From the Department of Well, Yeah comes a study published a few months ago that examined how to restore the dwindling global forest cover worldwide and recommended – wait for it – planting more trees. Billions of them.
Forests are vital contributors to life on our beautiful blue marble spinning in space. Let’s break this down:
- Plants produce oxygen as a by-product of nourishing chemical photosynthesis.
- Humans and other animals with lungs breathe oxygen to live. Without it, life expectancy is measured in minutes.
- Plants and animals depend on each other for their very existence.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? Yet, climate alarmists make a big deal out of this very basic interdependency. According to them, deforestation due to natural causes (such as wildfires) and human intervention (such as clear-cutting trees to create pasture land) spell utter disaster for the planet and the end of life as we know it.
This negative thinking has produced a new international movement, sprung from the United Nation’s globalist agenda to control everything, to ban meat production in favor of vegetable crops.
Thank goodness more sensible heads prevail elsewhere – in Switzerland, Italy, and France, for example. Scientists from those three European countries joined forces to find realistic solutions to the problem of too few trees to support the world’s animals, including us. They used maps that indicated how much additional tree cover could exist outside of present-day forested, farmed, and urban land.
The researchers determined that the planet can sustain a maximum of about 4.4 billion hectares of canopy cover. Global ecosystems “could support an additional 0.9 billion hectares of continuous forest.” That’s more than a 25 percent increase in forested area.
One effective answer to extensive tree-cutting, simply put, is tree-planting on a massive scale.
Global warmists insist (with no sound scientific evidence) that atmospheric carbon produced by human emissions has created a greenhouse effect that is rapidly heating temperatures and melting ice caps. They love the idea that planting more than 500 billion trees would remove one-quarter of the existing carbon from the atmosphere.
Let them love it. The European study identified 1.7 billion hectares of land with no trees where 1.2 trillion native tree saplings would grow naturally. That’s about 11 percent of all land on earth, about the size of the United States and China combined.
The “green” scientists figured that tropical regions can support 100 percent tree cover while, on average, that rate drops to about 50 percent in the rest of the world.
What is surprising is that the researchers were surprised by their results. Research lead Professor Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich exulted:
“This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one. What blows my mind is the scale. I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed.”
Crowther is a believer that rising greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and forest destruction must be reduced to zero to stop the extinction-level crisis predicted 50 years ago by the first global warming alarmists, notably Al Gore, even though none of those doom-and-gloom forecasts have proven true.
Be that as it may, there is no doubt that on August 9, 2019, the Brazilian State of Amazonas declared an emergency in its southern region and the capital city of Manus, due to devastating wildfires that are destroying large swaths of the Amazon forest – the world’s largest provider of life-giving, plant-based oxygen.
“The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the ‘Lungs of our Planet’ because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.”
As I wrote before, “Deforestation on this scale could upset the balance of nature by lowering oxygen levels from photosynthesis.” At risk are “the active agents for 121 prescription medications on the global market today, with 25 percent of Western pharmaceuticals derived from rainforest ingredients.” Losing forests lowers the number of natural retreats left in the world.
So, while global alarmists such as René Castro, the assistant director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, are high-fiving because, as he pointed out, “We now have definitive evidence of the potential land area for re-growing forests, where they could exist and how much carbon they could store,” the rest of us are amazed that anyone would spend good money figuring out that the solution to chopping down trees is to plant new ones.