In an effort to offset the US’s move away from the Paris goals, a trio of veteran climate campaigners want everyone to join in on planting the Trump Forest. A global forest of over 100 billion new trees.


Image credits David Mark.

The plan took off because of the organizers’ frustration over the POTUS “ignorance” on climate science, they say. Seeing as the president’s views on issues such as climate change won’t improve, they set out to beef up our planet’s ability to soak up the damage. Under the project, christened Trump Forest, people can either plant locally or pay for trees to be planted in a number of poorer countries which are most at risk from shifting climate.

All in all, the organizers say they need to plant a forest “the size of Kentucky” to balance out the effect Trump’s policy will have on the planet.

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Billions of trees

The New Zealand-based project took off in March this year and has gained backing from around 730 people all around the world. Some 15,000 trees were pledged in the first month alone, and it’s since gone just shy of 200,000. The backers paid for all these trees to be planted in forest restoration projects in Madagascar, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Nepal, or bought and planted a tree themselves and sent a copy of the receipt to the project.

The organizers say they hope to tap into the growing global sense of frustration over the administration’s climate policy, which has seen the US leave the Paris agreement and undo many Obama-era climate policies.

“We’ve met some of the people on the front lines of climate change in Bangladesh, Mongolia and in other countries, and we found it extremely upsetting that Mr Trump’s ignorance is so profound,” said Adrien Taylor, a co-founder of Trump Forest.

“So we started to do something about it. Only a small percentage of the world voted him in, but we all have to deal with the consequences of his climate ignorance.”

The goal of Trump Forest is to offset 650 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2025, which is their estimate of the effect Trump’s presidency will have. All in all, that means they need to plant over 100 billion new trees. That’s a massive undertaking, but the organizers are confident it can be done. They’ve had “a bit of hate mail” from people who support Trump’s policies, but generally have seen a lot of public support for the initiative, despite concerns that the project’s name goes to stroke the president’s ego.

“We want to plant a global forest that will offset all of the emissions that the Trump administration puts in the atmosphere. It sounds a bit ridiculous but it is completely feasible,” said Dr Daniel Price, another co-founder.

“We kind of want him to love the forest; this is his forest after all. We would love it if he tweeted about it,” Taylor added. “All we’re trying to do is pick up the slack he has created and do the work for him. So if he wants to take ownership of this forest just like Trump vodka and Trump Tower, we would welcome that; the phone line is open. So, Mr President, if you are reading this…”

Of course, they’re still a ways away from achieving their goal, but grassroots movements like this can make a significant difference and they’re something everyone can get involved in, setting a positive example. Lord knows we need them such examples.

Trees by themselves probably won’t stop climate change for us, no matter how many we plant. But they’d certainly help. So if you want to be part of the global forest, visit Trump Forests‘ website and see how you can help.