More Trees = Cooler Cities
Adapting to climate change and mitigating its worst effects in San Diego demands that we plant trees, and a lot of them.
- Climate change is accelerating, cities are warming, and the public desire for action is increasing. Trees are affordable and amazing ways to cool neighborhoods and implement Climate Action Plans.
- All communities deserve to have trees, green space, and nature. Trees contribute to healthier neighborhoods. Decades of inequitable investment in many communities throughout San Diego (and nationally) must be turned around to ensure these residents are better protected against a warming climate and can enjoy the many benefits of trees.
- During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many of us spent more time in our back yards, nearby parks and local nature. In this time spent at home, we’ve realized the importance of shade; many realized a rewed love of gardening, and how simple it is to care for a tree, while it brings such immense benefits to our everyday lives.
What about “planting a trillion trees?” It’s relatively easy to “plant a tree,” and trees thrive with local precipitation, in many parts of the United States. In San Diego and most of the western U.S., young trees need to be watered often and mature trees need deep watering, usually once a month. Watering trees is well worth it, with benefits to shade and cool cities, and much more.
A Global View
- Intact forest ecosystems are the key
- Ambitious tree planting projects are failing
- Plantations are risking global ecosystems
- Do you really believe that a $1 donation will grow a tree? Or even plant a tree? Or replant again next year?
- Growing trees for cap-and-trade offsets require tracking trees for 40 years and that is an almost-unsurmountable hurdle unless stronger public infrastructure is developed for this.
- What can you do about climate change? online quiz PDF version of quiz
- Climate Change Communication, Yale University link to webpages
- Climate education, ClimateGov website , from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Climate Education, ClimateGen: link to website
San Diego Climate Action Plan resources
- San Diego Climate Action Plan – strategy 5 specifically mentions tree planting to improve resiliency
- Report Card for San Diego’s implementation of the local Climate Action Plan
How can we better advocate for trees locally?
Watch this 25-minute video about Urban Forest Advocacy in San Diego.