Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kill those damn suckers!

No, I am not referring to the ISIS. Nor to this evil creature.

No, it is not the union; think again ;)

I want us to kill the most dangerous animal of all, about which I have blogged before.  For years now, I have been dreaming of a world without them.

It is the damn mosquitoes that I want us to wipe out. Forever.  Not all the 3,500 species, but only the "6% of species that draw blood from humans."  Those are the suckers that I want gone.  They have caused nothing but misery for us humans throughout our existence.  The rapidly spreading Zika is the latest misery they have inflicted on us.

I am a man of peace, yes.  But, I have no patience for the blood-thirsty, disease-spreading, mosquitoes.  BTW, did you notice that even among that 6%, it is only the female kind that troubles us?  Now, that is a group of females that I can live without ;)

Daniel Engber is even more enraged than I am:
It’s time to kill all the mosquitoes. It’s time for mass mosquito-cide.
Sign me up for this war!

Engber writes:
Enough of the politeness: The ugly situation on the ground does not call for Integrated Mosquito Management; it demands a program of Total Mosquito Destruction. And here’s the thing: For the first time in human history, that dream could be realized. We have a better way to kill mosquitoes—a nuclear option—but up until this point we’ve been too afraid to use it.
And that option: to release millions of sterile males that would mate with the females.  (Do porn sites offer videos of mosquito sex?  hehehe)
 A PG-rated description of mosquitoes mating would go something like this: The female enters the swarm. A male seeks her out, his wing-beat slowing until it matches hers. Using his large front legs he grabs her back legs and swings under her abdomen. In less than a second the lovers are joined. And then, connected, they fly slowly out of the swarm while making out in mid-air. The entire coupling can take less than 16 seconds.
Understanding this 16 second frenzy, and making sure it doesn't lead to breeding, is the challenge
Now, if it is a sterile male that does the wild thing ... slowly we can wipe out those damn bloodsuckers.

I am sure there will be some pesky people who will complain about the unintended consequences from two issues here: a) that it is wrong to eliminate a species like this, and b) the sterile male comes via genetic modification.  To them, I have only two words as a response: who cares! This is war.  Either you are with us, or against us ;)
Whatever its unintended consequences (and there are always unintended consequences), the elimination of mosquitoes would save billions of human lives and trillions of dollars, in the decades to come. It would end untold suffering among the world’s poorest people.
Exactly.
When we eradicated the Variola virus, which caused smallpox, we rightly celebrated.
Precisely.  What is good for the smallpox and polio viruses is good for the six percent of the mosquitoes that kill and torture us humans.
"We are playing an evolutionary game with mosquitoes," says Hawkes. "Hopefully it's one we can get on top of over the next 10 to 15 years."
The good thing is that the Republican Party will not oppose this; after all, they don't even believe in evolution!  It is the bleeding-heart liberals who will oppose it without realizing that the blood is coming from mosquito bites ;)

Join us in this global war on terror.

5 comments:

Anne in Salem said...

I'm with you!!

Mike Hoth said...

I'd be much more willing to visit the tropics if we killed all the mosquitoes. I am a prime target for them, after all! Mosquitoes prefer thin layers of fat (less to get through before reaching blood vessels) and are repelled by garlic. I am naturally thin and allergic to garlic, which makes my camping trips hell. Since we globally rich people only care about ourselves, maybe I should campaign for my trip to Aruba to be saved, eh?

Sriram Khé said...

I am big time mosquito attractor--as I wrote in another post, when in India, I could be sitting with my family and the mosquitoes will not bite them but only attack me ... apparently the blood type, the CO2 exhalation, body temp, are all factors that they sense ... but garlic is not any repellent--there is no simple thing like merely eating garlic that is going to keep the mosquitoes away.

Ramesh said...

It is not often that you come across a post that would be universally agreed with. Everybody would love to exterminate mosquitoes , even Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy and the like.

I wonder if the technique suggested is feasible. If it had been so, the sainted Bill Gates would have implemented it some time ago, given the enormous work he is doing on malaria eradication.

By the way, I thought this blog was a family blog. Vivid description of aerial gymnastics might get your U rating withdrawn !!

Sriram Khé said...

Oh, the technology is new. (http://www.oxitec.com/faqs/) The limited field trials were wonderfully productive and now they plan to enlarge the scope of the action but for this particular mosquito ...
I don't think they have developed any GM-mosquito to fight the malarial parasite carrier mosquitoes.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the likes of Shiva won't rise up ... they are very "principled" GMO opponents. If they grant that the precautionary principle can be ignored in this case, then for them it will become an opening for all GMO stuff ...
The birds and bees do the wild thing, my friend ;)

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