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The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
Friday, 30 November 2018 09:20

Jarvis writes: "Insects are the vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems and the base of food webs everywhere."

Monarch butterfly. (photo: iStock)
Monarch butterfly. (photo: iStock)

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here

By Brooke Jarvis, The New York Times

30 November 18

What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?

une Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing.

It was summer. He was out in the country, moving fast. But strangely, he wasn’t eating any bugs.

For a moment, Riis was transported to his childhood on the Danish island of Lolland, in the Baltic Sea. Back then, summer bike rides meant closing his mouth to cruise through thick clouds of insects, but inevitably he swallowed some anyway. When his parents took him driving, he remembered, the car’s windshield was frequently so smeared with insect carcasses that you almost couldn’t see through it. But all that seemed distant now. He couldn’t recall the last time he needed to wash bugs from his windshield; he even wondered, vaguely, whether car manufacturers had invented some fancy new coating to keep off insects. But this absence, he now realized with some alarm, seemed to be all around him. Where had all those insects gone? And when? And why hadn’t he noticed?

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