Archive for September, 2014

Helping Forests to Flee?

There are few reasons why the whitebark pine has been declared an endangered species. But a warming climate is the worst threat, says this NYT article, and scientists are considering “moving” this population of trees from their home in the Rockies northward in order to save it. The idea is called “assisted migration,” and not all biologists are on board.

Our very idea of a “plant” suggests the inability to pick up and change locations in order to escape threat or find food. Certainly we have moved plants around the planet to suit our needs; we created our own categories of native and invasive species. When we start moving plants to conserve them, do those categories even matter anymore?

I am Groot: The Fantasy of the Renewable Body

2014 09 09 movie poster groot-guardians-of-the-galaxy

“Groot is a Flora Colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora Colossi are tree-like beings whose language is almost impossible to understand due to the stiffness of their larynxes, causing their speech to sound like they are repeating the phrase “I am Groot”.” More on Groot from Wikipedia.

In the recent and hugely popular action movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot is a woody superhero played by Vin Diesel, able to lose limbs defending his human friends, seemingly without too much loss of power.

At salon.com, Sarah Todd argues that the movie “attempts to bridge the cognitive dissonance of loving nature without caring for it by making Groot practically invulnerable.” “Guardians” evade[s] any kind of reckoning with its own short-sighted environmental politics,” writes Todd. “If Groot can give and give and then grow right back, there’s no need to worry about asking too much from him.”

Dancing baby Groot here.