Target: Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland
Goal: Praise ban on pesticides, which harm essential insect species.
Pesticides found to cause harm to bee populations have been banned for use on city property in Portland, Oregon. Neonicotinoid insecticides are a relatively new type of pest control which disrupts the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. These types of chemicals have been found to remain in water and soil for extended periods of time, and cause harm to pollinator insects such as bees and wasps.
While many humans may consider bees and wasps to be a pest, they are actually a keystone species in ecosystems across the world. As they fly from bloom to bloom gathering nectar for food, they transfer pollen between flowers, which is necessary to the fruit production process. It is estimated that one-third of the world’s food supply relies on bees for pollination. Without these essential creatures, modern mass-agriculture operations would suffer, resulting in a worldwide shortage of produce and dietary staples.
Bees and other pollinators are currently facing serious environmental threats, with honeybee populations being cut in half since the 1940’s. Scientists suspect that many factors could be contributing to the decline, including parasites, pathogens, environmental changes, as well as chemicals such as neonicotinoid pesticides. In recent years, researchers have observed an alarming acceleration in the decline of bee colonies, a phenomenon referred to as colony collapse disorder.
It is imperative that humanity works to undo the harm it has done to nature before serious environmental issues become problematic to human existence. Portland’s move will not only be beneficial to bees and other insects, but will help sustain the area’s local foods movement. Sign the petition below to thank Portland for implementing an innovative new strategy to combat the mass die-offs of bees.
Dear Mayor Charlie Hales,
Portland recently announced a ban on neonicotinoid insecticides, chemicals which disrupt the central nervous system of insects causing paralysis and death. These pesticides have been found to adversely affect bees, wasps, and other insects which are essential to the pollination of plants. Without these bugs, an estimated one-third of the world’s food supply would be threatened.
Researchers are witnessing an alarming acceleration in mass bee colony die-offs, making it imperative that humans work to reduce their impact on these essential insects. We, the undersigned, praise Portland’s forward-thinking ban on pesticides detrimental to bees.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alvesgaspar via Creative Commons