Text from this week’s Earth Minute:
On May second, scientists published a new study confirming that the biggest, oldest trees in the forest are crucial for mitigating climate change.
The study took place in Yosemite National Park where researchers found that while trees larger than 3-feet in diameter made up only 1% of the trees in the forest, they stored nearly half of the forest’s carbon.
This has significant implications for efforts to curb deforestation-related carbon emissions.
Industry would like us to believe that where climate change is concerned, a tree is a tree is a tree, and there is no difference between an industrial tree plantation and a native forest. We can cut the forests, they argue, as long as we replant.
But as this study points out, you cannot merely “replace” trees that have 200 or more years of carbon stored in them. You have to stop cutting them down.
The world’s remaining native forests need to be taken out of the hands of corporations and returned to the communities that depend on them–for this is one of the best ways to protect them.
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.