The Silent Summer: Why are Insects Dying?

The Silent Summer: Why are Insects Dying?

2019, Nature  -   10 Comments
Ratings: 8.27/10 from 64 users.

For well over 400 million years, insects have played an essential role in the evolution of our ecosystem. While many may take them for granted, their extinction could spell catastrophe for the planet at large. Sadly, this scenario is currently playing out across the globe. The Silent Summer: Why Are Insects Dying? explores our dependence upon the insect population, the factors that are leading to their rapid decline, and what their extinction could mean for the future of our world as we know it.

Insects constitute up to 80% of our planet's species. They pollinate many of our plants, trees and crops, keep our soil well fertilized, and provide a primary source of nourishment for other animals in the food chain. If the population was severely compromised or disappeared altogether, our ecosystem and food chain would collapse. Like a wicked game of dominoes, one food chain after another would perish from malnourishment - from birds to bears to humans. Plant life would die without hope of resurrection. Our ability to grow our own food would become untenable.

There are a number of factors that place our insect populations in peril, including climate change, light pollution, industrialization and the widespread use of harmful pesticides. The film features insights from a variety of subjects who are attempting to weed out the root causes of insect extinction and uncover new solutions to combat it, including experts in farming, agriculture, and entomology.

The filmmakers visit a laboratory where scientists are studying the long-term impact of pesticides. They spend time with conservationists who are busy crafting special habitats - a kind of insect-based Noah's Ark - where insects can find refuge. Farmers illustrate how the waning bee population affects the nutritional value of their crops. At every stop, we're reminded of the stakes involved, and are urged to support bold initiatives that promote increased biodiversity. The experts believe that we are destined to suffer a disastrous fate unless we assume crisis mode right now.

Produced by the DW Documentary series, The Silent Summer: Why Are Insects Dying? is an engaging and informative work that's well worth checking out.

Directed by: Christoph Würzburger

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Arctic Fox
2 months ago

Sadly I’ve noticed a rapid decline in bird species on the coast of British Columbia during the past decade. This phenomenon is worrisome and relates to the astonishing paucity of insects. Climate change is an excuse the greedy corporate world uses to “explain” this condition. But pesticide and insecticide use by companies that own massive areas of arable land is the main factor. Perhaps the future belongs to our First Nations, the people who used to live by hunting and fishing and gathering. Revenge of the Aboriginal?

Claudius Pereira
6 months ago

Rich corporates producing millions of tons of POISON every day. THEY are killing the insects worldwide I see SAME disaster in South Africa. But they blame me - Joe Soap- for driving a car and climate change nonsense.

11 months ago

The German ornithologist in this video, Peter Berthold is is absolutely spot on. I'm only 59, and I'm seeing at least a 70% reduction in all insects around my home in St. Paul, MN. Farmers don't own their farms, anymore. They are, increasingly, employees or contractors for Wall Street corporate farms, and these corporate farms kill everything that doesn't make them money, too efficiently. Bill Gates is now the largest owner of farm land in The U.S., followed by CNN founder, Ted Turner. We don't have so many farmer/owners in The U.S. as we used to have. We have corporate farmers, and their time clock punching sharecroppers.

11 months ago

"Free trade" such as NAFTA, caused small farmers to go extinct, and they took the insects with them. Wall Street's corporate farms are too efficient at raising monocultures and killing weeds and the bugs that feed on them. The WTO is to blame, most of all.

2 years ago

Capitalist private property is the killer

3 years ago

unfortunately, they are not dying fast enough, i would so like to be present when humanity extinction starts on global scale

3 years ago

Insects, plants, trees and all things living is effected by the "Climate Changers" as in those who bring us "Climate Change" the purveyors of "Geoengineering" Climate Manipulation" "Weather Warfare" and the sordid cocktail of chemicals utilized to exert the effect upon the weather. In turn those chemicals, nano particulate plastics permeate the air, soil and water. In turn, poisoning all things living.

The number of chemical compounds is large, but the largest single element is Aluminum.
A known neurotoxin. Pesticides are a significant cause of insect death. "Geoengineering "is by far the largest single cause of insects and Humans "Lung Cancers"
The policy makers are well aware of the source causes of insect declines, but fear the consequences from those in the real power for trying to stop it.

winter andresen
3 years ago

I wish stinkbugs and houseflies would become extinct

3 years ago

the start of depopulation leading to humans

Linda Dadey
3 years ago

Birds and insects go hand in hand but property is becoming scarce. The birds are disappearing right before our eyes.