Mobile Phones and the End of the World

Man, I don’t want to get all technophobic on you all, but, this just in from /.: (The following synopsis from Democracy Now)

Scientists: Cell Phones Could Be Cause of Missing Bees
In science news, more theories are emerging on what is causing the disappearances of bees across the country and in Europe. As much as 70 percent of the commercial bee population on the East Coast have gone missing. The Independent newspaper of London reports that some scientists believe that cell phones might be causing the problem. The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees” navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. A limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. The disappearance of the bees could cause massive food shortages because most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

We always knew the other shoe was going to drop with the miracle technology of the mobile phone. Is this it? Yikes.

Some critiques of this story point out that Bees are not central to pollinating the plants that humans survive on and the bee disappearances are not particularly uncommon. Other interesting causes of the phenomenon are put forth here such as GMO crops, or climate change.

But, even if they are not scaring the bees, we know mobile phones are doing something complicated to the natural (and mental) environment. Ever leave a mobile phone on top of a speaker? The amplification of signals is enough to make any hardened skeptic a believer that we should really apply the precautionary principle more heavily with all technologies.