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Tree planting extends an olive branch across the climate divide

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By Matthew Lavietes

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But in the United States, only about 60% of people see climate change as a serious threat, compared with 90% in Greece.

That is over 100 million people who don't and you-know-who is at the forefront.

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Planting trees is a great thing to do, but so is not cutting down trees in the first place. The Amazon is the largest rain forest on this planet, but about 20% of it has already been cut down and then burned by humans, mostly by people wanting to grow cattle where the forest recently existed. If current trends continue, a total of 30% of the Amazon forest will be gone within about another 13 years or less. The rate of destruction of that forest is accelerating. Some scientific estimates have said that once 40% of the Amazon rain forest is gone, the damage will be self-perpetuating, and will continue even if ranchers stop cutting the trees and burning them. I do not claim to understand the mechanism for the Amazon dying and turning into savanna once the number of trees lost reaches about 40%, but that is what the article I recently read in a scientific journal affirmed.

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The problem is that planting trees at scale by itself can only mitigate our CO2 output by an amount that isn't going to be enough. If we increase the tree population by 1 trillion without reducing CO2 emissions, at best we'll just buy a few years, since that many trees can only soak up about 10 years worth.

Its still worth doing, but its got to be part of a larger plan and not THE plan in itself.

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