Friday, July 21, 2006


Big bucks bees

So much attention is focused on global warming that we miss the other, interconnected dangers that humankind faces as a consequence of our poor stewardship of Earth, problems like ozone thinning, decline in agricultural/marine productivity, and decline in species diversity. The greater the rate of global warming, the greater the rate of ozone thinning. The greater the rate of global warming and ozone thinning, the less productive our farms, forests, and fisheries become. Species diversity is a critical element of how bad it all gets. The great joys of life come from diversity. Diversity, both biological and cultural, is why we have choices in what we eat and places we vacation. Many of our medicines come from nature, so as we lose species, we lose potential medicines. One cannot be pro-life and be indifferent to the wonders of nature and human culture. In that regard, a BBC article on the decline in diversity among bees and flowers (or the original article in Science) is worth reading: Scientists from [Britain and the Netherlands] examined records kept by enthusiasts dating back more than a century. They write in the journal Science that habitat alterations, climate change and modern industrial farming are possible factors in the linked decline. There is a chance, they say, that the decline in pollinating bees could have detrimental effects on food production. "The economic value of pollination worldwide is thought to be between £20bn and £50bn ($37bn and $91bn) each year," said Simon Potts from the University of Reading, UK, one of the scientists involved.... "The ultimate drivers [of species decline] are changes in our landscapes; intensive agriculture, extensive use of pesticides, drainage, nitrogen deposition. Too bad bees aren't listed on the Dow. With a $50B annual after tax net, they're up there with Exxon Mobil ($36.7B in 2005). If the people destroying the earth had a clue that bees were valuable, they might treat them more respectfully.
Never gonna happen.

People are people so I don't think civilizations will change as quickly as nature does.

But bees will be bees. Cool, man.

I'm big on bees. As a honey lover and Plath fan, whose father was a real bee guy, I sorta got interested in them and I may even keep them myself someday, city zoning allowing.
Beeb bees?

You guys are on my 'ey! list.
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