Who?: Hello Reddit, we’re the Trump Forest crew: Jeff, Dan and Adrien. We’re three strangers brought together by a shared concern for the state of our climate. Jeff is a political scientist with some serious ammo on climate issues in the Pacific, Dan is a glaciologist who’s undertaken four fieldwork campaigns to the Antarctic and Adrien is an ex-environment TV reporter and founder of sustainable hat company, Offcut. We’re here to answer your questions about our latest project, Trump Forest.

What?: Trump Forest is a global movement to offset the additional emissions released into the atmosphere as the Trump administration pulls apart Obama-era policy on climate change. Trump is trying to pull apart the Clean Power Plan, which, if lost, will add an estimated 650 million tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere… Trump is also making the US the only country in the world to not be bound by the landmark Paris agreement on climate change. So we’re simply saying NO. No more setbacks. No more excuses. No more out-of-date policy ignoring the most pressing health threat our species — and others — faces. This cannot be allowed to happen so our community is planting trees all over the world to protest Trump’s climate ignorance and try offset some of his stupidity. Last week we hit a major milestone: 1 million trees. It’s a small step in the grand scheme of the climate equation, but a huuuuge statement from the global community. For a bit more background, check things out here: https://trumpforest.com/science/

Why?: We couldn’t take another setback. Our frustration reached boiling point. We’re already decades behind where we need to be to have a good chance of avoiding unmanageable consequences of climate change…the Trump administration can’t get away with stalling progress any further. Beyond the physical impact of the forest, with the ultimate aim of offsetting these emissions (we need 10 billion trees!), your involvement is part of a global resistance to the Trump administration’s immeasurable stupidity on climate. If we don’t act appropriately on climate in the next few decades, modern society is going to be stuck at struggle station, for a long time….

But perhaps most importantly…how?: We need YOU to jump on board this ignorance sub and torpedo this new fleet of climate ignoramuses before they truly set sail. Get behind the movement at www.trumpforest.com – hesitating? Fire questions our way and we’ll reassure you that this needs to happen.

Time Date
12:00 am EST - 2:00 am EST 22/02/18
9:00 pm PST - 11:00 pm PST 21/02/18
5:00 am UTC+0 - 7:00 am UTC+0 22/02/18
6:00 pm NZ - 8:00 pm NZ 22/02/18

Proof: Check out our Twitter or Facebook.

Comments: 60 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

badamache10 karma

From what I understand, planting trees in northern / temperate zones provides a minimal carbon offset - most of the deforestation is happening in the tropics (Brazil, and Indonesia / Malaysia to produce palm oil). What are you doing to plant trees in the tropics, or to dissuade clear-cutting in those countries?

TrumpForest10 karma

Right on! Exactly, we need results fast. Trees that grow quickly and can be planted in large numbers do just the trick. The tropics foster rapid growth and we currently focus 90% of our planting in Madagascar using mangroves. Mangroves are also totally boss at sequestering carbon, both in the plants and the underlying sediment. Our partners at Eden Reforestation Projects are leading the charge on the ground - you can check out some snaps here. Combating deforestation is a whole other ball game and is something the global community really needs to get behind. -Dan

TeHokioi7 karma

As far as trees go, are you just focusing on planting enough trees to offset carbon emissions etc or are you actually looking at a proper reforestation attempt? Like, here in New Zealand would you be planting native trees in their historical range to recreate what the forest was prior to deforestation, or is it just a stock standard tree quota?

TrumpForest3 karma

Trump Forest is only concerned with sequestering the carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere if the Clean Power Plan is abandoned. This is estimated to be about 650 million tonnes. It is physically possible to plant enough trees to soak this up...We won't be ahead of the curve but at least we won't be dropping any further behind it - which is what the Trump administration is forcing upon us! Our primary focus has been in well managed regions in Madagascar. We encourage any planting efforts anywhere else to focus on native planting and for that planting to fall in line with national restoration guidelines. -Dan

TeHokioi6 karma

So the regions you're focusing on in Madagascar are still being done in accordance with what's expected from the environment there, right? It's not just random trees from similar climates?

TrumpForest3 karma

Correct. All the trees in Madagascar are planted through our partner, registered US charity The Eden Reforestation Projects. They're mangroves and they're being planted to counter massive deforestation that's happened there. You can read more about the project here: https://edenprojects.org/madagascar/ - Adrien

TeHokioi5 karma

Awesome, cheers for the response! And say g'day to Jeff for us, hope to see him round at the tent tomorrow!

TrumpForest5 karma

Will do, chief! Adrien

uptoolatemama5 karma

Do you have suggestions on good places to plant trees if you don’t have the property to support them?

What are some of the best carbon sucking trees in northern climates that have winters...

TrumpForest8 karma

Great question... in terms of space to plant, the best is to do a google search for tree planting organisations in your local area - there are hundreds of them around the world working to reforest areas which need it most. Let us know where you are and we can have a look for you if you like?

In terms of carbon suck-factor, there's a trade-off: trees which grow fast suck the most carbon sooner, but trees which live longer suck more carbon over their lifetimes. Unfortunately, trees which grow quickly generally don't live as long as slow-growers so the question is: suck now fast or suck late and long?

Most Trump Forest trees are mangroves in Madagascar and they're great at sucking fast. We need this now to offset suckers in the White House as soon as possible, but if you want to grow trees in Europe, you're more likely to grow slow, long-living carbon suckers, which is great too.

This article, quoting a scientific paper, identifies Common Horse-chestnut, Black Walnut, American Sweetgum, Ponderosa Pine, Red Pine, White Pine, London Plane, Hispaniolan Pine, Douglas Fir, Scarlet Oak, Red Oak, Virginia Live Oak, and Bald Cypress as good sequestering trees. Without knowing where you are, some of these might be a good fit!


Ratfamily7545 karma

Are you coordinating with ISA to ensure that the trees you plant are the right kinds and are sustainable/ beneficial to the surrounding communities?

TrumpForest5 karma

Not directly. We encourage people to donate through our partner charity, Eden Reforestation Projects - that's more than 90% of the Trump Forest trees - because they've been reforesting communities for years and know what they're doing. All our trees through Eden go to Madagascar to reforest huge areas of land which used to be covered in mangroves. It's hugely beneficial to the local community because it provides employment and helps reduce coastal erosion... something all the more important as the sea level rises. You can read more about Eden's amazing work here: https://edenprojects.org/madagascar/

  • Adrien

Ratfamily7542 karma

I find the sentiment to be commendable, but if your purpose is to directly offset the increased carbon foot print of our current president wouldn't working here at home make a bit more sense?

There is a huge amount of work to be done here in terms of planting, education, and maintenance of our trees.

TrumpForest8 karma

Thanks for the feedback! We're after the most bang for buck, and CO2 knows no borders. Mangroves are super efficient at sequestering CO2 so to us, it makes sense to grow them for the benefit of the whole planet. We also let people buy trees from a local nursery for to plant in their own communities. They send us the receipt so we can verify each one, and add their trees to our global forest map. As you can see here, plenty of people are growing trees in US: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/3/edit?mid=1a24t08VbiPzc17u-AUwvwb65NHo

PopeADopePope4 karma

How upset are you that Trump leads the free world?

TrumpForest6 karma

When it comes to climate, he certainly isn't leading....The entire administration is a disaster for the planet (and by default - us) and that's why we have to fight back. -Dan

PopeADopePope-1 karma

Would you have made this forest without his leadership?

TrumpForest1 karma

It takes a special kind of lack of leadership to stick your head in the sand when human habitability of the planet is at stake. We would have made it for any President as catastrophically ignorant as he is when it comes to climate change. - Jeff

hanikamiya3 karma

Are you in contact with any of the other movements that aim to reforest and/or plant trees to offset carbon emissions?

TrumpForest3 karma

Well, we've been super fortunate to partner with Eden Reforestation Projects, who does the bulk of the planting for Trump Forest. Also, we've got a partnership with the tree planting search engine Ecosia. They sent a huge pledge of trees our way a few months ago. We've had a whole number of smaller projects contribute to Trump Forest as well - a lot of them we stay in contact with on social media. For example, Trees For Life UK planted a Trump Forest grove in the Scottish Highlands!

You can find out more about Eden here: https://edenprojects.org/ Ecosia here: https://www.ecosia.org/

  • Jeff

carolinawahoo3 karma

In a fight between Boreal forests and Rainforest, who wins?

TrumpForest2 karma

Prison rules?

carolinawahoo4 karma

Wooden have it any other way

TrumpForest5 karma

Well rainforest is flexin that speedy carbon uptake, think of the gains. Rainforest all day baby!

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TrumpForest3 karma

Proof: Check out our Twitter or Facebook.

someone_you_may_know2 karma

Do you have a favorite naturalist (besides John Muir) and if so who?

TrumpForest8 karma

I'm going to throw you a bit of a curveball here. He's not often thought of as a naturalist, but I'm a big fan of Beethoven. Symphony No.6 (pastoral) is a mint ode to nature. Definitely some inspiration to be found there.

  • Jeff

someone_you_may_know2 karma

I feel that you were holding onto that fun fact for some time and were waiting for this kind of situation to occur. But that was a cool fun fact nonetheless.

TrumpForest2 karma

Got to throw down the Beethoven facts whenever life gives you the chance. - Jeff

GangRap3-3 karma

How do you explain the fact that the world sea levels are currently dropping? Or that nearly every other planet in our solar system is undergoing “interplanetary climate change”?

TrumpForest7 karma

Hi, just setting the relationship grounds up front, shall we run with factual arguments only? Cool, I hate diving into relationships too quickly and things getting real fake. So global sea level IS rising. You can check this out via this kinda credible organisation called NASA. If you want to delve a little deeper, jump into the literature, but I'd point you at this recent study published last month that supports other evidence that the rate of sea level rise is in fact accelerating. These dudes have also just highlighted how critical it is that we sort out our emissions quickly or we're going to lock in a lot of sea level rise for a long time. Not good. And that's exactly why we can't afford to wait around anymore and put up with policy from Trump that belongs in 1880. In terms of 'interplanetary climate change' I'm not sure what you mean? Are you suggesting planets are exchanging their climates? -Dan

Pavalovanof2 karma

Interplanetary would be between planets, as in the different planets are causing their respective climates to change. In terms of what influences a planets climate I'm not sure that interplanetary forces are that high...

TrumpForest4 karma

I haven't seen any evidence about the influence of other planetary systems on Earth's climate or vice versa, obviously apart from their relative gravitational forcing on each other, altering their orbits and the solar radiance they receive. This is well understood and the current warming on Earth can only be attributed to the enhanced greenhouse effect principally from increasing CO2. -Dan

critical_meat-5 karma

Why have you used the name of the biggest loser in the free world? High risk that he'll eventually claim this as his own

TrumpForest10 karma

We don’t like it any more than you do....but you 100% wouldn’t have even heard about this thing unless we had named it after the 45th. Sometimes, if you want the rainbow you gota put up with the rain….We couldn't care less if he claims it, the crucial thing is that carbon is coming out of the atmosphere.