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rob schoenbaum

is the full edition of this book, with all the readings, available in ebook format? if so, where can it be purchased? Thanks!


Jones has a good idea about planting trees


What Jones said about planting trees is indeed true. Simply saying that planting trees will end climate change isn’t the right answer. It’s not as simple as planting a trillion saplings and calling it a day. What a lot of tree planting campaigns are doing is planting the trees then simply forgetting about them and moving on to plant new ones. Like every young living thing in existence, it needs nurturing during its early years. When planting trees we must also make sure that they will actually survive. If the trees planted don’t survive, not only did we fail our sole mission, but we also poured money down the drain on something that didn’t work. Jones mentions in the article that instead of only tree planting we should think of tree growing. I completely agree with this because it’s like digging a well but not putting any water in it. If we plant trees only to let them die off and make absolutely no impact on climate change, why not just sit down and let nature do its thing? It would save time, money, and resources. There is no need to sit and campaign about planting trees if our thought process and actions are only limited to just planting the trees. If we are thinking about the future then let’s think about the whole future and not just the end goal. Planting trees is just the beginning of the vision, actually nurturing them and caring for them is what’s going to make the vision become a reality.


I believe what Benji Jones says about the mass planting of trees not only failing, but also harmful to the existing ecosystems. Though the campaign for planting trees is generally wholesome in the contribution of fighting climate change, it requires resources, specific space, and effort in nurturing trees to be successful. This project also requires time that can not be rushed since the growth of trees must be natural, meaning it will take many years before the sapling is stable and at its prime. The planting of the trillions of saplings is not the full answer to stopping the climate change but it could be a start and make a difference if the young trees actually survive. If most of them die it fails that whole idea and goal and also wastes the resources put into the project of planting. It would be no different to throwing a seed in the air and saying it will one day be successful to fight climate change. It is unrealistic to expect results without putting in the effort and knowledge of how to care for a tree, which depends on the species, since the area, season, and timing play a big role in the growth of trees. Also Jones writes about the potential harms that the campaign for planting trees will cause because of the space needed for the tree restoration sites. When planting trees it is important to also consider the benefits over the costs since grasslands and forests are in danger of becoming emptied for the planting of trillions of samplings. Why clear a forest of mature trees just to plant young ones that may not even survive? With the campaign of planting trillions of trees is simplified and does not highlight the truth of actually making sure the tree grows. To ensure a better future we must be sure to know the effort it takes to get to the goal because the process is truly time consuming.

Bob Ross

One of the benefits of these tree-planting campaigns is the increased involvement and attention they grant to environmental causes. Often, especially for non-profit organizations, it is vital for attention to be on the issues the organization is hoping to address. Organizations usually get a boost of donations after major disasters, but often suffer from a lack of long-term structure due to unstable funding. This is one of the largest reasons many charities are pushing for monthly donations rather than one-time donations. For example, Team Trees may have a short-term push for donations, but while doing so they are both gathering information on potential future donors and granting media coverage to important environmental issues.

Lucas C

I agree with Jones, although these campaigns have good intentions, they often are misleading and typically have more downsides to them. He blames the growing popularity of the campaigns as one of the main reasons they can fail. These campaigns give the notion that we can plant out climate change and solve biodiversity simply by planting trees. For many politicians and businesses, it’s easy to associate with a campaign in order to support environmental awareness. However, Jones points out these campaigns often don’t take long term care of the trees once planted. He even shows in certain cases, 90% of saplings die within 3 months; which reinforces the point that we need to think about growing, not planting trees. When it comes to addressing the climate crisis, planting trees might be the most effective solution but it isn’t the most practical one. Jones gives other examples of how we can help stunt deforestation, such as finding alternatives to things such as firewood. Overall I agree with Jones’ view on how tree-planting campaigns can do more harm than good and in order for them to start being effective, we need to change our view from planting to growing trees.

Elijah Johnson

Tree-restoration and tree planting campaigns are nothing new, they’re a common trend present as they serve as a scapegoat for many businesses to act like they’re trying to help the planet instead of trying to cut their own carbon emissions. This idea was first brought up in 2019 in a Science article which brought up the idea that there is at least 2.2 billion acres of land available for new trees, and while many criticized the paper for a variety of reasons, the idea behind planting our way out of our carbon emission problem instead of trying to cut our carbon emissions. We have to consider that this scenario draws parallels with the plastic pollution scenario, where people end up becoming hyper fixated on a solution that only fixes a small part of the problems, except this solution is actively making the problem worse. Benji Jones states that ecosystems are often destroyed and degraded in these restoration processes which is extremely counterproductive to humans as a whole, it is simply making a different problem worse to fix another.

Nathanael Choi

Responding to Elijah Johnson

You're saying that people should focus on fixing the source of the problem instead of patching it up with futile, but well-meant attempts--I agree. People don't seem to be willing to change their entire lifestyles, but are willing to take a few jabs at remedies to ease their guilt and maybe help justify their work. But when it comes to something as natural and precious as the ecosystem, I agree with you in that the problem exacerbates when the "fixes" turn out to be adding harm, since the whole intention is skewed in the first place! I believe that instead of remedies, which attempts to heal after the fact, there has to be an intrinsic cure from air pollution.

Natalie Zaragoza

Jones argument responds to the increase in the number of mass tree-planting campaigns, such as the World Economic Forum's One Trillion Trees Initiative. These campaigns are so popular because of the marketing and or advertisements that are used to promote these types of projects. They promise big changes from moving forward with baby steps. People are looking for the easy and or fast way out of certain economic issues such as global warming for example. They appeal to politicians, corporations, and ordinary citizens due to the fact that people do want those big changes to happen but I personally believe they would love to achieve those goals without the actual work load that would come with it. So by agreeing to promote or work with these initiatives they find it to be a way to satisfy that feeling of wanting to "contribute" to saving our planet thinking long term while somehow only fulfilling a short term commitment.

Kayla Shada Wid

Jones’s argument responds to the increase in the number of mass tree-planting campaigns, such as the World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees Initiative. These campaigns are so popular because they think that maybe one day it will help solve climate change. The politicians, corporations, and ordinary citizens appeal this idea because everyone thinks there is a better way to help make our planet better. People are wanting to feel satisfied with, so instead of planting trees, there are other ideas that they might want to establish first.

Victoria Thomas

two major reasons why mass tree-planting campaigns fail is because most of the companies that hold most tree-planting campaigns do not know what time in the year to plant them and most of the time there is not enough rainfall to have them supported through out time. Another reason is because most often fall short of delivering the benefits they promise. Tree-planting could be considered harmful because planting that many trees at once could actually cause deforestation and harm other animals habitat. One example of tree-planting that actually harmed the ecosystem is when, volunteers decided to plant 11 million trees in turkeys but it turned out they did not know how to properly care for them all at once and they eventually destroyed most of the forest.

Keali Florea

I think the author's comment about how in certain countries the tree-planting projects are harming the environments. This goes to show not all areas of the world are equipped to support lots of trees at once. Like in Mexico funded a huge tree-planting project but ended up causing more harm to the environment. I think that the author shows a good amount of both the harm and help that extensive tree planting does.

Hannah Cook

The comments made in this article are so true, the solution to problem is not just planting trillions of samplings where ever one will fit and hoping for the best. The samplings must be cared for and grown into large healthy trees in the correct ecosystem in order to help climate change.

Jordan Mireles

I think the reason why mass tree planting campaigns are so popular is due to the way it makes people look and feel morally good. Politicians and corporations like them because it makes them look good and people them them because it makes them feel good.


I think the main reason that this has become more commonplace is that it is made to seem like an easy fix for climate change. Just plant some trees and the problem goes away. I think it is appealing to politicians and the general public due to the fact that it does seem easy and, as a whole, whim and are quite lazy.

Emme Sims

1.) I think these tree planting campainges appeal to people because they sound good and it makes the campaigners seem like caring people who care about the environment and wish to do something to help it. It all sounds great on paper, but doesn't really work in practice. It would be harder to convince people with tree-restoration because there isn't as instant results and there isn't the instant gratification of planting a tree, one and done. It takes time and patience, something most campaigns and people don't have, with less quantifiable numbers that show progress that make you feel like a difference is being made.


Jones makes interesting and valid points. She describes how excess planting of trees doesn’t do the environment a favor, while enhancing the negative effects of climate change. Trees usually help the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, making the air safe for humans to breathe. While planting an enormous amount of trees sounds like a big help, it’s actually causing more harm than good. Jones dives deeper into this situation by sharing the outcomes of notable tree projects/campaigns from foreign countries, which resulted in failure with the trees denaturing due to negative environmental causes like biodiversity. Growing multiple new trees in obscure locations will not be able to help it sustain life leading it to eventually die. By not only choosing the proper location, but, planting a reasonable number of trees, we can save the environment and utilize tree campaigns as well as project in a better way to help.


I think Jones makes interesting and valid points when it comes to these three projects and their methods of planting a large number of trees. She describes how excess planting of trees doesn’t do the environment a favor while enhancing the negative effects of climate change. Trees usually help the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, making the air safe for humans to breathe. While planting enormous trees sounds like a big help, it’s causing more harm than good. Jones dives deeper into this situation by sharing the outcomes of notable tree projects/campaigns from foreign countries, which failed with the trees denaturing due to negative environmental causes from biodiversity. Growing multiple new trees in obscure locations will not be able to help it sustain life and lead it to eventually die. Although these tree-planting projects have good intentions and are genuinely trying to help the environment, they are seeking a quick temporary, and ineffective solution to an ongoing problem without really focusing on the main goal, which is saving the environment. Instead of making the milestone to plant as many trees as possible, I think future tree planting organizations should make its priority to seek different procedures that will keep the trees they plant in good condition as well as extensively monitor the trees periodically throughout the day. One step to this would be planting a reasonable number of trees to allow space for future wildlife to inhabit the area so we can save the environment and utilize tree campaigns and projects in a better way to help the environment in the future.

Celest Garcia

The author of the article “The Surprising Downsides To Planting Trillions Of Trees,” is absolutely correct about how the world should properly fix the problem of climate change. The methods Benji Jones mentions in the article are not long term methods and continue to do the opposite of what they are meant for. It does make perfect sense to plant many trees because of their natural way of replenishing the earth, however, the process this is done is flawed. The reason it is flawed may be because the people who are in charge of the operation, are in it for the wrong reasons. Like Jones mentioned in the article, events toward fixing climate change are often viewed as political stunts to promote more followers or votes. I also agree with the idea that most people do not research other ways climate change can be solved, therefore, they are not willing to make sacrifices that will help the environment. I was thankful that near the end of the article, Jones explains how people can help the forests and trees we already have. One of the best ways people can help fight against deforestation is by planting a tree where one has been cut down. This way no one is growing more trees than there needs to be and it replaces the tree that was taken away. Then finally, I found it very helpful to learn when planting a bunch of trees is actually useful and contributing to the environment. I now know that it is good went trees are planted near areas that people may use them for resources in their daily lives. This way the public can also be more knowledgeable about what trees can provide for small communities. In the end, trees are amazing at absorbing green house gas but they must be treated with care and used for the right reasons.

Michelle liu

What Benji Jones discusses about growing trees is agreed upon. I agree with Jones that planting a massive amount of trees without enough planning not only results in failure but also destroys the ecosystem. People always desire to plant more trees in order to exonerate their carbon footprint. There is a growing amount of campaigns aiming to plant more trees to combat climate change. Indeed, tree planting projects have strong requirements to work. It requires massive land, time, suitable season, and an appropriate climate. The place chosen to take the planting project should have enough precipitation as irrigation and sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. The projects need to prevent choosing land with desertification. As there are a large number of species of trees in the world, the requirements of growing trees may vary. It takes time for a sapling to grow so the planting projects require many years to see the outcomes. The campaigns should rush for results. It is crucial to have people observe the situation of the trees to prevent saplings from dying suddenly. Some projects plant trillions of trees and do not check the environment of the saplings as they just want to have a surprising amount of trees being planted and be honored. It would have a failure result that most saplings are dead. There will have the opposite result that wasting huge investing capital and seeds. The efforts of the volunteers and workers paid for the planting project will then become useless. Sometimes, it may get more serious results if the projects are not treated seriously. The projects aim to combat climate change and restore biodiversity. However, if they rush to get an outcome, it causes serious damage to the environment. Sometimes, the projects cut massive trees to have enough land for plants. The damage of deforestation cannot be recovered as those trees grow in primary forests which means they naturally grow without the intervention of humans. Cutting those to take planting project do not worth anything and it destroys the habitats of the animals living there. What it implies is they destroy the ecosystem of the natural environment and pose significant harm to biodiversity. There is no doubt that trees are great for our planet as they absorb carbon dioxide that can help us to combat climate change. However, one needs to be aware of the requirements of afforestation in order to prevent causing damage to the environment that cannot be recovered.

Yordanos Haddish

I do agree with Benji jones about how planting a lot of trees doesn't really do much because most of the time planting campaigns don't work. A lot of planting campaigns like to say and show that they are planting millions of trees, but after that, they are forgotten about which leads to the trees dying or in bad shape. I feel like instead of focusing on planting trees we should do other methods that help combat climate change. Planting trees in certain areas where that won't be necessary is damaging. In the article it points out that planting trees in grasslands ecosystems lead to grass not being able to grow which leads to it being destroyed. I think this was a good article because I never really thought planting trees being damaging or not much of a help. Planting trees can be effective when planting them at right places and with purpose.

Aidan C

I agree with this story. While these people are trying to help combat climate change, they actually cause deforestation in the process. There are other ways to help combat climate change, but I like the effort at heart.


To answer question 1, I think tree-planting campaigns are so popular with politicians and corporations because they think it is an "easy" solution to a very known worldwide environmental issue. Since it's a worldwide problem these politicians and corporations believe they can reach so many different areas and people. They also believe it's very straightforward to just plant a bunch of trees and move on. Unfortunately, it isn't that simple and millions of trees die, wasting the money and time they put into the project.


Jones’s take on planting trees is something that has plagued me for quite some time. I’ll frequently find many initiatives by companies, such as, “For every purchase, we plant a tree!”. This has always seemed disingenuous. By the time the tree has matured, we could be in further economical disarray. “Replacing” the tree doesn’t help to restore the ruined environment. It merely exists to make us feel better. It makes for a pleasant headline for people to latch onto, so we can feel a tad less guilt over our consumption and the decline of the world. These planting initiatives usually target other countries, countries that we picture as ‘foreign’ and ‘uncivilized’. For replanting projects, instead of taking over their land and doing what we think is right, we should give them the materials to do it. This helps provide jobs and stimulates their economy. Plus, they will know more about the natural fauna and flora of the area, and what the trees will need to flourish. These communities can take a hands-on approach to cultivate and care for these plants.

However, my approach is not perfect. It pushes the workload on smaller cultures who bear no responsibility for our wrongdoings, although unintentionally. If the problem we are trying to solve is our carbon emissions, I propose we take advantage of bacteria and microfauna. Trees and surface plants provide little oxygen to us, despite what you may have learned in school. The majority of oxygen is produced in the ocean by phytoplankton. By cultivating these miniature organisms, we can maximize oxygen production. Millions of phytoplankton can live in a small area of water. Unlike trees, tanks can be set up anywhere, it does not depend on the natural environment or outside forces. If we can perfect the farming of these plankton, we may just have a solution to our tree problem.


I agree that the things that Jones is saying are true. Just planting trees is not the way to end climate change. Trees need to be cared for so that they can flourish and grow. But these campaigns like the Trillion Tree campaign only are planting trees and not helping them to grow. Besides planting trees there are other things these companies could do to help combat climate change. Things like helping to stop deforestation could help as well. Additionally, to answer the question on why this Jones article matters, it brings awareness to the damage these companies do and how it is they don’t really care for what they are doing. Furthermore, Jones points out that the organizations that plant these trees don’t focus on the habitat of the trees or how the trees can disturb the natural ecosystem. A solution to the problem is instead of planting new trees these organizations can replace the trees in deforested areas. This will allow them to focus on helping those trees grow instead of new trees all together.

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