Hope is not a good environmental plan. For years I hoped that James Lovelock was right and that the earth is its own kind of super-organism that wouldn’t allow itself to be perturbed by a little radiative forcing this way or that. But that hope came to nothing as the earth most clearly got hotter and hotter. The conservative approach to environmental problems is always the same: technology will save us. That isn’t completely loony. Technology usually does help. But just letting the free market take care of the environment is a recipe for disaster. Conservatives seem blind to the fact that the biggest part of past solutions to environmental problems has been governmental regulations. The truth is that the conservative plan for the future is hope: the hope that it will all work itself out.
Other than a few apiologist, the plan for the great drop in bee populations has been hope. And we really need a better plan. Whole Foods has put out the following image comparing our produce offerings today with what they would look like if bees went extinct. But even it underestimates the problem. It only shows first order effects. And that’s frightening enough:
The only thing that could make this worse is if we learned that colony collapse disorder is caused by something that the rich make a lot of money from. Because if that’s the case, we are doomed.