Saturday, September 18, 2010


How many people have realized the trees are dying? Only some miniscule percentage - and yet the damage is just as visible as a gorilla in the room, once you know what to look for.
Only the rarest of fanatics doesn't acknowledge that germs cause disease.
Even though they are invisible and most people have never seen one under the microscope, it's just about universally understood that germs exist and make people ill - and can even kill them.
So why do we shy away from the fact, equally well documented in controlled scientific experiments, that invisible gases damage vegetation?
Perhaps it's the implications that make the entire topic untenable.
What will a world without trees be like? No lumber, paper, or shade; no walnuts, almonds, pecans or chestnuts; no pears or apples or olives or peaches; no maple syrup; no annual trips to view fall foliage or spring cherry blossoms; a barren landscape; and uncontrollable wildfires adding to an ever-heating climate with more frequent and more violent storms.
What will a world without plants - the bottom of the food chain - be like? Little hints like this story should be taken as a serious warning:

"A manitoba processor is calling this the worst harvest he has seen in more than 50 years.

Harry Arseniuk, who owns the Indian Head rice processing plant in Lac du Bonnet, said a rainy summer and high water levels have decimated Manitoba's wild rice crop.

Usually his plant is in full swing in early September, drying and processing wild rice harvested from Manitoba lakes.

'But this year the rice pickers have nothing to collect,' he said.

'It's just terrible. I've got the processing plant here and I'm sitting here and not one kernel of rice here. Nobeody's coming in with any,' said Arseniuk, 87."

This year's crop loss is being blamed on high water - but what about last year?? The story concludes:

"He'd like to sell his business and retire but this is the second consecutive bad year for wild rice and he can't find a buyer."
I love this picture with the oyster sign lit up - one of the forms of life in the sea that is fast losing the ability to reproduce in the wild.
These photos are all from the storm that swept through New York on Thursday, which happened to be my birthday. I wonder what the total damage claims will amount to - and how long it will be before the insurance companies take note that their industry will become insolvent from storm damages that are ultimately linked to climate change from burning fuel?
I got a card from Blingee, which said, Keep taking photos! Now how weird is that? How would Blingee know I take pictures?? The intertubes are mysterious...
For good measure, here is an article about Edward Norton's laudable efforts to preserve biodiversity, and my comment:

I think we should stop using the term biodiversity and start talking about mass extinction. Biodiversity is way too mild to communicate to people the extreme danger we face as a species, as we decimate all the other species through overharvesting, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change.


  1. What a great message !

    In this post you showed dramatic tree falls... but you have shown us plenty of other pics of subtle damage and loss. -- or not subtle - but less dramatic.

    Once you know the gorilla is in the room, you can see it everywhere.

    thanks so much

  2. Dang. I wrote a long post and it did not post I had luck selecting the profile "google account" on another blog, but I guess I will go back to "anonymous."

    Gail - You really must put a book together. You already have one. When you said that people can't see what you see until it is pointed out to them, you wee so right. You educated me and now I see the sparse tree tops everywhere. Not so much leaf damage here in NW Arkansas, but the garden has been weird this year and lots of leaf damage there. I have not a lot of blooms that do not fruit, and there are plenty of pollinators. Wait a minute. Only on the weeds. I don't see them on the veggies, now that I think about it.

    There have been news reports about possible crop damage from corexit as far as Missouri. You know - the oil dispersant they used in the gulf. It is one of the most toxic chemicals they have ever released. Let me reword that. The crop damage is extensive in the Memphis area. It is definite. They are unsure of the cause, although I think one report did have a test that proved it was corexit. So I am wondering about my garden veggies. I already lost one year to Monsanto. I bought hay for mulch that had been sprayed (unbeknownst to me) and it killed the whole garden. I read that it was supposed to break down and guess what? It didn't.

    So Gail. Please seriously consider doing a book. Just put the blog posts together. If you can switch to wordpress, you can sell it on your blog. Put a donation button on there, too.

    Thank you so much for doing this. I sure do appreciate it.

  3. Awesome, as usual, Gail! Thanks for all you do!

  4. That gorilla test is very humbling.


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