Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rain Rain Rain

No pictures! I cannot take my camera out into the deluge. Instead, some thoughts:

Catman's correspondent (see comments on last post) has led me to ponder anew the predilection of professional foresters and other scientists to blame tree decline on insects, fungus, disease, invasive species, drought, and excessive rain...anything but toxic greenhouse gasses...and certainly lichens are benign, and grow at a steady, predictable rate!

A scientist at FACE likened insects and disease to sharks that smell blood in the water, when trees are weakened by exposure to ozone. That's a nicely graphic and violent description, but it's actually more subtle than that.

It's more akin to a dying organism being attacked by other species that lurk around, not merely to consume the host, but for the purpose of breaking it down into nutrients as part of the overall functioning of the ecosystem. Thus if you were lying in a desert, dying of thirst, the ants would find you. If you collapsed on a roadway in New Jersey, the turkey buzzards would soon be pecking at your flesh. If you were buried, the worms would transform you into soil. Everywhere, there are flies and maggots. And lichens break down wood (according to the Science Museum in Boston.)

That is what is happening to trees. They are being colonized by insects, lichens, bacteria, and fungi because they are already dying from pollutants - and these vulture species are simply doing their vampire job, devouring the carrion.

Normally that would only happen to a small segment of the population - now however, it is happening to every individual.

2 comments:

  1. Here's hoping no roads on your way are washed away...

    ReplyDelete
  2. catman here:
    > Lots of bad weather, something in the
    > news, some extreme event somewhere, with loss of life and
    > property. When this happens every day without pause,
    > Americans will finally perceive that there just might be
    > something to this theory of mankind-caused global climate
    > change.
    > You think?
    >
    > Yes, the trees are dying
    > and having trouble reproducing in the wild. On the other
    > hand, who needs trees in a desert?

    ReplyDelete

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