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The costliest mistake in history

Claudia Sanchez

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The Great Leap Forward was a plan to restructure China’s economy, and develop the nation.

One of the very first steps, was called the Four Pests campaign.


It was a plan to eradicate mosquitos, flies, rats, and sparrows.

The first ones make sense, but why sparrows?

Apparently sparrows ate “too much fruit and grain,” and therefore needed to be exterminated.


It didnÂ’t make a whole lot of sense, but the campaign went through. The citizens of China were all encouraged to kill as many sparrows as they could.


To do this, they all got drums, pots, pans, or anything else that made a loud noise, and would use them to make a racket where the sparrows lived. Too scared to land, the sparrows would fly around until they dropped out of the sky from exhaustion.

They would also destroy bird nests, smash their eggs, and even just shoot them out of the sky. There would be rewards for whoever could shoot the most sparrows in a day.



The campaign was enormously successful. They drove the sparrows perilously close to extinction. Now those pesky birds wouldnÂ’t eat the grain or fruit. Success!

Or maybe not.

As the Chinese soon found out, sparrows eat a lot of locusts. They are virtually their only predator. With all the sparrows gone, nothing was keeping the locusts in check. So what happened to the locust population?

It exploded. It got insanely, obscenely, ridiculously massive.


And what do locusts eat?

Grains, fruit, plants, and basically anything remotely edible.


Massive locust swarms moved across China and destroyed any and all food they came upon. There were so many, the swarms would routinely block out the sun. For years, the locusts destroyed huge amounts of food.

This caused the largest famine in human history. Over 30 million people starved to death. It was one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of the 20th century.

And all because the Chinese government decided to kill this guy.


That, is the costliest mistake in history.



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Evidently God likes sparrows a lot.

This is a phenomenon that ALWAYS occurs when any large group of people are governed from a "Central Control" ... whether it be secular or theological.  The people who see themselves as wise and compet

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This is a phenomenon that ALWAYS occurs when any large group of people are governed from a "Central Control" ... whether it be secular or theological.  The people who see themselves as wise and competent BECAUSE they have achieved power to direct people's lives ... with the highest ideals and purest of motives ... and having checkbooks with many zeros before the decimal point in their back pockets, and their front pockets filled with righteous incompetence bereft of understanding .... cause massive irreparable damage.

This is the way it has always been with the affairs of men,.

To paraphrase an old saying " A Board of Directors ( or a congress, politburo, or Governing Body ...) is an alien life form with at least sixteen legs ... and no brain.".

There is a word for this !


In the case of China, there was a whole generation whose descendants today were told stories of the mass starvation of billions of people, and having to mix dirt with water to eat, so it is a lasting cultural memory to this day.


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The China Locusts did not DESTROY the food ... they just converted it to strong, vitamin enriched locust bodies, 12 ways.

If you could get used to the idea of eating Locusts, like termites, they are FULL of high quality protein, and while everyone else is starving, you could be waddling around in your satiated fatness.

.... of course, John the Baptist ate Locusts and Honey ... perhaps from a lack of good locust recipes without honey.

Fortunately, a pile of locusts set on fire can be used as fuel to cook other locusts ... If you cook them crunchy, you do not have to deal with brushing that sticky green slime off of your teeth.

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