biocontrol

he'd eat themYou know what bugs me? Bugs. With all of our advanced technical know-how, mosquitoes still thrive throughout the world and provide no environmental beneficence. Humans have become incredibly adept at wiping out larger, more valuable animals while these minute pests are the subject of feeble control attempts. Our best efforts are controversial (and sometimes useless) chemicals, like DDT, or altering the natural habitat.

I’m reminded of the terrific game SimPark, in which one must cultivate a park complete with maintained flora and fauna. Many times my parks would become overrun with water hyacinth, and I would have to put in something to eat the hyacinth (probably a beaver). Then I’d have to put something in to eat that, and it was all just a big mess. The world could learn from that example; I’d rather be accosted by swarms of friendly dragonflies than by the ever-annoying mosquito.

Worldwide, malaria is still a large problem, and scientists are indeed working on ways to reduce mosquito populations. But reduction should not be the goal; anything short of total eradication should be seen as a failure. Few would argue that the extinction of the mosquito would be less than a great pain lifted from mankind. Perhaps a couple of swarms of mosquitoes could be saved in a lab to throw at the PETA protesters.

Nanotechnology is the key. Mosquitoes are tough to destroy because they’re plentiful and small, reproducing in large numbers. Nanobots could have them beaten on every front. Too bad no one has the balls to try it…yet.

From “The Simpsons”:

KENT BROCKMAN: Our top story, the population of parasitic tree lizards has exploded, and local citizens couldn’t be happier! It seems the rapacious reptiles have developed a taste for the common pigeon, also known as the ‘feathered rat,’ or the ‘gutter bird.’ For the first time, citizens need not fear harassment by flocks of chattering disease-bags.

QUIMBY: For decimating our pigeon population, and making Springfield a less oppressive place to while away our worthless lives, I present you with this scented candle.

Skinner talks to Lisa.

SKINNER: Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.

LISA: But isn’t that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we’re overrun by lizards?

SKINNER: No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They’ll wipe out the lizards.

LISA: But aren’t the snakes even worse?

SKINNER: Yes, but we’re prepared for that. We’ve lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.

LISA: But then we’re stuck with gorillas!

SKINNER: No, that’s the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

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