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Billions of trees are cut down each year. Consider that.
Depending on the data source, the number seems to vary from 3 to 7 to 15 billion. But it’s always billions. For comparison’s sake, there are 7+ billion people on Earth. So if we lost as many humans as we do trees each year, we’d already be extinct by now.
This isn’t meant to depress anybody. Simply to paint a picture of the current reality. Now let’s discuss the impact of losing all of those trees …
A direct result, particularly in old-growth forests, is that the ecosystem of the Earth itself has changed. Biodiversity has decreased. Certain animals, having lost their habitats, have gone extinct. Likewise with various plant species, some of which–particularly in rainforests–may very well have held the key to curing human ailments. We’ll never know.
A less direct result, but no less profound, has been the impact of this massive annual tree loss on climate change. Forests, most notably rainforests, have historically acted as natural carbon sinks, absorbing and storing the carbon that we (humans) release into the atmosphere by using fossil fuels.
But when trees are cut down on a scale of billions per year, not only is considerably less carbon removed from the air, but whatever happens to the cut trees (burning, rotting, etc.) goes on to create more carbon. Which then contributes to the greenhouse effect. Which then causes global warming. Which then impacts all of us in the form of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and the growth of deserts.
So what can be done?
Certainly, lobbying governments to set limits is one way. Another is patronizing businesses who follow green practices, like going paperless, or using alternative energy sources that don’t generate carbon. Or doing the same ourselves, and encouraging our friends and families to do the same.
One way that we here at the Archangel Group have decided to make a difference is by helping to reverse the problem the easiest way we know how. Remember when we mentioned that there are 7+ billion people on Earth? Well if each of those planted a tree every year, then it would make a huge dent in climate change.
So while we can’t control what 7 billion people are doing, we as a business can do our part by agreeing to plant a small number of trees every quarter. And by “plant” we mean that we ourselves, the members of Archangel, will actually get our hands dirty and plant these trees. Not just write a check and have somebody else do it.
We plan to start this initiative `this year, along with some other projects we’ll be telling you about soon. So stay tuned for part two of this post, where we’ll document our progress on this critical initiative through photos and videos. We hope you’ll join us.