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Posts Tagged ‘Einstein’

A new report is calling for the global banning of two common pesticides, neonicotinoids and fipronil. Why? Bees. Also birds, earthworms, other pollinators and aquatic invertebrates, but let’s focus on bees for a minute.

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.

― Albert Einstein

Maybe you’re sick of hearing that chemicals are implicated in colony collapse disorder and bee deaths? Maybe your eyes glaze over when someone mentions the importance of bees to the ecosystem? Well, are you sick of eating? Because that’s what this discussion is really about.

One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators.

The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides is putting out the Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (yeah, it’s a mouthful, just call it WIA, or on Twitter: #WIAlaunch). It’s the most comprehensive study of neonics ever done, it’s peer reviewed, and it includes industry-sponsored research as well as other source material. The picture it paints is not pretty. From a Treehugger article on the report:

Many of the findings are shocking. The concentrations of chemicals building up in waters exceeds levels approved as safe by pesticide regulations. Many of the species occupying critical links low in our food chains are being exposed via multiple pathways and by cocktails of chemicals acting together.

Scientists note that the prophylactic use of pesticides rivals CAFO antibiotic abuse; in both practices, chemicals are dosed into our environment causing real problems in a quest to avoid potential problems.

This Is What Our Grocery Shelves Would Look Like Without Bees

We’d be eating porridge, rice, bread — not much else. Life would be awful.

― Dave Goulson

We’re lucky enough to have a food factory where the most important workers do the job for free, and we’re dousing them with poison. Where’s the sense in that? Humanity is often smart and frequently innovative, particularly when something we care about is threatened. We got over our devil-may-care love affair with DDT when it was shown to have persistent toxicological effects on the environment and, you know, life. We can do this too.

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From Flash Fiction Online’s Facebook page. I can’t even say how much I love this…

Like many other committed readers and writers, I spent a significant part of my time from childhood on in public libraries. People often take them for granted now, but imagine a time (or place) where you couldn’t pop down to the corner for a book, or a consultation with a librarian, or a safe quiet place to read and work, where knowledge wasn’t freely available to all. What a wonderful invention.

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