My good news this month is that science and technology have found a powerful new way to help remedy the world’s dire climate change situation.
A huge contributing factor to global warming is deforestation. According to National Geographic, between 1990 and 2016 the world lost 502,000 square miles of forest due mainly to a combination of humans and companies cutting them down.1
Deforestation is what causes the destruction of forests all over the world and results in negative effects on their ecosystems, including decreased biodiversity, increased erosion of soil, and the release of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2).2
Worldview International Foundation, a nonprofit in Myanmar (Burma), began working with villagers to plant trees by hand in that badly eroded country in 2012. More than six million Mangrove trees have been planted there so far since then.1
Adele Peters, a journalist, states:
“Roughly half of the world’s mangrove forests have been lost. The trees, with twisted roots that reach underwater along coastlines, can store more carbon than trees on land. Mangrove deforestation is responsible for 24 million tons of CO2 emissions each year…”3
But planting trees by hand can’t easily cover a vast expanse of land, and it takes too much time to be able to fix the dire deforestation situation in the world.
That changed when an ex-NASA engineer designed a tree-planting drone. The pressing need to reseed a huge area in Myanmar that could hold a billion new trees was suddenly within reach. Amazingly, two operators working with 10 drones can theoretically plant 400,000 trees in a day. Technology can now help restore forests at the pace needed to fight climate change.1
How does technology do it? By programming tree-planting drones to fire millions of small sacs containing germinated tree seed pellets into the ground. All those new trees hugely benefit the environment, counteracting the present excess of carbon dioxide emissions, soil erosion, etc. The aim (excuse the pun) is to restore such areas as depleted coastal mangrove forests quickly enough to fight the catastrophic climate change that people’s fascination with science and technology helped create.
What will happen with people’s involvement when those speedy drones start replanting entire forests? Worldview International Foundation (WIF), the nonprofit corporation in Myanmar working with the folks who created the drones, is committed to supporting local people so they’ll continue to play critical roles in their communities as they develop.3 The intent of WIF’s tree seed planting project in Myanmar’s is to teach the local residents to care for trees and provide them with well-paying jobs so that restoring the environment will be profitable for them.3
Tree-planting drones could help support tree planting on a massive scale, which would have a significant impact on climate change. By massive I’m talking about researchers’ findings that there’s enough room to plant another 1.2 trillion trees. That many trees could absorb more CO2 each year than human beings.3 Forests are also a renewable, self-sustaining energy source that cleans our air and water.
All of which sounds pretty darned wonderful to me. How about you?
- internationalforestindustries.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May. 2019.
- iflscience.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May. 2019.
- fastcompany.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May. 2019.
Welcome to the 24th We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB). At the end of each month, we bloggers are given an opportunity to post good news, offering an antidote to bad news in our feeds. The talented co-hosts for this month are:
Dan Antion, Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Damyanti Biswas, and Mary Giese. Please check out their blogs and say hello.