Environmental Crises

Cataclysm of Planetary Decline: Are Insects Facing Extinction?

Apocalyptic Forewarning
Introduction by Karl Pomeroy

Quemado Institute
August 30, 2017

Butterflies of Arizona’s Sonora Desert

The suddenness of insect population decline became shockingly clear to me a few days ago, when we took a one-mile walk near our ranch in Southern Arizona. We live at an elevation of 4,000 feet in a riparian area with heavy summer rains. Southern Arizona in August is famous for its massive displays of exotic insects. On this particular walk, we counted only seven: one velvet ant, one dragonfly, and five beetles.

Environmental crises are a topic about which we rarely publish at Quemado Institute. But this personal apocalyptic forewarning has boosted the subject to the top of my concerns. Especially since, as I am now learning, this collapse of the bug population is not local to Arizona, nor simply caused by drought. During the past several years, people all over the world have documented a dramatic decrease in insects. The threat this represents seems to me more imminent than that of nuclear war provoked by the US-European deep state, or the death of the Pacific Ocean due to Japan’s negligent mishandling of the Fukushima disaster.

The critical questions are not about why our ecology needs insects. That goes without saying. The critical questions are about our own survival. What is killing the insects? Will it kill us? How much time might our species have left?

My three top hopotheses about what is killing the insects are 1) aerosol poisons from chemtrails, 2) agricultural pesticides, and 3) genetically modified crops. Personal experience makes me most wary of chemtrail poisoning. Why?

In early April 2015, the hundreds of  natural mesquite trees on our land started coming out early with tiny yellowgreen leaves. Then on April 11, 2015, massive chemtrail spraying darkened the usually blue Arizona sky with a thick brownish overcast—an ugly suffocating pollution layer I described in my records as “horrific”. The following day dawned under drizzling rain, misting all day long. In the days that followed, all the new leaves on the mesquite trees shriveled. They never grew back in 2015, and we were afraid the trees would die. Also that April, the patio rose bushes turned black and died. We saw almost no insects all summer long—no bees, almost no butterflies or grasshoppers—and I wondered if that chemtrail rain was a deliberate federal geoengineering program. Did they spray some dangerously potent pesticide to eradicate a type of mosquito, for example?

The mesquite trees still did not grow full leaves in 2016, nor did the bees return. Finally this year, in 2017, the mesquites are lush with foliage again. Whatever contaminant was in that April 12 rain, it took these hardy native trees two years to recover from the poison. But the insects have not come back.

Google is apparently controlled by the CIA and heavily censored. Unlike three years ago, I can find few technical articles about chemtrails on the internet, nor about the decline of insects. What little information I’ve found suggests that insects might be dying out due to an increase of environmental aluminum, an element abundant in chemtrails. Other suggestions are the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, causing a decrease in pollen protein. This would cause at most a gradual decline, however, and would not explain the catastrophic decrease seen locally since 2015.

The following reports offer more information:

A Growing Crisis: Insects are Disappearing — And Fast
By Nithin Coca

Triple Pundit
July 13, 2016

We all know about the huge declines in bee and monarch butterfly populations. Now, it turns out that in some areas nearly all insects are at risk of extinction. And if we don’t solve this problem soon, the repercussions could be huge.

Insects are an important part of the global ecosystem. They not only provide important pollination services, but they also occupy an important place on the bottom of the food chain for many animals. Fewer insects means less food, leading to plant and animal population declines.

“The growing threat to [insects], which play an important role in food security, provides another compelling example of how connected people are to our environment, and how deeply entwined our fate is with that of the natural world,” said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, in a press statement.

One of the challenges is that insects are not well understood at an individual species level, because there are millions of insect species and only a limited number of insect specialists. Only about 20 percent of the world’s insect species are catalogued, and the symbiotic relationships that many plants have with insects are rarely fully understood.

“Unfortunately, information on invertebrates in general, including insects, is very limited, restricted to a few groups and a few localities,” Rodolfo Dirzo, an ecologist at Stanford University, told Yale 360. He was the lead author of a 2014 study that was one of the first to document the fall in global insect mass.

So, what’s causing the insect decline? In one word, us. The specific causes are likely very complex, but they are almost certainly connected to human impacts. It could be chemicals, like the pesticides class “neonicotinoids” that are connected to the bee declines. Or the growing number of rivers and waterways around the world that are polluted due to factory and agricultural run-off, or the still-growing number of pollutants we’re putting into the atmosphere. But one thing is almost certain: We are to blame.

“Their decline is primarily due to changes in land use, intensive agricultural practices and pesticide use, alien invasive species, diseases and pests, and climate change,” said Sir Robert Watson, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, in a press statement.

Another oft-cited cause is the overuse of nitrogen fertilizer – something far too common in the monoculture corn fields of middle America. These corporate-driven, mono-culture farming methods are also to blame, as they limit the space for most insects and the plants to which they connect to survive.

Instead of waiting to discover the cause, we need to take immediate action now. That means reducing the number of chemicals we use, eliminating pollution and rapidly cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions, which also may be connected to what’s happening. It also means reducing the scale of monoculture farming and returning to more natural, diverse, bio-dynamic farming methods that increase biodiversity.

Because if we lose insects, we’ll soon lose a lot more.

What’s Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters
By Christian Schwägerl

E360.yale.edu
July 6, 2016

The mass of insects collected by monitoring traps in the Orbroicher Bruch nature reserve in northwest Germany dropped by 78% in 24 years. (–Sciencemag.org)

Every spring since 1989, entomologists have set up tents in the meadows and woodlands of the Orbroicher Bruch nature reserve and 87 other areas in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The tents act as insect traps and enable the scientists to calculate how many bugs live in an area over a full summer period. Recently, researchers presented the results of their work to parliamentarians from the German Bundestag, and the findings were alarming: The average biomass of insects caught between May and October has steadily decreased from 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds) per trap in 1989 to just 300 grams (10.6 ounces) in 2014.

“The decline is dramatic and depressing and it affects all kinds of insects, including butterflies, wild bees, and hoverflies,” says Martin Sorg, an entomologist from the Krefeld Entomological Association involved in running the monitoring project.

Another recent study has added to this concern. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt have determined that in a nature reserve near the Bavarian city of Regensburg, the number of recorded butterfly and Burnet moth species has declined from 117 in 1840 to 71 in 2013. “Our study reveals, through one detailed example, that even official protection status can’t really prevent dramatic species loss,” says Thomas Schmitt, director of the Senckenberg Entomological Institute.

Declines in insect populations are hardly limited to Germany. A 2014 study in Science documented a steep drop in insect and invertebrate populations worldwide. By combining data from the few comprehensive studies that exist, lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, an ecologist at Stanford University, developed a global index for invertebrate abundance that showed a 45 percent decline over the last four decades. Dirzo points out that out of 3,623 terrestrial invertebrate species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN] Red List, 42 percent are classified as threatened with extinction.

“Although invertebrates are the least well-evaluated faunal groups within the IUCN database, the available information suggests a dire situation in many parts of the world,” says Dirzo.

 

Chemtrails Killed the Bees
By Russ Tanner

GlobalSkyWatch.com
June 7, 2015

NEW STUDY: Academics Now Recognize Aluminum as Key Potential Cause of Bee Decline

A new study published June 4, 2105 exposes aluminum as a factor in bee decline. This study makes a few shockingly-honest statements. The first statement: “While recent attention has focused upon pesticides, other environmental pollutants have largely been ignored.”

I believe aluminum testing has been intentionally ignored in the corporate-controlled academic community specifically to prevent bringing attention to the ongoing aluminum-aerosol spraying campaign.

The second statement: “Aluminum is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times…”

Finally, honest academics—who are not controlled by establishment banker/industrialists—admit that aluminum is a new and significant problem. Where is all this new aluminum contamination coming from? All evidence points to ongoing aerosol spray programs being performed in numerous countries worldwide.

It has been my position all along that aluminum is now the primary cause of insect decline. The unprecedented spraying of very fine aluminum powder has decimated insect populations and has facilitated animal die-offs and the sudden rise of lung cancer to the position of #3 killer of humans despite smoking being at an all-time low.

The article below exposes how bees and ladybugs virtually vanished in direct temporal relation to aerosol spray events. In fact, historically, all major bee decline events have occurred after heavy aluminum aerosol spraying campaigns began.

Now that a few honest academics are reincorporating common sense hypothesis back into the scientific process, we can make enormous strides in connecting catastrophic animal and insect declines to ongoing metallic aerosol spray campaigns.

Bumblebee Pupae Contain High Levels of Aluminium
By Christopher Exley, Ellen Rotheray, David Goulson

GlobalSkyWatch.com
June 4, 2015

Abstract

The causes of declines in bees and other pollinators remains an on-going debate. While recent attention has focussed upon pesticides, other environmental pollutants have largelybeen ignored. Aluminium is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times and we speculated that it could be a factor in pollinator decline. Herein we have measured the content of aluminium in bumblebee pupae taken from naturally foraging colonies in the UK. Individual pupae were acid-digested in a microwave oven and their aluminium content determined using transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Pupae were heavily contaminated with aluminium giving values between 13.4 and 193.4μg/g dry wt. and a mean (SD) value of 51.0 (33.0)μg/g dry wt. for the 72 pupae tested. Mean aluminium content was shown to be a significant negative predictor of average pupal weight in colonies. While no other statistically significant relationships were found relating aluminium to bee or colony health, the actual content of aluminium in pupae are extremely high and demonstrate significant exposure to aluminium. Bees rely heavily on cognitive function and aluminium is a known neurotoxin with links, for example, to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The significant contamination of bumblebee pupae by aluminium raises the intriguing spectre of cognitive dysfunction playing a role in their population decline.

Introduction

There is on-going debate as to the causes and extent of declines of bees and other pollinators, with a growing consensus that pollinators are subject to a number of interacting stressors, including exposure to pesticides, infection with native and emerging pathogens, and declining abundance and diversity of floral resources [1–3]. Aside from pesticides, little attention has been paid to quantifying exposure to or impacts of other pollutants [4]. The most significant environmental contaminant of recent times is the metal aluminium [5]. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels resulting in ‘acid rain’, intensive agriculture producing acid sulphate soils and the mining of aluminium ores to make aluminium metal and salts have all contributed to the burgeoning biological availability of this non-essential metal [6]. Fish, trees, arable crops and humans are all impacted by aluminium and recent evidence suggests, at least, that bees are not immune to its increasing prevalence in the biotic cycle. For example, while there are very few data it has been shown that pollen is heavily con-taminated with aluminium with analyses from Brazil indicating a mean content of 96μg/g [7]. Recent research has suggested that nectar may also be contaminated with aluminium and in experiments where nectar was replaced with a sugar solution spiked with aluminium bumblebees continued to forage and ingest this potentially toxic resource [8]. However, we do not know how commonly bees are exposed to aluminium, and no studies have investigated whether such exposure may contribute to bee health problems. Here, we quantify the concentration of aluminium in bumblebee pupae taken from colonies that had been foraging naturally in the UK landscape. We also examine whether aluminium concentration correlates with measures of colony fitness.

[…]

Excerpts from Conclusion

[…]

[F]ruit flies fed aluminium in their diets exhibited acute toxicity as well as behavioural effects associated with locomotor activities and daily circadian rhythms suggesting possible neurotoxicity. Bees rely heavily on cognitive performance to navigate in their environment [14–16] select the most rewarding flowers [17] and avoid predators[18–19] It is conceivable that the high content of aluminium in bumblebee pupae measured here could interfere with the development or functioning of cognitive performance in adult bees. Aluminium is a known neurotoxin in humans [20] and brain aluminium content in excess of 3μg/g dry wt. might be considered as pathological with possible contributions towards neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer’s disease [21]. The observation here that the aluminium content of bumblebee pupae is an order of magnitude (or more) higher than levels harmful to humans gives cause for concern. Bee colonies are highly dependent on the ability of colony members to learn, navigate, and fly long distances during foraging, and so we might expect them to be particularly sensitive to neurotoxic effects.

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