Digging through some old e-mails and news clips I found
a pattern of stories about a general invasion by insects, mold and bacteria that seems to be raging unchecked in places all
over the planet. Each incident, by itself, might be considered an anomaly unique to that area. But putting the stories all
together paints a more ominous picture.
I am starting with a letter I received from a woman in
who is seeing the pattern in her own neighborhood. She wrote:
"I had this green hedge-like bush that was growing next
to my porch. It was so green and stayed green year around. Then overnight and the next morning the thing was dead. It looked
like something sucked the life out of it. The branches were dry to the core and brittle. . . By the next day (it) had a misty
white mold all over it and silk like spider web formations all over it. Misty fungus was floating all off it. I had to get
it chopped out because the mold was irritating to breath. How could this lively bush so green die overnight and dry out?
"I am in California
and we are being invaded by five new bugs. I saw this millipede, and god, it looks like a monster straight out of a Sci-Fi
movie. When you see it, you wont sleep for days. Then there was this big ant looking thing (or cricket?) that is over three
inches long crawling around here too.
"Out on Catalina Island
we have some bacteria growth in the water that is killing all of the seals and porpoises. We have black mold invading peoples
homes like Ed McMahons mansion. All of the sailboats here have mold growing all over the surface."
An ABC news report said families all over the nation are
fleeing their homes or having them destroyed after the buildings are found to be infected with black mold that is making people
sick. The mold, identified as Stachybotrys chartarum, is showing up under carpeting,
in the walls, under the stairs, and in all kinds of unsuspecting places. A Time Magazine writer said the mold is spreading
like some sort of biblical plague.
Those wildfires that just swept Southern
California were largely caused by four years of drought and an invasion of nearly half-million acres of forest
by a bark beetle that left trees standing dead and dry. Even before the fires came, local and state officials were warning
that the forests were a disaster waiting to happen.
Insect infestation has been happening all over the nation,
including my own back yard in Michigan. One of my favorite
state trees, the silver ash, is under attack by an Emerald Ash Borer, a green beetle believed imported accidentally from Asia
about a year or two ago. This pest is rapidly invading our state, killing trees by the thousands.
Another new pest that could soon be affecting the American
food chain is a new aphid, also thought to have arrived on imported merchandise, that is feeding on soybeans in the field.
This aphid reproduces rapidly and can take over an entire region almost overnight. It is so tiny, farmers dont realize they
are under attack until it is usually too late.
Add these stories to the regional reports of the Formosan
termites that are quietly eating the historical buildings in New Orleans and across the South, the new species of fire ant
that also is taking over the Southern states, and new species of mosquito that carry malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever and
West Nile virus, and there is a sensation of being invaded from all sides.
Indeed, we are.
Many of the pests identified
in this story were imported to the United States from other countries through commerce. They mostly arrived on ships visiting
ports along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and the Great Lakes.
It is our own carelessness
in our rush for profits, through importing and buying inexpensive goods from foreign lands, that has changed our world
and upset the natural order of things in strange ways.