April 18, 2006

A comment from a Kool Aid Drinker

In July of last year, I had written about DDT and linked to two articles on it which seem to go against a lot of people's "feelings". Had a comment today from a Mr. Bob Marley (email address was reefer@(a popular free email service).com Mr. Marley's IP address placed him within the Alachua County School System in Gainesville, Florida. His comment was succinct:
DDT is very harmful and should not be used for the cause of environmental damage.
I would ask Mr. Marley for a link to his sources. Show me where it says that DDT is harmful to the Environment when used in a proper manner. We are talking about a simple and effective and cheap way to save two million lives each year, year after year after year after year. Two Million People die needlessly from Malaria when they could be saved by a simple cheap dusting of DDT on the walls of their houses. Mr. Marley -- are these souls on your conscience and the consciences of those who perpetuate the lie that DDT is a toxic catastrophe? DDT is very effective in small quantities. When it started raising eyebrows back in the late 1960's, the State of California alone was using over 1,000,000 pounds (in 1970). By 1973, no use was reported and that next year 160 pounds were used under a "special local needs" provision for egregious pest control. As I quoted in my post, we were: “soaking the biota in DDT like it was bubble bath…” Instead of instituting an educational program and cutting back its use, the environmentalists decided to cut it completely and go cold turkey. Another quote from my post:
"Overruling the EPA hearing examiner, EPA administrator Ruckelshaus banned DDT in 1972. Ruckelshaus never attended a single hour of the seven months of EPA hearings on DDT. Ruckelshaus' aides reported he did not even read the transcript of the EPA hearings on DDT.
[Santa Ana Register, April 25, 1972]
Using DDT to cure Malaria has been effective before -- here is an excerpt from the IGreens.org.uk report:
Spraying DDT in houses and on mosquito breeding grounds was the primary reason that rates of malaria around the world declined dramatically after the Second World War. Nearly one million Indians died from malaria in 1945, but DDT spraying reduced this to a few thousand by 1960. However, concerns about the environmental harm of DDT led to a decline in spraying and, likewise, a resurgence of malaria. Today there are once again millions of cases of malaria in India, and over 300 million cases worldwide-most in sub-Saharan Africa. Cases of malaria in South Africa have risen by over 1000 percent in the past five years. Only those countries that have continued to use DDT, such as Ecuador, have contained or reduced malaria.

Malaria is clearly a human tragedy, but it is also an economic disaster. According to Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard's Centre for International Development, lost productivity from malaria costs afflicted patients about 1 percent of Africa's wealth every year. In many countries, malaria halves the economic growth that would otherwise occur.

While there is some evidence that DDT causes environmental harm, damage occurred only during widespread agricultural use of DDT in the 1950s and 1960s. It was alleged that DDT led to eggshell thinning and other effects in certain birds; these problems were shown to be reversible. No study in the scientific literature has adequately shown any human health problem resulting from DDT. Therefore, low-dose use of DDT indoors is unlikely to cause any significant harm to the environment or people.

Yet in 1995, the United Nations Environment Program proposed an international treaty to reduce and/or eliminate 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), including DDT, from world-wide production and use. The result of such a process is obvious. As environmentalists have pushed to eliminate DDT over the years, the relationship between decreased DDT use and increasing malaria cases has become very clear.
Yo' Bob -- get some facts to back yourself up before you say it's alright for 2,000,000 people to die each year just to satisfy some environmental junk science feel-good idiocy. Posted by DaveH at April 18, 2006 5:27 PM
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