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Chatham County's changing climate

By John Bonitz
Posted Thursday, December 21, 2006

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Silk Hope, NC - I saw my 80 year old great uncle at our family Thanksgiving reunion. He's a lifelong Republican who farmed and drove trucks, long-haul. Aside from his time on the road, and in the armed services, he's lived in Granville County his whole life. As a fourth-generation farmer, his life has been tied to the land. In idle conversation over turkey-dinner, he allowed as how he was concerned about the climate changing here in North Carolina. Everyone noticed -- Thanksgiving was fairly balmy this year, as it has been more often in recent decades.

It's amazing to me that anyone alive in this century can look around, insist that the world is flat, and that "climate change is propaganda." But bless his heart, Steve Candelori keeps us all mindful of the need to think critically.

I wonder what Mr Candelori thinks of today's news release by The Arbor Day Foundation? They offer free maps to the public, showing hardiness zones where trees grow best.

According to them, Chatham County's climate has changed approximately 10 degrees. They updated USDA's old 1990 Hardiness Zone Map based on numbers from the 5,000 cooperative climate observation stations throughout the United States.

Curious about what kind of radical propagandists might be collecting such data? Ask the people at station # 310750-04 (Jordan Dam), or #319481-04 (Wilsonville), or # 311515-05 (the Carthage Water Treatment Plant), or # 311700-04 (the county water treatment plant), or #317924-04 (the Siler City water plant).

According to these data, Chatham County is no longer Hardiness Zone 7 as we were in 1990, but we are now Zone 8.

"So what?" you might ask. What does this mean to us here in Chatham County? Well, if you wanted to plant some trees, you've lost 20% of the options we had back in 1990 when we had a Zone 7 climate. (See ArborDay's "suggested trees for your region" database, then compare Zone 7's 167 options with Zone 8's 128 options). Our outstanding Coop Extension agents can elaborate on hardiness zones, I'm sure.

I would encourage anyone who is skeptical of climate change to get out of the office, and ask somebody who grows stuff for a living. The climate has changed. Now, let's move on.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Related info:
Arbor Day Foundation
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page

Related info:
Arbor Day Foundation

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