If only saving the planet was as easy as planting a tree before speeding off in our SUVs | Catherine Bennett

Offsetting is a seductive way of convincing ourselves we’re doing something constructive

There is one thing, still, that we all agree on. Trees. Everybody loves trees. In theory, anyway. So long as the trees don’t interfere with a prime view, or foundations, or a luxury housing development, like the ancient – but inconvenient – Bethnal Green mulberry in London, which Crest Nicholson got permission to dig up. Or the massacred Sheffield planes. Or the 30 Thameside trees that Boris Johnson and Joanna Lumley hoped to fell, as twin visionaries of the Garden Bridge (failed, at a public cost of £43m).

But the collective dendrophilia means that imperilled trees, like tragic puppies and kittens, make headlines. As the Daily Mail has illustrated, a demonstrable affection for trees does more than bring different factions together, it advertises, on the part of the tree enthusiasts – in this case the Rothermeres – a reverence for nature and the planet that does not, even from the creatives who bring us Mail Online, look instantly risible. The organisation is running an inspirational “tree angel” campaign, urging readers to help plant a million more trees, with a view to beautification and addressing climate change: “Britain is committed to becoming a ‘net zero’ emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050 – and to do this we will need to plant millions more trees.”

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Source : If only saving the planet was as easy as planting a tree before speeding off in our SUVs | Catherine Bennett