WASHINGTON-The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today [25 Jan 2012] released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. The new map-jointly developed by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University's (OSU) PRISM Climate Group-is available online. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.
Compared to the 1990 version, zone boundaries in this edition of the map have shifted in many areas. The new map is generally one 5-degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer than the previous map throughout much of the United States.
Human-caused global climate change has the potential to render moot all of our leisure pursuits, such as Ultrarunning, in deference to sheer survival. While naysayers exist, the vast preponderance of climate scientists all concur that climate change is real, it's human-caused, and could spell doom for the planet.
Given what's at stake, one would think that the conservative point of view would logically be, "It'd be safest to plan on worst-case." Yet their general position seems to be the exact opposite. Have they no children? No grandchildren?
I think it's a case of follow the money, and not wanting to sacrifice present standards of wealth and living. To quote Upton Sinclair,
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.