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One billion trees November 8, 2006

Posted by dorigo in internet, news, politics, science.

Wangari Maathai, biologist, 2004 Nobel Peace price laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement, an organization that provides sustenance to millions of people in Kenya through the planting of trees, has put forward a proposal for planting a billion trees in the world, to counter the greenhouse effect due to the increase in atmospheric CO2. You can read about it in http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=11611, but I suggest you use your time to get your shovel first.

Her reasoning is really simple: a billion more trees in the world would absorb 250 million tons of C02 yearly. A small result if compared to the billions of tons produced by human activities, but still a step in the right direction. And planting a billion trees might sound a titanic endeavour, but it amounts to a tree every six human beings. “Anybody can dig a hole, put in a tree and then give it water, taking care that it does not die”.

Well, let’s see. A tree necessitates about ten to twenty square meters of ground to flourish. So we are talking about 20 thousand square kilometers of surface. Not easy, but doable, if the resources were there. Bill Gates, how about pouring some money on this tree thing ?

Maathai has helped plant over 20 million trees with her project (see http://greenbeltmovement.org ). And the benefits were not just in the air we breathe. For once, an environmentalist who acts before talking.

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