Though the George Zimmerman trial ended in an acquittal, many folks are still confused as to the facts. One thing we learned during the case is that journalists are not always reliable, the infamous NBC redaction of the 911 call being only the most obvious example.
But if you are looking for media’s systemic failures, you don’t need to bring in race and shootings and Skittles. Look no further than stories about bees.
I’m not talking about “killer bees” of my youth — supposedly coming up from South America to “take over” the continent, and sting, sting, sting and kill, kill, kill.
Didn’t happen. Simple extrapolations based on movements of some bee populations did not spell eco-disaster for the good ol’ USA.
But another bee story, much hyped, also turns out to be false, or at least only half, or quarter, true: “Bee-pocalypse!”
Since 2006 we’ve been hearing how Colony Collapse Disorder has destroyed bee hives, vast populations of the insects, and worse, continues to threaten both natural and contracted pollination, and thus agriculture . . . and Life on the Planet.
Shawn Regan, writing for the Property and Environment Research Center, says that this story, once the media’s veritable bees’ knees, setting people “in the know” all abuzz, was mostly just bad reporting. U.S. honey bee colony numbers are stable, he shows, explaining that commercial beekeepers, “far from being passive victims, have actively rebuilt their colonies in response to increased mortality from CCD.”
Yes, capitalism has adapted.
If you had been suckered into this story, maybe you should have looked at the local supermarket: honey production has remained stable.
As has bad environmental reporting.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.