We have this social media platform here called “nextdoor.com“. It’s pretty handy because it connects you to people that live in your immediate neighborhood, as well as those in the next neighborhoods over. There are lots of useful things posted about local schools, events, lost pets, free stuff in the alley, etc. I highly recommend joining whether you are a homeowner or not.
This one chick posted,
“Please be careful about how you take care of your lawns … I have found a lot of organic products for the lawn care, but not weed killers, that has to be done by hand. Did you know Native Americans don’t have a name for weeds? Dandelions are one of the 1st flowers our threatened bumblebees look for in Spring. Harsh chemical lawn fertilizers & weed killers ultimately end up in the lakes. They poison our children and our pets … The perfect lawn just isn’t worth the damage to our health and environment. Thank you so much for reading”
Which is all fine, happy-clappy environmental stuff, etc. Good for her, she’s doing what she feels is right, and encouraging her neighbors to do likewise. No harm done—except for the fact that she may be unintentionally propagating misinformation.
Later on in the thread someone says, “Yeah, can you please cite your sources for all that stuff?”
Let’s review her post. She made the following claims:
- There are lots of organic products for the lawn care (but none for killing weeds).
- Organic weed-killing has to be done by hand.
- Native Americans don’t have a name for weeds.
- Dandelions are one of the first flowers our bumblebees look for in spring.
- Bumblebees are threatened species.
- Harsh chemical lawn fertilizers & weed killers ultimately end up in the lakes.
- Harsh chemical lawn fertilizers & weed killers poison our children and our pets.
Seven claims! Maybe these are factual, maybe they’re not. I have no idea because she didn’t post ANY sources.
She’s responds, “You can google it and find information readily.”
You know what I fucking hate? When people say “You can google it and find information readily.”
If you really cared about chemical-free lawns, you’d write up a little piece and cite all your sources at the bottom so that people who want to learn more can do so at a click of the mouse. It doesn’t take that much more time to paste links. I do not want to spend time on ALL SEVEN of your claims—I’d need to the right search phrase, and then I’d surf through the first 10 pages of the results for each claim. THEN I would have to ascertain whether a source is where you found your information or not—and the 100 million dollar question is—”is it a credible source?” Which is often a much harder question to answer than the initial claim being made.
Sorry–but if you say “You can google it and find information readily.” you are expecting way too much of your reader, and your opinion can go fuck itself. People do this all the time in discourse, and it’s akin to saying “God works in mysterious ways”—a cop-out answer.
This is why I refrain from commenting on climate change or environmental topics, because I don’t consider myself to be well-informed on the subject, and I don’t have the time and interest to do the leg-work necessary to confidently back up my opinions.
I agree that these issues are important, but it’s even more important to pass on accurate and objective information so that the general population can make rational decisions about the betterment of their earth.
Image Source: Susy Morris