Lee Pitts: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
July 15, 2016
Did you see the news out of London's Imperial College where scientists have found the cure for everything? An article in Nature Communications said that the scientists have genetically modified mosquitoes in the lab to produce sperm that produced 95 percent male offspring. By turning loose these modified mosquitoes they could eliminate all mosquitoes in a few generations because there would be no female mosquitoes left. The scientists said they'd only use it on small samples of the blood suckers at first, but once that cat is out of the bag, putting it back will be worse than shoving a swollen 50 pound prolapse back into a cow.
I predicted this years ago in a column when I said that women would someday find a way to eliminate all men thereby solving all the world's ills. Now it's actually possible.
While the scientists are at it why not eradicate house flies, horse flies, fruit flies and all fly flies? I don't like fleas or fire ants either so let's get rid of them along with the birds who poop on my car, cockroaches, mice, rats, bats, rattlesnakes, loud crickets and creepy spiders. Better yet, why not just get rid of all bugs? Just think, you'd hardly ever have to wash your car's windshield, spray with bug spray or slap yourself silly trying to kill those pesky chiggers and no-see-ums that torment you on hot summer days. I'm sure my fellow Westerners would love to see all those nasty EPA officials swarming over the West to be swatted with one giant genetic fly swatter too.
I think I speak for all gardeners when I say eliminate cabbage worms, corn worms, apple worms, cucumber beetles, thrips, aphids, grasshoppers, snails, slugs, gophers, mites and moles. While they're at it why not eradicate rascally raccoons and the deer that eat all my wife's flowers?
Just think ranchers, no more salt cedar, juniper, mesquite and mustard. And sheepherders will be glad to hear it's possible to eliminate all those beasts that eat their baby lambs, like wolves and coyotes. I'm sure that rancher in Montana who just lost 40 lambs to one bear would want us to include bruins on my death wish list too.
The London scientists admitted that it's unclear the effects the mosquito extermination would have but let's take a step back for a moment and think about this. The mosquitoes provide food for many fish so without the mosquitoes, there'd be no fish and without fish there'd probably be no Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops. I'm sorry but that's not a trade I'm willing to make.
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You just know it would be a government agency in charge of deciding who gets terminated. If you thought a bunch of IRS flunkies auditing your taxes because you're a conservative was frightening just wait until the government witch doctors come after you. I think it would be great if they'd let the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service do the exterminations because they are known as APHIS and if they did wipe out aphis as I suggested, it would be the first time in history that a government agency ever got rid of itself. Now there's an idea I think we can all get behind.
The universities would no doubt play a role too and as broke as they say they are, you could give them a new building or two and have them come up with a study for Angus breeders that says Hereford breeders should eliminated. Brangus breeders will want to do away with Gert breeders and I'm sure there are those who would do away with investigative journalists. My fellow humor columnists, a word to the wise, I wouldn't buy any green bananas if I were you because the first time you fail to be funny you could be the next to go. This is a slippery slope folks.
The biggest problem I see is that once a species got down to a few million head a different government agency would declare it an endangered species and then you'd have two agencies of the federal government each spending billions of your tax dollars trying to eliminate and save a species at the same time.
Call me old fashioned, if you will, but sometimes we must resist technology and leave well enough alone. ❖