At the end of August, millions of bees were killed accidentally while one county in South Carolina sprayed for mosquitos. Sadly, our science is still so primitive that we cannot pinpoint our targets, and insecticides and other chemicals, including medications, act on larger targets than intended. This is why medications have side effects, and why so many bees died in South Carolina. The same chemical that kills mosquitos kills other insects, whether beneficial or not. Bees are not just beneficial, however, they are essential, and now they are dying in large numbers, and not just in South Carolina.
It is understandable that people want to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses, but I believe the price people are paying is just too high. We can perhaps decimate the mosquito population, or even destroy it, but what shall we do about the loss of bees and other beneficial insects that will occur? Maybe we can prevent human illness and death from mosquito-borne illness, but what good will that be when we have insufficient food to feed everyone? Without the bees, how will our crops get pollinated? How will they bear fruit? Once famine sets in, illness won’t matter as much.
The root of all these problems is human overpopulation. If there weren’t so many people, there would be fewer problems with food distribution, pollution, overcrowding, violence, and many other ills. It is truly awful that people cannot recognize this, but instead carry on as if having more children and keeping everyone alive as long as possible are laudable accomplishments. We must, sooner than later, accept the reality that the planet can only support so many people, and learn to live within our means.
This reminds me of people who live on credit – they keep buying more than they can afford or than they really need. Eventually they reach their limit, and cannot buy any more, even necessities. We have arrived at a similar place with our environment. Our climate has changed, bees are dying, there is great species loss occurring, and all because we have lived beyond our means; we have taken too much from the environment. It is now time to give back, or soon there will be nothing left to give. This is not some dread science fiction scenario; it is real and some who are alive today will face it.
I hope and pray that someday people will reverence the earth more, and live appropriately on this planet. Let us take the time to look about us and be grateful for what we have, and work to keep our natural heritage alive for our descendants.
Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.