“So how's your day going?” read the text I sent to a friend this morning.
“Oh, just another day in paradox,” he texted back.
Here we are, in one of the most beautiful and ecologically fragile spots on Earth, yet we've got RIMPAC, the world's biggest war games headed our way this summer. And they're gonna be even bigger than last time, cuz the Pacific is now the hate mongers hot spot.
Ironically, the most destructive force on the planet is trying to minimize its carbon footprint by using a few ships powered by biofuels to carry out the wanton wasting of life and limb, land and sea. Gee, I feel better already, knowing the military will be competing with food crops for land and water. Got to keep the war machine fed, even if people starve.
Meanwhile, over on the westside, we've got the seed companies steadily applying poisons to their crops, the largest of which is corn, and nobody wants to say nothin', cuz the money is so dang good. But even as the state has finally begun to recognize the critical importance of honeybees to Island farming, three new studies are fingering common agricultural insecticides — particularly the neonicotinoids heavily used on corn — for wiping out the honeybees that pollinate food crops.
As Scientific American reports:
Researchers have now found that repeated low-dose exposures are perfectly capable of gradually killing off whole hives of bees. In fact, 94 percent of hives whose bees had been fed the pesticide died off entirely within less than six months, according to a new paper that will be in the June issue of Bulletin of Insectology.
Of course the poison producers, in this case Bayer Crop Science, defended the pesticide in the usual manner, by trying to discredit the scientists and their studies. But the researchers said they'd fed the bees a “distinctly sublethal dose” while noting, “It apparently doesn’t take much of the pesticide to affect the bees.”
So how, then, do you suppose it affects us? Well, here's something to think about as you suck down a soda: bees are dying after being fed corn syrup made from insecticide-treated corn. Sadly, some of the big commercial beekeepers — like the Wyoming guy who has 80,000 hives that he trucks around to pollinate crops in California's Central Valley and the South — feed that crap to their bees by the tanker load because they've stolen all the honey and are too cheap to even buy sugar.
As a beekeeping friend noted with disgust: “Talk about slave labor.”
But hey, since when do insects, even insects critical to our existence, have any rights or merit the slightest consideration? It's our God-given mandate to exploit stuff to the max for profit and then move on through the wreckage.
It's not just the bees that are declining, though. As another friend noted:
Remember when you were a kid that when driving, the car's windshield got covered with squashed bugs? I can remember having to scrub to get the dried bug juice off. When was the last time that happened, either here or on the Mainland?
That put the fear into me.
Yeah, cuz even though we love to hate them, just like we love to hate our fellow human beings who have different political systems and religious beliefs, insects are crucial to the health of the world's ecosystems, and to our survival, too.
We know it, yet we ignore it.
Cuz it's just another day in paradox.