NATURE IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD. It’s just the way things are.
Personally, I love nature. That’s why I live in the country. But today there is a peculiar cult of people who attribute all manner of good intentions to nature. They choose to believe that nature is all good, all knowing, and wise, that man is ignorant and dangerous. They want to believe that nature is some sort of sentient being. So far as I can tell, this seems to make them feel superior to others, and somehow feel secure.
Well, nature is a wondrous thing, but it is neither sentient nor wise. Nature is just the way things are. It cares not one wit for man, beast, nor plant. If you are lost in the woods, It is up to you to find your way out, or hope that another human being knows and cares enough to come find you. The birds, rabbits, and Bambi are not going to save you. Nature is incredible in its complexity as species compete to survive. New species continually evolve as old species become extinct.
The Nature Cult believes that if something is natural it must be somehow better than the works of Man. They promote expensive products like “organic foods”. Local produce should be encouraged as it can be fresher and taste better, but this does not mean it has to be “organic”. Chemists find the term “organic foods” hysterically funny. After all, what on Earth would “inorganic foods” actually be?
The most dangerous place I know of is a health food store. They sell untested products containing literally thousands of untested natural chemicals, many of which are undoubtedly very dangerous. Just looking at the bottles is horrifying. They do this under a loophole in our food and drug laws. They put strange labels on bottled items that state, “CONTAINS NO CHEMICALS”. For a bottle to not contain “chemicals” there would have to be a complete vacuum inside. After all, even air is composed of oxygen, nitrogen, etc. They are rather important chemicals to man.
I suppose what they really mean to say, is that the product doesn’t contain any dreaded man-made chemicals like pesticides. The noise about man-made chemicals is truly deafening, but one should consider, man-made chemicals are tested – natural chemicals are not tested.
Within 100 yards of my home I can find enough natural toxic chemicals to kill hundreds of innocent people. They seem to be blissfully unaware of how toxic many ordinary plants are. Have the nature worshipers ever heard of toxic mushrooms? They contain an exquisitely toxic compound to protect them from being eaten. It is a clear, odorless, tasteless liquid that looks like water. Just a couple of drops in a drink will kill the victim by a miserable death a few weeks later. At one point it was used for chemical warfare.
There is a natural pesticide that addicts human beings that they say kills 1,000 Americans per day. Of course I’m talking about nicotine. By the way, people are always allowed to smoke around me. Second-hand smoke is not unreasonably dangerous and everyone should have the right to smoke if they choose to. I encourage people to stop smoking, but who am I to tell them they aren’t allowed?
Nature produces natural pesticides like opium, cocaine, THC (in marijuana), caffeine, theophylline, digitallis, terpenes, and countless others. Pine trees and citrus trees contain terpenes to protect them from the never ending onslaught of pests. It’s worth noting that Florida citrus doesn’t need to be sprayed with insecticides. Citrus peel oil is very potent against fire ants and many other insects. Citrus peel oil in frozen orange juice upsets my stomach, so I avoid it.
Viruses, bacteria, mycoplasmas, and parasites are all natural. Does that mean Small Pox is good? Viruses cause most forms of cancer as they can be very effective at modifying our DNA to form cancer cells. People who abuse their skin with natural sunlight can get skin cancer.
Ironically, the man-made chemicals you have to actually watch out for are the one’s prescribed by doctors with good intentions. At least half of all medications taken by the elderly do more harm than good and should be avoided. All medications should be periodically reviewed to determine if they are really necessary. Doctors often prescribe drugs simply to prevent being sued. It’s important to communicate with your doctor.
The most dangerous thing to the health of man are natural healers and the herbal remedies they purvey. Usually they are no better than a placebo. Those big, brightly colored sugar pills work the best. Before going to a natural healer, one should at least go to a real doctor to get a diagnosis. If he can give you a diagnosis, then you can check online to see the treatment options. Often no one can give a good diagnosis, but this is not a reason to go to a natural healer.
In recent years I know of only one herbal remedy that actually seems to have worked. It was for prostate cancer and was called “PC Spes”. It contained 6 Chinese herbs, a flower, and one American herb (saw palmetto). Unfortunately it supposedly contained Warfarin, a rat poison also known as Coumadin, which is also used to prevent blood clotting and strokes in human beings.
When California discovered the presence of warfarin, PC Spes was banned from the market. It was a shame. That “flower” in PC Spes was a Marigold. Marigolds are know to contain Coumarins. Coumadin is a Coumarin. Did the screening test used by the State of California erroneously interpret the Marigold petals as containing Coumadin? I would not be surprised.
Chinese herbal remedies often contain mercury, lead, arsenic, and many other things that natural remedy enthusiasts would probably be horrified to learn of.
So what does all this mean? Nature is neither good nor bad, It’s just the way things are. Man may not be all knowing, but he’s way ahead of dolphins and whales.
Fergus S. Smith