In Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, a tree gives everything it has to a boy until all that’s left is a stump. While the meaning of the story is a point of some controversy, its metaphor for today’s climate change fight couldn’t be more clear. Still stumped? Humans are worsening climate change and nature is taking a hit. But like the tree in the story, our real trees are still giving by telling us the story of what we’ve doneā€”and what, even in the face of obvious ramifications, we seem determined to keep doing. Daniel Griffin studies climate and ecosystem change through data collected from tree rings. And what he’s found is that humanity’s bite is worse than its bark. Here’s a really interesting interactive piece from the NYT (Gift Article): This 500-Year-Old Tree in California Has a Story to Tell. (I don’t want to give a sappy stump speech or branch off into a deep timbre diatribe, but this story lets you see the forest through the trees and leaves you with no other conclusion than we’re risking life and limb and the root of the problem stems from our determination to take a chainsaw to the future. Sorry to pine away with evergreen bad climate stories predicting when the bough breaks. What can I say? Life’s a Birch.)

+ “When I asked Simon Lee, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University, just how unusual this heat is, he explained that the question is, in one sense at least, all but impossible to answer. Compared with the past? Clearly unusual. In the context of our present climate? To establish the baseline we’re measuring against, Lee said, we would ideally rely on years of somewhat consistent observational data. But the climate is simply changing too rapidly.” The Atlantic: The World Is Burning Once Again.

+ Biden announces new climate change programs, but no emergency declaration.