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Suicide By Pesticide

What the honey bee die-off means for humanity
Friday, May 22, 2015, 11:18 AM

This article was originally published for PeakProsperity.com's enrolled subscribers on 5/18/15. Given its importance, so many of them contacted us to make this post public that we are doing so today. ~ Adam

As you are aware, honey bees have been suffering from something called Colony Collapse Disorder. In practice, what this means is that the bees simply vanish from their hives, leaving behind their most precious worldly possessions: honey and larvae.

What causes these mysterious vanishing acts has been something of a mystery. But because the phenomenon began really ramping up in 2006, we can focus in on some suspects.

While it’s always possible that the bees are suffering ‘death from a thousand cuts’ -- where it’s no one specific thing but rather a wide range of minor insults, ranging from loss of forage to herbicides to fungicides to pesticides -- there’s actually quite strong evidence pointing to a specific class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

This class of pesticides is massively and indiscriminately toxic. More specific to our investigation here, it was only introduced into widespread use shortly before the massive bee die-offs began.

Biocide = Suicide

Actually, it’s not really proper to call neonicotinoids ‘pesticides’ because they don't solely target pests. They should more accurately be called ‘biocides’ because they kill all insects equally and indiscriminately.

How toxic are they?

The neonics are so toxic that it's sufficient to simply lightly coat a seed with it before planting. When the seed grows to maturity, the plant will still have enough absorbed toxin circulating within its system to kill any insect that munches on it or sucks on its sap.

Think about that for a minute. Coat a kernel of corn with a neonic, sow it, and the mature plant will still be lethal to a corn borer when the corn ears develop several months later.

But not just to insects:

"A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a song bird." As a long time environmental lawyer and campaigner, I should not have been stunned by that fact but I was. Shaking my head in dismay, I read on, "Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the ...neonicotinoid... can fatally poison a bird."

(Source)

Ugh. Boy, that depresses me -- thinking of the mentality in play that allows one to conceive of and then use such powerful poisons simply because one wants to engage in lazy farming. Hard farming requires knowing how to rotate crops, use beneficial natural relationships, and work intimately with the land on which you farm so as to minimize pest losses while maximizing the abundance of both your crops and the local ecosystem.

Sadly, the indiscriminate neonic killers are being used very widely. The mentality at play might as well be kill them all and let god sort them out.  And therefore we are literally taking out whole swaths of life; both observed as in the case of the honey bee, and unobserved in the case of the many, many organisms not commercially or recreationally important enough to us to notice and track.

Killing off organisms in an ecosystem using indiscriminate biocides is quite literally a slow form of suicide for us humans. As within, so without.  You cannot poison and kill of the world around you without poisoning and killing yourself.

Simply put: We are killing ourselves. And the data is literally horrifying.

The Birds and the Bees

If the thesis that neonics are harmful to both pests and other life forms alike is correct, then we should be able to detect those effects both with direct studies and indirect measurements.

Here’s where the horrifying part comes in. All of the data agrees: neonics are stone cold killers.

Insecticides Linked To Farmland Bird Population Declines

July 10, 2014

A new study in the journal Nature has found that use of neonicotinoids is linked to a decline in the populations of farmland birds across Europe.

For the study, scientists from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands (SOVON) analyzed long-term data for both farmland bird populations and chemical amounts in surface water. They discovered that in locations where water held high amounts of imidacloprid, a standard neonicotinoid, bird populations were known to decrease by an average of 3.5 percent on a yearly basis.

“In ten years it’s a 35 percent reduction in the local population, it’s really huge,” study author Hans de Kroon from Radboud University told Matt McGrath of BBC News. “It means the alarm bells are on straight away.”

The study team said the insecticide is probably coating seeds that the birds like to eat – as well as leaching into both water and soil around the sprayed areas. They added that neonicotinoids can persist in the environment for up to three years.

(Source)

Here we have a study that shows huge and dramatic negative impacts on bird life. A massive culling of more than a third of the bird populations in ten years is a really disturbing figure. In places where the water held high concentrations of neonics, bird populations were hit hardest.

The other interesting finding in the above the study was that the neonics were found in the water supply.  They are not supposed to end up there, but they do, as we now know:

Bee-Killing Pesticides Found in Midwest Rivers

Aug 4, 2014

PESTICIDES LINKED TO declining bee and bird populations have been found in streams across the upper Midwest, raising yet more concerns about these chemicals’ environmental effects.

Researchers from the United States Geological Survey tested waters at nine sites in Iowa and Nebraska. They found neonicotinoids in each, frequently at levels that may harm insects and the life that depends on them.

“This wasn’t a toxicity study, but there’s research out there indicating that these concentrations could be of concern,” said USGS chemist Michelle Hladik, lead author of the paper describing the survey in the journal Environmental Pollution.

(Source)

Given just how toxic the neonics are, I have to wonder what the effect of them are on all the insect life that has water in its life stage: the mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies. If these insects are killed, then you will find big declines in the bird populations that depend on those same insects for their food supply.

And/or if the insects are carrying sub-lethal levels of the neonic biocides in them, then the birds may be bio-concentrating the toxin to detrimental if not lethal levels in their own bodies.

I have to ask: What sort of a so-called ‘civilized’ nation, in this day and age, allows toxic levels of pesticides (or biocides as the case may be) to build up at hazardous levels in surface water in the first place?

What’s so important about selling a few bucks more to enable giant chemical firms and certain farmers to practice lazy farming that we’re willing to sacrifice the complete loss of critical elements of key ecosystems?

We may not tend to appreciate insects, but they are utterly and fabulously essential to everything we hold dear.  You cannot just kill them all without upsetting the myriad finely-tuned systems of which both they and we are components.

While we have a lot of data on honey bees because they are commercially kept and tracked, the wild bees are not really tracked all that carefully. But we know enough to conclude that they, too, are suffering:

Neonicotinoid pesticides dramatically harm wild bees, study finds

APR 22, 2015

A common type of pesticide is dramatically harming wild bees, according to a new in-the-field study that outside experts say may help shift the way the U.S. government looks at a controversial class of chemicals.

But in the study published by the journal Nature on Wednesday, honeybees — which get trucked from place to place to pollinate major crops like almonds— didn't show the significant ill effects that wild cousins like bumblebees did. This is a finding some experts found surprising. A second study published in the same journal showed that in lab tests bees are not repelled by the pesticides and in fact may even prefer pesticide coated crops, making the problem worse.

Scientists in Sweden were able to conduct a study that was in the wild, but still had the in-the-lab qualities of having control groups that researchers covet. They used 16 patches of landscape, eight where canola seeds were coated with the pesticide and eight where they weren't, and compared the two areas.

When the first results came in, "I was quite, 'Oh my God,'" said study lead author Maj Rundlof of Lund University. She said the reduction in bee health was "much more dramatic than I ever expected."

In areas treated with the pesticide, there were half as many wild bees per square meter than there were in areas not treated, Rundlof said. In the pesticide patches, bumblebee colonies had "almost no weight gain" compared to the normal colonies that gained about a pound, she said.

(Source)

The bumblebees are essential to the overall state of the ecosystems of the world because they pollinate things that honeybees don’t. There is some overlap, but the bumblebees are able to reach deeper into certain flowers and have different platn preferences than honeybees, so they are not replaceable.  They are unique contributors. If they go away, so will the many plants that depend on them for their life cycle.

And it gets worse:

Beyond Honeybees: Now Wild Bees and Butterflies May Be in Trouble

MAY 6, 2014

Among other pollinators, iconic monarch butterfly declines are well documented: Their numbers are now at a small fraction of historical levels. And entomologist Art Shapiro of the University of California, Davis spent most of the last four decades counting butterflies across central California, and found declines in every region

These declines don’t just involve butterflies that require very specific habitats or food sources, and might be expected to be fragile, but so-called generalist species thought to be highly adaptable. Many other entomologists have told Black the same thing.

“Species that used to be in all our yards are dropping out, but nobody’s monitoring them,” Black said.

(Source)

It’s the butterflies, too. Certainly in my own personal experience, I’ve noticed a lot fewer butterflies in my backyard over the past several years. We plant flowers specifically for bees and butterflies, so I'm something of a casual tracker of their types and numbers.

Even more recently, we have solid data showing a dose-response where the heaviest neonic use correlates with the heaviest honeybee die-offs:

Bee Die-Offs Are Worst Where Pesticide Use Is Heaviest

May 14, 2015

The nation’s honeybee crisis has deepened, with colony die-offs rising sharply over last year’s levels, the latest survey from the US Department of Agriculture-funded Bee Informed Partnership shows. A decade or so ago, a mysterious winter-season phenomenon known as colony-collapse disorder emerged, in which bee populations would abandon their hives en masse. These heavy winter-season losses have tapered off somewhat, but now researchers are finding substantial summer-season losses, too. 

And here’s a map a map depicting where losses are heaviest:

(Source)

The article goes on to cite much of the direct as well as circumstantial evidence we have that these biocides are the culprits for much of the damage cited above.  Take a look at both where the usage of the neonics is heaviest and when they began to be used in earnest (charts below) and then recall that the bee, butterfly, and bird declines all began around 2006 and have gotten measurably and drastically worse in the last few years.

Hmmmm….seems to me that in any court of law, and in the mind of any reasonable person, there’s enough evidence here to say that there’s a very big problem and the neonics are the likely culprits.

One bird that I’ve always loved in the Sparrow Hawk, or American Kestrel as it is now more properly called.  The smallest of the hawks it is brightly colored and was a very prominent bird of my childhood. They used to be everywhere.

Now they are quite scarce in my area. And because nobody makes any money off of them, only a few ‘birders’ seem to notice or care.

But these mainly insect-eating birds are in serious decline:

American Kestrel Population Drops Dramatically, And Without Fanfare

Jul 29, 2014

On a national level, the American kestrel (Falco sparverius) population has been plummeting. Records from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, a massive annual data collection effort for more than 400 bird species overseen by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Canadian Wildlife Service, show the kestrels have declined by an estimated one and a half percent each year between 1966 and 2010. The long-term loss is almost 50 percent of the population. That’s a big drop for a bird considered abundant in North America.

A handful of things could be causing the lower kestrel numbers, bird biologists say, including increased predation by Cooper’s hawks, continued exposure to pesticides, and competition at nesting sites by European starlings.

(Source)

Every biologist struggles to explain the massive losses in their chosen area of study due to ‘natural causes.’  But the easier and more obvious choice is ‘humans are doing something, and it’s killing off this thing I am studying.’ 

So when we put all of the above together, it's obvious that Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring has taught the US EPA and businesses nothing at all.

You would think that in the wake of the DDT disaster that we’d be more careful. But that’s just not the case.  The exact same mistakes are being made here again. And it is beyond a tragedy because this time it’s being done with our full awareness.

Obviously, the sorts of environmental impact and toxicity studies that were supposed to be done were either forgone, or done fraudulently.

The Response

After a lot of hue and cry, and years and years of solid studies and accumulating evidence, the EPA finally took a stand and issued new firm rules for the neonics.

However, don't just scan the headlines because you’ll end up with the wrong impression.

Read more carefully:

EPA Restricts Use of Pesticides Suspected of Killing Bees

Apr 2, 2015

The EPA has issued a moratorium on use of a type of pesticide theorized to be responsible for plummeting bee populations. Neonicotinoids are a class of common pesticides that recent research has pointed to as being harmful to birds, bees and other animals.

The EPA previously approved their use, but outcry over the damage being done has caused the agency to reverse course while more studies are done. On Thursday, the EPA sent letters to people and companies that have applied for outdoor use of the pesticide, saying that new use permits won’t be issued.

New uses of neonicotinoids will no long be approved “until the data on pollinator health have been received and appropriate risk assessments completed,” the EPA letter reads. Existing permits to use them, however, will not be rescinded — something wildlife and environmental advocacy groups are unhappy with.

(Source)

The headline implies that the EPA is now limiting the amount of neonic being used but that's not the case at all.  As a result of their 'ruling' even more could be used in the near future, or maybe less, but the ruling itself does nothing to restrict how neonics are currently being used because it only applies to 'new' uses. 

Are you kidding me? This represents the ‘middle ground’ the EPA sought?

Every single current use of neonics will continue.  By the way, one “use” is using neonics to treat corn.  Or wheat, or any other already approved “use.”  Those use maps above will continue unabated while the EPA 'studies' the issue, a process that could take a decade or more.

The ruling means that farmers newly considering using these biocides will not be blocked in any way shape or form as long as they are going to use them in a way that's already approved.

So, the exceptional and mounting damage will continue.

This is pathetic, and it is an outrage. It represents everything that is wrong with America today.

There is both economic damage being done to beekeepers and everybody who depends on their services, and there is massive environmental and ecosystem damage being done. The EPA has ruled that a few hundred million dollars of sales for major chemical companies outweigh every other right in this story, including the basic right of all life to simply live.

[Note for subscribers, this is a new set of paragraphs inserted to keep up with recent developments]

More recently, the Obama administration has unveiled the results of a task force meant to study the plight of the pollinators and make recommendations on how to support them.

How the White House plans to help the humble bee maintain its buzz

May 9, 2015

On Tuesday, the Obama administration will announce the first National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, a bureaucratic title for a plan to save the bee, other small winged animals and their breeding grounds.

The strategy, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, will seek to manage the way forests burned by wildfire are replanted, the way offices are landscaped and the way roadside habitats where bees feed are preserved.

“What are we doing on bees?” Obama asked Holdren as they prepared to wrap up an Oval Office meeting in the summer of 2013. “Are we doing enough?”

That discussion led to the launch of the White House Pollinator Health Task Force, whose recommendations are being unveiled Tuesday.

CropLife America chief executive Jay Vroom, whose group represents pesticide manufacturers and participated in the task force, said that while his members might disagree with the EPA at times, they’ve “continued to be science-based and balanced” at the agency.

Not at all surprisingly, given the fact that we have 8 years of increasing and highly obvious evidence of neonicotinoid inflicted damage, the Obama task force came out with recommendations to study pesticides for a few more years and then devote a couple of nickels and a lot of lip service to increasing ‘habitat.’

I know that the task force came up with diddly squat because the main pesticide promoting trade association representing the manufacturers of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, the ill-named CropLife America, loved the resulting recommendations.

That’s all I need to know that this task force was a joke, came up with nothing useful, and ended up protecting narrow economic interests as opposed to protecting broad life supportive aims.

The very idea that it’s habitat that’s at fault here, rather than the chemicals is just another insult to everyone of reasonable intelligence.

The American Way

I find it increasingly difficult to believe in the things the country in which I live stands for.

In Germany, where the various interests are more carefully balanced, and where people and beekeepers actually have some say, things are very different.

From 2008:

Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation

Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used in rapeseed oil and sweetcorn.

The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin.

"It's a real bee emergency," said Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeepers' Association. "50-60% of the bees have died on average and some beekeepers have lost all their hives."

Tests on dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up of clothianidin. The chemical, produced by Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of the German chemical giant Bayer, is sold in Europe under the trade name Poncho.

(Source)

Several things are fascinating here.  First, the neonic clothianidin is actually manufactured by a German company, and it’s the same company that sells the stuff in the US. You’d think that, if anything, the German government would work harder to protect the economic interests of its own companies more than the US EPA. But you’d be wrong.

Second, this was way back in 2008. German beekeepers had one very bad incident with the chemical, the appropriate tests were run, the risk was deemed unacceptable and the pesticide was yanked from the market.

That’s how these things are supposed to work.

Yet in the US, it is now seven years after that and the EPA has only gotten around to nixing new uses for the compounds that are now widely used and destroying insects and birds across a huge swath of the country.

Even if it would cost somebody a whole lot of money, and maybe even make farming a touch less lazy and require more effort, I would personally favor banning every and any pesticide and herbicide and fungicide until all of the appropriate long-term toxicological studies had been carried out.  They are not that difficult to run, they just cost money and take time.

No ‘grandfathered’ uses. No exceptions. Prove the stuff is safe or else it cannot be sold or used.

But that’s because I would choose life over money. And that’s apparently where I part ways with my country, at least as far as the US government is concerned.

Unintended consequences

The prediction here is easy enough to make. The law of unintended consequences is going to rear up and bite us. Again.

One cannot simply wipe out entire swaths of insect and bird populations without causing eventual and massive difficulties.

One day we’ll wake up and wonder why some pest has gotten totally and uncontrollably out of hand. And if we chase it down, we’ll discover some beautifully complex natural cycle that involved a host species, a predator, a plant and animal and a few other creatures that used to dance to a song that had been written and perfected over a hundred million years of evolution.

Break the dance, and you break the web of life. 

Mark my words, ‘insects’ is going to become a very hot topic over the next few years. And my sincere hope is that we do not destroy too much and that we figure this out before it’s too late.

For now, all I can say is: Shame on you, EPA.  Deep, and lasting shame on all of you.

Conclusion

All of this leads me here: We desperately need a new narrative.

The old one not only allows but encourages the neonic story, and a hundred others just like it, to take root and flourish.

We cannot begin to fight each battle -- neonics and fracking waste water disposal and leaking Gulf of Mexico wells and money in politics – and hope for anything more than a slight delay of the arrival of our miserable end.

Instead we have to have a new narrative where it is emotionally impossible for an EPA staffer to approve neonics because they would be too horrified to do so.  I could not use them, but that's because I have an internal narrative that values all life.

While I certainly think people should fight these battles, those skirmishes are for naught if another crew (that’s us) is not paving the way for that new narrative at the same time.

If we were to have a new Declaration of Independence, it might start with these words (from our group effort):

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal and that all life is sacred.  That all people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights and Responsibilities.  That among these Rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and among these Responsibilities are to live in Harmony with Nature, to be Stewards for the Natural World, and to leave a World Worth Inheriting to our Posterity."

I am sickened by the damage being done by the neonics and I am dismayed by the pathetic and weak response by the so-called regulators at the EPA.

In a healthy culture these people would be packed off to new jobs, and they would be shunned by thoughtful people until they had atoned for their ridiculous actions.

But that is not yet the world in which we live.

A more subtle point to be made here is that each of us needs to prepare for the fact that the people in authority, even when confronted with compelling and obvious data, will choose to put profits over life and favor doing nothing over something.

In short, stories like this one cement my view that we face a future that will be shaped more by disaster than design, and that we each need to prepare for that as best we can.

~ Chris Martenson

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94 Comments

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 4441
disconnected

I'm with you on the "horrified" reaction.  Your example of Germany's reaction underscores our failure.  And your highlight of a failed overall societal narrative as the source of the problem feels exactly right.

We can point the finger at shadowy interest groups, but they will always exist.  If we as a society/culture felt more connected with everything, this sort of thing just wouldn't happen, and the shadowy, monied interest groups would scuttle right back under the rocks from which they emerged.

Years ago I recall reading an article about a farmer who grew one set of crops for the market treated with pesticides, and another "organic" set to be eaten by his own family.  That's our society in microcosm: a feeling of total disconnection, and in the US it seems to be particularly bad.

 

HughK's picture
HughK
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 760
Thanks for this, Chris

Thanks for this article, Chris.  While I know that you need to make a living, if you later make this one free-access, then I'll link it on my Facebook page, as I have before with other articles, and share it with some colleagues.

We are surviving and producing plenty of food without DDT and we can certainly do the same without neonics.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1514
Very discouraged

Thanks for telling this story so clearly, Chris.  Again, I see your gift at sifting through a large body of information and retelling a story from the perspective of one who personally cares for Life.

Tonight especially I am feeling terribly discouraged.  It seems that we have hundreds of individual disasters going on.  Neonics, the defeat of the "Architects" resolution to re-examine WTC7, fracking, depleting aquifers, fraking waste-water contaminated aquifers, drought, the outlawing of cash, bail-in, riots, manufactured riots, covert operations by soldiers in other nations, overt raids into other nations, the use of military domestic, lying to start wars, lying to make the wars bigger......   The list seems very, very long tonight.

I am coming to think that you and treebeard and the many others here are right.  What we need is an entirely new story.

 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Dirty Deals, Done Dirt Cheap.

As long as companies are mandated to maximise shareholder profit they are compelled by law to disregard Externalities.  

Your founders had great reservations about the formation of companies. Their fears were well considered. Companies are now supranational and their latest gambit is to codify their superiority to elected governments with the TPP abomination. 

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/tpp/tpp/the-dirtiest-deal-youve-never...

blackeagle's picture
blackeagle
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 16 2013
Posts: 187
Greed vs. culture

I know several greedy persons. Some of them are rich, other not. They share one thing: lack of culture.

When money is the goal instead of a tool, then we know the result.

Culture opens the eyes and helps build a respectful behavior. By culture I don't mean go see a play, or the latest movie, or have a conversation about the last Justin's stupidity.

Promoting culture, as wide as possible, is certainly an excellent tool for PP to share and spread its message.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2605
Next

It truly amazes me how much there is to learn about how people's minds work in all of this. How the hell can people not see?

Between the AIA vote, the subject matter of this article (great one by the way, still sucks to hear it), and a friend dropping dead over the weekend of a heart attack (myopic, but I'm allowing myself), well - yesterday kinda sucked folks. 

So to heck with yesterday.  Let's do whatever is next today.

Ken

pyranablade's picture
pyranablade
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 8 2010
Posts: 189
Time for a Boycott

My neighbor was just recommending that I purchase a Bayer product for an ailing tree that I have. Well, I'm not going to support Bayer.

This death of bees and other insects is a really big deal and I think that Chris is spot-on about the causes. Chris is a scientist, but in reading the sources he provides in the post, not too much genius is needed to conclude that agricultural chemicals are the source of the problem. In the mainstream media I've only seen statements that cover for the EPA, saying that we don't know what is causing these mysterious deaths ("maybe pesticides" but they always give other possibilities).

A new narrative. Yeah, that is good. But let's also do whatever specific work we can to stop neonicotinoids ASAP.

Boycotting Bayer is one thing. Eating as little commercially produced food as possible is another. Help me think of what else can be done.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5194
On the bright side we have...
sand_puppy wrote:

Thanks for telling this story so clearly, Chris.  Again, I see your gift at sifting through a large body of information and retelling a story from the perspective of one who personally cares for Life.

Tonight especially I am feeling terribly discouraged.  It seems that we have hundreds of individual disasters going on.  Neonics, the defeat of the "Architects" resolution to re-examine WTC7, fracking, depleting aquifers, fraking waste-water contaminated aquifers, drought, the outlawing of cash, bail-in, riots, manufactured riots, covert operations by soldiers in other nations, overt raids into other nations, the use of military domestic, lying to start wars, lying to make the wars bigger......   The list seems very, very long tonight.

I am coming to think that you and treebeard and the many others here are right.  What we need is an entirely new story.

Sandpuppy, I am with you.  

First, I guess if I ever am in the position of seeking an architect for a steel framed building I will know how to select one.  I will avoid those who cannot understand basic physics as I consider that to be something of an important part of the profession.

Second, I h.a.t.e. writing reports like this one.  I wish I could balance these out with more positive reports but it seems that every direction I turn there's an assault on common sense, basic decency and my intelligence.

Every single day the stock ""market"" is jammed higher on good news, or bad news, or no news, while gold and silver are capped and slammed in what are obviously price manipulating ways, is another day I shake my head at human folly.

Hey neonics cannot be all that bad because the S&P is at a new record, right?  that seems to be the thinking, or lack thereof, that infects and informs the American experiment right now.

Surprisingly, I think the ethos of our times in America was brilliantly captured in a song in the Lego movie:

"Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you are part of the team!"

As long as people are kept fed, entertained, and told that everything is awesome, then practically nobody bothers to lift their head and look around.

Architects included.

But for anybody tracking the trends, there's a lot we should be quite concerned about and paying attention to...

Because of all this, what we need is a new story, one with a lot of new elements.  

 

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 312
We just need to pedal harder.

And faster. I mean, our current civilization model must be able to fly, right? The ground is moving closer to us at a high rate of speed, but surely we'll take off soon....right?

 

Alas, the world was not made for man, nor for beast, but for all of us. Were that we would realize that.

 

(All credit for the ideas in this post go to Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael)

jandeligans's picture
jandeligans
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Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 26
Personal purchasing choices

This is a great article Chris. I have been watching the evil of the neonics for a while but this article clarified the situation for me as I didn't realize the potency of that little pink coating. The corn seeds sold in my local farm supply store used by nearly everyone here are "treated". I used them myself several years ago not knowing what it meant. Before reading this article I had no idea that the small coating was so long lasting and powerful. It is sickening that the EPA is no longer trustworthy and the government protects the corporations over the people or planet. The role of government should be in protection of people and planet - sadly no longer the case. But what is also discouraging to me is that even among people who care - like myself - we aren't given enough information to make good choices or we aren't willing to spend the extra money required to make the right choice. An example is my local food co-op which is a small and struggling enterprise but we are hanging in there providing local and organic food in an area dominated by Wal-Mart. But we have 3 egg providers all of whom feed their hens GMO and pesticide laced Purina type feed. Although we have a fabulous local grower of organic chicken feeds (which I use for my home hens) none of the 3 co-op providers are willing to spend the extra money to use healthy feed and are enabling the chemical abuses by their choice. So the people at our co-op aren't given a choice to eat organic eggs. These are people who are conscientious and concerned about the world - but can't overcome their training that frugality is the determining factor. Part of the problem is that all of the information we read out there in the MSM always prints both sides of every issue - whether there is a legitimate other side or not. So the concerned person is always left with the idea that it is still an open issue. Or like the headline that Chris quoted that something is being done about it already when in reality it isn't. My point is that even concerned people are supporting neonics when they purchase anything that contains corn that is not organic. People do not realize that if we all continue to buy these products that we are supporting this. If you buy anything that contains corn that is not organic, you are actively supporting neonics and actively supporting the die-off of bees and birds. People are not associating their actions with the results. I hope you will release this article to the public Chris as I support that you are printing the facts here which need to be published more clearly without the industrial conflict of interest. How do we get people to see the real facts here and vote with their dollars?

(I am not saying that people's purchasing choices is to be blamed for the situation - only that it is one thing we can control now and a sufficient boycott to cut into profits would wake up the Big Ag industry)

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Do Not Buy These Seeds
jandeligans wrote:

This is a great article Chris. I have been watching the evil of the neonics for a while but this article clarified the situation for me as I didn't realize the potency of that little pink coating. The corn seeds sold in my local farm supply store used by nearly everyone here are "treated". I used them myself several years ago not knowing what it meant. Before reading this article I had no idea that the small coating was so long lasting and powerful.

(...)

And how could you realize the potency of the toxin that came from your local, friendly farm store?

It's not like there's any information provided...and I have planted those seeds in the past myself, long before I became aware of such things.  You buy package of seeds with a picture of healthy, fresh corn on the front, open it up and note, hey, these are pink.

So for anybody out there with a garden, please take note.  Neonicotinoid coated seeds are colored:

And it could be any color at all, it doesn't have to be pink.  Just avoid coated seeds if you can.

Interestingly, Lowe's has decided to end its relationship with Neonics (but won't complete the 'phase out' until 2019.

Lowe's To Stop Selling Neonicotinoid Pesticides That May Be Harmful To Bees

Home Depot is taking a softer route and just going with 'labeling.'

Home Depot to Require Neonicotinoids Labeling

Why labeling?  Shouldn't pesticides already be indicated on packaging?  The answer is yes...but...plants that have been treated with neonics are sold to consumers, such as flowering plants, and those are both not labeled and dangerous to insects.  

So people have been buying potted plants and bringing them home unaware that those plants were highly toxic to insects and other life.  

Really, to your point Jan, we should not have to work this hard to keep toxic crap out of our lives.  If the EPA cannot manage proper testing, education and labeling then it might as well be disbanded.

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Is organic food worth the higher price? Many experts say no

The system really is a crock of you-know-what...

Is organic food worth the higher price? Many experts say no

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Obama to the rescue

This announced today: How the White House Plans to Help the Humble Bee...

 

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Re: Obama to the Rescue

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Start beekeeping!
pyranablade wrote:

Boycotting Bayer is one thing. Eating as little commercially produced food as possible is another. Help me think of what else can be done.

I started keeping honey bees in 2012 after learning about CCD. Some years the bees have done well, other years I've lost entire hives (last year, sadly, all of them). But, each Spring, if necessary, I buy (or capture, if I can) more bees.

I do this for many reasons. But most important, I see this as my participation in the fight to keep our pollinators, and thus our food system, intact. The army of small beekeepers is playing an important role in supporting bee populations in our local areas through this period of neonic assault. With our efforts and a little luck, we can hopefully sustain the bees long enough to make it to a ramp-down or full ban on these biocides, and then help rebuild populations to their natural levels.

I've posted several times on how manageable it is for nearly anyone to become a beekeeper, no matter where you live.

If Chris' article above has moved you, consider becoming a backyard beekeeper. Or at least, intentionally planting pollinator-friendly plants where you live.

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Re: Obama To The Rescue
jennifersam07 wrote:

This announced today: How the White House Plans to Help the Humble Bee...

Sweet!   A task force!

:/

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Or at least...
AdamTaggart wrote:

Or at least, intentionally planting pollinator-friendly plants where you live.

Yep.

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jennifersam07
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Yeah, right.

Should fix everything, as long as the EPA doesn't 'unduly focus on pesticide's impact".

 

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Monarchs

On the Friday before Columbus Day weekend 1994, an unusually warm day for October in upstate New York, I drove up the Northway (interstate 87) from Albany to a beautiful mostly un-trailed wilderness in the eastern high peaks of the Adirondacks.  I was co-leading what was to be the first of many wilderness skills programs.  To get our new business off the ground, we stacked the deck with several low or no paying participants - a couple of friends, my partner's wife, our future 3rd partner, etc so the program would run with one full price participant.  On that warm Columbus day, in 100 miles of highway we encountered perhaps close to 1000 Monarch Butterflies, all of them heading southwest towards their wintering grounds.  It was a sight to behold, noticeable even at highway speeds. 

Later in the journey, we realized that there were dead monarchs on the shoulder of the highway, perhaps as many as 10 per mile just on our side of the road.  We were seeing about as many dead butterflies as live ones.  Depending on how long the migration had been going, this was a small, but not insignificant death toll on just one not-very-busy highway! 

Then I realized that we were hitting butterflies too!  This upset me terribly, I was nearly crying in the driver's seat.  I slowed down to a bit below the speed limit and found that I could slow further or slightly shift in my lane to avoid a collision when I saw a butterfly ahead.  Even so, we still hit an occasional one.

On that day, I made a personal commitment that I would do everything I could to help build a world where humans loved and respected their fellow creatures enough to build a way of life that didn't threaten to bring everything down including themselves.

Now, over 20 years later, I've lived that commitment as best I could.  There have been compromises and weeks or months of forgetfulness, but also many successes.  Reading this piece by Chris is saddening.  The monarch population has visibly crashed to anyone who pays even a bit of attention.  The wholesale spraying of tens of millions acres with potent biocides is a threat orders of magnitude greater than highway collisions, yet it is orders of magnitude easier to change.  How numb does a society have to be to let the poisoning continue? 

Yet it's also inspiring.  People are waking up to the folly of the old story and they're ready for a new one.  A new narrative is slowly being born, partly by our own work to craft and spread it.  As the story gains traction, we will be motivated to live differently to take bolder and more wide-reaching actions.  That is why the discussion was so lively on Saturday night at Rowe and then again in the thread Chris linked to.  We need that new narrative to provide the foundation on which we can take bolder steps and deepen our commitment to creating a world worth inheriting.  It's the new story that will help us to bring our actions more fully in line with our values.

To living fully and boldly,

Steve

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Watermelon Sage

5 years ago we planted watermelon sage and tangerine marigold as pollinator attractors to complement the indigenous wisteria and globe wisteria.  In addition to real live no kidding honeybees, we got numerous species of butterflies and moths.  You can hear (and feel) the buzz as you walk from box to box in the backyard.  Mixed emotions with the black swallowtails as that means our fennel and dill are short lived experiments that are typically field stripped in a day.  I mean were.........

Still trying to sort out exactly how the hummingbird moth has any aerodynamic capabilities at all.

The watermelon sage explodes to about 7 feet high and 8 feet wide each spring after being aggressively trimmed back to 2 x 2 each fall.  While the flowers of watermelon sage (salvia microphylla) are very edible, the leaves should be avoided as they contain the same diterpenoid kappa opioid agonists found in salvia divinorum (albeit in lower concentrations).  Do not ask me how I know this.....

One of the more enjoyable activities this time of year is watching the hummingbirds line up like planes into O'Hare.  Our highest count is 14 in a holding pattern.
 

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thanks for this article

But it is so sad but comforting that i am not the only one wo feels this way not just about the bee situation but the way our government does everything these days. Its like the power that be have decided to speed up their destructiveness of nature and human beings in all ways possible.  The last 3 to5 yrs seem like like the destructiveness is twice as fast as the previous 10 yrs. Do "they" have some deadline they're trying to make?  Financial destruction, human destruction, destruction of all living things and generally scorched earth policy on the whole earth.   What do they win for doing all this?  He/she who has the most money and most destroyed lives wins?

I have been moderate Democrat all my adult life but now even they sicken me with their support of eternal war  and their dishonesty. 

This is one sane place to come so thank, you, Chris and others.   

 

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not all seed coatings are neonics!

most are fungicides to cover the A$$ of the gardener/farmer who plants in too cool soil.

robie,husband,father,farmer,optometrist

ps, i've lost no hives since going to natural cell, foundationless, and only feeding honey from their own hive back to them if neccessary. ie. we rob only after spring flowv (end of May in northern hemisphere zone 7A) if too few stores are realized by the hives during summer/fall then will feed their own honey back to 'em. (only had to do that once) each hive should weigh about 80lbs at first frost to get thru winter without concern.

 

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Rector
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The Next CCD

We will be the next colony to collapse.  

 

This is what "the collapse" looks like, BTW.  A whole series of stupid and entirely avoidable self imposed hardships that utterly screw our civilization.  Between economic, social, cultural, environmental, energy, and political decline - we are doomed.  Pick your favorite self-imposed hardship - it's all part of the national suicide that is the USA today.broken heart

Rector

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Yep, we're livin' it
Rector wrote:

This is what "the collapse" looks like, BTW.  A whole series of stupid and entirely avoidable self imposed hardships that utterly screw our civilization.  Between economic, social, cultural, environmental, energy, and political decline - we are doomed.  Pick your favorite self-imposed hardship - it's all part of the national suicide that is the USA today.broken heart

Rector

And I thought I was cheerful crying.

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Sexual Vector.

Date palms developed large spines as a defense against ardent dinosaur herbivores. They are useless against rats. 

Date palms are also sexual. (The delicately prudent may turn away now.) The thing is, how do I get the pollen from my boy flowers to my girl flowers without blushing?

It appears as though whatever vector used to do this act is nature is absent, and I have to climb up amongst those dinosaur killing spines and do the deed myself. Who knew that sex could be so painful?

More dirty deeds

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/dirty-jobs/videos/date-palm-pollinator/

 

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cmartenson wrote: Sweet!   A
cmartenson wrote:

Sweet!   A task force!

A government task force that's going to spend government money on habitat, rather than addressing the pesticide issue immediately.  Pesticides will conveniently be left for the next administration to deal with.

I was really hoping for a honey bee czar to be appointed.

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Why are we using this stuff?

You'd think with the widespread use of the neonicotinoid seed treatments that there must be great benefits to the industrial farmers using the stuff. Well is turns out that the EPA has actually studied the 'benefits' of using this stuff (they apparently don't believe in costs) for soybean production. Note in Chris' article that the Imidacloprid graph soybean (green) shoots up in 2010-2012. Well here are the results quantifying our massive returns for gutting our nation's ecosystems...

Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production

EPA analyzed the use of the neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in United States soybean production. This report provides the analysis and EPA’s conclusions based on the analysis. It discusses how the treatments are used, available alternatives, and costs.

EPA concludes that these seed treatments provide little or no overall benefits to soybean production in most situations. Published data indicate that in most cases there is no difference in soybean yield when soybean seed was treated with neonicotinoids versus not receiving any insect control treatment. (link)

The whole report is on the linked webpage.

Note, if this stuff kills birds then it is also going to be toxic to us too. We are literally killing ourselves for nothing....

Mark

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Arthur Robey
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A fit of giggles.

Mark, your factette has done me in . I am a fit of incoherent giggles. Killing the planet for digits on a computer? 

Can it get any more absurd? Please no. I am not offering a challenge to the gods.

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a small test...

I am starting beekeeping this year. I ordered two nucs. It is possible that I get two Caucasian queens - very gentle, winterize in smaller clusters, well adapted to cold climate.

I did a small experiment this week-end: Put some honey on the patio table and see how does the competition to my future bees looks like. Guess what? In three days nothing. Not a single bee. We have seen some small wasps, but no bee. It could be that it is still early in the Laurentians. Will see in the next weeks...

We live at more than 10 miles from agricultural zones. We expect that our bees will have a healthy diet. We hope that there is enough nectar supply in the area.

We also planted a lot of wild flowers around the house and along the street. Not sure if the seeds are coated. There are so small...

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Mark Cochrane wrote: Note, if
Mark Cochrane wrote:

Note, if this stuff kills birds then it is also going to be toxic to us too. We are literally killing ourselves for nothing....

Mark

Ah, but Mark - you forgot the profits for the neonicotinoid's manufacturer and created jobs!

I believe one of the manufacturers - or at least a competitor from the same country also made some good profits manufacturing nerve gas for the Nazi death camps.  Those camps created jobs too!

Think of all of the profits to be made and jobs to be created from destroying the biosphere and each other! (is there an emoticon for irony and sarcasm? - consider this it)

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Quercus bicolor
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Mark Cochrane wrote: Note, if
Mark Cochrane wrote:

Note, if this stuff kills birds then it is also going to be toxic to us too. We are literally killing ourselves for nothing....

Mark

Ah, but Mark - you forgot the profits for the neonicotinoid's manufacturer and the jobs created!

I believe one of the manufacturers of neonics - or at least a competitor from the same country also made some good profits manufacturing nerve gas for the Nazi death camps.  Those camps created jobs too!

Think of all of the profits to be made and jobs to be created from destroying the biosphere and each other! (is there an emoticon for irony and sarcasm? - consider this it)

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blackeagle
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A question

Considering the widespread soil degradation, is it possible to feed the entire world population using natural and sustainable methods? If everyone on this planet decides now (hmmm... Utopia) to walk in the right direction, can we achieve this goal?

My guess is no. But I could be wrong.

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Blackeagle? please,Please,PLEASE

devour this:  http://www.bushfarms.com/

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thanks

Another amazingly good expression of the truth. Thanks.

Chris, have you ever looked at the ecological costs of the meat diet /it's unsustainability and destruction of the natural world.  The costs in dollars, in health and suffering of all life are also astronomical. I would like to see your articulation of this truth and expression of your heart in this wise.  The helpless and innocent need champions like you.

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LesPhelps
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All levity aside....

this is just sickening.

I was ruminating on the majority who, with their heads in the sand, make it possible for abuses like this to continue.  The popular TV show "Walking Dead" came to mind.

We live in a society of self inflicted walking deadheads.

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Time2help
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Deadheads
LesPhelps wrote:

We live in a society of self inflicted walking deadheads.

#winning!

(Edit: Some call it a zombie apocalypse.)

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Sterling Cornaby's picture
Sterling Cornaby
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Unpleasantness

Unpleasantness extreme.

Yet another really quite extreme example of "Man against nature" ideal in our society

Us killing off insects, such as bees is really pure idiocracy...this terrible movie clip comes to mind

I really wish this terrible movie was a bit less prophetic... (Maybe this is similar to the discussion Obama and his advisers are having)

In more individualistic news, I have found four peach borer larva in my one of my peach tree this week, and slugs ate my cucumber plants this week as well.  I have killed the peach borers and I need to keep them from coming back;  I promised my peach trees I would protect them.   I need to learn to live with the slugs.  I have decided that need more centipedes and beetles to eat the slugs, but I don't know how to do that yet.

Most information about how to deal with insects is how to poison them.  Kill the all...  

We really need to learn to work with nature, I am trying but the mindset of "man against nature" is so pervasive.  I read this crazy article and I can see this bad attitude or belief system reflected in me with slugs.  

Unpleasantness extreme.

Sterling

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Bellinghamster
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Topics not allowed t discuss

I have always respected this site as one that will step out and discuss topics that mainstream will not give a notable mention to. The chemical soup that we find our selfs in presently is astounding. I think that it is very obvious that we have past the tipping point of climate change and chemical saturation.. I've studied everything I have been able to find and I've done it with an open mind.

The policies that are in place allow the corruption that runs so deep to repeat all of their lies until they are somewhat accepted in the populace as fact (gagging me with a spoon). It has been extremely hard to listen to friends and family repeat talking points with little to no real education on the subjects.

We find our selfs in a situation that runs way past the danger point. If we are to leave this planet in any habitual form for our kids or our grand kids we are going to have to make serious sacrifices and complete some very serious civil disobedience.

The BIG problems come systemically from the entire system we all inhabit. We are attacking climate change and chemical pollution problems not in a progressive way but in a push for more capitalism (carbon tax...ect) rather than less.. The bullshit components of the two party system use either side of the argument only to further an agenda.

There seems no real effort to find solutions. The government agencies are obviously tied up so thick with bureaucracy they simply cannot do the job in which they were originated to do. The EPA is largely a pawn of industry, a waste of money and a joke. There is no data available for at least 80% of chemicals in commerce. The federal gov National Toxicology Program only tests about 10-20 chemicals a year for carcinogenicity (nothing else), meanwhile 500-1000 new chemicals enter commerce annually, so our knowledge base steadily declines.

Take a look at the picture for my profile. That was taken on a sunny day above Bellingham bay. Does that look like a natural cloud? It is very upsetting that we cannot even have a conversation about SRMs, stratospheric aerosols, or geoengineering as it is clearly happening everyday, all over the world at least with UN doctrines.

This is a very good article but we are wasting the very little time we have left pissing in the wind if we do not look up and ask wtf is happening to our sky's. Maybe we need the chemo maybe we don't but I'm loosing my mind watching it happen and watching very little discussion about it because people don't want to be marginalized. 

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Synopsis

All,

If you want more to read on this subject there is a report "The Impact of the Nation's Most Widely Used Insecticides an Birds". I have snipped out some relative bits below.

Depending on the specific insecticide, we have found that EPA underestimates toxicity by 1.5 -10 fold if the intent of the exercise is to protect most potentially exposed bird species, and not merely mallards and bobwhites, the two test species.

The chronic/reproductive toxicity of neonicotinoids to birds is high.

Indeed, we believe that imidacloprid is too acutely toxic to be used as a seed treatment insecticide on any seed type based on our assessment of its use in cereals and oilseeds.

A publication currently in press advances the hypothesis that the neonicotinoids are a contributory factor to many wildlife diseases through immune suppression.

Unfortunately, North American regulators have greatly underestimated the toxicity of imidacloprid and other neonicotinoids to aquatic invertebrates.

European regulators acknowledge that acute effects are likely at levels exceeding 0.5 ug/l. In contrast, the EPA’s regulatory and non-regulatory reference levels are set at 35 ug/l.

the mode of action of neonicotinoids, which entails a cumulative irreversible action and delayed effects in invertebrates, as well as their persistence in the environment, makes them particularly worrisome.

Does anyone else find it concerning that the EPA's regulatory levels for acute toxicity in waterborne imidacloprid (the most common neonocotinoid) is 70 times higher than what is acceptable in Europe? Incidentally, in the report they recommend 0.2 ug/l which is 2.5 times lower than Europe's standard (170 times lower than the US). I sure am glad the EPA is looking out for my health... 

Mark

 

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Quercus bicolor
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Sterling Cornaby wrote: Us
Sterling Cornaby wrote:

Us killing off insects, such as bees is really pure idiocracy...this terrible movie clip comes to mind

I really wish this terrible movie was a bit less prophetic... (Maybe this is similar to the discussion Obama and his advisers are having)

In more individualistic news, I have found four peach borer larva in my one of my peach tree this week, and slugs ate my cucumber plants this week as well.  I have killed the peach borers and I need to keep them from coming back;  I promised my peach trees I would protect them.   I need to learn to live with the slugs.  I have decided that need more centipedes and beetles to eat the slugs, but I don't know how to do that yet.

It's sad that this clip is so funny.  It would just seem plain old idiotic if there weren't so many people with just such an approach to discussion all around us.

As for slugs, I hear that Eliot Coleman sets ducks loose in the garden in the fall to control slugs.  I don't know if you can  have them on your property, but maybe you could borrow some each autumn.

Steve

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Quercus bicolor
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Mark Cochrane wrote:European
Mark Cochrane wrote:

European regulators acknowledge that acute effects are likely at levels exceeding 0.5 ug/l. In contrast, the EPA’s regulatory and non-regulatory reference levels are set at 35 ug/l.

...

in the report they recommend 0.2 ug/l

I certainly do.  Let's find a way to get exactly what 0.5 ug/l. is.  That's 0.5 micrograms per liter or one 2 millionth of a gram per liter or 0.5 parts per billion. Imagine a 1 liter water bottle.  Now, let's assume that imidacloprid is about as dense as water.  A half a microgram would fill a little box 0.1 millimeters on two sides and 0.05 millimeters on the third.  0.05 millimeters, or 50 microns or about the diameter of a human hair.  So take that box that is 2 hair diameters by 2 hair diameters by one hair diameter and dump it into the 1 liter of water.  Can your fingers manage something so small?  Imagine how quickly it disappears in the water.  To get 0.2 ug/l. we have 1 hair diameter by 1 hair diameter by 1.6 hair diameters.  Maybe the size of a speck of dust.  Anything more than that in your water bottle is dangerous!

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Holler for Bellinghamster...

Bellinghamster - WA state I'm assuming?  We loved it out there....was stationed over on the Kitsap side in Silverdale while my submarine was going through a refueling overhaul in Bremerton...I digress.

There are a few threads floating around that have broached the topic of your concern.

As you would expect, some posts are short on fact and long on belief/emotion.  You've probably seen the video clip of the plane "spraying something" from the trailing edge of its wings.  Even after a pilot came in and explained that it was wingtip vortices from that flaps he was dismissed as being on the dark side.  People see what they want to see.

As long as the discussion and exchanges are respectful and reasonably polite, I wouldn't worry about being marginalized.  Many end up in an "agree to disagree" status.

To answer your question, looking at your profile pic, I see what happens when the water vapor in jet exhaust mixes with -60 degree air at 34,000 feet.  From that standpoint it is not a "natural" cirrus cloud, but it is, simply, ice.

 

 

The following links to a NASA site showing where conditions are favorable for contrail formation.

http://cloudsgate2.larc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/site/showdoc?docid=33&cmd=latest

This link goes to a NOAA site showing satellite water vapor imagery.

http://contrailscience.com/contrail-forecast/

Combining the two you can see that the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri-Arkansas region has conditions favoring contrail formation between 225-150 mb, which is an altitude range of 36,200 - 44,300 feet.  Add in the water vapor map and what you end up with is favorable conditions for formation of contrails that will linger and spread due to higher water vapor in the air and cooling from the formation of cirrus clouds (ice) from the water in the jet exhaust.

Here are the links to the existing threads....you may find them helpful.  There's an expected mix of science, psuedoscience, fact and belief/emotion.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/what-world-are-they-spraying/39897

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/84763/chemtrails-real

I'm off the grid for the rest of the week, but will check back when I return.  Nothing like a week in the Shenandoahs to reflect on Memorial Day and my fellow brothers and sisters in arms who didn't come home.

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2603
Some levity reinjected....

YtBHs

LesPhelps wrote:

We live in a society of self inflicted walking deadheads.

By 'deadheads', I'm assuming (hoping) you don't mean 'Dead heads'

Although some of them are some of them....skip ahead to 3:38 for Exhibit A

jandeligans's picture
jandeligans
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 26
Why is Europe so much more advanced than the US?

An excellent article in the Guardian that echoes Chris' article:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/19/white-house-plan-hone...

It bluntly states:

"But the plan announced on Tuesday falls short in one capacity that has environmental groups up in arms. It does not ban the use of any form of toxic pesticides, despite a large body of scientific research showing many of them – specifically neonicotinoids, or “neonics” – to be closely linked to widespread bee life loss."

And notice that the only support for Obama's plan comes from the chemical industry:

"the Associated Press reported that CropLife America, a trade association representing the pesticide industry, had praised the strategy for its “multi-pronged coordinated approach”."

And notably the article singles out treated or coated seeds as an important hidden danger:

"A recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology suggested pesticide prevalence, specifically of the neonicotinoid kind, had been grossly underestimated because previous counts (including those undertaken by governmental agencies) failed to include seed treatment – a new prophylactic method introduced at the beginning of last decade that ensures seeds are sprayed before they are even planted.

At least 79% of American maize fields have been planted with preemptively treated seeds, the study found.

Traditional farmers who are conscious to the survival of bees and who want to avoid neonics are finding it difficult to obtain uncoated seeds in the marketplace, Tiffany Finck-Haynes, a food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said."

All the articles I saw in the US press just gave one anti paragraph followed by one pro paragraph creating absolutely no clarity at all. This is the false fairness issue that supposedly gives each side of a controversy equal weight - no matter which side has the facts on their side. Facts and opinions are equal in America. Europeans give more weight to the facts. 

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 1214
Worth repeating!

Jandeligans said:

Facts and opinions are equal in America.

You have put your finger on the very nature of so many problems that are emanating from the United States. When exactly did reality go out of vogue? Who are you going to believe, the corporate/government propaganda or your lying eyes? We are sleepwalking into oblivion...

Mark

jgritter's picture
jgritter
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2011
Posts: 270
Could it be worse then reported?

The article refers to "bees per square meter".  Last year, with 2 hives on my 1/2 acre parcel, you might see a dozen bees representing 3 different species in a one meter square of flowering plants on a warm, sunny day.  This year, with both hives having failed to over winter, I have seen 2 bees on the 1/2 acre, so far this spring.  One honey bee, one bumble bee, no mason bees.  I have a large Lilac out side my back door.  Last year, with 2 active hives, the thing literally hummed with activity, this year, no bees at all. 

Obviously my observations are anecdotal and not scientific, but it is unsettling to think that all the bees I've gotten used to seeing over the past several years may have been my own.  I never occurred to me that there might not be any more wild bees in my area.

From my middle of North America perspective, the collapse of ocean ecosystems is sort of academic.  To realize that the ecosystems in my own back yard my be collapsing makes it very real.

John G

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1101
I love it, Mark

"Sleep walking into oblivion!"

obtw, "not this white boy"  my mare is being settled

pyranablade's picture
pyranablade
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 8 2010
Posts: 189
I still have lots of bumblebees

I'm seeing lots of bumblebees this spring on my city lot in Wisconsin. They love all the perennials. I suppose we're now in a Kunslterian world where the farms are a monocultural-industrial complex, the suburbs are Monsanto-friendly districts, and the last refuges for birds and butterflies are within city blocks. I'm exaggerating, of course. But the powers that be are paving the way for it.

 

herewego's picture
herewego
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 136
One bumblebee so far

This year I have seen one bumble bee, two other bees and one hummingbird.  Four pollinators.  It has been unseasonably warm and sunny with blossoms of all kinds everywhere.  The silence is horrifying.  Even the wasp nest over my door, whose inhabitants were so gentle I had not brought myself to destroy their nest, has gone lifeless.  I think they are gone for good. 

I am still mostly working on building enough soil to garden and other infrastructure projects.  I thought I'd figure out how to support pollinators later.  Looks like later is already gone.  Will my baby fruit trees (loaded with blossoms this year) be able to set anything? 

Mason bees next spring.  Bee-food plants now, if I can find any annuals that will flower starting so late.

Good to be in such company as yourselves, with people who will let the pain of this register within us and provoke deeper insight and action.

Susan

 

 

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