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Posts tagged climate


Participants in BudBurst monitor one or more plants, native or non-native, throughout the growing season. Along the way, they record and report the dates of events such as the first flower or first seed. Like many citizen science programs, BudBurst is modeled after the Audubon Christmas bird count, an annual volunteer effort that has provided ornithologists with a century’s worth of data.

Though some plant experts already have noticed certain species popping up unseasonably early, gardeners may be ideal for observing the subtle waxing of summers or waning of winters. They fill their plots with plants best suited to the weather, so for many, responding to climate change is simply a matter of common sense.

“There’s something about being in the dirt that puts things in perspective,” said Gina Garrison of Forest Park, who plans to monitor plants for BudBurst next spring. “Since planting my garden, I’ve looked into climate change more, looked into what would happen.”

by Nate Barksdale for Culture Making

The United Nations Environment Program has just launched this Google map-enabled site with before/after satellite images showing environmental change over the past few decades: cities grow, forests are converted to farmland, glaciers shrink. We’re making something of the world, both for better and for worse.


In the 2004 movie “The Butterfly Effect”  - we watched it so you don’t have to - Ashton Kutcher travels back in time, altering his troubled childhood in order to influence the present, though with dismal results. In 1990’s “Havana,” Robert Redford, a math-wise gambler, tells Lena Olin, “A butterfly can flutter its wings over a flower in China and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. They can even calculate the odds.”

Such borrowings of Lorenz’s idea might seem authoritative to unsuspecting viewers, but they share one major problem: They get his insight precisely backwards. The larger meaning of the butterfly effect is not that we can readily track such connections, but that we can’t.