A Question of Ethics

I woke up early yesterday morning with a question on my mind.

If a company were to invent an insecticide that was not directly harmful to humans and the surrounding plant life; but wiped out mosquitos and their larvae, would you use it? Should you use it? What would the implications of something like that be?

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8 thoughts on “A Question of Ethics

  1. SnapperTrx

    That’s a tough one. I would think that even mosquitoes have some kind of purpose in the ecosystem, and wiping them out completely might not be a good idea. Greatly decreasing their population, however, particularly in areas prone to mosquitoes as a vector for disease, would be an absolute ‘yes’. If I never saw a mosquito in the city, but continued to see them in the forests and wooded areas, or out by the lakes, I wouldn’t complain.

    Reply
    1. matt Post author

      I agree overall. While understanding the disease factors, though, I don’t think mankind has the capacity (inherently) for moderation. People are easily scared and have come to adopt the dangerous mentality of “any risk is too great a risk”. For all the paved roads, skyscraper buildings, mobile phones and all the other crap humans are obsesses with, we’re not too far removed from huddling around a fire hoping not to get picked off by the bears and mountain lions.

      Reply
      1. SnapperTrx

        I would tend to agree. Environmentalist go to far in saying that all mankind should die to save the planet, and very few of them understand the culling and control of animal populations. There are some, but most ‘part time activists’ could care less. They would murder people to save a rat or a bird. Calculated control is a benefit to both man and beast.

        Reply
  2. wolke205

    Ich glaube nicht, dass es ein Mittel gibt, was tatsächlich “nur” den blutsaugenden Biestern schadet. Wenn es dieses gibt, ohne schädlichen Nebenwirkungen für den Menschen und die Natur – dann ja! Sofort!

    Reply
    1. matt Post author

      Zuerst würde ich es auch denken. Ich hasse Mücken. 😦
      Doch was in der Nahrungskette zwischen Leute und Mücken ist, dass wir abhängen? Ich denke, die Antwort nicht so einfach ist.

      Reply
  3. Carol Reamy

    I love the phrase used above, “calculated control”. Mosquito abatement is one thing….mosquito eradication is something else entirely–not because I value the life of a mosquito over a human but because of the probable food chain effect Interesting question, Matt.

    Reply
    1. matt Post author

      I think calculated control is a good thought, at least superficially. It raises the question who exercises that control?

      Reply
      1. SnapperTrx

        A REAL and honest EPA should, technically, be able to handle it, in a soda-pop world where people did what was right instead of doing things based on political motive or gain. In fact your hypothetical has already been tried after the introduction and eradication of DDT. I don’t know about long term effects, but in the short term you can find video of people enjoying the outdoors, playing and having picnics while local government saturated the area with clouds of DDT, which did a great job of killing mosquitoes. For a time it was used in Africa and the malaria death count dropped dramatically until DDT was banned by the U.N. (I think) despite the fact that no real evidence pointed to it being lethal to humans. Since then the death rate for malaria in Africa has skyrocketed again while other ‘safer’ control methods have failed, including the much touted and well-funded mosquito-net method. It’s a shame, but again, soda-pop compared to real life.

        Reply

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