The great dying 2.0
- The world’s insects may disappear in 100 years, changing life as we know it
- Insects are also crucial for pollination, and thus form an important link in the chain of life
We call them bugs, we call them creepy-crawlies. Lately they’ve even become gourmet cuisine. But insects, the unacknowledged link that knits together the natural world, are perishing in record numbers.
According to the world’s first scientific review of this catastrophe, published in the journal Biological Conservation this month, industrial agriculture and the use of pesticides is to blame.
The review forecasts the world’s insect population dropping to half in 50 years, and to none in 100. Consider this: Insects are food to birds, reptiles and mammals. They are also crucial for pollination, and thus form an important link in the chain of life.
According to the report, among the hardest hit are butterflies, beetles and bees. The trail of destruction is traced back to the 1950s and 1960s, with the development of modern pesticides and intensive farming.
The rate of death has acquired fearsome levels in the past two decades. If the creepy-crawlies disappear, so, basically, does life as we know it.