An Environmental Fallacy

I’ve had an epiphany about ranting and raving. It’s a hobby of mine and one that I feel I’ve very nearly perfected. I used to worry that my rants were nonsensical and usually they are. I went through a period of trying to rationalize my rants but today I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong. The whole purpose of ranting and raving is to relieve stress and it doesn’t make a bit of difference whether or not the thoughts you’re having make sense or even if they are fair. It’s all about going on at length, making illogical and ludicrous arguments against whatever has upset or enraged you until you feel better. Now let’s get to it before I suck all the magic out of this wondrous pastime.

Before I begin, allow me to set the mood. I’d like you to picture something for me and I’ll give you two options. Option one is to imagine me in a clear dome on top of my house wandering aimlessly while I shake my fist at the heavens and mutter incoherently. If you don’t understand the reference or would prefer not to imagine that, you may instead envision a man in front of a computer with streamers of slobber slung haphazardly from the corners of his mouth. His lips are frothy with a rabid foam and he snarls randomly as he types, occasionally hitting a key much harder than is really necessary.

If you don’t care for either of those, please stop reading now. Those are the only two images I authorize you to imagine while reading this. Anything else is a violation of blogger – blogee trust and while this cannot be prosecuted criminally, if I ever learn of anyone offending this boundary it may well prompt another rant. So basically what I’m saying is that the entire paragraph preceding this sentence is supremely pointless and I needn’t have wasted my time writing it. But I did.

On to the ranting and raving. The topic for this rant is reclaimed wood wall art. It may not seem like anything that could ever upset anyone to the point that they’d need to express anything to anyone on the subject. In time I hope you’ll come to understand my frustration.

Before we get to the issues underlying the folly of reclaimed wood wall art, allow me to define reclaimed wood wall art as I understand it. Essentially is it scrap wood that has been painted on and hung on a wall. There’s nothing wrong with that that I can see. Certainly there is nothing there to cause any sort of angst or strong negative feelings in a human being. The problem I see is in the way that reclaimed wood wall art is sold. I saw some in a catalog and the caption said, and I paraphrase, buy this and save the environment. Ok. Surely I am not the only one that sees the fallacy of that advertising technique. It should be obvious to all but the most air-headed of environmentalists that such a transaction does nothing for the environment and may even do Mother Earth a slight deal of harm. Let’s break this down.

First of all wood is a natural organic substance. It is part of nature. If it is abandoned in nature, nature will take care of its disposal. Nature has all kinds of means with which to do this. Bugs eat it and that’s a big one. If you really love nature you’ll leave the wood where it is. By painting it and hanging it on your wall you’re robbing bugs of food and that is just cruel. Also, why on earth would you want bug food hanging on your wall? Rotting wood is also a nursery. Grubs and termites and many other species of pest raise their young in beautiful chunks of tree that have been softened by a mixture of water, sun and the bacteria found in healthy soil. If you aren’t concerned that you’re starving bugs, maybe the thought that you are depriving little bug babies of a comfortable home in which they may grow into strong, irritating pest as nature intended,will tug at your heartstrings a little.

Perhaps you’re a pragmatist. Perhaps there is no room in your heart for the plight of the pests. Perhaps the preceding arguments haven’t persuaded you. If you see yourself in the preceding sentences, the following points may benefit you. I’ll start by pragmatically pointing out that wood is renewable. Or how about the fact that as the wood breaks down, it returns to the soil the nutrients young trees need to thrive and grow and become the next generation of wood that may one day be reclaimed to be used as wall art. So we see that not only does reclaiming the wood harm the bug community, it also harms the wood community in that for every piece of reclaimed wood art on someone’s wall, there’s one less piece of nutrition for the trees that still live. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but trees can’t walk. They can’t drive down to their favorite garden center for a nice steaming bag of fertilizer. THE LIVING TREES RELY ON SCRAP WOOD AND OTHER SUCH ORGANIC MATERIALS IN ORDER TO BE HEALTHY! QUIT ROBBING THEM OF LIFE BY HANGING THEIR GROCERIES ON YOUR WALL! AND IF YOU FEEL YOU MUST HANG RECLAIMED WOOD WALL ART ON YOUR WALL AT LEAST DON’T DELUDE YOURSELF BY THINKING YOU’RE DOING ANYONE OR ANYTHING ANY GOOD EXCEPT FOR THE GUY WHO SOLD IT TO YOU! Ok. I’m calm. I know that some of the reclaimed wood may perhaps have been destined for a landfill. Some may argue that reclaiming it for art saves space in the landfills. To this I say PURE BALDERDASH! Yes, it does save space. However, perhaps it is a fact that no place needs organic components more than a landfill. If we are worried about the amounts of waste in our landfills, perhaps we should focus on the manmade junk that is constantly replacing natural materials and simply won’t break down. As I’ve mentioned before, wood will rot. As it does it will encourage the rotting of other organic materials. Scrap wood in our landfills reduces the amount of detritus in our neighborhood dumps! Reclaimed wood wall art is the antithesis of environmental responsibility!

I hereby bid you Adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…buy reclaimed wood wall art if you find a piece that speaks to you. There is no shame in enjoying art.

A don’t…allow yourself to be drawn into the corporate money making scheme that would like you to believe that it is something other than detrimental to the environment to purchase reclaimed wood wall art. It is one succubus of a scam that steals the lives of trees and bugs and denies landfills the material they need to promote space saving rot. Save Mother Earth! Let reclaimed wood wall art remain unreclaimed!


Author: macbick

I am a writer who takes joy in presenting ideas that I find funny or strange. In addition to blogging I write children's books that, I hope, will bring families together for a few minutes while inspiring laughter, questions, conversations and introducing a few new words. Visit my Facebook page @williamennisauthor for more on my philosophy and to preview my book. Only one is out so far. Many more to come soon.

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