When they banned all filament lightbulbs, everyone was saying how bad it would be for the economy, but the industry was just forced to innovate and just a couple years later everyone is 95% on LEDs.
Farmers will cope - and the demand they create for new solutions will accelerate supply much faster than any voluntary solution.
"Progressives" are in the US most often characterized as proposing an overreach in regulation, so I find it weird that you call it something they don't want.
Political terms are hard.
I for one, as an EU citizen, strongly support and am proud of the pro-human (often by being pro-environment and limiting companies) politics of the EU (GDPR, bans of overly toxic substances, USB for smartphones ...).
It ain't helping that the definition of these terms often hinges on where you are talking about something because the local context can be very different for these terms, like American Libertarianism vs European Libertarianism 
Add to that how most people still only use the traditional left vs right axis, while imho something like the Nolan chart which also accounts for an authoritarian/libertarian axis for left and right, is a way superior model to account for the finer differences of political movements and especially parties.
I guess "progressivism" suffers from a similar issue. In Germany, it's pretty much never used to describe a particular political movement, German Wiki describes it as a "countermovement to conservatism", but in very broad terms. I guess it's a synonym for "the left"? Which in the US traditionally has been mostly defined/associated with regulation, at least by US conservatives.
USB regulation is precisely the definition of “progressive” overreach. I don’t want any government dictating my device specifications (unless those specs are designed to reduce health risks or radio interference.)
The EU decided that having a single standard port to charge a smartphone was a good idea and in the long run, save a little bit of money and a little bit on electronic waste since people would be able to go to any store and purchase for sale 1 Standard Smartphone Charger™ and 1 Standard Smartphone Cable™.
Then they conferred their preference to the Smartphone Industry™ and said "Okay, you guys sort it out. Pick a standard, incorporate it going forward, or we will bring down the regulatory hammer and not even we want to do that."
At that point USB was proving to be more or less a de facto standard anyway, so the industry said okay, settled on that, and somehow Apple got away with being able to just bundle in an adapter for the Standard Smartphone Cable™. The benefit of this approach rather than the EU swinging the regulatory hammer is it leaves the industry free to update it, say from micro-USB to USB-C, as improvements come along, rather than the EU decreeing that all smartphones use micro-USB which would be Terrible. Thus we have a Standard by Agreement, rather than a Standard by Law and life goes on pretty okay.
For good or for ill, the EU has a massive amount of soft power in their lawmaking alone with repercussions that go beyond the 28 (soon to be 27 again) member states. Any smartphone designer is free to take their phone and go home, but that's a lot of money to leave on the table and its not like anybody particularly liked the old crappy connectors of the past.
> soon to be 27 again
My bet is still on a Norway-like solution, which saves (some) face for the Tories and has minimal consequences.
But I am known to be an optimist from time to time.
The power rating was identical; but, they had some kind of crazy, DRM-like scheme in place.
I'm very glad that I can now use or buy a cable anywhere and use pretty much any block, even an inefficient one.
‘Almost every household is believed to have gathered a number of old chargers – estimated to generate more than 51 000 tons of electronic waste per year in the EU.’ 
Moral of the story: never throw out old cables ... (maybe)
What "market" is is a big bunch of entities trying to maximise the output and minimise the input (in a large large majority of cases). Everything else is a side effect. In order to impose upon those entities anything, the customer base needs to be diverse enough to include potential opposers to the company's policy, and the number of the opposers who decide to boycott or move away should be large enough that such action significantly affects the company's margins. And that's not so easy to happen, especially if the bad the "big players" are doing does not directly affect the customers (e.g. saying "guns are murderous and destructive" will not affect the gun owners all that much, or "your pesticides kill bees" the pesticide users, no?) and thus the vigilance of the market is triply-restricted: by time it takes to produce effects, by the amount of opposition actors it requires, and by the nature of commerce. Thus, it can not produce timely change, requires and is thus fallible to lots of rhetoric, and is only maybe-efficient in a small set of industries and cases.
There's a confirmation bias at work. There are infinite examples of the market working suboptimally for one consumer, a group of consumers, or consumers as a whole. But the entire platform is built upon creating value for consumers. People choose to pay for goods and services they want. In another system, they could be assigned arbitrarily. Or even completely unavailable. Capitalism created things you'd never expect, like broadband internet access and social networking to name a couple.
It certainly is in the interest of enterprises to provide value to consumers. But so too is to do that as cheaply as possible, in order to have the largest margins possible. The one to sell for cheapest will prevail. Even if that means making people work for the bare minimum that'll keep them alive and poisoning them with murderous materials in subhuman working conditions. Even if that means starving an entire ecosystem to death to grow some grains or whatnot. That's where regulation kicks in. It sets the ground for competition without harming the rest of the world.
We do not disagree. But you're believing mistakenly that I am criticising capitalism. While I instead am telling that like every powerful resource, capital too needs to be heavily controlled and supervised. If you live somewhere where the market and capitalism is not doing shady things to cut costs and sell cheaper, tell me which utopian place/planet you are at, so that I can join you lot. But in the real world lots of starving hands touch everything we wear and tap and click. Regulation is necessary so that one's life don't cost many others' lives.
I guess a lot of it comes down to whether we are satisfied with the state of humanity, and whether we recognize past progress as an overall good.
Same with not creating bee-killing pesticides. The markets created them and never stopped despite them being extremely harmful to the environment. But who cares, under capitalism profits matter above all so let's continue producing them.
There are many squishy goals the EU has, but its core and non-squishy task is to create and take care of a common market among all member states. That relates to boring and straightforward things like tariffs (just don’t have them, duh), but also to other trade barriers, like differing regulation between different member states. (If a French company can’t sell their wine picker without modification in Spain because of mutually exclusive regulation in the two countries then that’s a trade barrier and the EU aims to get rid of it by harmonising the regulation in France and Spain and all the other member countries.)
As such the EU also takes over the continuing duties of regulating companies from the member states. It is no surprise that much of what the EU does relates to regulation, since that is its reason to be.
It's easy to assume banning the thing we don't like will yield better outcomes but that's not necessarily the case. If we want to get rid of chemical risk, we'll have to get rid of chemicals. If we do that, we'll have to seriously re-evaluate our agricultural systems and be likely willing to accept higher prices.
CFCs, lead solders, DDT, leaded gasoline, radium paints, mercury lamps, cadmium paints, microplastics in cosmetics, ...
Sure, the first iteration of regulation of may have unintended consequences, but they are often smaller than the original issue and can be compensated for with another iteration. The process takes many years, but on average things are improving.
DDT - May not have been anywhere near as bad as first thought, and replaced in part by these compounds, which themselves are being banned now. Also there's some argument that extensive use of DDT was key to ridding the US of malaria, we banned it worldwide, taking out one of the weapons in mosquito control. One could make an argument that banning DDT has killed people b/c increased incidence of malaria. It's hotly debated, but it's not a bonkers view, and most of those deaths would be in the 3rd world.
Cadmium Paints - Yes and no, artists still say it's not the same, and the replacements in industrial scale aren't always as good on a variety of fronts (https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-quest-for-billion-do...). Also not sure they're as affordable.
CFCs (then some HCFCS) - Good thing to ban without a doubt, but replacements are more expensive. The ACs made with the new gasses are more expensive, which has a real human cost: (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/23/business/23cool.html)
I'm not making an argument for or against this particular ban or any of the bans above. I am making an argument that these bans are not without costs, and will almost certainly come with trade-offs. Some of those trade-offs will be overcome, others are much harder, and the short run will likely have some pain in the form of higher prices.
Lets say for example we got rid of all pesticides/herbicides. Could we generate enough food to feed the world? How much more expensive would staples like rice and wheat become? How much more expensive would high-nutrition fruits and veggies become? It's possible that someday get over it, but it's not good to minimize the practical drawbacks.
I think we've gotten to a point as a society where _any_ risk of something bad is too much risk, so we ban anything that presents risk. But we're left with things where either the risk is unknown, or that are bad in other ways. The average popular discussion of environmental/health risks often neglects to ask, "what might be an acceptable risk", I think sometimes the risk is worth it.
...and is also explosively flammable. Remember that CFCs replaced early refrigerants which were flammable and/or toxic. This memorable incident may be attributed to using a flammable refrigerant:
Personally, I'm against an absolutist ban on CFCs, since it was mainly their mass release into the atmosphere that caused problems, and they had great advantages in closed-system uses. This may surprise a lot of HN readers, but I have the same belief about PCBs and chrysotile (white asbestos) --- "the dose makes the poison". Literally everything is harmful to something in some way, so the right thing to do is to manage use such that we can maximise the benefit:risk ratio, instead of the frenzied "ban everything" attitude that seems far too pervasive today.
Anyway, I still wonder why ammonia fell into disuse as a refrigerent.
One reason might be that we had to evacuate our office when our small refrigerator in the pentry popped and vented all ammonia. It took a while to get sorted, and it can't have been much in that small unit.
(And I don't mean just to humans; that's only a small part of why it was banned.)
From the second article: However, studies in Europe, Canada, and the United States have since shown that DDT didn’t cause the human diseases Carson had claimed. Indeed, the only type of cancer that had increased in the United States during the DDT era was lung cancer, which was caused by cigarette smoking. DDT was arguably one of the safer insect repellents ever invented—far safer than many of the pesticides that have taken its place.
There is some recent evidence of connection to breast cancer:
And the WHO has a few concerns:
CDC Has a balanced view (though article is old):
That said the studies in question ask about very high usage, it's likely that more controlled sprays would be less damaging. That's the point I'm making, using chemicals responsibly can mitigate overall risk while maintaining their benefits. You don't have spray it in buckets everywhere (the procedure during the study period above) to do a good job of mosquito control. Plus you may save far more lives due to less malaria.
EDIT: In re. non-humans, I'm less familiar with that, but I'm an unabashed species-ist, I care that more humans live. If that has some environmental harm, then lets mitigate or try to reduce harm, but humans come first.
Thats missleading, because we don't really use pesticices against mosquitos anymore.
Main "pesticide" today is a living bacteria which targets Mosquitos directly and apparently with not much side-effects to the nature besides reducing mosquitos and totally non-toxic to mammals.
One would need to assess what if any damage the decrease or extinction of a particular species would cause to the ecology as a whole and the other life forms in it, humans included.
You can read up here:
The quintessential difference is explained in this qutein this quote:
"A key element of the European Union’s chemicals management and environmental protection policies — and one that clearly distinguishes the EU’s approach from that of the U.S. federal government — is what’s called the precautionary principle.
This principle, in the words of the European Commission, “aims at ensuring a higher level of environmental protection through preventative” decision-making. In other words, it says that when there is substantial, credible evidence of danger to human or environmental health, protective action should be taken despite continuing scientific uncertainty.
In contrast, the U.S. federal government’s approach to chemicals management sets a very high bar for the proof of harm that must be demonstrated before regulatory action is taken."
Similar hysteria has killed maybe the best hope we have for carbon-free baseline power load (nuclear power) because people were afraid of radiation. Coal power plants kill more people per year than all nuclear accidents to date ever will (http://reason.com/blog/2016/04/26/more-deaths-from-coal-poll...).
We shouldn't do anything as a knee-jerk reaction against things that look bad because there are charismatic harms (bees maybe dying), without considering the larger problems (humans having more expensive food, or in the case of DDT, dying of diseases).
If we have good evidence that a critical element of our environment is being damaged by pesticides with certain characteristics, it seems like the opposite of prudence to wait on fixing it.
Ah, you've seen the EU chemicals directive. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_en.htm
That's not true (nor equivalent transitively). What does this have to do with your derangements about California and Starbucks?
BTW Most of these compounds ARE tested for safety, just in a far more limited way. Proving things never cause harm is an entirely different bar.
Also I'd be interested to see if it's possible to make it an adversarial process, similar to how corporations define risks to shareholders. They can specify whatever risks they feel are correct, but if something happens that they didn't account for in their risks, they are liable for large compensation penalties to shareholders. Thus companies are incentivized to report every possible and conceivable risk to their business. Now to bring it back to the drugs example, have corporations specify on their own what "do no harm" looks like. And if it turns out the drug does impact something they never specify, have a penalty proportional to their revenue or market cap applied.
As it stands, male sperm rates have declined by over 50% in the last 30 years, it's only a matter of time until people switch to a more cautious attitude.
LED solves many of these issues thankfully,
A power factor is not what you think it is (has zero to do with efficiency).
It involved having special full body clothing, removing all other people from the room/place and other creepy things.
Once I've told people that they happily bought the then 50$ led bulbs. Usually at least.
We shall, in short order respectively have trillions of LEDs in landfill.
Old LEDs were a dollop of glass/plastic over the device, but sme/rgb LEDs are a bit more complex than the old LEDs of the past.
Luckily, due to LED longevity, we have a decade or two to get better at recycling e-waste for the majority of bulbs out there.
The Phoebus cartel may be long gone but planned obolescence is a stronger force than ever before.
Low-power indicator LEDs do have extremely high longevity, but the type used for illumination certainly don't, because they are operated far closer to their limits; plus they need special driver circuitry which also limits lifespan. Components like electrolytic capacitors have lifetimes far shorter than the LED itself in typical LED lamp applications.
I've always pessimistically thought progressives rely exclusively on regulation to succeed at their goals. What situations make you say otherwise?
Both "conservative" and "progressive" ideologies generally allow for change, but in different ways.
I don't subscribe to conservative ideology myself, but traditional conservatism is an understandable outlook.
It's also a far too simplistic way of looking at politics: usually groups will be in favour of same changes and opposed to others, regardless of what they call themselves.
There are also issues where it's not even clear what a "conservative" approach would be. Should action be taken against global warming, to prevent potentially undesirable climate change, or resist taking action, to prevent changes to the economic status quo? For some reason, modern conservatives generally seem to prefer the latter.
In practice, the fundamental difference is probably more about a person's radius of empathy (progressives tend to apply their empathy to a larger group of people), and then lots of vaguely related things flow from that, e.g. different outlooks on power (conservatives prefer a strong man - obviously only assuming he's from their own "tribe" - and therefore strongly tend towards authoritarianism) and economics (empathy with more people tends to make one prefer more equal distributions of wealth and income).
The terms progressive and conservative simply arose at a time when the world was largely shaped the way conservatives like. Since then, the world has changed more towards the progressive vision, so today conservatives do want to change creating things.
"Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of improvement of society by reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the Idea of Progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development, and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition. Progressivism became highly significant during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, out of the belief that Europe was demonstrating that societies could progress in civility from uncivilized conditions to civilization through strengthening the basis of empirical knowledge as the foundation of society. Figures of the Enlightenment believed that progress had universal application to all societies and that these ideas would spread across the world from Europe"
In Switzerland 'the right' is very social oriented and partly for legal weed even. In Austria even the left uses phrases like 'immigrant issues' and discusses 'unleft' ways to solve it.
Most of the world doesn't have a 2 party system. So there is not such a strong distinction between the individual parties.
Classical Liberalism is sometimes considered left wing because it originated as a response to aristocracy, and alongside their preference for free markets (which originally meant markets free from economic rent, not free from regulation) over the rigidly hierarchical model of feudalism with it’s caste system, some founders were broadly socialistic in their thinking.
It’s somewhat ironic capitalism emerged in England where it began as a massive social engineering effort by the central authorities, putting large parts of the population in precariousness and poverty. “Laissez-faire was planned, planning was not.” To quote economic historian Karl Polanyi.
“Capitalism” is nowadays often conflated with “markets”, which can be found in about every agricultural society. Capitalism was coined by Marx and he meant basically a society where the population can be divided in two classes: those who own capital (capital = means of (industrial/mass) production = machines, factories, things-that-make-things, etc) and those who don’t. Those who own capital make their income out of profit, those without have to sell their labor for a wage to the capitalist. Remember that mass production dropped the prices of goods considerably, so artisanal production went out of the window. Basically the inequality in potential to make money resulted in a strong reduction in individual freedom for large parts of the population. This is where the paradoxal dichotomy of liberty and equality becomes clear, where equality in it’s purest sense can be considered the maximum amount of individual liberty for the materially worst off in society — freeing the individual from the constraints put upon him by his environment. That’s the same as saying everyone gets exactly the same. Wonder how well that works in the real world...
Note that “Socialism” is often equated with Marxism, which actually came rather late to the party.
Many new school “Classical Liberals” were created by marginalist economic theory, which was a response to the rising popularity of Marxist justifications for wealth distribution. It’s just as nonsensical, sadly, and it seems we’re stuck with it.
“Keyensianism” is another horribly misunderstood term. Keynesianism as historically known was actually developed by Paul Samuelson, and is based upon economic models that were published by him before Keynes published his major works. Keynes was a classical liberal with a streak of conservatism which despised Marxism. Keynesianism is nowadays equated with “money printing” which is not at all what he argued.
I also recently read Harari’s Sapiens, where at one point he makes the following distinction, which I thought was neat:
* Liberal humanism which holds that the individual, and liberty of the individual, is the most important priority.
* Socialist humanism which holds a notion of humanity as collective and for which equality is the main priority.
* Evolutionary humanism, which holds that Sapiens might either degenerate as a species, or evolve into “super-humans”
Calling Nazi’s “humanist” might seem strange, but in some wicked sense they were, they cared for humanity as some kind of meta organism that could evolve or devolve. Thankfully modern biology put all that to bed.
It’s interesting to note that humanism is based on the notion of “natural rights” which is another way of saying “rights given by God”. People often don’t realize just how religious the axioms of their preferred moral framework are.
(Bit long and tangential probably...)
Then, if you still want another colour, internet is here for you.
That still shows something approaching a black body radiatior. The difference is just the planckian locus. In other words it does emit a full spectrum, just with a power distribution that mimics sunset light and not midday sunlight.
For the evening I would prefer more of a wood fire or candle light spectrum. That seems to help with people's sleep cycle. Something with a black body temp of about 1500 K. Or cool incandescent if you are reading; around 2400K. Majority red spectrum.
And as far as "really expensive" goes: the price of the LED is 10% of the electricity cost over a life of 50k hours, which is about what you get out of them without fancy cooling. See http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Plot%5B(1000.+%2B+0.2+x... , for TCO over time. Units are EUR and hours, and I calculated a price of 20ct/kWh. You can take these prices as net prices for USD, tax and forex cancel out. Yes, these are not economical if you don't use them. In that case, use cheap filament bulbs or similar.
Don't cheap out on the quality of light you use. Get double phosphor (other manufacturers offer those too) for normal use, and consider triple phosphor for uses where color rendition is particularly important (photo shooting/inspecting things/etc).
For the mentioned price you can get a cheap driver and the LED, but please don't burn your LED with inadequate cooling or a bad driver. They are not cheap ;)
The item titles, often listing incandescent equivalent wattages and fuzzy categories like warmness, are kind of irrelevant. You need to look at the fact sheets.
First they started by mandating enviroment and if broken, human "friendly" mercury lamps as a replacement. And even without the regulation, LED's were about to make the breakthrough. And since energy(money) saving is a factor for many people, I would argue it would have come anyway. Maybe even some time later, but with people willingly accepting it and without hating the EU for mandating light for them which was ugly and dark. Because the common energy saving lamp at that time was a catastrophe aesthetically and practically.
But this is different, pesticides are activly damaging the enviroment for everyone. Classic case for what regulation was invented - and this should never get mixed up with regulations which mandate certain energy savings to everyone. This is something people do anyway, if not for the global effect, but for their wallet. So you can maybe assist progress in that area, but never mandate it as people will then start to hate energy saving because now they are forced to do it by the evil government.
And now we hear from a study in the EU that LEDs cause cancer. Yay.
With that said, even though I’m against regulation as a means to effect change, I can’t say I’m upset about fewer pesticides being used on our food, it’s literally poison.
They do? Are you sure you're not thinking of conservatives?
The EU only creates a lot of waste and red tape if you want to ride close to the line, if you decide to go with the spirit of the law rather than the letter it actually reduces waste and red tape.
If you want to give a real example of waste then the VAT rules would come to mind, the cookie law was meant well but the majority of the web operators decided they were going to pass the burden on to the consumer instead of to actually take the hint. And if they had taken that hint the GDPR most likely wouldn't be here tomorrow.
Sure these websites could just find better solutions for that, however how it was and is that cookie warnung is just to common to even give it a second thought as average user.
Who said it is necessary for 'progressives' hate regulation? Progressiveness, I think, is a contextual thing. Capitalism, free-marketism, socialism, theocracism, and indeed any political and social movement can all advocate progressivism toward their own ideologies.
So, in my view, progressivism has more to with general change to an idealogical view, whatever that idealogical view is, and not got anything to do with change to a certain idealogical view. As in one person may view a change being progressive, eg reduction in regulation, and another might view that change as being regressive, eg removal of regulation of toxic chemicals into a river system.
Corporatism is the idea of government by corporation. In practical terms, this means that government functions should be privatized, and all laws that restrict companies repealed. Puerto Rico is a great example of how this plays out in practice.
People also frequently confuse conventional libertarianism, which argued that monopolistic/large corporations are simply an arm of the state, and present day libertarianism, which is basically just corporatism.
In 1991 they could have reported "insects numbers drop 50% in two years!!!!".
I mean there's a definite decline, but it doesn't look like an imminent collapse.
If you look at the graph you can adda trend line for poor years and one for good. Both point steeply downwards, say -30%/decade. Extrapolate to human lifetimes, and you get a 96% drop in one human lifetime. Wow.
This. When I was a kid in California a quick trip in summer and it would be carnage on the window and grill. Now I can drive for hours and not get a single bug. Part of this could be increasing traffic. But it is really dramatic and scary.
There even used to be spandex covers you could out over the front of your bike on the roof rack, but I haven’t seen one in years.
I only ever remember swallowing an insect twice. It probably happened more, but it definitely wasn't a regular occurrence and tended to only happen on hills when you were going really fast.
Also the having to clean screen thing was a thing that happened certain years, not every single year. We used to go on trips to France that we drove to, from East England to France, 10 hours of driving, and some years it needed cleaning a lot, some it didn't.
Again, I totally realise that there definitely is something happening, but the way people are talking is that there used to be a swarm of insects every year, when that wasn't the case. It was different year to year, and it looks like 1989 in Germany was definitely a 'heavy' year and not a great baseline.
But memory is unreliable, and anecdotes are not data
It would be worth a test - an old-style incandescent on one side of the house, a contemporary LED on the other, see which one attracts more bugs!
There's already a surprisingly lot of solid info on that out there 
The gist is pretty much: Most LED don't emit UV and produce less heat, as such they are generally less attractive for flying bugs.
LED ability to change color is an extra advantage, as flying bugs prefer some colors (cool white) over others (warm yellow) and some they supposedly can't even see (red).
I've played around with what color of light to use in my office at night, where the window is pretty much always open due to heat and monitors tend to "collect" all the bugs.
Using only red light really reduces the number of bugs coming in, but then you are sitting in red light all the time, feeling like you are hunting for Red October.
I remember thinking the same last year and the year before, but it gets visibly worse without question.
And yes it's not only bees
Still happening to me every time in Germany :(
That's why I usally were glasses (otherwise small flies get in my eyes).
There's variation between years but a clear downward trend that leads to a significant reduction overall.
Intuitively, if that was money, someone would be pulling their hair out by the handful.
Anecdotes aren't helping anything.
Someone send all people at Monsanto who hid the evidence to jail.
It is like being in a silent city; wrong.
There hadn't been many investments in mechanization up until 5-10 years ago (I'm talking about my parents' village), which meant that the seasonal agricultural works were carried out by 30- or 40-year old communist-era tractors or by actual manual labor by the local people. That meant, for example, that there was usually a time interval of at least a couple of weeks between the land getting plowed and the seeding operation (not a native English speaker, too lazy to search for the exact technical terms). That in turn meant that there was a time window of at least 2-weeks for birds like crows to hunt and eat the insects and mice that the plowed terrain would "reveal" to the open air.
But, as I said, that started to change in the last 5 or so years, when, after some capital-intensive investments, the local farmers started using GPS-equipped state-of-the-art tractors which only leave a day (at most) between when the plowing and the seeding operations happen. So, that means that the crows now only have one day (at most) to hunt and eat for insects and mice, while previously they used to have at least 2 weeks. And the new tractors and combine harvesters are also a lot more efficient, as in they don't leave that much grains on the ground during harvesting (the old communist-era combines were not as efficient) which also means less food for mice and crows, which means less mice and crows, which is bad.
And there are countless other stories like these, all negative when it comes to the ecosystem that surrounds us.
They measured a number of variables during the study (different aspects of weather and climate and land use), but failed to find a single explanatory variable to match the trend they were seeing. They proposed that the cause was something they weren't measuring.
Abstract: "We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline."
Results: "There was substantial variation in trapped insect biomass between habitat clusters (see Materials and methods), with nutrient-rich grasslands, margins and wasteland containing 43% more insect biomass than nutrient-poor heathland, sandy grassland, and dunes. Yet, the annual rate of decline was similar, suggesting that the decline is not specific to certain habitat types (S5 Fig)." "On average, cover of arable land decreased, coverage of forests increased, while grassland and surface water did not change much in extent over the last three decades (S3 Fig). Overall, adding land use variables alone did not lead to a substantial improvement of the model fit..." "These interactions, which were retained in our final model (Table 4), revealed higher rates of decline where coverage of grassland was higher, while lower declines where forest and arable land coverage was higher."
Discussion: "In light of previously suggested driving mechanisms, our analysis renders two of the prime suspects, i.e. landscape [9, 18, 20] and climate change [15, 18, 21, 37], as unlikely explanatory factors for this major decline in aerial insect biomass in the investigated protected areas." "Agricultural intensification [17, 20] (e.g. pesticide usage, yearround tillage, increased use of fertilizers and frequency of agronomic measures) that we could not incorporate in our analyses, may form a plausible cause. The reserves in which the traps were placed are of limited size in this typical fragmented West-European landscape, and almost all locations (94%) are enclosed by agricultural fields. Part of the explanation could therefore be that the protected areas (serving as insect sources) are affected and drained by the agricultural fields in the broader surroundings (serving as sinks or even as ecological traps)."
i.e., they're finding that habitat type is insufficiently correlated with the observed effects, and suggesting that some other effect related to nearby agriculture is the predominant cause.
The paper is free to download and very readable: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal....
[E: if you ever wanted to know how data and anecdote differ, dive into that thread]
I don't get why people go crazy with poisons. I just do some minor house perimeter treatment but try to make sure it wont run off. I keep everything else natural.
Most people seem to know about it but not how serious it is.
I just heard this in a recent TED podcast that this is what some people were doing :)
It had a measurable impact when planting "wild"flowers on 2% of the land alongside English fields, with a little more searching there's probably a study on gardens.
(From the paper: "Here we show that the survival of family lineages from the summer worker to the spring queen stage in the following year increases significantly with the proportion of high-value foraging habitat, including spring floral resources, within 250–1,000 m of the natal colony.")
However, the jury's out on "insect hotels": http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal....
> but it quickly visible to you
Definitely measurable in that it gives them more options which is probably better for them with proper care.
Doesn't have impact on the main problem though.
We've got a little wildflower patch, maybe six square feet. Was covered in all kinds of bees & insects last summer.
Obvious recent example in the US; the dramatic shift in Democratic Party support for single-player as it became clear that that was something that constituents were extremely concerned with. Obviously that’s a big issue. But this can happen with smaller issues, too.
Right now, your representatives don’t know what’s important to you. Telling them will at worst do nothing, and may well help.
If you've called your representatives, you gain my sympathy and concern.
If you've assumed ten minutes a month isn't worth it, these arguments are not persuasive.
I thought of a thing that might have at least a little.
edit: I know I strode a little from the mandate part cause mandates may differ in relative importance for everyone.
Person A: voting helps
You: How do they know why you're voting on this?
Person B: You have to tell them
You: But others spend more money and thus count for more
Me: That's an excuse unless you've actually tried it (and if you have, yeah, that sucks)
If I misread, my apologies - based on on your response it appears I have.
I didn't make the connection "these arguments are not persuasive" => "its an excuse" and rather read the part as "not persuaded by the argument" and so I tried to clarify.
(Didn't look so good did it:) Thanks for taking the time to clarify ergothus.
(I was about to praise them for not writing more about the latest celebrity baby, but they have, damn them. I was trying to go as long as possible without learning his name, and there it is in the "most read" section.)
As a start, I'd encourage you to choose different news sources, because I've no idea what you're referring to here and your comment on HN is the first I've seen of it (and thanks for that).
I'm not being facile here; we need more people to stop consuming pop-culture "news" as a good first step towards solving important and difficult problems. Media will report on the subjects that people read, watch, and talk about. So, avoid the garbage.
(The building and wall looked very British to my British eyes, but a Google image search by the URL brought that article straight up.)
Pesticides are absurdly politicized. The amount of ridicule and PR flak pesticide critics get is insane.
The other interesting development is the use of Fipronil to kill wasps. The usage has really helped but you’d have to wonder about having more of it in the environment.
Thanks for the link to the study. I had not read that one yet. To give a counterpoint, this article on slate I thought was very convincing in the other direction: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/201...
It seems a lot of bee studies only look at honey bees, but there are some 4,000 types of native bees in North America, some of which are better pollinators then the non-native European honey bee and secrete silk instead of honey. Yet our urban spaces don't do a great job of providing good habitats for native species to thrive. So that's a least part of the solution to the bee problem, not just banning a pesticide.
I could go on but just check out this great SciFri episode on this topic:
https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/beyond-the-hive-the-w.... And do your part by supporting your local, native bee species.
The vast majority of pollination is via non-bee insects, but just reducing the destruction of wild bees will help at least.
As for mite treatment you may want to look into oxalic acid, although it’s not technically approved for use in hives (despite being less harmful than regular mite pads)
A third reason is that the bases I’ve got are so nice to use, and cost no more than the older style wooden type.
There’s a whole 20-year story that led to him testing this, starting with noticing when his bees spent a few days pushing wood chips aside to get at Garden Giant mycelium and licking it, which puzzled him.
There is at least want breeder that has managed to get queens that seem to result in mite free hives
(Edit to clarify: resistance to mites isn’t really the problem - the problem is that the mites are very effective at spread more or less all viruses that harm bees, and the feed on the larvae just for good measure. Basically you want bees that actively fight infestation so that they don’t have to become resistant to every single disease)
The whole 'no treatment' controversy is about beekeepers who treat and those who don't in the same area. On the one hand, there are those who treat and create weak colonies, on the other there are the non-treaters who might infect those weak colonies. It's sometimes bitter.
The article is about Europe.