Luther BurbankMarch 7, 1849: Luther Burbank (at right) is born in Lancaster, Mass. The botanist developed more than 800 strains of plants, including the Shasta daisy, one of the world’s most popular flowers, and the Elberta peach, which is the mainstay of many orchards. The Russet Burbank potato is one of the most ubiquitous foods in the western world. He sold the rights to the potato for $150 – less than an hour’s worth of French fry sales at a typical McDonald’s lunch hour today.

March 7, 2006: New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert publishes her book, "Field Notes From a Catastrophe," a wide-ranging look at the current and future damage from global climate change.

March 7, 2010: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says that for the first time, the pace of extinction of species is faster than the pace of the evolution of new species of plants and animals.

Photo: perpetualplum/Flickr

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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