How many trees are enough?

It’s an unanswerable question. Science shudders at the notion of unanswerable questions. Mind you, I choose Science over Religion, but every human endeavor is fraught with error — we are flawed. So is Science.

What brings me back to wagging my middle finger at Science once again is the recent “survey” of the number of trees on Earth. How many trees are there on our planet? 3.04 trillion. BULLSHIT. We are so easily mislead by precision, mistaking it time and again for accuracy. Someone has taken an educated guess that he hopes stands scrutiny. Thus is Science. It’s the scrutiny that is vital and that requires a skeptical audience. So, don’t believe everything you read, no matter how many decimal places.

We know without a doubt that there are fewer trees than a century ago. We know that we are clear-cutting old forests at a furious pace. We also know that someone is going to take comfort in that guess of 3.04 trillion and relax a little, when we need to do more, not less.

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