Give me DDT or give me death…

I have nothing against environmentalists as a whole. In fact, I consider myself “environmentally aware.” I work in an environmentally-related field. I recycle. I love creation / nature (trying to be inclusive), and believe that we have been entrusted with the Earth and should take care of it; it’s the only one we’ve got (and I also believe the Earth is uniquely situated to support life, so we don’t have much hope of finding another livable planet). I hate pollution. Most of all, I hate styrofoam. In fact, I’m so disgusted when manufacturers package their products in the crap that I’m considering asking to see the packaging prior to buying anything.

However, I believe that many environmentalists mean well, but are simply misguided and misinformed. Take the issue of global warming, for example (not that I want to start a side-debate on this issue). While the media and various environmental groups firmly assert that global warming is a fact and that man is behind it, there is substantial evidence which challenges all of those assertions. Many don’t realize that GW theory is a product of computer models which create their own data (a unique approach). The most current models actually predict a much less severe global impact than thought, and may actually be more beneficial than not. But, that’s not the point of this post.

For some time now I have been aware of the scandalous (although debated) history of the DDT ban. Some environmentalists claim that DDT was banned because of the increase in DDT-resistant mosquitoes; however, the resistance argument is over-stated. It is fact that much of the concern here was the belief that DDT caused a thinning shell of bird eggs and was leading to the demise of Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons (when in fact bird populations had dropped significantly before DDT was in use). The U.S. was largely responsible in influencing, if not persuading, international DDT bans; I’ve read (I’m looking for the reference) that the U.S. made certain financial assistance to 3rd world countries contingent upon DDT restrictions.

An interesting post at Uncommon Descent states:

… I did some research and was horrified to learn that the malaria epidemic in Africa is perhaps the most preventable health care tragedy in the history of the world. We could eradicate African malaria if only we would allow them to use DDT to combat the mosquitoes that spread the disease.

The post also includes a reprint of an article by Sam Zaramba, the Director General for Health Services for the nation of Uganda on the subject. It’s well worth reading.

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