Now here's a question for you. Do you recognise the term 'pioneer plants'? Well, neither did I until it was explained to me by a good friend, who happens to be a retired horticultural scientist. Pioneer plants, I'm told, are those which grow first and most readily on land that has been lying derelict for any length of time... brambles, thistles, thorn bushes and the like. They need no special care or cultivation, they just grow. And of course they're unwelcome intruders when they suddenly make an appearance in my back garden... and as they do, all too often! But this also got me thinking, are they universally unwelcome?
Well, it seems to me that they mustn't be entirely unwelcome to Edinburgh Council. On the contrary I see dandelions developing and thistles thriving in the centre of many an Edinburgh roundabout these days, as well as in other public areas. Of course this could be the result of Council economies - after all, where are they going to get the £13,000,000 + to pay for the enquiry into phase 1 of the tram project – or, have they been subtly seduced by the current buzzword for ecologists and environmentalists...'REWILDING' ?
THE CASE FOR REWILDING
According to the charitable organisation 'Rewilding Britain' this approach is all about..
'...the large scale restoration of ecosystems to the point where nature is
allowed to take care of itself.'
It's believed that left to their own devices, many species of flora and fauna are supposed to achieve a natural equilibrium and survive. Though for me, George Monbiot, the British ecologist, who is said to be the high priest of rewilding, sounds a much more alarming and somewhat sinister note in arguing that rewilding is...
'...the perfect antidote to the Biblical doctrine of dominion – the destructive basis of
modern human relationship to nature.'
THE CASE AGAINST REWILDING
O course whilst I certainly wouldn't excuse the way mankind (or should it be personkind) has abused and exploited much of the natural world down through the centuries, I would certainly take issue with any environmentalists who think that left to its own devices nature could 'take care of itself'. It wasn't intended to be so! From the earliest beginnings of time God entrusted the husbandry of His creation to the likes of us. He said to our forebears...
'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground.'
But, ever since 'sin' entered the world, the land we live on has been cursed. God says...
'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you...'
Whilst it's essential that we accept and aim to fulfil our God-given responsibility to nurture and sustain our environment, doing all we can to protect the fragility of the world around us, it's clearly not God's will that nature should be left to its own devices. Is this not simply yet another satanic ploy to have us ignore and reject yet another facet of God's order?
Finally, though I'd ask you to make up your own mind about all this, let me finish with a point to ponder. What was it that evil men thrust onto the head of Christ Jesus in order to increase His physical agony prior to His crucifixion? No, it wasn't a crown of lilies, or chrysanthemums, petunias or carnations... but a crown of thorns! Significant do you think?