Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Insects Must Be Saved to Prevent Collapse of Humanity, Top Scientist Warns

Science
Insects Must Be Saved to Prevent Collapse of Humanity, Top Scientist Warns
Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, said humanity "should save insects, if not for their sake, then for our own sake." Gerald Bray / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

A leading scientist warned Tuesday that the rapid decline of insects around the world poses an existential threat to humanity and action must be taken to rescue them "while we still have time."


Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and one of the world's top entomologists, said in an interview with The Guardian that the importance of insects to the planet should spur humans to take immediate action against one of the major causes of insect decline — the climate crisis.

"Insects are the glue in nature," said Sverdrup-Thygeson. "We should save insects, if not for their sake, then for our own sake."

Falling insect populations around the world is cause for serious alarm, Sverdrup-Thygeson said, given the enormous impact these tiny creatures have on the global ecosystem.

"I have read pretty much every study in English and I haven't seen a single one where entomologists don't believe the main message that a lot of insect species are definitely declining," said Sverdrup-Thygeson. "When you throw all the pesticides and climate change on top of that, it is not very cool to be an insect today."

If this decline continues unabated, Sverdrup-Thygeson warned, soon "it will not be fun to be a human on this planet either."

"[I]t will make it even more difficult than today to get enough food for the human population of the planet, to get good health and freshwater for everybody," said Sverdrup-Thygeson. "That should be a huge motivation for doing something while we still have time."

"You can pull out some threads," she added, "but at some stage the whole fabric unravels and then we will really see the consequences."

Sverdrup-Thygeson's call to action came after the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a comprehensive global biodiversity report, which warned that human activity has pushed a million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction.

According to the report, "available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10 percent [of insect species] being threatened" by the climate crisis.

"It is not too late to make a difference," said IPBES chair Sir Robert Watson, "but only if we start now at every level from local to global."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

This fall brings three new environmental movies. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet | Official Trailer

This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice walk out and rally at the company's headquarters to demand that leaders take action on climate change in Seattle, Washington on Sept. 20, 2019. JASON REDMOND / AFP via Getty Images

The world's largest online retailer is making it slightly easier for customer to make eco-conscious choices.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Moms Clean Air Force members attend a press conference hosted by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announcing legislation to ban chlorpyrifos on July 25, 2017. Moms Clean Air Force

The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a risk assessment for toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos Tuesday that downplayed its effects on children's brains and may be the first indication of how the administration's "secret science" policy could impact public health.

Read More Show Less
Evacuees wait to board a bus as they are evacuated by local and state government officials before the arrival of Hurricane Laura on August 26, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Maria Trimarchi and Sarah Gleim

If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.

Read More Show Less
In 'My Octopus Teacher,' Craig Foster becomes fascinated with an octopus and visits her for hundreds of days in a row. Netflix

In his latest documentary, My Octopus Teacher, free diver and filmmaker Craig Foster tells a unique story about his friendship and bond with an octopus in a kelp forest in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been labeled "the love story that we need right now" by The Cut.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch