Starting about three weeks ago we saw the media flooded with headlines like these:
- CNN: Massive insect decline could have a ‘catastrophic’ environmental
- Popular Mechanics: The Staggering Worldwide Decline of Insects Is a Warning of Ecosystem Collapse
- Voice of America: New Study Shows Rapid Decline in Insect Populations
- Science Friday: How Declining Insects Could Trigger Ecological Calamity
- The Guardian: Buy organic food to curb global insect collapse, say scientists
So, if we listened to all the news — we were soon doomed. But then two scientist decided to double check the study all this hype was based on and found it hugely lacking. Listen to this great short 13 minute podcast here for the details, but here are a few main weaknesses of the original article:
- They did not count bugs themselves but review articles by people who did.
- They searched all bug articles using the word “decline” so they had a huge bias there. Searching for articles with “increase” yielded even more studies.
- They ignored many other confounding points.
Conclusion, and I hate to agree with Trump here, you should not blindly trust the media. Consumers beware.