Print Friendly and PDF
‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss
www.washingtonpost.com

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss

In this deeply worrisome article about the disappearance of insects and insect-eaters from Puerto Rican forests, the reporter writes that the scientists attribute the decline to climate change and not to pesticides.


He quotes one of the scientists, Bradford Lister, as dismissing the potential contribution of pesticides because "pesticide use has fallen more than 80 percent in Puerto Rico" during the period of insect decline.

This is not scientific evidence against the potential role of pesticides.

While the volume of application may have declined by that much over 40 years, the mix of pesticides is quite different now. For example, neonicotinoid insecticides—extremely powerful against insects—didn't become widely used until the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Now they are ubiquitous. The U.S. Geological Survey has detected them in many agricultural streams across the U.S., including in Puerto Rico.

Also, industrial chemicals like phthalates and bisphenol A are found ubiquitously in environmental samples. French researchers have found phthalates in the cuticle of ants in South American jungles at levels high enough to interfere with reproduction and immune system function.

Become a donor
Today's top news
From our newsroom

WATCH: Pete Myers and Tyrone Hayes reflect on tremendous progress in the environmental health field

"It isn't one scientific finding that accomplishes a structural change in science. It's a drumbeat — one after the other — for decades."

What happens if the largest owner of oil and gas wells in the US goes bankrupt?

Diversified Energy’s liabilities exceed its assets, according to a new report, sparking concerns about whether taxpayers will wind up paying to plug its 70,000 wells.

LISTEN: Gabriel Gadsden on the rodent infestation and energy justice connection

“What it really comes down to is political will and resource allocation.”

Listen: EHN reporter discusses EPA's new proposed air pollution limits

Kristina Marusic joined Pittsburgh's NPR news station to discuss the proposed new rules

Racist beauty standards leave communities of color more exposed to harmful chemicals: NYC study

"How do you change centuries of colonialism and racism that have always uplifted light and white skin tone and features?”