The Zones “they are a-changin'”

This is a post from JMBzine, the blog of Oklahoma County Green James Branum, an organic gardener, who caught an interesting article in the New York Times:

NY Times: Feeling Warmth, Subtropical Plants Move North

. . . Already, some states are facing the possibility that the cherished local flora that has helped define their identities — the Ohio buckeye, the Kansas sunflower or the Mississippi magnolia — may begin to disappear within their borders and move north.

By the end of the century, the climate will no longer be favorable for the official state tree or flower in 28 states, according to “The Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming,” a report released last month by the National Wildlife Federation.

. . . Groups that cater to gardeners have hastened to keep up. In December, the National Arbor Day Foundation released an updated version of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Hardiness Zone Map, which shows the lowest winter temperatures in different parts of the country and is used by gardeners to determine which plants can survive in their yards.

Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Arbor Day map indicates that many bands of the country are a full zone warmer, and a few spots are two zones warmer, than they were in 1990, when the map was last updated. . .

Pretty interesting stuff. The problem is that the complexities of what is to come, are to hard to fathom. We human beings have such a limited capacity to understand the fullness of creation and frankly I don’t think we have the slightest clue of what we really have unleashed. To imagine a world where bluebonnets no longer grow in Texas… that is a bleakly sad thought and yet it could be reality in my lifetime.

Arborday.org: Differences between the 1990 and 2006 hardiness zones (it is crazy that my grandparent’s farm which used to be in a small pocket of zone 6 in western Oklahoma is now in zone 7, and that far southern Oklahoma is now in zone 8 — the same zone that Austin is in.)

Arborday.org: Video that highlights the zone changes

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Oklahoma Food Cooperative

Here’s a great little story from the OU Daily about the Oklahoma Food Cooperative and how students can eat well and support local farmers and ranchers — and check out the graphic by Cody Mulcahy.

Thinking globally, shopping locally

[…] Waldrop said the co-op exists for three main reasons. He said the food tastes better because it is taken better care of once it is harvested locally; it is environmentally sustainable because it does not have to be shipped long distances; and its revenue supports rural areas and local farmers.

“People want to support rural areas because they are disappearing quickly,” Waldrop said.[…]

Oklahoma’s Clean Water Needs Your Help!

From Susie Shields of Oklahoma Sustainability Network:

Please call your state representative and ask him/her to vote no on HB
1470

Dear Friends of Oklahoma’s Environment:

Oklahoma’s clean water protections are under attack at the State Capitol. The animal factory corporations responsible for polluting some of our most important rivers and streams are working hard to secure a legislative “pass” for their activities.
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Save Our Water

Oklahoma is starting a 5-year study on water resources. Texas and other states are looking to buy Oklahoma water, which is not a long-term sustainable operation.

Save Our Water is an organization formed to get a moratorium on out of state water sales out of Lake Eufaula (the largest man-made lake within Oklahoma ). Two Oklahoma Greens attended a recent gathering of the group and reported back that the campaign deserves our support.