News Article: Would it be wrong to eradicate mosquitoes? – BBC News
I have just read this interesting article, and given the negative impact on human life by disease carried by some species of mosquitoes, it might seem crazy to even ask the question. But there are at least two reasons to hesitate.
The first is the “unintended consequences” issue. Lets say we did eradicate all harmful mosquitoes, this would leave a void in the environment. Those creatures that currently survive on mosquitoes would move on to other food sources, and what impact would that have? Without the competition from mosquitoes, other insect species would thrive, and what impact would that have on humanity?
But as well as this self-interest concern, there is a moral one. We as a species have wiped out a large number of species by lack of care, is it right to deliberately set out to destroy another? Even if there were no negative consequences, what give us a right to make extinct a whole species of creatures? And if we say we do have that right, are there boundaries, or is it unlimited?
A study I was reading the other day suggested a possible link between cat ownership and schizophrenia. Say this was shown to be the case, should we eradicate all cats too? Bears are are dangerous to humans, should we make them extinct too?
Life is a complex thing, and we should think long and hard before tampering with it.