Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Did you catch the NPR show that showed the “by hand” pollination industry that is in use in many parts of China?  Silence of The Bees? Pesticides and mono-culture of crops has killed off all the natural pollinators and they are collecting pollen and hand pollinating fruit trees. The conclusion was that despite the low cost of labor, they weren't doing very well compared to before, with the native pollinators. 
In the UK, for example, recent studies suggest that about one-third of pollination is delivered by honeybees, the rest being carried out by a range of wild insects. These animals need undisturbed places to nest, and flowers to feed on when the crops are not flowering. 
However, bee diversity has declined markedly in Europe, with many species disappearing from much of their former range, and some species going extinct. The UK alone has lost three species of native bumblebee, and six more are listed as endangered. Four bumblebee species have gone extinct from the whole of Europe, and there is good evidence for similar declines in North America and China.   

Unbridled industrialization with almost no environmental regulation has resulted in the toxic contamination of one-fifth of China's farmland, the Communist Party has acknowledged for the first time.
The report, issued by the ministries of Environmental Protection and Land and Resources, says 16.1 percent of the country's soil in general and 19.4 percent of its farmland is polluted with toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic. It was based on a soil survey of more than 2.4 million square miles of land across China, spanning a period from April 2005 until December 2013. It excluded special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau.
In a dire assessment, the report declares: "The overall condition of the Chinese soil allows no optimism."
I guess we don’t have it so bad in comparison. As irrational as the EPA often is, China shows what can happen without any regulation.


  1. You do have a point but even with the EPA here in the States most places with the same average population density as China are pretty polluted too. Private farming practices and culture have a share in the difference in my opinion as well.

    1. True! Bear in mind also that when we banned DDT, we only banned it's use here and our factories were allowed to continue to produce it and sell it to third world countries.