BACKYARD CHEMICAL WARFARE
BACKYARD CHEMICAL WARFARE
Across the nation, whether in the front or back or all around your house, lawns have become more economic and ego-statements than ecosystems.
"Our greatest mistake was to assume that our chemical poisons could be selective, that we could kill off other forms of life and not be affected ourselves. We have been duped by our smug but ill-advised confidence, by our belief that we, as a 'superior' life form, could be immune to the natural laws that govern the way poisons interact with, and terminate the life-sustaining process of, creatures similar in chemical and biological structure to ourselves." - Lewis Regenstein, How to Survive in America the Poisoned
How many tons of pesticides will unnecessarily be poured onto our nation's soil this summer, do you suppose? Unnecessarily, because in spite of the enormous amount of land which has been treated with pesticides, we're not eradicating the bugs we've targeted (supposing that all the bugs need to be exterminated in the first place). As a result, just half a century after the discovery of DDT's insect-killing powers and despite the development of scores of potent poisons, the bugs are doing better than ever.
What has been documented to the dismay of any individual who is downwind and downstream from any toxic application, is the association between pesticides and cancer rates. A further cause for concern is that children face a much greater risk than adults from pesticides.
If you believe that the largest amounts of toxins are just poured onto farm land, then the following should change your mind: According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, residential lawns and gardens receive heavier doses of pesticides than most other land areas in the United States, as much as ten pounds per acre of lawn versus two pounds per acre of soybeans.
Why do Americans believe that we must use so many chemical applications to have a socially respectable lawn? Perhaps we have been more influenced by advertising and a superficial emphasis upon appearances than we think? If we have been conditioned to include the poisoning of our land as part of our property and household habits, then we must begin to think realistically, to acknowledge the effects of toxins, and to change our toxic rituals.
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Written by: Jeanette Namura. This article is republished from Green Cross magazine. Green Cross is published by the Christian Society of the Green Cross.
Excerpted with permission from the San Diego Earth Times.
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