Arthropods. Hey, they help keep soil healthy. You know, soil, from which things grow. The Arthros include insects, mites, spiders and millipedes that dwell in soil, ranging in size from the microscopic to the fully visible to the naked eye. These creatures do a wide range of work, including shredding dead plant tissue, improving soil structure by burrowing, and controlling the number of other harmful soil organisms that may cause damage to crops. Creepy, crawly millipedes help the soil by breaking down dead material so it can be converted into organic matter by many of those other soil organisms. Their brethren in making soil healthy are single cell microscopic bacteria called protozoa, which are one-celled animals doing positive work, down and dirty work in soil, as well as the good ol’ earthworm. Earthworms are quite industrious invertebrates that shred plant residue, burrowing channels for roots and water to infiltrate and more! As thanks to the earthworm, they are often eaten by birds or impaled on a fisherman’s hook to lure fish to pounce on only to themselves be reeled in by said fisher-person, gutted and eaten. As Woody Allen once noted, such a food-chain that sees one thing eating another makes the world essentially one huge restaurant.
Speaking of restaurants, including the one called your personal kitchen/dining digs, a great service to what can end up on our plates is performed by the also instinctual hard-working honey bees. Having watermelon, blackberry pie, lemonade, olives, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, guacamole, peanut butter and jelly, anything with onions, or anything with tomatoes? Great, then send a note of appreciation to your local honey bee hive, because you aren’t eating any of those foods if the honey bee wasn’t around.
Heard about the “colony collapse” regarding such bees? It’s real. And it’s really serious, as one study by Northwest Honeybee Habitat Restoration showed a loss of 44% by beekeeper’s colonies. One significant contributing factor of their endangerment is neonicotinoid pesticides. Science shows there are a number of different outcomes to the bees after exposure as they do what comes natural to them as pollinators of fruits, vegetables and much more that we humans take for granted; but the pesticide causes bees to become confused and unable to navigate back to their hives. Unable to find their way home, they die. Even if the exposed bees are able to find their way home, covered in contaminated pollen, they then contaminate the entire colony.
So, let’s hear it for Ma Nature’s natural order of things!
And now let’s hiss and boo the human element that, even beyond the honey bee situation, may contribute to a la fin du monde. You know, the climate science that bodes ill for Mother Nature and our planet? And if not that outcome, which is on course and not helped by science-deniers, and our current EPA basically defunding itself and possible palliatives if not a complete recovery from greenhouse gases, shrinking polar ice caps, depletion of the vital ozone layer, there’s our “doomsday”nuclear clock, that thanks to the blustering and dick-measuring between President Strangelove and Kim Jun Un of North Korea, has now been set at two-and-a-half minutes til midnight. If the clock strikes midnight, then Mutual Assured Destruction will bring a different but equally deadly contamination upon honey bees and the whole lot of life on our sweet, swinging sphere.
In either of these disturbing, but real possible outcomes, there will be no restaurants serving much of anything, eventually.
As Sir Isaac Newton once said: I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.
And consider this: Newton died in 1727.