The Socialist

The Socialist 25 October 2017

Tories punish the poor

The Socialist issue 968

Socialists must back Catalan struggle for self-determination


1967 Abortion Act reflected social changes


Kurdish referendum declared illegal


Universal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

Fearful Tories mull borrowing to build

Kids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

Profit-driven pesticide use now threatens life

Profiteering NHS counter-fraud firm in alleged case of... fraud

Them & us

What we saw: May on Facebook


Aslef members must reject poor Southern Rail offer

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

NSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

Manchester lecturers walk out


Hear from socialists involved in struggles the world over at the Socialism 2017 Saturday rally

Angry east London residents organise against threat to leisure centre

Trade unionists march to defend 650 local jobs

Bad Art's Leicester event

Storm Brian cannot withstand working-class anger


Well-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

Film - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

New musical on life of Castro

The Socialist inbox

 
 
 
 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/968/26349

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 25 October 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Profit-driven pesticide use now threatens life

Flying insects

Flying insects   (Click to enlarge)

Mira Glavardanov, North London Socialist Party

Since 1989, three-quarters of the flying insect population might have disappeared.

The decline of bees and butterflies has been known for some time. But this new research from Germany is startling.

Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth. Given their important position in our ecosystems, one researcher warns their decline in German nature reserves means we may be "on course for ecological Armageddon."

Insects are important for many reasons. They pollinate flowers and crops. They provide food for birds and other species - it is not surprising that the number of birds is in decline too. Some are predators on pests. And they also play the role of "Earth's cleaners," as decomposers of dead matter.

Without insects, ecosystems could collapse and advanced life on Earth become unsustainable.

What is killing these most versatile species? Climate change could be a factor. But probably the biggest culprit - itself a driver of climate change - is industrial agriculture and pesticides.

Industrial farmland has no place for wildlife. Pesticides kill the bugs that make the soil live - they kill pests, but also predators of pests. To make up for the loss of soil fertility, more chemicals are applied. Industrial agriculture is one massive treadmill of damaging chemical use.

There are more ecological ways of farming. But capitalism doesn't care about insects, life or sustainability. It only cares about profit.

The chemical giants have been fighting tooth and nail against agricultural chemical bans. Syngenta has been fighting the EU's partial 'neonicotinoid' ban. The news is just in that Monsanto is suing the US state of Arkansas for limiting use of its 'dicamba' herbicides.

But it's not just farming. Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, against which there is mounting evidence of harm to human and wildlife health, still sits happily on the shelf in every garden centre for home use. Councils also use it to spray our streets, parks, and schoolyards.

Under socialism, the big corporations - including chemical firms - would be nationalised, and what they produce democratically planned. A socialist model of agriculture, that cares for the real needs of people and the wellbeing of our planet, would have no place for mass application of destructive poisons that only benefit profits.

  • Socialism 2017 (11 and 12 November, central London)
  • Discussions include: 'Environmental crisis: a working class issue'

    Find out more and book tickets at socialism2017.net

    In this issue


    What we think

    Socialists must back Catalan struggle for self-determination


    Women

    1967 Abortion Act reflected social changes


    International socialist news and analysis

    Kurdish referendum declared illegal


    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Universal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

    Fearful Tories mull borrowing to build

    Kids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

    Profit-driven pesticide use now threatens life

    Profiteering NHS counter-fraud firm in alleged case of... fraud

    Them & us

    What we saw: May on Facebook


    Workplace news and analysis

    Aslef members must reject poor Southern Rail offer

    Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

    NSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

    Manchester lecturers walk out


    Socialist Party reports and campaigns

    Hear from socialists involved in struggles the world over at the Socialism 2017 Saturday rally

    Angry east London residents organise against threat to leisure centre

    Trade unionists march to defend 650 local jobs

    Bad Art's Leicester event

    Storm Brian cannot withstand working-class anger


    Socialist readers' comments and reviews

    Well-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

    Film - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

    New musical on life of Castro

    The Socialist inbox


     

    Home   |   The Socialist 25 October 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook