This is Not Normal

I just read, “The Insect Apocalypse is Here” and these are my comments about it.

Where have all the bugs gone? That’s what this post tries to answer and if you’re like me and hadn’t really noticed the lack of bugs recently, you’ll understand why this is such a big deal after reading the article. However, before we dive into this article, I want to share with you what I’ve noticed.

I’ve lived in Missouri for almost 19 years now, about a decade ago I remember windshields so full of bug splats that you couldn’t see out of it while driving down the highway and cringing at the thump of especially large bugs when they hit. I remember a season where when I rode my bike around town I couldn’t not hit a grasshopper because there were more than I could count all over the roads and fields. Last summer however? I remember pulling a single butterfly from the grill of my dad’s truck. That’s it... There were no more bugs. ...

Here’s how plentiful our world used to be. We tend to think that the environmental conditions that we are born into are normal, but it is anything but normal.

“In “The Once and Future World,” the journalist J.B. MacKinnon cites records from recent centuries that hint at what has only just been lost: “In the North Atlantic, a school of cod stalls a tall ship in midocean; off Sydney, Australia, a ship’s captain sails from noon until sunset through pods of sperm whales as far as the eye can see. ... Pacific pioneers complain to the authorities that splashing salmon threaten to swamp their canoes.” There were reports of lions in the south of France, walruses at the mouth of the Thames, flocks of birds that took three days to fly overhead, as many as 100 blue whales in the Southern Ocean for every one that’s there now. “These are not sights from some ancient age of fire and ice,” MacKinnon writes. “We are talking about things seen by human eyes, recalled in human memory.””

So, when you read the above article, please understand how dire these circumstances are for us and our planet. Ok, so what are the highlights of the article?

“A 2013 paper in Nature, which modeled both natural and computer-generated food webs, suggested that a loss of even 30 percent of a species’ abundance can be so destabilizing that other species start going fully, numerically extinct — in fact, 80 percent of the time it was a secondarily affected creature that was the first to disappear.”

These are some drastic decreases and we tend to forget that all species are connected. When we loose one species, we can loose all the species that rely on it. We need to recognize what is happening around us with our environment and our planet. We need to know, that what we are seeing today, isn’t normal.