Yet Another Climate Report ~Pesticides, Insects, Agriculture

Yet Another Climate Report // Published on Nov 4, 2017

A new and extensive “Climate Science Special Report” NCA4 (National Climate Assessment 4) was released in the US; a product of multiple agencies.

I discuss the contents of this report, by examining the figures/illustrations within.

In general, the report is done fairly well, and is along the lines of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports.  However, I think that it severely underestimates the “emergency” nature and extreme urgency of our abrupt climate change situation.

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This continues Paul’s major work, recently at his post, People Manage To Kill Three-Quarters Of Flying Insects In Only 27 Years, linked here from October 24, 2017.

The Scourge of Pesticides: Part E // Published on Nov 2, 2017

Some of the hardiest, most resilient species of life on our planet are insects, having persisted for hundreds of millions of years. Not any longer. They are no match for our pesticides, that seem to be the primary reason for the loss of 76% of insect biomass (total insect mass) in a mere 27 years in a protected nature reserve in Germany.  When pesticides were first used in much lower quantities they increased crop yields, but now they decrease crop yields since they wipe out the pollinators.
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Decline of the Insects: Part D // Published on Oct 27, 2017

Many people know about the decline of bees, butterflies, and moths. Alarmingly, the decline was 76% across ALL flying insect species over 27 years in protected wildlife areas in Germany.

What caused this decline? Factors examined include changes in temperature, precipitation, frost days, herbs, grasses, trees, forests, light, water, etc.  None of these factors seemed to cause the decline, making the primary culprit farming practices (pesticides, fertilizers, tillage) outside the protected area.  I suspect abrupt climate change is involved as well.
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Industrial Agriculture Crushing Bugs: Part C // Published on Oct 26, 2017

Continuing our discussion on the collapse of the flying insect population by 76% in only 27 years, I talk about industrial agriculture that is literally sucking the life out of soils and ecosystems. A UN study concluded that based on soil degradation, we only have 60 years of crops left, while a UK study concluded only 100 harvests are left.

Clearly, agribusiness practices of monoculture, pesticides and herbicides, livestock grazing, etc. in conjunction with abrupt climate change are destroying our ecosystems. Business as usual is destroying our life support systems on the planet.


About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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1 Response to Yet Another Climate Report ~Pesticides, Insects, Agriculture

  1. Titus says:

    Thank you for these amazing material that you put together!

    Soil degradation sounds very worrying to me, 60 harvests left, oh man. Is there any studies about pollution and climate change?


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