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The U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization says the net rate of global deforestation has slowed by more than 50% over the past 25 years. However, a Brazilian environmentalist tells me the deceleration of the deforestation of the Amazon numbers are cooked, and here’s a chronological map of the deforestation of Borneo. The devastation of the rain forest in Sarawak and Kalimantan peaked in the early eighties I think and has been going on furiously ever since. But it is true that the forest cover in northeastern north america is returning to where it was before it was nearly all cut in the nineteenth century for pasture, building materials, and fuel. The question is much atmospheric CO2 the three trillion are these trees converting into wood and photosynthetic oxygen? How much are they slowing down global warming? What about just the breaths each of us exhale, 26,000 a day time seven billion and counting. The late great Nobel-prize-winning Kenyan founder of the Greenbelt Movement told me each of us must plant two trees to offset the breaths we will take throughout our lifetime.

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