I received the latest Access to Energy newsletters the other day. Written and published by Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, they give me insight into many science topics that I normally would not read about.
One of these topics is the use of DDT to combat malaria. I was a little surprised that Dr. Robinson favored its use. I generally think pesticides are bad and try to buy organic food when I can. DDT, in particular, had a horrible association in my mind with damaging bird eggs. I don't know where that idea came from, possibly My Weekly Reader when I was in elementary school. Whatever the source of my information was, it failed to impress upon me how many human lives were saved by DDT. Access to Energy did that. I did some other reading, and I found out that the kind of spraying that is done for malaria is very restricted and is done inside the home, not outdoors.
"The same organization and people that demand an end to our use of coal, oil, and natural gas, have deliberately killed tens of millions of people--mostly children--in sub-Saharan Africa and other underdeveloped regions. After DDT was used to eradicate malaria in the developed world, it was denied to the underdeveloped countries--just as it was beginning to eradicate malaria there," Dr. Robinson said.
He was responding to an article in a May 2009 issue of The Wall Street Journal that reported the World Health Organization's (WHO) reversal of its 2006 decision to endorse DDT's use. The 2006 decision reversed a 25-year ban on DDT. During the 25-year ban, the WSJ article says that there were 50 million deaths from malaria.
Environmentalists like Medha Chandra of Pesticide Action Network say that new, safer, and more effective methods of fighting malaria are now available. What's the first one she lists? Mosquito netting for beds. Hmmm. I wouldn't describe mosquito netting as new, and I wonder if Chandra is saying that it is safer for the environment or the people. It certainly can't be more effective than DDT. Of course the netting must be used in conjunction with other methods, but from what I read, nothing new has been developed that is as effective as DDT. When that true solution comes, I will wholeheartedly endorse it, but sacrificing human lives in the meantime is not acceptable--unless you're a career environmentalist.
Obviously, career environmentalists have different priorities than people who value human life. I have thought about the similarities between environmentalists and pro-abortionists in the past. I did a little searching and found the connection I was looking for. This post on the Wintery Knight blog tells what the environmentalists' goals are and lists solid quotations for proof.