"We are standing in an extinction event. Many of us started noticing it when
the insects began to vanish in large numbers right after the turn of the
I'll never forget the day the trucker called into my radio show. It was
probably around 14 years ago, and he identified himself as a long-haul trucker
who regularly ran a coast-to-coast route from the Southeast to the Pacific
Northwest dozens of times a year.
"Used to be when I was driving through the southern part of the Midwest like I
am right now," he said, "I'd have to stop every few hours to clean the bugs off
my windshield. It's been three days since I've had to clean bugs off my
windshield on this trip. There's something spooky going on out here."
The phone lines lit up. People from Maine to California, from Florida to
Washington state shared their stories of the vanishing insects where they
lived. Multiple long-haul truckers listening on SiriusXM had similar stories.
We had just moved to Portland at that time, living on a floating home in the
Willamette River, and the air was often filled with bugs and swallows, small
insect-eating birds that fly as fast and sometimes as erratically as bats. A
neighbor had a "swallow house," a box on a pole by the side of her home with a
dozen small holes in it where the swallows made their nests.
A decade-and-a-half later, now living on the Columbia River in Portland, I
haven't seen more than a dozen swallows at a time in at least two years. The
swarms of gnats, the mosquitoes, butterflies, lightning bugs, beetles and moths
that marked spring and summer for most of my 70 years, from Michigan to Vermont
to Georgia to Oregon, seem to have largely vanished.
The insect apocalypse is only a leading indicator of what is already a larger
disaster for much of humanity and is now beginning to hit the wealthy world
(the U.S. and Europe) hard.
Climate change from manmade global warming is here in a way that even fossil
fuel billionaires and their paid shills can no longer deny. For the moment, we
still — probably — have the ability to determine how bad it's going to hit us."
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics