The long cover story about the Insect Apocalypse that the New York Times Magazine posted yesterday is full of arresting facts and quotes and anecdotes, but to pull them out individually is to undermine the whole message. As with the New Yorker‘s piece summarizing the state of global warming, there are not isolated pieces of bad news to absorb, but a single, nauseating enormity: in the span of a few decades, mostly without noticing it, we have evidently killed an overwhelming share of all the animal life on land. If there’s one distinction to take away from the rest, it’s that while our foreground attention has been on the perils of extinction—the elimination of a particular species, as a species—we have been overlooking the mass numerical collapse of animal populations. This has happened; this is happening; the world is dying under our feet and in the air around us. Silent Spring helped inspire the environmental movement; the movement tried to fight against wanton destruction; and the actual silent spring has arrived anyway. Read the entire thing, immediately, and give it to other people to read, and think about how very far our politics is from even beginning to try to do anything about it.