The year is 2093. A hover-bus full of students disembark from their futuristic transport and look around at the sylvan glen around them – a green oasis so different from the hustle and bustle of regular future life. Deer frolic in the fields, squirrels and chipmunks chase each other across the great leaves of trees. So taken are the children with this bucolic site that few of them stop to notice the large sign that adorns the entrance: TRUMP FOREST.
No, don’t get your hopes up yet: Trump hasn’t reversed his various policies surrounding the environment, or reintroduced any regulations desired to protect it. That’s why several enterprising campaigners and charities have decided that “if you can’t beat ‘em, do the opposite of what they’re doing and make them look responsible.” Banding together, they’ve kick-started a brand new initiative designed to protect vulnerable forests and increase the awareness of the plight of forests worldwide.
The New Zealand-based Trump Forest is the end result of that goal: part social awareness campaign, part charity, part tongue-in-cheek jab at the current American administration. Since the United States decided to leave the Paris Accord earlier this year, environmental groups both inside and outside the United States have scrambled into damage control mode to try and offset the brutal damage that an industrialized first-world country can unleash on our vulnerable planet.
Trump Forest organizers have calculated that, in order to mitigate the damage wrought by deregulated industry, we’re going to need a lot more trees. By 2025, in order to offset what they call the “Trump effect”, forests across the world will need to work overtime, filtering almost 650 megatons of accumulated CO2. But that won’t be enough; the Earth will need at least a hundred billion new trees across the Earth. Clumped together, that would equal a forest the size of Kentucky. Trump Forest is encouraging growth across the world, and they’re footing the bill.
Interested? There are two main ways that interested individuals can contribute. They can either buy and plant trees locally, and send a copy of the receipt to the charity, or “plant abroad” by sponsoring reforestation projects overseas in Haiti, Madagascar, India, or Nepal.
By now, you may be asking about the feasibility of this plan. Can it be done in time? In its first month, the project garnered more than 15,000 trees; now, it’s gone up to more than 120,000. It’ll take a lot more time, effort, and money before we can plant a truly Trumpian forest, but the first seeds have been sown.
Are the organizers worried about Donald Trump shutting down their project? The opposite couldn’t be more true. They’re hoping that – if he finds out about what they’re doing – he’ll take full ownership of the project that bears his name. “We kind of want him to love the forest; this is ‘his’ forest after all. We would love it if he tweeted about it,” said Adrien Taylor, co-founder of the project. It may be a huge undertaking, but perhaps Trump Forest can finally make environmentalism great again.