With health care reform dominating the news cycle you may have missed the following story:

A team of volunteers in Pakistan has set a new world record by planting more than half a million trees in one day.


I like this story for several reasons:

  1. I like trees and it’s nice to read about people planting them instead of cutting them down.
  2. I like that it’s a story about Pakistan that doesn’t involve military dictatorship, assassinations or the Taliban. Did you know Pakistan has one of the largest mangrove ecosystems found in an arid climate? Did you know they have an Environment Minister? It would be nice if stories like this, that reflect our similarities, made it to the top more often.
  3. I like this angle:

    They beat the previous team record for tree planting which was set in India just last month when 447,874 saplings were planted in Assam state.

It’s been five years since fighting officially ended in Kashmir. We haven’t heard about nuclear tensions in the area for a while. Could it be that India and Pakistan have figured out a new way of settling their differences?

This is conflict resolution I can really get behind. I plan to write a letter to President Obama suggesting he look into it, and I’ve already begun gathering acorns in anticipation of our “plant-off” against the Taliban.

Politics A kinder, gentler cold war in South Asia