Trees keep our planet cool and breathable. They make the rain and sustain biodiversity. They are essential for nature and for us. And yet, we are cutting and burning them at such a rate that many forests are fast approaching tipping points beyond which they will simply shrivel and die. But there is still time, and there is still hope. If we had a trillion more trees, the damage could be undone. So should we get planting? Not so fast. Fred Pearce argues in this inspiring new book that we can have our forests back, but mass planting should be a last resort. Instead, we should mostly stand back, make room and let nature – and those who dwell in the forests – do the rest.
Taking us from the barren sites of illegal logging and monocrop farming to the smouldering rainforests of the Amazon, Fred Pearce tells a revelatory new history of the relationship between humans and trees – and shows us how we can change it for the better. Here we meet the pilot who discovered flying rivers, the village elders who are farming amid the trees, and the scientists challenging received wisdom. And we visit some of the world's most wondrous treescapes, from the orchid-rich moutaintops of Ecuador to the gnarled and ancient glades of the South Downs.
Combining vivid travel writing with cutting edge science, A Trillion Trees is both an environmental call to arms and a celebration of our planet's vast arboreal riches.
Fred Pearce is an award-winning journalist and author, reporting from 87 countries. He has been the environmental consultant of New Scientist magazine since 1992, a regular broadcaster and contributor to the Guardian, Washington Post and others. He has written fourteen books on environmental and development issues, translated into 26 languages.
"We should all read Fred's book. He tells us in a practical and most readable way, how we can bring back the forests of the Earth and restore our planet to health."
– James Lovelock
"With Pearce, one of the UK's best science journalists, you always know you are going to get something interesting and counterintuitive. That is certainly the case with this insightful science-based travelogue [...] [A Trillion Trees] deserves to become an environmental classic"
– Literary Review
"A stirring and surprising book that leaps from country to country, from case study to case study, in a manner reminiscent of Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction [...] If you care about the future of the planet, you have to read this book"
– Cal Flyn, The Times
"That most commonplace thing, a tree, is now our best hope for maintaining a habitable planet. This book explains in accessible, urgent prose the many wondrous workings of trees in making rain, wind, oxygen and habitats for much of life on earth as well as a vision for how we can, and must, reforest the world. Essential reading for the twenty-first century"
– Ben Rawlence