The lab rats of Lanark County

The Millstone March 16, 2017

Imagine a giant chemical experiment taking place in our county. For which we taxpayers are paying $51,500 per year.

Where we are the subjects – and the scientific method is non-existent.

“Wow!” you say. “Will we get any mind-altering experiences from this?” No. But you will get lots of dead roadside vegetation. And the future effects are unclear, but worrisome.

“Impossible!” you exclaim. Well, let’s review the evidence.

Having performed science experiments in school, we’re familiar with the scientific method. Using this established procedure, I’ll outline how Lanark County have conducted their own “experiment”.

First, the question: Why is wild parsnip a problem, and how should we respond? Well, wild parsnip can cause a nasty photosensitivity rash if, during its flowering phase, the plant’s sap gets on your skin. The remedy? Avoid sunlight on your skin until you wash off the sap. Once you learn to identify this metre-tall plant with yellow flowers, it’s easily avoided.

Second: Conduct background research related to the question. It seems reason was abandoned, as Lanark County, instead of analyzing this plant’s habits, seized on chemical warfare as the means to obliterate it. The fact that the spraying would miss whole swaths of wild parsnip, which would then likely reseed any bare spots, was…forgotten? The fact that more prudent jurisdictions had found safer weed management solutions was overlooked.