I thought it was time to stop having this blog consist entirely of embedded tweets, but I’m going to start with an embedded tweet:
Do I get a prize for this? Distribution of Labour seats compared to England and Wales coalfields. pic.twitter.com/9xeQERU9mR
— Vaughan Roderick (@VaughanRoderick) May 9, 2015
I’d never seen that map before, but presumably it’s an old story to people who pay attention to British political geography. It reminded me of this map, explained here, of Democratic votes in the Deep South, which track the map of 19th-century cotton production, which in turn track the shoreline of a sea from the Cretaceous era:
During the Cretaceous, 139-65 million years ago, shallow seas covered much of the southern United States. These tropical waters were productive–giving rise to tiny marine plankton with carbonate skeletons which overtime accumulated into massive chalk formations. The chalk, both alkaline and porous, lead to fertile and well-drained soils in a band, mirroring that ancient coastline and stretching across the now much drier South.
So here are presidential votes from 2008:
And cotton production in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War (map from here).