Monday, February 26, 2007

Killered Bees

How ironic is it that back in t 1970's there was a killer bees scare that prompted a ridiculous movie and TV movie, and today we're finding out that something is causing our U.S. bee population to decline at an alarming rate:

In 24 states throughout the country, beekeepers have gone through similar shocks as their bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate, threatening not only their livelihoods but also the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the nation’s most profitable.

“I have never seen anything like it,” Mr. Bradshaw, 50, said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. “Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home.”

The numbers are shocking, 50% bee population drops with one beekeeper interviewed, 70% in Texas. A new term, "colony collapse disorder." The "AIDS of the bee industry."

There's a few different theories in the article about why this is happening, but I couldn't help myself from flashing on current movie masterpiece, Children of Men. The near-future premise of the film is that in 2009 we as a human race were suddenly unable to create more babies. There's no reveal on why this happened, no explanation among those offered that's definitive. The sense is that we've just finally tipped over the line into global human sterility, whether due to pollution or nuclear pollution or ruining the ozone or something we've introduced into our food supply, who knows.

The fascinating thing about the film's thesis is that you never doubt it for a minute. There's barely an iota of suspension of disbelief required to accept the premise. With Greenland's ice shelves crumbling away every few nights on the news, what does our future actually hold?

I honestly wonder if it is too late, if even Al Gore taking the stage twice at the Oscars last night and maybe winning the Nobel Peace Prize at the end of this year (he's nominated) is enough. Maybe Al knows it's too late to make it the same, he's only doing his best in hopes of mitigating the damage. Maybe he knows it's beyond repair.

Maybe the bees do, too.

2 comments:

swainchampagne said...

Nature's fix to the over population of the world woudn't surprise me. I read that bees article and was alarmed! (I thought of the X-Files)

Fasten your seatbelt Ned...it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Mark Netter said...

Call in Mulder and Scully!!