thumbnail

Team Trees And The Climate Catastrophe

4 min read from miscellaneous on 2019-12-09

I’m a bit late to the party on this one, I know but gimme a break. I was busy with important stuff, like playing the video games and doing the bappin’.

For the uninformed: “Team Trees, also known as TeamTrees or #TeamTrees, is a 2019 collaborative fundraising challenge aiming to raise 20 million U.S. dollars by 2020 to plant 20 million trees. The initiative was started by American YouTubers MrBeast and Mark Rober, and is mostly supported by YouTubers.”[1] As of me writing this (2019-12-09) $17,535,090 has been donated, so it doesn’t look like they’re going to achieve their goal, but it’s still a pretty big number either way.

To be nice, I’m going in this giving them the benefit of the doubt. The year hasn’t finished so I’ll assume that they are going to achieve the $20 million goal and I don’t know enough about economies of scale to say whether or not they can plant a tree for a dollar so I’ll assume they can.

With that all said: how to people fall for this? It’s such an obvious marketing ploy. Now a bootlicker might say: “But they’re planting 20 million trees, their marketing for a good cause, it’s a win-win”.

I’ll admit, 20 million trees is a lot of trees. Here’s the problem though: It’s not even close enough to make even the smallest impact. According to Business Insider, “we would have to cover the entire contiguous US with trees just to capture 10% of the CO2 we emit annually.”[2]

We would need to plant one trillion trees to mitigate the CO2 we emit and we literally do not have enough land for that many. Keep in mind that this is also if we don’t lose any trees. I can look outside my window right now and see a red sky caused by my country being on fire. It is barely summer, and 2 million hectares of land have been burnt since July in more than 7,000 fires that have raged across NSW in the “most challenging bushfire season ever”.[3] The bushfires are so bad that they have spread to the rainforests. Fun fact: there aren’t supposed to be fires in rainforests (most of the time).

Do you actually think people like MrBeast actually care about the environment? His stunts like “Going Through The Same Drive Thru 1,000 Times”, “I Put 100 Million Orbeez In My Friend’s Backyard”, and “Destroyed Friend’s House And Bought Him A New One” don't seem to suggest it. In fact, he’s probably produced more CO2 than what the trees would capture. This is one of the most blatant attempts of greenwashing that I have ever seen, these people are getting so much positive PR for what amounts to nothing.

So what should they be doing instead? Well first I want you to understand that we’re kinda fucked. We’ve done too much damage to the planet and no amount of tree planting or electric car buying is going to help. Please read this document to fully understand the extent this, it’s kinda long but if you don’t want to read about something that will severely affect you and everyone you know… then you’re just kind of an idiot.

Okay back to the topic, so what should they be doing? The first and most obvious thing would be to stop doing stupid shit for YouTube views and focus on something more productive. There’s a section near the end of the document you should have read that explains some of the things we should be doing. With all their influence, they could promote those things more.

Of course doing stuff like that would most likely destroy their career. But I don’t really care, I’d rather be able to live to see my 30s than watch a video of some guy sit in a pool of slime for 24 hours.


[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Trees

[2]: https://www.businessinsider.com/so-much-co2-planting-trees-cant-save-us-2017-5?IR=T

[3]: https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/nature-group-warns-of-global-tragedy-in-nsw-as-unprecedented-bushfires-rage-on/news-story/c8eb73ab1fa04e17ee9ef4a8b61533bf