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  • Organic Farming = Species Extinction? Oopsie!

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on January 19th, 2006 (All posts by )

    The Law of Unintended Secondary Effects provides for the imposition of the death penalty. In this case, it is insecticide rather than homicide. In gardening and agriculture, “natural” pest control includes the introduction of beneficial insects to prey on insect pests. Unfortunately, some of these beneficial insects become pests themselves. The asiatic ladybug is still available by mail-order, even though they have become a nuisance in the US because of their habit of nesting indoors. A vacuum cleaner is recommended for removing them; they leave a nasty stain if you squash them.

    In the UK, the problem is more serious. There are similar native species that are being destroyed by being out-competed by the aliens, or even by the more direct method of being eaten by them. The various native species may go extinct as early as 2008.

    “Natural” does not mean “benign.” When we as a species were in a state of nature, we were prey. Stuffed amanitas, anyone?

     

    3 Responses to “Organic Farming = Species Extinction? Oopsie!”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      Agriculture is the single most environmentally destructive human activity. It dwarfs the impact of industry. The most destructive aspect of agriculture is the sheer area that agriculture takes up. Whenever we clear a field we displace virtually all the lifeforms that existed there previously.

      Ironically, to organic agriculture has a much larger footprint than non-organic agriculture. Organic crops can’t be grown as close together as crops that use industrial fertilizers,herbicides and pesticides. Organic fields take anywhere from a third to half again as much space to farm as non-organic methods. If we tried to feed everyone with organic farms we would to greatly expand our current agricultural areas at the expense of the natural world.

      Whoops.

    2. Mitch Says:

      Not to mention cow farts as greenhouse gasses {brrappp} ‘scuse me.

      I can’t find it now, but I saw somewhere that there was a huge increase in greenhouse gasses when we switched from hunter-gatherer mode to primitive agriculture. It exceeded even the industrial revolution. Or was it just one of those things?

    3. ic Says:

      “There are similar native species that are being destroyed by being out-competed by the aliens, or even by the more direct method of being eaten by them.” Mimicking the human demographic conditions in Europe, no?