According to news reports, vast stretches of the Amazon rainforest are being shaved clean via the straight razor of human-ignited wildfires. This potential environmental suicide is allegedly Brazilian government policy to clear land for agriculture and industry. God help us all.

Because this vast rainforest absorbs carbon dioxide while releasing 20% of planet Earth's oxygen, humanity has an obvious vested interest. But here in Decatur, before we collectively jump on our high horse to feign self-righteous indignation, let's bring it back home to consider our own equally suicidal environmental behavior.

As I've written ad nauseam in letters to the editor and repeatedly warn in my allotted three minutes at city council meetings, Decatur's nonsensical neighborhood ordinance virtually mandates that residents wield their own eco-destructive "straight razors" of lawnmowers and lawn chemicals to shave clean all potential biodiversity in our backyards and on our public properties.

Never mind Brazil's foolishness to grow their economy at the expense of all living species on planet Earth, here at home in our own backyards we foolishly foster environmental suicide, not for economic reasons, but solely for the sake of city-mandated culturally-conditioned curb appeal “aesthetics." Indeed, we are willingly destroying life-sustaining ecosystems that provide an environmental future for our children and grandchild. This is societal insanity on steroids!

Wise utilization of residential backyard finite natural resources and unutilized public properties to reintroduce native prairie biodiversity to our “Prairie State” will help replenish eco-essential insect biomass, including pollinator insects that are rapidly disappearing.

Please, City Council, revise neighborhood ordinance so residents have opportunity to transition their backyards from eco-destructive chemically-poisoned monoculture grass lawns to Mother Nature's original groundcover garden of native wildflowers and tallgrass prairie. Please allow Decatur to become a wonderful and critically needed environmental role-model for Illinois and America.

Don Carmichael, Decatur

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