Fall Colors, Climate Change, and Planetary Governance

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Planetary. He said planetary. OK, OK! The Episcopalians have a liturgy that, back in my day, was called “Star Trek”; it includes the beautiful phrase “this fragile earth, our island home” [warbling and woo-wooing noises under the rubric “optional”]. But bear with me. I’ll start with the leaves, and we’ll get to some ideas on governance from there, based on experience with landfill, land use, and fracking activism.

Alert reader AbyNormal sent in this post (“And they all fall down…”) from “climate witness” Gail Zawacki about fall foliage in New Jersey. It’s a what Yves might call a mother-in-law story (“My mother-in-law says…”), although we might also think of it as an observation. Excerpting from the post:

[I]t should be getting obvious that the leaves are turning brown, not bright colors like they should, as shown in these photos from years past. … Last Wednesday, September 25, I took the next series.  That’s a very tall sugar maple, which is in front of the old farmhouse, situated on the road in front of the property.  Not so long ago it turned blazing orange in the fall. It kind of looks like it is beginning to turn into autumn guise, but it’s not. The leaves are mostly turning brown.  This is very important to notice, because people are taking pictures of trees turning color and posting them online, without realizing that when viewed individually, the leaves are in a positively malevolent condition.  … This trend started several years ago, and every season it commences earlier, and is is even uglier.

At this point, I should pause to note that the economic effects of the fall foliage season are significant:

Though pretty red leaves might seem minor compared with the more dire predictions of climate change, fall color represents a significant economic and cultural resource. Last year, fall tourism brought over $1.5 billion to Maine alone. With 25 states across the country, from the Midwest to New England to the Piedmont, claiming significant autumn tourism seasons, [Howie Neufeld, a professor of plant physiology at Appalachian State University in North Carolina] estimates “leaf peepers” generate about $25 billion a year. “That’s pretty significant,” he said.


Indeed it is, especially for relatively poor states like Maine or Vermont. Anyhow, I was so creeped out by Zawicki’s post that I went out and around and took a few bad photos of trees where I am. My own horrible Norway Maple has always — probably because of its malevolent personality structure — shed brown, shrivelled leaves with spots and blight-spreading lesions, which doesn’t prevent me from bagging and banking the house with them; but this photo is of an oak across the street. Zawicki continues:

There doesn’t seem to be any tree or plant that doesn’t have leaves that exhibit the classic symptoms of ozone injury.  It also has many branches that are bare. I heard them before I saw them, because their leaves were not so much rustling as rattling in the breeze. They were brittle and stiff. Damaged on both the upper and undersides. Many of them were on the ground. Already, the climate change scientists are getting creative, trying to blame the dull colors of autumn on…climate change!

Remember, the leaves are supposed to turn color on the tree, THEN fall to the ground where children can gather them into soft piles to jump in, and only AFTER dry up and turn brown.

And now they’re browning on the tree. And indeed, when I think of my pre-geezer memories raking lots and lots of leaves, the leaves are red and not brown — another mother-in-law story, I know! Perhaps you, readers, have different childhood memories of different trees. 

But I want to focus on a different aspect of Zawicki’s post; it is, in fact, a polemic: She points to symptoms on the leaves that indicate to her that ozone is responsible for browning the leaves and hence, lack of red color; and she quotes some scientists who disagree, who she regards as “getting creative.” Them’s fightin’ words! (Note that Zawicki is not a climate change denialist. How is such an important, $25-billion conflict between (some) citizen witness(es) and (some) scientist(s) to be resolved? If that conflict is resolved, how are conflicts in public policy to be resolved? Nobody wants all New England’s red fall foliage to turn brown — unless their own ox is gored, of course! 

Here I’d like to introduce the awkward term “shed,” by which I don’t mean the sort of shed that one might build or purchase at a garden center, but “shed” as in “watershed” (an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges) or “viewshed” (“A viewshed is an area that is visible from a specific location”)* The $25 billion value of the Fall Foliage is in its viewsheds — red leaves visible from a specific location — considered collectively; and if we took a map and shaded all the fall foliage areas in New England crimson, all the crimson spots aggregated I would term a “shed” (even if using the same term for an area and a set of areas is a little bit of meta sleight of hand). Note that by definition, a shed is a commons.

So, in landfill activism, we had several sheds to consider: The watershed, since the landfill is cleverly situated in a bog at the confluence of two rivers; the viewshed, since the landfill, if and when built out to full expansion, would be visible for miles around; the airshed, since the landfill gives off odor and methane (and a project necessitated by the convoluted business dealings that sited the landfill created “sooting incidents” involving lead); and a truckshed, since (incredibly) much of the trash was trucked in from out-of-state, and, until recently, not on the Interstate but through the main streets of our towns. Each shed affected particular people at particular sites, and though the NIMBYs  — as usual —  had to put the whole picture together, since they are the only ones severely impacted enough to be incentivized to model the system and get in involved in the permitting and political processes, the landfill adversely affected many thousands of people, to the direct benefit of the landfill operator.** I’m sure that fracking activists face the same issues: Watersheds, both at the drilling and injection sites; trucksheds; viewsheds, if you’ve ever seen a shot of the Marcellus shale at night; airsheds, for odor; railsheds, for fracking sand. 

The key point: We take our map of crimson viewsheds, and we draw lines on it: Property lines, town and city zones, county lines, state lines, lines for parks, lines for the service areas of public utilities, and many others, and the lines don’t match up with the sheds, so there’s no way to manage a shed as a shed. There For the landfill project, sheds crossed city lines, county lines, and state lines, and so communication, let alone coalition building, was very difficult. The landfill operator,  by contrast,  didn’t have to worry about sheds at all,  except as a “regulatory burden” to be gamed. The landfill operator didn’t need to worry about the colored sheds on their map at all, even their map even had them; they had property lines, and every political structure in the state is and was optimized to manage property as property.*** Hence –at least in the beginning — whatever the landfill operator wanted went  through the permitting and political process slick as a whistle; it’s not just corruption, it’s that everything is optimized for lines, and nothing for the sheds! (having beaten Garrett Hardin like a gong).

Perhaps this is utopian, but it feels to me that we will never, er, save the planet from climate change and a host of other ills that come from human stressors on the environment**** unless we have property and political jurisdictions that map much better to sheds. Why, for example, am I not a citizen of the Penobscot River Basin, as well as (zooming in, fractal style) a citizen of the the Orono Bog, and (zooming out) the Gulf of Maine. (Or, zooming way out, a citizen of the Atlantic? Or the planet?) Would it be possible to govern those watersheds democratically? Why not? Elinor Ostrum describes criteria for successful collective action when managing commons:

In comparing the communities, Ostrom found that groups that are able to organize and govern their behavior successfully are marked by the some basic design principles:

  • Group boundaries are clearly defined.
  • Rules governing the use of collective goods are well matched to local needs and conditions.
  • Most individuals affected by these rules can participate in modifying the rules.
  • The rights of community members to devise their own rules is respected by external authorities.
  • A system for monitoring member’s behavior exists; the community members themselves undertake this monitoring.
  • A graduated system of sanctions is used.
  • Community members have access to low-cost conflict resolution mechanisms.
  • For CPRs that are parts of larger systems: appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises.

Are there already, somewhere in the world, jurisdictions matched to commons governed according to this design? Where? Why or why not?

How do we — for some definition of “we” — decide what is turning the leaves of our trees brown and malevolent and wrecking our viewshed, our commons, and then what do we do? Will current institutional arrangements enable us to act quickly and effectively enough? Or will Ostrum’s thinking scale globally, given that this fragile earth, our island home is, after all, a commons?

Thinking out loud more than being rigorous and disciplined, but thoughts like these have been on my mind for a long time….

NOTE * “Shed” could be from the Middle English shadde, perhaps a variant of shade; so a shed would be an area out of the sun!

NOTE ** Another way of saying this is that the people of Maine were not permitted to manage the landfill as a commons, as Elinor Ostrum would suggest (having beaten Garrett Hardin like a gong).

NOTE *** I think I’m still a propertarian as Shevek of The Dispossesed would understand the term (as is much of today’s “emerging” left, rightly or wrongly). But I wish there were a better way to integrate the commons with the property; code enforcement and suing each other seems a little limited.

NOTE **** We better not tick off the global mycelial mats too badly, or they’ll work out a way to smite us!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. anon y'mouse

    more idle thoughts:

    often, when PBS is on of-a-Sunday they have Stately Homes (imagine Little Britain “i’m a lAaydee’!” voice) of England. after they get done with the building, rise and fall of great fortunes they generally take a little turn with the current “owner” and his gameskeeper.

    the main gist i get is “i’m not the owner, to do with as i will. i am merely a keeper, and must manage this land for the future generations.”

    granted, these people do all they can to keep the income up since maintaining 500tons of decaying sandstone and stolen Irish timber wainscoting takes a ton of dough. but they aren’t generally destroying the land, doing insane things with it. they have a plan in keeping with preservation.

    now, the little man on the ground would act in the very same way if-ifif-they had the right, the authority, and full knowledge of how, and of course a few hundred acres of their own. lack of place/”property” causes inconsiderate behavior through transience. if someone has to live with the effects of their misdeeds, they are more cautious. anathema to our current American way-of-life (digital nomad). for evidence of this, see any article on the horrid illegal dumping of trash in our Nat’l and state parks that occurs year in & out. these people don’t live there, and don’t give a flying F.

    imagine a shed with its local cadre of “concerned citizens” plus its own geologist, biologist, arborist, etc. these experts are a part of the community and help the community to act in the caretaking function over the land that they maintain. The “gameskeepers”, but without a lord Fauntleroy to serve. it strikes me in the PBS docs that the gameskeepers are really the “owners” of the land. the Lords simply do the business planning, and benefit from the land trust created by previous generations.

    1. GusFarmer

      Actually, “transience,” in the sense of nomadism, was one of the BETTER ways to manage some landscapes, esp. those that receive lower precipitation. But it only works with low population density, large areas, and requires a system that’s not based on strict property ownership. Cultures that were nomadic have become ecologically damaging because they’re hemmed in by nation-state and other boundaries they used to cross freely and by the demands of the capitalist system to produce surpluses demanded by the global market. (They always did some market production, but it was local, and they’re often now trapped by contracts they got into thinking they’d see a better life.)

        1. Tim Mason

          Fraught area. So far as I know, there are very few nomadic cultures that we can trace back to some time when they were not implicated in non-nomadic systems. Amazonian peoples, for example, are thought by some to be the descendants of groups who farmed the rich river bottoms and were forced out by other, stronger groups. The San in Southern Africa have been living alongside, and dealing with, farmers for centuries.

          However, we do have fairly direct evidence of what GusFarmer is saying – look to Australia, and the impact that nineteenth-century farming techniques had on land that the Aborigines had tended for thousands of years (not that they had not wrought their own changes).

          You could also, closer to home, look at Virginia deJohn Anderson’s ‘Creatures of Empire: How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America’ – http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=10558 , which also shows how our relationships to/with animals are central to our economies, polities and sociality in general.

      1. anon y'mouse

        true, true. but we’re living in the “settled” civilizational paradigm. ((where there “civs” prior? aside from elites with winter town houses and summer estates, who has been able to do this from within settled civilization?))

        I’ve thought about how we could return to nomadic (some elderly do this already–snow bird phenomenon) but given the size of the population now and all of the logistics issues, it seems well nigh impossible.

        even were we to take it up somehow, we’d drag our technogimcrackpollutionary machine around with us. didn’t most of the environmental benefits from nomadism result in not being in a place to trash it so substantially nor for such an extended period of time, such that a locale could “recuperate” from our presence?

        1. J Sterling

          The previous comment says nomadism “only” becomes toxic when hemmed in. How is this not-hemming-in going to happen? Wishing for a pony not allowed.

          Yes, we could all live like nomads if we weren’t being crowded by each other. But that’s no better than saying we could all live like *anything we like* if we weren’t being crowded by each other.

  2. sleepy

    I live in northern Iowa where most leaves usually peak the first week of October. The trees this year though seem to lack much color.

    I do agree that the maples aren’t doing much. The one in my front yard is normally day-glo yellow about now–but today, it’s just brownish-yellow with a lot of leaves falling off.

    1. Puncheonrun

      Oak leaves normally just turn brown, they are not one of those trees that create showy fall colors. Not to doubt the overall contention but let’s check our facts please.

      1. glitch

        Some smaller leaved oaks go directly to brown, true. But quite a few larger leaved oaks turn beautiful golden before falling off and then turning brown.
        We have some magnificent oaks here in CA that turn golden before falling, last year and this year one that’s leaves used to turn a spectacular golden are now brown and curling on the branch, last year most of the brown curled leaves didn’t fall off at all.
        Facts are quite important, indeed.

    2. que

      I’ve always understood that vibrant fall leaf colors are dependent on having a cold frosty evening or two, especially in mid to late Sept or early October, here in southern New England. Without it we tend to have drab fall colors. This September has been quite warm and pleasant so the swamp maple and tupelo colors are so far not up to their usual brightness. If this keeps up, fall won’t be colorful. But it’s early still.

      Back in the early 1980’s Hurricane Bob came rolling through without dropping any rain, but the winds brought ocean salt far inland, coating and killing the then still green leaves. Not a bit of color that year. It’s different every year.

  3. AbyNormal

    Time 2009 and Science Daily 2012 dug into large forest disappearances worldwide, noting only small losses are from logging and clear cutting. the magnitude of loss for other plants and wildlife relying on the trees is still being calculated and studied…here’s a recent piece from the guardian:

    “Trees are greatly underused as an eco-technology – “working trees” – to make natural systems, as well as the world’s cities and rural areas, more resilient. They are used here in the US to prevent soil erosion and shade crops. In a neat bit of alchemy, trees can be used to clean up the most toxic of wastes, including explosives, solvents and organic wastes, because of a dense community of microbes as thick as a finger around the tree’s roots, a process known as phytoremediation. The question is what to plant to withstand the challenges of a changing world to assure a world with trees.”

    …as if fracking and water table destruction isn’t enough now we have states/countries receiving big bucks for frack water dumping.

    seems we’ve succeeded in frying the old Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” ~ W H E R E ~

  4. Ignacio

    Navarre is, in my opinion, the region with better governance at the municipal level in Spain with a relatively good and democratic management of commons. Some municipalities, probably for practical reasons, joined in the past in groups called “concejos” that I guess serve better for the purpose of managing the commons in certain areas. I believe that besides Navarra, in the País Vasque, and in many densely populated regions in Northern and Central Europe, governance at the local level is more or less organized following those basic principles listed.

    In many other regions, less attention is paid to the governance at local and regional level, and we pay the consequences. One of the worst examples in Spain is Madrid which is horribly managed by the conservative party at both the municipal and regional level.

      1. Ignacio


        It is hard to find comparative analyses of local governance at regional or subregional levels. My statements about Navarra or Pais Vasco vs Madrid come from my personal experience so I cannot give a link on it.

        I can give you a nice comparative analysis between the US and Spain focused on the ways that municipalities chose to manage one of their most important services: management of water and residues.

        Enjoy if you wish:


        You can fins these conclusions in the study:

        “US municipal managers play the role of market managers. By relying primarily on competition to ensure efficiency (as argued by Public Choice theory), they miss the benefits of economies of scale that their Spanish counterparts seek to enjoy through use of a wider variety of organizational forms (public fi rms and mixed fi rms). Although these new organizational forms are also appearing in the US, they are too small in number to be tracked in the ICMA surveys. Undermining the power of public monopoly lies at the core of the privatization agenda in the United States, and competitive markets are seen as a panacea. However, practical experience of local governments attests to the limits of a market management approach and helps explain the instability of contracts in the US and the falling rates of privatization in both waste and water distribution.”

        and also:

        ” Industrial organization approaches have been more influential than public choice theories on European academic analysis and policymaking than in the US. Attempting to
        capture economies of scale through monopoly service delivery within the whole jurisdiction has been a keystone of the European experience. Hence, mixed organizational forms
        have put less emphasis on competition between public and private producers, as is happening in the US, and more emphasis on maintaining the benefi ts of economies of scale
        and reducing the transaction costs involved in interaction between the public and the private sector. By using a larger number of functional forms, the Spanish experience shows greater fl exibility in public production, and in the way in which public and private sectors cooperate.”

  5. susan the other

    This is really interesting because I noticed the maples here went from green to brown about 2 weeks ago. No red. It was weird because they have always been so beautiful. They are what we call scrub maple, smaller, and they grow in a cluster. Some of them get really big. Anyway they have adapted to the high altitude. My first suspicion was Fukushima. Are some trees sensitive to radiation poisoning?

    1. susan the other

      If we are going to have successful commons we will have to pass laws that override international tribunals. And property rights that are comprehensive and protect not just surface rights and water rights, but mineral/oil rights, etc. So it will take money to buy up all those property rights. Funny how rights are for sale. Like buying indulgences.

    2. GusFarmer

      Based on what I’ve read, trees are susceptible, but take doses of thousands of rems, FAR higher than would kill you. The fact you’re still here makes that unlikely; they’re probably infected with some disease and/or insect pest.

  6. Tenney Naumer

    Indeed, we have become so removed from the land (and the changes have gradually been sneaking up on us) that we have failed to notice that trees are suffering all over the country and also worldwide.

    EPA clean air standards set the level of ground-level ozone at 50 ppb, but the fact is that “clean” air has a level of 30 ppb or lower. Nowadays (but especially during heat waves and droughts) levels are at 90 in many areas of the country.

    Note that Gail is no “keyboard activist” (as RL Miller recently coined) but an on the ground climate warrior and the creator of the “Koch Kills” banner displayed outside the Koch billionaires’ fest in California. She has infiltrated a Heartland Institute “conference,” protested mountain top removal coal mining in West Virginia, and participated in anti-KXL and Occupy protests.

    I am very gratified to see her work showcased on Naked Capitalism.

    1. AbyNormal

      and i’m gratified to see you post here. i am long time reader of your site…finally i get to thank you for all your extensive work. THANK YOU TENNEY NAUMER

  7. Kim

    Here in the Pacific NW, every third tree along the entire length of I5 between Bellingham and Portland has had chunks of “changing” leaves since June, along with many a planted sapling in developed areas with its top half a sickly mauve. There are also plenty of trees with dead limbs from previous drought damage, and dried out blackberries and grass and other undergrowth. The rains have started again allowing for some recovery but it is clear to me that there was a great amount of damage done and it is cumulatively adding on to previous “drought” summers, and sure to only increase in the coming years.

  8. Jeremy Grimm

    Starting with the leaves, I read the Zawicki piece and although she mentioned contacting various scientists and starting a blog she didn’t say how the various scientists responded to her.

    The Slate piece is remarkably bland and unrevealing. In my opinion, the ‘scientific’ answer from the Vermont study is facile at best. I’ve lowered my opinion of UVM based on Slate’s report. To be fair I’ll have to try to get hold of their final report if I can remember to look for it. The Vermont Proctor Maple Center lists a fair number of publications — all related to maple sap, sap collection, and handling of the sap. I would have thought that the Department of Agriculture should be able to come up with a larger grant and obtain several, not one study of the evident problem. An earlier IPCC report (2007 or 2008?) had noted that much of the Northeast would become inhospitable to Maple trees and foretold of increasing range for Oaks and Hickory, at least as I recall. However, be that as it may, the evident decline in our trees and plantlife may have more than one root cause, and not finding out is penny-wise.

    Extrapolating beyond this, if there really is such dearth of information on the causes for this widespread decline in health of our plantlife, I’m not beyond speculating that this is one more piece of evidence for the Corporate capture of our Universities and their research funding. The ‘Market’ has no interest in the short-term decline of wild plantlife. Even the decline of Vermont maples is only of concern to Vermont since those who market maple syrup just turn to suppliers in Canada. The ‘Market’ shed no tears for the many small dairy farmers in Vermont driven to desperation by the rapid increase in milk production that attended the various industrial-scale ‘improvements’ instituted a few decades ago.

    As for the commons, am I wrong in recalling the past existence of government authorities, like watershed authorities? The suggestion that such political organizations are necessary based on the geographic spread of a problem space regardless of the surrounding boundaries of other political authorities and other different ‘shed’ organizations seems apt. I still can’t shake vague memories of their previous existence and effectiveness. It’s tempting to suggest that their lack now is yet another symptom of the new ‘Market’ approach to all problems.

    1. anon y'mouse

      although I agree with your anti-market utterances, re: what killed the trees—this is like asking “what killed the patient?” when they had HIV, Diabetes, TB and ultimately got killed by a heart attack.

      in other words, it’s most likely an interactive thing–increased CO2, drought or semi-drought years, pathways for disease increasing, etc. no single mechanism, just worn down by all the multiple attacks going on simultaneously.

      perhaps she contacted the wrong scientists/colleges? here in Oregon, as logging was a livelihood (which now seems restricted to those big enough to play in the auctioned-off-public-land-rights game) forestry is intensively studied in the campuses around here.

      granted, i’m no tree doctah.

  9. optimader

    I’ll repost these links for grins.


    I have been doing a modified version of this. I collect non-animal organic household waste in a plastic garbage-can w/ a couple holes in the bottom, chuck in the occasional spade of dirt. No smell what so ever. Spring and fall I hand dolly the garbage-can over to and tip it into a shallow trench in my garden beds or on the yard evergreen perimeter and spread it, (wispily reflecting on all those citrus rinds and the wonderful drinks they participated in). Then I add wood, yard waste, burned paper product ash and recover w/ the displaced soil. Certainly doesn’t need to be 3ft to 6ft tall to compost, Maybe 12-18″ above grade to start and it collapses. This is really no hardship to do.

    The plants, fungi, and worms love it. Keeps the soil moist and loose. It makes evergreens very, very happy, they glow green.

    I just don’t understand all the neighbors paying to have bags and bags of this stuff hauled away to a dump. I am basically down to plastic packaging that is toxic to burn and wont compost.

    I have also been observing blighted and brown tree leaves in my area, as well dying conifers, typically I suspect those that are not specifically being watered. This year as a matter of fact, one each in clueless neighbors yards, mature spruces.

    The fruit trees are stressed at the place I collect apples —a small unmaintained orchard planted by monks on a former Franciscan monk friary property — now defaulted to the stewardship of the county forest preserve district. http://www.mayslakepeabody.com/history/
    Best tasting ugly little apples (and pears) I have ever come across. these monks were masons and horticulturists. When I was a kid I would go buy honey from them and spy out on their experimental garden beds. They were very cool artisans, in their dry-set stone walls, you could not slip a razor blade between the cut stone. I can only imagine the time they spent winnowing through choices in their fruit tree selection process.

    The leaves are mottled w/ brown spots and the yield has been reducing the past few years, I believe related to the severely hot and dry summer season weather we have been progressively experiencing here.

    I have germinated a bunch of saplings from the fruit seeds to ensure their survival. These saplings are in better shape than the orchard tree leaves, but they still have a multiplicity of small brown pock marks on them.

    1. weinerdog43

      Howdy neighbor (fellow DuPage resident). You might enjoy Carl Strang’s blog http://natureinquiries.wordpress.com/ as he writes about Maylake quite frequently.

      Fellow Naked Capitalists may not know that Mayslake is the former residence of Francis S. Peabody, the coal baron.

      And yes, although the summer has not been terribly hot, it’s been dry for long periods. The conifers appear stressed.

      1. optimader

        Thanks for that link weinerdog43, sufficiently eccentric to suit my tastes.
        Some thing I’ve been seeing more frequently that past couple years which was around much in years gone by are praying mantis.
        Found a large one in a bucket in the garage, I’m speculate a critter seeking warmth until he trapped himself. We were impressed by his size, tok a picture and let him go in the evergreens. Then saw another (unprecedented) out near the pool on a flagstone patio basking in the sun.

        If you read this, I have extra Mayslake apple seedlings (2nd year) if you’d like a couple.
        I’d like to find a few other “homes” for them, I am going to contact Morton Arboretum to see if they will take a couple and I’ll plant a couple out at Argonne/Waterfall Glenn next spring as well.

        1. optimader

          Something I’ve been seeing more frequently in the past couple years which was around much in years gone by are praying mantis

        2. weinerdog43

          Thank you! I’m very much interested in a seedling! I realize that apples don’t ‘come true’, but I’m interested in seeing if an apple will survive at our summer place in Sawyer Co., WI. I’m going up there on the 10th. Give me a jingle 847 807-2458 and perhaps we can arrange a meetup. Thanks for the offer!

  10. optimader

    …Furthermore, the extent to which the impacts of forest die-off will parallel, differ from and interact with other disturbances such as high-severity fire or intensive harvesting is uncertain but could be important for management and policy decisions. Although many disturbances can cause long-term type conversions in ecosystems with many steady states, climate-induced forest mortality may be unique in that it could represent a permanent range contraction for tree species whose climate niche has moved. We are in only the early stages of studying drought- and heat-triggered die-off as a forest disturbance, though it is expected to occur more frequently in coming decades4, 8. Our literature search identified 41 studies around the world that focused explicitly on the consequences of drought- and heat-induced forest mortality (Fig. 3), in contrast to more than 150 studies in a recent review documenting the global trend of forest mortality4.


  11. allcoppedout

    I took the dog for a walk in a local forest instead of reading this. Bolton has some really brilliant trees. For ‘shed’ we might read Polder.

  12. steve from virginia

    All this bullshit that amounts to absolutely nothing.

    – Step one; throw away the TV. Nothing starts until the TV is gone. (Don’t worry, the computer goes soon enough.)

    – Step two; get rid of the goddamned cars. All this fritzing around the edges … lies … propaganda … self-delusion … shill-speak … “We (someone else) will put up solar panels and windmills and have renewables and we will have electric cars … “

    a) The cars are going: underway in Greece and Syria are variations on the theme of de-carring by violence or by bankruptcy and collapse. There is no return from the abyss for the Greeks … or the Syrians, the Egyptians, Spanish, Italians, Yemenis, Somalis, Irish … conservation by other means … French, Germans, Japanese, Chinese … Americans cling to the tallest mast on the sinking ship, lying to themselves during the slide …

    b) The finance crisis that is prated about here and elsewhere as being the result of finance swindlers run amok is more the outcome of the war between ourselves and our debt-powered toys. No debt = no cars, they cannot pay their own way.

    c) There are no solar powered car factories, coal mines, freeways, shipping lines, militaries, real estate industries, bank-finance, insurance racketeering … solar panel factories. Renewables require high-order fossil fuels such as natural gas or diesel. So do nuclear reactors: try fueling one without diesel-electric rock trucks and excavators, railroad trains, ore separators, processing plants, refineries, tractor trailers, construction equipment, bulk carriers, waste handling equipment.

    d) Climate scientists are hypocrites: flying to junkets and conferences around the world, driving shiny new SUVs and buying them for their children … why not poison their children, instead. Half of them favor nuclear electricity! Until they get rid of their cars they should all just shut the fuck up.

    – Internet = 8% of the world’s electric power, mostly powered by coal. All to download Netflix and porn.

    I don’t have kids. I shouldn’t care. Why do I?

    1. babaganush

      Agreed on cars, especially SUVs. Is it a sign of mild sociopathy to drive a SUV in an urban environment? I mean, you make an active (and likely informed) choice to drive a vehicle that takes more raw materials to make, consumes more fossil fuel, emits more lung damaging particles, tears up the asphalt more (more particles in lungs), has a greater kill ratio of other drivers and pedestrians (smaller kids in particular as the bumper height means hitting the head)than a normal sedan.

      Hats off to automotive lobby machine, though. Getting some of these cars classified as eco cars, green cars, environmentally friendly is quite the feat and relativism taken to absurdity.

  13. TR

    Many are seeing changes in their local environment. Even the deniers that I know aren’t as adamant as they once were. But a more important concern may be:
    How much carbon is burned to maintain your lifestyle? Of course I’m not part of the problem. Are YOU?

  14. Eleanor

    The trees in the Twin Cities are turning brown and crispy, rather than their usual fall colors. Most of the state has been suffering drought, which is part of the problem, I am sure. In addition, the temperatures have not turned cool, but are bouncing back and forth between the 80s and the 50s.

  15. linda amick

    Look up at the sky. Notice all the linear crisscross cloud formations?
    These are a function of man made aerosol spraying.
    The aerosol particulant contents are aluminum, barium and other noxious substances.
    The trees are being poisoned.
    It is all a part of geoengineering schemes that “supposedly” are on the drawing board but which are, in fact, executing for years.

  16. Terry Mock

    Ecosystem Based Management Comes to Southern Oregon Port – http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/08/3p-approach-being-implemented-southern-oregon/

    The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet – http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/07/man-planted-trees-lost-groves-champion-trees-urgent-plan-save-planet/

    A Budding Model of a Truly Sustainable Community – http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/01/budding-model-sustainable-community/

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