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What is the difference between Natural Botanicals and Engineered Pesticides

Fall flowers by photographer Jere WilsonWe will be focusing on first-generation and second-generation pesticides today. Nature produces botanicals to deal with insect pests as a population control and natural deterrent. Humans decided to take on the role to improve these natural botanicals and created synthetic botanicals.

“Earlier pesticides, both inorganic compounds and botanical, are called first-generation pesticides to distinguish them from the vast array of synthentic poisons in use today, called second-generation pesticides.”

According to our text book there are more than 20,000 commercial pesticide products registered using a combination of 675 active chemical ingredients.

Synthetic Poisons

The ethical and social issues these human created synthetic poisons pose include debilitating rashes, lung issues and sometimes death to a large variety of species. These species include mammals, insects, birds, amphibians and aquatic creatures. This reminds me of prescription medicine that is intended to help with one issue and in reality produces several more problems for the patient to have to deal with.

The intended purpose of synthetic poison is to remove a specific pest and in reality it affects a much wider group of species, including the species that created it. My ethical dilemma here is that we are creating a product that harms ourselves. This product is assisting in the mass murder of bees and other helpful species.

Effect on Ecosystem

Another ethical issue I am facing is that I don’t believe one species should have the power to completely wipe out another species. Just as we view genocide as an evil activity, so should completely wiping out other species. Our general population has a very narrow grasp of the need for a whole ecosystem that is healthy with a large variety of species working in concert to sustain the entire ecosystem – our planet. By selecting which insects live and which insects die we are mutilating a living planet and creating more chaos than we can ever hope to fix. With our grand schemes to “control” our planet, we are only killing our planet.

Nature has a magnificent way of healing wounds caused by others when it is allowed to work in peace and harmony with its entire ecosystem.

Natural Alternatives

I love the idea of “Peace Parks” where nature is helping the human species to accept our complete dependency on this planet and its resources and that only by working together and better understanding how nature works can we truly have a peaceful world.

“The Transboundary Protected Areas Network of the World Conservation Union defines peace parks as ‘transboundary protected areas that are formally dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and of natural and associated cultural resources, and to the promotion of peace and cooperation’.”

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