Thursday, June 26, 2008

Buzzing Off

Basically, we're all doomed. But who will be the first to go?

By "we", I mean humans. The bees will have already vacated this Earth ahead of us -- if you believe everything that you've been hearing about the disappearing bees.

I first heard about this a couple of years ago. News reports informed us that entire colonies of bees are dying out. And not just dying out in the normal way; the critters are just vanishing, leaving no little bee corpses to be found in the hives. Strange story, I thought. But the implications are serious; the ecosystem depends a great deal on bee pollination. Without bees, a significant portion of our food source is gone.

However, the disappearing bees constituted a "slow news day" type of story, and I forgot about it. A few months ago, I saw Jerry Seinfeld's Bee Movie, in which bees stopped pollinating, and nearly starved humanity. At the time, I didn't see the connection -- Oh, look! It's a little bee who talks like Seinfeld! How cute! -- but now it's blatantly obvious.

A couple of times this year, characters in Doctor Who made references to vanishing bees. That's what sparked my memory. If the concept has ingrained itself into popular culture, then people are still worried about it. So I decided to do some 10-minute Internet research.

There are an unbelievable number of videos on YouTube covering the disappearing bee phenomenon. You could waste a day looking at them. I did not. I settled for this remarkably rational one:

Thank God for the skeptics, that's what I say. I look at the bee problem the same way I do at global warming and climate change: I don't deny that something is happening, but at the same time, I don't buy the propaganda disguised as conventional wisdom from those who refuse to apply rational thought to the matter.

If we can save the bees, great. If the bees go, we will adapt. It's our nature.

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