Thursday, May 24, 2007

Loss of Bees Revisited: The LUC principle

A follow up article from der Spiegel magazine, which was thoughtfully sent to me by my cousin in Toronto, gives a German perspective on the bees issue for those who are interested. The problem may very well be the result of a concept that my friend Al from Detroit likes o call " The law of Unintended Consequences" or as I like to shorten to LUC.
I am unaware where this concept originated and would appreciate any learned feedback on its origins or authorship.

With LUC in play, whatever we attempt, however good intentioned, often times creates other more serious problems than the ones we are trying to solve. This is especially true when it has to do with modifying naturally developed processes. In our quest to do it faster or better we change those naturally occurring processes through some scientifically inspired manipulation and upset the balance of nature. This balance of nature is an evolutionary development that has taken thousands of years to be refined and we in our scientific hubris believe we can unlock the secrets of this delicately balanced ecosystem and somehow make it better. This is not to say that important strides cannot be made with careful and patient study of the various problems at hand. It is however a symptom of today's need to achieve at any cost, and at record speed, that we find ourselves prematurely introducing new means and methods that have not had the careful and thoughtful scrutiny or qualified peer review that is necessary . This is a beautiful example of the LUC principle in action. It is a symptom of what Thomas Friedman calls the "flattening of the world". In our rush to compete in this flattened and highly competitive world, we accelerate the rate at which we introduce new and inadequately tested technologies. The recent rash of pharmaceutical recalls for their unintended side effects bespeaks loudly to this trend. Who knows the lasting effects of the genetically modified meat and poultry and dairy we now ingest. Most of the time we are uninformed about the nature of the products we are sold. Truth in packaging is far from truthful. We must tread cautiously in these areas.

In this case the jury in out on the cause for the actual, some would say catastrophic, reduction in the bee population. Reductions of 25% to in some cases 75% of bee colonies used for crop pollination in both the United States and Europe are now being studied. The suspected causes range from genetically engineered crops, to cell phone tower transmissions, to parasites that are enabled by immune deficiencies caused by the ingestion of DNA altered crop pollen. One thing is for sure LUC is in full swing.

Here is a link to the der Spiegel article :,1518,473166,00.html

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