Earth Day 2007: Why The Enviromental Movement is Slowly Losing Me

I wasn’t sure what I was going to post today. As I said last year, this is one of those days where, as a gardener, I feel obligated to post something. And maybe that is the problem. I am feeling a little put out that I should feel that I need to post something.

One of the greatest gardening misconceptions on the internet is that all gardeners are environmentally savvy and we hug trees and we kiss flowers and we never, ever use nasty chemicals to make our flowers lovely. Gosh golly gee, Beav, if we’d all just be like those enviromental gardeners (because they are all enviromental, right? that’s why they garden after all), the world would have happy children everywhere and no one would ever die. And those evil people who don’t agree with us should just put a bullet in their head and make the world a better place.

I am getting a little tired of it. One can only take so much guilt before one feels they must run out to Mal-Wart, buy a big bag a fertilizer and bottle of pesticide just to feel like you have some control in your life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not for all out chemical warfare on nature. I don’t use all that much fertilizer. I use compost where I can. I don’t use pesticides at all. And I use weed killers only when I have exhausted all the other non-chemical methods. I am a whole lot more conscious of my chemical use than the lady down the street who just had the ChemLawn truck spray and tag her yard. I believe that you should be responsible. And I feel that for the enviromental movement, this is not enough. I think I could live in a hut and never venture outside and that still wouldn’t be enough.

The environmental movement makes me feel like I am never doing enough and because of this, I don’t feel like playing with them anymore. Frankly, Ortho & Monsanto are much nicer to me. Hey, environmental movement, how about a little positive reinforcement once in awhile?!?

On top of that, I am beginning to get the same feeling for the environment that I have for politics. I am just disgusted by both sides. I feel like both sides lie to me and both sides treat me like I am some sort of sap. I remember very distinctly that when I was in grade school I was told that by this time, the rainforests would all be gone and we would all be crispy critters because the ozone would be so depleted. Not to mention that we would have no potable water and that all the baby seals would be dead and worn by all the most famous movie stars.

So what happened? Did we clean up our act enough to get through these crisises? Then how about someone pointing that out. A kind of “Atta Global Community”.

Or did the enviromental movement just lie about it all, exagerate it a little so that someone would pay attention? Or worse, did we play Chicken Little and buy into stories that the media fed us to get ratings?

I can only listen to the “Wolf! Wolf!” stories so many times before I begin to wonder how true they are. Perhaps the environmental movement should take this into account. At this point in time, it is becoming less and less likely I will listen to any crisis and I don’t think I am the only one. Remember what happen to the boy who cried wolf? So at this point in time, can you blame the world (and me) if they no longer want to listen?

I want to be part of the solution, I do, but first you have to help me feel like I am part of the solution and not just another part of the problem.

7 thoughts on “Earth Day 2007: Why The Enviromental Movement is Slowly Losing Me
  1. Pingback: Here’s one for the STUPID file: Woman arrested for letting her lawn get brown

  2. I don’t know much about the environmental movement. I do know that I personally have never viewed gardeners in general as environmentalists. What is funny is that right now in Oregon the *farmers* are trying to paint themselves as environmentalists — it’s political of course, it has something to do with maintaining control over their land. So they have billboards up claiming that they are the reason Oregon is so green. Um, whatever. As if these miles and miles of carefully cultivated crops would turn to barren land without them. I mean, this is *Oregon* we’re talking about. So I feel the same way as you — already, without really even knowing anything about the validity of their agenda, I am distrustful of them. Plus, I live in the midst of farmland, and spraying is the reason I wake up with headaches in the morning. I *hate* commercial farms. Can’t wait to get the hell away from them. And no I don’t need them. My land is green without them thank you very much and I can grow my own vegetables. Hmph.

    By the way, I took your flower quiz. It painted me as a daffodil. What a shock! I do not like daffodils, they are too frilly and they smell horrible. I’d rather be a hydrangea.


  3. I’ve become disenchanted with the environmental movement — why? Every generation thinks that the science is correct. Just because we have (or believe we have) advanced our understanding doesn’t mean we have a complete understanding, or a correct one.

    We have been using plastic over paper to save the trees. Now we “know” trees are renewable and plastic takes a long time to degrade.

    We “can’t” drill immediately offshore for abundant oil or in Alaska, but we can burn energy to have it imported to us. Meanwhile, other countries (apparently China is one) can drill on the edge of US water boundaries for oil.

    I work with meteorlogists and other climate scientists who don’t like the way global warming is portrayed so definitively in the media and/or by “environmentalists”. There IS still a debate; it is not over.


  4. Hanna on

    I agree with you 100%! Did you see this report the other day? The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat

    What frustrates me about stories like this is that they left out one of the possibilities, almost to the point that it seems they intentionally left it out. That maybe the climate is not warming up in the way they think. Maybe they are overstating the problem.


    Harry Reply:

    Hanna you really are blathering on. Didn’t you read the last paragraph that says the trend is continuing to higher temperatures? Now have a look at this year, 2010.

    As for saying that you are finished with environmentalists because some government agency arrests a woman for not watering her lawn — where’s the connection? You’re right, she is in a desert, water is short, and it is outrageous that anyone waters their lawn at all. but that’s me as an environmentalist speaking. Why blame me and those who think and act like me for anti-environmental good sense actions by government agencies?

    Finally, environmentalists haven’t been overstating threats. What’s happened is that the threats were and are real but people are taking action to respond to them. Not enough to turn the ship around, but enough to ameliorate things a little. Climate change is happening and all the evidence is that it is gathering speed in its negative impact on the environment which supports us.

    There is no argument that climate change is happening. There is some argument (and very poor argument in my view) that it is not helped along by humankind’s actions and therefore there is nothing we can do to stop it. Looks like there is something less than a one in 20 chance that that’s right. You want ot take that one in 20 bet? Wold you cross a street if there was only a one in 20 chance you would get to the other side unhurt and alive? I don’t think so.


  5. Hanna:

    you’re absolutely right.

    I would like to know what is considered “significant” in terms of heating or cooling, as mentioned here in the article:

    “There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant,” Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus.

    “Sea level rises when the oceans get warm because warmer water expands.”

    I thought water was the only known substance that expanded when frozen. Perhaps it contracts when warm, then expands. It’s also possible that the salinity (salt content) of the ocean changes how it responds to temperature differences.
    I’ll have to bug one of the forecasters at work with the water question.

    I don’t get a bonus for this, but you might like to see “our” web pages on the topic, meant to be informative and neutral on the issue of warming.


  6. Pingback: Earth Day 2009 - Save the Cheerleader, Save the Planet

  7. i came four years late to this page; the link to ‘green’ pesticides goes to ‘does not exist’.

    i really hope that was intentional. either way, great stuff.


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