Letter from the Editor

Sep 21, 2021

Trees Are Life-Saving – As early as elementary school, teachers remind us that math will follow us through our entire life. We need it for everything. In this month’s newsletter, the climate change phenomenon and its impact on forests and wildfires are reduced to a simple math problem. Okay, it’s not so simple. But it is a math problem. Math is a critical part of understanding chemistry and physics and is fundamental to the equation for life on Earth: hydrogen plus oxygen equals water.

Carbon dioxide results when the hydrogen atom in H2O is replaced by carbon, becoming CO2. Excess carbon in the atmosphere damages the ozone layer resulting in climate change. Trees are weakened by drought and extreme heat, conditions exacerbated by overcrowded forests that resulted from decades of fire suppression. Today, healthy trees compete for sunlight from behind stands of dead trees, and thick underbrush prevents rain from reaching the forest floor. The only way to reverse the situation is to create more oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide. What can we do to increase oxygen and decrease carbon?

If you’re following our newsletters, you’re already a step ahead. Trees. Trees are the solution to climate change. No, you’re right, not all trees are part of the solution. (You were paying attention!).

Only live trees absorb carbon and create oxygen. Dead trees deposit carbon into the soil as they decay. The risk with dead trees is that they will become fuel for a wildfire and all of that carbon will be sent into the atmosphere. Dead and dying trees must be replaced. They don’t necessarily have to be replaced with the same tree or even a tree in the same place. Any living tree will do. It doesn’t even have to be in the forest.

We don’t need to be firefighters to protect our planet. We can all help Planet Earth heal. Start today by planting a tree or taking care of one that’s already planted. If you have to burn debris, remember that biochar is excellent fertilizer and deposits carbon back into the soil instead of the air. Every little bit helps; no tree is too small to make a difference. All it takes to start saving life… is a seed.


Tammy Nichols Schwartz, CPCU
President & Founder
Black Swan Analytics, LLC

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