Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nature & Capitalism

The wooden stake that has always been lodged in the heart of the environmentalist movement is the creativity of capitalism, which, along with the social entrepreneurism of the nonprofit (and even sometimes the government) sector, to address stewardship problems arising in the continuance of nature’s riches to benefit humanity, whether it is the development of hatchery technology to enhance the salmon's productivity or cattle breeding and feeding technology to enhance the beef on the table.

That is the case with the recent situation with bees, as written about in the Wall Street Journal.

An excerpt.

“The last week of June is National Pollinator Week. Birds, bats and wild insects all pollinate the flowering plants around us. The most celebrated pollinator is the honeybee—and for good reason. Close to 2.5 million hives of bees are managed by fewer than 2,000 commercial beekeepers, who take their bees on the road each year to pollinate blueberries, almonds, cranberries and a cornucopia of other fruits and vegetables. Without this cooperation of beekeeper, bee and farmer, our national diet would be less nutritious and less tasty.

“As even casual observers now know, however, all is not perfect in the world of bees. Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, is their most recent scourge. Over the past four years, approximately 30% of U.S. honeybees alive in the fall failed to survive to pollinate blossoms in the spring. While widespread die-offs due to disease are as old as beekeeping, dating back to the 17th century at least, this one appears worse than most.

“What is truly remarkable, then, is that the pollinating services of bees, and the fruits and vegetables of their labors, have remained steady in the face of CCD. In light of this fact, we propose a celebration—to pay homage to the resilience of honeybees and to the business acumen and perseverance of commercial beekeepers.”