12. All states shall negotiate to preserve and protect forests and enhance carbon sinks

Rapporteur: Metta Spencer

Carbon Sinks

A carbon sink is a reservoir that stores carbon, keeping it sequestered instead of circulating in the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. Plants, the ocean, and soil are the main carbon sinks in nature. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air for use in photosynthesis, leaving some of this carbon in the soil when they die and decompose. The oceans also store much of the planet’s carbon dioxide.

All of these sinks are being ruined by human activities today, and heroic measures are required to protect them and use them even more extensively to sequester carbon and prevent runaway global warming. Here we will examine these natural carbon sinks as well as some technological inventions that are being proposed for use in capturing and storing or recycling carbon.

Negotiations

Some nations occupy land with large carbon sinks such as rainforests. And some nations — especially the industrially advanced ones — emit disproportionate amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We are all being challenged now to reduce such emissions, mainly by using less fossil fuel. People living in rich countries find this especially hard to do, for we are accustomed to the use of abundant energy. At the same time, we are asking people in the less developed countries not to adopt the same greenhouse gas-emitting technologies that had made us rich. This is unfair, but it is also essential. Every country must cut back, including both those that caused most of the global warming problem itself and those blameless ones that will be forced unjustly to sacrifice. But naturally, not all countries seem willing to accept the necessary deprivations.

COP is an acronym standing for “Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” COP 21 was held in Paris in 2015 and successfully yielded “the Paris Agreement,” which has been signed or ratified by all 197 countries, with each one promising to curtail global warming in its own way. However, President Trump has since declared that the United States will withdraw from it. Sharp bargaining among other states continues at every annual COP meeting.

The most serious demands are proposed by such countries as Brazil. Most people know that the survival of humankind may depend on the preservation of the Amazonian jungle. Nevertheless, that rainforest is rapidly being replaced by cattle ranches or flooded by dams. When COP 24 met in Poland in December 2018, Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro declared that his country would not preserve its rainforest, as previously agreed.

Brazil is not unique in reneging on its promises. A number of other less developed countries now insist on being compensated for their own sacrifices. It is not clear what kinds of deals can be struck, but the way forward does seem to require more negotiations — new quid pro quo arrangements to pay countries for preserving the carbon sinks. This plank of the Platform for Survival recommends that such negotiations be undertaken without further delay.

Costs and Benefits

To negotiate contractual agreements to preserve a carbon sink would seem to require all negotiating parties to fully recognize the sink’s value, though in fact this is often difficult to assess. Parties often dicker over a price without knowing either the true costs or the potential benefits of maintaining the sink. In the final analysis, sinks have infinite value, for they are essential for the survival of the human species. Even in the shorter term, most investments in reducing global warming are financially profitable. For example, although there may be up-front costs in protecting a forest or waterway or adopting a new technology that uses renewable energy, the benefits usually are worth far more and repay the investment rather quickly.

One illustration of this point comes from Project Drawdown, which has demonstrated the financial advantages of investing in about 100 climate-saving measures. They asked: How much would it cost to reverse global warming? The first cost that they calculated is the total price of implementing all 100 solutions: $129 trillion over thirty years, or about $440 per person per year. However, a more illuminating number is the net cost– how much more money would be required to implement climate solutions, beyond the cost of continuing to do business as usual. For example, they compared the costs of a solar farm to that of a coal-fired plant. And they compared the costs of an electric transport system to one fueled by oil. That net cost of all 100 solutions is $27 trillion over thirty years — i.e. lower than the first cost, thus offering remarkable savings. They also calculated the net operating costs or savings, and found that over thirty years, there would be net operating savings of $74 trillion.1) If the public realized this advantage, a stronger commitment would surely exist to reduce climate change.

A solution to one of the global problems is often also a solution to one or more others. For example, we want to keep the maximum amount of carbon in the soil for the sake of preventing global warming. However, if instead we are primarily concerned with increasing the food supply of the planet and maintaining soil fertility for future generations, we will also promote carbon sequestration in the soil. Indeed, there is no need to discuss the protection of soil carbon sinks in detail here, for an excellent explanation already has been provided in the article about Plank 14: “All states shall support improvements of soil health for resilient food production and carbon sequestration.” Sequestering carbon in soil both reduces global warming and improves food production.

Soil as a Carbon Sink

Agriculture. Farming is the main factor that determines whether the soil will be a carbon sink or a carbon source. At present, most farms are major carbon sources, not sinks, because farm animals emit carbon and farmlands are tilled, releasing more carbon to the atmosphere than the plants manage to sequester with their roots.

The earth beneath our feet contains an estimated three times as much carbon as that found in the atmosphere and four times the amount stored in all living plants and animals.2) It can hold even more – and indeed actually did so before farming began about 12,000 years ago. One 2017 report estimated 133 billion tonnes of carbon had been lost, noting:

“Human population and economic growth has led to an exponential rise in use of soil resources.

“The consequences of human domination of soil resources are far ranging: accelerated erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, compaction, biodiversity loss, nutrient depletion, and loss of soil organic matter.

“Of these soil threats, loss of soil organic matter has received the most attention, due to the critical role [it] plays in the contemporary carbon cycle and as a key component of sustaining food production.”3)

Read more

Notes

1) Paul Hawken, ed. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, p. 220.

2) David Nield, “Good News Soil Could be a Much Larger Carbon Sink Than We Hoped,” Science Alert, Nov 11, 2017. https://www.sciencealert.com/soil-minerals-could-be-huge-carbon-dioxide-sink and Renee Cho, “Can Soil Help Combat Climate Change?” State of the Planet, Earth Institute, Columbia University, Feb. 21, 2018. https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/02/21/can-soil-help-combat-climate-change/

3) Ian Johnston, “World’s soils have lost 133 billion tonnes of carbon since the dawn of agriculture, study estimates,” The Independent, Aug 29, 2017 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/soil-lost-carbon-133-billion-tonnes-farming-agriculture-deforestation-a7918941.html. The quotation is attributed to a report, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

4) Renee Cho, ibid.

5) See the campaign’s website: https://www.4p1000.org/

6) Tim Hammerich, “Farming Microbes.” https://futureofag.com/farming-microbes-14ba34364b20

7) Albert K. Bates, The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change. (Kindle book, 2010).

8) Jeremy Hance, “Ultimate Bogs: How Saving Peatlands Could Help Save the Planet,” The Guardian, July 28, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/28/ultimate-bogs-how-saving-peatlands-could-help-save-the-planet

9) ibid.

10) Charlie Campbell, “China’s Greening of the Vast Kubuqi Desert is a Model for Land Restoration Projects Everywhere” Time, July 27, 2017 http://time.com/4851013/china-greening-kubuqi-desert-land-restoration/

11) National Resources Defence Council, “Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem,” https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/NRDC-OceanAcidFSWeb.pdf

12) Earth Institute News, Columbia University, 18 Nov. 2009

13) Michael Hogan, (2010) “Calcium”, in A. Jorgenson and C. Cleveland (eds.) Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC.

14) National Resources Defence Council, op cit.

15) CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange), 23 February 2009. “Ocean Less Effective At Absorbing Carbon Dioxide Emitted By Human Activity”. ScienceDaily.

16) K.M.Sheps, M.D.Max, J.P.Osegovic, S.R.Tatro, L.A.Brazel, “A case for deep-ocean CO2 sequestration,” Energy Procedia, Vol.1, Iss.1, February 2009, pp. 4961-4968. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610209009710

17) Robert McSweeney, “Scientists Solve Ocean ‘Carbon Sink’ Puzzle,” CarbonBrief, Feb. 8, 2017. https://carbonbrief.org/

18) Buesseler, K.O.; Doney, SC; Karl, DM; Boyd, PW; Caldeira, K; Chai, F; Coale, KH; De Baar, HJ; Falkowski, PG; Johnson, KS; Lampitt, R. S.; Michaels, A. F.; Naqvi, S. W. A.; Smetacek, V.; Takeda, S.; Watson, A. J.; et al. (2008). “ENVIRONMENT: Ocean Iron Fertilization—Moving Forward in a Sea of Uncertainty” (PDF). Science 319 (5860): 162. doi:10.1126/science.1154305. PMID 18187642

19) “Methane emissions from cattle are 11% higher than estimated,” The Guardian, Sept. 29, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/29/methane-emissions-cattle-11-percent-higher-than-estimated

20) Hawken, op cit. p. 204.

21) Phys-Org News. “Forests Absorb One Third of Our Fossil Fuel Emissions,” https://phys.org/news/2011-07-forests-absorb-fossil-fuel-emissions.html

22) Hawken, op. cit., p. 108.

23) Hawken, op. cit., p. 114.

24) Hawken, op. cit., p. 109.

25) Laura Parker, “Teen ager is on Track to Plant a Trillion Trees,” National Geographic, March 2, 2017. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/felix-finkbeiner-plant-for-the-planet-one-trillion-trees/ and https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/great-green-wall-stop-desertification-not-so-much-180960171

26) See this video “GreenHands” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiFRnimTVHU

27) See the video produced by Project Save the World with Malcolm Potts on the population growth of the Sahel, https://youtube.com/watch?v=Qn0W7ybF3aM

28) Jim Morrison, “The “Great Green Wall” Didn’t Stop Desertification, but it Evolved Into Something That Might,” Smithsonian.com, August 23, 2016. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/great-green-wall-stop-desertification-not-so-much-180960171

29) Hawken, op. cit, pp 50,58.

30) Erin Stone, “Drones Spray Tree Seeds From the Sky to Fight Deforestation” National Geographic. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/drones-plant-trees-deforestation-environment/

31) IPCC, (2005) “Chapter 5: Underground geological storage” IPCC Special Report on Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage. Prepared by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Metz, B., O. Davidson, H. C. De Coninck, M. Loos, and L. A. Meyer, eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 195-276.

32) “Extracting carbon from nature can aid climate but will be costly: U.N.” Reuters, 26/03/2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-ccs-idUSBREA2P1LK20140326

33) Carbon Engineering’s website is: http://carbonengineering.com/about-dac/

34) Climeworks’ website is https://www.climeworks.com/

35) Simon Evans, “The Swiss company hoping to capture 1% of global CO2 emissions by 2025.” CarbonBrief, 22 June 2017. https://www.carbonbrief.org/swiss-company-hoping-capture-1-global-co2-emissions-2025

36) Elizabeth Kolbert, “Climate Solutions: Is it Feasible to Remove Enough CO2 from the Air?” YaelEnvironment360. https://e360.yale.edu/features/negative-emissions-is-it-feasible-to-remove-co2-from-the-air

37) David Beerling, “How ‘enhanced weathering’ could Slow Climate Change and Boost Crop Yields.” CarbonBrief, Feb, 19, 2018. https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-how-enhanced-weathering-could-slow-climate-change-and-boost-crop-yields

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6 thoughts on “12. All states shall negotiate to preserve and protect forests and enhance carbon sinks

  1. For First Time Ever, Scientists Identify How Many Trees to Plant and Where to Plant Them to Stop Climate Crisis
    By
    Good News Network

    Jul 7, 2019
    Around 0.9 billion hectares (2.2 billion acres) of land worldwide would be suitable for reforestation, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions.
    The Crowther Lab of ETH Zurich has published a study in the journal Science that shows this would be the most effective method to combat climate change.
    The Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich investigates nature-based solutions to climate change. In their latest study, the researchers showed for the first time where in the world new trees could grow and how much carbon they would store.
    Study lead author and postdoc at the Crowther Lab Jean-François Bastin explains: “One aspect was of particular importance to us as we did the calculations: we excluded cities or agricultural areas from the total restoration potential as these areas are needed for human life.”
    LOOK: Rooftop Panels of Tiny Plants Can Cleanse Polluted Air at 100 Times the Rate of a Single Tree
    The researchers calculated that under the current climate conditions, Earth’s land could support 4.4 billion hectares of continuous tree cover. That is 1.6 billion more than the currently existing 2.8 billion hectares. Of these 1.6 billion hectares, 0.9 billion hectares fulfill the criterion of not being used by humans. This means that there is currently an area of the size of the US available for tree restoration. Once mature, these new forests could store 205 billion tonnes of carbon: about two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution.
    Photo by Crowther Lab / ETH Zurich
    According to Prof. Thomas Crowther, co-author of the study and founder of the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich: “We all knew that restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we didn’t really know how big the impact would be. Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today. But we must act quickly, as new forests will take decades to mature and achieve their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage.”
    WATCH: Tree-Planting Drones Have Successfully Planted Thousands of Saplings – and They’re About to Plant More
    The study also shows which parts of the world are most suited to forest restoration. The greatest potential can be found in just six countries: Russia (151 million hectares); the US (103 million hectares); Canada (78.4 million hectares); Australia (58 million hectares); Brazil (49.7 million hectares); and China (40.2 million hectares).

    Many current climate models are wrong in expecting climate change to increase global tree cover, the study warns. It finds that there is likely to be an increase in the area of northern boreal forests in regions such as Siberia, but tree cover there averages only 30 to 40%. These gains would be outweighed by the losses suffered in dense tropical forests, which typically have 90 to 100% percent tree cover.
    CHECK OUT: NASA Happily Reports the Earth is Greener, With More Trees Than 20 Years Ago–and It’s Thanks to China, India
    A tool on the Crowther Lab website enables users to look at any point on the globe, and find out how many trees could grow there and how much carbon they would store. It also offers lists of forest restoration organizations. The Crowther Lab will also be present at this year’s Scientifica (website available in German only) to show the new tool to visitors.
    The Crowther Lab uses nature as a solution to: 1) better allocate resources – identifying those regions which, if restored appropriately, could have the biggest climate impact; 2) set realistic goals – with measurable targets to maximize the impact of restoration projects; and 3) monitor progress – to evaluate whether targets are being achieved over time, and take corrective action if necessary.
    Reprinted from ETH Zürich
    https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/how-many-trees-to-plant-to-stop-climate-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR0ZKo8Dv6gI3XoD9xrIj1dHccgdiqFOy4SDE0iYIXlmOX3OAGAbo_C-gwQ

  2. ottAWA THROWS A LIFELINE TO 50 MILLION TREE PROGRAM CUT BY ONTARIO GOVERNMENT

    The federal government is putting up $15 million over four years to rescue the 50 Million Tree Program which was cut by the Ontario government of Premier Doug Ford in its last budget, CBC News has learned.

    Environment Minister Catherine McKenna made the announcement today in Ottawa, saying the new cash will extend the program for at least another four years.

    She said in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday evening that preserving the program will mean cleaner air, a healthier environment and good local jobs.

    “While Mr. Ford cuts programs that support tree planting … and tackling climate change, we will continue to invest in a clean future for our environment, our economy and our kids,” she said.

    The 50 Million Tree Program had an annual budget of $4.7 million and had planted more than 27 million trees across the province since 2008. Its goal was to have 50 million planted by 2025.

    But a day after Ontario’s budget was delivered, Forests Ontario, the non-profit group that oversees the program, was told funding for it was being eliminated.

    This new funding will essentially support the planting and growth of 10 million trees, bringing the program’s total to 37 million. Support for the program beyond that target is not part of this announcement.

    Ontario cancels program that aimed to plant 50 million trees
    Doug Ford government one of the most ‘anti-environmental’ in generations, says Green Party leader
    Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, said it takes three to four years for a tree to go from seed to planting.

    Every year, the four key nurseries in Ontario participating in the program cultivate 2.5 million seeds between them, which they nurse over three years until they are ready to be planted in their permanent settings.

    The funding cut left 7.5 million saplings at various stages of growth in limbo, with nursery owners unsure how they were going to fund their crops until they were ready to plant.

    Sustaining the program
    Nurseries have been asking if they should be planting seeds to be ready for 2023, Keen said.

    “If you don’t have the funding in place … nurseries are not going to plant.”

    The new funding “is fantastic because it provides that assurance that there’s going to be funding in there to use up the stock that is currently in the ground and plant some more stock,” he said.

    Ed Patchell, CEO of the Ferguson Tree Nursery in Kemptville, Ont., also welcomes the funding. He told CBC News he has three million trees at his nursery at various stages of growth. He said he was unsure what to do with them but is pleased they will now be guaranteed a permanent home when they are ready to plant.

    Ontario cuts conservation authority funding for flood programs
    Internal poll finds voters have negative opinion of PCs environmental policies
    “I think it’s great that the feds have stepped up. I would like to see the province step up, to see a value in the program and contribute as well, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.

    While nurseries now have the confidence to plant a crop now for delivery in 2023, Keen said it remains unclear if there will be funding next year to plant again.

    About 40 per cent forest cover is needed to ensure forest sustainability, Keen said, and the average right now in southern Ontario is 26 per cent, with some areas as low as five per cent.

    “The 50 Million Tree Program has been great, but we need to plant one billion trees to really get the forest canopy up in southern Ontario,” he said.

    Balancing the budget
    Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski told CBC in a statement that his government is focused on balancing the budget to “protect critical public services like health care and education.”

    “In order to do this we have to maximize value for the taxpayer dollar,” he said. “We remind other levels of government that there is only one taxpayer, and that we have committed to balancing Ontario’s budget in a responsible manner.”

    “Previous governments who did not share this commitment to fiscal restraint are responsible for saddling Ontario with a $347,000,000,000 debt.”

    Yakabuski said that the 50 Million Tree Program only plants 2.5 million trees per year, while the forestry industry plants about 68 million trees annually.

    CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices|About CBC News

  3. From Derek Markham @derekmarkham
    Perhaps one day in the distant future we’ll be able to go 3D-print an apple tree, or build an internet-connected modular maple tree from a kit, or have access to hyper-trees that grow at 10X the normal rate, but until that day arrives (and probably for long after), we’ll need to keep buying young trees, planting seeds, and taking cuttings the old-fashioned way, which is actually much simpler and cheaper than any tech solution to anything.

    They say that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but since we don’t have an app for time travel yet, we’ll have to focus on planting during the second best time, which is right now. And you don’t have to have a massive lot or backyard in order to plant trees for food, shade, or beauty, as there are many tree varieties that remain small enough to not crowd or shade out everything else, and which can function as either the canopy layer or the sub-canopy in permaculture-style plantings even in a smaller space.

    Here are 10 great tree varieties for small yards and gardens:

    1. Serviceberry:
    A number of species of Amalanchier, or serviceberry, are available, with varying heights ranging from shrub-sized to small tree, and with some producing a delicious blueberry-like fruit after the fragrant white flowers are pollinated. Also called saskatoon, juneberry, shadbush, or sugar-plum, serviceberry trees also produce a flash of fall color when their leaves turn, and can thrive in a wide variety of climates.

    2. Crape Myrtle:
    Sometimes referred to as the “lilac of the South,” crape (or crepe) myrtle (Lagerstroemia) trees are well-suited to full sun locations, are heat tolerant, and produce showy flowers even in poor soil. A variety of sizes of crape myrtle are available, from a compact shrub to a 30-foot tree, with flowers ranging from white to fuchsia, and with an “exfoliating” bark that offers winter contrast.

    3. Dogwood:
    Although the flowering dogwood (Conus florida) is the most commonly seen kind of dogwood, there are a number of other varieties of dogwoods, ranging from shrub-sized to tree-sized, but most will thrive in moist, shadier locations. With showy flowers in white, pink, or red, dogwoods can add a burst of spring color to the yard, and certain species, such as the Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa) produce an edible fruit, while other species’ fruit is more suited to the wildlife.

    4. Japanese Maple:
    Acer palmatum is a fairly common landscape tree, and with good reason, as its small stature and bold colors can be a great accent in a little space. Japanese maple trees come in hundreds of varieties, with a wide range of leaf types, growth habits, and colors, but most of them are best suited for partially shaded locations, and although the flowers are rather modest, the fall leaf color of these trees can more than make up for that. Although the fruit (samara) isn’t edible, according to The Spruce, the Japanese sometimes fry the maple leaves to make candies.

    5. Witchhazel:
    The source of the common astringent named after it, witchhazel (or witch hazel) grows as a small tree or a large shrub bearing fragrant yellow or orange-red fall or winter flowers (which is why it’s also sometimes called winterbloom). With several species commonly available, and many cultivars, witchhazels come in a number of sizes and shapes, and as the Chicago Botanic Gardens says, “the only major drawback to witch hazels lies at their roots—a preference for well-drained, loamy, acidic soil means that they grow less than happily in clay soil.”

    6: Elderberry:
    Elderberries (Sambucus) are most often seen as shrubs, although varieties that grow more like a small tree are available, and their flowers and berries are good for pollinators and other wildlife, while the fruit is also prized for making jam, wine, pies, and other delicacies. According to Garden.org, elderberries “grow best in a slightly acidic soil that is high in organic matter and stays consistently moist,” but that is well-drained, and are suited to full or part-sun locaions.

    7: Apple:
    Although a full-sized apple tree might overwhelm a small yard, dwarf apple trees can stay at or under 8 feet tall, while still producing a good-sized crop of full-sized fruit. There are literally thousands of varieties of apple trees, many of which are grafted onto dwarf rootstock, which keeps the trees smaller, while upper portion (the scion wood) determines the quality and type of fruit. From sweet early summer apples to late season keeper apples, there are apple varieties for just about any eating preference, and while some dwarf varieties can still grow larger than intended, judicious pruning can keep them in check. Many common fruit trees are available in dwarf sizes that would fit a small yard, such as peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, and more.

    8: Fig:
    There’s nothing quite like a ripe fig, right off the tree, and although figs seem like they’re only for Mediterranean zones, there are fig varieties that can be successfully grown in a number of different climates, and in small spaces. Fig trees can be cultivated in protected areas in some northern climates, and can even thrive in pots or containers, which can then be brought inside or sheltered during the winter, and in contrast with other fruit trees, can benefit from heavy pruning each year to keep them to size.

    9. Vitex:
    The chaste tree, or monk’s pepper (Vitex agnus-castus), is a multi-trunk small tree with clusters of fragrant purple flowers and lacy gray-green leaves. The fruit resembles a peppercorn and is used in alternative medicine, and the flowers are a favorite of butterflies, bees, and people alike. Vitex grows best in full or part-sun locations with well-drained soil, and can aggressively invade nearby soil in the right conditions. According to folklore, the tree was named so because it was believed that it was an anaphrodisiac, with medieval monks having chewed its leaves to help them maintain their vows of celibacy.

    10: Redbud:
    Redbud trees, which can actually have white, pink, red, or purple flowers, are a staple showy spring treat in the garden, and although some can grow 20 to 30 feet tall, can be a good addition to a smaller yard or garden, especially with some careful pruning. Redbud seeds are good forage for wildlife, and redbuds are said to be an important source of nectar and pollen for honeybees and other pollinators. This fast-growing tree prefers well-drained soil and full sun to part shade, and because it’s in the pea family, can get some of its nitrogen from the air so that only light fertilization is necessary.

    The local climate needs to be taken into consideration, as well as any specific space and height constraints, before getting too far down the rabbit hole of looking at tree catalogs and nursery stock. With hundreds thousands of choices of species and varieties available, there’s a tree or shrub for just about any location, and the best guidance can come from local gardeners, orchardists, and arborists, who have hands-on experience, rather than just buying what looks good on an impulse.

  4. There’s a new study proving that there’s enough room on the earth for another trillion trees at least, and if he hurry and plant the right kinds in the right places, we can slow global warming a lot. In fact, when the trees are mature about 40 to 70 years from now, they will be able to reverse most of the damage we’ve done, pulling back a lot of the carbon now in the atmosphere. But we have to hurry, and we have to do it right! It will take many billions of dollars, but it’s still the cheapest and best way.

  5. One of the problems with tree-centric innovation, and with too much of agriculture and knowledge in general is the failures to (a) collaborate, (b) listen, and (c) learn and then (d) try.
    In some areas an innovation goes viral almost the minute it proves itself (1970’s use of growth hormones to aid beer production). In other areas, e.g. vaccine, the knowledge is resisted for stupid (and sad) reasons.

    In the agriculture section here is a new collaboration where I know some of the people on the Indian (ekutir) side. See: https://blooom.farm/

    Several years ago I aided a bit in C. K. Mishra’s World Bank trip around Latin America explaining his ekitursb program helping tens of thousands of small farmers in India.
    There was polite interest but nobody said “Oh boy, let’s try something like that here”.

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