Planet Terraformation — Forest as a Service

Terraformation is a goal to make the planet habitable for Earth-like life. I’ve tried to construct honest wisdom on how to mitigate climate change and various adversarial effects which could put our planet in an irreversible state for life on the planet, accounting for societal and economic transformations. Title inspiration came from a podcast with Yishan Wong: Forest as a service.

I’ll briefly draft constraints for humans. You need quality air, diverse wet soil, something to drink, usually water. Now flip to the absence of habitation properties.

Filthy AirI guess you don’t want to exist with gas masks whenever there will be higher amounts of carbon dioxide— that’s why trees are a perfect part of the carbon cycle with photosynthesis. Without trees, you would have more pollutants, like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and on top of it, the temperature would increase by around ~ 11C. Mind that people with lower oxygen levels and worse blood flow will die first.

Lifeless Soil — Trees filters play a crucial role in filtering out dangerous chemicals and pollutants, mind where you get your food you will be eating today. Soil Erosion would be probably next.

Chronic Drought —lack of Evapotranspiration — This is the process of moistening the air which produces more clouds. Evapotranspiration is responsible for maintaining the delicate balance between fertile land and dry desolate desert. Trees add humidity into the air through transpiration and the lack of trees results in the lack of moisture in the air.

Acid Rain — Without trees to remove pollutants, what little rainfall remains would be most acidic. All remaining plant life would be crippled.

No-tree-based products — For example, agricultural expansion, infrastructure expansion, conversion to cropland/pasture, counties are forced to increase the rate of forest loss by population pressures, profits and internal social-political influences.

Water wars —Water will one day be a scarce resource. Mind that no to drink water for a longer period and imagine bad network effects of poisoned water for animals, not just humans.

Photo by Charlotte Harrison on Unsplash

Irreversible collapse [1] — no-return point.

global deforestation due to human activities is on track to trigger the “irreversible collapse” of human civilization within the next two to four decades.

In my opinion, forests are space for planetary life-support systems necessary for human survival — including carbon storage, oxygen production, soil conservation, water cycle regulation, support for natural and human food systems, and homes for countless species.

You can imagine how humanity is dependent on a lot of resources coming from forests. Now imagine societal collapse won’t start by cutting the last tree down, but it will grow gradually, even we are heading to become post-scarcity economy, that’s more from technological perspective and abundance of production, rather than resources. We may have renewable energy sources nowadays, but we still don’t have renewable forests at the pace of the growing population.

Deforestation and world population sustainability

At the current rate of population growth and deforestation, status quo, our estimate to survive before resource depletion is on the horizon of 20–40 years

We conclude from a statistical point of view that the probability that our civilization survives itself is less than 10 percent in the most optimistic scenario. Calculations show that, maintaining the actual rate of population growth and resource consumption, in particular forest consumption, we have a few decades left before an irreversible collapse of our civilization.

Probability of avoiding the self-destruction of our civilization.

While violent events, such as global war or natural catastrophic events, are of immediate concern to everyone, a relatively slow consumption of the planetary resources may be not perceived as strongly as a mortal danger for the human civilisation. Modern societies are in fact driven by Economy, and, without giving here a well detailed definition of “economical society”, we may agree that such a kind of society privileges the interest of its components with less or no concern for the whole ecosystem that hosts them.

One could imagine, what are the odds if you manage to have a longer lifespan to survive still on this planet? The civilizational “collapse” that comes out of their models[1] means things like population declining from peaks of 6–8 billion to 2 billion or so by 2500 and decline slowing from there. Probably usual self-regulation.

Adopting a combined deterministic and stochastic model we conclude from a statistical point of view that the probability that our civilisation survives itself is less than 10% in the most optimistic scenario.

Based on the odds of simulation models and apart from that, would be good to think and meditate about how one could contribute to slow down deforestation, be less demanding on forest products, adjust food diet, be climate-friendly by their actions.

Slowing down deforestation — potential restoration bottlenecks

  • Time
  • Native Seed supply
  • Technical Training
  • Effective equipment
  • Funding

Time — One might think planting trees would eventually slow down, but the honest answer is, right no, eventually not on a radical level. Actually, it takes time for forests to be mature and become a carbon sink of reasonable size to meet various nation commitments to be net-zero around 2040~2050.

Native Seed supply — To set long-term reforestation, you need to have resilient restoration goals. People used to grow non-native seeds instead to grow region-specific species. This often leads to growing monocultures, generic species which could eventually kill the local ecosystem.

Effective Equipment — Unreliable tools and equipment breakdowns delay projects for weeks or more wasting human energy on the wrong things and wearing teams down.

To understand an ecosystem, a person needs to get into the field and do the most important thing a naturalist or restorationist can do: observe.

Training — Regional botanical expertise, ecological expertise, horticultural expertise. Quite a lot of knowledge barrier to effectively to grow native plants.

Solutions? Collective — coordinated — positive-actions.

Photo by Eyoel Kahssay on Unsplash

This needs to come out from probably everyone's intent and intrinsic values on the planet hungry for survival unless they have a ticket to Mars or elsewhere. Planting a tree should happen on the scale and in the short-term window.

There are approx 7 billion people on the planet and whenever everyone plants for their lifespan 150 trees, we could be saved. That’s a rough calculation.

By eating vegetarian or vegan meals as often as possible, you are reducing the demand for livestock, thereby reducing the need for deforestation to graze the animals.

I guess this would only solve food security in long term and helps curate technology to deploy society on other planets, but probably won’t solve oxygen production, water cycle regulation &c, unless society will come up with affordable tech to fix it other than the natural way. For example, transforming highway tunnels, into underground vertical farms for growing leaves to play classical music. Probably for faster photosynthesis. Indoor farming definitely solves the shortage of water as it promotes recirculation of water. Try to imagine what will happen to inefficient traditional agriculture.

relate the Fermi paradox to the problem of resource consumption and self destruction of a civilisation.

This is more like a philosophical question, how and when we could see movement on a mass-scale to think about ludicrous resource consumption.

Fair and probably most envisioned by higher societal structures. Probably not everyone has enough pile of money to get a ticket to another paradise. Briefly most accessible would be living on the orbit, mostly forecasted a lot of sci-fi books from the 70s. Maybe start saving today.

According to Kardashev scale7,8, in order to be able to spread through the solar system, a civilisation must be capable to build a Dyson sphere16

At this point for usual population doesn’t play the well favourite melody, but common cosmology visionaries are well aware that even if we could escape Earth, we still need to spread outside of our Sun as one-day-may-collapse.


we suggest that only civilisations capable of a switch from an economical society to a sort of “cultural” society in a timely manner, may survive.

Global restoration won’t be easy and probably won’t be solved by tech solutions any time soon, but it may slow down deforestation and various movement could mitigate impacts, probably buying us some time. Everyone should act and contribute to the regenerating Earth ecosystem while preserving their own existence on planet Earth.

  1. Deforestation and world population sustainability: a quantitative analysis
  2. The Limits to Growth
  3. Donella H. Meadows
  4. Theoretical Physicists Say 90% Chance of Societal Collapse Within Several Decades
  5. Comments on Slashdot
  6. No Tress.. No Humans
  7. What would happen if all the world’s trees disappeared?
  8. Can We Live Without Trees and How to Save Them
  9. Terraforming
  10. TF global
  11. The biomass distribution on Earth
  12. Shortage on seedlings
  13. co2 problem — 1988
  16. Restoration maps & Maps

experimental NFT landscape —