But people from all demographic groups across the country are facing a much more frightening real-life situation: the disappearance of millions of bees. This winter, in more than 20 states, beekeepers have noticed that their honeybees have mysteriously vanished, leaving behind no clues as to their whereabouts. There are no tell-tale dead bodies either inside colonies or out in front of hives, where bees typically deposit corpses of dead nestmates.
What’s more, the afflicted colonies tend to be full of honey, pollen and larvae, as if all of the workers in the nest precipitously decamped on some prearranged signal. Beekeepers are up in arms — last month, leaders in the business met with research scientists and government officials in Florida to figure out why the bees are disappearing and how to stop the losses. Nobody had any answers.
Honeybees are the major commercial pollinator for, well, whatever you eat that isn't wind-pollinated (pretty much anything from any plant that's not a grass) in the US. Even some cattle feed is bee-pollinated. The populations were already under pressure from parasites, disease, & pesticide pollution.
This is, no joke, a threat to the survival of our food supply. If this becomes a new trend, on top of the overfishing of the oceans, we're screwed. "End of civilization looms, join a Cthulhu cult," screwed.
I'm through being nice to you people. Let me be perfectly blunt. Daniel Quinn never, in the Ishmael/B books, offered any solutions (except for that fuzzy romantic "tribalism" crap). He was just trying to get you to see outside the comforting lies of conventional wisdom. But in the end, when he started saying, "We're in the hands of the gods," (Which book was that? Providence?) he let apathy sneak back in. We don't need nihilism, or a peaceful embrace of our own irrelevance. We need to be willing to fight for the future of our planet.
And what or whom do we need to fight? Our fellow human beings, partly; those who oppose consercation. But also the threat of so much beauty being destroyed through our ignorance & laziness. I'm pretty ignorant & lazy myself. But we need to be ... we need to be like Dmitri Bilenkin characters, who see the pain & difficulty of the world, & work to fix things because we have no other moral option.