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The Left Is Wrong: Thanks to 'Global Warming,' We Actually Have More Trees

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The establishment news media keep repeating the same tired point over and over again: The science is settled that climate change is destroying the world.

The doom-and-gloom messaging they promote is beginning to reach absurd degrees. If the media is to be believed, unless we switch to electric cars, install solar panels on our foreheads and hold our carbon-producing breath, the world will be toast by 2025.

If you’re still holding your breath, you can safely exhale now because, as it turns out, science tells us the climate situation is not as disastrous as the media would have you believe.

And we have the trees to prove it.

Global Warming Is Helping Trees Grow

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According to a 2018 study, the global tree canopy increased over a recent 34-year span. The study, conducted by the University of Maryland and published in the journal Nature, based its findings on satellite data compiled from 1982 to 2016.

“We show that–contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally–tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km 2 (+7.1 % relative to the 1982 level),” the study’s authors wrote.

That’s about 865,000 square miles of trees.

The tree canopy in the United States alone increased by 34 percent, according to the study. Europe had the most significant increase of 35 percent, while China’s canopy grew by 15 percent. The data also revealed that while forests have been declining in the tropics, that has been offset by the gain of trees in the temperate, subtropical and boreal climatic zones.

Do you think there is a climate crisis?

On top of that, according to a 2011 study published in Nature, this forest growth is serving as a carbon sink. The trees absorb an estimated one-third to one-fourth of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is induced by the burning of fossil fuels.

The increase in forestation is partly caused by “global warming” itself. You heard that right — the very forces the media is constantly warning us about, a warming of the climate, may be producing more tree growth — which, in turn, is reducing the world’s carbon emissions.

From as far north as the Arctic Circle to warm locations with arid climates, tree growth is accelerating “as the climate warms,” according to a May report from the peer-reviewed academic journal Science.

While writer Fred Pearce also saw some downsides to this uptick in growth, he said there was no doubt that it carried some benefits as well and was happening “in part because increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) — the main planet-warming gas — are enabling plants to use water more efficiently.”

“All around the Arctic Circle, trees are invading as the climate warms,” Pearce wrote. “In Norway, birch and pine are marching poleward, eclipsing the tundra. In Alaska, spruce are taking over from moss and lichen.

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“Globally, recent research indicates forests are expanding along two-thirds of Earth’s 12,000-kilometer-long northern tree line — the point where forests give way to tundra — while receding along just 1%.”

Even lower latitudes that are more arid and dry have experienced increased tree growth, according to Science. The increased carbon dioxide (the oft-cited perpetrator of “man-made climate change”) allows plants to use water more efficiently and thus thrive, even in drier climates. The report also noted that carbon dioxide acts as a fertilizer, which helps trees increase their biomass.

Global Warming Is Solving the Left’s Problem

The left fully understands that growing trees is an effective way to combat CO2 emissions. Many left-wing climate change activist organizations —Stand For Trees, the Arbor Day Foundation and several others — posit that “as trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air” (per the Arbor Day Foundation).

“Through our online platform, it is possible to take real action to stop forest loss: the number one cause of species extinction and the second-leading cause of planet-warming CO2 emissions globally,” Stand For Trees claims.

If only these groups trusted the science, which shows climate change is solving this tree problem for them. Then again, in today’s world, “trusting the science” means trusting what the media says the science is. And the media is saying there’s a climate crisis.

This is why President Joe Biden wants Americans to drive electric cars that have a funny habit of exploding (which can’t be good for the environment). Even worse than this, his Environmental Protection Agency now wants to monitor our home appliances, including even refrigerators.

There Is No Climate Crisis Despite What the ‘Experts’ Say

But what does the science really say about the “climate crisis”? Will it end in disaster, or will natural forces such as tree growth help ease climate change over time?

Steven Koonin seems to believe in the latter. Koonin is a theoretical physicist who served as chief scientist for BP from 2004 to 2009. He also served as undersecretary for science in the Department of Energy during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.

Koonin shared his thoughts on climate change alarmism with The Western Journal.

“There is no crisis. There is no existential threat. At least according to the official scientific reports, all right?” he said. “You can see that as a non-expert by looking at the following: Since 1900 — 120 years since 1900 — the globe has warmed 1.3 degrees Celsius, and it’s scheduled to warm about the same amount over the next century: 2.6/2.7 by 2100, 2110.”

Koonin went a step further than merely denying the “climate change is an existential threat” consensus. In addition, he believes the history of fossil fuel use — which has greatly contributed to increases in carbon emissions — has been an overwhelming net positive for humanity.

“Since [the year] 1900, we have seen the greatest improvement ever in human welfare. The population went up by a factor of five — from 1.6 billion to 8 billion people. The lifespan went from 32 years to 72 years globally. The poverty rate fell by a factor of seven. … You can go on and on with these numbers. To think that another 1.3 degrees is going to significantly derail or even reverse that progress just beggars belief,” he said.

But what about “experts” such as science commentator Bill Nye and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who regularly parrot concerns about the climate?

“I’ve been doing research in diverse fields of physical science for 50 years, OK?” Koonin told The Western Journal. “And it took me 10 or 15 years to come up to speed on climate and energy, where I can credibly criticize, OK? To think somebody like [Transportation Secretary] Pete Buttigieg, Bill Nye, Kerry — [White House climate czar] John Kerry — you can go on and on. Um, no, alright?”

“I’d love to get on a stage with any of them, and in fact, I’ve done a couple debates with serious scientists. And I think the case for rapid large-scale reduction of greenhouse gases has lost consistently in those debates,” he said.

“Bill Gates is a pretty smart guy — I’ve talked with him and other contacts before. Ernie Moniz — former secretary of energy — was at one point a good friend. These people know, but they still use the word ‘climate crisis.’ And again, I’d love to hear a discussion with them or have a discussion with them in public: ‘Why do you think there is this crisis? Because the data and the reports say otherwise,'” he said.

Koonin does believe that mankind is warming the climate to some degree. However, he says it isn’t clear just how great that influence is. No matter the case, Biden’s aggressive climate policy is uncalled for.

Fighting the Imaginary Climate Crisis by Starving the Poor

According to Koonin, Biden’s policies are not only misguided but dangerous and counterproductive. If poorer populations are forced to cut back their energy use, they will suffer.

“They’re doing it much too rapidly and without much thinking ahead,” he told The Western Journal. “The situation with oil production is a great example, where they have been discouraging domestic oil and gas production — and Biden in fact campaigned on that, he said, ‘I’m going to end fossil fuels’ — and then when reality strikes, you discover he’s running around the world begging other countries to be producing oil.”

“The world needs energy. And there are six and a half billion of the eight billion people in the world who don’t have adequate energy. And fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil, are right now the best way for them to get that energy,” he said.

Koonin believes in a gradual, long-term approach to the climate.

“What we need to do is formulate a graceful plan for reducing emissions,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight or even in a decade. You have to balance doing it too slowly and allowing climate risk — whatever it is — to grow, versus doing it too rapidly and being very disruptive and employing immature technologies. Nobody has put together such a plan for the U.S. or for the world.”

If we want to reduce emissions, Koonin said, the first step would be to begin to squeeze out coal from the electrical system and begin replacing it with lower-emissions technologies, such as nuclear fission. Once the electrical grid is “carbon-free,” which he said would be an enormous challenge, then we would eventually begin to electrify transportation.

“But, you know it’s going to be expensive,” he said. “The technologies are not there yet, and it’s going to be disruptive if we do that. And for the rest of the world to do those things costs a lot of money and … they need the energy.”

Translation: It will take lots of time and lots of money to deal with climate change, but it can be done. Biden’s breakneck approach does nothing to help the climate but everything to destroy the country.

However, if the president’s goal isn’t to help the climate but rather to keep poor people from having the reliable energy they desperately need, then Biden should remain on his current course, according to Koonin.

The left is wrong. Climate change isn’t an existential threat. Rather, keeping poor people from having access to fossil fuels is.

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Ole Braatelien is a social media coordinator for The Western Journal. He currently attends Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication.