Filed under: Energy + Climate, Food + Health, Society + Media | Tags: carbon emissions, gardens, global climate change, global warming, vegetation, weeds
I’ve always lamented my lack of a green thumb. Even as I write this blog, my latest botanical victim is wilting on my desk, clinging on the last moments of its short, neglected life.
Whatever thumb-less hand I’ve played in the demise of plants over the years, another, more sinister villain lies in waiting, creeping ever closer to the brink of a mass vegetation massacre.
I’m talking, naturally, about weeds.
“But weeds have been around forever!” you say, and I can’t argue with you there. I may not have the back pain resulting from hours spent releasing the roots of tomatoes and begonias from the fists of weeds, but I know they’re a problem.
The new, bigger threat? It’s about to get worse.
As global warming continues to heat the earth, the harsher conditions will make it harder for our favorites to thrive, opening the rows to the infestation of weeds.
Weeds are what scientists call “generalists.” Generalists can generally thrive anywhere, under any conditions, at any time (think rats). Their success relies mostly on the fact that generalists have greater genetic diversity, allowing them to adapt more quickly to changes in environment than more specialized, and valued, organisms.
According to several studies on weed/crop competition, weeds grow faster and easier as carbon dioxide increases. That means as temperatures and CO2 in the atmosphere continue to rise, the amount of weeds will grow too.
I don’t have a garden, for obvious reasons. But if I did, I know the last thing my plants should have to worry about are weeds encroaching on their plotted right to life. So for my future garden, and the successful gardens already out there, I pledge to use my car less, rev the engine a little softer, drive a little slower.
Who knows. Maybe a greener life will be just what I need to get this thumb of mine to change tint.
All weeds are a problem, even cheesy TV shows about illegal ones.
Thanks to You Tube for the video.
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