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by Jan 19, 2021Local News0 comments

There is no managed firewall nor a support team that can
shut things down or turn things up for them; they would be
head to head with the hacker nerding out on a computer a
few seats away. Should be scary if you are really thinking
about it!

The world’s vital insect kingdom
is undergoing “death by a
thousand cuts,” the world’s top
bug experts said.

Warming temperatures,
insecticides, herbicides, light
pollution, invasive species and
changes in agriculture and land
use are causing Earth to lose
probably 1% to 2% of its insects
each year, said University of
Connecticut entomologist David
Wagner, lead author in the
special package of 12 studies
in Monday’s Proceedings of the
National Academies of Sciences
written by 56 scientists from
around the globe.

The problem, sometimes
called the insect apocalypse,
is like a jigsaw puzzle. And
scientists say they still don’t
have all the pieces, so they have
trouble grasping its enormity
and complexity and getting
the world to notice and do

Wagner said scientists need to
figure out if the rate of the insect
loss is bigger than with other
species. “There is some reason
to worry more,” he added,
“because they are the target
of attack” with insecticides,
herbicides and light pollution.

Co-author and University
of Illinois entomologist May
Berenbaum, a National Medal
of Science winner, said, “Insect
decline is kind of comparable
to climate change 30 years ago
because the methods to assess
the extent, the rate (of loss) were

Making matters worse is that in
many cases, people hate bugs,
even though they pollinate the
world’s foods, are crucial to the
food chain and get rid of waste,
she said.

Insects “are absolutely the fabric
by which Mother Nature and
the tree of life are built,” Wagner

Two well known ones —
honeybees and Monarch
butterflies — best illustrate
insect problems and declines,
he said. Honeybees have been
in dramatic decline because of

disease, parasites, insecticides,
herbicides and lack of food.

Drier weather in the U.S. West
means less milkweed for
butterflies to eat, Wagner said.
And changes in American
agriculture remove weeds and
flowers they need for nectar.
“We’re creating a giant
biological desert except for
soybeans and corn in a giant
area of the Midwest,” he said.

Monday’s scientific papers
don’t provide new data, yet
show a big but incomplete
picture of a problem starting
to get attention. Scientists
have identified 1 million insect
species, while probably 4
million more are still to be
discovered, Berenbaum said.

University of Delaware
entomologist Doug Tallamy,
who wasn’t part of the studies,
said they highlight how the
world has “spent the last 30
years spending billions of
dollars finding new ways to
kill insects and mere pennies
working to preserve them.”

“The good news is, with the
exception of climate change,
individuals can do much
to reverse insect declines,”
Tallamy said in an email. “This
is a global problem with a
grassroots solution.

Test post

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