“Shallow” environmentalism and utility monsters…

GODS & RADICALS

Max Zimmerman under a Creative Commons License Max Zimmerman under a Creative Commons License

 

A couple of years ago, I was cutting up a yew tree in my parents’ back garden. As often happens when I labour physically, my mind started working too – as if to create a state of harmony between the two.

And while I hacked away at the yew-tree that my dad had just felled, I started musing about how justified we were in killing the tree. It wasn’t producing many berries due to being overshadowed by other trees, it was starving out the plants that were growing below it, and the shelter it offered small birds could easily be provided by other, more broadly beneficial plants. These broader, ecological reasons were what lay behind our work that day. But while my mum and dad started expressing their enthusiasm for what we were doing, commenting on how much nicer the garden looked…

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