The October 10 episode of the PBS show "Wired Science" covered the effects of climate change on gardeners. The narrative referred to the "joys of global warming" and VERY pleased-looking gardeners somewhere in the Upper Midwest are seen happily listing the plants they can now grow.
This got me to thinking: Are gardeners necessarily environmentalists? Coz the Wired Science producers sure made us look like self-centered morons, I must say.
Over at This Garden is Illegal, Hanna for one begs to disagree.
The environmental movement makes me feel like I am never doing
enough and because of this, I donât feel like playing with them
anymore. Frankly, Ortho & Monsanto are much nicer to me. Hey,
environmental movement, how about a little positive reinforcement once
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
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
âAtta Global Communityâ.
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
I can only listen to the âWolf! Wolf!â 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 donât 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.
Now reliable lefty that I am, I’ve gotta agree that some in the environmental community use scare tactics and guilt tactics worthy of neo-con warmongers. Recently I was stopped in my neighborhood by an authority I won’t name who ranted me about the ivy growing in the commonly owned wooded valley behind my home. I and 3 other green activists have tried several times to get homeowners to help rid the valley of invasive plants, but no one else cares enough to come out for a neighborhood clean-up effort. But this authority shook his fist at me and said I have to go door to door and insist that people blah, blah, blah. In other words, I should be as angry at them as he was at me. Sorry, that’s not my style. I save my anger for the really big baddies – in government, in industry, in the think tanks funded by industry, etc. – not for everyday Americans who don’t happen to have the same priorities that I do.
And with eco-issues, we’re all making less than perfect choices, aren’t we? Except for a tiny few of us, that is, living totally off the grid in Appalachia. But the one-issue people have blinders on and honestly, are a big pain to be assaulted by. They mislead the public because their contributions to the discussion are advocacy pieces, not objective information. Whether it’s tree advocates who fight the removal of even dead ones (oh, in my town it happened!) or strict nativists who insist the only way to not be "part of the problem" is to stop growing nonnative plants, or lots of other examples, let’s recognize one-issue advocates for what they are. More like lobbyists than objective sources of scientific information.