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Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth
Image Credit: Earth Day Network

Friday, April 22nd, is Earth Day 2016. The theme is: Trees for the Earth. In the five-year countdown to their 50th anniversary, the Earth Day network has initiated an ambitious goal of planting 7.8 billion trees by 2020. In planting a tree for every person on our planet, we will contribute to:
~ mitigating climate change and pollution;
~ protecting our planet’s biodiversity; and
~ supporting communities and their livelihoods.

With our superior technological tools and weapons, we humans continue to kill trees and entire forests in the name of human progress and economic growth. Rooted to the ground, trees are helpless against our onslaught.

Like so much in our lives, we take trees for granted. We forget or ignore their vital role in storing the carbon dioxide we produce and releasing the oxygen we breathe. Earth without trees will not sustain human life.

I like to think of trees as quiet, reliable heroes. Do you have a relative or friend that’s always there when you need a shoulder to cry on, a lending hand, an attentive ear, a generous heart? Trees are like that. When they see us coming, they don’t run away or hide. They are well grounded and face whatever adversity comes their way. They provide shade, shelter, and security to all creatures seeking refuge.

Avenue in Georgetown - Guyana

Tree-lined Avenue – Georgetown – Guyana

Plant a tree today and it will outlive you and your grandchildren. The trees that line the avenues in the main streets of Georgetown, Guyana, where I was born and grew up, existed before I was born. If not destroyed to build parking lots, they will still be providing beauty and shade long after I’m gone.

Methuselah - California - Oldest Living Tree in the World

Methuselah – California – USA

The world’s oldest living tree is a bristle-cone pine, named Methuselah, in California’s White Mountains. Over 4800 years old, it was around when the Egyptians were busy building pyramids. To think we consider ourselves the crown of creation!

Hyperion - California Redwood Forest - World Tallest Tree

Hyperion – California Redwood Forest – USA

When it comes to height and built, trees also outdo us. Rooted in California’s Redwood Forest, the giant sequoia named Hyperion towers over us at 379.1 feet. That’s nearly six times taller than the Statue of Liberty! Next to such trees, we humans are puny.

We need trees for our survival on Earth. Lots of trees. Plant a tree. It’s easier than you think.