Now that the federal government has reopened, it’s time to talk to your U.S. Representatives and Senators about what you’d like them to accomplish this year.
We hope you’ll put the Save America’s Pollinators Act at the top of your list.
The increasing use of pesticides is a ticking time bomb for all insects, including pollinators. Declining insect populations could soon have dire consequences, not just for insects but for all the animals and plants that rely on them—from insect-eating birds, shrews, lizards and frogs, to the 120 pollinated U.S. crops worth more than $15 billion annually.
“If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse,” warns Dr. David Goulson of Sussex University, UK, one of the scientists behind a study showing a “horrific decline” in the flying insect populations of Germany’s nature reserves. Seventy-five percent of the insects in those areas have disappeared in the past 25 years.
Ultimately, the collapse of insect populations foretells what Goulson described as “ecological Armageddon.”
Genetic engineers are working on Frankenbees in an effort to give honey bees resistance to the insecticides that are currently killing them, but this is just as scary. Here’s what Matt Shardlow, chief executive of the UK conservation charity Buglife, thinks of that idea:
Do we want to take honey bees into such a dark place? It would mean that the countryside becomes a living hell for any pollinator that isn’t a honey bee. They will be sprayed to death. It just moves us closer to the collapse of the natural ecosystem. Perhaps people forget that honey bees do not pollinate every flower. Our wild plants will disappear and we end up with a world where only the rich can afford pollinated food. A world where pollination is only available to those who can afford it, where many people have no access to fruit, is truly terrifying and will lead to massive societal pressures. It begins to look like something out of “Blade Runner.” We lose the beauty and wonder and we expose ourselves and other animals to risks needlessly.
Should we do something about insect apocapylpse? Or just keep trying to genetically engineer honey bees to survive it?
If you’re in favor of the former, please ask your representatives in Congress to become original cosponsors of the Save America’s Pollinators Act when it is reintroduced this year.