On June 1st, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change Mitigation. Almost overwhelmingly, the signatory countries to this agreement, as well as civic leaders were vocal with their criticism of this decision, as well as the scaling back of the environmental safeguards that were put in place by President Barack Obama.
In March of this year in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, a city only slightly bigger than Windsor (Population: 367,800), three men decided to come up with an idea to combat climate change on a global basis. The idea was to plant trees around the world in order to offset the harm that will be done by the Trump administration's changes to environmental protection policies. British Glaciologist Dr. Dan Price, American PhD candidate Jeff Willis, and Franco-New Zealander Adrien Taylor were the founders of this initiative, which they named, "Trump Forest", in “honour” of the person who inspired them to begin it.
Initially, the trio started by planting 1,000 trees in the Port Hills area of Christchurch, which was devastated by fires earlier in 2017. By July, the group had more than 215 backers from more than 20 countries around the world, and had passed the 50,000 tree mark.
Trump Forest co-founder Dr. Daniel Price said, “Since Trump has taken office, we’ve seen him make attack after attack on initiatives designed to slow down man-made climate change, from trying to repeal the Clean Power Plan to stepping away from the commitments made at Paris; Trump has declared a war on a healthy climate for life on Earth so we’re fighting back with an army of trees.”
Despite the name, the group maintains that they are apolitical regarding their goal, which is offset and call out #ClimateIgnorance. “When faced with monumental stupidity, you have to fight back with monumental collective action,” explains Dr Price. The science behind Trump Forest is well thought-out. The group’s next goal is 500,000 trees, but they don’t plan to stop at that.
In the Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay." Small acts of kindness and love.
Dan Price, Jeff Willis, and Adrien Taylor have certainly tapped into that idea of small acts of kindness, and we hope their initiative can also keep the darkness of Climate Ignorance at bay as well. If you would like to contribute to a small act of kindness with Trump Forest, please take action.
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