Most people these days are aware that there aren’t as many insects as there used to be. One thing many people have noticed is the lack of dead bugs on windshields, even after a long drive. This phenomenon seems to have arisen particularly since the advent of the smartphone, 4G and Wi-Fi, which arrived more or less simultaneously. Most people don’t really like insects, with the exception of butterflies, fireflies and ladybirds. Flies are pests; so are mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants. Spiders, centipedes and scorpions are creepy-crawlies and often poisonous. People know we need pollinators, but most pollinators sting, so nobody except beekeepers really wants them around (until their gardens and crops fail to grow). It’s hard to get people worked up about insects.
When we lived in town, over a three-year period I noticed a severe decline in the number of insects around us. Paper wasps trying to build a nest on our balcony roof grew drowsy and failed to finish the nest or lay eggs. There were bees the first year, but then I started finding dead bees on balconies, steps and windowsills. By year three, the bees were gone. My husband started a roof-garden with pepper and tomato plants; his only pollinator was a hoverfly. There were flies and cockroaches in year one, but by year three most of them were gone. Even the local rubbish-bins, often quite fetid, were singularly fly-free by year three. These declines mirrored in reverse the rise of public and private Wi-Fi around us; the more signals, the fewer bugs.
It is one thing to observe a phenomenon and guess its cause, another to prove that x (more wireless signals) causes y (fewer insects). A new study by Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) together with two NGOs, and reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) a few days ago, has attempted to do this by analyzing the results of 190 scientific studies on the effects of wireless technology on insects. Of these studies, 83 were considered to be “scientifically relevant”. Seventy-two out of these 83 studies showed that wireless radiation negatively affects bees, wasps and flies.
Wireless radiation was found to have several effects on insects. The signals hamper insects’ ability to navigate properly as well as damaging genetic material and larvae.
Also, according to the AFP report, “’Mobile phone and Wi-Fi radiation in particular opens the calcium channels in certain cells, meaning they absorb more calcium ions. This can trigger a biochemical chain reaction in insects, the study said, disrupting circadian rhythms and the immune system.’”
The study concludes that “’Radiation from mobile phones could have contributed to the dramatic decline in insect populations seen in much of Europe in recent years. On top of pesticides and habitat loss, increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation is probably having a negative impact on the insect world.’”
The language of the study is interesting in that it is cautiously phrased: wireless radiation “may be killing insects”, “could have contributed to the dramatic decline in insect populations” and “probably having a negative effect on the insect world”. This may be less because the results are ambivalent than because the authors are fully aware that their message is likely to be unpopular with governments, big business and consumers.
Johannes Enssle, head of NABU, said, “The subject is uncomfortable for many of us because it interferes with our daily habits and there are powerful economic interests behind mobile communication technology.” As countries begin to install 5G—which several recent studies have demonstrated will particularly target insects—the conclusions of this study should cause major ructions. We need insects. They are not an optional extra but an essential part of the biosphere. One wishes that NABU had been less timid in their choice of words.
The thing to remember is this: this study shows that wireless technology is already killing the insects, so stopping 5G will not be enough to save them. Even without 5G, wireless technologies will exterminate the insects—it will just take a little longer. Remember the other German study of flying insects which concluded that 75% of flying insects (that includes the pollinators) are already gone? That study was published in 2017, before 5G. How long do you think it will take to wipe out the remaining 25%? Two years? Five? Ten?
The insects are vanishing faster than you think. Two years ago, we moved out of town into the country. Our land has never had pesticides on it. None of the adjoining properties use pesticides, and across the road the land is wild. We are fairly far from cell towers—though we do get the radiation—and we get no Wi-Fi signals. But the insects are still disappearing. In the past year alone we have seen a remarkable decline in praying mantises, many species of beetles including fireflies and ladybirds, most hoverflies, and several species of bees and wasps. This is despite the fact that we let the meadows grow wild to provide maximum habitat for all the insects. The insects are dying out, and there is nothing we can do as long as the cell towers continue to pump out radiation.
It won’t be enough to stop 5G. We need to stop all wireless technology, regardless of the convenience to ourselves, regardless of the economic impact of doing so, regardless of those who will accuse us of being “anti-science”. The scientific evidence—among them this most recent study—shows that wireless technologies are an environmental toxin on a massive scale. If we kill the insects we kill all life, including ourselves.
Read the press report at https://www.barrons.com/news/mobile-phone-radiation-may-be-killing-insects-german-study-01600356604