This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There is no doubt but the newspaper nonsense, and which some of our agricultural contemporaries would have us adopt, does more harm to forestry planting than many persons have any idea of. Here before us is an article from Cincinnati, showing that the increase of planting in Kansas has brought down the heavy rains and snows of the past winter. Any common-sense person must see that by the same reasoning those States which have cut away timber ought to have less rain or snow, and would hesitate to plant on such flimsy pretexts as these.
The great forces of nature which rule the currents in the atmosphere, and from which climate results, are on so immense a scale that it is childish to suppose they are influenced to any material extent by a few hundred acres of timber land or bare sand. The belief in such triflesis of a kin with the old notion that the "sky" is like an egg-shell, and the stars are holes cut through, showing the light and glory beyond.
There are plenty of reasons for judicious forest planting, but those who think to plant must be disgusted with trash like this.
Our wet, cold and snowy winter is much more likely to have resulted from an unusually southern flow of ice in the Arctics than from all the planting that has been done in the United States for a century. Currents are caused by the unequal weights in the atmosphere. Warm air is light, cold air is heavy. The cold air rushes in to take the place of the warmer ascending air, and at certain temperatures the meeting currents condense the moisture. These currents continually vary, just as the "headquarters" of the light weight and heavy weight change, as they constantly do from interferences. An ice field moving a few degrees changes by so much the direction of the return cold current to the equator. On the other hand a volcanic island, a sand bank, or some other disturbance of a warm stream from the tropics, will cause the change of location of an ice field. The influence is reciprocal, and it is here we have to look for climatal causes of changes. Rains and snows would be as now, though there were not a solitary tree on the face of the earth.