Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

24 April 2010

DDT Opposed for Population Control

An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal noted that both Earth Day and Malaria Day occurred this last week.  DDT is highly effective in combating malaria, which kills one million people each year.  At the concentrations needed for effective control of mosquitoes in homes and close to them, any environmental effects are now known to be minimal.  The World Health Organization and the U.N. still oppose its use, however.

Biologist Paul Ehrlich opposed the use of DDT in his book The Population Bomb because it reduced the death rate from malaria too much and was therefore a contributor to overpopulation.  Ecologist Garrett Hardin opposed its use in underdeveloped countries saying "every life saved this year in a poor country diminishes the quality of life for subsequent generations."  John Holdren, Obama's Science Czar and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, joined with Paul Ehrlich in publications in 1969, 1971, and 1973 saying:
If … population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come. 
some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century
a massive campaign … to de-develop the United States” and other Western nations in order to conserve energy and facilitate growth in underdeveloped countries. “De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” “By de-development we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.”  "The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential if a decent life is to be provided for every human being."
Despite the close ties the Obama administration has with such radical environmental elements, it has, to its credit, continued the Bush administration policy of support for DDT spraying in Zambia, Mozambique, and other countries where the local people want to use DDT.  Pressure from the Pesticide Action Network and other groups has been unsuccessful in changing the U.S. policy.  Apparently having a President born in Kenya has resulted in a sufficient regard for the welfare of East Africans to give the Obama administration enough backbone not to cave on this issue.

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