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'This Unnoticed Apocalypse Should Set Alarms Ringing,' Conservationist Warns About Insect Declines

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/13/unnoticed-apocalypse-should-set-alarms-ringing-conservationist-warns-about-insect

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File this story under “Capitalism Kills Everything It Touches.”

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Someone pointed out to me that we hardly ever have to clean our car windshields anymore because the number of “bug splats” is so few. That is a great indicator of the insect apocalypse.

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There is this nagging in the back of my head that it is the plan of Monsanto (DOW, Bayer and others) to eliminate pollinators and force humanity to use their GMO products. Paranoid? dunno…

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Today’s aerodynamic jelly-bean cars have such a smooth airflow that the insects never hit the windshield. When I lower the driver’s side window to get a breeze in hot weather, nothing happens because the airflow is so smooth. The insects may get crushed by the compressed air flowing around the car, but the windshield stays clean.

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Maybe under a sub-heading in a folder titled ‘Extinction Economy’. The future will have little choice but to develop what could only be called our ‘extinction economy’. One can imagine the research and development of artificial insects - pollinators specifically. Like mini drones these tiny flying machines will be able to target flowers etc using infrared and perform the function of bees etc. on crops.

Among all the other horrors our children and grandchildren will have to deal with in the relatively near future.

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Kevin van Tighem, a former Superintendant of Banff National Park, has a one page article in the December issue of “Alberta Views” magazine about bird loss, and one of the chief causes - the Neonicotinoids, which he states should be banned immediately everywhere without question. I can’t get a link to the magazine article because it is just out on the shelves.

Banff National Park was my second home while I climbed full-time between 1998 and 2004, and if anyone wishes to know more about the bison re-introduction program underway there now, please click on the Kevin van Tighem link for an informative discussion and to get to know Kevin, who is still mighty active environmentally.

Another Canadian, Harvey Locke, had an article in Canadian Geographic magazine a few uears back promoting the concept that this insect article addresses, connected biomes. Here is the best link I could get to that article: Mapping the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

They all tie together, and speaking of tying things together, I just this morning bought my own copy of Aldo Leopold’s classic book, “A Sand County Almanac” (1949). This is the book which inspired so many, including the Canadian artist John Bateman, whose book “Thinking Like a Mountain”, was named in tribute to Aldo, who apparently coined the phrase.

Greta is sailing to Spain soon, to attend COP 25 in Madrid - Greta Thunberg to sail to Spain climate summit with YouTubers.

Maybe, as there are no expectations for COP 25 - we will be treated to a good surprise - we could sure use some good news amidst Kunstler’s “Long Emergency”.

From Alexander von Humboldt to Aldo Leopold to Rachel Carson to Greta Thundberg - what a wild ride.

Then there is population to address - and Rights for the Environment.

Long road ahead ~

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Thanks for the info.

An interesting idea. If they’re R&D’d cooperatively and deployed at cost, it might even work. But if they follow the capitalist model, one of two things will happen: either they’ll be shoddily built and prone to failure, or they’ll be unaffordable.

And will the birds and lizards and fish eat these mini drones?

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I noticed the reduction of any “bug splats” on my Trooper’s very flat front windshield years ago. I’ve had this car for over 30 years and I used to have to clean the windshield and front bumper of dead bugs regularly 10 to 20 years ago. I’ve also noticed that there are very few bugs or moths hanging around the outside back and front door lights anymore. Never had a bug zapper, but I imagine they aren’t really needed anymore.either. Not much in the way of flying bugs anymore… .

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Those GMO crops are just like any other plant that requires pollinators. GMO corn is a prime example. No bees, no corn. But you still have every reason to be paranoid about Monsanto et al. They really are going to kill us all with their genetic modification technology and poisons.

A lot of us poorer people still drive older cars with flat windshields. There are no bug splats on those either like their used to be.

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Thank you for posting this. So fitting for this article and life itself.

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It’s amazing how 2:30 can make you cry.

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I noticed THAT big time here in northern IL. I drive a 7 mile stretch between two towns several times per week that is mostly undeveloped Forest Preserve with wetlands. In the summer I usually have a mess on my windshield after dark. That didn’t happen this summer. It was very obvious.
The absence of birds this summer was glaring around here also

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Yes, I was referring only to the jelly-bean cars. Cars made before the mid-1970s would show the bug splats as would most large trucks, even late model trucks. Both have nearly vertical windshields.

Another indicator of insect decline might be declining annual sales of dental floss to bikers, but I’m not sure where to get that information.

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Who knew!? Never thought about the dental floss angle :slight_smile:

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“No bees, no corn.”

From Wikipedia article on maize:

“The apex of the stem ends in the tassel, an inflorescence of male flowers. When the tassel is mature and conditions are suitably warm and dry, anthers on the tassel dehisce and release pollen. Maize pollen is anemophilous (dispersed by wind), and because of its large settling velocity, most pollen falls within a few meters of the tassel.”

This may be why Monsanto isn’t worried about a lack of insects hurting gmo corn seed sales.

Since bees and other insects pollinate many food plants other than corn, gmo corn may be the only food that we’ll have left - provided that climate change leaves us with a few properly timed “suitably warm and dry” days.