Author Topic: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse  (Read 416 times)

Offline Hydra009

Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« on: February 11, 2019, 03:32:34 PM »
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The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

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“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification,” Sánchez-Bayo said. “That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.” He said the demise of insects appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, accelerated during the 1950s and 1960s and reached “alarming proportions” over the last two decades.

He thinks new classes of insecticides introduced in the last 20 years, including neonicotinoids and fipronil, have been particularly damaging as they are used routinely and persist in the environment: “They sterilise the soil, killing all the grubs.” This has effects even in nature reserves nearby; the 75% insect losses recorded in Germany were in protected areas.

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In the tropics, where industrial agriculture is often not yet present, the rising temperatures due to climate change are thought to be a significant factor in the decline. The species there have adapted to very stable conditions and have little ability to change, as seen in Puerto Rico.
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The root cause of the problem appears to be land use (industrial agriculture, intensive use of pesticides, fields stripped of trees/shrubs) working in tandem with climate change and You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.

This is looking more and more like a serious ecological problem that could work its way up the food web and affect plant/animal species that humans rely on.

Adapt or die is the stark choice faced by insects and whatever species rely on them (including us)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 06:06:54 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 04:32:44 PM »
I think a lot of people would say "good riddance" to the bugs, not realizing how important they are as a food source for so many birds and mammals, and wouldn't care even if they did know.

Bugs might even be used as a future food source for people, as they already are in some parts of the world.
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Offline Hydra009

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 06:17:00 PM »
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I think a lot of people would say "good riddance" to the bugs, not realizing how important they are as a food source for so many birds and mammals, and wouldn't care even if they did know.
Butterflies and moths are among the worst hit, so I dunno if people would cheer that.  Maybe if it were mosquitoes and flies, that'd be viewed more favorably.

Interestingly, flies stand out as the least affected.  Coincidentally (or maybe not coincidentally), flies are very adaptable to living among humans and their garbage.  This is contrasted with stoneflies, which tend to live near water and are sensitive to water pollution and temperature changes and are used as indicator of water quality.  The fact that stoneflies are declining much more precipitously than flies in general is very telling.

Offline Shiranu

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 08:33:53 PM »
I'm guessing it will probably snowball as well, as other climate change effects have done.

I know quite a few optimists, but I have to be honest... I think the world is pretty much fucked at this point, or at least as we know it. We have lived an unsustainable life for awhile now, and it's going to bite us in the ass sooner rather than later. Not just environmentally... economically, politically, socially we as a species are living on borrowed time.

I feel sorry for future generations, but there is something liberating about it as well. Not much use being stressed in the face of the inevitable. I try to take care of the Earth as best I can because it's what I feel is right to do, but I don't pretend it is actually going to help anything outside my little sphere so the idea of going full vegan, spending an extra $40,000 in debt for an electric car, or whatever seems a bit silly to me. If I am going to live on borrowed time... I will do what's right, but I'm also going to enjoy myself while I can.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Baruch

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 08:36:30 PM »
Don't forget honey bees and tree frogs ...

In population and industrial pollution, we probably overshot about 100 years ago.

Waste Land by T S Elliot 1922 ... but it is religious.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 08:39:38 PM by Baruch »
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline aitm

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 09:30:03 PM »
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Butterflies and moths are among the worst hit,

well thats good...it'll stop the hurricanes...........get it?
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Hydra009

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 09:33:56 PM »
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I try to take care of the Earth as best I can because it's what I feel is right to do, but I don't pretend it is actually going to help anything outside my little sphere so the idea of going full vegan, spending an extra $40,000 in debt for an electric car, or whatever seems a bit silly to me.
Neither one of those would realistically help much or at all.  These are large-scale problems driven in a large part by business practices and governmental regulations (or lack thereof) far above anyone here's pay grade.  You can't bring a bucket of water to Valyria to quench The Doom.  Not even if everyone brought a bucket.

Offline Shiranu

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 09:59:22 PM »
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Neither one of those would realistically help much or at all.  These are large-scale problems driven in a large part by business practices and governmental regulations (or lack thereof) far above anyone here's pay grade.  You can't bring a bucket of water to Valyria to quench The Doom.  Not even if everyone brought a bucket.

True enough, and yet plenty of people give up the pleasure of meat just because they think it's saving the planet. I have no problem with abandoning meat for ethical reasons, or driving an electric because you think it's cool, but this idea that it's helping anything is just... silly to me.

As you said, it's not going to mean much in the end anyways without a complete societal and political shift that holds the true culprits responsible... so I don't intend to deny myself those pleasures just because I'm suppose to be "doing my part".
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Baruch

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 02:42:55 AM »
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True enough, and yet plenty of people give up the pleasure of meat just because they think it's saving the planet. I have no problem with abandoning meat for ethical reasons, or driving an electric because you think it's cool, but this idea that it's helping anything is just... silly to me.

As you said, it's not going to mean much in the end anyways without a complete societal and political shift that holds the true culprits responsible... so I don't intend to deny myself those pleasures just because I'm suppose to be "doing my part".

Just decide what is right for you.  Then do that.  Why do you care if anyone else notices your virtue signaling.  Why be Al Gore complaining about global warming, while using his private jet?
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 01:49:42 PM »
I don't see the necessary paradigm shift happening anytime soon.  I'm glad I don't have kids to inherit this clusterf*ck.

Offline Munch

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 05:44:02 PM »
Way I see it, an ecological disaster so bad that it wipes out a greater portion of mankind, and allowing other species to thrive and regrow, would be the best outcome.
Humankind's just gone to far, no simple way about it. Overpopulation, mass depletion of all natural resources accelerated by more and more people. And no clever solutions to counter what that mass overpopulation does.

This is why I would never want kids. This is why I'm sad knowing my nephews and the generation their bring has to face this.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2019, 10:58:01 AM »
Insects. Land lords and ladies of the planet. We practically borrowed it from them. 

Offline Cavebear

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 03:03:38 PM »
When the insects go, we go.  Its not like they are here for a "reason".  They aren't and neither are we.  But I'm pretty sure that if they disappear, we won't be long behind them.  We sure need them more than they need us...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2019, 09:44:58 PM »
Hopefully we figure out how to digitize our brains fairly soon. The world's ecology may be fucked, but robo-humans don't have to be fucked with it! >:D
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Offline Baruch

Re: Insect Decline, Possible Ecological Collapse
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2019, 11:31:32 PM »
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Hopefully we figure out how to digitize our brains fairly soon. The world's ecology may be fucked, but robo-humans don't have to be fucked with it! >:D

If you did, I would mischievously pull the plug after you uploaded yourselves ;-)  No need to keep bad software.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

 

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