It's Time for this Bumble Bee to Come Under Government Protection
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes a species of bumble bee – the rusty patched bumble bee – should be under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
It has finally come to this: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes a species of bumble bee –the rusty patched bumble bee – should be under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The petition was filed September 22, 2016 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which attributes the decline in its report to disease, pesticides, climate change, and habitat loss.
The rusty patched bumble bee can be identified by the red coloring on its abdomen. You may be able to spot the bee if you happen to live in the upper Midwest or Northeastern part of the United States. Then again the species has suffered a great decline in its population – 90% since 1990 – so maybe not so much.
“[The] Endangered Species Act safeguards are now the only way the bumble bee would have a fighting chance for survival,” Sarina Jepsen, of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, told Reuters.
It’s no secret bees have been dying off at an alarming rate, suffering from colony collapse, a disease which causes a number of worker bees to abandon the hive. This decline is thought to be caused by pesticides, which some researchers believe impairs the bees’ behavior in some way.
Scientists have pointed the finger specifically at neonicotinoid pesticides, typically used in agriculture, causing a scientific debate to become slightly politicized. However, if nothing is done, America could be losing some valuable free labor. After all, bees are responsible for pollinating 75% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat.
"Honeybee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States," the White House said.
Without pollinators, many flowering crops will require workers to go out into the field and manually induce pollination. To do this, you need to identify the male flowers, pluck them, and rub them up against the female flowers within a certain window of time during the day.
If these bees do fall into extinction, their absence will create quite a few job openings.
Get to know the more eccentric side of bees here, with Jonathan Keats.
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.