As the Million Trees blog approaches the anniversary of its eighth year, we are celebrating a milestone. Yesterday, Million Trees reached a total of 250,000 individual views of posts on Million Trees. We now have over 300 subscribers and we are averaging about 150 views per day. About 25% of our readers are outside the United States. Since nativism in the natural world is an international fad, we are gratified that Million Trees is being read by people in other countries. Million Trees is also proud and grateful for the participation of several academic scientists who have written informative guest posts for Million Trees in the past year. Thank you, Dr. Matt Chew, Professors Mark Davis and Art Shapiro, and Dr. Jacques Tassin for your help!
Our most popular posts have each been visited by over 10,000 readers. They are, in the order of their popularity:
- “Darwin’s Finches: An opportunity to observe evolution in action.” This article about the speed with which adaptation and evolution occur in a rapidly changing environment is the bedrock of the Million Trees blog. Nativists mistakenly believe that evolution is much slower than it is. Therefore, nativists believe plant and animal species are nearly immutable and that they are locked into mutually exclusive relationships, which are, in fact, extremely rare in nature.
- “Nearly a HALF MILLION trees will be destroyed in the East Bay if these projects are approved.” The Million Trees blog was created to inform the public that nativism is destroying our urban forest in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our urban forest is composed of predominantly non-native trees. If they are destroyed, we will not have an urban forest because native trees will not survive in our changed and rapidly changing environment. Non-native trees were planted here because people wanted trees and native trees existed only in riparian corridors where they were sheltered from the wind and there was sufficient water.
- “Falling from Grace: The history of eucalyptus in California.” Because people wanted trees, they planted non-native trees that were capable of surviving in the San Francisco Bay Area. Non-native trees were valued for nearly one hundred years until nativism got a death grip on our public lands. This article on Million Trees tells the history of why eucalypts were planted and why they “fell from grace.”
In the past year, one of the most popular posts on Million Trees was “Krakatoa: A case study for species dispersal.” This post has been viewed by over 7,000 readers. Understanding how plants and animals were dispersed around the world by natural means–such as by birds, wind, and ocean currents—is another way to realize that the concept of “native vs. non-native” is an artificial construct with little practical meaning. Plants and animals have always moved and they will continue to move. In fact, as the climate changes, they MUST move if they are to find the environmental conditions in which they can survive.
Million Trees Commitment
Million Trees will continue to advocate for the preservation of our urban forest in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our strategy is to inform the public of the many projects that are destroying our forests and to describe the damage that is being done by those projects. We are particularly concerned about the use of pesticides to eradicate non-native plants and trees. We are equally committed to providing our readers the latest scientific discoveries that relegate invasion biology to a scientific back-water. We are hopeful that the gap between public policy and the scientific knowledge discrediting invasion biology will eventually be bridged and bring an end to this destructive fad.