Climate Champions plant first 10,000 trees! Plus, it’s a Thursday twofer: World Ocean Day & World Oceans Day! And, “The Great Derangement”, by Amitav Ghosh
Climate Champions Plant First 10,000 Trees! Thursday Twofer: World Ocean Day & World Oceans Day! “The Great Derangement” by Amitav Ghosh
FIRST 10,000 TREES PLANTED THANKS TO OUR CLIMATE CHAMPIONS!
Hey, Everybody. Here’s the update we promised on the first Climate Champions, 10,000 tree reforestation campaign. The trees are going into the ground as part of the Fire Recovery in the Feather River Watershed project. The project aims to restore 4,343 acres of land that was burned during the 2021 Dixie Fire. This restoration of this Sierra mixed conifer forest will focus on planting trees native to the area in pre fire conditions.
The Sierra Nevada is a region with a strong reliance on wildfire to maintain ecological balance. Wildfires will continue to be a part of this ecosystem. A century of suppression, and removal of indigenous burning has created conditions in which these fires become more severe than ever imagined. Restoring these lands to a state which is resilient to future fires and climate driven affects is possible given reforestation plans that address hazardous fuels, habitat, watershed protection, and a tree density that is sustainable and resilient to these conditions.
An analysis of how forests burn is this: The lowest severity burns in the project are classified as “moderate” with perhaps a 50% or higher tree mortality rate, the majority of the project is burned at high severity, where 90-100% of all trees have died. The project aims to address these issues in a few ways; one is by removing the dead standing trees before they become an ecological hazard. Forests full of snags quickly grow an understory of brush due to increased sunlight; this snag and shrub component has been proven to increase both the intensity and severity of wildfires when occurring in the same area. This leads to a perpetual cycle of high severity wildfire in which healthy mature forests can never become reestablished.
With approximately 1.3 million acres of forests burned in the Feather River Watershed since 2020, we need to put our energy into reforesting areas with a higher likelihood of success. Planting within this project areas will be monitored and maintained by private land managers for a minimum of 75 years. This type of management will ensure that planted trees have the best likelihood of survival, and that plantations can be cultivated to ensure a well stocked forest at densities that are less likely to carry a high intensity crown fire.
Reforestation would prioritize planting shade intolerant species such as Jeffrey pine, ponderosa pine, sugar pine, Douglas fir, and incense cedar, over shade tolerant species such as white fir to re-establish forest structure prior to the exclusion of ecologically beneficial fire. Trees would be planted at approximately 130 trees per acre in differing planting arrangements including rows and clusters. Areas with potential for natural regeneration may be excluded from planting. All planted areas would have dead vegetation, including standing dead trees removed to reduce the fuel risk for future wildfire.
Why does reforesting the Feather River Watershed matter to us? Restoration of biodiversity. Wildlife species to bring back include the California Spotted owl, Northern Goshawk, Bald eagle, and Golden eagle, all require either old growth forests, or mature trees for nesting and/ or foraging. The amount of suitable old growth habitat is currently severely diminished, vital for biodiversity. Several more megafires with no restorative action would leave the region devoid of habitat. Not often thought of but just as importantly, not replanting is already having impacts on water quality and erosion in the North Fork Feather River, including mudslides and rock fall which deposit sediment into one California’s primary sources of drinking water.
Planting activities also bolster local economies by bringing in workforces that occupy hotels, eat at restaurants, and shop in stores. One project location centers around the historic community of Seneca, which was home to California’s oldest bar; the Seneca Gin Mill. The Gin Mill was destroyed in the Dixie fire, but local community efforts have rebuilt the structure in the historic fashion using logs milled on site. “Re-greening” Seneca will help preserve this piece of California history. We’re loading photographs of the project on theclimate.org so check us out, daily.
Thank you to you first 33 climate champions who are helping us restore the Feather River Watershed in the Sierra Nevadas of California! This is proof that a small group of people can make a massive impact in a short amount of time. So join us in this latest climate champions tree reforestation campaign. We’re at 9,000 trees. Just 1,000 to go. Go to www.theclimate.org and at the top of the page, click on Climate Champions and donate $50 or $100. Thank you!
THURSDAY TWOFER: WORLD OCEAN DAY AND WORLD OCEANS DAY 2023
We’re here to hip you to three ocean-related, climate celebration days, two today and one tomorrow. Today, June 8th is World Oceans Day. But before 2008, it was known as World Ocean Day. So I’m gonna let’s begin at the beginning. In 1992, Canada attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, part of a parallel event to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The Oceans Institute of Canada presented: “OCEANS DAY AT GLOBAL FORUM – THE BLUE PLANET”. The program featured international experts, opinion leaders and other experts arguing for the oceans’ contributions to sustaining the Blue Planet. The end result was a proposal to declare June 8th “World Ocean Day.” Thus adopted, World Ocean Day was born.
It took a while, but in 2003, www.WorldOceanDay.org was finally launched to help promote the event and generate more global involvement through the dissemination of educational and actionable resources, ideas, and free tools for everyone to use to celebrate World Oceans Day. In its inaugural year, 2003, 25 events were held in 15 countries.
In 2016, the World Ocean Day Advisory Council was launched, with the goals of developing “World Ocean Day into a unique opportunity to connect and unite youth and others …or a healthier ocean and a more sustainable society.” WorldOceanDay.org even offers an ongoing series called Rise Up Webinars designed to educate youth on ocean themes. There are 13 currently. The most recent is “Ocean Conservation in an Urban Environment.”
Somehow, though, back in 2008, the UN decided World Ocean Day needed to be plural. And rather than simply change the name, they created an entirely new day of marine celebration. In 1992, Canada got the ball rolling on developing broad public awareness of the critical role the oceans play in maintaining Earth’s climate equilibrium, and World Ocean Day was born. Well in 2008, Canada did it again!
That year, led by Canada, the UN General Assembly resolved that 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”. According to the UN, the need to add an “s” to an existing day of awareness had been reflected in the broad range of concerns expressed in 2008 by the UN Secretary-General. Those concerns included implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, marine biological diversity, the marine environment and sustainable development, climate change and ^ regional and international cooperation, among other things.
Apparently, the UN’s marketing department had seen how well worldoceanday.org was doing, and wondered, “What else could be better?” So two virtually identical celebrations have existed on the same day, June 8th, since 2009. The theme for World Oceans Day in 2023 is ‘One Ocean, One Climate, One Future Together. It’s based on the reality that recently, world leaders made a global commitment to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030 (30×30). To create a healthy ocean with abundant wildlife and to stabilize the climate, it’s critical that 30% of our planet’s lands, waters, and ocean are protected. Our support will help meet the 30×30 goal!
BOOK REVIEW: “THE GREAT DERANGEMENT”, BY AMITAV GHOSH
Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? Or so that’s what Ghosh thinks and so he presented his argument seven years ago, with The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. Herein is a reprint of the publisher, University of Chicago Press’s take on the book: “In it Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.
The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.
Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost.
Why does The Great Derangement matter to us? Because in his own words, Ghosh argues the climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the two most urgent tasks of our time—making the unthinkable thinkable and thereby finding ways of stopping the onset of the worst effects of climate change, now.