So, last week I wrote about how threats can be seen (or misidentified, I suppose) in a couple of ways.  Adrian had an interesting comment that I thought deserved to be fleshed out a bit more.  So, his comment goes:

“Let’s say bees live in old tree stumps (I have no idea if this is true but let’s pretend). Assuming you want to eliminate the risk of bees permanently (rather than temporarily) from your area you could remove all the tree stumps in whatever radius bees travel from your house. If you’re the extreme type you could just pave everything over in a large radius, thereby not only denying bees a home but also getting rid of the flowers that bees are attracted to.”

i.e. ‘draining the swamp’

‘Draining the swamp’ implies (at least in my mind) ancillary benefits that will accrue, in addition to the primary one.

So, let’s assume that instead of bees we’re talking about mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes carrying a nasty bit of yellow fever.  We get the great idea to drain the swamp where the mosquitoes live (We won’t ask why we decided to live next to a swamp.  After all, lots of people made that decision.)  Hey, even if we don’t get rid of all the mosquitoes, though, we’re still to the good since we’ll have a whole bunch of fertile land instead of a nasty swamp.  Win-win.

We like to make all our projects to alter the environment swamp draining projects (ahem…) if we can’t make them about killing bears.  Sometime they may be.  But you never know.  I prefer to think of the Joni Mitchell song ‘Big Yellow Taxi‘.  Maybe you’ll get what you’ll want but maybe you’ll end up ruining everything.  Just sayin’.

LungHu follows up with the observation that bees can, in fact, be transformed into allies if you do another kind of environmental adjustments.  That adds yet another layer to the mix to consider.



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