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Insects Are the Canaries In Our Coal Mine

MATTHEW J. EDLUND: ‘Insects are a large part of the animal biomass of our planet. They are crucial to our survival in many ways, particularly as pollinators. People are vaguely aware that pollinating bees, necessary to so many of our crops, have been dying or disappearing in large numbers. They are less aware that many other insects are pollinators. Without these pollinators, crops don’t grow.

A recent study out of northwest Germany from the Krefeld Entomological Society found that in the period of 1989 to 2013, the biomass of insects fell 76%. That was in special nature reserves. In an agricultural part of Germany that has been peaceful, stable, and without major economic or political incidents for many years. The insects are at risk. Which means we’re at risk…

So for us, the insects are the canaries in our coal mine.  Indeed, canaries are probably suffering – populations of German birds are way down, too.  In 1948 there were about 2.5 billion people on Earth.  Now there are more than three times as many.  Our industrial and food footprints are much bigger. Magical thinking won’t help us this time. It will be much harder to feed us if the insects are gone’. SOURCE…


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