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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Growing Answer - Tree Planting Movement Gains Support

Mar 30, 2009 10:09PM
The National Climatic Data Center reports that the average global temperature in 2008 was .88º Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average. Whether global warming is due to planetary cycles, as 44 percent of U.S. voters responding to a Rasmussen Reports survey now say, or to human behavior, or both, levels of greenhouse gases are accelerating. Related environmental issues are increasingly touching people’s lives in terms of health, science, business, politics, technology, fashion and travel.

Against this backdrop and in the face of ongoing tropical deforestation in Asia, Africa and Latin America, a Swedish energy firm, Vattenfall, has examined the large-scale potential for foresting manmade wastelands as part of global climate stabilization. Researchers estimate that reclaiming half the world’s degraded land, some 2.3 billion acres, has the potential to absorb 21.6 billion tons of CO2 each year. Foresting even 18 percent would sequester 3.5 billion tons a year.

Meanwhile, another initiative, a United Nations Environment program that has planted 2 billion trees in 150 countries in less than two years, has set a new goal of 7 billion trees by 2009. That’s more than one tree for every person on the planet.

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