An Early Autumn, a Summer Without Insects
Something's wrong. Since the first day of August the temperature has not risen out of the seventies. The days are cool, the nights crisp, so you need a blanket, sometimes two, to be comfortable. The high school and college football players are loving it. But it's not natural.
Each year we have had fewer insects until now it is approaching the zero level. Since the weather warmed up in April, Jackie has seen three houseflies. I've seen one. The moths and millers that used to gather on the balcony at night, drawn to the window next to my reading lamp, have been gone for years. We no longer really need window screens.
The bank swallows people call nighthawks always put in an appearance an hour or so before dark. Watching them fly their erratic patterns in search of insects was interesting, especially from a sixth floor balcony. But when the insects vanished several years ago, so did the nighthawks.
What happened? This is an industrial area. You have to drive miles to find a farm so pesticides can't be blamed. Industrial emmisions aren't at fault. Even though we have many factories, some large and others small, emissions are nothing compared to those of the past.
Somehow it has to be tied to global warming just as the melting of the arctic ice cap has brought the country heavy snows in the winter months. What's next? Will the songbirds disappear? Will we soon have silent springs?
Humans have managed to mess up the planet. What will the future be like for the children and grandchildren? It may be a little late to start thinking about that.