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Understanding the Insect Apocalypse

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Aug 2, 2019

*This is part of a summer blog series written by an anonymous member of our alumni community. The opinions expressed here are independent of GREEN Program and do not necessarily represent the views of our organization.* 

Remember when Hopper was terrorizing Flik and the rest of the Colony? Remember how bad you felt for Flik? That poor entrepreneurial Ant googly eyed for Elaine Benes. 

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Those were the days. All the ants had to worry about was were grasshoppers and not chemical warfare from tall humans (apparently the insects weren’t invited to the Geneva Convention). 

Insect Apocalypse


48. That’s how many more toxic pesticides have been added in the last 25 years in the US. Good for plant health and longevity, but not so good for our little friends. This surplus of toxicity isn’t because the plants finally discovered Brittany Spears’ In The Zone album. It is because of the controversial super-pesticides being used. 

These groups of pesticides are called Neonicotinoids. Neonics are used in a ton of plants from soybeans to apples to rice. This group of pesticides are a super protectant for the plants and increase crop yield which in turn creates more money (money, in my opinion, is the biggest adversary to climate action practices, and this is a tangent I will not go on right now). 

These pesticides have been contributing to the dwindling population of bees since Bee-Jerry Seinfeld was laying sweet pickup lines on humans:

However, ~science~ has shown that we don’t actually need these strong pesticides. There are other ways we can keep plants safe without taking out the whole species of bees, like agroecological farming methods (combinations of diversification of crops, conservation tillage, green manures, natural fertilisers and nitrogen fixation, biological pest control, rainwater harvesting). 

We all know what happens when the bees stop doing their work, right.  Well that is the fate we are moving towards unless action is taken. Look at our brothers and sisters across the pond. They banned neonicotinoids in April of last year. Save the bugs, baby!

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Also, let me be the first to say bugs are a pain in my ass. My apartment is riddled with house flies and fruit flies that LOVE to buzz the tower at their will. Infuriating. Gut reaction: get rid of them all. 

Cooler heads prevail and my brain realizes we need them. Some bugs stink, but most of them serve their purpose on the food chain and in the pollination game. As long as this isn’t one big simulation, we need all of these natural processers to continue to chug along like good little processers they are. 

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