Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Year of Publication: 2019
Author(s): Ester Phillips
Recently came across this fascinating article about some ants’ medicinal prowess.
Apparently the author concludes: “One of the fascinating things about ant society is you can get very complex and sophisticated behaviour without any need of cognition or knowledge of what you are doing”
This leaves me to wonder:
Would we have had President Trump, Brexit, climate change, foreseeable and yet seemingly unavoidable collapse of civilisation if this wasn’t true for Humans too?
So am I an ant?
Does an ant ever stop to think that it is destroying its only habitat by becoming too wide-spread, each ant taking too much out of the system? Apparently not according, to the conclusion of the article.
I work relentlessly and achieve nothing. Every measure I try putting into place that might preserve the rich web of life underpinning our existence gets demolished by a tsunami of new arrivals. They are changing the climate, polluting everything, fighting battles for territory and reproduction, and steal the home of nearly every other species. They regularly shoot at each other and wonder why? Yet I still motor on, seemingly unable to retire, begging them to stop but most of them seem autistic.
Whilst once upon a time I lived surrounded by greenery, concrete mounds getting ever taller now surround me, I detest it. In the past space was a feature, now it is a luxury. My organic varied habitat has been terraformed into an inorganic one, and I am just feeling endlessly miffed and threatened. Fires, droughts, storms now regularly destroy the mounds and most just don’t link it to their activities. Maybe they are eating too much coal and drinking too much petrol, some say they are lethal drugs. How could I wean them off it?
Do they even know what they are doing I ask myself constantly? They are collectively destroying the only habitat they have got before they will turn on each other. They look like me but don’t seem to notice the same things. They are racing towards extinction and they are still raising their young as if nothing was wrong. You can educate them all you want, most seem utterly incapable of changing their behaviour.
I can therefore only conclude: I am definitely an ant and a cow must be an aphid.
This of course is wishful thinking, ants are far better equipped than Humans to survive the changing climate that is to come. I’m sadly only a Human, way more vulnerable and obviously of a kind less intelligent than the ants who developed antibiotics millions of years before Fleming!