Trees help avert deaths from heat
- We wrote all week about the heat wave and about how it was drying up and killing trees.
- But trees can help us resist heat as well: Their canopies provide shade, their bodies store carbon, and the water they release in the process of photosynthesis can cool the air up to “10 lifesaving degrees,” Catrin Einhorn wrote Friday for The New York Times.*
- That and other benefits can be worth serious money, but “it’s hard for us to think of trees as actual infrastructure rather than an amenity, and because of that, we don’t allocate sufficient funds,” Brian Stone Jr. of the Georgia Institute of Technology told Einhorn.
- Once a year, the director of public works for Des Moines, Iowa gives out “tiny trees,” or $1 saplings for people to plant. They say the cost is a no-brainer. “You could have 99 percent mortality and still be in the money 20 years from now on canopy,” the program director told the Times.