A reaction to the IPCC Report: Our planet needs green help
Dear tree friends,
Our planet is spinning out of control. The current forest fires, floods and droughts do not stop at any national borders and show extensively how much stress Mother Earth is under. Every six years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change holds up a mirror to us - and the picture is worrying. The recently published IPCC World Climate Report predicts that the global average temperature will rise by more than the targeted 1.5 degrees by 2030. Extreme weather events will only increase.
The fact that forests are burning and thus even more of the CO2 stored in trees is being released into the atmosphere is nothing short of an environmental disaster. Not only are forest fires depriving us of much needed carbon sinks, they are even turning the large areas of forest into carbon emitters. What does this mean for planting trees to combat climate change? Is planting trees even worth it now?
The clear answer is: planting trees is more important now, than ever! Because a tree that is planted now begins to draw CO2 from the atmosphere after only about 3 years. Thus, it not only sequesters the CO2 of its now burning siblings, but also stabilizes the microclimate locally. In addition, the incentive to clear existing forests in the Global South is reduced through new income opportunities and education in climate change and sustainability. Improved soil conditions also prevent further extreme weather phenomena: Leading foresters have recently diagnosed the flooding in western Germany as a result of poor forestry management.
Reforestation alone will not stop climate change. We need a global switch to renewable energies, a rethinking in sectors from agriculture and transport to trade, and a new form of conscious consumption and sustainable production. However, global political and economic conditions are changing very slowly, democracy is suffering from path dependency and the community of states is not managing to get its act together. This is precisely why it is now up to each individual to lay the foundation for a better future ahead of us. Giving a tree a life is a great first step that will sustainably ease Mother Earth's burden.
From trees with love,