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Eradicating pest and threat species is so very not new. Ask the wolves around centuries old ranching regions. Mosquitoes have indirectly the highest human body count in history and prehistory.

Even with reuse it is pretty mating strategy dependent. It isn't a dial an extinction. Trying that with say feral cats would be a miserable failure or at best the equivalent of releasing a bunch of teaser tomcats into an area having only the TNR occupying effect on inhibiting population growth by claiming territory until they die of natural causes.




I never said this was new. What concerns me is it being done in the modern era. And not just in the modern era, but backed up by scientists too, which lends it additional credibility. In general, people in this era trust science more than they trust politicians. If a politician tells them something is a good idea, they will distrust that politician if it goes against their gut instinct. But if a scientist tells them the same, many will make an active effort to overrule their gut instinct to the contrary. This is good when the scientists are acting ethically, and bad when the scientists are acting unethically. It's easy to make a first-order argument for the eradication of certain species of mosquitoes being ethical; you just point to how many human lives it will save. But as I previously explained that analysis is incomplete; it does not take into account how the act of eradicating mosquitoes will change how people perceive the relationship between humans and the environment.

In short; a scientist demanding a cull will have more social impact than a politician demanding a cull. The more culls scientists demand, the easier it will be for fear-mongering politicians to demand culls.


Eradicating an invasive species that we (inadvertently) introduced in the first place seems more similar to me to wolf rewilding/reintroduction programs than the opposite. We're trying to unwind an earlier intervention.


Those mosquitoes aren't invasive anywhere. Eradicating them means killing them wherever they're native as well, which is definitely what many people in this discussion are proposing.

Culling invasive species wherever they are invasive is something I support. But many people want to go a lot further than that.


Killing off wolves has had many unintended and unforeseen consequences. Just for one example, the lack of large predators such as wolves leads to uncontrolled population explosions of deer, which leads to a massive increase in the population and prevalence of deer ticks, and consequent tick borne diseases.

As a species we’re piss poor at calculating blowback in complicated systems, ranging from the deaths of animal species, to interventions in foreign lands. Is it really surprising? We have an incomplete picture of the systems we intervene in, so the outcomes surprise us, then we rationalize our next blunder with the old saw, “this time it will be different.”




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