Sorry, Google News, Christmas Trees Are Benefiting, Nor Harmed, by Global Warming

Among its top search results for “climate change,” Google News in recent days is promoting a slew of media stories claiming global warming is harming Christmas tree growth and production. As is the case with so many other debunked climate scares, this is a case of climate alarmists searching for something people love and then simply making up false claims that global warming is killing it.

Articles claiming global warming is causing a shortage of Christmas trees or a spike in Christmas tree prices are clearly contradicted by facts. For example, a recent CNBC article promoted by Google News is titled, “Get ready for a Christmas tree shortage, as supply chain issues and climate change team up.”

Well, supply chain issues certainly are hampering the economy across the board, including Christmas tree distribution. But objective data show no decline in Christmas tree production, as well as ongoing growth in American forests and a general greening of the Earth. Those facts directly contradict the notion that climate change is causing a Christmas tree shortage.

Reporting on U.S. Forest Service data, the website ThoughtCo reports, “Tree volumes since 1950 have increased and, most importantly, not dropped. The U.S. now grows more wood, in the form of living trees, than in the last 60 years.”

This finding is reinforced by NASA satellites that have measured a substantial greening of the Earth since the satellites began providing data in 1982. NASA reported its findings in an article titled “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds.” According to NASA, “From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Most of the rest of the land shows little change one way or the other, while a very small amount of land shows a decline in vegetation.

As a whole, “The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States,” NASA reports.

As shown in the NASA chart below, the United States, which is the source for most live Christmas trees in America, is especially benefitting from this greening of the Earth.

Also, data from the National Christmas Tree Association, as reported by the website Statista, show the number of live Christmas trees sold in the United States has remained relatively steady since at least 2004. Again, this objective data directly contradicts the notion that global warming is causing a Christmas tree shortage.

So, just how is climate change harming Christmas tree production? It clearly isn’t. But, it is politically convenient for climate alarmists and their leftist media allies to take the impacts of the Biden-created supply chain mess and claim global warming is to blame.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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