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Save the Insects, Save the Farmers, Save Ourselves: New 'Atlas' Lays Out Blueprint for Solutions

I still have no bees/wasps/moths after 18 months. The migrating birds’ pattern is skew wiff. The temperatures/seasons are abnormal.

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Our plight in a nutshell: huge industrial agriculture and chemical corporations have seized Earth’s commons to ply their dirty trade (dirty, because they have no concern for the gross harms their contaminated products wreak on consumers, and no concern for the devastation of our common environment, “externalities,” by their practices) and they will do any and everything to perpetuate their sick gig, even as it does us in, and finally–but, too late for us–self-destructs. Only massive leverage by organized peoples can crush this criminal enterprise and replace it with regenerative, conservative practices that will allow our species to survive, along with the few remaining others.

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I would speak to your G.P. first, but I believe you should keep an Epi-Pen around close at hand in case you are stung.

Good fortune!

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In 1945 after WWII, US Population was 139.9 Million and in the years that followed it rose to the current 330 million, (projected to be 340 million in 2020 census). During that same period not only did US agriculture output greatly increase with the advent of industrial farming to meet the nations booming population needs, but exports more than quadrupled to other nations. Obviously this is not a sustainable increase under current soil erosion, water resource depletion, and environmental and species extinctions, including potentially honey bees, but also numerous other vital species. It also means that any significant reductions in production during a transition would have a severe impact on other nations who are the recipient of US agricultural imports. At the same time, the environment is already devastated by the long practice of using petroleum based fertilizers and soil erosion issues. Soil quality is likely not currently sufficient to organically farm in much of the tired land, (although soil quality can, over time, be developed), nor are water resources available as abundantly as before with the Ogallala diminishing. Switching to organic farming is a vital necessity but it is not an easy transition. First of all, the land cannot belong to agribusiness if people are going to have to farm it, and land resources would likely have to be redistributed; this will create a large host of economic and political problems which wont rush toward easy resolution. Secondly many more people farming, instead of big machines doing the work of many people, means a whole economic paradigm shift is needed. There is a major economic paradigm shift going on today, but it is exactly the opposite of the kind that is needed - that would have to be reversed; yet Biden gets the nomination, not Sanders, so we can’t expect that will happen for another 75 years or more. Lastly the world population is exponentially growing and current production won’t soon be enough for that trend. There are many solutions to these problems as well, including soil development, no till agriculture, root hydration systems which conserve water and promote plant growth, and population reduction, but getting said results assumes representative government and responsible citizenry - neither of which exist on any level in this nation. Lastly there are two huge problems, Climate, and Time is running out…

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I find that a bit of a disturbing statement here in the land of the free. Those oldsters who remember how to grow their own food should maybe teach the young now. God only knows what lies ahead. A single acre is more than enough to grow all the vegetables a family needs.

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I wish I had 1/16 of an acre! the US’s 340 million are not living in the Midwest, or the farm belt, they live in cities which rely on the food shipped from those regions, and few have even 1/4 acre of land, if they own land at all. those cities are supplied by fresh water, man-made reservoirs, not the Ogallala, and would be severely over taxed by massive urban agricultural development. sure rainwater harvesting could play a significant role, but not enough to replace the farm belt and still keep up with population growth.

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Meat seems like a huge problem when we consider that we could put that food to work supporting many human beings rather than bringing other beings like ourselves, animals, into the world simply to be killed and eaten. The only way I think meat would work for me morally would be if we literally grew it out of a cell culture rather than killed animals to get it. Then I could eat it and enjoy it but these days I often find myself getting sad thinking that an animalgave their life for whatever it is I’m eating. When I do the shopping for my SO and I I dont buy meat, . I cant think of the last time I did, it must have been a very very long time ago. To replace some of the nutrients, I take amino acids (acetyl-l-carnitine, notice the name) beta-alanine (metabolizes into carnosine), B12, etc.

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“along with the few remaining others.”

Soon to disappear, as the arrogance of homo sapiens decimates the natural world.

i read often of incidents whereby people surfing/swimming/snorkeling have been attacked/killed by sharks/killer whales. Then a hunt is launched to kill the said shark/killer whale. WHY? Stupid arrogant humans.
We are invading their world. We have to take responsibility for our actions.

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They’re doing that already, although I wouldn’t eat it, it’s easier just to be vegetarian.

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My husband’s sister and brother-in-law are truckers, and once drove a truckload of bees to the almond groves in Central California, a mega-crop if I’ve ever seen one. Mile after mile of almond trees. These bees are trucked from place to place, “cooled” off in the truck between gigs so they are a bit comatose, then released for two weeks of hard labor. Even without the pesticides, it’s no wonder they are dying. And when they’re gone, and I know this isn’t going to be very popular, but, they’ll take the prison population, and for a dollar a day, the slaves, I mean, prisoners, will take their tiny brushes and pollinate our trees and crops.

How dystopian! And how did I even get these ideas in my head?

Oh, wait. Expendable, I mean, essential workers told to go back to work, or else starve. And Bezos becoming the first trillionaire while his workers die on the floor of the warehouse, and sleep in their cars. That’s right, the bees and the people are treated with the same contempt and lack of compassion by the wealthy, the haves. Time to rebel.

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I live on one acre but only cultivate about 30 by 60 feet of it for vegetables. I simply can’t manage a larger garden by hand. Nevertheless, using tree leaves and wood ashes from the woodstove as fertilizer, I grow enough potatoes, beans, carrots, beets and some other things to provide some organically grown vegetables for neighbors, my grown children, and our local food bank. And I fill my freezer to feed myself for a whole year. it’s lotsa work planting and keeping up with the weeds and you need God’s cooperation for sun and rain. But all who I give to agree the flavor of it is quite superior. I’m not in any position to say for sure, but I think that obtaining a bit of land not to buy but to garden on might be possible for many people who will ask a person who has an idle chunk of it.

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And the pollinators!! They are being killed off too. Think about becoming a beekeeper for pollination and honey. And planting milkweed for the Monarch butterflies. Connect with your neighbors to see what they are growing and add to the variety for trading. And for those that don’t have enough ground for a garden, grow your own food and herbs in pots.

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60% of the food consumed in Havana is produced in Havana, a densly populated city. The film “The Power of Community” illustrates some of the solutions. It was during WWII that 40% of the food of NYC was produced in NYC in Victory Gardens Bees do better in cities away from Big Ag. Chickens thrive on kitchen,yard,garden & landscape waste & they are nice pets that give eggs & fertilizer.
We can survive & thrive & protect nature.

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It is a part of the solution, but only a modest fraction. Over development of agriculture in urban areas taxes already diminishing fresh water sources in those areas. It doesn’t put a dent in the production needs created by shutting down Big ag, and it requires national solidarity. We couldn’t even get Sanders nominated, .

Not Brave - reality is a bitch

Sound like a quote of a rhetorical question from Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, or other right-leaning corporate lobbyists at the “Breakthrough Institute”:

  • ttps://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Never-Environmental-Alarmism-Hurts-ebook/dp/B07Y8FHFQ7#:~:text=Apocalypse%20Never%3A%20Why%20Environmental%20Alarmism%20Hurts%20Us%20All%20Kindle%20Edition&text=Find%20all%20the%20books%2C%20read%20about%20the%20author%2C%20and%20more.&text=Climate%20change%20is%20real%20but%20it’s%20not%20the%20end%20of%20the%20world.&text=And%20he%20led%20a%20successful,preventing%20a%20spike%20of%20emissions.

  • ttps://thebreakthrough.org/issues/food/the-environmental-case-for-industrial-agriculture

The Union of Concerned Scientists has resources on alternatives that promote sustainable agriculture.

  • ttps://www.ucsusa.org/resources/sustainable-agriculture-practices

Ecosocialists at Climate and Capitalism have also gone into depth on explained sustainable alternatives and on exposing the problems with industrial agriculture

  • ttps://climateandcapitalism.com/2019/06/12/on-the-future-of-farming-and-ecomodernist-illusions/

  • ttps://climateandcapitalism.com/tag/fred-magdoff/

  • ttps://climateandcapitalism.com/?s=sustainable+agriculture&submit=Search

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The area where I live has a guy who will remove hornet nests from residential areas. I think he can be found through the university extension service. I’m not sure what he does with them. I think he collects venom to be used to make anti-venom. I wonder if it’s possible to move a nest away from people.

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I have found that limiting the use of pesticides and other poisons is 1 of the most popular potential environmental policies across the political spectrum.

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I don’t know how aggressive these hornets are, whether they will attack unprovoked or not, but if they aren’t, just leave them there. Wasps have hung around my home, even inside, with no problem. I have spiders in my home, and I consider them my allies since they feed on pesky insects. On the other hand, yellow jackets are very aggressive, so I don’t want them anywhere around me.

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Hi Caroline. I’m one of the people who skewered Michael Moore for that damage that his movie has done, particularly to the Global South. Concern over overpopulation often feed into white supremacist calls to cull the Darkies of the Global South: ttps://medium.com/climate-conscious/michael-moores-planet-of-the-humans-offers-dangerous-solutions-to-the-climate-crisis-c25d59c96270

There is, without a doubt, a need for education and family planning around the world, but data shows that population is plateauing (ttps://ourworldindata.org/future-population-growth). Contrary to the white supremacist propaganda put out by Moore et al, the Global South has a sustainable ecological impact (ttp://data.footprintnetwork.org/#/?). Environmental damage is promoted by rapacious consumption of the capitalist Global North and the lifestyles of the wealth:

  • ttps://persquaremile.com/2012/08/08/if-the-worlds-population-lived-like/
  • ttps://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/worlds-richest-10-produce-half-carbon-emissions-while-poorest-35-billion-account
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