The Hostility of the Modern American Environment

According to this report in Time (yes, Time—I get lazy sometimes, reading-wise, okay?) honey bees in East Africa are doing better than their North American counterparts, mainly because they are less poisoned by pesticides, less restricted nutritionally by mono-crops, and moved around less:

What’s protected the Kenyan honey bees? African honeybees rarely encounter the sorts of pesticides that are in heavy use in American farms—and which pose a clear danger to American bees. The African bees also generally stay in one place, while the biggest honeybee keepers in the U.S. will move their colonies thousands of miles for major events like the California almond tree pollination, which requires an astounding 60% of all hives in the U.S. Without those additional stressors, the Kenyan honeybees seem capable of thriving even in the presence of dangerous pests.

The author of said report concludes: “As I wrote in our TIME cover story on the subject last year, it’s as if the modern American environment itself is hostile to the health of honeybees.”

Yes, it is as if industrial capitalism is hostile to the health of honeybees—and all living beings. Key insight.

But okay, since I’m often criticized for not acknowledging things that are going well, I’ll admit that this and similar reports are needed—and the more the better (why else would I write this blog if I didn’t think so?). But, as we all know, no amount of evidence, and no amount of publication of that evidence, is going to influence American (global) corporations to change course. We know the EPA won’t intervene, because it’s mostly headed by former CEOs, from companies like Monsanto and other upstanding stewards of the environment.

To think that the publication of evidence (“speaking out”, as the vague parlance goes) will move the needle in any significant way, in terms of corporations ceasing their wholesale destruction of the living earth, you would need to believe the following:

1. These corporations don’t already know this evidence, i.e. they don’t meticulously study their production process.

2. The heads of these corporations care about the consequences of their actions (those that don’t relate to profit, anyway).

3. The government is independent of these corporations.

4. The government has the power to influence these corporations according to the public will (or even a simple majority of citizens).

At which question did you stop reading due to spitting out your coffee over laughter? C’mon—we all know that nobody cares what you think unless you’re rich.


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