We believe that at this time preserving the forests we have is crucial to save the ecosystem we call home. It’s everybody’s home, and our very lives depend upon it.
Our environment is out of balance. The polar icecaps and permafrost are melting, weather patterns are changing. Why is this happening? Air pollution has created a “greenhouse” effect which is causing the temperature of the planet to rise.
As the climate emergency heats up, we look around and wonder what we can do? Keeping the trees we have is one important action we can take.
How Can Forests Help?
Preserving and improving our forest ecosystems can accomplish 33% of the climate change mitigation required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement objectives.
How does this work? During photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide from the air, keep (or “sequester”) the carbon and give off the oxygen and water they don’t need. In this fashion, forests act as our planet’s lungs, reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and releasing oxygen for other organisms.
When water vapor is transpired from leaves into the atmosphere, the tree and surrounding air is cooled down, just like when humans perspire. The forest canopy shades and protects the understory and the soil, cooling them in the summer, but also insulating them from cold in the winter. Thus more vegetation, more photosynthesis, transpiration and cooling — a virtuous spiral.
Part of the Solution
Trees also clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and other airborne pollutants. A mature tree absorbs 120-240 lbs of particulate pollution each year — particulates which contribute to respiratory illnesses, and to global warming/climate change.
It is hard to visualize this usually, when we are simply enjoying the fresh air of a forest walk. But think about the smoky skies of the past summer: all the carbon of the western states’ burning forests was in our air and our lungs. We could see it, plain as soot.
In addition, the uptake of carbon by our forests can reduce the phenomenon called “acid rain”, where carbon and other airborne pollutants are washed down with the rain on the earth and oceans. Acid rain bleaches coral reefs and harms fish and sealife — it even eats away at concrete and marble structures. Read more about acid rain here.
This year has been the strangest year, and most of us have stayed home during this ongoing pandemic to save ourselves, our loved ones and everyone else. Everybody’s home, because our very lives depend upon it.
Our planet’s ecosystem is everybody’s home, and we all depend upon it. This is why we are working to keep the forest in the Port Gamble Forest and will continue to work to save forests wherever we can. Please join us.