The Viridian Design Movement

Viridian Note 00307: Loss of Local Character

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts: maple trees, regional changes in vegetation, New England, sugar industry

Attention Conservation Notice: Lots of links about politics, drought, typography, whatever. Includes new web-toy we'd like you to try.


Our New Viridian Web Toy!

Click on that hotlink that reads "how's yer weather," and a nifty global map shows up. Why not tell us about some weather atrocity that's taken place in your Viridian vicinity? Caution: pointer arrow seems to shoot a little high.

Former EPA honcho explains the everyday facts about the fossil energy business owning the Bush Administration.

Upset with failing to crush the Kyoto Treaty, the Administration now sensibly ambushes climate scientists. Why not just arrest the scientists? All that stuff they're telling us is pretty terrifying.

Actually, it wasn't the Administration; mostly, it was the doing of Exxon-Mobil. Shouldn't these people be in jail in some cage in Cuba? They're ruthless, sneaky and incredibly dangerous.

On the design front: imagine being so into typography that you get all hot and bothered when period movies use anachronistic typefaces.


"Global Warming Not A Sweet Deal for the Maple Industry

"PORTSMOUTH, N.H., April 5, 2002 – A potent combination of warmer temperatures, shorter winters, increasing drought, and the ravages of forest-insect pests threaten to devastate the maple-syrup industry, according to the Portsmouth-based nonprofit Clean Air-Cool Planet in a recent testimony before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Clean Air Cool Planet; nifty little Greenie NGO guys from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

"The organization asserted that if the US doesn't act to reduce greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, maple tree species are likely to migrate out of New England, destroying an industry that brings more than $100 million annually to the state of Vermont alone."

(((Come on. Maple trees are not going to "migrate out of New England." Trees don't walk. The maple trees will die where they stand and be taken over by weeds.)))

"Collectively, tree tappers in New England and New York gather and distill approximately 75% of the maple syrup produced in the United States – a $30 million contribution to the nation's economy annually. ((Put it on Enron's tab. In the meanwhile, how about some genetically altered cane syrup for those flapjacks?)))

"'Many of these sugaring families in New England have been careful stewards of their maple trees for generations,' said CA-CP executive director Adam Markham. 'It's up to our leaders in Washington to ensure that climate change is halted and New England's unique maple products continue to grace our family tables.'" ((Yeah, and the Bush family have been careful stewards of oil derricks for generations. Let's see a maple farmer raise enough money to be President.)))

"New England is coming to the end of what will most likely be its warmest winter on record, (((yes, yes <yawn>))) with much of the region also in the grip of extreme drought since the end of last summer. (((That drought story's getting pretty good – New York City, Home of the War on Terror, has a Greenhouse drought emergency. New Jersey is especially hard hit.)))


"CA-CP says more frequent and longer dry periods along with earlier and more unpredictable tapping seasons are a real threat to maple sugar production. Sugar makers are reporting that the tapping season is starting earlier and earlier, and are now regularly tapping as early as mid-February as

opposed to mid-March. (((How can those maple farmers do that, and not just shudder in dread?)))

"'Energy efficiency and alternative fuels such as wind and solar are the real routes to energy security – not drilling in pristine wilderness areas,' Markham told the committee. 'If greenhouse gases are not curbed quickly, we may lose the sugar maple and much of New England's character with it.'" (((Now name us some place on the surface of the planet that isn't going to lose its local vegetation and its character. Go ahead, we'll wait till you find a place. Your place, maybe? Come on.)))

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