Bio-Massacre: Could Planting Trees Hurt the Environment?
In short: yes, it’s possible, but only if done ineffectively. The argument that scientists are having is whether planting trees is a viable way to reduce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. On one hand, some say that it’s possible, with the right amount of money and land. On the other hand, some say that the cost and process involved in planting all these trees would greatly outweigh the benefits.
Arguing for the planting of trees, scientist say that if we plant enough, we can pull a quarter of all emissions from the air in the next 50 or so years. How many are enough? Half a trillion. The number is steep, but they say that the cost would be around 300 billion dollars, since restoration projects have gotten the cost down to 30 cents a tree. 300 billion sounds like a lot, but to put the amount in perspective: the US spent some 718.69 billion in military spending alone in 2019. Given that the cause would be worldwide, the cost seems feasible.
Don’t Plant Them?
You may be wondering, since it’s so simple, why aren’t we doing it? But of course, reality presents a number of issues. The land needed for planting half a trillion trees would involve hectares of unused land, as well as a bit of land that we currently use for grazing. Some take thus to mean that we have to choose between eating and saving the Earth. But others argue that it’s not as big of a deal as it seems; we would just need to play a few trees in every pasture, which could actually be good for the animals. We could also eat less meat.
We can theorize all day about the possible effects or roadblocks, but in the end, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if we were to start the project. Even if we weren’t able to finish it because of the pastures or the cost, the bit that we are able to do will still help. Not to say that thus is the only thing that we should be doing to combat it, but it is a viable option to help. If we face roadblocks, we can deal with them when we arrive. And if they’re insurmountable, our efforts will not have been in vain.
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