Lawn People

This book was a much easier read than Breakfast of Biodiversity and was easier for me to relate to as well. Both of these books go into political ecology, which I am still trying to wrap my head around fully, but this book was able to use something that most people can relate to, lawns, to explain it. The first thing that grabbed me in this book was the idea that the lawn owns the owner of the lawn. I really like this because it reminds me of a story my Dad tells about how he will not let the expensive bottles of wine own him, to try and treat them like the $25 a bottle bottles that he bought them for. People are investing insane amounts of time and money into their lawns to try and keep up with their neighbors and these expensively pedicured lawns are beginning to own the owners. Now people overlook environmental concerns such as the use of pesticides because all they are interested in is keeping their lawns as pristine as the next door neighbors’.
The discussion about the use of chemicals on lawns was another part of this book that I found interesting. I pointed out some of the dangers of DDT in last week’s blog about Breakfast of Biodiversity and this book goes into more of the gory details of how dangerous it is and of how widely it was used for so many years. It was interesting to learn that arsenic had once been used as a pesticide as well and that its use was not questioned by the people using it. At least DDT was a compound that people did not relate with human death as arsenic does. All of this is more evidence of the extremes that people will go to in order to keep their lawns nice and green.
I think that lawns are just another example of how crazy we westerners are. I am not sure how big of a deal the idea of the lawn is in Europe but I have been to areas of England that are filled with nice green lawns that are well manicured. I do not think, from my general knowledge, that lawns are as big of a deal there but I am quite sure that a nice, green lawn is the least of people in the 3rd world countries. They would be amazed with all of the money that we spend, ok that we waste, on our lawns. I feel that this is a waste, my lawn will remain mowed but that is all the effort I will ever put into it.
On the other hand, if I do come into a lot of money or find Edward Scissorhands then my lawn will look like this:

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