Terrorist Buzz: A Thought Experiment
25 July 2016 in Politics
For thousand s of years the Honey Bee (Apis melifera) has developed a symbiotic relationship with humans (Homo sapiens), in which Bees provide a source of nourishment including; pollen, royal jelly, and honey. These goods are used for a variety of medicinal treatments as well as general food consumption. In return humans provide protection from predators, care for the colony during the winter months, and advantageous summer locations to help the bees produce premium honey. Additionally honey bees are extraordinary important to the environment and our food security system as they pollinate the flowers which produces fruits and vegetables.
In 2006-2007 a mass die-off of honey bees occurred for no clear reason, literally millions of bees died during that year. As the honey bees are a part of a very complex environment there could be a number of different factors that could have caused this. It is referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder. Quickly, scientists and beekeepers noticed that there was an introduction of neonicotinoids, a pesticide used on GMO crops to prevent insects from eating the crops. Colonies that were downwind were completely killed off, the hives that were up wind were severely weakened.
Outrage ensued! Beekeepers, scientists, community members rallied to the Honey Bee's aid for the 2006-7 Honey bee genocide. Calls for recourse and government action were a common occurrence. Swarms of people demonstrated on behalf of the honey bee and their colonies. To this day there are still reminders of the genocide against the Honey Bee.
After spending eight months researching Harpers Anti-Terrorism Bill C-51 in my Environmental Studies undergraduate thesis, I realize that despite Harper's best efforts to make this policy air-tight, he failed to consider the biggest group of terrorists that organize in Canada—Honey Bees.
The definition of a terrorist according to our Canadian Anti-Terror laws is as follows:
activity that undermines the security of Canada means any activity, including any of the following activities, if it undermines the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada or the lives or the security of the people Canada:
(a) Interference with the capability of the Government of Canada in relation to intelligence, defense, border operations, public safety, the administration of justice, diplomatic or consular relations, or the economic or financial stability of Canada;
(b) Changing or unduly influencing a government in Canada by force or unlawful means;
(c) Espionage, sabotage, or convert foreign-in-influenced activities
(e) Proliferation of nuclear, chemical, radiological or biological weapons;
(f) Interference with critical infrastructure;
(g) Interference with the global information infrastructure, as defined in section 273.61 of National Defense Act;
(h) An activity that causes serious harm to a person or their property because of that person's association with Canada; and
(i) An activity that takes place in Canada and undermines the security of another state.
The Honey Bees rallied thousands of people behind their cause in such a short period of time after the genocide of their colonies. Documentaries, articles, media, all produced to advocate for their case of protecting the environment, and more importantly the only homes the honey bee will ever know—Canada, Earth. The main thrust of lobbying was against GMO crops and the pesticides used on the crops, which were primarily owned by Monsanto. The honey bee clearly violates sub sections; b, c, f, and h. The Canadian government responded by developing better application methods of neonicotinoids in order to mitigate the problem that it created as well as continuing their research.
The point in this passage is not too understand colony collapse disorder and its interconnections to corporations, rather, how easy it is to label someone or something as a 'terrorist' when they are in opposition—the point is that the word has no clear meaning. Was it the honey bees or the farmers spraying the pesticide who were the terrorists? Secondly, our earth life support systems do not conform to any laws, policies, or neo-liberal leader, it is folly to believe that we can bend nature to our wills and desires. Rather, we must adapt to create a symbiotic relationship between nature and our societies, it is not rational or responsible to do otherwise because it creates such a disharmony in our earth life support system that it collapses.