ON MOSQUITOS: Are you an organic fundamentalist?
I’ve been an organic gardener for decades. The thought of genetically modifying nature, to me, is repellant and risky. But I’m developing some flexibility on many fronts. I’m coming to see that making a god out of nature is to make an idol. I was deeply troubled while at divinity school to be told that the word dominion from the first chapter of Genesis, meant that man was commissioned by God to trample creation! (Upon further reflection I came to see that good farmers don’t trample their land, but rather they walk over it to know it well, improving it year by year.) Well, it’s time for us to improve our ground!
Yes, it’s time for humankind to exercise dominion over this pestilent creature of flying, biting, misery and death. But the pesticide industry surely doesn’t want to see biting mosquitos disappear, meaning we must be alert to their disinformation. So be wise, knowing that “protecting” nature tempts us to allow continued polluting with deadly toxins. And we must recognize that humankind is promoting and perpetuating this worthless species by our profligate over-use of plastics, according to experts in a well-reasoned article looking at the moral justification for eliminating this species of mosquito:
“[T]he growth in the population of aegypti is down to our rapid increase in plastic consumption; it provides the mosquitos with an ideal breeding ground. There is so much misinformation out there,” Lindsay says. “You see pictures of large open areas of stagnant water. But that’s not where the danger is. This thing breeds in small containers: flowerpots, gutters, tyres, water bottles. It’s about screening buildings, putting up nets, [. . .] That’s not something for health professionals: that’s about educating and empowering communities so that they can reduce the risk themselves.”
My growing personal flexibility on the topic of genetic modification will start with agreeing to the sterilization and release of males to eliminate this deadly pest, with the added benefit of reducing the noxious load of sprayed toxins. Dominion — it’s our assignment! We need to grow!