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Author Topic: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?  (Read 6913 times)

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Morpheus Laughing

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Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« on: November 23, 2009, 09:41:36 AM »

The University of Oxford’s George McGavin suggests the disappearance of bees poses a greater threat to humanity than a global warming.

In summary: Bee’s pollinate the majority of flowering plants. About ¾ of the 80 major food-crops are pollinated by bees.

Habitat loss and pesticides are contributing to a massive reduction of the bee population. 80 of the most commonly used pesticides are highly toxic to bees. Bee populations are shrinking in all countries and compared to 50 years ago there has been a 30% - 50% decline globally. In some places, people have to manually fertilise plants with paintbrushes because bee numbers are so low.

If things continue to develop as they have been, in 50 years, bee numbers will be so low that there will be a serious decline in flowering plants, which will result in food shortage and pestilence.

Any thoughts? Do you think people will start keeping bees in their gardens?  Are we Screwed?
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Pope Totalfrog

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 03:13:10 PM »

According to Doctor Who it is a very bad sign.
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CeeGBee

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 05:16:07 PM »

Old news.....

Hive collapse is caused by mites and a mite-transmitted bug, and it seems to affect mostly
commercial hives.....  Still a problem, but probably not the end of the world as we know it...

...and I feel fiiiiine...  ;D



(Oh, and yes, if you have a garden, you should totally get a hive or two.)
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Morpheus Laughing

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 07:04:53 PM »

Fair enough...

I’ve heard bits about it before but sometimes things move on from there or get forgotten. I wasn’t sure if the return of interest towards bee population decline meant that the problem had upped a notch. Global warming, for instance, suddenly became important after years of being sidelined. 

The Varroa mite: I’ve had a look into it... The UK doesn’t have a substantial commercial beekeeping sector and depends mostly on Amateur enthusiasts. Year on year collapses in the colonies (caused by varroa and other ailments) are currently too fierce for bee populations to recover from:

“Given the honey bee’s dependence on beekeepers for their survival there are few if any wild honey bee colonies left, due to the ravages of varroa and the inability of beekeepers to treat feral colonies.” http://www.britishbee.org.uk/files/bbka-research-concepts.pdf Page 7.

Obviously this is referring to UK Wild Bee populations but, if it is true that these wild bee’s have become dependent on human intervention, there might be similar problems elsewhere.

According to Doctor Who it is a very bad sign.

I see. And you trust this Doctor? ;D
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Pope Totalfrog

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 07:34:17 PM »


According to Doctor Who it is a very bad sign.

I see. And you trust this Doctor? ;D


Implicitly.
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Tiervexx

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 11:10:33 PM »

Old news.....

Hive collapse is caused by mites and a mite-transmitted bug, and it seems to affect mostly
commercial hives.....  Still a problem, but probably not the end of the world as we know it...

...and I feel fiiiiine...  ;D



(Oh, and yes, if you have a garden, you should totally get a hive or two.)

Your information is a little out of date.

I remember reading in Scientific American (or maybe it was Discover) that the mite problem has largely run it's course but there was another problem with a new pesticide hurting them.

Basically, new pesticides have been carefully designed to not be toxic to humans but they did not coincide the effect on bees.

I really don't see this or global warming as a major threat though.  The bee problem can be fixed now that they know to test future pesticides for their effect on bees and we won't be using fossil fuels long enough for global warming to become a major threat.
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lentower

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 02:12:41 PM »

Old news.....

Hive collapse is caused by mites and a mite-transmitted bug, and it seems to affect mostly
commercial hives.....  Still a problem, but probably not the end of the world as we know it...

...and I feel fiiiiine...  ;D

(Oh, and yes, if you have a garden, you should totally get a hive or two.)

Your information is a little out of date.

I remember reading in Scientific American (or maybe it was Discover) that the mite problem has largely run it's course but there was another problem with a new pesticide hurting them.

Basically, new pesticides have been carefully designed to not be toxic to humans but they did not coincide the effect on bees.

I really don't see this or global warming as a major threat though.  The bee problem can be fixed now that they know to test future pesticides for their effect on bees ...
[/quote]

if the industry really does this testing,
or the governments involve force them to.

... and we won't be using fossil fuels long enough for global warming to become a major threat.

false.

irrepairable damage has already been done to the planet
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Agonistes

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 07:09:43 PM »

Old news.....

Hive collapse is caused by mites and a mite-transmitted bug, and it seems to affect mostly
commercial hives.....  Still a problem, but probably not the end of the world as we know it...

...and I feel fiiiiine...  ;D

(Oh, and yes, if you have a garden, you should totally get a hive or two.)

Your information is a little out of date.

I remember reading in Scientific American (or maybe it was Discover) that the mite problem has largely run it's course but there was another problem with a new pesticide hurting them.

Basically, new pesticides have been carefully designed to not be toxic to humans but they did not coincide the effect on bees.

I really don't see this or global warming as a major threat though.  The bee problem can be fixed now that they know to test future pesticides for their effect on bees ...

if the industry really does this testing,
or the governments involve force them to.

... and we won't be using fossil fuels long enough for global warming to become a major threat.

false.

irrepairable damage has already been done to the planet
[/quote]

not too much damage has been done to the planet with fossil fuels; we are just running out of them (at least at the source we've been getting them).  i agree that the ecosystem that supports humans has slightly changed (probably not by humans though), but, i consider global warming is a myth.
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Captain Oblivious

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2009, 08:12:19 PM »

not too much damage has been done to the planet with fossil fuels; we are just running out of them (at least at the source we've been getting them).  i agree that the ecosystem that supports humans has slightly changed (probably not by humans though), but, i consider global warming is a myth.

i also think global warming is a myth, that it's just the Earth's natural cycle. i don't believe that in the last 50 years, people have fucked up the Earth more than people in the millions of years before us. Little vain, don't you think?
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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 08:19:45 PM »

not too much damage has been done to the planet with fossil fuels; we are just running out of them (at least at the source we've been getting them).  i agree that the ecosystem that supports humans has slightly changed (probably not by humans though), but, i consider global warming is a myth.

i also think global warming is a myth, that it's just the Earth's natural cycle. i don't believe that in the last 50 years, people have fucked up the Earth more than people in the millions of years before us. Little vain, don't you think?

about as vain as thinking we are the only life in the universe, yeah.  besides....even if the atmosphere got blown off the planet with a solar flare or asteroid, as possibly happened with mars, it wouldn't damage the earth itself any, just all of the ecosystems on it.
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peppamintdynamo

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 08:23:20 PM »

not too much damage has been done to the planet with fossil fuels; we are just running out of them (at least at the source we've been getting them).  i agree that the ecosystem that supports humans has slightly changed (probably not by humans though), but, i consider global warming is a myth.

i also think global warming is a myth, that it's just the Earth's natural cycle. i don't believe that in the last 50 years, people have fucked up the Earth more than people in the millions of years before us. Little vain, don't you think?

Perhaps, except that there are significantly more of us, and have been for the last century. Also, more the entire world population can afford cars than ever before, which is a huge factor. If we just consider the US, the number of cows, whose gas has a great effect on the ozone layer, is ridiculous compared to what it used to be. Those are just a few things, and I don't want to support global warming from the ground up because you can just watch an inconvienent truth, or look at the mass of evidence scientists have produced, but I think that global warming is pretty clearly happening.
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Rob

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 12:41:29 PM »

Yeah...Global warming is very real.  The belief that its cause is largely anthropogenic is a myth.
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Morpheus Laughing

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 03:36:04 PM »

Global warming is real, no doubt about it. As for the human caused component, it could be bigger or smaller than estimated. Even if it is a very tiny part, it certainly makes sense to do something about the human element…Hypothetically, let us say we are heading for a global disaster with collapsing eco-systems and land becoming increasingly unsuitable for human use. If it happens slower, it is easier for both human and non-human’s to adapt to the challenges.  Far fewer erratic variables will arise and it should be easier (although still tricky) to make informed decisions.

As for the extent of the human factor, it is difficult to pin down. Most ecosystems are delicate and some are extremely delicate. All ecosystems are complex. It wouldn’t take much to tip a system out of balance and for us to remain oblivious to how much of a catalyst human activity really was. What we can see is human activity correlating with changes in conditions known to coincide with the periods of past global warming. Correlation does not imply causation but it is worth taking seriously even if a lot of factors appear to be beyond human blame.   
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lentower

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2009, 04:38:40 PM »

Yeah...Global warming is very real.  The belief that its cause is largely anthropogenic is a myth.

rob:

please offer an alternative explanation for
the steady rise in co2 and methane levels in the atmosphere. 
preferably backed by reputable scientific research

it's very clear to me that they are caused by our species.
are responsible for both global warming,
and the rise in oceanic acidity.
from all the research i've reviewed for the last 50 years
(yes, i've followed this since before i was 10)
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Tiervexx

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Re: Bee decline more of a threat than global warming?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2009, 04:43:49 PM »

Global warming is real, no doubt about it. As for the human caused component, it could be bigger or smaller than estimated. Even if it is a very tiny part, it certainly makes sense to do something about the human element…Hypothetically, let us say we are heading for a global disaster with collapsing eco-systems and land becoming increasingly unsuitable for human use. If it happens slower, it is easier for both human and non-human’s to adapt to the challenges.  Far fewer erratic variables will arise and it should be easier (although still tricky) to make informed decisions.

As for the extent of the human factor, it is difficult to pin down. Most ecosystems are delicate and some are extremely delicate. All ecosystems are complex. It wouldn’t take much to tip a system out of balance and for us to remain oblivious to how much of a catalyst human activity really was. What we can see is human activity correlating with changes in conditions known to coincide with the periods of past global warming. Correlation does not imply causation but it is worth taking seriously even if a lot of factors appear to be beyond human blame.   

Definitely.  There is no doubt that if we continued to speed up the quantities of CO2 that we dump into the atmosphere it would eventually have an effect but the attempts at claiming that we have already done so much or that it will just take a few years more are very suspicious.

I remember one ridiculous report that has since been debunked that tried to claim that the temperature of the Earth remained almost perfectly constant than suddenly shot up since the industrial revolution.  When this one was investigated it was found that he basically made up his data than did a lot of bad math with it.  Everyone that ever studied the dinosaur age knows that the Earth was much warmer back then.  Volcano's actually destroy human output of greenhouse gasses right now.

Also... I've often wondered something about global warming... All the CO2 that we can possibly release from fossil fuels was once in the atmosphere before being trapped by plants that eventually became coal, gas, or oil right?

EDIT:  Let me be clear that when I'm talking about greenhouse gasses from volcano's I'm not just talking about CO2.  That's not the only greenhouse gas or even the strongest despite what many armchair global warming advocates seem to think.

Yeah...Global warming is very real.  The belief that its cause is largely anthropogenic is a myth.

rob:

please offer an alternative explanation for
the steady rise in co2 and methane levels in the atmosphere. 
preferably backed by reputable scientific research

it's very clear to me that they are caused by our species.
are responsible for both global warming,
and the rise in oceanic acidity.
from all the research i've reviewed for the last 50 years
(yes, i've followed this since before i was 10)


Yes, we are doing that but big fluctuations in temperature happened long before us so more proof is needed to show that that is all that's going on.

This recent year has been far colder than climate models predicted so obviously there is a problem with their method.  This fact does not totally refute the theory but does prove that their current model is not complete.

Once again, I don't doubt that global warming is real, just that I think it is much less urgent than alarmists say.
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