Planting 1.2 trillion trees could reverse a decade of climate change. Here’s how to do it.

Ecologist Thomas Crowther and his colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university, have determined that planting 1.2 trillion trees would cancel out a decade of carbon emissions.

The researchers have also estimated that the planet has over 3 trillion trees, about seven times more than previously thought.

“There’s 400 gigatons [of CO2 stored] now in the 3 trillion trees,” Crowther said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington, D.C. last February.


“If you were to scale that up by another trillion trees, that’s in the order of hundreds of giga-tons captured from the atmosphere – at least 10 years of anthropogenic emissions completely wiped out,” he continued.

The effects of climate change we’re currently experiencing have been caused by a sharp rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Trees are a natural weapon against climate change because they remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it to oxygen.  

Crowther believes that trees are “our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change”.

An analysis by Crowther and his team says there is enough room on the planet’s parks, forests, and abandoned land to plant the trees necessary for a climate recovery.

“We are not targeting urban or agricultural area, just degraded or abandoned lands, and it has the potential to tackle the two greatest challenges of our time – climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Crowther.

How the U.S. can (and should) help.

As the planet’s second worst carbon polluter, the U.S. bears a lot of responsibility for our current crisis. Plus, after President Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, we have some serious apologizing to do.

So why not get back in the good graces of the planet by planting a trillion trees on U.S. soil?

To provide some perspective on the scope of this project, here’s how 1.2 trillion trees could be planted.

via John Murphy / Flickr

Trump should pay his fair share after pulling out of the Paris Agreement. So, we can start by taking over his 17 golf courses (5 of which are overseas) and replacing the fairways with trees.

According to Tree Plantations tree-spacing calculator, 10,890 trees can be planted on an acre. The average golf course is around 200 acres, so that means Trump golf courses could provide enough land for 2,178,000 trees!

Next, the U.S. could take Wyoming and South Dakota, combine them into one state with a really awesome eco-friendly name like, “EcoTopia” or “Treesylvania,” and turn the entire new state into a tree plantation.

This new state would be over a hundred million acres and could fit around 1.2 trillion trees.

Boom! We push climate change back another ten years and the U.S. gets to be the country that solved the greatest crisis ever faced by humanity.

Heroes
Photo by Toni Hukkanen on Unsplash

Are looks more important than the ability to get through a long work day without ending up with eyes so dry and painful you wish you could pop them out of your face? Many employers in Japan don't permit their female employees to wear glasses while at work. Big shocker, male employees are totally allowed to sport a pair of frames. The logic behind it (if you can call it that) is that women come off as "cold" and "unfeminine" and – horror of all horrors – "too intelligent."

Women are given excuses as to why they can't wear glasses to work. Airline workers are told it's a safety thing. Beauty industry workers are told they need to see makeup clearly. But men apparently don't have the same safety issues as women, because they're allowed to wear their glasses square on the face. Hospitality staff, waitresses, receptionists at department stores, and nurses at beauty clinics are some of the women who are told to pop in contacts while they're on the clock.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via The Guardian / YouTube

Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

No reward comes without risk - or in the case of Vilnius - risqué. The capitol city of Lithuania has a population of 570,000 and regularly makes lists as an underrated and inexpensive European destination. Lonely Planet called it a "hidden gem" of Europe. In 2016, it was rated the third cheapest destination for a bachelor party in Europe by FairFX. And you've probably never heard of it. In August of 2018, the city started running racy ads to increase tourism, calling it the "G-spot of Europe." The ad features a woman grabbing a map of Europe, clutching the spot where Vilnius is located. "Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it's amazing," reads the caption.

VILNIUS - THE G-SPOT OF EUROPE youtu.be

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.

Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.

Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.

Keep Reading Show less
popular