Guest essay by Jim Steele
Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University
A recent Guardian article “Wild bees on the decline in key US agricultural ecosystems” adds further support to my analysis that debunked an earlier claim by Kerr 2015 that climate change had been killing wild bees. I had argued that an agricultural trend where increasing acreage of natural and agricultural habitats have been increasingly converted to corn for silage and biofuels in addition to the importation of exotic European diseases. Using corn for biofuel makes no sense in terms of CO2 reduction or energy efficiency, et due to global warming hysteria government agencies have subsidized the spread of corn fields. Corn is wind pollinated and provides no nectar resources for pollinators. Corn has been steadily replacing pollinator friendly wild plants and pollinator friendly agricultural plants like soybean.
Cornfields also require irrigation that has also increased the extraction of groundwater. Groundwater extraction has now been projected to raise sea level by 0.87 mm/year, accounting for 25% of the estimate current sea level rise.
According to the Guradian, “The study estimated that wild bee numbers diminished in 23% of the continental United States between 2008 and 2013 in a trend driven by conversion of their natural habitat into farmland including corn for biofuel production.” [Emphasis mine]
“The study followed a 2014 memorandum by Barack Obama creating a task force to study pollinator losses. The task force in May called for preserving wide swathes of pollinator habitats.”
Inappropriate biofuel subsidies are driven by CO2 alarmism. As I continue to warn, bad climate science will only lead to bad environmental stewardship!
Jim Steele is author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism