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

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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