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« LWEC Report Card: A microcosm of global warming exaggeration and errors | Main | Climate policy and the poor »

Environmentalists trashing the environment, part 324

One of the greens' most successful campaigns in recent years has been to persuade EU bureaucrats to ban the class of pesticides known as the neonicotinoids. This was pretty much the precautionary principle in its pure form, with only anecdotal evidence that there was a problem.

Unfortunately quite a lot of systematic evidence has now been produced which seems to show that there is not actually a problem with bee deaths at all.

The commission’s moratorium vote, which took effect throughout the EU in December 2013, came despite contradictory field evidence—and well before the release of a spate of new studies suggesting that bee health is now improving globally. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in May that bee deaths dropped more than 25 percent this past winter, and that the overall population has increased 13 percent since 2008.

According to the latest report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, bee populations have been steadily increasing over the past decade and have hit a record high, with the number of hives increasing even in Europe.

And the result. Well, it's what usually happen when environmentalists are involved - the environment gets trashed.

To control pests, European farmers faced with the neonics ban are now being forced to turn to more toxic chemicals: organophosphates and pyrethroids, known pollinator destructors, according to a January study in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The researchers expressed particular concern that patchwork bans and moratoriums not supported by science could result in stressing bee colonies even more, leaving bees in a worse state than before the EU commission decided to intervene to save them.

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Reader Comments (22)

The ban on neonicotinoids was just part of Green chemophonia. Colony collapse had happened in areas where no neonicotinoids were being used, and wasn't happening in areas where they were being used.

It was utterly ludicrous.

Jun 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Hammond

GREENPEACE: We had to destroy the World in order to save it.

Jun 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

If you want a simple model to explain Greens, try this one. They hate humanity even more than they hate 'the environment', and their collective IQ is in single figures. All models being wrong, this one is no exception. But it can be useful to reduce the incidence of banging one's head off the wall while wailing 'what were they thinking?' when confronted with green idiocies.

Jun 6, 2014 at 2:39 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Most bee keepers would tell you that a long warmish wet winter is far more of a problem than pesticides, as are the many diseases that bees have to cope with apart from Varroa. For bumbles, it's still likely that habitat loss through farming, garden decking and the obsession with tidying up 'waste' ground are the most significant factors.

I have also wondered if the inexorable spread of badgers has been a factor, they really do like to dig up bumble nests to get at the grubs.

Jun 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Crook

I am confident that the world army of green-obsessed vacuous celebrities will be able to sort this one out. They do so much good with their carefully thought out pronouncements on the environment.

Jun 6, 2014 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Similar to what they did with DDT

Lets pretend DDT is dangerous and use the highly dubious work of Rachel Carson (among others). Make it difficult to use by getting it banned in the US by saying its possibly carcinogenic (precautionary principle in action). Let millions of children die from malaria. Pat themselves on the back for saving the planet!

Can't help loving those saintly environmentalists

Jun 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Doesn't every creature synthesize nicotinic acid? when it's in food it's called Niacin, or isn't this comment relevant?

Jun 6, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRightwinggit

For some reason, if a thing has been around for long enough, it stops being a "chemical". Someone I know refused to let her children be treated with anti-lice solution because it was a "chemical", and so would undoubtably give them cancer. Of course, the old-fashioned, "organic" defense against headlice was turpentine. Nuff said...

Jun 6, 2014 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterUncle Gus

Richard North covered it very well here:

As a farmer, I'm in a right panic about growing oilseed rape this summer. My agronomist tells me it'll need three passes through it with something far more horrible like cypermethrin if I'm to get it to grow away from the insect pests. Passes that would not be needed with neon'oid seed dressing.

Jun 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

Why put up with all this EU foolishness? Why not just vote Ukip?

Jun 6, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiggerjock

The EU parliament has little power, all the power is in an institution called the EU Comission, which does not get
elected democratically but is put in place by Merkel and co.

All the governments have ceded power to this institute, in exchange for further cementing their keep in their own countries: They can now safely off load all the nasty things to Europe and say it is not their fault.

So if you are happy to have voted in the EU elections, it is the equivalent of having been allowed to stand along the avenue and been allowed to wave/ wave not your little fans when a Limousine drove by with a few indefinitely entitled turds in them.

We are not that different from the middle ages . In fact I think they had more frequently power changes then, than now.

Jun 6, 2014 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

Why put up with all this EU foolishness? Why not just vote Ukip?

Jun 6, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiggerjock

Because UKIP comes with other right wing policies unacceptable to most of the UK electorate.

Jun 6, 2014 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

The chemistry lecturer who supervised my undergraduate project work was also an apiarist. A fine human and a superb teacher.

Jun 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Bloody hell EM you've said something sensible. If UKIP could combine its popular positions on Europe, uncontrolled mass immigration and climate with more liberal policies on general social issues it could be a real threat next year.

Jun 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Entropic man

Why not just vote Ukip?

Because UKIP comes with other right wing policies unacceptable to most of the UK electorate.

Not as far as I can see. I think that's just a smear from the press, who are trying to portray them as another National Front. Besides, their voting figures suggest that quite a lot of the electorate like them, and that it's cross-party.

The main problem that UKIP has is that they don't really have any policies at all. They are anti-Europe and want to leave the EU - so far, so good - but beyond that they really don't know what they want. They haven't even worked out a coherent way of leaving Europe, which you would have thought would be an issue of considerable importance to them...

Jun 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Both 'John Shade' and 'Dodgy Geezer' +1

EM -100


Jun 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterHamish McDougal

DG, I think that is true, as far it goes.
I confess I don't bother following much politics other than what gets covered at places like BH, but I recall Farage saying he had no intentions of wishing to govern, merely to be a protest vote.

While the other parties manage to get things badly wrong as far as the electorate are concerned, then I consider them a valuable sharp stick.

Jun 6, 2014 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Hamish McDougal

I would only qualify as a troll if this site were itself right wing. Perhaps you should check with BH before making any such assumption.

Jun 6, 2014 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

The bees in my garden this year seem not only plentiful but in rude health...

Jun 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

The remaining gullible are still believing the media characterizations of UKIP I see.
Fortunately the gullible population is self-reducing as reality falsifies the narrative.

Jun 7, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Oh, don't worry, you qualify. In spades.

Jun 7, 2014 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterHamish McDougal

"According to the latest report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, bee populations have been steadily increasing over the past decade and have hit a record high, with the number of hives increasing even in Europe."

Does this report actually exist? I can't seem to find any evidence of the above statement.

Jun 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterColin Short

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