Last year, I supported a group of the most badass folks (among the most badass in history/existence) during the wildfire season in the mountains running along the U.S. West Coast. They provided security at wildfires, stopped folks from running through checkpoints, kept the peace, and spread calm with their steely demeanors. In between watching the weather feeds, reading the briefings, following the map updates, looking into cults, and doing my best to track the passage of time, I dug into state government and local university resources on preventing wildfires from happening in the first place. The main thing to do involved planting trees. A lot of them. A forest’s worth.

Red is bad; orange is also bad; yellow is still pretty bad. That’s a lot of bad. l U.S. Drought Monitor

Tonight, again in the throes of boredom, and worried in my capacity as a person who is alive in our increasingly catastrophic environment, I started to research droughts and how to end them. The answer: plant a shitload of trees. The map above shows areas of the U.S. currently experiencing drought as of July 14, 2022. That shows most of the country in some shade of devastating dry.

Trees capture water, drag it up from the ground with their roots. They make the atmosphere around them more humid. Clouds that pass over forests tend to dump their rain over said forest.

“Old Man Willow” l JRR Tolkien l The Tolkien Estate

My problem is that I’m just one guy who knows how to do research and sometimes convey that research into readable English. If the solution is to plant several thousand tons (probably a gross underestimate) of tree seeds, the only way to do that at scale is through aerial dispersal. I don’t know how to make that happen. But it needs to, desperately.

So, in the event my research proves useful to anyone, here it is. If my words are persuasive, and that’s a big if, tell someone else. Maybe it will reach someone who matters. Someone who can make a decision at scale. Or even plant some trees your own damn self.