The recent revelation that commonly used pesticides called neonicotinoids are responsible for the alarming and rapid demise of the bees comes as no surprise to Organic Wine Journal (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/apr/11/bees-pesticides-decline-colony-collapse). We were never falsely lulled into believing the absurd idea that you can specifically poison some of the earth while other parts remain unaffected. It would be wise to reflect back on Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring, the book heard round the then unborn environmental world. Silent Spring burst forth in 1962 to show us that man’s tinkering with nature has unintended consequences.
The same chemical hubris affects us today. To think that you can kill some pests but not harm cohabiting necessary animals, like bees, makes no sense. The consequences of a vastly diminished bee population are serious and horrific. Pollination of all sorts of plants is essential for life.
As the Hippocrates said, “First, do no harm.” Wine drinkers everywhere would do well to stop and think about their responsibilities to the earth. One can reasonably argue that we cannot feed billions of people without limiting the harm done by pests, molds and weeds. That may be true, but wine drinking is not sustenance (although I know some people who swear it is). It is a luxury. As such it is imperative that we stop poisoning the vineyards’ air, water and soil. Of equal importance, the field workers and their families deserve a workplace free from exposure to toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
We have to start now by telling our friends, bartenders, sommeliers and sprits suppliers that we don’t want to drink anything but organic, Biodynamic and natural wine — wine made without poison.
It will be a joyless spring without the blooming plants and trees that are life itself. Bees are the very foundation of plant life reproduction. Lets give the bees a break and toast them over a glass of wine worthy of Earth Day.