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Are Cell Phones Wiping Out Bees? No…

I am getting tired of the periodic pseudo-scientific “cellphones cause <catastrophe of your choice>” claptrap that gets picked up by the media.  The latest one was brought to my attention earlier today via Slashdot:

“Some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world’s harvests fail. They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world — the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops.”

The study itself quotes evidence that immediately raises questions about it’s validity.  The loss of bees started in the United States and, after several years, is just starting to spread to Europe.  Europe has a massively higher population density, probably ten times the “people per square mile” density that exists in the US, and a higher percentage of those people use cellphones.  So if cellphones cause problems with bees, the problem should have started in Europe or some other vicinity with high density cell usage in close proximity to bee populations.

Further problems arise when you do a little bit of research into normal bee population issues.  There was a massive die-off ten years ago as well.  Apparently this happens fairly regularly.  And more and more bee populations for pollination are being converted into “mobile” (trucked in) colonies.  This stresses the bee colonies out tremendously, and also leads to wide spread distribution of any illnesses or parasites that may exist in the bee population.

Basically, the whole issue is news industry scare mongering.  Maybe at its root was some good science showing some kind of relation between electromagnetic fields and bees, but linking it to mass die offs on a global scale is pure bullshit.  We have enough problems in the world without half-baked and easily contradicted theories being made into headline news.  Reporters who do this kind of thing should be sent down to the printing presses and forced to roll ink for the rest of their careers.

[tags]bees, scaremongering, bad science, news industry, cell phones[/tags]

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