A report from Salon.com jumps to dish out blame for the phenomenon of honeybee colony collapse, which has been growing in recent years, say researchers, on none other than every hauler’s favorite transport fuel. “Blame diesel fumes for honeybee colony collapse,” screamed the headline of this story, published yesterday. Yet the researcher cited in the story as for the first time proving a link between NOx gases in diesel exhaust and worker bees’ sensory confusion that seems to part of the root of the collapse phenomenon puts it this way at the tail end of the story: “Diesel exhaust is not the root of the problem…. But if you think of a situation where a bee is dealing with viral infections, mites, all the other stresses it has to deal with—another thing that makes it harder for the bee to work in its environment is likely to have detrimental consequences.”
In other words, the science doesn’t say “Blame diesel,” rather something more akin to “Maybe blame diesel,” and the story says as much itself.
If you were a headline-only reader, you’d come to a very different conclusion tat the researcher, who’s made a significant but ultimately just one conclusion — that diesel exhaust may contribute to colony collapse, but many other stresses are involved as well.
The story makes no mention, either, of the strides engine makers have made in reduced emissions of those NOx gases to much lower levels in recent years. Not to say there aren’t a lot of those pre-low-NOx-emissions power plants out there, of course. Wait, did I just give CARB another argument in favor of their powertrain regs?…