Friday, 14 April 2017

Deforestation and Capitalism

Deforestation is global, only 2.4 million square miles remain of the original 6 million square miles of forest that formerly covered the Earth. More than half of all plant and land animal species in the world live in tropical forests.
A theory has been put forward that suggests capitalism is not immoral but amoral. In other words something we should work with. This leads to some interesting scenarios, can we apply the resources and expertise from our capitalistic environment to reverse the trend and grow more trees and in so doing increase the size of our forest? When major industry have a problem, they allocate huge resources, namely research, funding and expertise. By coming up with a solution they go on to create wealth. 
If we apply this working model to deforestation and trust the figures, that for every £ 1 spent now, there is a benefit of £ 2.50. This is a 10 year cycle but is substantial in any long term financial plan. We can not quantify the lasting impact on animals and plants, but from limited research, there is a capital gain to be accrued for future generations.
There is many projects that plant trees, paper industry is one, planting trees if you buy their product. Others are charities, genuine and scam, asking for a monthly donation to plant trees. Where are all these trees that we have donated to? Good question, how long do you have to find out? In truth, the amount of trees that they plant is negligible. What we need to plant is 10 billion trees a year, just for a start.
I read an article on seeding vast areas by drones. A company has perfected the technology that can plant enormous amounts of seed a day. I ask the question, do we have the political will to invest? I feel this will be low on the agenda, so what next?
Most of the wealth of the world is controlled by a very few people, this is a problem, as most of this wealth is inherited and very old money. People with this sort of wealth feel they have to guard their fortunes for future generations. 
I feel drawn back to my original suggestion, turn to the capitalists and convince them of the danger of deforestation and hope they will come up with a solution. They will see it as a humanitarian project and pass it to the government. To convince them to invest and execute a project as vast as this, would be another hurdle. I cannot find out what the £ 2.50 benefit breaks down too, so I do wonder if it is in their interest and if so will the dividend be tempting enough? I do not know the answers.

All I do know is that we need to plant trees, billions of them. This is a challenge for those younger than me. I can only hope we have instilled in them, a love of this world, for them to reverse the harm our generation has and is continuing to do, all in the name of progress.


  1. Great blog - let's start making a difference!

  2. eh sadly i don't think much of a difference will be made unless we galvanise the top 1%. And it seems all they are doing is making us argue amongst ourselves with media corporations proliferating class discriminatory messages.