Garden Myths: Number 6

It’s a simple environmental choice.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

The problem with the environment is its complicated; I mean REALLY complicated! Not just fiendish Sudoku complicated, more theoretical physics complicated. In the environment everything interacts with everything else, so the simplest change can have completely unforeseen results. Take a simple example: many years ago a group of botanists wanted to protect a colony of rare orchids and so they put up rabbit netting around the plants to stop grazing animals eating them. So far so good, it seemed to everyone a sensible course of action. Everyone except the orchids which quickly died out in the fenced off area. Fortunately they did continue to grow at the site but not in the fenced of areas but in the grazed ones. The orchids relied on the grazing animals to keep the competing grasses down so they could flourish. Scenarios like this keep reoccurring time and again when people try to make changes to help the environment. The problem is that environmental campaigners keep making over simplistic claims about the needs of the environment; when the truth is far more complex.

The problem with the environment is its complicated; I mean REALLY complicated! Not just fiendish Sudoku complicated, more theoretical physics complicated. In the environment everything interacts with everything else, so the simplest change can have completely unforeseen results. Take a simple example: many years ago a group of botanists wanted to protect a colony of rare orchids and so they put up rabbit netting around the plants to stop grazing animals eating them. So far so good, it seemed to everyone a sensible course of action. Everyone except the orchids which quickly died out in the fenced off area. Fortunately they did continue to grow at the site but not in the fenced of areas but in the grazed ones. The orchids relied on the grazing animals to keep the competing grasses down so they could flourish. Scenarios like this keep reoccurring time and again when people try to make changes to help the environment. The problem is that environmental campaigners keep making over simplistic claims about the needs of the environment; when the truth is far more complex.

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