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  • It's dawn, it's dark,

  • and you don't know what kind of weather is waiting for you outside your tent.

  • It doesn't matter anyway.

  • In rain, hail, sleet, snow, or blistering heat,

  • you're on the front lines, shovel in hand, wearing over 20 kg (50 lbs) of gear,

  • battling against nature to save the environment.

  • On a good day, you might plant 2,000 trees in a 10 hour shift.

  • But imagine if you had to do this every day for the next 570,000 years...

  • This is 'What If,'

  • and here's what would happen if we planted one trillion trees.

  • It's true, tree planting is no picnic.

  • Up north, it wouldn't be uncommon for a tree planter

  • to pee on their own hands to keep them from freezing.

  • Tree-planting is undoubtedly one of the world's hardest jobs.

  • So why would anyone do it?

  • Because if they didn't,

  • life would be much worse... for everyone.

  • Since 1900, Earth's average temperature has risen by one degree.

  • That doesn't sound like much, but just wait 'til you feel it.

  • If our planet becomes just two degrees hotter than it was in the 20th century,

  • heat waves, flooding, crop failure, and animal extinction will be common place.

  • Doing nothing about it would just be reckless,

  • demonstrating an extreme indifference not just to human life, but to all life on Earth.

  • You might even call it,

  • second degree murder.

  • Some ideas that have been put forward for cooling the planet

  • include a giant space umbrella to shield Earth from the Sun,

  • or a giant space mirror to reflect sunrays back into space.

  • Meanwhile, back on Earth, we've already got trees

  • that absorb the harmful carbon emissions that warm our planet,

  • while also expelling oxygen so that we can breathe.

  • Problem is, we just don't have enough of them to do the job.

  • While the world is currently home to roughly 3 trillion trees,

  • we lose about 10 billion of them every year.

  • And as you might expect, we've become more efficient

  • at stripping our forests than we are at replanting them.

  • If we planted a trillion trees, we could offset a decade's worth of those emissions.

  • Time that we desperately need.

  • But it will truly require an international effort to realize this goal.

  • If every human on earth planted just 150 trees,

  • we could meet our 1 trillion tree goal quite easily.

  • But that's just not very realistic...

  • And while the world's tree planters work long, hard days to pick up the slack,

  • there still aren't enough of them to get the job done in time.

  • A study at Yale University concluded that

  • if we continue our current rate of deforestation without planting more trees,

  • our planet will be completely treeless within 300 years.

  • Before we re-visit the space umbrella idea,

  • let's consider some of the more feasible options that are on the table.

  • Tree planting drones, for example, can plant up to 100,000 trees a day,

  • the equivalent of about 50 veteran tree planters.

  • And while a lot of students take up tree planting as a lucrative summer job,

  • the more innovative ones have found other ways to cash in.

  • But whether we do it by drones or by robots,

  • it's time to bring out the big guns in this battle for our planet.

  • Planting a trillion trees is still far ahead in our future,

  • but do you know what our world would look like without them?

  • Well that's a story for another 'What If.'

It's dawn, it's dark,

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B1 planting tree planted planet earth space

What If We Planted a Trillion Trees

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/04
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