Until now, Felix Finkbeiner has already planted more than 14 billion trees in more than 130 nations!
But he wants to push it even further!
When Felix was 9 years old he stood in front of the United Nations General Assembly and asked the grownups a simple question:
“We children know adults know the challenges and they know the solutions,” he said. “We don’t know why there is so little action.”
In his theory there are 3 possible reasons. One, is differing perspectives on the meaning of the word “future.”
“For most adults, it’s an academic question. For many of us children, it’s a question of survival,” he said. “Twenty-one hundred is still in our lifetime.”
The other explanation is climate change denial and the third reason is short term greed.
“From this, we children understood we cannot trust that adults alone will save our future. To do that, we have to take our future in our hands.” he said.
Taking responsibility in his own hands, Felix created a remarkable environmental cause that has expanded into a global network of children activists working to slow the Earth’s warming by reforesting the planet.
Today, Finkbeiner is 19 and Plant-for-the-Planet, the environmental group he founded, together with the UN’s Billion Tree campaign, has planted more than 14 billion trees!
But they are going to push themselves even more. They want to plant 150 trees for every person on the Earth or to be exact, one trillion trees!
It all started when Felix got a fourth grade school assignment on “Climate Change”.
After reading about it, he realized that his favorite animal, the polar bear is in danger. With his heroic young heart he didn’t want to accept that.
So he kept on asking questions on Google. But the search engine steered him elsewhere, to stories about a Kenyan woman, Wangari Maathai who won a Nobel Prize for her heroic actions of planting 30 million saplings.
Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration, a hero to look up to.
As Felix was diving into the problem he realized something:
“I realized it’s not really about the polar bear, it’s about saving humans,”
So he started his first challenge, to plant one million trees in Germany. Nobody expected to come something out of it, but he did it.
A lot has happened on his journey. He faced many skeptics. But he always knew clearly why he was doing what he did:
“If we follow the scientists and we act and in 20 years find out that they were wrong, we didn’t do any mistakes, but if we follow the skeptics and in 20 years find out that they were wrong, it will be too late to save our future.”
The number of trees on the planet since the dawn of agriculture 12,000 years ago has fallen by almost half, and about 10 billion trees are lost every year.
Plant-for-the-Planet now aims to plant one trillion trees. That’s 1,000 billion. Those trees could absorb an additional 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year.
This will buy time for the world to get serious about reducing carbon emissions and possibly steer its way towards using solar energy.
“I don’t think we can give up on this generation of adults and wait 20 or 30 years for our generation to come to power. We don’t have that time. All we can do is push them in the right direction.” He says.
If adults are busy with their greed, kids will step up and do what’s necessary to save our place on this beautiful planet.
This planet is far too important to wait for grownups to solve their issues and finish pointing fingers of who is to blame.
Stop talking, start planting! It’s time for action! Plant trees, not for anyone else but for yourself, for your future, for your children!
Source: National Geographic;