Friday, November 20, 2020

#325 / The Little Things That Matter Most

An article titled, "A Downward Spiral" appeared in the June-July 2020 issue of the magazine published by the National Wildlife Federation. I invite you to click the link and read it. The article acknowledges the possibility that we are in the middle of an "insect apocalypse." The article also quotes E.O. Wilson, sometimes called the "father of biodiversity," who suggest that this puts our human world in great peril:

If human beings disappeared tomorrow, the world would go on with little change. But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt that the human species could last more than a few months. 

The National Wildlife Federation doesn't want to be too discouraging. Here is how it ends its article: 

The good news is that nothing is inevitable about insect decline.... Each of us can help bring insects back by collaborating on a collective preserve built out of our own private yards — a concept that entomologist Doug Tallamy calls the “homegrown national park” in his new book, Nature’s Best Hope
Even in places where they’ve declined [we are told], insects are still clinging to the edges. If we open the door for them a little, they can bounce back.

This somewhat "happy ending" to the article is only cautiously optimistic. Insect ecologist Matt Forister says that it is true that insects can bounce back now, but "we don’t know if that will be true 10 to 20 years from now.”

I suggest that we take what we read here seriously. We forget how much we, and everything we do, and all that we have created, depends upon those "little things that run the world."

We forget that the human world, in which we most immediately live, must ultimately depend upon the World of Nature.

It would be wise to take that lesson to heart.

We don't have much time left.

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