Muir Woods National Monument, California, USA / Personal picture taken by user Urban, 2004
There’s a coordinated phenomenon among many high-subscriber YouTube accounts, called #TeamTrees. The goal of the movement (you can find out more at teamtrees.org) is to plant 20 million trees around the globe by January 1st, 2020. For each $1, one tree is planted. As of today, they’re up to 14.7 million.
What I think is cool about this movement, is that it wasn’t a corporate play. You won’t find Disney, Coca-Cola, or McDonalds behind this. It was Youtubers who started it, and many of them have somewhat unique perspectives and approaches to planting trees. Take, for instance, Mark Rober, a former JPL/NASA engineer who explores using drones to plant thousands trees in fire-devastated California.
Rober also has one of the most compelling descriptions of why carbon in the atmosphere matters, and how trees are irreplaceable in the carbon cycle. I am not buying into the whole “greenhouse effect” part of manmade global warming–at least not the hysterics that our planet has less than a decade to fix things. But we should understand that the more we farm our land using bare-earth tilling, pesticides, and GMO seeds engineered for output, the more we are disrupting natural forces in the earth that have kept things in balance for many eons.
Other popular YouTubers in on the project include Mr. Beast, Linus Tech Tips, The Try Guys, Smarter Every Day (Destin Sandlin, a former government rocket engineer), and the biggest of them all, PewDiePie. If you don’t know who these people are, you’re obviously (a) not a geek, and/or (b) you don’t have children living in the house.
Here’s the thing: the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one tree for each $1 you donate. It’s worth planting trees because trees have an amazing impact on the environment, from giving animals shelter and habitat, to helping conserve soil, to exchanging carbon in the atmosphere for oxygen, at no cost to us.
It doesn’t matter if you are conservative, skeptical of climate change warnings (I am for the most part), or a liberal screaming for governments around the world to stop living in the 21st century, planting trees is something we can all get behind.
It’s funny that most of the liberals in America live in places where their parks are planned, engineered places sitting above subway tunnels and utility corridors, sleeping in concrete bunkers. Many conservatives, on the other hand, live in the wide open spaces that liberals poo-pooh for being so provincial and backwards.
God created trees before he created us. The least we can do is plant more of them. YouTube has finally done something useful. If they think we can plant 20 million trees by January 1, 2020, let’s make it 40 million. Give to #TeamTrees, or run out and plant a few in your own back yard.
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