If we continue to destroy the world’s bees, we will destroy ourselves. Bees are vital to the agricultural cycle. They flit from one blossom to another, pollinating the plants that feed us.
Yet – in America at least – politicians are reluctant to ban the poison that has already wiped out so much of the bee population and threatens to eliminate the rest.
Why? Money of course. the global corporations that manufacture the bee-killing poison – and the agricultural conglomerates that use it – spend millions lobbying Congress and contributing to politicians’ campaigns.
Fortunately, there are people in America who will do what the politicians won’t. An organization called Friends of the Earth, for example, has been organizing massive protests to persuade retailers to take the nasty stuff off their shelves.
Friends of the Earth U.S. is partnering with Beelieve, Beyond Pesticides, Beyond Toxics, Center for Food Safety, CREDO Mobilize, Friends of the Earth Canada, Northwest Center for Pesticide Alternatives, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network, SumOfUs and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to mobilize citizens in a nationwide effort to save the bees.
More than half a million Americans signed petitions demanding that Lowe’s and Home Depot stop selling the bee-killing insecticide and plants pre-treated with the stuff.
Today, I received an email from SumOfUs informing me that Lowe’s and Home Depot have agreed to stop selling neonics, the popular pesticide resposnible for killing the bees. The email included a request to sign a petition demanding that Ace Hardware and True Value ban the poison, too.
You can imagine how quickly I signed it.
Increasingly it seems that if we in America want to get anything done, we have to do it ourselves. We cannot count on the politicians to represent our interests. With the obscene amounts of cash that politicians receive from corporations and other special interests, America has become a plutocracy – a country ruled by the rich.
It is now up to the public – that’s us – to fight for ourselves. And the most powerful force we possess is our buying power.
I often buy stuff at the Ace Hardware store up the road. It’s a few miles closer than either Home Depot or Lowe’s. But until I hear Ace has stopped selling neonics, I’ll be driving those extra few miles when I need to fix something in our home.
If money is going to rule our society, I will spend my dollars where they can do the most good. If I know, for example, that the Koch Brothers produce a certain brand of paper towels, I won’t buy it – not even when it’s on sale. And if I am informed that a corporation advertises on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program, I will do my best to avoid their products.
With more than 300 million consumers in America, imagine how powerful a force for good we could be if we all adopted this approach to our shopping. And imagine how much muscle individual investors could add by refusing to buy shares in corporations that cause harm to society – gun manufacturers for example.
The way things are going politically, it may be the only way we the people have of protecting our interests.