The Environmental Disruption Caused by Man vs Nature

England's ecology conscientious cartoon Mr. Crabtee discusses the topic of early man's disruption of nature, and later, man's dependence on chemical farming which harms the natural food-energy cycle.

| November/December 1975

Man-made rot is eating at the heart of nature, we are despoiling the heritage of our sons, our grandsons, and their grandsons.  

And now — direct from England — the world's most conscientious ecology cartoon feature. A little overstated for our American tastes, perhaps, but full of real meat, nonetheless. Ah, if we only had a cartoon series like this on our side of the pond! But, since we don't MOTHER EARTH NEWS presents Mr. Crabtree Crusades! Read this issue's entire comic strip here.  

Man vs Nature

The balance of life and the turning of the food-energy cycle worked perfectly in the original wilderness. It could have run on indefinitely if man had not settled instead of wandering, grown crops instead of hunting. When he did, man vs nature caused great ruptures in nature's balance. But nature is adaptable as long as her most important law is observed — that what comes from the soil must be returned to the soil. Over the many centuries farming man has observed that law and nature has accepted him in partnership. This has changed in our time. Chemical farming now takes from the soil but does not return to the soil what it has taken. So, year by year, the soil is made poorer, the humus destroyed. Now we are paying the price.

The havoc that sprays cause can be assessed by looking where they do not penetrate. The prehistoric ditch is a deep defile, man–made in the Iron Age, 3,000 years ago. All about it lie the ravaged farm lands, but in the ditch there is in miniature the world that Mr. Crabtree remembers. The scent of wild thyme is on the air and butterflies and flowers, seldom or never to be seen outside, come in their seasons. Cowslips and primroses bloom in April, wild orchids come in May and June. The ditch and all that lives in it have been spared because has not been worthwhile for anyone to try to turn its soil into profit. It has been allowed by that accident to fall into wilderness area, a reminder of past beauty.

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