Planet ‘winning the battle against deforestation’ (The Scotsman, 11/14/06)

FEARS of a “skinhead” Earth devoid of any trees appear to be unfounded, according to new research which shows forests making a comeback in China and India.

An international team of scientists, including Aberdeen University academic Professor Alexander Mather, found that 22 out of the world’s 50 most forested countries were now increasing the amount of woodland and predicted that a “great restoration of the landscape” could begin by 2050.

While global forests are still in decline, China, Vietnam and Spain have seen significant net increases from 1990 to 2005 and India’s forests are now stable.

Here in New England, which was 90% clearcut early in the 20th Century, one of our big businesses is the tourism during leaf-peeper season.


  1. Lou Gots says:

    Motor Transport makes this possible.

  2. Grover says:

    The numbers of trees will be meaningless if we continue to destroy their ecosystems. Care to post anything else that concerns the environmental status of India and China?

  3. Sandy P says:

    The richer they get, the clearner they get, and the Chicoms want to put on a good face for the world in 08, so they’ve already taken steps.

  4. Jason Johnson says:

    The U.S. would be in the “stable” category at this point. New England (as Orrin mentioned) has been gaining forests as abandoned farms have reverted to natural vegetation, the same process has happened in Appalachia, while in the south old cotton farms have been planted to pines. The process of reforestation probably peaked a year or so ago, and may have even reversed itself as development has started to eat at significant acreages of forest. Asphalt, unfortunately, is always the last crop.

    The question now is how much forest is enough. We aren’t likely to create many forest where they did not exist at the time of settlement.

  5. erp says:

    Heard a caller on Limbaugh’s show tell that trees planted by lumber companies who plant 50 trees for every one they fell, aren’t counted because they aren’t natural.

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