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Sun Jun 28, 2020, 08:57 AM

"Trillion Tree" Study Raked As "Shockingly Bad" In 6 Citations Published By Science Magazine

EDIT

Tree-planting mania began in earnest last July with a high profile paper in Science authored by Timothy Crowther, a 33-year-old assistant professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Crowther and his team built models that used variables such as soil quality and other factors to suggest there was plenty of room for a trillion new trees on the planet. According to Crowther, those trees could absorb two-thirds of the CO2 that humans have added to the atmosphere in the industrial era. Tree planting, Crowther argued, is “our most effective climate change solution.” The paper was a sensation, picked up by 700 media outlets. Crowther was profiled in Nature and Science and celebrated for his simple, elegant analysis of the world’s most urgent problem.

But the report was deeply flawed. One scientist called the paper “shockingly bad.” Science published six submissions from critics who cited substantial errors. In addition to slamming the paper for miscalculating the amount of carbon storage that can be stored in forests by a factor of 10, critics argued it favored converting grasslands and wetlands to forests and ignored how trees might affect water supplies and temperatures. “The claim that global tree restoration is our most effective climate change solution is simply incorrect scientifically and dangerously misleading,” one group wrote. In a published response to the criticism, Crowther’s team made clear they saw tree planting as just “one of the most effective carbon drawdown solutions” and emphasized that reducing carbon emissions is critical. But they challenged other objections, arguing that disagreements about carbon storage calculations were not the result of errors but different definitions of “forest” and confusion about their methods.

In any case, the flaws in the study didn’t staunch its appeal. Marc Benioff, the billionaire CEO of Salesforce and well-known Bay Area philanthropist, latched onto it and began his own trillion-tree crusade. Thanks largely to Benioff’s enthusiasm, the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Tree Initiative at its annual meeting in Davos earlier this year, with an endorsement by environmental rock star Jane Goodall. Big environmental and conservation groups like the World Wildlife Federation launched their own trillion-tree campaigns. Benioff also got the ear of White House advisor Jared Kushner, who passed the idea along to President Trump. Trump, who thinks climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese and has spent his entire presidency gutting protections of forests and parklands, even mentioned the virtues of tree-planting in his speech at Davos. On Earth Day, Trump planted a tree on the South Lawn (“I’ve always loved planting trees”).

Last February, Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, a Republican, introduced the Trillion Tree Act, a pro-logging bill masquerading as a solution to climate change. It was a naked attempt to capitalize on some of the trillion tree mojo. “This deceptive bill is the worst kind of greenwashing and a complete distraction from urgently needed reductions in fossil fuel pollution,” Randi Spivak, public lands program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said when the bill was introduced. But trillion trees mania rolls on. It’s a climate crisis solution gone wild.

EDIT

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/tree-planting-wont-stop-climate-crisis-1020500/

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Reply "Trillion Tree" Study Raked As "Shockingly Bad" In 6 Citations Published By Science Magazine (Original post)
hatrack Jun 28 OP
jimfields33 Jun 28 #1
CatLady78 Jun 28 #2
hatrack Jun 28 #3
CatLady78 Jun 28 #4

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun Jun 28, 2020, 09:41 AM

1. Although flawed, I like the idea.

Can’t have too many trees. We’ve taken away a lot of trees all over the world. Time to give back.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun Jun 28, 2020, 10:08 AM

2. A pro-logging bill?

Masquerading as a solution to climate change?

confusing...

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Response to CatLady78 (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 28, 2020, 10:53 AM

3. I wouldn't say "confusing" - I'd say "Republican"

.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 28, 2020, 11:45 AM

4. ha ha

Hi hatrack!
Good to see ya. In an uncertain world it is good to count on seeing hatrack tirelessly plugging away in DU's E&E forum (even if one is returning after a decade)!

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