Often it is the unintended consequences that are the most costly.
Under pressure from Green politicians and activists, some local municipalities in Europe are pushing to reduce the use of chemical herbicides such as Roundup. Apparently, the thinking goes that city gardeners will pluck weeds from pavements, public parks and highway medians by the millions…by hand? Some municipalities have resorted to another, potentially tragic, means of weed control: fire.
So it happened that earlier this month in Utrecht, which banned herbicides for “amenity use” in the 1990s, four houses were seriously damaged and four families had to find somewhere else to live after someone using a flame thrower accidentally set the houses on fire. Subsequently, local officials told the media that the city would temporarily suspend all weed control activities.
More coverage here.