"Why Things Bite Back 90-147"
On pages 90-147 in "Why Things Bite Back", Tenner explains how we attempt to improve nature and our surroundings. Earthquakes, droughts, and beaches are all problems associating with the environment. How are we trying to prevent, or at least protect ourselves from Mother Nature? Are our attempts to get rid of pests only causing more problems?
Droughts can cause major national problems. Increasing wheat prices during World War I and Henry Ford's gasoline-powered tractor made people think that dry farming would be a very profitable business. Farmers and business men would spend hundreds of dollars on land and cultivate them into wheat fields. Little did they know that this would only encourage another drought, causing more problems on top of the ones they already had. On a positive side, we have extremely advanced technology when it comes to predicting an earthquake. Earthquakes cost the nation millions of dollars. A major California earthquake costs about $100 million dollars. A prediction of a Midwestern earthquake would cost $50 billion. With earthquakes we can only lessen the damage and the death toll. There will always be long term costs of relief. Insect control has been a long continuous battle. We can't seem to eliminate pests without promoting new ones. One example is how farmers will try to spray a pesticide to eliminate one type of pest. Well not only does this kill just the pests, but also predators of other pests. The prey multiplies beyond control. Also, the expansion of crops wipes out ecologies of some animals, which also makes an imbalance of the ecology, promoting more pests. We cannot seem to leave an imbalance on nature. Nature will always continue to keep its equilibrium one way or another. Maybe we'll find a solution that will temporarily work, but there's no way to keep nature from going on its natural course.
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