The Feb. 24 editorial (“Our View: Climate is top concern in CMP powerline case”) addresses climate change, a controversial issue about which much has been said.

There are two other important environmental issues about which little has been reported: ocean acidification and rapidly declining insect populations.

Ocean acidification, caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, imperils those creatures at the bottom of the oceanic food chain, and thus all sea life. Think about life without seafood. The decline of insect populations is something that many may have noticed. Time was when our windshields and radiators were covered in summer with dead bugs, but no more.

The reason is clear: Insect populations are decreasing at an alarming rate. In Germany, for example, scientists saw a decline of more than 75 percent in insect biomass across 63 nature areas between 1989 and 2016. The issue is worldwide. In 2014 it was estimated that there had been a 45 percent decline in invertebrate populations, most of which are insects. While some may look forward to a blackfly- and mosquito-free summer, insects are a major part of the foundation of the food chain. Eliminate insects and the rest of us will soon follow.

It is time to move from carbon-based fuels to other sources of energy and to determine the causes of insect population decline and mitigate them. With insect decline climate change is a likely factor, but a more immediate one may be widespread use of incredibly potent insecticides. What we as individuals can do is to raise the question with our representatives in government, minimize our carbon footprint, and reduce or eliminate our own use of insecticides. It seems clear to me that it is time to call the question, time to stop equivocating, time to act.


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