0
   

Reject Environmentalism, Not DDT

 
 
Reply Sat 15 Jan, 2005 11:24 pm
http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10773&news_iv_ctrl=1021


Quote:
DDT could help prevent malaria among tsunami survivors, but environmental ideology forbids its use.

Unfortunately, survivors of December's tsunami are not yet safe from harm; they now face the threat of deadly diseases such as cholera and dysentery. But, as heavy rains create breeding conditions for disease-carrying mosquitoes, there is one threat they should not have to face: malaria.

Though nearly eradicated decades ago, malaria has resurged with a vengeance and kills over a million people each year. But its horrific death toll is largely preventable. The most effective agent of mosquito control, the pesticide DDT, has been essentially discarded--discarded based not on scientific concerns about its safety, but on environmental dogma.

The environmental crusade against DDT began with Rachel Carson's antipesticide diatribe "Silent Spring," published in 1962 at the height of the worldwide antimalaria campaign. The widespread spraying of DDT had caused a spectacular drop in malaria incidence--Sri Lanka, for example, reported 2.8 million malaria victims in 1948, but by 1963 it had only 17. Yet Carson's book made no mention of this. It said nothing of DDT's crucial role in eradicating malaria in industrialized countries, or of the tens of millions of lives saved by its use.

Instead, Carson filled her book with misinformation--alleging, among other claims, that DDT causes cancer. Her unsubstantiated assertion that continued DDT use would unleash a cancer epidemic generated a panicked fear of the pesticide that endures as public opinion to this day.

But the scientific case against DDT was, and still is, nonexistent. Almost 60 years have passed since the malaria-spraying campaigns began--with hundreds of millions of people exposed to large concentrations of DDT--yet, according to international health scholar Amir Attaran, the scientific literature "has not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome." Indeed, in one study human volunteers ate DDT every day for over two years with no ill effects.

Abundant scientific evidence supporting the safety and importance of DDT was presented during seven months of testimony before the newly formed EPA in 1971. The presiding judge ruled unequivocally against a ban. But the public furor against DDT--fueled by "Silent Spring" and the growing environmental movement--was so great that a ban was imposed anyway. The EPA administrator, who hadn't even bothered to attend the hearings, overruled his own judge and imposed the ban in defiance of the facts and evidence. And the 1972 ban in the United States led to an effective worldwide ban, as countries dependent on U.S.-funded aid agencies curtailed their DDT use to comply with those agencies' demands.

So if scientific facts are not what has driven the furor against DDT, what has? Estimates put today's malaria incidence worldwide at around 300 million cases, with a million deaths every year. If this enormous toll of human suffering and death is preventable, why do environmentalists--who profess to be the defenders of life--continue to press for a global DDT ban?

The answer is that environmental ideology values an untouched environment above human life. The root of the opposition to DDT is not science, but the environmentalist moral premise that it is wrong for man to "tamper" with nature.

The large-scale eradication of disease-carrying insects epitomizes the control of nature by man. This is DDT's sin. To Carson and the environmentalists she inspired, "the 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy." Nature, they hold, is intrinsically valuable and must be kept free from human interference.

On this environmentalist premise the proper attitude to nature is not to seek to improve it for human benefit, but to show "humility" before its "vast forces" and leave it alone. We should seek, Carson wrote, not to eliminate malarial mosquitoes with pesticides, but to find instead "a reasonable accommodation between the insect hordes and ourselves." If the untouched, "natural" state is one in which millions contract deadly diseases, so be it.

Carson's current heirs agree. Earth First! founder Dave Foreman writes: "Ours is an ecological perspective that views Earth as a community and recognizes such apparent enemies as 'disease' (e.g., malaria) and 'pests' (e.g., mosquitoes) not as manifestations of evil to be overcome but rather as vital and necessary components of a complex and vibrant biosphere."

Ask the tsunami survivors if malaria is only an apparent enemy.

In the few minutes it has taken you to read this article, over a thousand people have contracted malaria and half a dozen have died. This is the life-or-death consequence of viewing pestilent insects as a "necessary" component of a "vibrant biosphere" and seeking a "reasonable accommodation" with them.

To stop this global health catastrophe, the ban on DDT must be rescinded. But even more important is to reject the environmental ideology on which the ban is based.




http://www.junkscience.com/malaria_clock.htm

The Malaria Clock


http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.htm

DDT FAQ on JunkScience.com
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,932 • Replies: 46
No top replies

 
theantibuddha
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2005 01:25 pm
Okay, so there are no studies linking it to negative health effects. I'll take your word on that, I have no idea either way. Are there any that show that it doesn't? If not then it seems pretty clear what should be done. Someone needs to do a test to determine the effects of DDT upon human health.

If the substance is so useful then clearly these studies should be set at a high priority. After the study is performed then we will have the data required to make an informed decision. Before then an emotionally charged "it causes cancer" is no less valid than an emotionally charged "it cures malaria". Until we have the scientific data we have nothing to base these decisions on.

Never the less, whether or not environmentalism is wrong on a certain issue is not sufficient to completely disregard it on all issues. If it is wrong it should be treated with a certain degree of skepticism, much as it should if it is right.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2005 01:46 pm
theantibuddha wrote:
Okay, so there are no studies linking it to negative health effects. I'll take your word on that, I have no idea either way. Are there any that show that it doesn't? If not then it seems pretty clear what should be done. Someone needs to do a test to determine the effects of DDT upon human health.
That sounds a little extreme. I'm surprised to hear the lack of studies linking DDT to human health issues, as I'm sure it's been studied. If you want to totally ban something with definate benefits, you really need to show cause.

We do know that it produces thinner egg shells in birds (bald eagle is one), so the stuff should be used with some sort of discretion. Could it be possible to strike some sort of balance between one of the biggest killers in the world, and the potential environmental damage from its use?
0 Replies
 
theantibuddha
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 12:42 am
roger wrote:
theantibuddha wrote:
Someone needs to do a test to determine the effects of DDT upon human health.
That sounds a little extreme.

Seriously, the stuff is a poison. That is it's specific purpose, it's what it was designed for. I'm not saying we should test everything, but if we build something to be used as a poison on another creature we should be pretty damn certain it won't hurt us too.

roger wrote:
I'm surprised to hear the lack of studies linking DDT to human health issues.

As am I. I'm giving gungasnake the benefit of the doubt here. Though the government does usually err on the side of caution. If you ban something that may be dangerous until it's proven safe you're likely to get less harm done than if you don't ban it until it's proven dangerous.

Either way it's an important issue, the many deaths from malaria versus the potential damage an (allegedly) unstudied toxin could cause. Yet instead of this wavering about in uncertainty how about simply determining once and for all with a scientific enquiry into the issue.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 08:01 am
theantibuddha wrote:
roger wrote:
theantibuddha wrote:
Someone needs to do a test to determine the effects of DDT upon human health.
That sounds a little extreme.

Seriously, the stuff is a poison. That is it's specific purpose, it's what it was designed for. I'm not saying we should test everything, but if we build something to be used as a poison on another creature we should be pretty damn certain it won't hurt us too.

roger wrote:
I'm surprised to hear the lack of studies linking DDT to human health issues.

As am I. I'm giving gungasnake the benefit of the doubt here. Though the government does usually err on the side of caution. If you ban something that may be dangerous until it's proven safe you're likely to get less harm done than if you don't ban it until it's proven dangerous.

Either way it's an important issue, the many deaths from malaria versus the potential damage an (allegedly) unstudied toxin could cause. Yet instead of this wavering about in uncertainty how about simply determining once and for all with a scientific enquiry into the issue.
The real dirty little secret is that insects, because they breed so quickly, soon develop resistance to the cholinesterase interference which is the basic warclub of all insecticides. India stopped using DDT,bhc and Malathion well before the environmental consequences were known.
Everyone should re read "The silent spring" Carson, besides talking about the potential environmental problems with many insecticides, mentioned that many of the insecticides produced i and used in large amounts throughout the world, were showing , with continued usage, the bugs actually evolved resistance , then tolerance and finally, they thrive on it.

We use a class of chemical for spraying on alfalfa to control leaf hoppers, which suck the juice out of alfalfa plants in temperate climates. This chemical, called Gramaxon, had been a real workhorse since its introduction in the late 70s. Today, its almost useless.
The problems of insecticides are many. As we learn more about the way life accomodates and overcomes things thrown at it (remember the chaos theory assumptions), the various classes of insecticides dont work for long. In the province of Assam, the continued use of DDT until the late 60's had no longer, any appreciable effects on Anapholes and many other insects. The Indian govt just quit using it and started looking at methods that interfere with the insects life cycle. Even the new chemicals have problems and many times have to be cycled with other chemicals.

So, the stuff that junkscience, com spews, comes out of an understanding that is often ill informed, sometimes anti-evolution, and usually wrong.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 08:18 am
antibuddha- Im sorry , but I didnt mean to quote your post, it must have been a bad hit by my bad hand. Sorry and welcome aboard. We sometimes have disagreemenst but were never mean. hee hee
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 10:29 am
ANOTHER VIEW


Ya know, I dont think that the author of the initial quote posted by gunga, had ever read SILENT SPRING at all. Thats the nature of journalism, they expect that the only information that you will read is theirs

erase the gif from the header and reenter, Im too lazy to fix it.
0 Replies
 
theantibuddha
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 12:27 pm
farmerman wrote:
The real dirty little secret is that insects, because they breed so quickly, soon develop resistance to the cholinesterase interference

Though I was unaware that insecticides are based on cholinesterase I'm very familiar with adaptive immunity. In Australia (my home country) we have massive plagues of rabbits (which also breed fast). The CSIRO released the virus miximitosis (sp?) many a year ago. The rabbits had a 98% population drop and are now completely immune. So the CSIRO released rabbit calicivirus, the population dropped again but immunity is surging.

Of course viruses adapt to become less harmful over time but in this case it has been shown to be the rabbits adapting (or more likely being selected for pre-existing ammunity/resistance) and not the viruses.
Quote:
Everyone should re read "The silent spring"

I haven't actually read it, but I'll keep an eye out now.
Quote:
So, the stuff that junkscience, com spews, comes out of an understanding that is often ill informed, sometimes anti-evolution, and usually wrong.

Unfortunately I wouldn't be suprised... this is why I prefaced many of my statements with "allegedly"
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 12:40 pm
The Malaria Clock: Liberals' gift to the third world...


http://www.junkscience.com/malaria_clock.htm
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 12:41 pm
I mean, every time that second number ticks over, i.e. every twelve seconds, Rachel Carson just notched up another victim.
0 Replies
 
theantibuddha
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 01:35 pm
Interesting how our serpentine friend contributes none of his own knowledge of biology to the conversation, yet after reading an article or two becomes convinced he knows exactly what is going on with the topic and goes all gung-ho on it.

The moment people show up and begin to rationally discuss the biological implications of the situation he throws in emotional appeals and personal attacks against the author of a competing work.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 01:58 pm
Anyone who would swallow anything on that obviously amateur site should get some DDT and bathe in it.
0 Replies
 
theantibuddha
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 03:04 pm
Lightwizard wrote:
Anyone who would swallow anything on that obviously amateur site should get some DDT and bathe in it.

Now now, just because every single story on it is "America rules, go libertarians go! Free market, capitalism, ra ra ra!" doesn't mean...

Hang on, what was I going to say again? Meh. Doesn't matter. That site ain't exactly James Randi... hell it isn't even Philip Plait (www.badastronomy.com).

Oh well, whenever things get boring you can count on the libertarians to do something wacky.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 03:44 pm
Hey,I just tried something. Theres a bunch of BAD(add science here).com, out there.
I found Badchemistry
badphysics
badgeology

as well as your bad astronomy. Pretty cool, the bad geology takes swipes at some of the "young earth " crap thats parading as actual thinking
0 Replies
 
CowDoc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 04:56 pm
Okay, fellas, if you condemn the snake for lack of a biological background, perhaps you should also mention that you don't have one either. As a veterinarian with thirty years of practice under my belt, I can tell you a few things about insecticides. First, quit lumping DDT (a chlorinated hydrocarbon) and Malathion (and other organophosphates) into the same class. They are far different from each other in their chemical classifications, stability, and biochemical actions. Truthfully, my only concern with DDT is the fact that its environmental half-life is thirty-three years. This is an extremely stable compound, very difficult to get rid of once it enters an ecosystem. However, the snake is correct, and DDT is certainly not the only chemical to suffer an unjustified ban due to faulty science. Twenty years ago, sulfamethazine was deemed to be a carcinogen, and became the FDA's #1 target when it searched for residue in dairy products. What was not reveals until much later was the fact that ALL the control rats in the experiment that resulted in the drug ban died before the experimental rats developed tumors. The worse news is that political agendas drive much of today's environmental science, from global warming to endangered species listing to public lands management, and virtually every other issue related in any way to the environment. Until some sort of reason can be injected, I greatly fear that EarthFirst!, PETA, the Sierra Club, and a plethora of other urban-based organizations will continue to hold sway over decisions that should be made by those who actually have some idea of the science behind sound conservation. I, for one, would suggest that people cease referring to themselves as "environmentalists" and make the clarification as to whether they support "conservation" or "preservation". Therein lies the actual difference between those who advocate wise use of natural resources, and those who believe that all human activity is inherently evil. One is entirely sensible, and the other is, in my opinion, utterly ludicrous.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 05:29 pm
however, and Im the one who inadvertantly just lumped the organophosphate and organochlorines, DDT was found to be increasingly innefective because the Ace gene in the skeeters were (in recessive condition) gradually conferring resistance to DDT and DDE.I meant to infer that a similar resistance was being conferred by Malathion . Malathion and HCH are another story.
DDT just doesnt work as well any more, just like my story about gramaxon. It too doesnt work on leafhoppers anymore

I dont think anybody brought up that there was a cancer concern because we always make trade offs in health issues. However , the environmental concerns for losses in raptor populations were a real environmental concern that, once the chemical was no longer used in outdoor dusting , the populations of raptors, eagles and pelicans returned.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 05:31 pm
personally I use a scattergun on the pesky critters.(however, my ceiling leaks)
0 Replies
 
CowDoc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 05:35 pm
Genetic adaptation will occur any time chemicals are used for extended periods of time, and especially if a low level of exposure is present. Basically, you kill off the susceptible population and the genetically resisent survive and breed. This happens regularly with horn flies and pyrethrins and O-P's. As a result, we use a rotation program of insecticides. It isn't a question of whether a chemical works any more, but one of resistance within the population. This is also why sulfas lost popularity in human medicine fifty years ago, but are now used more often today. As bacterial strains developed resistance to antibiotics, they were more often susceptible to sulfas. This cycle can continue in a population almost indefinitely.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 10:17 pm
I know cowdoc, its called evolution by induced selection.The Indian govt has apparently had gradual decreasing successes with cyclic spraying with a number of chemicals incuding synthhetic pyrethrins and have begun using Bt.It appears that the same resistance to DDT has been using the same genetic pathway to confer resistance to these other chemicals. Bt , on the other hand, is working through the larval stages, with one problem Bt also kills other complete metamorphosis insects, like honeybees

Gungas reasons for pulling out this discussion every couple of weeks are tied to a simplistic view of most sciences.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2005 03:44 am
http://www.junkscience.com/jan05/DDTflipflop.htm

World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace Reverse Gear on DDT:
Tens of Millions Die for Nothing?
January 8, 2005, JunkScience.com

The World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace apparently have reversed their long-standing opposition to the use of DDT to fight malaria. In his column in the New York Times (Jan. 8), Nicholas Kristof quotes spokesmen from WWF and Greenpeace as supporting the use of DDT in anti-malarial programs:

* "I called the World Wildlife Fund, thinking I would get a fight. But Richard Liroff, its expert on toxins, said he could accept the use of DDT when necessary in anti-malaria programs. 'South Africa was right to use DDT,' he said. 'If the alternatives to DDT aren't working, as they weren't in South Africa, geez, you've got to use it. In South Africa it prevented tens of thousands of malaria cases and saved lots of lives.'"
* "At Greenpeace, Rick Hind noted reasons to be wary of DDT, but added: 'If there's nothing else and it's going to save lives, we're all for it. Nobody's dogmatic about it.'"

DDT was banned by the U.S. -- and for practical purposes by the rest of the world -- in 1972 following an intense lobbying campaign by the Environmental Defense Fund. Tens of millions of people -- mostly pregnant women and children -- have died from malaria during the last 30 years. Many, if not most, of these deaths may have been avoided had DDT been more widely used.

The WWF nevertheless maintains on its web site that "DDT should be phased out and ultimately banned." Greenpeace has long called for banning DDT, and has been a leading advocate of the POPs Treaty, which would make DDT more difficult to use in anti-malaria programs, if not operate as a de facto ban.

It might be easy for some to dismiss the past 43 years of eco-hysteria over DDT with a simple "Nevermind..." -- a la Saturday Night Live's Emily Litella -- except for the blood of millions of people dripping from the hands of the WWF, Greenpeace, Rachel Carson, Environmental Defense Fund and other junk science-fueled opponents of DDT.

I suppose it's possible that WWF's Richard Liroff and Greenpeace's Rick Hind were misquoted by Kristof or that they don't really mean what they say. But if they really stand by use of DDT in anti-malarial programs, JunkScience.com calls on the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace to apply their multi-million dollar budgets toward ensuring that not another death occurs that could have been prevented by DDT.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Reject Environmentalism, Not DDT
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/10/2021 at 06:13:04