Crowdsourced 'Trump Forest' Aims to Plant 10 Billion Trees to Offset Removal of Clean Power Plan

CC BY 2.0. Alberto Restifo

In a bid to mitigate the effects of the current US administration's anti-climate policies, this campaign is encouraging people to step up the carbon sequestration pace by planting billions of trees.

What began as a project to plant a tree each time President Trump said the words "climate change" (which doesn't happen very often) is now an effort to enable the planting of a huge distributed forest (A yuge forest? The biggest.) named for the 45th US President. The goal is to encourage and facilitate the planting of enough new trees to offset the additional atmospheric carbon that would result from the Trump administration scrapping the Clean Power Plan.

Yes, that Clean Power Plan, the one backed by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech giants, which set a goal of reducing power sector emissions by 30% by 2030, reducing particle pollution and other bad actors in the air by 25%, avoiding the release of about 870 million tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere over the next 8 years, and providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits. If put into place, along with the US commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement (another Trump administration casualty), the Plan would have gone a long way toward shaping sensible US climate policies and priorities, in terms of both better health outcomes and a more level playing field for renewable energies. In the absence of both, it's going to take a heckuva lot of carbon sequestration projects to offset that backward slide.

According to the three founders of Trump Forest, the total number of trees that would need to be planted is in the neighborhood of 10 billion, which is a daunting number, to say the least, and which would cover an area about the size of Kentucky, or some 37,000 square miles, if planted all in one location. But in the absence of a massive plot of land to plant billions of trees on, and the funding to plant them all, growing the Trump Forest will instead be a crowdsourced effort, with people and organizations planting their own trees as they have the resources to do so. The initial effort, which began in March of 2017, was led by British climate scientist Dr Dan Price, American PhD candidate Jeff Willis, and French-New Zealander Adrien Taylor; the founder of Offcut, with the planting of 1,000 native trees in New Zealand funded by Offcut.

"Trump wants to bring back coal despite scientists telling us we cannot afford to burn it, and despite economists telling us there's more money to be made and more jobs available in renewable energy.
So we're planting a forest to soak up the extra greenhouse gases Trump plans to put into our atmosphere." - Trump Forest

Since then, the Trump Forest (with the tagline "Where ignorance grows trees") has grown to number more than 360,000 trees planted worldwide, with some 1200 backers and almost $50,000 in donations. The founders have no financial interest in this enterprise, other than their own participation, so it's entirely a crowdsourced effort with no profit motive. To take part in Trump Forest, individuals can make a donation to the campaign's partner charity Eden Reforestation Projects, after which the pledged trees (which will be planted by the organization) will be added to the global map, or by buying and planting trees locally (vetted by uploading a purchase or donation receipt).

"We don't want your money. We want you to pay for and plant trees anywhere in the world in the name of Donald Trump and send us the receipt so we can add your generous contribution to the global Trump Forest map. Or you can easily make a direct contribution to our partner Eden Reforestation Projects." - Trump Forest

Grow a tree or three in the Trump Forest yourself.
H/T Vox