Reflections are only that, reflections, nothing more nothing less. Often these reflections are related to books I read, but occasionally also other things. These are often written very late, very fast,  using notes from my mobile phone, so the grammar and spelling is horrible.

A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

This is a book I can really recommend [and it has a blog]. The book captures so many different aspects. More than anything else the book is an example of what happens if you are driven by passion. Two people with an interest in bees discover the world through their passion. The way it is written is something I don’t think we see enough of. They are not journalists that focus on language, sound bites and a simple story, they are two people that want to tell us something they feel is important.

The story in the book is a scary, but important, illustration of how vulnerable our ecosystem is and how we must rethink our approach to nature (it is not a machine). They way they look for different explanations to why bees are dying is told as if you had a great dinner conversation.

How the authors are describing the mystery that bees are dyeing is also something that should be seen as an example for people writing books about the state of the world. They don’t push one idea and try to make things simple by pointing at one aspect the way media and many policy makers tend to approach big challenges. Instead they look that the mix of many different drivers such as short term perspective from chemical companies pushing out toxic substances, increased use of GM crops, increased demand for profit, monocultures, increased resistance towards chemicals from the varroa mite parasite, etc.

The one small issue where I think we need to be careful is not to only look at resilience, but broader at sustainable development with cultural and ethical aspects. Resilience has become very popular lately and can provide some guidance, but it is dangerously close to payment for environmental services and other concepts that try to move nature towards the kind of economic system that we have seen destroying the planet. Rather than resilience we could look at some of the many Chinese concepts that capture the need for balance e.g. 无以人灭天 /Do not let the artificial to obliterate the natural.