Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next – Guardian 12 February 2019 – Molly Scott Cato
Insects Are Essential
“Most of us spend more time swatting away or avoiding wasps and moths than we do contemplating their importance to the web of life. But it is no exaggeration to say that the horrifying decline in the number of these creatures – the most widespread on Earth – is a barometer for the whole planet.
The new global scientific review into the perilous condition of our insects reports that more than 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction while the mass of insects is declining by 2.5% a year.”
Through the WI Lens
This article, from a Green MEP (Member of European Parliament) and member of the European parliament’s agriculture committee, looks at the policy shortcomings which are threatening ‘insectageddon’, namely the failure of politicians to resist lobbying by the agrichemical industry, and to implement science-driven policy to protect wildlife. The EU’s sustainable use of pesticides directive is ineffectual, and has allowed farmers to become chemically dependent. From a wellness perspective, there are a number of points to note:
• humans can’t pick and choose which parts of the eco-system we want to preserve; it is interconnected and if you eliminate one part you put everything at risk;
• the hospitality industry can play a small part by sourcing organic – ie non-pesticide produced foods and products, by strictly limiting their own use of insecticides, and by creating environments in which insects can thrive, for example lavender beds for bees;
• we need to change our perception of insects. Instead of seeing them as a pest, we could view them as a sustainable, low carbon food source, in which case they will be needed more than ever.
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.
This is not the testimony of any ordinary victim of Covid-19, but that of virologist Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and one of the scientists who discovered Ebola back in 1976.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s star has risen …this article examines the style in which she’s done it.
Before Times and After Times. Is that how we’ll come to see the Covid-19 pandemic in the fullness of time?