Jiva Technology

It’s all about the trees.

Going back a few years I spent a lot of time in the far north of Scotland. The Caithness region can be a little wild and windy, but it has a dramatic natural beauty that’s reinforced by the almost complete absence of trees. I thought the lack of trees was a natural thing, but it turns out I was wrong. Caithness used to have trees (romantically called the Caledonian Forest) but a combination of small changes in the climate and the arrival of agriculture and humans around 4,000 years ago put paid to both the trees and the bears, lynx and other animals that lived there.

Fast forward to the present day and we worry about the destruction of Amazonian rainforest, its unique biodiversity and the impact the loss of trees will have on global warming. But what is happening in the Amazon today is what happened in Britain (albeit on a smaller scale) several thousand years ago. And what’s important is that to a certain extent, its a reversible process. Just as we can chop down trees, we can plant new ones. The Committee on Climate Change has reported that the UK will need to plant 1.5 bn trees to meet the goal of net zero carbon production by 2050. At a time of climate pessimism, that sounds like a lot, but the UK was once almost entirely shrouded in forest. Returning swathes of the countryside to its former state in combination with rewinding that can have astonishing effects in a relatively short period. There work of Sebastio Salgado and the Instituto Terra show just what might be possible in even the most damaged landscape. Which is why the Department of Environment initiative to offer grants to plant 130,000 new trees is a brilliant initiative and hopefully the start of something big. The magazine entrepreneur Felix Dennis left an amazing legacy with the Heart of England Forest that plants over 300 acres of new trees per year.

The point is that whilst its easy to become despondent about climate destruction, its also easy to miss the things that are being done and need our support. Major news outlets very rarely concentrate on the good news stories because bad news sells. But the good news stories need our help because that’s the only way that they can expand and make more of a difference. Tackling the greatest issue of our time is not just about electric cars and renewable energy, its about taking the carbon out of the atmosphere thats already there and the best technology we have at our disposal at the moment is the mighty tree. Natures capture capture technology.


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