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New Report Issues Dire Warning About Global Decline in Pollinators

New Report Issues Dire Warning About Global Decline in Pollinators

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Pollinators worldwide, from bees and butterflies to beetles and bats, are facing a grim state of affairs.

Factors such climate change and land use changes are driving many pollinator species—including 16 percent of vertebrate pollinators—towards extinction. For invertebrate pollinators like bees and butterflies, over 40 percent of species may be be threatened locally, a new report shows.


What he said!!!

The Twilight Zone understanding moment. We do not do what we need to do to save ourselves and the environment that we need and live in. We know what we need to do. We are able to do it … But we don’t do what is needed.

‘Imagine if you will’ as Rod Serling would ask us as he introduced each new Twilight Zone episode.

Imagine …if you knew ?

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“I would question whether any practical on-the-ground action to help pollinators will happen as a result of this document. We are in the midst of the sixth global mass-extinction event, and we sit around spending thousands of hours writing documents about biodiversity, but we do not take action to address the fundamental issues that are causing this ecological catastrophe,” Nature reports [University of Sussex biology professor Dave Goulson] as saying.

Mirrors my thoughts exactly. i’ve been shouting for forty years “We do not need another study!”

Not that the authors of such studies are not doing great work, with the best intentions. Lots of important studies, like this one showing (such an insignificant fact) that POLLINATORS ARE GOING EXTINCT.

But plainly, WE KNOW ENOUGH to act strongly to STOP dis-integrating the fabric of the ecology.

The reasons we do not? Powerful industries play the political system, and the social psychology of humans, like violins.

At what point, recognizing that we are being played, do we wake up and spit out the vile crap they feed us? “Upon the point of complete collapse” is TOO LATE to wake up.

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This issue shows that the dangers are being compounded with new assaults on our environment all the time. The issue with pollinators is primarily due to the wholesale application of neonicotinoids and gmo crops. While pesticide use has long been destructive to the environment, the main assault on pollinators both wild and domestic has been relatively recent and companies like Monsanto should be held responsible directly.

While anecdotal evidence might appear substantial, our legal regulatory system is based scientiific proof and requires that evidence be unequivocal. We all share the frustration that the scientist felt but that is what we get when profits become the motivating force in society.

That said, the issue is not that we need or don’t need another study but that even when we do have them that nothing is being done with them.

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And still our “leaders” do nothing! The Chinese polluted and poisoned their country they have already decimated their pollinators and people must do it by hand now!

I’ve kept honey bees and captured wild swarms in various situations; they are a fascinating life form and wonderful to work with.

The chemical poisoners are war criminals, environmental civilian criminals and their crimes also kill and harm people and destroy, and should, must, be seen in the same way! Unfortunately vulture capitalism and the “free market” decide on our future, not science or environmental stewardship. BS! These cretins greed and willful destruction of our collective environment and future must be stopped!


Also want to emphasize this from the article:

“Factors such climate change and land use changes are driving many pollinator species—including 16 percent of vertebrate pollinators—towards extinction. For invertebrate pollinators like bees and butterflies, over 40 percent of species may be be threatened locally, a new report shows.”

  • and -

“In addition to climate change and land use changes, the report also cites the decline of practices based on indigenous and local knowledge and insecticides like neonicotinoids as contributing to pollinators’ decline.”

To be clear:

“The problem” is by no means just the widespread application in very recent years of a new class of neurotoxic pesticides, the neonocotinoids.

“The problem” is framed as land use, climate disruption, and pesticides, in a top-down industrial paradigm that obliterates local indigenous knowledge, culture and agri-culture.

So “the answer” is not simply “ban neonicotinoids.” Not that we should not swiftly ban neonicotinoids!

To interrupt the accelerating dis-integration of the Earth’s ecology under human industrial assault, we need to end the top-down paradigm of “command and control by capital” over the economy and the ecology.

This is deep work. It requires much more of all of us than banning a class of chemicals. We need to democratically and ecologically transform the political economy, and overcome the entrenched power interests that currently operate there.


We’ve been keeping bees and growing food organically (now called regenerative ag. I believe and gee I wonder why) since the 70’s.

I would site chems and lack of foraging habitat as the 2 biggest culprits in this debacle. And lack of foraging habitat has to do with many variables. These come to mind…overpopulation, the raising of beef and meat animals and the razing of forests. All a tangled fucked up mess that points to a species that is unconscious of just what it is doing not only to and for itself but to the world that it lives in. I wonder what species that could be.

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The critical tipping point is the widespread use of neonicotinoids which are near universal these days and were they removed from the environment it is likely that pollinators and many other insect species as well would be more robust. The decline of songbirds has long been well known to scientists and a direct result of pesticide use. The corruption of the plant/insect symbiosis is not confined to pollinators as pesticides other than neonicotinoids have drastically reduced wild insect populations (while artificially boosting insect pest populations). Other assaults on pollinators are at work including fungus in bats and so forth.

However this person was speaking primarily about bees. Were we to not have these collateral assaults on the environment that affect pollinators, the fact would remain that neonicotinoids are the main culprit in pollinator declines. There is no getting around the very substantial effect of neonicotinoids on pollinators. The loss of indigenous practices etc is in contrast to agribusiness practices and is perhaps a personal gripe of the scientist but not the direct cause … Neonicotinoids are. What is not being done… Is stopping the use of them.

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The sad, but true, thing going on in our current play for pay society is that, should things like neonicotinoids become identified as disastrous, and they are banned, outfits like Monsanto simply go to their government employees (Senators and Congressmen) and tell them to reverse the ban as it cuts into profits. And they do!

  • This seems to hold true for most ecologically destructive things from oil to deforestation.
  • This could all be solved quickly, by cleaning out the entire festering mess of politicians, lobbyists, etc., and electing a new bunch, but with some heavy laws in place about conflict of interest, lobbyists, revolving doors, Congressional and Senatorial members accepting presents and honorariums, and other forms of bribery.
  • The only problem with this is that, currently, we would have to go through the current bunch of corrupt, conflicted, bribe accepting, bought out politicians to get anything passed.
  • Until we can get a global decline in global grifters and grafters, we will keep descending into the abyss.

because this country is entirely controlled by corporations they view any profit making enterprise as beyond any kind of control, no matter how much harm it does. Making bug killers is a big industry, so it must be allowed to exterminate pollinators and maybe all of us for that matter. Another reason to go Socialist!


I wish I could agree with you on just the neonics being an issue of import. I think they are nasty but just the latest part in a long story going south re pollinators. And the author of this piece spoke of …“Pollinators worldwide, from bees and butterflies to beetles and bats.” And I believe the piece says “insecticides like neonicotinoids.”

We need a scientist like Carson with some balls to come in and sweep these bought and paid for paper pushers and so called objective scientists out the door. Fact is, little is being done by the big shots. Grass roots groups like the group my sister is involved with in MN are doing some good work http://www.pollinatorfriendly.org/ and the fight is tooth and nail. Starting with Neonics is just the tip of the been melting for quite a while iceberg.


You confuse what I said with what someone else thought I said I guess. I said neonicotinoids were a critical tipping point not the only problem. I specifically addressed the decline of songbirds which was noted and predates neonicotinoids use. I also stressed other pesticides and even fungus among bats etc.

Perhaps my writing style is at fault but I reread what I wrote and I don’t understand why you would make the assumption that I believed that only neonicotinoids were at fault since I specifically said they weren’t.

I like to teach but I think that others are seeking to play and take disagreement or debate about what they say personal. I don’t care about people thinking I am right so much but I do care about writing the truth. Or at least the truth as I know it. I don’t really have that long left and it is a point of personal pride to treat people with intellectual respect and assume that they are intelligent and capable of deep thought and clarification of truth and facts is an important part of that. That was why I wrote the qualifications in my post but it seems people assumed that more simplistic either or way of communicating. Nothing is simple except to politicians who try to manipulate issues with simplistic sound bites etc.

Neonicotinoids are the critical juncture for bees and many pollinators. They need to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible. Once they are removed from the environment even though other pesticides will still cause great harm the pollinators were able to recuperate their losses like what happened when DDT was banned and bird’s egg’s shells grew strong again. He was a bee scientist and I spoke to that issue primarily. Sorry if I did so ineptly but I grow tired of people picking at my posts as if I were on the wrong side of progressive issues. They are too ego bound and want attention or the spotlight whereas I prefer to fight the dumbing down that is a plague on us all.

Silly me.

‘Their health is directly linked to our own well-being.’ Correction, if you want to be accurate I would suggest that the warning be phrased to read, Our well being is directly linked to their health. Our own well being seems to adversely be effecting their health already. In other words the earth was doing just fine before the Industrial Revolution and will eventually resettle as a beautiful orb when we are no longer able to enjoy it…

Lol. Why is that prospect of an Earth sans humanity so acceptable to so many in these threads? Hey, some of my best friends are human… Well close associates… I mean well like neighbors…okay fine …even so… Human beings may be nasty, brutish, often unsanitary and downright smelly but… We have our good side… Some of us…well a few… a couple … Okay fine that old lady who always puts her canary by the window everyday seems nice.

The Earth would miss us (ungrateful wretches that we are)… We are her children just as are all the others.

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Yes, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring” 54 years ago. The agricultural chemical industry told us then that, “we shouldn’t rush into any hasty decisions” about chemicals in the environment.

This alone should be cause enough to question the illusion of “superior” human intelligence…


The earth without humans isn’t any more acceptable than developing Alzheimer’s Disease, at least to me. However it is somehow calming to believe that after all our efforts and the idiocy of willful ignorance of the “intelligent” ape we soil our planet to the point of the collapse of our own species Earth will still be the lifeboat it has become. Given the choice I would like to envision a utopian society with a symbiotic relationship between humans and the planet on which we rely for sustenance but an example to use as a model is not available.
I really can’t say that even if we all used as little as we personally need of Earth’s bounty we would be able to turn this overpopulation around. Malthus believed that the finite resources of the planet would eventually be exhausted and famine would rebalance the population of human beings. He could not in the early beginnings of the Industrial Revolution envision the extent of our capabilities to pollute our very atmosphere to the point of changing the climate on the entire planet. Even today, in the face of indisputable evidence, many refuse, either through willful ignorance or personal gain, to work toward a solution or mitigation of the catastrophe that awaits our children.
I really can’t see the humor in this situation beyond a twisted sense of the supreme irony of our self destruction. I suppose that the hope is that a few of us will adapt and be part of the new beginning but it is my hope that should this somehow come about enough of us will continue to exist that our tragic history will not be lost and the cycle might be broken.
My personal philosophy is that one must do what on can to avoid unpleasant consequences but if those with real power are too foolish or self absorbed to do anything then The Alfred E Neuman principal will at least keep you from living in a rubber room as a catatonic, drooling madman.

Nature is only beautiful to those who appreciate beauty. As much as I treasure the extraordinary beauty and complexity of nature, an ,earth without human beings evokes only an agonizing pathos and sadness. We are children…who weren’t raised right and grew up with no manners or grace perhaps but one doesn’t blame all children because some will grow up to be republicans!

How merciless we would be to allow the few to destroy what belongs to the many. That is our fight - we humans - our survival of the fittest - a battle against ourselves, for our future. Nature for all its beauty is in fact a battle to survive by each of its living creatures. Perhaps you could apply the same standard to people. Survival is nature’s way. Instead of just fighting to survive a blizzard huddled in a cave, we struggle now to survive overpopulation etc.

For all you know, there is a giant meteor hurtling through the void with New Jersey’s name on it that if it hits, the planet would be left totally lifeless if not smashed into fragments? Just maybe humanity with its nuclear insanity might actually have one ‘natural’ purpose for its destructive power after all and human beings could end up saving all life on Earth etc.

Besides maybe the universe would have no music without humans? Maybe no art or fiction etc. if those are human only attributes then not just Earth but the universe without human beings would be without all that beauty too.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder …those who have eyes to see.

Although I welcome the report, it was not needed. We already made that point in the UN commissioned report, Agriculture at a crossroads some 8 years ago. The problem was and still is that no one really cared, given that the agriculture business and their servants in governments (and some UN agencies that should have taken the lead in implementing the report) ignored the call for a paradigm change and a move towards agroecology and organic/sustainable ag chose to ignore the report and do what the report said loud as clearly: business as usual is not an option! Given Sir R Watson was the director of the IAASTD, as the ag report is also known (I was the co-chair of that report) and was now the co-chair of the IPBES report, I doubt that much will happen, as instead of putting more efforts into an update and the implementation of the IAASTD report, millions were now spend (we did spend some 12 mil $ on the IAASTD) on the IPBES. This seems a great waste of money and above all precious time to fix the long know problem with our bees, and biodiversity in general. The IAASTD was already quite clear on what to do to deal with biodiversity loss, climate change and and the challenges of food security, the environment and social problems. So I would suggest that instead of more procrastination and report writing we move on to action and start finally with the implementation of the groundbreaking learnings pulled together in the IAASTD report. Time is not on our side, and we need a shift, a transformation of the ag and food system now. We need a holistic approach, not the one that now emerges again of a piece-meal approach as now comes from this latest report.

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Thanks for the report Hans, and thanks for your work. i agree with your assessment 100%, it is long past time for action and transition to holistic ecological agriculture.

For anyone else coming to this thread, here’s the FAO report that Herren references, and here’s a more recent UNCTAD report, reaching similar conclusions that agroecology is the proven paradigm that can feed humanity and support the ecology.