Jennifer Forman Orth, an invasive plant ecologist with the UMass-Boston biology department, has a leaf to pick with Mitt Romney and Howie Carr over their snickering about proposed funding for a program to do something about winter moths:
... With over $200 million in pork projects, why is the winter moth being scapegoated? Maybe because the impact of the moth isn't being felt that far inland yet. The Senator and Representative that earmarked the money are from coastal towns of Gloucester and Falmouth, respectively. I have a feeling when people in Wellesley (Howie!) and Belmont (Mitt!) start noticing that none of their trees have leaves, and their houses and cars are covered in caterpillar poop, they will start paying attention. That shouldn't be too long from now, since we're already seeing high numbers of moths inland. Unfortunately, repeated defoliation of trees leads to...you guessed it: tree mortality. Winter moths aren't picky either - they'll go for oaks, maples, cherries, and even spruce trees. ...