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The Metaphor of the Honeybee

Washington Post story

In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," just before Earth is destroyed to make way for a hyperspatial express route, all the dolphins in the world disappear, leaving behind just the message: "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

Now, around the world, honeybees are vanishing en masse, leaving their humans engaged in a furious attempt to figure out the meaning of their exodus. Entire colonies are following the Shakespearean stage direction, "Exeunt omnes." They're flying off and not returning. Commercial beekeepers open their hives and find them empty except for a queen, a few immature bees and abundant honey and pollen. The rest of the bees are simply gone, leaving behind not even dead bodies.

A third of our food supply -- including much of the boredom-relieving stuff, from cranberries to cucumbers -- is dependent on animal pollinators like the honeybee. As a result, this mystery is rapidly joining the all-star ranks of millennial end-time run-for-your-lives threats, right up there with Y2K, mad cow disease, West Nile virus, SARS and avian flu.

This is a great article. I remember how shocked I was when this story first came out, and that shock was certainly helped along by our Danger Will Robinson media. I was especially angered by Bill Maher, whom I normally really like, and his bandying about of the alleged Einstein quote. Turns out that it's probably phoney, but of course that's doing nothing to stop it from continuing to circulate, including Maher himself repeating it at least twice more.

The truth is that we made the same mistake that the plantations of the old south made -- we eliminated diversity in the name of profit -- but that always has the risk of disaster of our chosen sustenance meets problems.

But the south came back from the boll weevil and one way or the other, we'll get by this overhyped Bee-pocalypse. The article mentions that not only are honeybees an introduced species, but that we drag them all over the country in semi trucks to follow the crops. It should be obvious to anybody that insects are not meant to live like this, and that sooner or later, they were going to start dying off as a result.

But as the article says, this is just one more example of how the climate of fear turns everything into the end of the world, with the result that we either run around in circles waving our arms, or we just shrug and say, "Oh well, nothing we can do about it now." You know, sort of like how we're doing with climate change.

Maybe someday we'll learn...


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Comments (3)

cirby:

Yes, sooner or later, you'll learn that climate change is just as overhyped as the honeybee thing.

Here's a problem for you: if the current IPCC predictions come to pass, and the world's temperature heats up by a couple of degrees Centigrade, how much actual change will happen?

The answer, by the folks who do the primary research (as well as the IPCC, in their own footnotes of the technical papers, not the "administrative" version you've seen excerpts from), turns out to be "not much."

Pretty much every "scare scenario" that is brought up turns out to be, well, honeybee-like.

Paul Hamilton:

There *will* be meaningful changes if we get a temperature increase of 2 deg C. How much remains to be seen, but we'll notice it, and people who live in low-lying areas will be most strongly affected as both rising ocean levels and increased storm damage makes life harder on them.

BTW, the lightning bugs are out here in Indiana. This is really amazing because they didn't used to appear until the end of June. There aren't a lot of them, but to have any at all this early shows that warm weather is coming much sooner than it used to.

civil behavior:

Sitting in the Gulfstream of southeastern Florida having recently been ordered into Phase III drought restrictions and then the skies breaking out last night on the cusp of hurricane season with Barry in the Gulf I can tell you that climate change is on course.

For those who refuse to believe the science I have nothing but contempt. Could I care less if you were doing something that harmed you individually? Heck no. But your direct actions harming me, another story.

The disregard for the warnings being made about which there is no dispute that 1) the globe is warming 2) that scientists have shown "unequivocal" evidence that industrial releases of greenhouse gases have warmed the Earth an average of about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century 3) that we can take action to mitigate the damage being done and 4) that we have oil, coal and gas interests that are propogandizing galls me to no end.


You stupid idiotic swamp things. It's real. It's increasing. It's not religion or Rapture. It's man who refuses to stop sh**ing in his living room. Wake up and connect the dots, look around, pay attention. Climate change precedes weather patterns. Weather patterns are turning extreme. DUH......


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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