There’s a lot of scary Halloween programming this month, but a new Weather Channel series might be the most frightening of all. “The Tipping Points: 6 Places on Earth Where Climate’s Changed” is scary because it’s real, showing what global warming will do to the planet if it proceeds at the current rate — starting with the Amazon rain forest, where drought, fires, changes in carbon dioxide, and loss of biodiversity due to climate change are converging with disastrous consequences.
Now is a good time to go out and flag the following five trees before the leaves drop (except the pine). Revisit them in the winter and learn how to ID them by the bark alone. Then again in the Spring with the buds and new leaves.
White birch (paper birch)
White birch is easy to identify with its distinctive, white, papery bark. The sycamore tree also has white bark, but it does not sluff off in thin, paper-like furls like the white birch. The sycamore also has large hand-shaped leaves versus the white birch’s smaller, oval-shaped leaves with a pointed tip. The birch leaf is also irregularly toothed. These grow almost exclusively in northern climates.
The driving plot behind some of our best-selling post-apocalyptic fiction novels in America is a looming reality for many people and nations in the world. As droves of Israeli citizens line up at the post office in Israel to pick up their government-issued gas masks, many of us can’t help but ask the depressing question, “Should I buy a gas mask?”