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"Linked" is too weak of a word, but sadly, by the time the link it's proven it may be too late.

Before the government bans the product you make or use, causing you a lot of monetary loss, reason says that they should think twice. So, IMO nothing will be done, just yet. They are too many special interests and evidence apparently is not conclusive. Last year I remember reading that cell towers might be the culprit, interfering with their navigation or something like that.

If only people had this perspective before taking the risk at first, we wouldn't act like pollution was the norm and unpolluted nature was the aberration. I like your logic, but I would have applied it before introducing something that kills a species we don't want to kill.

"Before the government allows the use of the product never before seen in nature, causing you a lot of monetary loss, reason says that they should think twice. So, IMO nothing will be done, just yet. They are too many special interests and evidence apparently is not conclusive."

The cell tower stuff was a red herring.

Before the government allows the use of the product never before seen in nature, causing you a lot of monetary loss, reason says that they should think twice.

They think and experiment more than twice and pesticides are heavily regulated. The problem is that by the time symptoms show, it can be too late. On the other hand, virtually everything is a tradeoff: the houses we live in, newspapers we read, the meat we eat, the beer we drink etc etc is harmful to some habitat. So if you want certain things, you have to tolerate some other things. Pesticides, fertilizers and GM crops enable us to get much more from the same acre so they are very tempting to use.

Not saying that I'm cool with having all bees die off though.

The problem with your logic is that it assumes everyone is forthright and honest, even with tremendous amounts of money involved. We know what history and human nature teach us about that assumption.

These pesticides were initially sold as unharmful or minimally toxic to bees. Now that we are using it, we have experts telling us that it will absolutely kill bees. That's a pretty dramatic distinction.

Do you honestly believe that in all of their "thinking and experimenting more than twice", no one ever observed that this stuff killed bees and, on the contrary, everyone actually believed it to be unharmful to them?

If you don't trust the experimental results, exactly what process are you proposing?

More experiments? Will you trust those?

Your comments beg the question. The "experimental results" you reference are meaningless if they are not properly disclosed and utilized.

In fact, seems to me that an investigation is in order as to how these supposedly stringent regulatory processes gave us pesticides that were purportedly safe for bees and other beneficial insects, while we now know that they are clearly lethal to bees. They specifically stated that their chemicals do not do something that they clearly do, and that something is ecologically and agriculturally devastating. I find it very difficult to believe that this was completely unknown prior to approval. If you are telling me that you believe it was unknown after utilizing the best processes we have to test and model, then I would say that we clearly need to ban these pesticides and approve nothing else until we are better at determining outcomes.

Beyond that, what I would trust is a regulatory process that does not involve revolving doors between government bureaucrats on the regulatory side and industry. That and a true democracy wherein politicians are not bought by the highest bidder. Those are just starting points.

So, no, I would not trust more experiments performed by the same people, processes, and "oversight" that brought us the last round. You would?

What's the practical alternative, then?

Not the ideal alternative, which we all agree would be nice, but what is something that might actually work?

I'm not sure that I understand your line of questioning. Are you agreeing that there seems to be foul play here? Or are you saying that everyone is honest, but our systems are woefully insufficient? Or both?

Because either would be unacceptable in my view. Yet your point seems to be that it's the best we have, so we should make do. In fact, if you agree that the system as-is is very much less than ideal, then it seems that you would join me in calling for remedy, perhaps using the starting points I've already identified as a basis.

Instead the very nature of your questioning seems to suggest that people who call attention to the problem are somehow in the wrong because they don't have a set of concrete legislation for regulatory change at the ready. It's a bit of a red herring, wherein you agree with me on principle, but rather than demanding answers or solutions from those who are at fault, you instead immediately turn to me and demand solutions, essentially letting those responsible off the hook.


What starting points have you identified for a practical solution?


To simplify what I had here before (and make it hopefully less argumenative):

What system would be verifiable and trustworthy? How would that differ from what we have now?

I never claimed to offer a specific, "practical" solution and my last comment pointed out the oddness of you asking me for one vs asking those responsible.

And I'm still not sure why you continue to make that the issue. It's not so much argumentative as it is odd.

In any event, what I did point out are some of the underlying issues that make the current system corruptable (i.e. untrustworthy). I don't really feel like retyping that, so if you're earnestly interested, perhaps you can check my ancestor comment on this thread.

As far as devising "practical" solutions, surely identifying and addressing those core issues might be a starting place.

EDIT: But perhaps the real question is: what exactly is your point?

IIRC new pesticides have to be tested by the government, no need to trust just about everyone that mixed something in their factory or bathtub.

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/aboutus.htm https://secure.pesticides.gov.uk/pestreg/

See my reply to waterlesscloud below. In short, I understand how the process is supposed to work, but like much else in government, the revolving door between regulatory agencies and industry, combined with paid-for politicians, undermines the integrity of the process.

Expected value matters. If the cost of being right vs wrong is heavily skewed, a slight (or in your words, 'weak') change in evidence supporting a conclusion may have a huge impact on the expected value of the outcome.

Think of it like a gun that has a 99% chance of being a harmless toy. If it only has a 1% chance of being a real gun, does that mean that it is okay to play with it like a toy?

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