The farmers had an interesting response - since farming without chemicals results in much lower yield & less income, they were letting people "sponsor" chemical-free areas of their farm (think Patreon for farming). The more sponsorship they received, the more areas of farmland they converted. At a certain threshold, people could even pay to have the farmland replaced entirely with flowerbeds for bees.
FL: "At the bottom here, where you see this older leaf, you can see these very small black pustules there. The disease is called Septoria Tritic, and then you have a poor yield."
EC: "That's why you need pesticides?"
FL: "Correct. That's why you need pesticides, so you can protect this plant for the next eight weeks."
EC" "Is it possible to operate without pesticides or plant protection?"
FL: "Yes, it's possible of course. Our forefathers also did agriculture without using pesticides. But it has to be said that we have eight billion people on Earth, and without pesticide, without fertilisation, it is not possible to feed these people."
Franz Lehner says if Greenies in the city really want to help to change farming, they have to do more than sign petitions - they need to open their wallets. He's started a program for people to sponsor bee-friendly crops, and get their name on a stick for it.
EC: "This is interesting! Farmers like Franz are now leasing their land for people in the city to sponsor growing flowers to help bees and other insects. Rather than, what - Kartoffeln, oder? - rather than potatoes or something, people have to pay, or can pay, farmers to grow flowers. So instead of just signing the petition, they actually give money as well. Ok? Eine gut idee, ja? Gut für Bauern?"
FL: "Yes, good for farmers, good for the environment, good for the people in the city."
Other businesses are cashing in on the concerns. German and Dutch hardware stores are now featuring Bee-Friendly flowers, and Bee hotels.
Yes, they can ask for all of it to be bee playground, but markets still exist and food prices still will fluctuate
No, they are just defending themselves with crappy arguments. The real truth is people are lazy and do not (those who have the possibility ) want to grow vegetables in their back yard. They prefer to buy the cheapest industrially produced food from the supermarket. This leads to increased demand for crap food and indirectly to use of pesticides.
More like removing the economic pressure of using poison to growing food, that is a different case
Especially going forward. Wages in non tech industries have already stagnated for years and inflation continues to rise.
Give it another ten to twenty years and there won't be enough money in the working class to sponsor such initiatives.
Heck, it can't scale even short term. The more farmers take part in that initiative, the less money there will be to actually do something with it.
Luckily, (in the US, at least,) the DoA has been paying landowners for decades not to plant things on their land, so the working class doesn't need to foot the entire bill.
It's a reasonable and scalable approach, assuming government cooperation.
It's a very different approach from the parents example though
I am quite sure there is a significant decline in insects, and we should be worried and act upon that, but the bugs on car thing is not the best way to measure.
I've been driving the same car for 20 years. I remember cleaning the bugs from the roof rack after each longer trip. There were so many bugs, the front of the rack was entirely covered with a dark coat. These days the roof rack stays completely free of bugs. I simply don't have to clean the rack any more.
This hypothesis is commonly offered as a possible explanation, but it's not a refutation and doesn't seem to hold up against evidence.
And cars are much more aerodynamic now, that also helps
The other thing is: consumerism must go, but it's no easy feat. So many people in 1st world countries work in jobs that make zero sense in a post-consumerist society. Advertising is a huge industry. Even many tech giants like the FAANGs would become largely superfluous. There will have to be a gentle transition, not a "drastic" one, or 2019 politics will end up looking like a fairytale in hindsight.
I live in France, electricity isn't too dirty to produce (nuclear), and I can't say I abuse it, I don't heat a lot, I like to sleep in the cold, maybe 3 months a year, and I have no air-conditioning of course, this is a nonsense.
I use a bike for everything, so my main CO2 footprint might be from the vegetables/fruits I buy, they are still quite locally produced (France/Spain/Italy/Morocco for clementines sometimes) (I mean I wouldn't buy a pineapple/mango from another continent, this too is an absolute nonsense)
A large part of this is due to current practices surrounding energy and material goods production though, as you point out.
For example, the UK has an intensity of approx 300g CO2 emitted per kWh on the national grid. We also have diesel trains. A lot of the material goods we produce (including things like, say, the metal body of said trains) are carbon intensive in their manufacture.
But it's not impossible to change that.
I love diversity: that's why I think we should stop trying to destroy it.
Calling such behavior "forced" is so inconsiderate. It blows my mind that you are trying to blame people for trying to find better lives. Should a lady in a brazilian favela not have washing machines? Should people not experience and use electric light or air travel? I also assume you are from the west which makes your position extremely arrogant as well.
I am very afraid of what the environmentalist movenment is turning into and would not be surprised to see major violent eco-terrorist events in the future. Makes me ashamed to support green policies.
I personally met Andrew Yang in 2018 and tried to get his campaign to be about two things: UBI and the Environment.
I wanted him to embrace at least the Carbon Tax and Dividend bill.
But they didn’t listen. So Yang isn’t an environmental candidate. I even care less about the CO2 than destruction of ecosystems: corals, insects, birds, fish, kelp forests and etc.
I think Yang is a pretty strong environmental candidate considering he also supports removing subsidies on fossil fuels and meat, nuclear energy, funding renewables, electric vehicles, reforestation, etc.
Which is why he is mostly a one-issue candidate. He could have been about the great issues of our time, and probably polled at least double what he is now. Many people who may not embrace UBI care about the environment.
I was the one who built yang2020.app and painted the giant Yang mural in Brooklyn. Privately I was trying to exhort his campaign to turn “how are you going to pay for it” into an opportunity to talk about Pigovian taxes and how he was going to avoid the fate of Macron and the yellow vest movement by redistributing the money back to the people. That may have led to his campaign putting a mention of it on his site, because they later wrote back and said “good news, it’s on the site”.
I think Yang will be an amazing candidate, just not for 2020. Ah, well Biden and Bernie are pretty old, so there will be other opportunities to run without primarying them.
Actually, what I really believe is that there should be a third party that has people like Yang and Tulsi run. Not left, not right - forward. I got the domain name for this party: “rational.party”. :)
I certainly have my own critiques of his campaign team's strategy. Unfortunately I think Yang has failed to establish legitimacy with some of the left, due mostly to flaws in his narrative and framing of certain issues.
It seems that only one candidate (Inslee) put climate front and center.
This article also says that the declines they observed were primarily driven by intensive agriculture. I wonder if it would behoove us to zone more wild spaces. Why not set up some new national forests, parks, and wildlife reserves? It's not like people don't also enjoy those things.
Specifically look at
and Interior: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bernhardt#Legal_work_and...
We forbid offroad vehicles from driving through wetlands for this sort of reason; those environments are very sensitive to the pollution, noise, erosion, etc. But we put freeways damned near everywhere.
I dunno. I agree, it doesn't seem like enough, but what can we do? Tear up all our roads and rebuild them on a carefully-planned "pollution grid"? And even then, the BLM allows grazing and hunting on most of their lands which is another deeply-ingrained tragedy of the commons. Good luck getting rid of those methane-rich cow farts in the area when everyone feeds their herds off of the 'free' land. And good luck keeping 4x4s away when hunting is allowed.
Also slowing down intensive agriculture practices that also deplete the topsoil and doing actual crop rotation instead.
Reminds me of https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/glass-building...
I feel bad when an insect collide with me on my bike, the impact isn't deadly most often, I even stop to pick bees, wasps, butterflies dying or dead on the road and put them back in the nature
A dragonfly eating mosquitos ends up with a higher concentration of a pesticide because it eats a lot of other insects that may have been exposed to a pesticide. The other problem for the dragonfly is that it has a longer lifecycle and produces less offspring per generation than a mosquito. So it has far less ability to achieve pesticide resistance than the mosquito does.
The government/president won't fix anything, as usual.
Gov/prez are too far away, too absorbed by being re-elected and cronyism, reigning on a too big and therefore heterogeneous and complicated territory...
Wherever something is wrong, something is too big. Leopold Kohr described it clearly (~60 years ago)!
Back to local, then most problems will be fixed.
Moreover some/many underlying principles of many "local" laws are induced by higher level governments, either by direct or indirect pressure (no funds granted without such and such law), or by "culture" (local public servants being, or willing to be/resemble, like the big guns).
It's like a racing sailing boat, every additional weight makes a difference. We could significantly help the environment by changing our life-styles
If this trend continues, I wonder if we will see some species previously reliant on spiders for food (birds?) switch to more cockroaches and houseflies. More likely, we will see a radical restructuring of what we consider to be "common" species.
For instance, hedgehogs and sparrows - incredibly common in my own childhood - are apparently quietly disappearing from places where they were previously abundant. What will replace them?
We have to decide what we want, and what is important to us. We're only just at the beginning of our civilisation's development. We, the AI, and/or the AI we'll be connected to will be able to recreate and terraform, to bio-engineer species, environments and food however we want.
I suppose until such time that we can do that, we do need to take the natural environment very seriously. I am increasingly concerned about climate change, but also human health. I also care about animals. We're only one of many, and I don't care how more 'evolved' I am than another species.
Nature is not dissimilar. Sure, it's conceivable that one day we might be so technologically advanced that we can easily modify the environment on a whim, recreating extinct species or being able to perfectly model the ecosystem and tweak it. And maybe we will opt to not have an environment and live off of solar energy or something. But we're centuries from that, and we don't know for sure that we'll ever be able to do those things. So, what's the responsible thing to do? Like the archaeologists, we must keep the environment around until we're sure we'll be okay without it.
We can't guarantee we will ever be able to even know what we lost, let alone recreate what we're losing, or ever properly understand the interaction between species, or understand what discoveries we missed out on. Apart from anything else dramatically more species are undiscovered than discovered. Of those discovered vanishingly few outside the small number of agricultural ones are well understood. Agriculture that aims to remove species variation and variety.
Maybe I read too much into it, but with "I suppose" you make it sound as though you have a grudging acceptance to care only until such time as that magic Deus ex Machina of Jurassic Park and terraforming arrives. Then what? Right back to "fuck the environment we can terraform a new one"? Given human nature, far more likely we damage the natural environment way beyond our ability to either fix or live with and crash civilisation long before then -- damage without any care is a road we are very well travelled along after all. Seems "we" not including me have decided the planet's environment is secondary to profit. ...repeat until the profit or life support capability breaks.
That seems wildly optimistic given current trends. What makes you think we'll make it that far, given that we(1), so far, have only managed to continually make things worse over time?
1-And by "we" I actually just mean the oligarchs who profit from environmental destruction...individuals have only marginal agency in this story. But, we keep letting them do it, for some reason.
Communist countries do as much damage as capitalist ones, and even hunter-gatherers did a huge amount of damage, so you are looking for solution at a wrong place.
Which of current trends do you think justify your pessimistic outlook? We are not in a particularly bad state compared to hundred years ago, and recently we didn't cause more extinctions than we caused as hunter-gatherers. With genetic editing we are working to create much more efficient crops, in some places we learned how to use technology to drastically reduce use of pesticides, area, and water in agriculture (see Netherlands and Israel), gene drives that would eliminate main pest species are going to allow us to further reduce usage of pesticides, and we are learning to grow fish and algae in the ocean instead of simply exploiting wild populations. We are even working on restoring long dead species like mammoths, so i'd say there is every reason to be optimistic about the future.
Technology is the only viable way out. There isn't enough space to feed everyone with "close to nature" farming methods, instead we have to bioengineer more efficient ways to produce food and create attractive alternatives to meat from farm animals if we want to give nature any space to breathe.
You say that as if it was a fact but nothing is corroborating that vision of the future outside of wackadoodle silicon valley.
"Tech will save us" is not that far from "Jesus will save us" at that point ...
The academics behind the study are not idiots, and understanding measurement and the relevant measuring instruments is a foundation of pretty much every field of science.
Which is why "economists" are all filthy rich from their highly accurate, highly precise predictions about economic trends.
Which is why stories about a software bug potentially skewing the results of thousands of studies was at the top of this site all of last week.
Go outside at night, and take your smartphone with you. Turn the flashlight on, and shine it away from your face while holding the LED right above and between your eyes. Look at the lawn.
If your lawn is like mine, you will see 4-5 shiny reflections from the grass in every square meter of your land. They're not dew drops. They're ground spiders.
Key quote: "Even atmospheric samples collected from balloons at five kilometres altitude and ships mid-ocean have reported spider landings."
In the past, we have been overly eager to right the wrongs in nature, arrogant enough to believe we knew how, and as a result caused massive ecological destruction. Every time we intervene, we screw up, because we really don't have a handle on the complexity theory of nature. But none of that makes it into a story that's mainly there to fill the space that an advertisement doesn't take.
I'm sure that the loss of insect populations is a major problem. But I'm also sure we have no clue how to fix it, and that the attempts will be very messy, possibly even worse. To me that's more scary than the immediate problem.
Other species thrive, new ones come up and evolve, new niches form etc. Why would this time be any different? How do we know that this is somehow worse than the previous times? How do we know that this is not the natural process of evolution? Why do we assume that the graph of number of species has to go straight up all the time? How do we know there aren't supposed to be plateaus and dips?
So yeah, if you can you consider answering seriously before downvoting, that would be great. I can't understand what in the history of science of species should make me believe that this event is bery bad on the long-term scale? Will there be many adjustments and problems? Yes? Will we adapt? Most certainly? Or why not?
We worry about this stuff because we fear we might not survive.
Heat waves, floods, and drought can and will destroy entire crops. Furthermore, sea level rise and stronger storms will destroy ports and transportation infrastructure, making it harder and more expensive to transport crops.
Desertification and dust storms are both possible outcomes of biodiversity loss.
There's also a growing body of evidence that precipitation is driven partially by bacteria. (See the following article from Nature: https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080228/full/news.2008.632.h...)
Climate change is here, and is going to get worse. Losing pollinators and the collapse of ecosystems would be painfully disruptive on a large scale, and climate change will make it extremely difficult for humanity to adapt to it.
I was merely pointing out that humanity doesn't actually care if we wipe out all life. We wring our hands because we fear we will wipe out ourselves, as if we are terribly important.
It's narcissism, not morality, that drives such fretting.
This could just be an observer selection effect, since if the system weren't still here, neither would we be here.
1: I am aware of the importance of insects in the food chain. I know that many animal species, like small birds, feed on insects. I fully accept the consequences. The extinction, or near extinction, of insects is worth the disappearance of some animals.
2: I'm carving an exception for bees. We need bees for pollination (for now).
Just take wolves for instance. Lack of wolves lead to a huge population increase in deer, less trees, less birds, less beavers, more floods, less biodiversity, worse rivers, more erosion, etc. That's just a small sample, there's been several papers published on it if you want to know more.
It wasn't until we reintroduced wolves that we had any idea.
The bottom of the food tree (plants, plankton, and related) are required for life on earth... even us. You can't just pick bees and let the rest die. There's dangers in larger mono cultures. If we just keep the most productive bees for pollinating our food the diversity will be radically decreased and the parasites, fungus, and diseases will become ever better adapted.
Much like what's being fought over the most popular banana, that experts think is doomed because of the huge mono culture and once a fungus becomes adapted will spread through out the supply chain and doom any attempts to raise that same banana.
Sure we might be able to add more poison, genetic engineering, and other high tech solutions... at a cost... or maybe we will try and fail.
As the load of agriculture on the ecosystem increases very bad results are more likely. Just this week I read something on the use of Neonicotinoids use in rice fields in japan having a huge impact on the fisheries. Apparently getting rid of those pesky non-bees lead to a fishery collapse because there was nothing left for the fish to eat. Said fish weren't eating those non-bees, but the chemicals did impact what they did eat.
(#) I am not a doctor, so this is can not to be taken as professional advice/recommendation but rather as something that common sense dictates.
With the risk of the total collapse of the bottom links of the food chain and everything that follows, calls to prevent complete disaster will be met with replies of, "no they're icky I don't care."
How can someone just not care about the sheer amount of scientific understanding and discovery that would vanish if all insects died?