Updated: Mar 8, 2019
There is more to global warming than greenhouse gas emissions, and weather extremes such as record temperatures, droughts and floods, all of which impact upon the environment, flora and fauna. Another international report this week has highlighted the plummeting numbers of insects on a global scale with catastrophic effects for all species, including our own. According to the report, more than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting that at the current rate of decline insects could vanish within a century, with dire consequences for food production and natural systems.
Writing in the Guardian the environment editor Damian Carrington, highlighted recent global research, published in the journal Biological Conservation, which says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides, and that urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors.
Days later, the Green MEP for the South West of England Molly Scott Cato lamented the lack of urgency in the European Parliament in addressing the high use of toxic chemicals in farming, including the uncontrolled use of pesticides whose risk assessments were often written by the same companies that made them.
However, all is not lost, concerned citizens, gardeners, and allotment holders can all help mitigate the deep impact of insect loss by creating habitats for their use. Piles of old logs and leaves left in the garden, the planting of insect friendly shrubs, flowers and bushes and where possible building an Insect Hotel such as the one below, created by myself and fellow artist/allotment holder Colin Monk.
More of my work can be viewed at: http://briansheridan.co.uk/
Please note, the views expressed here are my own and not necessarily shared by CANWM