By Betty Harris
It would appear that most humans do not connect their actions or lack there of with the results of the same. Personally I believe this lack of understanding or connection has resulted in some major issues in our lives.
How does this relate to gardening? Remember that 70% of water pollution is caused by runoff and half of that is from what we do on our lawns and gardens. That alone is an example of cause and effect. Covering the earth’s surface with concrete and asphalt causes major issues with flooding as water is prevented from entering the soil. Building up to the sidewalks leaves no space for water to sink into the soil, thus adding to the issues of runoff and flooding. Removing grass, plants, and trees and spreading impervious materials on the surface of the earth contributes not only to flooding but to heating of the planet. Think overheating. Overheating contributes to further overheating as we like to live in a great deal of comfort so we air condition our homes by using fossil fuels to produce energy to run these machines to make our lives more comfortable. Cause and Effect.
Spraying chemicals on the soil to kill weeds and plants has deleterious effects on soil and plant life and on those people who spray this stuff without protective clothing or equipment. Failing to understand that the effect from this will not be fully understood for perhaps another generation causes us to not take the proper actions to prevent problems in the future. We do this without thinking. Designing plant life to patent it in order to make more profits will not feed the world, in fact all the research shows that areas of the world that ban the growing of genetically modified organisms actually have superior crop production. Designing plant life is not the same as early human’s developing plants that produce larger or better fruits or seeds by selectively choosing from among existing plants for those characteristics that are desired and help the people survive. That process itself can be attributed to cause and effect.
Designing chemicals to be used against other humans may result in the extinction of all humans. Redesigning those same chemicals to kill insects so that more profits can be made on crops shows that plants and insects can adapt faster than we can. Use of these dangerous chemicals on plants now finds some of these chemicals in our food and even in honey. Survival of the fittest has degenerated into survival of the greediest.
Refusing to accept that all actions have consequences, many of which may be detrimental for generations may doom us all.
Insisting on a lawn of blue grass causes a demand for more water than our environment may be able to accommodate going forward. Buying sod from an area where Japanese beetles thrive rather than from local sod farms because one kind of grass makes golfing more fun has brought the beetle to Colorado. Keeping green lawns, which by the way is a more recent innovation than we are aware of, uses too much water, creates too much work, too much noise, too much pollution and less time spent with the children talking and playing and teaching as well as habitats for the beetle.
Bagging leaves and organic matter and paying companies to take it to landfills where it ferments and creates methane does two things. First it adds a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere that is way more damaging than carbon dioxide. Second it trashes material that God designed to be recycled back to the plants. Cutting that recycling process reduces plants’ ability to survive and causes humans to fertilize with chemicals that are dangerous to our environment and our personal health. Digging phosphorus out of the ground to be used in other places for fertilizer causes massive pollution and creates further issues with “runoff” and disposal of the side effects of this mining creates issues where it happens. Since it is not in our own neighborhood we aren’t aware of it at all until there is some massive pollution event that somehow escapes into the corporate controlled media.
Cutting down entire forests and burning the plant residues in order to grow palm trees for oil to put in cosmetics and foods causes drought. Removing trees allows for erosion and loss of fresh water and nearly wiped out the population of New Guinea. Removing trees to be used to move huge stones to be used to show that one man is more important than another caused the loss of all trees on Easter Island.
Whatever your religious beliefs or lack there of, ignoring the natural environment or destroying it for profit will destroy life on this planet. If you believe in evolution or in a God that created everything then you must consider how all this fits together, designed or otherwise. How we deal with it, what we do with it will determine our own destiny. Whether plant life was evolved or created, the interactions between plant and animal life and between plant and plant is important to maintain. Returning dead plant matter to its source and feeding the soil life that feeds the plants and the plants that feed us is imperative. It would behoove us as the more “intelligent” species to observe and learn from what we do (the cause) and how it impacts other species and our own (the effect). We ignore this to our personal peril. We ignore this to the peril of all life forms on this small blue dot that revolves around the sun which Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, the first person to propose based on his observation of “cause and effect”.