|By Maryann Whitman
the alarm for Earth
"An ecosystem itself undamaged is very,
very resilient, and the more simplified
it gets, the less resilient. Globally,
what we are doing is simplifying them
all, simultaneously, which is a very
dangerous large-scale experiment.” Peter
Raven, botanist, recently Time magazine’s
"Hero of the Planet,” Director of Missouri
Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.
I love the way reporter Tim Radford,
for the Guardian (out of the United Kingdom) introduces
Raven in his July 14, 2005 interview: “Peter
Raven is a botanist. He knows about photosynthesis,
primary productivity and sustainable growth. He knows
that all flesh is grass; that the richest humans and
the hungriest alike depend ultimately on plants for
food, fuel, clothing, medicines, and shelter, and that
all of these come from the kiss of the sun on warm
moist soils, to quicken growth and ripen grain.”
Web sites I found on the way to looking
up something else
• For a readable explanation
of climate change, ozone depletion, greenhouse
gases and air quality: www.cmdl.noaa.gov/infodata/faq_cat-3.html#18.
Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory
(CMDL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), conducts sustained observations and research
related to source and sink strengths, trends, and
global distributions of atmospheric constituents
that are capable of forcing change in the climate
of Earth through modification of the atmospheric
radiative environment, those that may cause depletion
of the global ozone layer, and those that affect
baseline air quality.
That said, they’re also
capable of saying “the
process (of Arctic warming) appears to have become
self-sustaining: As ice melts, there’s more
water, which absorbs more solar radiation (white
ice reflects better), thus creating more heat, thus
making it harder for ice to re-form.”
This is a key to identifying grasshoppers, with some
excellent photos. I had no idea there were so many
different grasshoppers in the Midwest.
• www.pesticide.org is
the web site of the Northwest Coalition
for Alternatives to Pesticides and their
Journal of Pesticide Reform.
An excerpt from one of their articles gives
the flavor of the Journal:
(Convolvulus arvensis) has an extensive,
deep network of roots and rhizomes
(18-20 feet long) enabling it to strongly compete
with other plants for water.
Some literature suggests
hoeing or cultivating in combination
with growing plants that shade out the
bindweed. The basic idea is to bring in
plants that compete with the weed for food and
light. Heavy shading is the key to this control
One farmer reported no bindweed problems
for nine years after his bindweed was “shaded
and strangled by the pumpkins.” Alfalfa,
legumes, and corn have also reduced bindweed
infestations. Small-scale versions of these
strategies can be used in a home garden.
of Wisconsin Extension recently published
this booklet: “Storm Water Basins: Using
natural landscaping for water quality & esthetics:
A primer on planting and managing native landscaping
for storm water basins.”
You can download
it and read it, or order it at the above web
site – or
to place an order. It carries the message in
Technicolor, share it with your local planning
commission, or the government entity that reviews
and OKs developers plans for subdivisions.
Maryann is Editor of the Wild Ones Journal, and comes to the position with an extensive background in environmental matters of all kinds.
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