- A majority of flowering plants, deprived of their pollinators, cease to reproduce.
- Most herbaceous plant species among them spiral down to extinction.
- The great majority of birds and other land vertebrates, now without the specialized foliage, fruits, and insect prey on which they feed, follow the plants into oblivion.
- Because insects and not earthworms--as generally supposed--are the principle renewers of the soil. it remains largely unturned, thereby accelerating plant decline.
- Fungi and bacteria explode and remain at a peak over a number of years while metabolizing the dead plant and animal material that piles up.
- Wind-polinated grasses and a handful of fern and conifer species spread over much of the deforested terrain the decline to some extent as the soil deteriorates.
- The human species survives depending on wind-pollinated grains and marine fishing (here I picture grim scenarios as well considering the present plight of our oceans) but Wilson predicts: "The wars for control of the dwindling resources, the suffering, and the tumultuous decline to dark-age barbarism would be unprecedented in human history. Clinging to a devastated world, and trapped in an ecological dark age, the survivors would offer prayers for the return of weeds and bugs."
Most people think of insects as a bother or threat, except maybe butterflies and ladybugs which we see as harmless and pretty. However, the truth is they are integral to our very existence. The famous entomologist E.O. Wilson, who inspired me to study biology and insects, authored The Creation, a 2010 book in which he appeals with passion to his reader that life on earth must be treasured and saved. He claims that without insects (not only bees are threatened) the terrestrial environment would "collapse into chaos." What follows below are the steps he lays out that would proceed in several decades: