Imagine there was a cheap way to save 2,000 people and cool cities but it didn’t make anyone rich?

Spread the love

By Jo Nova

A new paper estimates that if we increased our tree canopy in cities to 30% we could cool our cities by nearly half a degree. Works better than a windmill…

A new paper estimates that if we increased our tree canopy in cities to 30% we could cool our cities by nearly half a degree. Works better than a windmill…

Photo by Maria Orlova

The trillion dollar global warming camp obsesses over 1.5°C of heat, but the urban heat island has already made our cities 1.5°C hotter than the countryside around them, and nobody gives a toss. Cities are where the lived human experience is for most of us, and despite the threat of that extreme heat made “worse by climate change”, no government does the obvious and sets a tree cover target. There are no Ministers of Regreening, and no carbon credits for suburbia. All we’re getting is concrete bollards and  fifteen-minute-cities of pain.

In the green revolution instead of growing gum trees, people are cutting them down because they shade their solar panels. In our capital city they razed a majestic avenue of trees in order to add light rail. A true Green hates cars more than they like trees.

Urban flora not only cleans the air, it also reduces suicides, improves cardiac health, and reduces particulate pollution. One Canadian study estimated that living close to green spaces even reduces all cause mortality and by a remarkable 8 to 12%. (Crouse et al 2017). We’ve known this for years but no one has organized an annual UN convention.

Greening our cities won’t change the global temperature, but it lays bare the hypocrisy

They say they are here to help but they pick the paths that make them money.

Trees could cut urban heatwave mortality by a third: study

Planting more trees in urban areas to lower summertime temperatures could decrease deaths directly linked to hot weather and heatwaves by a third, researchers said Wednesday.

Modeling found that increasing tree cover to 30 percent would shave off 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.7 degrees Fahrenheit) locally, on average, during hot summer months, they reported in The Lancet.

Of the 6,700 premature deaths attributed to higher temperatures in 93 European cities during 2015, one third could have been prevented, according to the findings.

On average, the temperature in cities was 1.5C warmer during summer 2015 than in the surrounding countryside. The city with the highest difference—4.1C—was Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Earlier studies have shown that green spaces can have additional health benefits such as reducing cardiovascular disease, dementia and poor mental health, as well as improving cognitive functioning of children and the elderly.


Cooling cities through urban green infrastructure: a health impact assessment of European cities, The Lancet (2023).

Crouse et al (2017) Urban greenness and mortality in Canada’s largest cities: a national cohort study, Lancet Planet Health, . 2017 Oct;1(7):e289-e297. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30118-3. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Photo by Maria Orlova.