Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pesticides, Herbicides and Radionuclides Killing Our Ecosystem

We are living in a MASS EXTINCTION EVENT 
(see Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived?

Majia here: Some of the biggest culprits in causing this mass extinction are heavy metals, radionuclides, and the complex chemicals used as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

The tragedy is that NOTHING IS BEING DONE to stop this madness of escalating extinction. The energy and chemical companies that produce en mass these toxins are ALLOWED to continue poisoning the eco-system even after research establishes the dangers posed by their toxins. 
A case in point:
Pesticide Suspected in Bee Die-Offs Could Also Kill Birds by Brandon Keim April 12, 2013

[Excerpted] Controversial pesticides linked to catastrophic honeybee declines in North America and Europe may also kill other creatures, posing ecological threats even graver than feared, say some scientists.

According to a report by the American Bird Conservancy, the dangers of neonicotinoid pesticides to birds, and also to stream- and soil-dwelling insects accidentally exposed to the chemicals, have been underestimated by regulators and downplayed by industry.

“The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise environmental concerns that go well beyond bees,” stated the report, which was co-authored by pesticide policy expert Cynthia Palmer and pesticide toxicologist Pierre Mineau, both from the American Bird Conservancy.

Majia here: Some of the animals that have recently experienced massive population die-offs include the following:

HORSES (hat tip Alyse)

California Examines Puzzling Trend of Horses’ Sudden Deaths. The New York Times, April 10, 2013

[Excerpt] Seemingly healthy racehorses have been dropping dead at an alarming rate in California, perplexing researchers and attracting the attention of regulators. The three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert has had seven horses die suddenly in the last 16 months, necropsies revealed. 

“The main necropsy findings were the severe diffuse pulmonary edema and the multifocal pulmonary hemorrhage, which are indicative of acute severe respiratory distress, the cause of which remains undetermined,” the necropsy report said.

“We have not been able to find the cause,” Dr. Francisco Uzal of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System said at a meeting of the board’s medication committee. “We have done extensive toxicological studies. We have done, of course, all sort of other things — pathology and histology. We don’t know what’s going on.” [end]


Op-Ed Contributors The Winter of the Monarch By LINCOLN P. BROWER and HOMERO ARIDJIS Published: March 15, 2013

[Excerpted] Today the winter monarch colonies, which are found west of Mexico City, in an area of about 60 miles by 60 miles, are a pitiful remnant of their former splendor. The aggregate area covered by the colonies dwindled from an average of 22 acres between 1994 and 2003 to 12 acres between 2003 and 2012. This year’s area, which was reported on Wednesday, hit a record low of 2.9 acres.
Reasons for the decline are multiple, including: out-of-control ecotourism, extreme weather and diversion of water. Two threats loom above all others: the destruction of breeding habitat in the United States because of the widespread use of powerful herbicides and genetically engineered crops, and illegal logging in Mexico’s high-elevation Oyamel fir forests.[end]


Wall Street Journal August 4, 2012 p. A3 by Jim Carlton
[Excerpt] In the Kenai River, which threads through tourist destinations such as Kenai and Soldotna, 11,300 kings began a summer run this year, down 73% from 42, 297 in 2011 and one-tenth the 10-year high of 114,827 in 2005, according to estimates by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game...

Dismal runs also triggered the closure of king-salmon fishing this year on the Yukon and Kushokwim rivers..."

Majia here: The article quotes a consulting fisheries scientist who claims that "Never before have such widespread closures and fishery disruptions been seen throughout the entire state."


An article addressing the bee collapse is here: Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms March 28 2013 by M. Wines NYT

[excerpted] BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. 

A conclusive explanation so far has escaped scientists studying the ailment, colony collapse disorder, since it first surfaced around 2005. But beekeepers and some researchers say there is growing evidence that a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, incorporated into the plants themselves, could be an important factor. The pesticide industry disputes that. But its representatives also say they are open to further studies to clarify what, if anything, is happening. [end]


Half of SoCal sea lion pups have died this winter:

[excerpted]"NOAA has declared the death of half of the California sea lions born in rookeries of the Southern California coast this winter "an unusual mortality event." The number of starving sea lions washing up on LA County beaches is up more than 1,000 percent from 2012."

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