We published a pair of stories in our last edition that were very much linked.
The first, which ran on our front page, concerned the decreasing number of bees in the area.
Reduction in bee population has been a worldwide issue for some time, with the primary causes believed to be global warming. Also playing a factor are the use of bee-killing pesticides on corporate farms, habitat destruction due to development and the lack of biodiversity.
The other story concerned the increase in average food prices in the first quarter of 2019.
We bring this up to show how one seemingly unrelated event — such as climate change — can have an impact on another — reducing bee population — which can have an impact on another — decreasing pollination impacting crop volume — impacting yet another — higher food prices.
Certainly there are other factors in play when it comes to food prices — including tariffs enacted by the current administration, and urban and suburban encroachment on rural areas. But there’s also no denial that climate is playing a factor as well.
We struggle to understand the rationale by climate deniers, when the data from NASA shows the land-ocean temperature index has been on a steady increase since 1948. Also 18 of the 19 hottest years in recorded history have occurred since 2001, with 2016 the hottest ever.
We can debate cause — is global warming manmade or naturally occurring? — until we’re blue in the face, but the temperature numbers don’t lie.
Actually, we take that back — we actually can understand why a segment of the population wouldn’t believe in global warming if they don’t believe in any science at all. If one is an anti-vaxxer or a flat-Earther, it’s only logical to deny global warming as well.
Also, we didn’t land on the moon, 9/11 was an inside job, and Elvis is still alive and working at a White Castle in Lynchburg, Tenn.
But we digress . . .
We can’t pick and choose our science based on convenience.
We’re not isolationist, but we do believe the most successful countries are those that can be self-sustaining. A big part of being self-sustainable is ensuring that the population can be fed at a reasonable cost.
It’s incumbent on us to come together to find a consensus on how to tackle global warming so farmers can do their job and provide the food our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren require.