This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is not so many years ago since the Editor of this magazine stood almost alone in showing that there was no evidence worthy of being called scientific to show that trees had any influence on the increase of rainfall; and in many instances he was roundly abused and held up to public reprobation as an enemy of forestry, because he ventured to differ from what then seemed to be the rest of the world. In the light of this chapter from history, it is interesting just now to observe how nearly universally writers are showing up this meteorological absurdity, and how such papers receive editorial endorsement. Aside from personal feelings of satisfaction, we are glad that these errors are being removed, for no cause receives any permanent advantage but from absolute truth. We believe that forests can be planted profitably in many places where good judgment is brought to bear on the problem, though we still believe, as we have always taught, that forests are the effect and not the cause of climate.
The Country Gentleman says: "This opinion appears to have been adopted in the first place by some one who made a single observation, or else who thought it a handsome theory; and writers, without full examination, have copied it and continue to copy it down to the present time".
The opinion was, we believe, adopted originally by Marsh in a work called "Man and Nature." At least it had little if any standing with intelligent people before that day. We may add that it is particularly gratifying to the Editor of this magazine to find this opinion now so thoroughly exploded as it is. When it was first thought proper to oppose this view in the light of actual facts, he stood almost alone, and, in a literary sense, was the target for unmeasured abuse. The Editor's opposition arose quite as much in the interest of practical forestry, as from the abstract value of every fact in science, for no cause ever prospers that has to be bolstered by unsound argument.