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Re: [Pollinator] New video about pollinators

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    Dear Matthew: I m all for simple but a simple message is pure propaganda unless it goes hand-in-hand with fact. 1) Close ups of the honeybee and the beetle
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2012
      Dear Matthew:

      I'm all for simple but a simple message is pure propaganda unless it goes hand-in-hand with fact.  

      1) Close ups of the honeybee and the beetle didn't show them pollinating anything.  Couldn't the Nature Conservancy afford some relevant footage?  How about a bumblebee sonicating a tomato flower or bees on the flowers of fruit trees?
      2) Pollinator gardens preserve nothing unless nesting and burrowing sites are also protected and preserved (nothing about that in the message).
      3)  How do pollinators make turkey and beef sandwiches possible when the video insists that grasses and edible grains are pollinated by wind?  We might also add that most soybeans grown for animal feed today self-pollinate.  Supposedly, in Canada and parts of Texas the canola and sunflowers used to make the oil to fry those chips comes from self-pollinating cultigens these days (correct me if I'm wrong but I gave evidence at one of those self-pollinating sunflower cases).

      The video spends so much time on the picnic it loses the opportunity to show what happens when a flower is pollinated.  Surely they could have had a nice micrograph, SEM or even a time lapse film showing what happens when appropriate pollen lands on a receptive stigma?  Most people have never seen a pollen grain magnified.  Why not have a nice grain with the interior cells stained to show it's really just sperm in a box?  No, we had to spend the time watching the kids make a little garden and goof off around a picnic table.   

      This is nothing but another environmentalist message filled with good intentions but isn't the road to hell paved with good intentions?  It fosters the lie that you can protect an ecological service without learning any basic natural history.  Our students here at SLU feel good about their actions on the sustainability committee.  This documentary is propaganda (bad propaganda).

      Am I too picky?  Very likely.  Do you know this one?  How many Juilliard students does it take to screw in a light bulb?
      Answer. 100,  One student screws in the bulb while 99 sit, watch and say, "I could have done it better."


      On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM, Matthew Shepherd <mdshepherd@...> wrote:



      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it was for the 15-25 year-old, YouTube crowd. This video apparently was designed with them in mind. The message might be simple, but simple works well if the viewer remembers the message!





      From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
      Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:18 AM
      To: Matthew Shepherd
      Subject: Re: [Pollinator] New video about pollinators


      And it's not very good either.  The Nature Conservancy obviously wanted to produce something that would appeal to the younger, narcissistic, short-attention span, Youtube crowd.  Perhaps it will appeal to the 15-25 year olds who want to watch people like themselves sitting around a picnic table but does the narrative really make consistent sense?  Is it factual?  The cross-referencing of the narration with the footage produces a lot of half truths.  Look at the honeybee on the agapanthus, for example.  It's too small to contact the stigma.  That beetle was not foraging on open flowers and, even if it was, it's doubtful that it would pollinate that species.  This mini-documentary doesn't even define the physical act of pollination which puts it on the same level as the fanciful cartoon "Bee Story."  How are the younger viewers supposed to understand that there won't be any turkey or roast beef without pollinators?  



      On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM, Matthew Shepherd <mdshepherd@...> wrote:

      Susan Tweit, author and restoration ecologist, stars in a brief (three minute) video about the importance of pollinators. The video was produced by the Nature Conservancy.







      Matthew Shepherd

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