Trends that Make Us Crazy, or When Technology Sucks – Gavin and Yvonne’s Archive –

Yvonne writes : Malaria

Sometimes we are so frustrated with today’s life that we could climb the walls, so you troops are gonna get the brunt of our thinking.

There’s yet another annual malaria-spasm going on in the World Health Organization and all the other hand-wringing letterheads. Recent reports worldwide show that there may be a half-million malaria deaths per year in India and Africa. For a time the use of bed nets had a dramatic impact on lowering the malaria rate–however, the mosquitoes have learned; now they’re waking up to bite earlier in the evenings and even later in the mornings. Hence the advantage of the bed net technology, simple though it was, is fading fast.

The other main technology against malaria is the spraying of powerful insecticides–toxins–that kill all insects, good, bad, and indifferent. “Malaria is a bad thing,” the hand-wringers all lament, “so let’s throw poisons everywhere to kill the naughty mosquitoes that carry it from one person to another. What the heck? If the poisons kill all the good insects: the pollinators, the butterflies, the bees, everything within reach, so what? We can do big drama, spend big bucks, grandstand and strike attitudes full time, all to show what virtuous, important, essential, crusading heroes we are. First things first.”

And yet.

Here’s today’s reality smack: That same heroic spraying reduces the population of bats and birds that rely for their very survival on the vast variety of insects.

Have you heard of bats? Of hummingbirds? Of purple martins? Of swallows? Of frogs and toads? Of dragonflies? Of gambusia minnows–surface feeders that think larvae are nummy?

All these creatures and many more are eager–eager–to find mosquitoes and eat them. Such creatures do not need annual renewal. They do not spread toxins. They do not demand benefits. They do not march for early retirement. They simply want (and deserve) to live as part of the Mother’s natural cycle.

The suits, on the other hand, under whatever letterhead, seek to justify their bloated paychecks by trumpeting their strenuous activities in the anti-malaria effort. How stupid can you get? Instead of killing off the bats and birds and other creatures with toxins, how about having massive breeding programs for them and constructing inexpensive bat- and bird-houses?


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