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The war on America's lawns

By Alan Caruba
web posted April 7, 2007

I have lost track of when I first noticed that Greens were engaged in a war on chemicals, but it has been a long time. Almost any chemical, whether used in agriculture or for industrial purposes, and even chlorine which is vital to the purification of the water we drink continues to be under attack.

In the simpleminded view of the Greens, all chemicals are "toxic" and, therefore bad. Toxicity depends on the amount of any chemical to which one is exposed and we routinely use all kinds of chemicals to keep our homes and workplaces clean and safe. Chemicals are the building blocks of virtually everything we take for granted and enhance our lives in countless ways.

LawnRecently I received a news release from the SafeLawns Foundation announcing it would "hold its launch rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 4." A parade of "high profile doctors, scientists, activists and politicians" were to help kick off a campaign designed to "cause a quantum change in lawn care behavior."

Among the activist speakers was a member of the Rachel Carson Council. It was Carson's book, Silent Spring, that led eventually to the banning of DDT and the subsequent deaths from malaria for tens of millions of Africans unable to secure protection against the mosquitoes that spread the disease. Another speaker just happened to work for a company that sells so-called "organic" fertilizer. It was organically grown spinach that sickened many people earlier this year.

Among the things SafeLawns wants to do is ask universities and industries "to eliminate the use of lawn chemicals on their campus or headquarters lawns." If you like weeds and dead grass, you're going to love this.

Never content with giving people the freedom to make up their own minds, SafeLawns will ask States to participate in a "Safe Lawns Environmental Partnership" by passing legislation to "eliminate lawn care pesticides at day care and school grounds" similar to a law in Connecticut.

Real estate firms "will be offered the opportunity to participate in a Safe lawns Certification Program" so they may "inform buyers of organic lawns that are child and pet safe."  A healthy, well maintained lawn is far safer for children and pets than one that is not.

Anyone familiar with the ways such noble-sounding organizations function knows that this foundation is going to spend a lot of money to convince the public that "millions of tons of toxic materials…wasting enormous amounts of fossil fuels…in the name of having a beautiful lawn" is dangerous to their lives and must be banned.

State by state, city by city, town by town, lawn by lawn, the SafeLawns Foundation will do its best to insure that no one will be permitted to kill the many insects that destroy lawns and that the diseases that attack lawns along with many weed species will be allowed to thrive.

Does that make any sense to you? Do you know anyone who has ever died from having a healthy, green lawn?

The truth about healthy lawns will be ignored or suppressed by the SafeLawns Foundation, but you can read it here and, I hope, share it with everyone you know because, if this malicious and evil group has their way, America will be deprived of something very valuable.

Let's begin with the way healthy, green lawns enhance the value of a homeowner's property and thus the neighborhood in which comparable lawn care is practiced. For corporations whose headquarters are surrounded by well-tended lawns, the favorable impression this makes says they too are an asset to the community. In general, a healthy lawn increases the value of any property by up to six percent.

Turf grasses help cool temperatures, acting as exterior "air conditioners" at ground level. Moreover, they trap dust and smoke particles from the atmosphere, thus cleaning the air homeowners and others breathe. A university campus that has a lawn care program is contributing to health of students and, of course, adding to the natural beauty of their surroundings.

As we have seen in the recent fires in California, well-maintained wide lawns around a home can often provide an invaluable buffer area to retard fire from reaching a home or other structures.

Turf grasses have other, unseen benefits because they increase the infiltration of water and clean it as it passes so that underground water supplies are cleansed for use. After their application, chemicals used to enhance and maintain healthy grown, are either absorbed by turf grasses or later burned off by the sun and broken down by rain or other water applied to the lawn.

The suggestion that parents are harming their children by maintaining a healthy lawn is an ugly lie. What parent doesn't instinctively know that a properly maintained lawn provides a cushioning floor where kids play? This is why cities have always striven to provide parks as an escape from concrete surfaces.

Lawns are great for absorbing noise and this is particularly true in urban areas. The serenity of a suburban street on which green lawns abound is testament to this.

Lawns play an essential role in cleaning the air as they generate lots of oxygen while absorbing the carbon dioxide (CO2) they need to prosper. A 50X50 lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four.

There are many reasons why America's beautiful green lawns should be a source of pride, but the SafeLawns Foundation wants to turn them into a source of fear.

Fear, created and maintained by deception, is the primary tool of so-called environmental groups. When they show up in your town, protest those lies, protect your lawns. They do a lot to protect you. ESR

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. His book, "Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy", is published by Merril Press. © Alan Caruba, April 2007






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