Conservation Sense and Nonsense began in 2010 as the Million Trees blog to defend urban forests in the San Francisco Bay Area that were being destroyed because they are predominantly non-native. In renaming the Million Trees blog to Conservation Sense and Nonsense, we shift the focus away from specific projects toward the science that informed our opposition to those projects.
Many ecological studies have been published in the past 20 years, but most are not readily available to the public and scientists are often talking to one another, not to the general public. We hope to help you navigate the scientific jargon so that scientific information is more accessible to you. If this information enables you to evaluate proposed “restoration” projects to decide if you can or cannot support them, so much the better.
Since 2010, we have learned more about the ideology of invasion biology that spawned the native plant movement and the “restoration” industry that attempts to eradicate non-native plants and trees, usually using herbicides. We have read scores of books and studies that find little scientific evidence in support of the hypotheses of invasion biology. We have studied the dangers of pesticides and the growing body of evidence of the damage they do to the environment and all life.
Meanwhile, climate change has taken center stage as the environmental issue of our time. Climate change renders the concept of “native plants” meaningless because when the climate changes, vegetation changes. The ranges of plants and animals have changed and will continue to change to adapt to the changing climate. Attempting to freeze the landscape to an arbitrary historical standard is unrealistic because nature is dynamic. Evolution cannot be stopped, nor should it be.
Destroying healthy trees contributes to climate change by releasing stored carbon into the atmosphere. Both native and non-native trees store carbon and are therefore equally valuable to combat climate change. Native vegetation is not inherently less flammable than non-native vegetation. There are advantages and disadvantages to both native and non-native vegetation.
The forests of the Earth are storing much of the carbon that is the primary source of greenhouse gases causing climate change. Deforestation is therefore contributing to climate change. By destroying healthy trees, the native plant movement is damaging the environment and its inhabitants.
All of the articles on the Million Trees blog are still available in the archive on the home page. The search box on the home page will take you to specific subjects of interest. Visit the pages listed in the sidebar for discussion of each of the main topics. Readers who subscribed to the Million Trees blog will receive new articles posted to Conservation Sense and Nonsense unless they unsubscribe. Thank you for your readership. Your comments on posts are welcome and will be published unless they are abusive or repetitive.
The logo picture at the top of the page is of a sign that is available as a free stencil HERE.