Albert Einstein once said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” It seems as if this impact may come sooner than we think; not with just the bees disappearing, but with the entire insect population altogether.
According to several scientific studies, the flying insect population is declining at an alarming rate. Two authors, for example, of a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One reported several days ago, “Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76 percent, and mid-summer decline of 82 percent in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study.” This astounding percent of loss within the flying insect population can lead to devastating issues in the near future. Not only does this alter habitats in which these insects most commonly live, but it can dramatically change the food web of the entire world. As noted by the same two scientists, “Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services.”
Insects are a vital part of the worlds behavior, making up two-thirds of all life on earth. They’re highly beneficial in providing the world with essential nutrients and systemic necessities as they enrich the land, provide food for animals higher up in the food chain, and pollinate the very plants we use in almost all of our food.
However, scientists are still unsure as to what is actually causing this dramatic loss in insect population. Many seem believe it’s due to the harm humans are inflicting upon the planet. For example, Ruud Kleinpaste believes, “Humans are getting a little bit too popular on this planet, and it has an effect everywhere. This impact on our biodiversity seems to be going on with birds, lizards, and now insects. “ With so many pesticides and herbicides, as well as the rapidly growing human population, we are the ones to blame for this loss.
Specifically, the special class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, are a prime suspect for these insect losses, according to many conservationists views. Neonicotinoids are a specialized pesticide that affects the central nervous system of insects and/or pests, ultimately causing paralyzation and death. Luckily, most countries are now deciding to ban, or have already banned, neonicotinoids from use. Such as, America, Britain, France, Germany, and many more. Although this can now ease the significant insect loss, it still doesn’t fix the damage that has already been set in place by neonicotinoids, nor does it show a sign of all other pesticides to be banned.
There are still many other factors that have caused this intensive decline of the insect population that humans plan on continuing. Many of these include urbanization, habitat destruction, and the, “spread of monoculture crops such as corn and soybeans,” states a Yale study. Overall, we are the ones destroying an essential species population, which isn’t a good thing. This creates massive issues for our future, possibly wiping out ourselves in the far future.