Biologist Edward O. Wilson Warns of a Bleak World Without Bugs

By Adrian Higgins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 30, 2007; Page C01 

"It's a bad thing when any species is at risk," Wilson said of [colony collapse disorder].  "But in a sense it's the Katrina of entomology." It has brought a public awareness to the plight of pollinators, which Wilson calls "the heart of the biosphere."

Wilson, winner of two Pulitzers for his books on invertebrate life, lectured to more than

200 like-minded bug lovers as part of National Pollinator Week events and celebrations.

Laurie Davies Adams, director of the Coevolution Institute in San Francisco, told the audience that the plight of the pollinators has drawn bipartisan support in Congress with the introduction of proposals this week that would increase funding for pollinator research and for encouraging farmers, ranchers and others to establish and conserve pollinator habitat. Wilson sees a "tipping point in this country in terms of environmental awareness and concern. This is encouraging."

Exactly 250 years after the Swedish scientist Carolus Linnaeus gave science the means to catalogue the living Earth, with his system of scientific sorting and naming, "we may have discovered at a crude guess 10 percent of the life forms on Earth," said Wilson. "We are flying blind in many aspects of preserving the environment, and that's why we are so surprised when a species like the honeybee starts to crash, or an insect we don't want, the Asian tiger mosquito or the fire ant, appears in our midst." In other words: Start thinking about the bugs.

Read the entire article here:

Also see Edward O. Wilson's TED Talk video here

As E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TED Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of all creatures that 
we learn more about our biosphere -- and build a networked encyclopedia of all the world's 
knowledge about life. 

He calls the honeybee a keystone species and the heart of the biosphere!