Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Con Regime and the Honey Bee Apocalypse
In the garden of a waterfront theatre not far from where I live, there is a little band of bees.
They've been there for years, and time and the elements have taken their toll. Their colours have faded a little and some of their wings have fallen off.
But they're still in better shape than many of the real bees, who are being killed by human greed.
Because now it's official, they are being poisoned by pesticides.
Scientists want two commonly used pesticides banned around the world for helping cause the mass deaths of bees and harming the planet's ecosystem. A panel of independent scientists, operating as the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, found the pesticides neonicotinoids and fipronil are harming the environment, posing a similar threat as DDT did in the 1960s.
But even though it's obvious what's happening to the tiny pollinators, and has been happening for years. And even though we can't live without them...
"Seventy-five per cent of the crops that we eat are pollinated by insects of one type or another — mostly by bees," said professor Dave Goulson, one of the report's authors.
"So, if we didn’t have those bees — if we don’t look after them — then we won’t have most of the fruits that we like to eat, most of the vegetables that we like to eat," said Goulson. "We’d be eating porridge, rice, bread — not much else. Life would be awful."
Big Business continues to deny the problem.
Not everyone supports the idea of a ban on neonicotinoids. CropLife Canada, a trade association that also represents developers and distributors of pest control products and plant biotechnology, opposes a ban saying the varroa mite is the primary culprit behind declining bee health. It says there is no correlation between pesticide use and bee health.
And needless to say so does the Con regime. And the hapless Rona Ambrose...
Health Minister Rona Ambrose called the research done by her department to date "inconclusive."
"We are constantly absorbing new science and reassessing. If there is a danger to Canadians, then we will act further," she added on Tuesday at an event in Toronto.
Because they will deny scientific reality, and they won't do anything to save the bees or fight climate change, if it puts the slightest dent in Big Business' insatiable greed for ever greater profits.
Even if they destroy the planet, and our fragile ecosystem.
"Far from protecting food production, the use of neonics is threatening the very infrastructure which enables it, imperilling the pollinators, habitat engineers and natural pest controllers at the heart of a functioning ecosystem."
And even though the bees are dying in plain view.
By the millions.
Or disappearing like the beautiful Monarch butterflies...
Who in the fall used to be found by the hundreds, even thousands, on the island near where I live. Working the flowers with their tiny competitors the bees.
Or turning the trees orange...
Until last year.
When although I had planted the biggest patch of milkweed ever, the plant the Monarchs depend on to survive, nobody came to visit.
Because those little pollinators are also being killed by human greed. Poisoned by pesticides, or deprived of the plant they need, by those who would clear milkweed from the fringes of their fields, to extract every last millimetre of profit.
Oh well. This year, I cleared the milkweed patch again, and I'll be hoping for the best.
But I really wonder whether I'll ever see them in all their glory, like I did one late summer afternoon only two years ago...
But what I do know is this: if we don't defeat the life denying Con regime, nothing will be done to save the planet.
And if we can't save the bees and the butterflies.
We will not save ourselves...
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