Hadley aerial spraying is destructive and misguided

Published: 5/30/2021 4:00:15 PM Ecologists are extremely concerned about widespread declines in native species. The exact causes ar...



Published: 5/30/2021 4:00:15 PM

Ecologists are extremely concerned about widespread declines in native species. The exact causes are hard to pinpoint, leading researchers to attribute this looming apocalypse to “death by 1,000 cuts,” a reference to the myriad of destructive activities we practice, which collectively degrade the integrity of native ecosystems.

Several species groups are known to be in steep decline — insectivorous birds (including our beloved barn swallows), insectivorous bats, and some key groups of insects. As a society we should be concerned about these declines because we have an ethical obligation not to harm species, but also because unexplained declines could be harbingers of threats to human health.

The aerial spraying of insecticides in an attempt to control eastern equine encephalitis is an example of a practice that threatens already declining species, insects and insectivores, as well as human health and well-being.

As Hadley Select Board member John Waskeiwicz conceded in a recent issue of the Gazette, aerial spraying has impacts on human health, although he described these as “minimal.” In contrast, the risk posed by EEE is essentially zero — six people died statewide in 2019 (out of 7 million), and none last year.

Hadley’s acquiescence to aerial spraying is a classic case of cutting ones nose off to spite one’s face — it will poison the populace, threaten non-target species (many of which are beneficial by eating tons of mosquitoes among other things) and will not meaningfully reduce the risk of EEE.

Dave King

Amherst



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Newsrust - US Top News: Hadley aerial spraying is destructive and misguided
Hadley aerial spraying is destructive and misguided
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