Henk Tennekes:
"A Disaster in the Making"

In September 2010, toxicologist, Dr Henk Tennekes had a scientific paper published in the journal, Toxicology. He followed this up with a book: "A Disaster in the Making".

A description of the book states:

"The pesticide industry is creating a 'Poisonous Landscape' in which the only thing that will be allowed to live, will be the insecticide-laced crop which brings in the profits.

It is a serious ecological report rather than a book for general readers, but all ecologists, beekeepers and bird conservationists should read this description of the coming Ecological Apocalypse."

I thought I would add in my own, additional view....

In “Silent Spring”, Rachel Carson gave society a warning about man’s addiction to agro-chemicals:

“These sprays, dusts, and aerosols are now applied almost universally to farms, gardens, forests, and homes - non-selective chemicals that have the power to kill every insect, the "good" and the "bad", to still the song of birds and the leaping of fish in the streams, to coat the leaves with a deadly film, and to linger on in soil - all this, though the intended target may be only a few weeds or insects.

Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life?.”

Unfortunately, man still has not learned the lessons – it seems the paragraph above, written and published in 1962, serves as an apt description of our ignorant and/or arrogant disregard of nature and environment today, and judging from the research, the chemicals we are using are worryingly deadly.

Among his arsenal, man can apply systemic pesticides on farmlands and golf courses. They can be used by councils in public land spaces, or by trusting homeowners in their gardens; or they can be purchased in vine-weevil killing composts and some garden fence treatments.

Dr Tennekes’ book suggests systemic pesticides are having a devastating effect on our environment. This may confirm the fears of many informed individuals, independent scientists and conservation organisations.

What is so worrying about systemic pesticides? Tennekes has said:

    "Pesticides may cause problems when they seep out of storage or are washed out of the soil into waterways and groundwater. The chemicals are then diffused through the environment and may affect marine and bird life. Systemic insecticides are prone to cause such problems because not only are they soluble in water and mobile in soil, they are also not easily degraded in soil and water , i.e. they persist in soil and water, and aquatic and terrestrial organisms may be chronically exposed to these substances."

(See this Q&A with Henk Tennekes - opens a new window).

Tennekes’ book is an urgent reminder of Rachel Carson’s message. Drawing on his scientific research (as a published toxicologist), he illustrates the ecological collapse that has already begun to happen.

This book shows that killing insects does not only mean killing “nasty crop-eating pests”. It means removing a food source from the web of life, depriving (and ultimately starving to death) the birds, bats and other creatures that directly or indirectly depend upon them.

dose for dose neonicotinoids are more toxic for bees than DDT

Meanwhile, it seems the regulatory system is failing in its foremost duty to protect man and the environment (for ultimately, to protect the environment IS to protect man!).

As I write, scandals of vested interest, regulatory incompetence and neglect continue – whilst the use of systemic pesticides goes on, amidst a backdrop of fudge, smoke screens, and confusion.

But the independent evidence against systemic pesticides is compelling – and in some cases, it draws attention to glaring holes in the research presented by the pesticide manufacturers.

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves: in what should we place our trust: the pesticides industry, its government lobbyists and their politician supporters?

Or shall we look upon the untouched, yet perfectly balanced eco-systems of the rainforests – or even the western wildlife garden (perhaps complete with a fruit tree or two, and even a productive veg patch), as evidence that nature can balance itself, and accept that man causes the imbalance of an eco-system that is actually capable of feeding all the creatures on the planet if we treat it with the care and respect it deserves.

Everything is connected in this great web of life on earth.  Whether it hops, crawls, flies, slithers, creeps, wriggles, swims, jumps, flutters, flows, grows from the earth or water bed, ultimately man needs nature – and together, we are sustained not only by the air we breathe but by the land and water of this beautiful earth. This book by Dr Henk Tennekes is an urgent call for us to protect it.

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