Today I am presenting you with a bee. Bees are cool. They make honey, and they're responsible for pollinating a whole bunch of the food we eat.
This one looks a little like a battle bee rather than a honey bee.
Because I chose a bee this week, I wanted to say something about how important bees are, and I thought of a statement by Albert Einstein.
"If something eliminated bees from our planet, mankind would soon perish."
I believed he said it. One of the first things I found when I started writing this was is it can't be traced back to old Al at all. I guess I was wrong.
Well, it's unlikely he said it according to a Snopes article. Einstein died in 1955, and the first time the quote appeared in the press or popular writing was 1994.
We've got to be careful about what we believe. It's easy to think it's something that Al said because he was a smart fella (or as my dad would say "fart-smella" - I'm sure a lot of dads said that),
Fake news is insidious because it's so believable sometimes. People make stuff up all the time, and we believe it. It's infuriating.
Snopes.com and Factcheck.org have become a couple of my best friends. These are places on the internet that you can try to find out if something's true or fake. I can't say they are always right because I just don't know but at least there are some people out there who do the research and try to get at the truth. But can we even believe them? I don't know.
I knew a guy who once who would claim some of the most outrageous stuff and stick to his guns regardless, even when faced with actual indisputable facts.
(I'm using Roger here. His name wasn't Roger - the names have been changed to be sure I don't get killed for this. You see, Roger was a volatile soul. )
Here's an example conversation:
Roger: "Yeah, when I first bought my Ford, it was a Chevy. Did you know the South Americans came up with the name Chevy Corvette? Sure, yeah, Generalisimo Francisco Franco created the name Corvette sitting in his bathtub in Cuba during the revolution. I know because one of my friends was with him in the Cuban Revolution, and he told me. I believe him"
Me, "Hey Roger, I'm pretty sure that didn't happen. Cuba isn't in South America, and I think Francisco Franco was a Spanish dictator, not South American."
Roger, "Sure, it is. It was him. Are you stupid or what? Go look it up. I'm sure you're wrong."
Me, "I'm pretty sure I'm right."
Roger, "Go look it up. I know you're wrong."
That friendship didn't last long. You can't argue with stupid. Or, as Steve Miller said, "You can't argue with a sick mind."
Some things we believe because we want to accept them because they sound plausible.
People like to believe pesticides are the reason for the demise of the bees. It's easy to hate big chemical companies and they're sneaky buggers. But there are other factors, too, like:
We're all to blame.
If you want to read a bit more about it, you don't have to go far.
Pollinators In Peril, Center for Biological Diversity
Colony Collapse Disorder, Wikipedia
More than 700 North American Bee Species Are Headed Toward Extinction, Time Magazine
Some people would say that it doesn't matter if Einstein made that statement about bees or not. If it's true and furthers the cause it shouldn't matter.
We shouldn't bandy about false statements because it bolsters our argument.
You should use real facts to back up your argument. Don't make stuff up just cause it sounds good.
I've got to stop being so lazy. I've got to start researching for myself.
Am I saying I don't believe there is a problem with bees? No.
Should we look at and try to mitigate the loss of honey bees? Yes, we should because they're in danger, they're important to the planet, and it's probably the right thing to do.
However, let's not tell fibs about it even if we mean well. Let's try to stick to the facts even if they're boring.
Should I get off my soapbox? Yeah, probably.
Until next week, I wish you peace.