Part 11: Man’s devastation by poisoning of bees will be the death of all mankind
The world-famous Harvard University biologist Edward O. Wilson speculates: “If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”
Each day, millions of middle class Americans across this country spray Roundup, Weed-Be-Gone, Termite Spray, Bug Killer, Wasp Spray and hundreds of other poisons onto their sidewalks, driveways, bushes, trees, flowers and onto their lawns. They kill everything that pecks, slithers, crawls, flaps, bites and breathes. Their mass slaughter includes bats, honey bees, flies, butterflies, mosquitoes, wasps, bumblebees and other pollinators. Billions upon trillions of insects suffer death via poisons that disrupt their breathing or digestive tracks.
As human life menacingly expands across the planet, it devours the natural world. It kills the balance of the natural world. It murders just about anything that flies, bites or burps. According to a High Country News report years ago, Americans kill 1 vertebrate crossing our roads (road kill) every 11.1 seconds. That equals to one million deaths every day of the year.(www.HighCountryNews.com) That equals 365 million creatures lose their lives to tires, boat propellers, fans, boats, jet intakes, aircraft propellers and other mechanical devices every single day of the year. Humans kill everything that runs, leaps, flies or swims—by the billions and trillions.
But we shall pay for our transgressions when it comes to the pollinators: bees, bats, wasps, butterflies and other insects.
Consider the coming collapse of the $30 billion honey bee economy in the US.
“Since 2006 honey bees responsible for pollinating more than 100 crops—from apples to zucchini—have been dying by the tens of millions,” said a Huffington Post report. “As a new report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) details, scientists are still struggling to pinpoint the cause of so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and time is running out. Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops.”
The report said, “CCD has wiped out some 10 million bee hives worth $2 billion over the past six years. The death rate for colonies has hit 30% annually in recent years and there are now about 2.5 million honey bee colonies in the US, down from 6 million in 1947 and 3 million in 1990. That downward spiral leaves “virtually no cushion of bees for pollination.”
With mounting information, it becomes downright frightening. For example: take almonds. California harvests more than 80 percent of the world’s almonds. But you can’t grow the nut without honey bees and it takes 60 percent of the US’s remaining colonies to pollinate that one $4 billion cash crop.”
“If the death toll continues at the present rate, that means there will soon be barely enough bees to pollinate almonds, let alone avocadoes, blueberries, pears or plums. “We are one poor weather event or high winter bee loss away from a pollination disaster,” USDA scientist Jeff Pettis said in the report.
Jacques Cousteau worried about what humans were doing to the ecosystem: “If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe to be replaced by the insect.”
Scientists report several factors—from disease-carrying parasites to pesticides. What sickens me stems from the fact that we know our chemicals disrupt every living creature in a cornfield, wheat field, potato field, tomato patch and bean acre. Yet we pour, spray and inject more and more poisons.
A beekeeper said, “Bees are vital to our lives as they are among the primary pollinators of our food plants. It has been deduced that if our native bees were to die out the effect on crops and wild flowers would be utterly catastrophic. As these crops and flowers provide food for our wild and farm animals we could easily lose up to a third of our regular diet. This is a very real problem, and one that is not getting the attention it needs.”
Bees and other pollinators allow humanity to thrive. Without them, we won’t survive the 21st century. I finding it particularly galling if not a whole new dimension of “stupid” for our species to continue expanding our numbers while we diminish insect numbers, rodent numbers, big beasts and avian numbers at a rate of one million daily via road kill in the USA alone.
But the wholesale poisoning via such insane herbicides like Roundup makes me sick to my stomach. Those poisons travel into the ground, into the angleworms, into the birds, into the bugs and finally into the water systems where they ultimately poison each and every one of us. How can we be this stupid?
We wonder why 1 out of 3 Americans suffers from the biggest killer in the USA: cancer. How stupid can we prove ourselves? How absolutely out of touch and in denial of reality can we be? What kind of intellectually and morally bankrupt greedy money-mongers make TV commercials parading Roundup to millions of really stupid, ignorant and uninformed Americans too fat and too lazy to bend down and pull out the weeds on their driveway with their hands?
To think that within another 37 years, our country will grow by 137 million Americans while the rest of the world adds another 3 billion people—all capable of using Roundup and hundreds of other poisons to kill the bees of the world. We prove ourselves to be the smartest—dumbest species on this planet. I’ll toss in arrogant, self-righteous and insanely dull of mind to boot.
Tama Janowitz puts the earthly competition between insects and humans this way: “Long after the bomb falls and you and your good deeds are gone, cockroaches, will still be here, prowling the streets like armored cars.”
Frosty Wooldridge is a Population-Immigration-Environmental specialist: speaker at colleges, civic clubs, high schools and conferences. Facebook: Frosty Wooldridge. Facebook Adventure Page: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World. Www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com. www.frostywooldridge.com.