01 May 2008

The importance of being earnest

A certain blogger recently recommended buying ladybugs to release in your yard for pest control. I don't want to single out this endearing and admirable person, but this is a perfect example of making things worse by trying to make them better. A little bit of research, not to say common sense, would reveal that kidnapping bugs en masse and selling them to gardeners is not a good idea.

shut up, YOU try to illustrate greenwashingThis is what is so dangerous about the current "green" climate in America: it can easily do more harm than good, as with ethanol, which, if you weren't paying attention, is currently responsible for starving the developing world, consuming more energy than it produces, and the rising prices you're paying for gas and food.

So if you're going to do something -- especially if you're going to publicly advocate doing something -- to make the world better, make sure it will actually make the world better.

[Brendan I. Koerner's Green Lantern column at Slate is an interesting attempt to do this.]

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6 Comments:

Blogger chuck b. said...

"kidnapping bugs en masse"

Heh! lol.

The nursery I visit most often sells ladybugs in plastic (!) containers and I sometimes think it would be noble to buy one just to liberate them from such indignity.

Mostly tho', I try to just keep those tiny flowers going 24-7 and lay off the pesticides (neither is a challenge) and let the bugs find their own equilibrium.

5/03/2008 9:09 PM  
Anonymous karen said...

Yes, I really hate ethanol. I read somewhere that 10% ethanol can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 25%

5/04/2008 9:51 AM  
Blogger EAL said...

Yeah, bug selling is quite a racket. You can't depend on them to do what they're supposed to do either.

5/04/2008 9:02 PM  
Blogger mmw said...

Chuck is right -- as long as your yard is bug-friendly, the predators will mostly take care of the pests. Apiaceae, people.

In the interests of being constructive, I will add that if you have an aphid or scale problem in California, the thing to do is get your ants away from them (everyone in Cali. has an ant problem by definition). The ants "farm" these insects, and will actually protect them from ladybugs. Tanglefoot is a good way to do this for trees. Shrubs and smaller plants are trickier.

5/05/2008 1:22 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Great advice to make your yard generally bug-friendly so the good bugs just show up. It's just supply and demand-the bad bugs naturally attract the good ones. Plus it's cheap and easy, two of my favorite concepts. :)

5/21/2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Garden Blogger said...

Is it ok if you kidnap lady bugs from your own garden and just move them around your plants? ;0)

"kidnapping bugs en masse" is pretty funny. Someone needs to start a blog with that name.

1/13/2009 5:27 PM  

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