February 20, 2010

The Green Death

The estimable Doctor Zero revisits the DDT ban and the horrendous cost in human life that can result when politics corrupts science and good intentions trump real world consequences.

The Green Death

Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring used manipulated data and wildly exaggerated claims (sound familiar?) to push for a worldwide ban on the pesticide known as DDT – which is, to this day, the most effective weapon against malarial mosquitoes. The Environmental Protection Agency held extensive hearings after the uproar produced by this book… and these hearings concluded that DDT should not be banned. A few months after the hearings ended, EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus over-ruled his own agency and banned DDT anyway, in what he later admitted was a “political” decision. Threats to withhold American foreign aid swiftly spread the ban across the world.

The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives. This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.

Read it all, of course, and see related links...

August, 2003 - Wizblog: Bureaucracy Kills

July, 2003 - Front Page Magazine - Rachel Carson's Ecological Genocide

April, 2004 - NYT Magazine: What the World Needs Now is DDT

July 2002 - The DDT Ban Turns 30

Posted by dan at February 20, 2010 12:40 AM