Distribution issues


Sad sad sad. Worse than the global financial situation. This is the house that burned the other day….

Our President bids us to look at our (national) finances with honesty and openness—i.e., to use critical thinking and to not exercise denial.

I heartily applaud that. Even though it’s painful.

I look at our household finances, and, um, it’s no fun to do that. Also painful. Actually: painful squared.

I suppose there’s another element in play here. Unlike our government, we’re cheapskates*.

Science comment: while species distribution has long been linked to climate, tada!, it’s not that simple. Instead, more complex issues may constitute the determining factor, as shown by this study of western hemlock distributions in western North America. Climatically similar areas may offer different competitive situations, as with more frequent fires and more disturbance-adapted species keeping the western hemlocks from proliferating in the Rocky Mountain region, as compared to the Pacific Coast region.

* Interesting word: cheapskate. The “cheap” part is from an Old English word referring to bargaining or trade, from the Latin caupo, or small trader/innkeeper. The “skate” part is from a term for a worn-out horse, or for a mean, contemptible, or dishonest person. According to the Mac dictionary….