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Climate Change is a diversion from the ecological crisis

Summary:
Having just returned from a 100 mile trip across southern England I was pleasantly surprised to find only three flies stuck to the front of the car.  Gone are those tiresome times when hundreds of dead bodies would redecorate the front of the car after a summer trip.I was slightly surprised that this German article only found a 75% decline in flying insects.  Perhaps it was because they focused on nature reserves.So should we all celebrate the demise of the flying insect?  A review of the literature showed that populations of insect species globally were declining at around 2% a year:In the next 10 years we could lose 20% more insects.  The people working on the problem said that 'A large proportion of studies (49.7%) point to habitat change as the main driver of insect declines, a factor

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Having just returned from a 100 mile trip across southern England I was pleasantly surprised to find only three flies stuck to the front of the car.  Gone are those tiresome times when hundreds of dead bodies would redecorate the front of the car after a summer trip.

I was slightly surprised that this German article only found a 75% decline in flying insects.  Perhaps it was because they focused on nature reserves.

So should we all celebrate the demise of the flying insect?  A review of the literature showed that populations of insect species globally were declining at around 2% a year:

Climate Change is a diversion from the ecological crisis

In the next 10 years we could lose 20% more insects.  

The people working on the problem said that 'A large proportion of studies (49.7%) point to habitat change as the main driver of insect declines, a factor equally implicated in global bird and mammal declines.  Habitat change is an immediate consequence of human activities. Its global pace and scope has been expanding over the past centuries, with increasing amounts of land being transformed to provide dwellings,facilitate transportation and enable tourism (urbanisation), grow food (agriculture) and manufacture goods (industrialisation) at the expense of various natural habitats. Among Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera, land-use change and landscape fragmentation is surely the main cause of species declines (Fig. 5), with agricultural conversionand intensification for food production listed in 24% of the reports(Fig. 6).'

I can remember lazy summer afternoons as a child lying on the lawn watching a continuous flypast of every type of flying insect.  I had an insect collection (to the horror of my two brothers who shared our bedroom).  My prized posession was a giant water beetle larva, it had pierced my finger from one side to the other with its spiky mandibles when I picked it up.  To collect flying insects I would run along a footpath with a home-made butterfly net.  I would not look to see what I had caught until the end of the run.  The net would be full of new finds to excite my 10 year old self.  Anyway, those days are clearly over.  There is not even a butterfly in my garden today, in late June, even though my garden is large and full of flowers (thanks to my wife).

What surprises me is how little effect the insectolypse is having.  The worms are also having a hard time.  Again, despite there being hardly a worm in the front garden the plants and lawn are growing fine.  So there is not really any need to panic - in truth there never is.  So why should we worry about all these animals dying?

I believe that our role is to be a fairly caring part of the earth.  That's why I love our garden and the country walks around us.  My motivation is not fear of humanity dying from the ecological crisis but empathy for the life and beauty all around me.

Most people are pretty hard hearted when it comes to nature but these are the living things that we live among.  What could be the meaning of our life if it does not include them?  Are we really here to concrete over the world?

29/6/2021

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