• Austin Campbell

Can we STOP climate change

Scientists in Switzerland have recently determined that in order to resist climate change, we would need to plant 1 trillion trees around the world. Is that even possible ? Yes, I think it probably is; however, there has to be thorough, intelligent and lasting thought and planning that goes into it—not just haphazardly planting trees where there is space. We want to restore our natural ecosystems, not reforest the globe. In 2019, it was reported in the national news, Ethiopia had broken a world record and planted 353 million tree seedlings in 12 hours to help farmers get out of poverty, as well as mitigate the effects of drought, flood, soil erosion, land degradation and climate change.

How does this translate to those of us living in the Midwest? In 2021, we aren’t facing deforestation at the same rate as the rain forests; however, initial deforestation happened in the Midwest more than 200 years ago during the time of European settlement. Today we are still losing millions of trees at an alarming rate, due to invasive pests and diseases, city development and land cleared for agricultural purposes. We’re also seeing that many of our communities are becoming a monoculture, being dominated by just a few species. By diversifying the mix of species within our community forests, we will be able to better withstand the next influx of invasive pests and diseases. Currently, there are just over 15.5 million people living in Missouri and Illinois. Imagine if every able bodied person planted one tree or helped one person who wasn’t able to plant a tree? That’s nearly 16 million trees planted in only two states! What would the United States look like if that happened in all 50 states? That’s a huge impact! Again, we aren’t planting trees everywhere we have space, we are planting the “Right Tree in the Right Place,” enhancing existing areas, not replacing our agricultural and urban areas. We are using a diverse mix of species that will help ensure resiliency against yet unknown pest and diseases and a changing climate.

The point of the story PLANT A TREE(in adequate space).

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