Insects Are Dying En Masse, Risking 'Catastrophic' Collapse Of Earth's Ecosystems

We’re committing mass suicide as fast as we can!!!

Insects Are Dying En Masse, Risking 'Catastrophic' Collapse Of Earth's Ecosystems

There have been warning signs for years about plummeting insect populations worldwide, but the extent of the potentially “catastrophic” crisis had not been well-understood — until now.

The first global scientific review of insect population decline was published this week in the journal Biological Conservation and the findings are “shocking,” its authors said.

More than 40 percent of insect species are dwindling globally and a third of species are endangered, concluded the peer-reviewed study, which analyzed 73 historical reports on insect population declines.

Chillingly, the total mass of insects is falling by 2.5 percent annually, the review’s authors said. If the decline continues at this rate, insects could be wiped off the face of the Earth within a century.

Scientists have warned that a human-caused sixth mass extinction is now underway on Earth. Vertebrate species, both on land and under the sea, are threatened at a global scale because of human activities.

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5c611921e4b0f9e1b17f097d/amp

Just think, most of the damage is caused by a refusal to change our way of living. To do with LESS rather than MORE MORE MORE. And we can’t certainly can’t change our way of living if doing so deprives our ‘betters’ of one damn dime. Because the bank balances of a few privileged people outweigh the threat of destroying our planet.

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WoodsDweller's picture

... for people who thought the cockroaches would survive nuclear war. Or maybe thought that nuclear war would be worse than climate change.
Time for Anderson Cooper to host a serious discussion of just how much addressing climate change would raise his taxes.

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"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma

Bollox Ref's picture

we've been planting things in the garden that appeal to various butterflies. Compared to 10, 20 years ago, these days we see so few of them. I remember one year, we could barely move for Monarchs.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref
property, along the driveway and such.

we used to "hunt" for monarch caterpillars and keep them in a terrarium so we could watch them molt and pupate and transform and emerge as butterflies. one year, we had 13 of them.

i haven't seen a monarch caterpillar in 3 or 4 years.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

OzoneTom's picture

@UntimelyRippd
There are a lot of predators in addition to the more obvious ones like birds and lizards.

Wasps/yellowjackets, ants, spiders, and mantids can clean out a garden of caterpillars. Even other monarch caterpillars will cannibalize their own when eggs are too closely packed.

Many collect the caterpillars to raise in protection and only release the butterfly once it has emerged and dried it's wings.

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@OzoneTom
and now we don't.

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3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

OzoneTom's picture

@UntimelyRippd
And I understand that the theme of this conversation is about the serious collapse of insect biamass.

As a big booster of Monarchs, I just wanted to point-out that they are sensitive to predation by a number of organisms and many of those are themselves insects. So if you are seeing a lot of yellowjackets in the area, that could explain the missing caterpillars themselves.

Happy to hear that the milkweed are being preserved. I am planting a couple of additional varieties this year myself to provide a sort of diversity.

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dystopian's picture

Night lighting for bugs (have an advanced degree in nerd) this past summer was scary. You put lights on a sheet hanging vertically, wait and watch, some say imbibing spirits brings better results... But you might collect, ID, or photo, what comes in. Sheets used to get black with thousands of bugs on them. I don't think I had a hundred any night this past summer. When you have wholesale broad spectrum absence at this level something is horribly wrong. Every niche in the ecosystem is being hit. I have been mentioning for years in a blog I record natural history observations in, the absence of large flying insects in particular is severe, and in my area Western Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher declines which depend on them. Dragonfly and butterfly diversity is down in my local area of study as well. It is everything, and it is somewhere between crashing and free-fall collapse.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

When I started driving back in the 1970s it was carnage on my car windshield in exurb and rural Minnesota. I remember the big bugs especially. What a mess!

There is nothing anymore. Hasn't been for over a decade.

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8 users have voted.

have lost. But, so have the humans. Montsanto and the rest of the big corporations will outlive all other lifeforms on this berg.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@leveymg
That and idiots who think that fertilizer is meant to use freely and often. Like the crackpot who lives behind me.

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7 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

WoodsDweller's picture

... before the clouds roll in again and I'm without power for a few days.

In the aftermath of the wreck of Fukushima observers wanted to blame the (then) recent events in the Pacific on radiation. Things like crashing populations of sea birds and starving whales.
But I think it's more complicated than that. It's temperature changes associated with climate change, it's overfishing, it's whaling, it's pesticides, phosphates, nitrates, plastic waste, loss of critical habitat in river deltas and mangrove swamps, sedimentation of coral reefs. And, yes, probably radiation as well. The Pacific, the biggest ecosystem on Earth, has been battered to the point of collapse.
And remember that I'm using the system definition of collapse as a reorganization at a lower level of complexity. For the ocean that means lots of jellyfish. You can't kill those damned things.
Now we're seeing the collapse spread to land. It isn't just one thing. It's climate change, it's pesticides, it's habitat loss. There have been one or two papers claiming that they've recorded UV-C reaching the ground, which could also be a factor for insects and/or amphibians. We're pretty much toast if that one is true.
There are ancient trees in many places that are dying. Conditions have been pushed too far from the norm for the last few thousand years.
One of my favorite movies is "Aliens". There's a scene where the few survivors have fallen back behind a thick steel door and Vasquez is welding it shut. They're having a loud discussion of where to go now, the aliens are punching big bulges in the steel door by her head. Vasquez says: "Whatever you're going to do, do it FAST."

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"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma