November 2, 2000 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Three This is the average number of children who are dying from malaria in Africa EVERY MINUTE. Time was when it could be justly claimed that DDT had saved 500 million lives, but then along came Rachel Carson with her mendacious jeremiad, Silent Spring. Her anti DDT campaign was taken up by the murderous EPA and vociferously supported by environmental SIFs, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Human life is an irritating side-issue to such fanatics
posted by john (12 comments total)
This site is devoted to the monitoring of the misleading numbers that rain down on us via the media. Whether they are generated by Single Issue Fanatics (SIFs), politicians, bureaucrats, quasi-scientists (junk, pseudo- or just bad), such numbers swamp the media, generating unnecessary alarm and panic.

Piffle. The idea that the left is an enemy of science is a meme that gets invoked frequently. Such claims tend to ignore the fact that the right distorts facts just as often, and by groups that are just as fanatical, but the meme sure is pernicious. And I've seen it propogated by writers a heck of a lot better than whoever is behind "Numberswatch."

That said, I'm not sure that the idea of using DDT in countries were malaria is a significant threat to public health is a bad one. Note, however, that the link claims that spraying DDT within homes has neglible environmental effect without providing a shred of data to back it up.
posted by snarkout at 2:05 PM on November 2, 2000

While you may be right, the rhetoric you use doesn't seem any different from that of the people you criticise. No doubt they thought they were right at the time too...

posted by andrew cooke at 2:13 PM on November 2, 2000

It seems highly unlikely that widespread use of any toxic chemical can have a negligible environmental effect. That just doesn't make sense. If there is no environmental effect, the chemical is not doing its job. It's not like you can just draw a line and say "this is environment" and "that's public health"; it's all interrelated. We live IN our environment; it's not some external service from which we draw water and air.

Human life is an irritating side-issue to such fanatics

The human race has overdosed. Is it fanatical to call for a stomach pump?

posted by Mars Saxman at 2:16 PM on November 2, 2000

Sure who needs birds anyway? And all that talk about mosquitoes becoming resistant? That's just more BS from those EVIL, EVIL environmentalists.

Here's a wordy paper on malaria that takes less hysterical stance on malaria DDT.

If you do some research, you'll find that DDT is used to control malaria at this time. But it has limited application and usefulness.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:27 PM on November 2, 2000

Wow, John. That was almost the perfect post. Rarely have I read such a skillfull blend of ignorance and vitriol. Mister Limbaugh would be proud. No, that statement was too inane even for Rush. Congratulations, John. You are now an honorary graduate of the G. Gordon Liddy School of Inflammatory Rhetoric. Walk proudly, my man.
posted by Optamystic at 11:17 PM on November 2, 2000

...three dead people a minute is woefully inadequate to meet our population-destroying needs. If Mother Nature can't step up to the plate and deliver more deaths, we'll have to take matters into our own hands.

I await Her response.
posted by aramaic at 6:41 AM on November 3, 2000

So, john, is it really true that all we have is a black-and-white choice between:

a) three children dying every minute
b) adults dying of long-term DDT exposure?

Surely we're smart enough to find another way.

I also fail to see the connection between the "murderous" EPA, which has banned use of DDT in the United States, and deaths in African countries which -- last I heard, anyway -- were not part of the EPA's jurisdiction. But perhaps you in your infinite wisdom know of some law that I do not.
posted by dhartung at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2000

There's more than one way to combat malaria, after all.
posted by dhartung at 7:52 AM on November 3, 2000

Whoa, I quoted directly from the site. I have no more real knowledge then anyone else about this. It seemed debate provoking and posting it here it usually the best way to get other views. Back off.
posted by john at 10:49 AM on November 3, 2000

Dammit, none of this petty infighting is going to do anything to help kill more people. Geez, get organized folks! If you're gonna argue, you could at least have the decency to be armed.
posted by aramaic at 12:06 PM on November 3, 2000

John...sorry. As there were no quotation marks, I read the comments attached to the post as your opinion, rather than a quote. My bad.
posted by Optamystic at 12:38 PM on November 3, 2000

No harm no foul.

I do find it amazing how difficult it is to really pin down the truth on anything.
posted by john at 1:33 PM on November 3, 2000

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