This is a response to Carole Sevilla Brown's interview with David Mizejewski of National Wildlife Federation. Read Carole's post, David Mizejewski Defends National Wildlife Federation Partnership with Scotts Miracle Gro and listen to her interview.
And before you read on please first read Town Mouse's response on our blog (just prior to this post) Getting the Word Out (to which my post is a response).
The issue, for those like me who are coming to the table just lately, is that National Wildlife Federation has partnered with Scotts, the company that brings you Miracle-Gro, Osmocote, Ortho, Roundup, Scotts Lawn Service, and Scotts Wild Bird Food.
Confession: Of that list I have in fact used Roundup and an Ortho nasty brush killer, which I used one time dabbing carefully on trunks of a huge swathe of poison oak near our home, not long after I moved in. Roundup I use very seldom and also only on poison oak. I've tried to get off the Roundup, but I periodically cave in, preferring careful and limited use of it once or twice a year in areas near paths around our home to the three weeks of itchy rash I almost always get no matter how careful I am. Roundup is also one that people have mixed views about, and people on the wildlife side I respect think it's not that bad and has its place. Thus I vacillate. I am a vacillator, in fact as you will see in this post.
I also use osmocote, as do many native plant nurseries such as Yerba Buena nursery.
We all in the choir know about lawns and the impact they have on the environment in so many ways, and if you don't you can easily find out by a simple google search. Lose the lawn, folks.
OK, here's my off the cuff response. I posted this as a comment on the Beautiful Wildlife Gardens post, but I'd like to bring it into our space here. ...
I expect David is totally sincere. I expect he is tired of just preaching to the choir and wants to make a difference in the lives of all the people in the Scott's camp, which is a lot of people. I expect he wants to shift their views and open their eyes and get their kids outside and benefit nature. I expect he feels that he's opening up Scotts to some input from the enlightened side. I expect people at NWF seriously argued themselves into the ground over this. And there is all that money, which they can use to broadcast their message more widely.
I expect Scotts may have had different discussions in their boardrooms, just like Chevron in theirs, regarding their environmental greenwash projects.
I expect NWF has in fact lost its base, and maybe they calculated the cost/benefit ratio of doing that. We'll take down our signs, and others will put them up. On their lawns.
As they say, there is no bad publicity - the discussions we in the choir are having, the loud chorus of protest - it's all good in terms of the larger cause. And that also probably played into the NWF calculations.
So I don't know. I'm not in favor of dumping chemicals on mother nature of course. But I do see the thick layers of insulation between different opinion and thought groups in today's media. Some people have a Fox News reality, some are Huffington Posters, and it's hard to bridge the gap and create cross communication - that insularity is promoted by the internet (we find what we search for) and it is a very bad thing.
I hope NWF does punch through to get kids off their sofas, off their lawns, and into the wilds.
As we fire arrows at their ships, sailing off towards these enemy shores I think I actually do wish them well in their changed mission, though I am almost afraid to say so in this unanimously oppositional space.
Politics is about compromise, that's what I learned in American political science 101. NWF is a political group.
We also need a choir, and I'm happy to be part of it. Life is a lot simpler in the choir. But I'd also like someone to reach certain folk in my orbit that are beyond my reach. Maybe then they'll be able to hear my song.
So - I'm just not as sure as the rest of you on this.