Decline of Species That Pollinate Poses a Threat to Global Food Supply, Report Warns Many pollinator species are facing extinction, including some 16 percent of vertebrates like birds and bats. nytimes.com|By John Schwartz

“The birds and the bees need help. Also, the butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles and bats. Without an international effort, a new report warns, increasing numbers of species that promote the growth of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of food each year face extinction.

The first global assessment of the threats to creatures that pollinate the world’s plants was released by a group affiliated with the United Nations on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The summary will be posted online Monday.

Pollinators, including some 20,000 species of wild bees, contribute to the growth of fruit, vegetables and many nuts, as well as flowering plants. Plants that depend on pollination make up 35 percent of global crop production volume with a value of as much as $577 billion a year. The agricultural system, for which pollinators play a key role, creates millions of jobs worldwide.”

Many pollinator species are facing extinction, including some 16 percent of vertebrates like birds and bats, according to the document.
nytimes.com|By John Schwartz

“Ships intentionally dump more engine oil and sludge into the oceans in the span of three years than that spilled in the Deepwater Horizon and Exxon Valdez accidents combined, ocean researchers say

Ian Urbina in the NYT writes: “Ships intentionally dump more engine oil and sludge into the oceans in the span of three years than that spilled in the Deepwater Horizon and Exxon Valdez accidents combined, ocean researchers say, and emit huge amounts of certain air pollutants, far more than all the world’s cars. Commercial fishing, much of it illegal, has so efficiently plundered marine stocks that the world’s population of predatory fish has declined by two thirds.”

Few places on earth are as free from legal oversight as the high seas. One ship has been among the most persistent offenders.
nytimes.com|By IAN URBINA