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The Guardian view on vanishing insects: a silent threat | Editorial

The astonishing global collapse in their numbers is a danger to almost every other speciesOne of the classic moments in the Simpsons comes when the venal TV anchorman Kent Brockman sees on his screen an ant crawling across a lens and assumes at once that this is not a negligible terrestrial arthropod but a giant alien descending from space that will become one of "our new insect overlords", a species to which he instantly and publicly pledges allegiance. The joke hinges on the idea that in real life ants are inconsequential compared with human beings. The world, we feel, could get on perfectly well without them, and still better without mosquitoes or any number of other creepy crawlies.This confidence is quite as mistaken as Kent Brockman's grovellings. Insects form the greatest part of animal life on Earth, and almost every other kind of animal depends on them - directly or indirectly. They pollinate plants and nourish animals, especially birds. In turn, everything that relies on these plants or animals depends on the insects. And the whole intricate web of interdependent exploitation is collapsing, and has been for decades. We ourselves are part of this web, in the long run quite as much dependent as exploitative. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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