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Scientists Warn of “Ecological Armageddon”

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Jeanne Roberts There have been 0 comments

And the cause is reportedly not global warming or climate change, increasingly destructive weather patterns, loss of Arctic ice, or melting permafrost across the northern reaches of the globe. Rather, scientists suspect the loss of wild areas repurposed for agriculture, and the resultant wholesale use of pesticides and other chemicals.

The result has been an astonishing loss in the number and variety of insects. But just the flying ones, mind you. Not all the creepy crawlies, though there is no doubt they are declining as well. (BTW, all the bugs in the world add up to about 10 quintillion – 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 – and probably outweigh humanity a hundredfold.)

We knew about the bees. We knew about the butterflies. But the news that flying insects as a whole have declined by 75 percent is astonishing. In fact, the decline in summer – when big bugs are making little bugs – was even greater: 82 percent!

The causes? Loss of habitat, pesticides, other agricultural chemicals, and perhaps even such minor influencers as dryer environments, greater areas of suburban lawn, and bug zappers or other insect deterrents.

The research was done at 63 different nature reserves, using special tents called malaise traps to capture more than 1,500 samples of flying insects – not merely butterflies and bees, but wasps and flies, which are seldom studied.

According to one study author, Caspar Hallmann, the plight of these insects is made even worse given the context of the study. That is, all samples were collected in areas where insect populations should have been highest.

“All these areas are protected and most of them are well-managed nature reserves. Yet, this dramatic decline has occurred.” Hallmann noted.

However, and inevitably, flying insects will leave such protected areas and fly across both urban and rural landscapes, each of which presents its own hazards, though the greatest danger is likely in rural areas, where farmers routinely spray pesticides and herbicides.

This wholesale use of what are inherently deadly chemicals is a failure by regulatory agencies to recognize the hazards. Or, as one scientist noted:

“The effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored by regulatory systems. This can and should be changed to reflect the pharmaceutical marketplace, which operates under a system of exacting global monitoring.”

To support their position, these scientists point to DDT and, more recently, “scorched earth” policies that see grain drenched in Roundup to hurry the drying process and control grain weeds. This protocol, encouraged by Monsanto et al, is the real reason for so-called gluten sensitivity.

Granted, the decline in flying insects has taken place over 25 years, or six percent per year. Still, the overall effect is tremendous, on a par with Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” exposé of chemicals in the 1960s. This is because flying insects fill a huge ecological niche. In addition to pollinating fruit trees and blooming vegetable crops like tomatoes, squash and cucumbers, they also pollinate flowering plants in home gardens – everything from the lowly coneflower to the exotically fragrant honeysuckle vine. In fact, flies, moths and butterflies are as important as bees for many flowering plants, including some crops.

Flying insects also provide food for birds, bats, some mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Some flying insects (i.e., beetles, flies, and wasps) also aid Nature by preventing insect pests and speeding up the decomposition of animal and vegetable remains.

If you think the catastrophic loss of flying insect populations over the past quarter century isn’t a problem, or isn’t real, consider this: how often have you had to clean your windshield of bugs lately, as compared to how often you had to do it just a few decades ago?

Yep. It’s real, and you can do your part by checking out, and using, only ecologically safe, natural insect control products.

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Pest Control, Your Garden and was tagged with Armageddon, bees, bug zapper, bugs, butterflies, climate change, ecofriendly, Ecological, flying insects, habitat, NON-TOXIC, pesticides, Roundup


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