Plant that tree.
Let's face it, the evidence is incontrovertible: All but the most staunch deniers and the doggedly ignorant agree that we are on the brink of a global climate crisis. But there are pockets of good news and optimism to be found. Do a quick net search for "Monbiot trees" and you'll get a page full of links about how tree planting and 'rewilding' really can make a difference. And if you haven't seen the video made by George Monbiot and Greta Thunberg - you should watch it.
In 2017, 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million trees in 12 hours.
There is great work being done in Ethiopia, a country better known for famine and war than reforestation, where a campaign known as 'Green Legacy' recently saw 353 million trees planted in 12 hours. The target for 'Green Legacy' is 4 billion trees.
A few weeks ago during Equidays at Mystery Creek, in the recycling area known as Wombleton, a team of volunteers sorted rubbish from the event into compostable, recycling, and land fill. As a result of their efforts, 80% of the rubbish which would otherwise have gone into landfill was diverted to recycling and compost.
These are great stories and they should be celebrated.
It is said that nature can and will heal itself. Of course I'm not trying to portray nature as sentient, or indeed imply that there is anything other than the laws of physics at work - the reality is that nature is entirely indifferent to our, or anything else's, existence as an individual, community, race, species, or mountain range. Nature will take its course whatever happens. The way things are, mass extinctions and the collapse of society as we know it are more likely than most would care to acknowledge, but it doesn't have to be that way. It is within the power of the human race to make it more likely that the ecosystems of the world which have been damaged by our actions will regenerate.
This is where it gets a bit tricky; we must emit less CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Whilst we all know that eating less meat and burning less fossil fuel will go a long way towards a carbon neutral future, we also know that this is not going to happen overnight.
What we can do, right now, is plant trees - it's really that simple. Whether people plant trees themselves, or support the efforts of others who do, it is a good idea. A tree is a cheap, self-building, durable, environment enhancing, aesthetically pleasing, atmospheric CO2 extraction machine.
New Zealand emits nearly 14 million tonnes of CO2 per year - but the good news is that all the trees in New Zealand together extract nearly 6 million tonnes per year of CO2 from the atmosphere, leaving NZ with net emissions of around 8 million tonnes.
I don't know about you but I find those statistics very encouraging. More trees - less CO2, and perhaps nature will have a chance to fix things.