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A Trillion Trees: Restoring Our Forests by Trusting in Nature

A Trillion Trees: Restoring Our Forests by Trusting in Nature

by Fred Pearce
A Trillion Trees: Restoring Our Forests by Trusting in Nature

A Trillion Trees: Restoring Our Forests by Trusting in Nature

by Fred Pearce


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“A vivid, important, and inspiring book.”— Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sixth Extinction and Under a White Sky

“Eloquently mulls the ecological dynamics of forests as well as the social, economic, cultural, and political forces that determine their fate.”—LA REVIEW OF BOOKS

A powerful book about the decline and recovery of the world’s forests––with a provocative argument for their survival.

In A Trillion Trees, veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce takes readers on a whirlwind journey through some of the most spectacular forests around the world. Along the way, he charts the extraordinary pace of forest destruction, and explores why some are beginning to recover.

With vivid, observant reporting, Pearce transports readers to the remote cloud forests of Ecuador, the remains of a forest civilization in Nigeria, a mystifying mountain peak in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the boreal forests of western Canada and the United States, where devastating wildfires are linked to suppressing the natural fire cycles of forests and the maintenance practices of Indigenous peoples.

Throughout the book, Pearce interviews the people who traditionally live in forests. He speaks to Indigenous peoples in western Canada and the United States who are fighting to control their traditional forested lands and manage them according to their traditional practices. He visits and speaks with Nepalese hill dwellers, Kenyan farmers, and West African sawyers who show him that forests are as much human landscapes as they are natural paradises. The lives of humans are now imprinted in forest ecology.

At the heart of Pearce’s investigationis a provocative argument: planting more trees isn’t the answer to declining forests. If given room and left to their own devices, forests and the people who live in them will fight back to restore their own domain.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771649407
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 05/03/2022
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 522,392
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in the UK who has reported from over sixty countries. He is an environmental consultant for the New Scientist, a contributing writer for publications including the Guardian, Washington Post, and Yale Environment 360,and the author of numerous books, including The Land Grabbers and When the Rivers Run Dry.

Table of Contents

Map: A Forest Journey x

Introduction: Myth and Magic 1

Part I Weather Makers

1 Trees Are Cool 17

Stomata, Transpiration and a Planet Transformed

2 Flying Rivers 30

Chasing the Rain and Mapping a New Hydrology

3 Forests' Breath 43

Sniffing the Air and Shooting the Breeze

4 In Tanguro 59

Tipping Points in Soybean Fields Foreshadow Crisis in the Amazon

5 Fires in the Forest

Nature's Way of Starting Over

Part II From Paradise to Plunder

6 Lost Worlds 85

Pre-Columbian Cities That Gardened the Rainforests

7 The Woodchopper's Ball 97

Post-Columbian Pillage and Roads to Ruin

8 Logged Out 109

Well, Almost… Three Decades in Borneo

9 Consuming the Forests 121

Logs of War and a New "Green" Plunder

10 No-Man's-Land 135

Cattle Kingdoms and the Tyranny of Global Commodities

11 Taking Stock 144

Phantom Forests and Debunking Forest Demonology

Part III Rewilding

12 From "Stumps and Ashes" 161

America's Forest Renaissance

13 The Strange Regreening of Europe 168

Acid Rain to a New Green Deal

14 Forest Transition 179

How More and More Nations Are Restoring Their Forests

15 To Plant or Not to Plant 187

When Trees Become Part of the Problem

16 Let Them Grow 201

Only Nature Can Plant a Trillion Trees

17 Agroforests 210

Farmers as Part of the Solution

Part IV Forest Commons

18 Indigenous Defenders 227

Why Tribes Do Conservation Better Than Conservationists

19 Community Forests 244

A Triumph of the Commons

20 African Landscapes 257

Taking Back Control

Postscript: Back Home 271

Acknowledgments 279

Notes 283

Further Reading 315

Index 321

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