Most Invasive Snails?
April 29, 2011 9:32 AM   Subscribe

The United States of Environmental Superlatives
posted by PepperMax (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Most Ozarks"? Really?
posted by Electrius at 9:34 AM on April 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


So I went down to the state with the most acres of organic farmland and saw Kiki, and she was, like, all "ehhhhh" and I was like "Whatever!"
posted by adipocere at 9:38 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Most caves" may come in handy someday.
posted by swift at 9:48 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I prefer "longest cave."
posted by Mister_A at 9:57 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Illinois's "worst" thing makes me feel a lot less cheerful about our "best."
posted by theodolite at 10:02 AM on April 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


New York State: Catskills, Fishkill, Buffalo, and a Lime Kiln Road. Wappingers Falls near Hopewell Junction. Millbrook near Pleasant Valley. Cold Spring off Route 9...
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:03 AM on April 29, 2011


Tennessee's superlatives have an unfortunate synergy as well.

"I didn't realize this cave was this long."

"Yeah, I've never been down this far. After crossing the streamway it was always too hard to get through that squeeze, but I've trimmed down lately."

"Hey... do you hear that sound? It wasn't raining up top, what could that be?"

...

:(
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:07 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


MOST INVASIVE SNAILS is my new catchphrase.
posted by The otter lady at 10:10 AM on April 29, 2011


I was kinda surprised by Nebraska's "most organic livestock", but it doesn't seem particularly telling in a state full of really horrifying industrial cow/pig production and all those corn & soybean acres...
posted by brennen at 10:17 AM on April 29, 2011


Things that make you go "duh":

Florida - "Most Sport fishing" and "Most boat wrecks"
Iowa - "Most organic hogs" and "Most hog waste"
posted by tryniti at 10:18 AM on April 29, 2011


"Burial Place of Johnny Appleseed / Most Trash Per Capita"

It's like Illinois isn't even trying.
posted by ardgedee at 10:18 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Indiana. Dammit. I can read maps, y'know.
posted by ardgedee at 10:18 AM on April 29, 2011


Florida has "Most Boat Wrecks"??? It wasn't Utah?
posted by Bromius at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2011


Nevada - "Most secret government installations"
posted by Cheminatrix at 10:22 AM on April 29, 2011


This map is the nexus of obtuse, unconsidered cartography and the recent explosion of slapdash, inch-deep "infographic" horseshit cruft. Both forms can be transcendent when done well, and can be just painful when done poorly.

The only difference between this and a table of "random, semi-interesting, unsourced factoids" is the graphic depiction of spatial characteristics -- which in this case adds nothing and in itself is visualized fairly poorly.

This looks like it was done by a well-meaning but short-sighted third-grade social-studies teacher (and its summoning a whole host of disappointment issues that I still have lingering from my early geographic education); when done by the misguided for consumption by children it's, well, forgivable... when done by content-factories for clicks it's sort of an insidious type of cynical perversion of a form I'm quite attached to. Not to shit on the link, though, and thanks for sharing it.

(We do have a lot of ozarks, though... no doubting that. Never counted them, but I bet it's at least... one.)
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 10:30 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude...those most invasive snails? They SUCK. (Capitol Lake snail infestation - although that lake shouldn't even BE a lake, but that's an entirely different issue.)
posted by epersonae at 10:34 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Greatest Threat from Asian Carp" also sounds epic: or at least, a potentially interesting band name.
posted by davidng at 10:35 AM on April 29, 2011


As a New Yorker, I'd love to give my state a pat on the back for having the lowest energy use per capita. But there are a lot of people in this state, and we (of course) import a lot of stuff from other states/countries. I assume the researchers were just looking at things like how energy people use on driving their own cars and leaving their own lights, and that the data didn't attribute the importer states' energy use to New York. Yet the high-energy-use states might make it possible for someone like me to live so efficiently. Sure, I feel good about myself being able to get all my groceries a short walk away from my apartment, but I'm also encouraging everyone who produced those groceries to keep using the huge amounts of energy it takes to produce them.

If this maps get people clicking the links to find the actual data and thinking more about the environment, that's cool. But the focus on which specific state is best or worse at the things we've decided are good or bad seems very myopic -- especially when, as people have pointed out, many of the "worst" categories (most organic hogs! how wonderful! they're organic!) cancel out the "best" categories (woops, turns out even organic hogs make "waste").
posted by John Cohen at 10:40 AM on April 29, 2011


"Top 8th-grade science students" / "Most autism growth" — someone call McCarthy, stat! We have to stop teaching science!
posted by adipocere at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2011


"Fewest endangered species" isn't necessarily a good thing in a big hunting state. Nor, I would guess, is "Most endangered species" necessarily bad on an archipelago.
posted by darksasami at 10:51 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


How are "highest percentage of black-owned farms" and "best paid coal miners" good for the environment?
posted by John Cohen at 11:08 AM on April 29, 2011


Fewest librarians per capita.

:(
posted by marxchivist at 11:21 AM on April 29, 2011


NY state, the state of contradictions: highest score for lowest energy consumption per capita (presumably due to fewer automobiles) -- lowest score for health risks from air pollution (presumably due to cars/trucks/buses/planes and ships)
posted by carmina at 3:09 PM on April 29, 2011


My first thought was that this was something like the Wonder of America stamps.
posted by zennie at 4:07 PM on April 29, 2011


Entertainingly, the board of MNN.com is a who's who of corporate insiders who seek to promote not only some third-grade maps but some other environmental priorities as well:

"As opposed to scientists, activists or experts—MNN is designed for the rest of us—everyday people who simply want to make our world better."


I interpret that as "supporting the viewpoint of our corporate sponsors and the US Chamber of Commerce on environmental issues", in spite of the Nature Conservancy imprint. The first article I saw on this site was Why Do We Keep Hearing Global Fisheries Are Collapsing?, which may have coloured my opinion. (I know this idea is controversial, but this is a single-source opinion piece from its main proponent.)

Call me cynical, but I think this is environmental reporting on behalf of the status quo, if not outright shilling for Corporate America. It's designed to displace actual environmental news with safe opinions and infotainment, carefully packaged for the masses.

But I did learn that T. Boone Pickens isn't a climate change denialist, which is something. Instead, he's a climate change profiteer!
posted by sneebler at 5:41 PM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Highest % of black-owned farms.

....highest rate of obesity of any U.S. state from 2005–2008 and also ranks first in the nation for high blood pressure, diabetes, and adult inactivity.

...the lowest per capita personal income of any state, but the state also has the nation's lowest living costs. Although the state has one of the lowest per capita income rates in the United States, residents consistently rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions.

....the lowest average ACT scores and sixth lowest spending per pupil in the nation. In contrast, the 17th highest average SAT scores in the nation.

...established the USA International Ballet Competition, which is held every four years. This ballet competition attracts the most talented young dancers from around the world.

...in 2010 had the highest proportion of African Americans in the nation

...the largest percentage of African-American same-sex couples among total households, fifth in the nation in the percentage of Hispanic same-sex couples among all Hispanic households and ninth in the highest concentration of same-sex couples who are seniors.

...The state is ranked 50th or last place among all the states for health care, and has the 2nd highest ratio of spending to tax receipts of any state.


*sigh* it's sad how much I have to look to find the good things.
posted by nile_red at 7:31 PM on April 29, 2011


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