Twice a week we have a regular meeting of the online salon. This week, we talked about the effects of tree planting on climate change. We talked about this because we talked about how some things that we think are good are actually not so good. For example, when you turn on a light or run a motor, you consume more electricity than when you use it continuously. Therefore, on Earth Day, when many people switch off and on simultaneously, the energy savings are not as significant as one might think. The power suppliers will be threatened if the amount of electricity generated exceeds their capacity.
In fact, tree planting could be one of them. According to Tom Crowther, an associate professor at ETH Zurich, tree planting could absorb all the carbon dioxide emitted by a human. There are still places on earth where we can plant trees, and this shows the potential amount of carbon dioxide that could be absorbed by planting them.
The world can support far more trees. Planting them can reduce carbon pollution a lot: An interview with Professor Tom Crowther
This YouTube video shows although countries are planning to plant more trees than India by 2030, much of the planting of trees is single species such as eucalyptus. Within a decade or so much of the carbon dioxide absorbed will be returned to the atmosphere when the trees are cut down, for example for paper production. As a result, they contribute only about one-fortieth of a naturally occurring forest's carbon dioxide. Single-species forests also have fewer other plants and animals living in harmony with them, contributing less to environmental problems than might be expected in terms of biodiversity.
To return to the topic at hand, the 70-hectare Meiji Jingu forest in the middle of Tokyo is actually artificial. A plan to create a natural-looking forest over 150 years began 100 years ago. And recently, I believe, it has finally entered its fourth stage. The plans on this website are well worth a look. Projects these days are short term and require speed, but it is crucial to make sure that what we are doing is actually good.