BEEVILLE – Out of the mouths of babes comes pearls of wisdom.

St. Mary’s Academy Charter School students apparently are as smart as the world’s leading scientists. My book club asked me, “if planting and growing trees would reduce the overabundance of carbon in the atmosphere, why didn’t we plant more trees?” I thought, well, it can’t be that simple, can it?

Well, maybe it can. A NASA article we looked at said if every person in the world planted one tree, we would add 14 years to maintain current climate levels (NASA, 2019.)

With all the hype and hysteria regarding climate change with the alarmists and the naysayers, how is it that children stumble on a solution that doesn’t require massive government action?

The SMACS Book Club wondered if planting trees would help and there was no downside, why not plant trees? We discussed the Veterans Memorial Park, a favorite location of the kids. We estimated that it had approximately 200 acres of old growth oak trees which are between one hundred and a thousand years old. The students pointed out that adjacent to the park is a business surrounded by several acres of new growth forest whose trees we estimated to be between 20 and 30 years old. The students said why not find places like that and plant trees.

In a short few months Reforest Texas was born. Already several private citizens have said they would allow essentially idle acreages to be forested. One landowner has set aside 20 acres of previously cleared river bottom land for reforestation and wildlife habitat for the project. Several community owned locations have been identified for planting trees, and community representatives are receptive to the project.

The book club children have gotten Principal Hirma Elizondo to agree to do a community service project and sprout 900 trees. Two of the students have aunts who teach at other schools, who are having their classes participate next year adding an additional 360 trees. Their goal is to get six more schools on board with the project this year.

By next year they want to get the project in every school district in Texas. If one school in every district in Texas participates, 1,024 acres that can be reforested in one year. Imagine the possibility, if two, three or more schools participate!

Sometimes big problems have simple solutions. I think back on two children who wondered why all the politicians on TV did nothing, but point fingers and name call when they could work together to plant trees. I answered them that maybe it needs to be something that individuals do.

We can’t wait for politicians to take care of the issue. Politicians cannot even agree if there is a problem. In July alone four major scientific groups have weighed in on climate change and when or if the world will reach the climate change tipping point. Finnish and Japanese researchers cast doubt that any of the current models can demonstrate that human activity have had any impact on global temperatures! On the other end of the spectrum an English researcher boldly claims we have 18 months, not 12 years, to save the planet.

The students said, if it could help, and there was no downside, why not plant trees? We started, with the help of TASS Inc. Now a widely respected Swedish research team published findings which said essentially the only real solution to climate change was planting trees (Bastin, 2019.) Using satellite maps the researchers found that Russia and the United States can be the biggest two countries to make the change. By limiting their scope to areas that were not currently used for agriculture and not highly populated areas, the team identified blocks of land that were suitable for reforesting the planet (Bastin.)

Sometimes big problems have simple solutions, when looked at through the eyes of a child.