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mercoledì 30 agosto 2017

COMPLETE ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE 3

“The footprint of global agriculture is vast. Industrial agriculture is absolutely responsible for driving deforestation, absolutely responsible for pushing industrial monoculture, and that means it is responsible for species loss,” said Patel. “We’re losing species we have never heard of, those we’ve yet to put a name to and industrial agriculture is very much at the spear-tip of that.”


Bumblebees are facing extinction from insecticides. This is what a team of UK researchers have discovered. The study was posted on the Nature.com website this week. Radio Sputnik discussed this issue with Mark Brown, Professor in Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London.
The scientists revealed that experimental exposure to a commonly used insecticide reduced the number of queens that laid eggs by 26 percent in two weeks. The insecticide used in the experiment belongs to a group of neo-nicotinoids, or neonics
They are used on some of the most widely grown crops in the UK, including corn, soybeans and canola.
Apart from wild bees, neonics have contributed to a decline in butterflies and some other species of insects.
Wild bees are very important for humans in terms of the pollination that they do on our crop. They make sure that the crops produce fruit but they are also very important for the natural environment because without them and other pollinators wild flower also couldn’t leave seeds and that could lead to collapses in natural ecosystem,” Brown said.
Talking about how the pesticides affect bumblebees the professor said that pesticides such as neo-nicotinoids affect the brains of the insects and that has a behavioral and physiological impact on them.
He further spoke about how the insecticides also stop bees from laying eggs.
“There was a significant reduction of approximately 26 percent of the queens that actually laid the eggs if they were treated with pesticide as opposed to those that weren’t,” Brown said.
The professor also spoke about what other human factors cause the decline in the beespopulation, saying that the changes in use of land is one factor.
“As we intensify agriculture and remove areas of wild flowers that damage the bumblebees’ colonies because they are removed from the places where they need to live and food that they need to feed on,” Brown said.
Other factors include climate change and emergence of various parasites that comes with it.
He further spoke about the importance of balancing the scales, which on one hand these potential pesticides could be harming bees, but on the other hand could be beneficial to the sustainable food supply for humans.
The European Union imposed a temporary ban on the use of neonic pesticides on many crops in 2013, and is now considering proposals to make that ban permanent. 
A range of regulations on the use of neonicotinoids have also recently come into effect in North America. However, pesticide producers and some farmers are fighting those restrictions as they argue that the ban has led to lower harvests of canola.

Urban butterflies under threat of extinction August 21, 2017


Corporate Agriculture: a Recipe for Extinction 30 AGOSTO 2016


Earth is presently experiencing its sixth “mass extinction,” and humans are largely to blame, says a leading academic. In his new book The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy, Professor Raj Patel of the University of Texas explains how mass deforestation to clear grounds to grow mono-crops, the creation of large dead zones in the sea caused by run-off of fertilizers, and the trend of over-fishing are a detriment to the world and are driving the destruction of our planet.

“The footprint of global agriculture is vast. Industrial agriculture is absolutely responsible for driving deforestation, absolutely responsible for pushing industrial monoculture, and that means it is responsible for species loss,” said Patel. “We’re losing species we have never heard of, those we’ve yet to put a name to and industrial agriculture is very much at the spear-tip of that.”
In an interview with The Independent, Patel pointed to the largest-ever “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. The region has too little oxygen for marine life as a result of vast amounts of fertilizers washing from farms in mainland US into the ocean. “That dead zone isn’t an accident. It’s a requirement of industrial agriculture to get rid of the sh*t and the run-off elsewhere because you cannot make industrial agriculture workable unless you kick the costs somewhere else,” he said. “The story of industrial agriculture is all about externalising costs and exploiting nature.”
Mono-crops, such as soy and corn, are big offenders in Patel’s book. Not only does the farming practice result in a loss of diversity, it eliminates habitats of potentially endangered species, including elephants, jaguars, and penguins.
Extinction is about the elimination of diversity. What happens in Brazil and other places is you get green deserts — monocultures of soy and nothing else,” he said. Evidence of this can be found in Sumatra, where forests are being decimated to make way for palm plantations and industrial meat factories.
In the oceans, anchovies and sardines and being overfished. Rather than being consumed by humans, however, they are ground up and added to feed for salmon, pigs, and chickens. For animals that feed on them, such as penguins, this spells trouble as their food source is declining.
The Professor is urging consumers to “think on a bigger scale.” Said Patel, “‘As a consumer’ you are only allowing yourself a range of action. ‘As a consumer’ you can buy something that’s local and sustainable, that’s labelled as organic or fair trade.” He added, “But ‘as a consumer’, you don’t get to do a whole lot of good. As a citizen, as a decent person, you can demand more from your government, from one’s employer, from yourself.
The activist urges people to be aware of their power “as part of a society where we can change things.” He said, “We have this power to change things in the future. What we have to do is make that change.” The answer is not vegetarianism, he said (though it will surely help). Rather, it’s time humanity switch to a world in which resources were shared and looked after. Patel urges a shift in mentality, as well, as people’s “images of consumption that are entirely unsustainable.”
Professor Patel will be a keynote speaker at the Extinction and Livestock Conference in London in October. The event is organized by groups such as Compassion in World Farming and WWF and is being held to raise awareness about the rapid rate of species loss which could ultimately lead to the sixth mass extinction of life.


COMPLETE ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE 2 15 NOVEMBRE 2016


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