What is in this article?:
- If poor nations continue current practices, they will clear a land area larger than the United States (2.5 billion acres) by 2050.
- If richer nations help poorer nations improve yields to achievable levels, that number could be reduced to a half a billion acres.
- Clearing land for agriculture and the use of fuel and fertilizers to grow crops increases carbon and nitrogen in the environment and cause species extinctions.
It’s funny what you come across on the Internet while researching fodder for news columns. Here’s a little diddy that I just had to share. Seems the park district in the small town of Highland Park in Illinois has decided to resume the use of chemical pesticides to treat its sports fields. The district changed its policy four years ago to use only organic, health-conscience techniques, including intensified irrigation, aeration, mowing, over-seeding and other cultural practices.
But a few months ago, the district confessed that the dandelions, clover and other invasive weeds had gained the upper hand. The baseball, soccer and football fields have become overrun with 60 percent to 80 percent weeds and are in the worse shape they’ve been in over a decade. So government officials finally threw in the towel and admitted defeat.
“The fields are getting worse every year,” lamented Park District Commissioner Cal Berstein. “I think something needs to be done to reverse the trend.” Well, maybe now the athletes will be able to find many of their lost sports balls. Live and learn.