Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Environmental fraud kills

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, better known as DDT, is the most lifesaving man made chemical in the history of the world.

In World War II it was used to kill mosquitoes and other disease-spreading insects which were killing soldiers, often at a higher rate than enemy weaponry.

After the war, DDT was used to control the spread of malaria, a disease now considered synonymous with Third World nations, but which once kills thousands of people a year in America. Over the next decade, malaria was nearly wiped out worldwide. The death toll dropped by millions.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published a book filled with horrific claims of death and destruction caused by DDT. "Silent Spring" became a bestseller and launched the modern environmental movement. The Environmental Defense Fund was established for the express purpose of banning DDT. Fear that DDT was poisoning wildlife, destroying the environment, and harming humans was widespread, and anyone questioning that claim was branded a heretic.

In 1972, the EPA banned the production and use of DDT and used its influence to prevent other countries from producing the chemical.

Malaria death rates in Africa, which had been greatly reduced, returned to their previous levels. More than a million people died in each of the next thirty years because of the DDT ban, 90% of them in Africa, most less than five years of age. Environmental dogmatists lost no sleep over the rampant death.

In 2006, thirty four years after DDT was banned, scientists concluded that the hysterical claims of "Silent Spring" were false. Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO assistant director-general for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria proclaimed that "DDT presents no health risk when used properly."

Environmental groups such as The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the Environmental Defense Fund, who for decades opposed the use of DDT, are now backpedaling. Greenpeace spokesman Rick Hind told the New York Times, "If there's nothing else and it's going to save lives, we're all for it. Nobody's dogmatic about it."

But what about the millions of people who died in the meantime, while the environmental wackos refused to budge on the ban? Don't hold your breath waiting for an apology.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are spreading hysteria about their new bogeyman: global warming. Or "Climate Change" as they call it now that data shows that global warming is not happening.

Just as their fraudulent science killed millions with the DDT ban, draconian measures based on the phony global warming crisis will kill far more people than they want to admit.

Yesterday BO ordered car makers to increase the average fuel efficiency of their fleets to 35 miles per gallon.

If such a reduction could be accomplished safely and economically, the free market would make it happen. However, the laws of physics don't cease to apply simply because of a Presidential edict. Making cars more fuel efficient requires that they be smaller and lighter, which makes them more dangerous in collisions. Physicist Dr. Leonard Evans wrote in his book "Traffic Safety and the President of Science Serving Society" that "The conclusion is that CAFE has caused, and is causing, increased deaths.... CAFE kills, and higher CAFE standards will kill even more."

According to a 2003 NHTSA study, when a vehicle is reduced by 100 pounds the estimated fatality rate increases as much as 5.63 percent for light cars weighing less than 2,950 pounds, 4.70 percent for heavier cars weighing over 2,950 pounds and 3.06 percent for light trucks. Between model years 1996 and 1999, these rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars and 14,705 for light trucks.

That is 38,000 Americans dead due to CAFE Standards. These numbers will certainly increase as a result of BO's pronouncement in the name of stopping Global Warming.

In addition, BO is preparing a massive new tax called "Cap and Trade", also to reduce carbon emissions. The cost of this tax will be hidden from most taxpayers, but it will severely punish anyone who drives, uses motorized transport, uses electricity or natural gas, or purchases products of any kind. Each year people die in America because they can't afford to heat or cool their homes. Those numbers will dramatically increase due to Cap and Trade.

Remember when the fear mongering intensifies that these same people predicted dire results from DDT and stood by as millions died as a result of their fraud.


Ed Darrell said...

I see that you claim to follow Christ. Good. I hope you'll make a few corrections to errors.

1. EDF was not founded following Carson's book. They got their start years earlier, in fighting broadcast spraying for insects that also killed birds and small animals on Long Island. ED, as they are called now, have been fighting malaria in Africa almost as long. Consider for a moment what that might mean, including that the critics of Rachel Carson are late to fighting malaria, and don't appear to have all the facts they need to know who is a good guy and who is a bad guy.

2. You should note that officially malaria was wiped out in the U.S. in 1939, six years before DDT became available for use to fight malaria. DDT was not a tool used by any nation that is now malaria free, to get malaria free.

3. Carson made no great claims of "horrific death and destruction caused by DDT." She noted the scientific evidence that said DDT kills songbirds. Hence the title, "Silent Spring." The evidence was quite convincing that DDT was poisoning wildlife and destroying ecosystems. The President's Science Advisory Council -- including Nobel Prize winners -- reported to President Kennedy that Carson was right in every science conclusion, but that she had underestimated the destructiveness of DDT and overestimated the time available to act against it. Even with such a ringing endorsement, it was more than a decade before significant action was taken to stop abuse of DDT.

The scientific evidence was quite powerful. Carson and her supporters were the ones branded heretical, in a very expensive public relations campaign by the DDT manufacturers. But the courts discovered significant evidence of harm. By 1972 two federal courts ordered the pesticide regulators to act against DDT, solely on the scientific evidence against it.

4. EPA had very little influence outside the U.S. The DDT ban included specific waivers to use DDT against malaria, and DDT manufacture in the U.S. was specifically allowed for overseas use, against malaria. EPA never campaigned for overseas bans on malaria, and no such ban was imposed until 2001, under the Persistent Organic Pesticides Treaty (POPs). Again, EPA did NOT ban production. In fact, production continued until 1984 in the U.S., when most manufacturers abruptly declared bankruptcy on the day before the Superfund bill became law, to avoid cleaning up their messes. Most of those sites are now being cleaned up with your tax money. Perhaps EPA should have banned production -- it would have saved us billions of dollars, certainly.

Part I -- points 5, 6, and 7 in Part II

Ed Darrell said...

Part II


5. Malaria death rates in Africa and Asia declined from about 1960 through about 1980. They began to rise when pharmaceuticals used to treat the disease in humans started to become ineffective. DDT use was largely abandoned for use in Africa in the mid-1960s -- years before the U.S. ban -- because mosquitoes had evolved alleles that made them resistant and immune to it. No African nation gave much sway to Rachel Carson, and it's simply error to claim she had anything to do with DDT use ending in Africa. Not so.

6. WHO never abandoned DDT as a tool to use against malaria. In 2006, WHO faced significant opposition to extremely controlled use of DDT -- including opposition from George Bush, who has never been accused of being a follower of Rachel Carson -- for reasons that have never been adequately explained. WHO hoped that their press release would reiterate that DDT can be used safely, but it was no change in policy, and it was no indictment of Rachel Carson. In fact, Environmental Defense had been working for years to get Bush to release U.S. funds for DDT use in Africa. You're blaming the wrong people, and missing the bigger history.

7. I think it's unfair to say environmental groups are "backpedalling" when the rest of the world is finally coming to their view. Greenpeace's spokesman offered no change in policy, as with WHO, but instead merely a reiteration of it. Obviously a lot of people who had not been involved in fighting malaria had not been paying attention earlier.

In short, there was no "fraudulent science" involved in DDT policy, at least not from the U.S. side, and not by environmental groups. If you've read Carson's book (have you?), you know it was extensively footnoted. No claim of science Carson made has ever been challenged seriously, let alone refuted, or found "fraudulent."

There is afoot in America today a well-funded campaign to impugn the reputation of Rachel Carson -- after all, she's dead and can't fight back.

Why would people spread disinformation about Carson and DDT? Do you think they might also be wrong about warming? If they're right, why not just stick to the facts?

Don Dodson said...

Ed, you're a gas.