Climate change continues to take its toll on the world with poor countries like our beloved Zimbabwe being the hardest hit. The 2018-19 drought alone has already left 5.7 million Zimbabweans facing starvation.
Swiss scientists think they have an infallible solution to it all. They have published it in the Science Mag journal. All humanity has to do to stem the tide is to plant a trillion trees and all would be well.
According to the study, over the decades, those new trees could suck up nearly 750 billion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Essentially solving the climate change problem.
Thomas Crowther, a co-author of the study and a scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich had this to say:
This is by far – by thousands of times – the cheapest climate change solution.
We all knew restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we had no scientific understanding of what impact this could make.
Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today.
Suffice to say others are not so convinced, they contend that this planting of trees has to be coupled with a reduction in emissions:
Restoration of trees may be ‘among the most effective strategies’, but it is very far indeed from ‘the best climate change solution available’, and a long way behind reducing fossil fuel emissions to net-zero.
Yes, heroic reforestation can help, but it is time to stop suggesting there is a ‘nature-based solution’ to ongoing fossil fuel use. There isn’t. Sorry.
The advantage of planting trees is that even poor nations like Zimbabwe can implement such a solution.