Let’s get real with this issue. Disappearing bees are not the problem. The problem lies in picking the best solution to the problem. In principle, there are so many solutions to the bee disappearance problem, it almost isn’t worthwhile listing them, but I’ll list a few. Keep in mind that since the federal government has become our keeper and savior, that’s where the solution lies. Interpret the last sentence however you wish.
A favored government approach to any problem, particularly an environmental one, is to ignore it. This solution method can work for decades, even generations; illegal immigrants, massive debt and our global domination predicament being some of the best examples.
When the problem can no longer be ignored, the next solution is to deny that the problem exists. Even limitless government money can’t touch the amount of extra time this solution buys. We’re in that phase with Iraq right now. Finally, when the problem can no longer be buried in worthless drivel, solution number three becomes automatic: Study it, quickly following up with a government-accounting “cook-the-books” solution. Works every time, in case you haven’t observed Federal Reserve System.
Coming eventually to a news headline near you: “Study finds bees have no economic value to humans.” Bingo, problem solved. If, eventually, a problem can no longer be ignored, denied or studied ad infinitum, the next solution in line is to blame it on someone or something else, i.e., the Iraq war fiasco is either the terrorists’ or Bill Clinton’s fault. At this point I must mention that flooding the integrity-compromised news media with propaganda lies is crucial to pulling off most of solutions mentioned so far (plus those that follow).
Solution number five is to snuff out all pertinent negative data. By executive order, prohibit all press references to the problem and censor all inquiry into it. You know, like the Bushites refusing to allow Iraqi war casualty caskets to be photographed. Failing this, merely change any data that may reveal genuine facts (does the Bushites’ changing the scientific research data on global warming come to mind here?). Related to this solution is packing all the courts with judges who share your particular ideology. That way, if push comes to a litigation shove, you’re 100 percent assured of victory. Heck, if it works for liberals and conservatives, it can work for anyone.
There are technological and economical solutions. The first idea that comes to mind is to create an artificial pollen and/or pollinator (bee robots?). If we can inseminate humans artificially, it’s my contention that finding a way to artificially pollinate plants ought to be a slam dunk. Better yet, why not just genetically alter all the fruit and veggie plants to bear fruit without impregnation by bees?
Remember, if you throw enough money at a problem you can accomplish anything. Just a suggestion: maybe it would be easier and faster to genetically engineer humans to no longer eat fruit and veggies.
Another solution that deserves attention: Substitute. Get creative. Thirty-dollars-a-pound oranges? Drink Tang. For every modern problem there’s a pseudo-solution. Or, to interject a Pera dictum: “The difference between theory and reality is at least as great as that between an answer and a solution.”
Perhaps an economic solution to the disappearance of the bees outweighs all others. Let the market dictate the outcome. Twenty-five dollars for a quart of strawberries? Twenty-dollar cantaloupes? Forty-dollar watermelons? Fifteen dollars for a pinch of broccoli? No problem, the law of supply and demand will sort it out in nothing flat.
Or we could let nature take its course. If fruits and veggies become extinct, humans will be forced to become carnivorous. Vegetarians have had their turn, so I say, let them eat cake while the meat lovers rule. Evolution will help us adjust to this new reality. As always, change produces winners and losers. In this case the livestock industry will win big time.
Mentioning evolution brings to mind its antithesis (and archenemy), religion – so here’s another thought. Why not just put our faith in God on this one? It’s a safe bet that He will give humans, His favorite chosen species, a satisfactory outcome – we’re still here because He’s favored us at the expense of so all other species, wouldn’t you say?
Speaking of lies, religion and government, it’s beyond question that the best solution of all is the one we humans do best: Politicize it. That throws it into the pool of bottomless pits. To divert attention, start a war (the bigger and longer the better). Wars make our economy soar. There’s no shortage of bottom feeders and profiteers in America waiting to pounce on this one, I guarantee. After all, what’s more important in life: a little money in your pocket or some stupid fruits and vegetables you can no longer afford?
Isn’t it amazing how difficult problems can be solved by combining the simplest of pseudo-solutions with a lot of stupidity?
I’m working on a better solution than all of the above, and if it works out, I’ll put it in a future column. In the interim, might I suggest that you consider pigging out on fruits and veggies while they’re still affordable – and available.