Acid rain was a very contentious subject in the 1980s. According to this NY Times article (link) written in 1988, acid rain was destroying the Appalachian forests from Georgia to Maine. The Sierras in California were also affected. The article focused on Mt. Mitchell, and like most people I was boiling with resentment toward "whoever/whatever" was doing this to our forests: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! I later visited Mt. Mitchell State Park and I asked a park ranger about acid rain's devastating destruction of the once magnificent balsam firs that I enjoyed seeing for many years. He said it wasn't acid rain at all, rather it was a pest introduced into america, and he was right, as I will show from the archives of real science, untainted by political norming. But first let's revisit the 1988 New York Times article, where some statements sound familiar to the current debate on global warming: "Dr. Bruck said he was ''90 percent certain'' that manmade air pollution traveling from the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, particularly low-level ozone and acidic moisture in clouds, was combining with such natural stresses as the high temperatures and drought of recent years to create an environment in which the trees cannot survive." "But while the ill effects of these pollutants have been documented, scientists say it is difficult to separate their influence from climate or other possible factors. The problem is complicated by the fact that scientists only began intensive studies of forests a decade ago." "Volker H. Mohnen, a professor of atmospheric science at the State University of New York at Albany, who has watched half the spruce trees atop Whiteface Mountain in upstate New York die in recent years, said that while it has not been conclusively proved that air pollution added to natural stress is killing the trees, ''I would advocate housekeeping before all the answers are in." "We should not wait,'' he said. ''We must address the problem holistically.'' "Forest Service officials had been extremely skeptical until recently that air pollution might play a significant role in slowing the growth of trees and damaging forests. Dr. Radloff said that the evidence linking the declining health of forests and the high levels of pollution reaching those forests was still ''circumstantial.'' Now returning to the park ranger's assessment, the Balsam Woolly Adelgid (link) is the real cause of the skeletal trees. This insect pest was introduced from Europe around 1900 and it devastated the Cascade Mountains in Washington State and Oregon during the 1950s and 60s. The pest weakens spruce and fir trees where they can't withstand drought, and that's what killed the trees, not acid rain. Oddly there was no mention of this well-known tree-killer from all the "experts" in the NY Times article. Notice how science changes when the politics are removed. Have a great day, and by the way, here's the real tree-killer: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!