Too much Lovelock getting you down? You shoulda been at the East Tennessee History Center today, where National Parks and Conservation Association's Don Barger gave a really interesting talk based on the concept of "re-wilding," or reintroducing species to environments where they had been killed off or removed. He told the story about how the killing off of gray wolves had caused (elk? - I'm going from memory) to migrate into aspen groves they'd formerly avoided because of predation and subsequently depleted the groves of leafy branches, affecting the streams full of trout who like lots of shade, and cutting into the supplies beavers need to build their dams, which caused all kinds of problems. You get his drift: removing one species from the ecosystem can kill the party for everybody else. So anyway the gray wolves have been reintegrated into that environment, and even Bambi was glad to see them. There was also some scary talk about the warming seas and how something like 40% of microbial marine life has died in the past half century, and that reminded me of a guy I heard on the Bob Edwards Show on NPR laugh a little darkly about how scientists have only really started talking about pH levels for about ten years or so. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, it makes you wonder what else we're missing. I guess we'll find out, eventually.