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Can Planting Billions Of Trees Halt Climate Change?

Can Planting Billions Of Trees Halt Climate Change?

The world is burning. In California alone, some 3 million
acres have burned since 2017. Since the beginning of 2019, there have
been more than 121,000 fires in Brazil, and more than half of those
have been in the Amazon rainforest. These fires cost the planet trees,
which help fight climate change. The 2018 wildfire season in California
is estimated to have released about 68 million tons of carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s roughly fifteen percent of
all emissions in California. In short, one of the world’s best
defenses against climate change is being destroyed at an alarming rate. A recent study from the Swiss
Federal Institute for Technology, ETH Zurich, says reforestation of forested lands
at a global scale could help capture atmospheric carbon and
mitigate climate change. According to the study, 0.9 billion hectares of land worldwide are
available to be reforested and one hectare is the equivalent of 2.47 acres. In short, 0.9 billion hectares is an area the
size of the United States. It’s enough space to plant more than
one trillion trees, and the resulting carbon capture, according to the study,
would be more than 200 gigatons. That’s about 32 percent of human
carbon emissions since the beginning of the industrial revolution. In fact, after the study was
first published, articles appeared with headlines like ‘Tree planting has
mindblowing potential to tackle climate change’. Simply put, trees
capture carbon dioxide. “My first reaction was, wow,
wouldn’t that be wonderful? And actually, in a way, goes back
to some earlier studies that show that, you know, there are probably less than
half the trees growing in the world right now than we’re growing, say,
after the Ice Age retreated.” Bill Moomaw is professor emeritus
of international environmental policy at Tufts University. He spent 20 years of his
career looking at technological solutions to climate change. A forest of 50-year-old
oak trees, for example, would absorb or sequester about 30000
pounds of CO2 per acre. You’ve probably heard of
the greenhouse effect. It’s what happens when heat radiating
from earth gets trapped in the atmosphere. “This isn’t something that we’re
going to be seeing in the distant future. Climate
change is happening. Humans are responsible for climate change
and CO2 emissions that are causing climate change to happen, along
with emissions of methane from agriculture and oil
and gas activities. To some extent, emissions of nitrous
oxide gases that come from agricultural practices primarily. Certain gases exacerbate the problem,
such as methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons and of
course, carbon dioxide. Moomaw maintains that while planting trees
is one part of the solution, that alone won’t stop climate change. “We should simultaneously reduce our emissions
as much as possible, as rapidly as possible. That means that the energy sector
and the industrial sector into agriculture and everything
you can imagine.” NASA has several initiatives to
track climate change or carbon sequestration, the process of absorbing and
storing carbon over a long period of time. For example,
the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation mission is a laser based on
the International Space Station, one that measures canopy height and forest
structure around the world. And there’s also ICEsat, which measures
the elevation of ice surfaces. And there’s Landsat, which monitors
where deforestation or regrowth is happening. While the evidence for climate
change seems clear, there’s no consensus for how to deal with it. Some have argued for carbon taxes, which
would tax fossil fuels as a means of reducing emissions. Others have suggested a complete
overhaul in agricultural and livestock practices. But planting trees is something
almost everyone can agree is beneficial to the planet. But would it really
help fight climate change? That part is far more controversial. While the ETH Zurich study
says there are 0.9 billion hectares of land available for
planting, there is little chance all of it will ever
be used for that purpose. Much of the available land is
on private property, so private landowners would have to be convinced to do the
planting and a great deal of that land is used for farming and grazing
or beef cattle and dairy cows. Reforestation also requires
careful planning. For example, too many trees in
northern forests and warming could be exacerbated. That’s because too many trees
block winter snows in winter snows reflect sunlight. At the same time, trees absorb
the heat without redirecting it. And that can create
a local warming effect. “Let’s make sure we plant
them in the right way. Let’s make some decisions about which
species we’re going to plant. Let’s not plant. Let’s let’s focus
on on native species rather than bringing in other species.” The Amazon rainforest is enormous. It covers more than 2 million square
miles, including a large chunk of northwestern Brazil and extends to
Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, French
Guiana and Suriname. Since January, more than 121,000 fires
have ravaged Brazil, with more than half of those burning in
the country’s Amazon rainforest. Many of them were set as a
result of slash and burn agriculture. Farmers burned the land to create
space for crops and grazing. And it could get worse,
especially under current President Jair Bolsonaro’s aggressive land
use policies. The country lost 53.8 million hectares of tree cover
from 2001 to 2018. That’s a 10 percent
decrease since 2000. And deforestation is harmful
in another way. When a tree is cut down, it
releases captured CO2 back into the atmosphere. NASA estimates between 15 and
20 percent of carbon emissions each year come from deforestation. Much of the deforested lands in Brazil
was planted over with soybeans or used for cattle grazing. About 80 percent of Amazon’s deforestation
is due to cattle ranching. In fact, Brazil is now among the
world’s biggest soy and beef exporters. Meanwhile, President Bolsonaro, who was a
climate change skeptic, is not inclined to stop
deforestation anytime soon. Since he took office, his
administration has cut Brazil’s Environmental Protection Agency budget
by 24 percent. He’s fired the director of the
National Institute for Space Research, the agency that tracks rainforest activity, and
he’s eliminated a number of fines for environmental damage. Still, earlier this year, Bolton
R-OH told the U.N. the Brazilian rainforest remains
pristine and virtually untouched. But really, Brazil lost more than
five thousand two hundred square miles of rainforest in 2018. That’s an area roughly
the size of Connecticut. Aside from saving the planet, there
are sound fiscal reasons for planting trees around the world. In 2015,
Citigroup estimated the cost of not taking action to fight climate change
would be 44 trillion dollars by 2016. Citigroup went on to say
that incremental costs of action are limited, offer reasonable returns on investment
and should not have too detrimental an effect
on global growth. Adding renewable energy
and improving efficiency. The study found, may actually
boost the global economy. There’s also another issue to consider
and that single use paper products, paper napkins, tissues,
diapers, toilet paper. I mean, we’re flushing we’re
flushing forests down the toilet. Literally reinforce sustainability has even
brought a number of new business opportunities as well and range
from one that manages sustainable timber plantation to a company that works
with smaller farmers to one that sells beverages made
from rainforest products. BioCarbon engineering was started by
a former NASA employee, Lauren Fletcher. The company uses drone technology
to reforest on a large scale by firing seeds into
the ground to people. Planting trees can plants up
to three thousand a day. But a team operating 10 drones
can plant up to 400,000. The company estimated revenues for 2020
of nearly 100 million dollars. Another called Guayaquil Sustainable Rainforest
Products, has created a market in the US around drink, made
from here yerba mate a species from the Holly family. The drink is
popular in Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay and southern Brazil and has been
adapted to American tastes. More than 600 social media stars
recently raised over 16 million dollars to plant trees all over the world. The effort was spearheaded by YouTube
star Jimmy Donaldson, who’s also known as Mr. Beast. Donaldson post videos of stunts performed
by himself and his friends. Donaldson was challenged by a fan
to plant 20 million trees. It was part of the
hashtag Team Trees Project. The program raised over five million dollars
in two days and all donations went directly to the Arbor Day
Foundation, a non-profit organization that plants trees. Even Elon Musk committed to
donating a million trees to the project. The planting is slated to begin
in January and should be finished in three years. In July, Ethiopia planted
more than 350 3 million trees in just 12 hours. The idea was to meet with the
country calls its hashtag Green Legacy goal, a program instituted by
prime minister be met. Ethiopia’s efforts surpassed India’s 2017
initiative, which planted 66 million trees in a single day. There’s also the bond challenge, which
intends to plant 864 million acres of trees by 2030. And the Nature Conservancy has its own
plant, a billion trees effort under way. The program was launched in 2008
and it was originally intended to bring back Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. It’s since expanded to the U.S., Mexico and China. And so what’s needed is a
comprehensive monitoring program where we can look at the changes in land cover. We can estimate the associated changes
in carbon that’s being removed from the atmosphere and then scale this globally
or over long periods of time. Let’s make sure that that
carbon removal is permanent. Reforestation efforts are also a major
part of the Paris climate agreement, which President Trump just
formally moved to end U.S. participation. The withdrawal will be complete at
the end of 2020 in the Paris Climate Agreement. A handful of key countries, including
Brazil, Indonesia, Peru and the United States committed to intensifying
efforts to protect forests because while it doesn’t take long to
destroy forests, replacing them can take decades. The most important thing is
to slow down or stop deforestation and conserve our existing forests. The second is then to identify
the areas that have been recently deforested and go about
restoring those ecosystems. And then the third is to
very carefully consider the forestation options that are in the context of
how those might affect land tenure, biodiversity and food security.

100 comments on “Can Planting Billions Of Trees Halt Climate Change?

  1. This is great, but it's not good enough. Ideally, we would also eliminate most greenhouse emissions, but that's simply not going to happen due to human shortsightedness and greed. Realistically, we need to start spending hundreds of billions to develop planetary-scale carbon capture, or we won't last long enough as a species to fix our bad habits.

  2. Lmao!! Stupid humans. Nothing can halt climate change. Climates change. It's just the way it is. Everything changes when you're in a cycle and nature IS A CYCLE. Morons!!

  3. I say plant the trees!!! And the United States could use the taxes that Trump has decreased on the rich people use that money to plant the trees so tax them back get that money back and plant the trees in the United States we got to fight this Global problem and trees can help us do it so let's do it plant the trees

  4. You all do realize that while you are talking about planting trees there are forces currently in the process of clearcutting old growth stands at a faster rate than ever before? So wht you are really offering people is an empty dream.

  5. CNBC is talking nonsense. If you want to save our mother earth, we must control world population. If this world can reduce the population by half, i am sure Climate Change can be solve. It is waste of time when you ask people like Trump and Brazil President about climate change. I think the best way to save our mother earth is WW3. Other wise coming 100 years there is no save place for our next generation. This is the fact.

  6. I was in greenpeace 30 years ago, and it was known then that nothing would be done until its too late. humans are way too stupid.

  7. Well, it's California, so it should burn to ashes, then slide into the ocean. It would be a great thing for America

  8. Plant more trees, plant more trees, plant more trees, plant more trees, plant more trees, plant more trees ????????????????

  9. Can Planting Billions Of Trees Halt Climate Change? No.
    #1. History. I would debate that the history of all things is in massive question. Especially when it is based on flawed theories alone. They believe that life was on Earth millions of years ago. But it's more like less than 12,000 years. #2. Dating methods. They use multiple dating methods which have been disproven in every way conceivable. #3. Belief. They believe in their theories and many people believe in something different. #4. Best guess. The "science" behind it is best guess at this point and is not related to real facts. We have seen times in history which have been far worse than we are seeing now and to say that what is coming upon the Earth is worse than Ice ages, Famines, Plagues, Dust bowls, and Global deluge is pretty preposterous. #5. Money. We know that Al Gore was never as rich as he is now by all the "climate change" money he is getting. I'll think of a couple more points of argument later. The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements Solar Flares, Radioactive Decay, and The Age of the Earth What Are the Top Three Flaws in Darwinian Evolution, as Taught Today in Public Schools? Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution Fantastically Wrong: What Darwin Really Screwed Up About Evolution Creationists Point To Huge Flaws In Evolution Theory Evidence Noah's Biblical Flood Happened, Says Robert Ballard Evidence for a Flood Scientific Evidence of Flood May Give Credence to Legend of China’s First Dynasty 90 Minutes of Evidence for the Global Flood Antarctica: Can Ancient Flood in Bible’s Book of Genesis Explain Mysterious Fossilized Forest?

  10. Quite simply: No.

    I'm not saying it's bad to plant them (provided they are native to the area), but it's a remedy, not a cure.


    Do the math, it takes 25yrs to mature to 50% sequestration, we got 10yrs.

    What works in that timescale is worthy because the high Arctic is in "Runaway Greenhouse" mode without a correctly done intervention, we're at GAME-OVER with a bluewater event.

    1. Install Nicola Tesla's 'valvular conduit', a one-way air valve with no moving parts that nearly zeroes emissions on ALL engines & smokestacks.
    2. Use algae growers to purify water at sewage treatment plants, this is worth almost 2gal/7.5L of biodiesel per person per day for city water, same units can work for home•farm•ranch onsite biodiesel from living there.
    This remove the CO2 and adds Oxygen BEFORE you burn it.
    3. Use magnet-to-magnet & magnet-to-reluctance for driving any need from electricity to airplanes, a 1300hp/1-Mw motor is small,2ft×7in/61×17cm, can fit cars on up, has a "50-year no-inputs warranty", 17yr R&D; sparkless, ships in a container, military-spec, zero emissions no water per Mwh, no refueling or recharging for a LIFETIME <-= @/@
    4. Weir dam Bering Straits at St. Lawrence Is. and polder to preserve seaice north with the entire Chukchi Sea to create a year-round seaice refuge.

    This will keep the warm moist air & water from invading the Arctic and forcing cold air to make it south over land.

    Any order will do now, anything at all, yet, my bet then is that we need to do them all asap and your ante is the entire sleezy bankster global unsecured debt of $290T, the tiny humans will end up doing them all and I can use the cash.

    It'll double global debt but it's all unsecured, overleveraged on QE 42, eh? paper
    Thx, tom ???

  12. according to the communist news network , planting 3 elm trees per 5 families and 60 trillion fiat dollars will prevent adverse weather conditions that would be demise of the dinosaurs

  13. We’re having like an apocalyptic scale bushfire here in Australia. Though most of them are reported that it was lit by teenagers and kids

  14. Humans are not causing it to begin with…..its a natural cycle…been so for 4.5 billion years. Stop the nonsense climate alarmism

  15. Scientists: Nature accounts for 97% of CO2 emissions.
    Also scientists: Humans account for 3% of CO2 emissions.
    Also, also scientists: Humans are the reason we have climate change.
    Me: Do you not see the problem with math, here?
    Also me: We're gonna be fine. There have been periods in human existence where we've actually THRIVED under warmer average temperatures than we have now. Stop freaking out. Climate change has been a part of the Earth's ENTIRE history, going back BILLIONS of years. We can't stop it. We can't change it. It's going to do what's it's been doing for billions of years, and will continue to do so LONG AFTER human beings are gone from this Earth. Welcome to Earth, humans.

  16. Humans are not responsible for climate change, humans are partly a reason for the climate change and how tiny that part is; noone knows. Not even the genious working for NASA, cleaning their space toilets. (Saying that guy is from NASA does not tell me that he is intelligent or correct about our situation at all. CNBC likes to talk about evidence and mention stuff but.. there is no actual evidence they just mention the word "evidence". Noone as far as I know have ever denied climate change and most of us should know that climate always have and problably always will be changing. And those trees "Mr.Boy" planted where close to useless, they make no difference the only thing he grew was his philantropical ego and possibly wallet. I do agree that we need to become more efficent, and we will.. I do agree that we need to conserve resources, we will. I do agree that dangerous chemicals&micro plastics that we know very little about is a huge problem. I do agree that we have to control our birth rate sooner or later and that rich people should contribute more to these issues because. They are the ones living their life with much more resources than they need and waste them just because they can. They are the ones who built their fortunes on polluting our earth and ruthless exploitation of our resources. Sure there are some.. (not enough) regulations today but they can still keep earning money on the money they already accumulated. So, what do the Merchant do? Well.. he blame carbon dioxide and tell us to not whipe our ass with trees. Stop building mega cities all over the earth and you would have trees to whipe your asses instead. I hope humanity dies out soon, when is the next asteroid coming anyone know? Btw if anyone has this secret NASA "evidence", can someone link it? One last thing, "climate denier" does not exist; its only a foul language to diminish people who dont agree with you without using facts&logic or what CNBC would call "evidence".

  17. 100 new people every year that is the problem
    Too many people that will want wood, water, oil, a car, a phone.
    If you believe in Climate Change you need to stop people having more than 2 children

  18. YouTube wants to censor my comments. Genetic diversity is being ruined by GMO trees those trees being planted man clear cut etc are the same copy of each other made to grow faster so they can clear cut again in 30 years. Genetic diversity in forests will be lost eventually to this practice.

  19. Well done CNBC. Amazing article covering vast majority of issues and solutions/initiative by major organizations and people across the globe. Please make more videos like this. Really appreciated efforts. Regards from India

  20. Stop the madness. First u want to limit co2 emmission but then u wanna grow more plants. If theres no co2 in abundance hw then cn the more tree grows?
    The world is full of hypocrite n dumb people

  21. It can not only halt the climate change but can also help the environment. The reason why so many species are no longer exist its because we cut most forests around the world who was a natural selter for the animals, for example the sumatra tiger will evendually dissapear because your Government under Obama (Kerry) and now Trump has failed to protect it.

  22. I don´t see any climate change. What I see is humany f… everything, setting fires and polluting every single square inch. I don´t give a s… about carbon dioxide! They keep repeting the same s… as parrots. But plant the damn trees…

  23. – Green buildings: architecture with plants in mind for the final build

    -change agriculture: swap animal agriculture for more vegetables, nuts and fruits

    -swap gas consuming vehicles for electric or hydrogen power vehicles

  24. thunderf00t already covered this topic. Why are you ripping videos idea. Hahaha not creative but you have a big budget so yeah you get my down vote because you're killing free speech from other ytuber

  25. Duh I said this in elementary school, just plant billions of trees, if you can build bridges and roads then planting billions of trees wouldn’t be mich harder

  26. Go vegan.

    The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).

    “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.

  27. We have calculated that if you plant 100 trillion trees you will save the universe and peace will be restored to the galaxy.

  28. How about we reduce the population by half. and lets start on those countries contributes more on climate change like China US India EU brazil! lets start with thr corrupt officials and greedy business man!

  29. To compensate for the daily carbon emission of the usa you'll need to plant about 40 million trees per day and somehow these trees should grow to full size in day.

  30. A huge impact of the climate change is visible in India. The weather here has become pretty weird compared to the past.

  31. Well we wouldn't need to do most of it if china and India didnt pollute so much. But of coarse no one in the US cares about that. They just use it to push another tax. As if money will absorb all the pollution lmao

  32. ECOSIA search engine planted more than 7 crores trees, i don’t understand if you talk about mr.beast or elon musk you must talk about them too.

  33. Can we stop using the term "climate change skeptic" please? This implies that such individual have a credible viewpoint, which they don't.

    A more appropriate definition is "climate change denier". Media should stop pandering to demonstrably and clearly false viewpoints. You wouldn't call a Holocaust Denier a "Holocaust Skeptic".

  34. We need to get our heads around the ecology of the situation. Just planting nursery grown trees in straight rows is a sad response. The way forward lies in permaculture and rewilding.

  35. California is burning because they extinguish the tiny brush fires so instead massive fires destroy California. But it’s also burning because Californians are sinners and heathens and they will slide into the ocean next earth quake probably. Also climate change isn’t real, and we can and should plant more trees but we don’t want to over forest either since trees are a resource drain on useful land that could provide tract housing and farmland. If anything we should reforest useless desert states like Arizona and New Mexico and turn them into forests so that all that useless sand is destroyed and turned into greenery which we can then turn into farms and McMansions at a later date

  36. Why do we only consider the CONS of a warming planet? Answer: because media knows humans tune in to bad news more than good news.

    Nothing wrong with planting more trees. But let's do away with the narative that warming has no up sides. One up side, it means trees can grow in more places.

  37. Planting vegetation will help absorb more CO2. It does provide a medium for convection while at the same time serving as friction to hold down windspeed. Of course in dry, windy regions fires will move rapidly thru the canopy.

  38. Right, 1 trillion trees will reverse climate change according the latest science. We've cut down forests for centuries to make way for cities. Ideally we need to start demolishing old, underpopulated cities and convert them back to forests. Any residents still living there, just buy them a new home or condo elsewhere or require all home owners to have a certain number of trees in their yards and offer free saplings to them to plant and have audits to ensure they've been planted or fine the home owners who refuse to plant the saplings.

    Green energy solutions are good… perhaps ban incandescent bulbs and only sell LED (save for stove lights, etc where LED would melt). Perhaps offer impoverished people free electric cars for trading in their gas car and mandate all apartment complexes have charging outlets for vehicles. We can't expect poor people to go out and buy electric cars. But people who can afford them, people who make 40k or more a year should be mandated to switch to electric. But the manufacturing process needs to be cleaner for electric cars to begin with.

    And any company cutting down trees for building materials, paper, etc should be required to plant back saplings. We just don't have affordable alternatives to using trees right now. Hemp would likely cost much more and take up much more land than continually re-growing trees.

  39. what about changing the deserts the world has so much of back into usable land for increasing available forest cover? like so many countries

  40. Planting trees definitely helps. Cleaning the ocean, as well as inventing the greenest and latest tech that is actually completely recyclable. There are millions of cost effective ways we could do to help save the earth and ourselves. We just have to take a look.

  41. I'm all in favor of planting trees, but climate change is a hoax. The earth naturally sequesters carbon, particularly in the oceans. Where do you think sea shells and limestone comes from anyway?

  42. What he says "planting trees alone won't stop climate change" is actually a lie.
    1+ trillion can totally reverse climate change even if companies don't stop polluting. Which China won't anyway. All we can do is plant trees to offset the pollution + recapture all the emissions in the atmosphere already. It's not just CO2 that trees absorb.
    "climate scientists saw forests as absorbing methane, rather than releasing it" – Yale University

  43. The fires are the result of NOT doing control burns of highly flammable underbrush. Government in that state is the cause of fire problems, now they think planting more trees will solve the problem? What a CROCK of CRAP! Climate change is totally NATURAL.

  44. Nowhere in this piece does it mention sustainable forestry. Where people 'deforest' but replant within 1-2 years therefore continuing to sequester carbon. Messages like this scare people from what is part of the solution to climate change: sustainable forest management. Forest management that can sometimes involve clear cuts. The real problem is conversion to agriculture which is occurring most prominently in other countries like Brazil.

  45. too many humans on the planet have to be 2 children per family WORLDWIDE more man made lakes for parched African deserts more water towers with pumped in de-salinated sea water for Californail and Australia to damp down the forests before serious fires start- THESE ARE THINGS WE CAN DO STRAIGHT AWAY TO STOP ANYMORE DAMAGE 400 year old trees being burn,t !! disgusting and it doesn,t cost that much.HUMANS BREATHE OUT CARBON DIOXIDE.

  46. Planting trees not only just obsorb the CO2 , but also helps to ground water conservation and keeps rivers flowing. So it's good idea.

  47. Was I the only one who noticed the Yerba Mate ADVERTISEMENT? Am I stupid or was there no relevance to the entire video except that they labeled it as "sustainable"?

  48. Not game changing but low effort for a good amount planted but heres what i was thinking every stop sign in at least America but if we could get every country that uses modern stop signs to agree then that be even better plant a tree within the stop sign Pole it's a square pole that's hollow in the inside and can be used as a barrier for the tree to grow up, yes! This works there is a stop sign in front of my housewe didn't notice it that much because it is a little dark where it's at but about 4/5feet you could clearly see that a tree. It's got 6 beaches with leaves popping out the top the inside I a long 8foot tall Pole type steam it's bin growing health since and since we use stop signs already this would be a great way to plant trees and help the environment and not take up any space at all because we are already using it for something

  49. Replanting trees is good but we will never recreate the ecosystems that nature has taken millions of years to build.

  50. 350 MILLION TREES IN 12HRS" yea right Ethiopia your populations only 119 million, of which many of those are probably not able-bodied to plant trees

  51. Planting trees to decrease CO2 levels produced by industry is laughable. Do a little reading before you fall for this. Just Google how much CO2 does a tree consume then Google how my CO2 does a decomposing tree produce. Then Google how much CO2 does a volcanic eruption produce. Then go outside and do something productive.


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