You too might be wondering if this is real. The iconic Joshua tree looks almost as if produced in a creative artists workshop. Or perhaps in the imagination of Dr Seuss.
Iconic or not, observation on the ground shows that the Joshua Tree is in steady decline. For years, environmental activists have deplored the imminent demise of this unusual looking tree. With little data to back their claims, no official action was taken.
As so often the case, and as experts in the art of closing stable doors, legislation in California (USA) has declared the Joshua tree an endangered species and has granted temporary protection.
In the meantime, Anthropocene activity continues unabated and the causes of the Joshua Tree’s precipitous decline remain unresolved. Fortunately the nearby Lake Mead is continuing to show a distressing bath tub ring. This description is not heart-warming because it succinctly describes the non-seasonal dropping of water levels in a dam.
The bath tub ring clangs a much louder bell than the dwindling Joshua Trees. A bath tub ring in the dam of a very major water supply has consequences of disastrous proportions. And this time round, legislators might opt to close the stable door before the horse bolts.