The BBC reported yesterday that during our Fourth of July celebrations, there is an international security risk we should keep in the back of our minds.
The Iranian threat? No. The North Koreans? Not exactly. The international security threat just discovered: Ants.
A super aggressive ant, the Argentine ant, was formerly believed to be hostile to other ants – however, this is not the case. The Argentine ants from the three largest super colonies are friendly toward each other, leaving scientists to believe they are genetically related. And we humans were the ones that transported them all over the world. The Argentine Ant is known to often invade Southern California homes in the thousands. They’re even blamed for spreading weeds.
Right on cue, special interest groups have started making claims as to why the ant population has exploded. Our favorite so far is an organic food blogger claiming the population increase is due to our change in diet. Scared of ants taking over your home? Eat organic food!
This chilling, if not humorous new story being used and abused offers a striking resemblance to another popular scientific news item: global warming.
Every time an anomaly in the scientific world is discovered, a climate group immediately comes out saying it is due to global warming. Global warming could even increase terrorism, according to some. This is a dangerous trend that could be damaging to scientists all over. If a scientist wanted to look into this ant issue further, a good way to get grant money is to say he wants to research Argentine ants and their relation to climate change.
Don’t be surprised if a news story comes out sooner rather than later claiming that the ant population is exploding, thanks to global warming. I can see it now: “Unless we all want to be ant-slaves, we need to sign cap and trade legislation into law.” If such a story does come out, you’ll know how to react.