Thursday, February 9, 2006

Pests

What does the fashionable activist aspiring to regulate and restrain peoples' peaceful pursuits of happiness do these days if prohibition is not suggested with evidence or reason? When leaving the decision up to the sound-managerial-practice dirigiste fantasies of city council fails, he needs only to substitute his lack of argument with massaging councillors' democratic neediness to be perceived to be governing by consent. As reported in yesterday's London Free Press, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment released an opinion poll finding that 74% of Londoners supported a regulatory phase-out of cosmetic pesticides on private residential property, mostly other people's property. As it turns out, the opinion matters much more than the evidence — from today's Free Press:

There's no definitive evidence lawn pesticides increase the rates of childhood cancer, Crohn's Disease or learning disorders, the local Canadian Cancer Society says. But there is plenty of suspicion.

And that should be enough for city council to "phase out" cosmetic pesticides in London …
Here's where it gets good…
"[B]ecause there's no value other than a nice-looking lawn, why take the risk?"
I hate to disabuse such an eminent rationalizer as Laura Wall of the cancer society's Elgin-Middlesex unit, but the nice-looking lawn is nothing more than just that, a nice-looking lawn (and presumably someone else's). A value, as far as a nice-looking lawn goes, is a personal evaluation of the merits of an object or attribute that may be entered into personal considerations of cost and benefit against other values, but that is necessarily subjective and the property of the individual. Your proclamation on everyone else's behalf will not make it otherwise. But thanks for coming out!

4 comments:

basil said...

We ought to ban that chemical cocktail, otherwise know as housepaint, used to maintain those white picket fences as well.

Anonymous said...

When lawns, city parks and roadsides have turned into ragweed farms and the hospital emergency rooms are full of people having asthma attacks, is that also a cosmetic problem?

Anonymous said...

This is not a debate I've followed closely but last year I heard the following from a council member to an owner of a lawn company; "I will never believe that herbicides and pesticides are safe until I see you drink a cup of it". All I could think about was the soap that councillor used on his body, the deodorant, shampoo, etc., etc., and whether or not he drank a cup of each first to make sure it was "safe". The last time I checked chemicals applied to a lawn were not food and should not be treated as such. City council only needs to look in their collective cleaning cupboards to see pesticides in the form of anti-bacterial soaps.

MapMaster said...

Touché. In the absence of genuine argument or evidence, we may be expected to accept these kinds of spurious apocalyptic associations.