Little losses… or big losses?

Diego Horcajada, December 2018. 2 min read.

Ever since I was a kid, I was always attracted to nature (thanks, Dad). My mother laughs when she recollects the time when I was 4 and she found one of the drawers in my room full of insects and snail trails. Another time, when I was a bit older, I came home with some baby rats, convinced they were weasels (thanks for your patience Mom). I brought home many lost dogs and cats, baby birds fallen from their nest, frogs, and any kind of little bugs I found in my exploratory trips in the parks and forests near home.

I am sure I was no different from other kids, so I assume my experience might not be very different from yours.

Last week I read an article (The Insect Apocalypse Is Here) in the New York Times Magazine that made me realize I have been witnessing biodiversity losses around me for long time. Even though I have always been attracted by the wonders of nature, the alarm never sounded in my mind. I perceived those losses as very “little losses” with no direct consequences in my surroundings or my life. In some cases, the biodiversity losses were even pleasant… after all, who would be concerned with having less mosquitoes bothering us during the summer nights? 

After reading this article from Brooke Jarvis, I felt the need to write about the “little losses” I have been witnessing. Perhaps this post will sound the alarm in those who still perceive those “little losses” as irrelevant.

Here are some of the “little losses” I have noticed… and maybe you have as well:

  • Along the Mediterranean coast, I notice fewer mosquitoes at night, and fewer ants invading the kitchen.
  • Swimming in the Mediterranean today, I rarely see sepias, hermit crabs and many other species I used to see when I was a teenager.
  • It is becoming more difficult to find frogs and other amphibians in the rivers or ponds near cities.
  • Walking through fields with tall grass, I no longer see grasshoppers and other insects jumping around. 
  • Every year it is harder to catch trout like I use to when I was younger.

I am sure you have been noticing as well these “little losses”. In fact, those are not little losses at all, but rather huge losses. Our entire food system is at risk of collapse. I invite you to read the New York Times Magazine article and think if there is something we can do to stop this apocalypse.

One of the major causes of loss of biodiversity loss is the extensive use of pesticides. Buying organic might be more expensive, but we should see it as an investment in our future to prevent more losses.

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