.

Hundreds of thousands of people participated in the tree-planting drive, which began on July 11. Roughly 49.3 million were reportedly planted.

"I've read in a book that this tree releases maximum oxygen," eighth-grader Shashwat Rai told the AP. "There is so much pollution in the city, we need trees that produce oxygen."

Hundreds of thousands of people going out in the world to actually do something about climate change is an example we all can learn from.

Simply put, the Earth is warming because the carbon dioxide and other gases we put in the atmosphere are trapping more heat near the surface.

Trees breathe carbon dioxide.

Perhaps the easiest way to help put a pin in global warming is simply to have more trees.

And 800,000 people got off their couches to make that happen. That's pretty great.

Not to mention, trying to break each others' tree-planting records is probably the most productive manifestation of India and Pakistan's geopolitical rivalry ever.

For almost 70 years, the relationship between the two nations has been characterized by competing territorial claims, nuclear brinkmanship, and occasional armed conflict.

So if India wants to challenge Pakistan to a tree-off, I'm all for that. I'd even watch the inspirational movie about it 20 years from now. Like a chlorophyll-soaked Miracle on Ice.

Ficus! Ficus! Ficus! Photo by Steve Powell/Getty Images.

Here in the United States, we've still got to move past square one when it comes to solving climate change.

The Uttar Pradesh effort wouldn't have been possible without coordination between citizens, volunteer groups, and, critically, local government.

Meanwhile, a lot of American policymakers refuse to acknowledge that climate change is manmade and, thus, don't really want to do much about it.

It's important to call them and persuade them otherwise — and if they don't listen, to replace them with people who do.

In the meantime, we can and should tip our caps to a determined team of thousands for making their corner of the world 50,000,000 times shadier.

Trees line a highway in Uttarakhand, India. Photo by Paul Hamilton/Flickr.

In the best way possible.

Heroes

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

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