Letters to the Editor

The world is on fire

Editor: Scientists give us until 2030 to cool the planet below 1.5C and get CO2 levels below 300ppm. In essence, we are already too hot and on fire. The Amazon and Congo and South Asia lost 10.4m acres of primal tropical forests to wildfire in 2019. Australia lost 46 million acres that same year. In 2020, the American West lost 10.2 million acres. And as of today, July 15, Canada, Oregon, Washington have burned 1.25 million acres.

The world is on fire. There is too much carbon in the atmosphere. We must act now to put the fire out.

Phase One: Put out the fire. Plant trees. Millions of them.

Planting trees and green infrastructure is the first phase in this crisis. We must plant trees and plants en masse to draw down the carbon, and cool the planet all by 2030. Sequestering the atmospheric CO2 puts that fire out. And planting trees is the fastest, best and cheapest way to do that. That makes tree planters the first responders now the firefighters on the front line of a global ecological conflagration.

And yet, this existential threat of a climate crisis can be stopped. To do so, we must do two things: we must train the next phase of workers for the regenerative economy *as* they are working to put out the fire that is burning our house down to 2030.

As we do Phase 1 work, we must simultaneously prepare and train those workers *as* the next generation who will learn the skills, knowledge and trades to build our nation’s infrastructure and accelerate those Phase 2 regenerative businesses, economy and social systems within a safer, cooler environment and planet. A livable planet that our work of planting 1 trillion trees helped ensure.

Anything less will lead to a projected unlivable planet for our children’s children and any thereafter. Thus, we must remain mindful that we are in a long term climate campaign.

Prepping for Phase 2 renewable economy jobs with on-the-job training and workforce development programs can be achieved in company workforce development models that employ people with livable wages *and* provides a percentage of their workday for training and education towards that next level of green jobs.

Yes, we can do this. However, we must act now because our house is on fire. We must first plant the planet to reforest our primal and urban forests, and then we can pivot our time and resources to jump start a green, renewable future once we are sure that the fire is out.

Amos White