The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Landscaping Our Way to Oblivion

May 6th, 2011 · 6 Comments · Posted in Sustainability

Anybody remember manual hedge clippers?

I found myself at a bus stop on MacArthur Boulevard growing increasingly annoyed by the shrieking noise coming from this two-stroke clipping machine. Then it dawned on me, the conection between the latest reports of increased Arctic ice melting and the stupid things we do with power tools.

Does anyone remember when we trimmed bushes with manual clippers? Now we hire a landscape crew to do it with the most polluting engines known to mankind. What we save in labor, we now extract in years from the useful life of planet earth. If the latest polar melting predictions come true, sea levels will rise at least five feet before this century ends, meaning the Jefferson Memorial will be under water, the national mall will be one long reflecting pool lapping against our national monuments.

While the ice melts, we blithely continue spewing carbon so our bushes can look more orderly.

James Lovelock is probably correct: Humans are too stupid to survive.

Gaia will surely have her revenge.

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  • dana appleton reitman

    We still use manual clippers on the yews that surround 1/2 our house. Needless to say the freakishly orderly neighbors become more and more hateful as everything grows out of control. Can’t wait to see what happens when Roger turns the back yard into a “meadow” this year, while I am off in Miane with Mom. Last year I came home to a notice from the city to clip things back “or else”. The neighbor I knew who had ‘reported’ me came running over when she saw me outside clipping things back to within an inch of their lives, asking innocently “What are you doing? Oh, everything will look so much better next year!” Ha! I have not clipped a thing this spring. It’s wilder than ever! And I’m not going to.

    I had half a mind to take the chain saw and cut everything down: shrubs, trees, everything. The scorched earth look. Wonder how she’d like that? what with her white picket fence and ‘everything just so seasonal scenarios’ set up on her front porch. Yuck!

    But you know that Frederick is building an incicnerator, right? Even after 30 years it’s still The Town Time Left Behind. So glad to be getting out of here! (end of rant).


    Thanks Ed ! This is perfect. I am sending it to my local newspaper in Naples Fl who say they are conscious about the environment ! And bringing it to attention of all the groups here that say they want to restore this are to it’s natural Grace and Beauty ~

    Everglades of Fl where Naples is, is gorgeous in it’s Natural State but rather then do Xeriscaping the state of FL wants, the developers plant all these foreign trees and bushes that are toxic to environmental and water . Then they have landscapers do what you say in this article, start the buzz saws on all the unnatural foliage and unnatural ” sod”.

    Tuesday’s is NOISE POLLUTION Day at my complex ~ Spanish Men wearing NO protection for ears descend on my little gated community attacking every living thing with these ” Polluting Engines” !!

    It is a nightmare ~ and I have to leave my home ~ As it the sound is amplified via the lakes we all we live on ~ then bounces off the buildings etc ~
    And Yes I am a Deaf person ~ So cannot even imagine the damage done to those who ” hear”.

  • Pattie

    Oh, don’t get me going, Ed. You know my “lawn journey” is the most documented lawn story in America, and my feelings run deep on this issue.

  • Bethesda Locavore

    I love this. Couldn’t agree more.

  • Mrs. Q

    Too true

  • Angry Parakeet

    I suddenly realize that my neighborhood (Park View) doesn’t have the horrible crews arrive due to our tiny yards and many folks who don’t care to spend a lot of money on a “service.” I use a non-motorized push mower for the larger back yard and hand clippers for trimming. Remember Councilmember Jim Nathanson? He was my hero because he got leaf blowers banned in his ward (3, I think.) Bet it’s been repealed.