We need a new category of urban myth or urban legend. Jan Brunvand’s inventions and development of the study of folk stories that people claim to be true long enough that they become legends, needs to be updated to include internet stupidity that just won’t die. Especially, we need a good, two-word label for politically-motivated propaganda that should go away, but won’t.
Perhaps I digress.
One might be filled with hope at the prospect of the administration of President Obama. Science issues that have been ignored for too long may once again rise to due consideration. Friends in health care worry that it will take four or eight terms of diligent work to undo the damage done to medical science by neglect of spending and budgeting during the last eight years.
I take a little hope in this: Maybe we can get an update of the planting zones maps relied on by farmers, horticulturists, and backyard gardeners.
New maps were delayed through the Bush administration. The last serious update, officially, was 1990. Perhaps much has changed in climate in the last generation, and perhaps that is why the new maps were delayed, though they had been painstakingly prepared by the American Horticulture Society.
Plants cannot be fooled by newspaper reports. Plants are not partisan in political issues. Plants both respond to and clearly demonstrate climate change. To those who wished to suppress or deny climate change, suppressing the hardiness zone maps may have seemed like a good way to win a political debate.
Robust discussion based on the facts, a casualty of the past eight years, ready to be resurrected.
- Plant Delights.com story on the maps’ delay
- The rejected 2003 draft hardiness zone map from the American Horticulture Society [2015 update: AHS Heat Zone map, showing where warming makes plants suffer heat stress]
- 1990 USDA hardiness zone map, from the National Arboretum (where my car was stolen . . .)
- AHS publication of the 2003 map
- Discussion on this issue at Watt’s Up
- Earlier post at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub on the issue
- More discussion at Mapscroll