On behalf of the European praying mantis, Mantis religiosa, I demand the EPA reconsider its decision to allow the continued use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Like many pesticides, these substances leak into the ecosystem far beyond agricultural fields and their initial target organisms. Like other systemic pesticides, they are absorbed into the flesh of plants, spreading neurotoxic poisons throughout their tissues, including the sap, nectar and pollen. These are then taken up by insects (like the beneficial and elegant mantis!) and birds, building up in their bodies through repeated exposure, a cumulative and irreversible process. Europe has a temporary ban in place and is moving towards a permanent one as evidence mounts against these pesticides. The U.S. EPA’s own research shows it would be advisable to do the same here. While the EPA waits to act, widespread use continues, producing “severe effects on a range of organisms that provide ecosystem services like pollination and natural pest control, as well as on biodiversity” according to a 2015 report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council. There are enough toxic substances cycling in our environment, incrementally poisoning organisms large and small. On behalf of Mantis religiosa, I demand an end to this pernicious cycle.
We believe the US EPA has an obligation to preserve and support the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and all the other spheres of life both human and nonhuman for all present and future generations and the undersigned species and their ecosystem partners.
We believe the survival of all life is threatened by the degradation of the environment and increased changes to the climate as evidenced by increasingly frequent wildfires, sea level rise, drought, and flood events. We believe public-private partnerships (corporate cronyism) are asymmetrical and benefit private partners over the health of the public, protection of which is the explicit mission of the US EPA. Despite knowledge of climate change impacts, US EPA’s inaction perpetuates the degradation of the environment, threatening all existing species with ecosystem and food system collapse.
We believe in the agency of all life forms, and believe the US EPA should create equitable spaces for life to thrive in a time of extinction. To do this, the US EPA strategic plan must reflect the diverse needs of a changing ecosystem in the US and its territories Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands—and not of the private industries that continue to exploit and ravage these communities.
The US EPA’s core mission should deliver real results, which should include ban of toxic chemicals, support of healthy soil practices, removal of pesticides from agricultural use, clean water without lead, divestment from fossil fuels and the rejection of current and proposed oil pipeline infrastructure.
Yes let’s rebalance the power between Washington, the states, and the people. Not only for the American People but for the planet.
The US EPA should administer the law and refocus the Agency toward climate change legislation, enforcement and resiliency planning—to ensure the integrity of all life forms on the planet.