China enlists 60,000 soldiers to plant trees in war against air pollution

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China continues to make gains in power generation and the switch to clean technologies. Sometimes though, the simplest things are the most effective.

Sometimes it takes a village … and an army: Thousands of soldiers with China’s People’s Liberation Army have been pulled from service and enlisted in tree-planting activities outside of Beijing. (Photo: China Photos/Getty Images) China is under attack on its own soil. And just as most countries with a […]

By planting a massive number of trees, China seeks to further suppress air pollution, a formidable adversary responsible for one-third of all deaths in China in 2016. The Chinese government is so serious about battling smog that a large regiment of soldiers along with a number of the country’s armed paramilitary police force have been pulled from their posts patrolling the northern border and reassigned to Hebei province on tree-planting duty, reports the Independent. By the end of this year, it’s expected that the troops will have planted an air pollution-absorbing swath of forested land — an arboreal sponge, essentially — roughly the size of Ireland at 32,400 square miles.

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