Monday, December 7, 2009

A Small but Significant Victory

Today I found myself with a little time at the Dillon Library in Bedminster, and I was happy because I have been planning to take pictures there, of the young pines surrounding.
It is one of many plantings that are indescribably sickly. They are so brown, stunted, listing and thin, it's astonishing that people go by them every day without remark.
It was a very dark and grey day so no matter what, the pictures wouldn't be of any quality. But then, my battery gave out, so this is all I captured. No matter - had I taken pictures of every single specimen, it would just be repetitive. And of course, the most lifeless branches had the heaviest coating of lichen.
On a cheerier note...
Hurray! Climate Progress has as usual an excellent analysis of a most welcome EPA ruling, that greenhouse gases, AND NOT JUST CO2, are a danger to human and ecosystem health and can be regulated! Thank you Obama for giving us Lisa Jackson and policy based on science and not oil coal and gas corporate profits!!!

This is hardly going to save us from climaticide, but it sure is a step in the right direction!

Aside from the general recognition of the role EPA may have to play to regulate CO2 emissions because of climate change, this finding includes two crucial points, from my perspective anyway: 1. the recognition that the "other" greenhouse gases such as ozone, nitrous oxide etc. must also be curbed for their contribution to climate change and 2. much of this chemical soup comes from vehicular travel, and thus that is also within the jurisdiction of EPA to regulate.

WooHoo! Of course, this will make certain people suffer exploding heads. Tant Pis.


  1. I've never seen any case where lichens pose a threat to trees, nor to other plants. I wouldn't worry about it, except if the excessive accumulation is a symptom of some other condition in that environment.

  2. I wonder if manganese poisoning is at work in your area:

  3. Ed, I recommend the article I just posted called Bleeding Trees. It has been true that lichens didn't pose a threat to trees - just as beetles and fungus have coexisted with trees in the past without posing an existential threat. So your point, that excessive accumulation is a symptom of some other condition, is exactly my point and that of the forester who is featured in the article. And the other condition is pollution. Zingaro, with whom I've been corresponding, feels strongly that it is depletion of soils from acid rain. I agree that has been a factor but would argue that more recently it is ozone because if it were soils there would be more variation in decline based on location and runoff etc. The last year and a half I would say the decline is so universal only the atmosphere can account for it.

  4. Excellent link about the manganese, that's a new one on me, Thank you! I will be following up on that.
    As for contacting USDA, town officials, Forestry Service, EPA I've done that, over and over, local, state and federal level. They aren't interested.


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