Thursday, September 03, 2015

There are XXX trees in Russia

There was a time when a writer might type a phrase like "There are XXX trees in Russia," leaving it to the magazine's fact-checker to fill in the blank. Of course everyone understood that the "fact" was really unknowable, and The Atlantic actually published an article making fun of the practice.

Ah, little did we know! A team at Yale University has now counted the trees, not just in Russia, but throughout the world. There are 3,040,000,000 of them, or 422 for every human being. That sounds like a lot, but the PhD foresters also calculate that the planet's tree cover has declined about 46 percent since the advent of human civilization. And for most of that time, people didn't have chainsaws!

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