A Song for Songbirds

I read an article about a white-crowned sparrow that made me really sad. This story began several years ago when scientists from Shell and Bayer came up with a ‘clever’ idea to stop insects eating industrial crops. They created a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins work by disrupting neural transmission in the central nervous system of invertebrates, that is, they disrupt how the insect’s brain works causing it to be confused, unable to feed and it dies. This may seem like a good idea…

It wasn’t!

They only tested this neurotoxin in the laboratory.

When it was used out in the real world bees got infected with it and died. Songbirds, such as the white-crowned sparrow, snacked on seeds containing the neurotoxin which had been sown on farmland where they stopped to rest while migrating, and they died.

We live in an interconnected world. We need to re-learn how to think and how to think inter-connectedly. I spoke to a scientist recently and he said that we can’t do that because it’s too complex, which I find ironic coming from a smart scientific man.

The really sad thing for me is that we actually don’t need insecticides – all the research shows that crops grown naturally without insecticides in natural/organic systems will thrive. Yes some will be eaten by insects and some will be eaten by birds and the rest can be eaten by us.

We teach our children to share, maybe we should remember that as adults when it comes to the natural world we need to learn to share too.

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