This story really can’t get enough exposure. The overblown backlash against DDT is one of the greatest crimes the West has perpetrated against the the third world, and one of the greatest black marks against the hysterical, anti-scientific strain of environmentalism. Anyone who genuinely cares about humans living in harmony with nature can’t afford to ignore this story. This is what happens when objectivitty and moderation are tossed aside in blind adherence to ideological environmentalism: while Westner nations are now blissfully free of malaria, largely due to early use of DDT, two million people die of malaria every year in the third world. DDT eradicates malaria in the countries where it is used. Nothing else works nearly as well as DDT, and newer, environmentally responsible methods of use have been developed for it. But because of the remaining stigma attached to it, some nations have signed a treaty agreeing not to us it, international aid organizations refuse to fund it’s use, and few third world countries will risk the negative opinion that using DDT would engender in the West. And so millions die, and many more millions suffer the economic consequences of the disease’s debilitating effects on populations, while Americans and Europeans remain smugly secure in their environmental superiority.
I’m all for responsible environmentalism, but not to the point that it values all other living things over humans. And not to the point that it stifles legitimate scientific debate in politically correct groupthink. If this planet is to flourish we’re going to have to act sensibly and deliberately, with moderation.