Re: "3 trillion trees on Earth, but there used to be 5.6 trillion" (TNT, 9-3).
The article does point out that the reduction in the number of trees occurred since the beginning of civilization. To elaborate, as a result of a shift from a hunter/gatherer society to one dependent on agriculture, much of the land we depend on for food comes from land that was tree covered and thus the major reason for the reduction in the number of trees.
Virtually all of the agriculture land in the U.S. east of the Mississippi comes from land that had been forests.
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