Chapter

: The Practice of Nature, 1978–2000

in The Fire Ant Wars

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780226079813
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226079844 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226079844.003.0006
: The Practice of Nature, 1978–2000

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This chapter looks at the consequences of the actions made in the U.S. in respect to the red fire ants; and the results of bringing together nature, ideas about nature, and ways of interacting with nature. By 1970, the eradication program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had collapsed, and while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) succeeded in banning dangerous chemicals, its program also failed to realize its full promise. With the fall of these programs emerged new ideas about the ant and new ways of interacting with it. Insect-growth regulators came on to the market, although they never revolutionized control of the ant. As humans have grown increasingly powerful, their actions have become inextricably bound with nature, but yet they do not know nature. Thus, the fire ant wars do not tutor despair, but an acknowledgment of the limits of humans, even as we strive to overcome them.

Keywords: U.S. Department of Agriculture; USDA; Environmental Protection Agency; EPA; dangerous chemicals; insect-growth regulators; humans; ant

Chapter.  13086 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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