Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 3, 2019
by Noreen Wise
With such an overwhelming blow to rainforests in the Amazon last week — 4,000 new fires detected in less than 48 hours, and 80,000 total fires in 2019 — we must move swiftly to replant and reforest on every continent.
The Amazon is considered the “lungs of the world.” On average, we lose 65 trees every minute, 93,600 trees every day, and 34.16 million trees every year. This in and of itself is a human civilization-threatening reality. With the global population rising, and carbon sequestration falling, the only way to save more lives is to immediately act in response to the recent escalation in the destruction of the globe’s forests.
The Path Forward must be a global commitment to:
- Lower carbon emissions faster
- Increase carbon sequestration faster through conservation, replanting as well other natural carbon sinks, most notably soil
- Cut back on paper products (we have to sacrifice our love of lush, fluffy double-ply anything)
Students love getting involved with climate action. So with the new school year beginning, let’s create a game plan. How about every American student planting 10 trees per school year? Some countries already require this.
- Planting trees in groups is a lot of fun
- Students can fundraise together, form an after school club and have meetings to decide where they’ll plant trees, as well as what types of trees
- Working on a life-saving and planet-saving project brings out the best in us, builds character, and rewards with a new perspective on life
- This can also be a fun family project on weekends
- Best time to plant trees is the fall & the spring, September is an excellent month to get started
There are many more benefits we receive from trees than just oxygen. Trees become friends. They are wonderful listeners. They nurture and support. Trees teach lessons about growing roots, and patience… the benefits of sunshine, as well as rain. Trees stay in our lives for a long time, providing stability. They grace us with shade and shelter. Trees share secrets about what it takes to grow big and strong. Trees are wonderful companions for students. A student tree force will provide many cures, not only for the environment and the climate crisis, but also for society in general.
Enriching the soil all around us with more nutrients through composting, will also increase sequestration. Every restaurant and home should compost. No more using the sink disposal!
Steady daily pacing of recycling, composting, planting trees, switching to solar, walking more, driving less… will get us on our way to new green habits, and a less frightening future.
We can do this!
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