IDEMA: Why have a lawn?

Nov 7, 2012


Perhaps we should look at climate change as Pascal (a French philosopher, physicist and mathematician, 1623-62) did in terms of the existence of God. His famous wager put forth the proposition that, if you believe in God, you have nothing to lose and much to gain; but if you place your bet on the nonexistence of God, there could be a horrible price to be paid.

Same with climate change, it seems to me. We gain more by believing in it, and doing something about it, than betting that it is a left-wing ideology and that there are no consequences for all the pollution we create.

Climate change has been barely discussed in the election cycle that mercifully will have ended by the time you read this (Or will we have recounts that prolong the agony?). So, let's discuss climate change here.

In all the years I have been reading articles on religion or letters to the editor in our West Michigan newspapers, rarely do I see someone who argues that the church should take active measures to do something about climate change. Would that be too controversial for a preacher or parish newsletter?

But, you might ask, what can we do as individuals or as a church to combat something as global as climate change? There are many things, of course. Energy-saving light bulbs; energy-efficient cars; monitoring the amount of electricity we use; taking advantage of Consumers Energy's program of signing up for "green" energy for our homes, churches and businesses instead of coal energy (that costs me an additional $16 a month for my home — but well worth it, I believe).

Here is another idea that probably you have not thought of: getting rid of your lawn. Let it be natural. Perhaps planting some indigenous plants is a nice addition to natural ground cover.

Green lawns are a European import, which are not natural to Michigan. We have to water them all the time in summer, which wastes a precious resource. The fertilizers are often bad for the environment. We get neurotic about the moles, which ruin the look of a green lawn. The heat of summer then turns the green grass to brown.

Moreover, in the fall, you think you have to rake up all of those beautiful leaves only to expose the dull lawns of fall. I would rather have wood chips, fallen leaves, ground cover, and some color with flowers and plants you don't have to mow, rake or water all that much.

Moreover, lawnmowers create noise pollution, along with all that smoke belching out into the heavens.

Getting rid of lawns for vegetation and plants natural to Michigan won't solve the problem of climate change, but it will save you from a losing battle against it as you try to keep that British and French import — green grass — looking green.

What is wrong with appreciating the beautiful dandelions in the spring? Or the piles of red, yellow and brown leaves that pile up on our lawns in our gorgeous autumns?

You can also do away with church lawns, as far as I am concerned. Think of how much money that would save in parish budgets!

I have a lawnmower for sale, if you need one. I will never need it again!

— By the Rev. Henry Idema, Tribune religion columnist


Tri-cities realist

Snlfan, is your busy day done? I have been waiting on pins and needles for your reply (H). I am following Vlad's lead and denoting an attempt at Humor with an (H).

Tri-cities realist

Random thought for the day.... Why doesn't the Trib blog recognize that daylight savings has ended?


LOL! Are you kidding? It doesn't even recognize attempts to format a post with paragraphs, :-)

Tri-cities realist

Good point


I hate that... is there an easy way?


Well the short, smart-a** reply would be to keep your replies to one paragraph. :-) If you're well versed in the use of HTML tags then you can do what was suggested's a PITA, but it works.

My complaint is that it's 2012 not 1985 and you should be able to just hit the enter key a couple times to produce a paragraph break and continue on with your next thought. In 20 years of communicating via online forums I've never run across another forum that was so poorly designed as this one. Particulary so when the participants here are probably not generally as computer literate as most other ones I subscribe to......


Also, not to be a Mr. Smarty Pants, but you can also create paragraphs this way.....

< p >This is some text in a paragraph.< / p >

I had to put spaces inbetween the HTML characters to make the HTML tags show up in the post. To use the tags you'll need to remove the spaces. You can copy and paste the above bolded line in the comment box and then simply put your paragraph inbetween the start and end tags.

ALSO, while I'm ranting, why is there not a way to delete your entire post when it's placement in the thread is in the wrong spot or you change your mind about offering your opinion?

Sorry for the mini-tutorial and bonus rant. Back to the neverending climate change debate. :-)


Right on Less, it is particularly irritating when a misplaced qoute cannot be deleted. Trib are you listening??

Tri-cities realist

I just hit edit, then delete all but one word or letter or a period, then save. I assume others do the same since I've seen Wing (I believe) just post a period.


You're not comprehending what you're reading again......I'm talking about deleting the ENTIRE post, not just the content of the post. All those posts with just a period are posts that we should be able to remove from the thread entirely because they have no content. Understand now?


Horry Clap - I think I just found that putting the HTML tag less than p greater than (

will produce a paragraph (may be too technical for folks who don't use spell check, but it's a start)


Hey wait a minute I use spell check but still can't figure it out! Errrr!


I tried to put in the "less than" and "more than" symbols in my comment, but they didn't show up. Best I can do is suggest, at the bottom of my keyboard line of letters, there is a symbol over the comma, and a symbol over the period. If you hit those, with a lower case 'p" in between, it seems to recognize paragraphs. (Obviously I am computer illiterate - will tell a funny story about that sometime when humor is more appreciated).


still busy... had a long weekend doing chores etc...

Petition Project

First of this is not an accepted peer reviewed, but was designed to look like it had come from the National Academy of Science (NAS). So the NAS had to publish a statement saying that they were not part of this study/opinion/registry and it has not passed any peer reviews.
Did you know that the characters from M*A*S*H are signers, along with prank names like I.C. Ewe, sounds like something well reviewed by the science community? Really, ask yourself, do I believe a petitions claims that itself has fake names in it? Did you know that of the signers that only 0.5% had background in the following climate areas of expertise: Atmospheric Science (113) & Climatology (39). To claim 30k+ signatories lets just do a real quick sampling and find one… straight from the listing let’s Google… how about someone from the K’s ok?

Adrian F. Kirk sounds good let’s get his/her take on the topic… found a portrait I think he/she took form the 50’s http://digitalcollections.librar... That doesn’t seem to be anything to do with climate science, didn’t see anything else climate related, so let’s try Adrian F. Kirk climate at google, see what we get. Bingo a hit… oh wait Google just found that this had the words Adrian Kirk Climate in it, oh and it’s one of those left wing hippy reports with a steering committee, the NAS and filled with leftist scientists, saying that Biodiversity is effected by climate change, stupid hippies…

I’ve been practicing my profession for 15 years and if I Google myself I see evidence of that when I combine my name and area of expertise.

This is all the time I have now to debunk this myth… need more on the petition?

Tri-cities realist

Unfortunately the global warming fanatics won't confront the science so they resort to tactics like posting fake names to the petition, in an effort to discredit it. The petition recognizes this and does its best to weed out the fakes. And believe it or not there are scientists who happen to share the same name as fictional characters, celebrities, etc. The petitions authors say it underwent ordinary peer review by the publishing journal. The real question is, if this report is so easily debunked, why hasn't anyone from NAS, IPCC performed their own review? I can find a bunch of claims that it is bunk, but no actual review of the underlying data.


Fact: A vast majority of the signers of this "petition" have no back ground in climate science. Go ahead pick a random name from the list as I did, and see what publications they have on the science of climate change. As a licensed professional I would never sign anything proposing a statement of fact that I was not personally involved with the research, that would be unethical, but, here we are discussing a petition where most all of the signatories have no background in the science they are backing.

Fact: The research paper Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide was made to mimic what a research paper would look like in the National Academy's prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy journal. To the point that the NAS had to issue a statement: ""The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science."

Fact: The cover letter was written by Dr. Fred Sienz who was the President of the NAS some 30+ years ago, and was in one of the Dr's who worked for big tobacco saying that it was a healthy habit and always was a climate change denier. Making the paper look like something from the NAS, using a former president from back in the day when Dr’s were telling people to light up, sounds pretty deceitful does it not?

I am leaving this part of the conversation now believe what you like.

Tri-cities realist

Fact: The petition presents a hypothesis, as with any other legitimate scientific research. Global warming cannot be stated as fact, nor can its non-existence. I just find it odd that if the data supporting the petition is so easily debunked, that I can't find that rebuttal anywhere, and I'm not talking about someone writing an article or blog "saying" it is bunk, I'm talking about someone presenting the data, or showing where it is in error, and then drawing a different conclusion. That is the essence of scientific review. What is IPCC or NAS so afraid of? Why don't they take the time to thoroughly review the petitions data?

Tri-cities realist

I'm confused by your links. Perhaps you could offer your thoughts about each one?



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