Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’

Undoubted statistics show that there is a plummeting of the numbers of insects. Does this sound appealing to you? Are you, “Bugs–good riddance”? Get over it. Insects, as The Guardian reminds us, “…are essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.” Without them we’re at risk of a catastrophic failure of nature. You know where you get your food from? Nature.

So how did this happen? Runaway agriculture and development. Industrial agriculture has razed the natural habitat of the world’s insects. And of course insecticides kills them off in enormous masses. Those that survive have no one to mate with.

What can we do about it? Much. But the real question is, what will we do about it? Little, if humanity’s persistent short-sightedness is any indication.

If we had the social will, we could radically cut down on the construction of housing projects, big box malls, parking lots, everything that squanders land. America’s vast belts of of strip malls and toxic fast-food franchises; the more unnecessary factories–even big amusement parks…It’s all garbage. We could throw it out. We could work harder on reducing landfills too.

And most importantly, we could go to smaller scale sustainable agriculture. We don’t really need pesticides or herbicides to raise food. If we just outlaw pesticides–that’ll start to make a difference right away.

We don’t need all that beef and pork either–it takes up an inordinate amount of land, leaving little room for ecological complexity.

We can organize a better world without all the sheer greed-based crap we surround ourselves with, and we’ll save not only insects but the remaining wild animal life out there. Insects and the surviving animal species will bounce back.

We could do it. But we probably won’t. Because we have the attention spans of insects–namely, gnats.


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