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Category: Ecological Research

Title: Some Like it Hot, Some Like it Culled (How Forest Fires Are Changing the Economy of the West)

Author: * Friederici, P.G.

Subject: Wildfire, Economics

Abstract: This is how fire begins: with energy-raw potential-landing as light on the Earth's surface after a quick transit from the sun. In the uplands of the American Southwest, what the light hits are the long needles ofponderosa pine trees. The trees are evergreen, efficient, all year pulling light out of the clear blue skies and using it to build long strands of carbohydrates, one upon another, out of water and carbon dioxide and the minerals held in the soil. TIley build up and out, creating fractal architectures of ever-increasing complexity. TIle trunks rise high; the branches spread. Then in late spring the wind gusts hot and hard and the sun shines stronger and whiter in a cloudless sky.Weeks pass without rain. The hot wind whips the sun-cured grasses and shrubs and trees, and all those complex molecules are left rustling and waving in the air as if beseeching aid in returning to a simpler time. Lilce as not, they get it.

Date: 2006

Type: Periodical

Source: Orion

Identifier: 54-61

Publisher: The Orion Society

Format: PDF

Language: English