Dangers in the Garden
I have always said that rather than making fun of the book of Genesis people should read it with a open mind and realize that so many of the intractable problems we face are explained there. Sexual relationships, environmental issues, mistrust and hatred, questions of authority and truth, are all laid out for understanding and ultimately repentance. Anyway, growing up first as a small child on the plains of North Dakota and then wandering around in the hills above San Diego on weekends, and then living in the mountains of Colorado and Montana, and then coming back to the North Country with our weather extremes, I have always been aware that nature can kill you. Getting chased by a bull and knocked down by a sheep buck, being attacked by large domesticated geese and getting sprayed by a skunk in a cat tail forest were early indicators. danger. Getting up from a rest on a rock in California and seeing a rattlesnake in the cleft of the rock I sat on focuses the attention wondrously. Those who think that we can control the weather by not driving a fossil fuel car should get caught in a not forecasted blizzard that acts like a wild cold animal that is literally trying to take your breath away and should only then be allowed to bloviate and talk about climate control and electric cars. The California conundrum was existential too. How do you flee a fire in an electric car that you couldn’t charge because the power company shut of the electricity to….wait for it…..control fires.? In a more esthetic complaint I have watched as one of my favorite sightseeing spots, a large biosphere that some call a bog and others call a wetland off the highway on a large stretch of Interstate 94 not far from Minneapolis. We are told by the environmentalists that a bog or wetland is an important place for amphibians and reptiles and the breeding ground for ducks and geese and other wildlife, but the environmentalist have covered over a vast wetland with hideous solar panels and turned that piece of nature into an unnatural lifeless circuit board desert. I wonder if a bird watcher wandering into this desert would be fried or irradiated or microwaved into oblivion. Another danger of nature amplified I guess.
Anyway the point is that Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article and that was commented upon at a site called “bookworm” but I cannot find the author for attribution. Anyway the article says –
“Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article that was much appreciated entitled “Is California Becoming Premodern?” The short answer is yes, it is. With no power, fires, medieval diseases, broken roads, endemic poverty, rampant crime . . . yes, these are all premodern traits.
What I would add is that one part of pre-modernism is that Nature wins. Put another way, a large part of the modern is that we use fossil fuel, plus human energy and ingenuity, to keep nature at bay. It takes work to keep fire, floods, famine, darkness, and disease away from us, not to mention the ever-encroaching jungle or woods or plains that surround human habitation.
Our Gaia worship and gooey climate change madness are giving Mother Nature the upper hand. The environmentalists may deny this, but that’s never a good thing for humans.
As I always say, we are Nature’s stewards and should not waste, abuse, or despoil it, but Nature is always out there, waiting to kill us if we lose control.”
I have a back yard that is proof of concept. I have a large back yard and it is surrounded by what was a hedge that I deliberately let grow to the point that it looked like a shelter belt or a half rectangle portion of a forest. The trees became huge and the views of the neighbors yard disappeared which is what I wanted. If I can’t see them, they can’t see me. In the summer, I , like Adam and Eve, liked to go to my garden and hide in the trees. As the tress grew the amount of biomass that fell from them in the Fall became extreme. My neigbor has a wonderful compost heap and told me that the leaves kind of disappear and become a wonderful loamy kind of soil conditioner. My compost pile started to look like a pyramid of Egypt. The trees grew huge and finally in another attack by an angry climate broke off at the tops in a wind storm. I have a premodern back yard refuge where I have to be very careful. I was reading out there one afternoon and there is a lot of snapping and popping going on above my head and the heavy untrimmed branches are not going to stay up there forever. It is a dangerous place to be with a bit of wind.
It is heaven for the birds – I have ring necked doves who according to books I read should not be here. I have downy, pileated, hairy and woody woodpeckers, grosbeaks, and lately we have had cardinals which shouldn’t be here either. My premodern forest is the home to about 10 squirrels as near as I can tell, both gray and red. Both large and small hawks raid at various times causing panic and mayhem and in the long watches of the night I can hear owls.
Yet it is a dangerous place. As a curmudgeon I took some pride in telling the neighbor kids to stay out of my yard lest some wood fall crush them. There is also the danger of trying to be modern since I almost chain sawed my leg off. Even the premodern bucksaw can be dangerous in the tangle.
For those who worship nature, modernism is a curse. For those who worship another God the words ae stricking. Nature will wait for a chance to turn you back to the dust from which you came.