A Plan to Save the Earth

Roland Stahl
September, 2019

     The Climate Change crisis begins a rising crescendo as a kind of panic sets in.  The problem is that people of the earth are finally waking up to the reality of the geological time frame.  It is finally becoming clear that fundamental changes are going to have to come very quickly, and the world just isn’t ready.  Fortunately, I have the whole plan mapped out, but the problem is that even if massive changes happen, way beyond any Green New Deal, and all of the fossil fuels are left strictly in the ground, all oil wells capped, mines closed, all air travel and fuel burning cars banned, etc., it will still probably take two or three hundred years slowly to turn this climate change around.  

     There must be two primary pillars of any climate policy ~ the first is to curtail totally all carbon emissions and methane.  That is certainly a major task, and one that has caught the attention of most climate activists.  But we not only have to end all burning of fossil fuels everywhere to reduce our future carbon emissions towards zero, but we also have to remove so much of the carbon that is already in the atmosphere.  

     That means we have to plant Trees by the millions, by the billions, by the trillions.  If we plant 300 trillion trees in the next thirty years, perhaps 3 trillion of them will survive, and that could be enough to save the earth.  In the USA, as in most of the rest of the world, all of the Money is behind a full-scale plundering of the earth’s resources, and the less there is left, the faster they scramble to get it before it’s gone.  Big Money is pulling all of that coal, gas, oil, and fracked tar out of the ground for liquidation as fast as they can turn it over, along with pulling down the last of the Trees that are still left standing, chipping them up for paper pulp.  (An image I have used before is melting down medieval stained glass windows to make jelly jars ~ hey, if you can get the windows for free, why not?  Free money.)

     Since the entire power structure of the country is based on corporate hegemony, there is no political opening for change anywhere in the system.  Capitalism is on a head-on collision course with the fragile ecology of our planet and biosphere.  It has to go; it is that simple.  There must be a higher authority than the power of Money which will oversee the biological regeneration of our planet.  Anyone unfamiliar with my solutions along these lines will easily be able to find them among my writings.  

     I understand that implementing my plans for a New World Order (I deliberately use that term, provocatively, because it is necessary, scary though it be) would entail the most sweeping global changes ever seen on this planet, but that is actually the scale of what has to happen in order to avert the worst of the impending catastrophes that are being predicted daily (and currently occurring; just ask anyone from the Marshall Islands or the Bahamas or Puerto Rico).  The world is literally on fire; it is burning up while we watch, from Brazil to Indonesia.  

     No, it is not going to be easy, and it’s going to require a long term commitment.  If we can deploy massive armies of tree planters (beat your swords into shovels) trying to restore the earth to fertility and health, it may still take, perhaps, two or three hundred years or more for all of our changes to have any effect.  A good rule of thumb is that it takes a lot longer to restore a forest than it does to cut it down.  

     Now I want to get down to specific cases.  I have recently been reading Green Revolution, an article reprinted from the Beijing Review (No. 32, August 8, 2019), detailing the ecological restoration of a town in China, Yan’an, that had suffered substantial tree loss with resulting soil erosion, frequent sand storms, increasing aridity of the land, and a substantial loss of food productivity.  Severe drought thus alternated with flood rains, causing soil erosion, with the run-off carrying such high levels of nutrients through the rivers to the sea as to create growing dead zones at the mouths of the rivers.

     But after twenty years of dedicated work replanting the vulnerable slopes with tree cover, the land is coming back to fertility and health.  The sandstorms are now rare, and the soil washed into the Yellow River has decreased to 31 million tons from 258 million tons.  All of this has been directed and implemented by the Chinese government, which pays subsidies to the farmers for planting trees.  Over the past twenty years, the villagers dug 20 billion pits to plant trees.  

     So that’s an example of what has to be done everywhere, world-wide, but what do I see as I look over so much of the world which is being increasingly devastated by climate change?  Well, for example, I have heard that one of the major ultimate causes of the migrant crisis in Central America is the steady decline in ecological health of the land caused by the loss of the trees, with all of the resulting changes to the climate and landscape that so often accompanies deforestation.  Caught between droughts and floods, with the land overall turning more and more into arid desert, the people there can no longer survive by farming the land, hence migrations of people looking for another way to stay alive.

     So what is Donald Trump’s famous solution to that problem?  We’ll just build a $5 billion dollar wall to keep those migrants from swamping our lifeboat.

     But what if the United States were to try another approach ~ suppose the USA were to pay the local people to plant trees?  Not haphazardly (“good enough for the government,” as they say, derisively), but carefully directed by forest scientists who would know just where and how the trees should be planted most urgently, and how to tend them until they become established.

     This wouldn’t be any instant fix, either ~ even if a full-scale tree planting enterprise were carried out throughout all of Central America and Mexico, it could still take 30 to 50 years or more for the fertility of the land to reach a level where human beings could again live, thrive, and prosper, obviating the need for the mass exodus of migrants.  Every part of this earth should be studied by forest and climate scientists with recommendations for ecological regeneration, ordered in sequence levels of urgent priority.  

     But, as I have said before, it is hard to address the urgent task of saving the world while the Capitalist economy is fighting tooth and nail to continue the plundering of the earth for as long as possible.  Someone has to stop the rape of the Amazon rainforest immediately.  The fundamental political structure of the entire earth will have to be re-organized according to a new plan, either mine or something else.  


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