A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

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A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:11 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/0212.shtml

Is it true? Are insect species collapsing at a faster-than-ever rate?

If so, what will the consequences be?

Or is this another of those gloomy predictions from scientists and the media that serve little purpose but to sell advertising?

Have you noticed fewer bugs on your windscreen while travelling the roads on your way to your summer retreat?

Is this just better aerodynamics or are we already seeing a significant decline in insect numbers? If so, surely this is wrong and if climate change is the culprit then insects should be booming with the increased average tempertures here in Godzone?

Tell us what YOU think.
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby hagfish » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:14 am

Last summer, our kitchen and living room with beset with flies. I scurried out after fly-paper and spray and waged daily war.

This year, maybe two or three flies. Their numbers have gone off a cliff. There are still plenty of mozzies, however :?

If the insects go, so do lots of fresh-water fish, amphibians, birds. We lose lots of pollinators so there are fewer wild plants. There's more to it than 'muh honey is more expensive'.

Using 1950s tech, '4bn people' was probably about the limit. Then we had the Green Revolution that massively boosted agricultural production. Alas, it's a much more 'extractive' approach. We can't rely on fossil water, superphosphate and poisons forever.

Perhaps some bright spark(s) will come up with a way of sustaining 20bn people. Guess what? In 20 years, there would be 20bn people. Then what? Alternatively, we could pull our heads in a bit. One way or another, humanity will reach a sustainable population...
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Permission to Panic Denied?

Postby Perry » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:20 am

What's a seasonal variation?

And what period should be utilised to pronounce a decline?

My hydrangeas had lots of blooms this year, but were pathetic in size, compared to the massed blooms of great size, last year.

Should I panic? :twisted:
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:31 am

Of course Perry... panicking is a mandatory response in these days where hysteria is fomented by the media :-)
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:11 am

No insects but plenty of people? Soylent Green may be the answer there.

As for insects, we regularly travel from east coast to Central Otago and I have noticed a small decrease in windscreen buildup when thinking back to the older car. However, when I check the front of the car, the area from bumper up to grill is heavily plastered with ex-insects so I do suspect there's a component of airflow keeping the windscreen that little bit clearer.
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby pid@ifm.net.nz » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:19 am

Could this also be related to the quality improvements of windscreen glass. Perhaps the glass surface has less friction so the bugs are more likely to slide off.

Perhaps windscreens are at more of an angle encouraging bugs to bounce off rather than hitting a more vertical sheet of glass.
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby goosemoose » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:35 am

Here's a very unscientific observation for you. In my garden I've never sprayed for insects but then again I've never gone out of my way to attract them, except this year when I planted a whole pile of wildflowers and let a few of the vege plants go to seed. I've noticed a lot more insects around this year and to coincide with that we seem to get a lot more birds. There are heaps of bumble bees around and all sorts of other types of insects. What the guy is saying does have merit I reckon. Whatever the way the information has been presented it can't be a good thing and industrialised farming does seem an obvious culprit. I know they can be annoying but just imagine what life would like if there were hardly any insects around.

I know the neighbouring farmers do spray for grass grub and goodness know what else, something I don't do. It will be interesting to see if we get an influx of moths in the coming weeks, haven't see many of them around as yet. Also one insect that is always abundant are the cluster flies!
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby Hiro Protagonist » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:44 am

Once again however, I recall sitting in a primary school classroom back when I was a kid and being told that the world would run out of food by the end of the century. "The planet can not support more than 4 billion people",
a classroom of innocent eight-year-olds was told with great authority. Famine will become commonplace if we do not restrict the growth of the human population.

Well it's now 2019 and we're getting awfully close to twice that number... yet few people in the Western world have ever experienced famine conditions.

So excuse my cynicism when Mr Sánchez-Bayo, at the University of Sydney, Australia tells us that "If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems
and for the survival of mankind".

A little engagement of critical thinking might lead one to suspect a link between these two scenarios.

The planet did not come to support more than 4 billion by magic - it happened as a consequence of considerable human effort, and the subsequent habitat loss and wholesale application of pesticides appear to be having entirely predictable side effects. Meanwhile, despite mounting evidence, the agrichemical industry relies on the Big Tobacco defence - there's "no proof" that the likes of neonicitinoids are causing massive insect population declines.

And while there will probably be vigorous debate about just how precipitous the population declines are - right up until we're royally fucked anyway, I don't think there's the slightest doubt that insect species loss "will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind".
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby par_annoyed » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:18 am

We're all DOOMED !!

And after yesterday's topic, we won't even be able to talk plainly about it for fear of upsetting someone or something....

so the sweepstake should be what is going to kill us all first - agrochemicals, global warming (oops, that's now Climate Change), Nuclear War (is that now called Collateral Damage?), Pollution, species extinction, aliens, meteor, disease..... etc.

Yes, we're royally f**cked.
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Re: A foreboding observation? (12 Feb, 2019)

Postby phill » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:39 am

par_annoyed wrote:so the sweepstake should be what is going to kill us all first
Yes, we're royally f**cked.


eww a simple question
a = stupidity and greed !
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiney things i have got
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