Home | About | Donate

'Nature Is Under Siege': Scientists Sound Alarm About Insect Apocalypse

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/12/nature-under-siege-scientists-sound-alarm-about-insect-apocalypse


From the article:

Roel van Klink of the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research told The Guardian that “the most important thing we learn [from these new studies] is the complexity behind insect declines. No single quick fix is going to solve this problem.”

Depends on what you mean by “single quick fix.” We do need a single quick fix, to solve the problem: We need to quickly unwind the whole extractive industrial economy, the EIE.

The EIE was originally built on a foundation of wealth extracted from colonization, mass murder and enslavement by “enlightened” and “liberal” white supremacist Europeans.

More recently, coal and oil fueled capitalism and industrialism into imperialism and “globalization.”

AS A DIRECT RESULT, the ecology of the Earth is approaching collapse. We don’t need to seek magic bullets or narrow fixes. We need to see reality, and immediately begin to comprehensively roll-back the industrial assault on ecology.

It’s not, by any means, simply about insects. It’s about the fabric of ecology, and the ecological dis-integration that is underway caused by the extractive industrial economy.

We need to grok that. We need to utterly transform “the economy” (and human social relations) so that “the economy” (and humanity) functions beneficially to the ecology.

And we need to face the entrenched and powerful interests who claim to “own” most of “the economy,” who gain great wealth and power by owning and managing the EIE to maximize profit as “the bottom line,” rather than to maximize ecological (or human) health.

Quick fix, problem solved.


The “Eight action items” are very helpful. Some i already practice and some were new to me. We can learn things every day to aid our planet.

1 Like

The last two summers in the upper Ohio valley I have noticed that I almost never had to clean the bug guts off my windshield when getting gas. There simply aren’t many bugs any more.
Of course most of the birds never fly south anymore to escape our mild winters. And most small animals around here like squirrels, skunks and possums don’t hibernate either.
And this band of warming weather and longer summers keeps creeping farther north every year.


In 1991 the front porch would resemble the entrance of the Adams family home covered in webs and insects needing to be swept monthly. On occasion there would be something like a magnificent large garden spider with a huge web that would be spared. This year the same front porch went all year with only a light cleaning in November. In 1991 there were a good number of bats flying back and forth all around the house during summer months. This year we got lucky and saw a single bat cruising around the apple trees. In 2000 we had at least three bee hives and a wasp nest in the yard. I had sweat bees landing on my arms as I gardened. It was amazing to watch the wasps picking off the gypsy moth caterpillars climbing up the oak trees. This year not. We used to have as many as half a dozens Monarchs in the yard at one time, daily. This year I saw one Monarch butterfly all summer.


Poisoning the earth with killing chemicals is a crime of vast proportions; an apocalypse affecting all living things to create profits by Monsatan and now owner Bayer AG - those that brought the world zyklon B and has since branched-out to exterminate or bring killing diseases to all life. That business sector and the mindset of wholesale death to all for money should be what is exterminated !


Hi Emphyrio;

Rachel Carson wrote "Silent Spring, " in the 1950s, I think. She died of cancer too. We had all those bug sprays , which also make humans sick. It took an asteroid to wipe out the dinosaurs------and pesticides to wipe out the insects, and then —us, I guess.
Although, It’s raining its today and in the early morning I heard frogs down at the river-----Nature is still alive here, but I wonder, with all the sprays and bombs and mining and oil pollution----I wonder how long the planet really has? If there is a next time—maybe then humans will be tiny and bugs big enough to ride. : )


Published 1962 and still worth reading. At that time, kids would run through the clouds behind the mosquito spray truck. How little we knew.


My late wife did what you just described. I’m convinced that’s what contributed to her death from cancer. So, yeah, how little we knew…including how little we still know, such as the effects of 5G satellite and sreet-corner transmitter broadcasts on our fragile human biology. READ DR. JOSEPH MERCOLA’S BOOK, EMF*D, if you’d like to understand why the fucking spider webs have disappeared from your ceilings and walls.

1 Like

Hi gde:
Thank you for the correct date. I was amazed when I read it and how she described the world that was changing. A mosquito spray truck??? Where did you grow up that kind of thing happened? Of course in CA when they sprayed for mosquitos from the air, it took the paint off of peoples cars! : 0

1 Like

Massachusetts for me, but this was common throughout mosquito country in USA at the time. The cancer culprit was likely the water/petroleum aerosol carrier for what was likely DDT. Back in those days, gas station employees would pump the gas; with poor vapor controls and repeated exposure; I am certain many cancers resulted from those low paying jobs.

As I recall, the car paint removal spray in CA was malathion plus carrier, used to destroy medflies. I think I caught and killed a medfly trying to hitch a plane ride to a major US hub airport.

i lived in SE Michigan, we would go camping to some little local campgrounds, Bruin Lake was one of them, the “mosquito truck” would drive through the campground billowing DDT-laden fog behind it…


That’s the sad state of affairs now. So much has changed for the worse over the last 3-4 decades!


Yuck! I hate that!

That was early to mid-1960s. DDT was banned in the USA not too long after that.

i also lived in Michigan during the PBB disaster, when polybrominated biphenyls got mixed into feed and fed to dairy cows in the state. Us four growing boys were drinking 10 gallons of cow milk per week at the time.

i’m in my 60s now and have not gotten any cancers or other typically induced diseases, so far.

Workers at Michigan Chemical Corp. in the mid-Michigan town of St. Louis confused bags of a magnesium oxide cattle feed supplement with bags of a flame retardant called polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), which the company produced and stored in nearly identical bags. The bags, marked as feed supplement but filled with PBB, went to a Farm Bureau feed center near Battle Creek where it was mixed into cattle feed and sent to farms around the state.

Soon, livestock statewide were succumbing to terrible illnesses: Tens of thousands of animals began dying, bearing offspring with gross deformities, losing their ability to walk straight and shaking uncontrollably.

But it was nearly a full year after the mixup before PBB was identified as the culprit. By then, nearly all living Michiganders — 9 million people — had consumed the chemical through meat or milk. It was later found to be linked to high levels of exposure to breast and liver cancer and kidney and thyroid problems.

Then-Gov. William Milliken initially listened to officials in the Department of Agriculture and other state agencies who were heavily influenced by agricultural industry interests. State officials didn’t notify the public until seven months after the problem was found and spent years more downplaying the scope of the problem. The federal government, deeming the crisis a Michigan problem, didn’t intervene.


EDIT to add the closing paragraph from the article:

Over the course of a long-term health study, researchers have found that PBB has epigenetic consequences, meaning it can pass along harmful health effects from generation to generation. Many farm families exposed to high levels of PBB over the first few years of the crisis in the 1970s are still living with the consequences.


Two autumns ago, I saw hundreds of Monarch butterflies in my mint patch. Last autumn I saw less than twenty. I don’t know if there is some other explanation or if it is another sign of the insect apocalypse, but if we lose large numbers of insects, we are doomed, as they are integral to the food chain and plant pollination. And, oh yeah, Biden says he won’t ban fracking and nothing will fundamentally change and he is against the GND, so there you go.

1 Like

All you guys see the same as me. We used to have bats and sparrows and mosquitos and bees and wasps. Now I do not bother to put on my screen doors in the spring. there are no insects to keep out. They used to eat each other and now they do not exist. the next species to vanish will be US. ’


Had the GOP not stolen the vote from Gore in Florida back in 2000, I think half the homes or more in the U.S. today would have solar panels. Moreover, a great many other nations who take their queue from the U.S. would have followed suit. The world would have had several more years before reaching the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere we have today.

1 Like

Hi gde:
Oh yes, you are correct, it was malathion—but I have no idea what medflies were and why they were supposed to be so awful.

Hi webwalk
Oh sad for people of Michigan . Forst Governor Millikan and then Governor Snyder after that. Oh People of Michigan—this is so awful—did anything ever happen to the companies who created the PBB debacle?
Of course JPL was testing space fuel in CA and not cleaning up where they tested their rockets—it was a big Natural area too. Later there were cancer clusters where fuels of different types were used in out of the way areas that later became full of housing and lots of people with cancer, including kids. : (