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DDT and Environmentalism

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: General
Forum Name: GREEN Forum
Forum Discription: Anything related to the environment, that can educate people to be more friendly to the environment. Remember we only have one livable planet , so far.
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13773
Printed Date: 17 April 2014 at 9:00pm


Topic: DDT and Environmentalism
Posted By: Andalus
Subject: DDT and Environmentalism
Date Posted: 21 December 2008 at 10:23pm

Why The Insecticide DDT Should Never Have Been Banned
'Green errors began with DDT' by Christopher Pearson
The Weekend Australian, January 24, 2004

To many, the green movement still seems a harmless enough nature cult, not to be taken too seriously. But evidence and arguments have been emerging to suggest otherwise with increasing momentum and effect. The environmental lobby now stands charged with direct responsibility for millions of needless deaths, mostly of children in the Third World, from malaria.

At issue is the banning of DDT. Bjorn Lomborg, of The Skeptical Environmentalist fame; puts the basic science briskly.

"Our intake of coffee is about 50 times more carcinogenic than our intake of DDT before it was banned...the cancer risk for DDT is about 0.00008 per cent."

Ted Lapkin insists in November's edition of Quadrant that it's "still widely regarded as the single most powerful weapon at our disposal in the war against malaria" and that its disuse has been a scandal of public policy. Author Michael Crichton, in an address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, claimed that

"banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the 20thcentury history of America".

The junkscience.com website sees the ban as a tool for First World bureaucrats to pursue the goal of zero population growth in the developing world.

DDT was banned after Rachel Carson, in Silent Spring (1962), accused it of a range of dangers to human health (notably cancer), to the ecosystem and to thinning the eggshells of bald eagles. Lapkin cites plausible authority that

"no scientific peer-reviewed study has ever replicated any case of negative human health impacts from DDT".

He asserts that of all Carson's charges "the only contention that has been scientifically proved is the thinning effect DDT has on the eggshells of predatory birds".

The scientific and moral crux is that the relative harmlessness of DDT has long been established. One late-1950s study involved researchers feeding a man 35mg of DDT a day for two years with no ill effects. Lapkin quotes Donald Roberts, an eminent professor of tropical medicine, as saying:

"You could eat a spoonful of it and it wouldn't hurt you".

Why then did the US Environmental Protection Agency ban DDT in 1972? The simple answer is that the environmental movement spawned by Carson's catastrophic predictions prevailed over empirical research. Far worse is Crichton's terrible charge:

"We knew better and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn't give a damn."

According to junkscience.com, a population control official at the Agency for International Development blithely summed it up as "rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing".

Analysing the potency of green campaigns, Crichton says "our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly...But we do not recognise our past failures and face them squarely. And I think I know why...today, one of the http://www.ourcivilisation.com/impact/indexe.htm - most powerful religions in the Western world is environmentalism. [It] seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists."

Crichton's very persuasive argument is that ecological pieties are just that; religious convictions immune to rational scrutiny. "The question is whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them." Compared with such vitally important definers of personal identity, what do outcomes vaguely apprehended (if at all ), let alone distant deaths, matter?

A suggestive irony is that the industrialised world had eradicated malaria at home, and got the benefits of DDT, before banning it and campaigning to have it banned elsewhere. As well, the leadership of Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund unconscionably turned a blind eye "to an African malaria catastrophe that was a direct outgrowth of their own advocacy", according to Lapkin. The cost —

"millions of human lives each year...a completely preventable epidemic...Greenpeace is currently campaigning to shut down the only facility in India that still manufactures DDT".

Non-government organisations worked hand in glove with nation states. The international development agencies of Norway and Sweden, where the anopheles mosquito has never posed a problem, refused to fund programs using DDT because they had banned its domestic use. How many Mozambicans and citizens of other aid-dependant African countries died as a result is not precisely known. Perhaps the governments in question should fund investigative research.

It's not as though there weren't instructive examples which should have caused reasonably well-informed activists to recognise that, in the Maoist formula, "error has been committed". Lapkin cites two.

1. When Sri Lanka banned DDT in the mid 1960s, malaria cases rose from 29 in 1964 to more than half a million five years later.
2. Ecuador, which expanded its use of DDT in the 1980s and 1990s, experienced a 60 per cent drop in infection rates.

Let us discount for bureaucrats with blithely Herodian intentions. How close to deliberate their grotesque implementation of zero population growth was will probably remain a mystery. What about the decent activists, let alone the self-respecting scientists with access to all the learned journals? How could slogans about saving the planet have engendered such a schizophrenic attitude towards the evidence? At what point did the realisation begin to dawn that the dominant paradigm was a big lie? Why is Greenpeace still active in India?

Lapkin sees these questions through the prism of a new form of First World vanity. "The anti-DDT crusade is made all the more outrageous by the distinct taint of neo-colonialism that is its indelible accompaniment. In a way, the push to ban this insecticide represents the ultimate in modern Eurocentric arrogance, the newest form of imperialism." He likens it to the "we know what's best" Kipling version of taking up the white man's burden imposing a green, insecticide-free colonial ideology of primal, untainted nature. Given the Herodian consequences, it seems to me that the more fitting analogy is with the Belgian than the British empire, and with Joseph Conrad's Mister Kurtz. Still there can be no doubting his conclusion that

"hubris, folly and ethnocentrism...spawned this unnecessary tragedy".

To that list must surely be added the Left's habitual response of taking for ever to recognise — and never admitting — when it gets things massively wrong. How massively? Crichton puts the price of environmentalist action at "somewhere between 10 and 30 million people since the 1970s". For those who dislike figures so rubbery, it should be noted that Third World population statistics pose all sorts of problems and that the interaction of malaria with other diseases and factors, such as poverty and malnutrition, complicates matters. Even the lowest estimate is a stupefying toll and one that reinforces the parallels with other monstrous, secular religions of the past century.

For Crichton, the most imperative of contemporary challenges is to retrieve responsible environmentalism from the clutches of those zealots for whom it has become a substitute faith and return to scientific discipline.

"I am thoroughly sick of politicised so-called facts that simply aren't true. It isn't that these 'facts' are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organisations are spinning their case... in the strongest way. Not at all — what more and more groups are doing is putting out lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false. This trend began with the DDT campaign and persists to this day."

Discovering the extent to which these strictures apply to the Australian Greens as a political party, and their allies, seems to me one of the most important challenges of contemporary journalism.



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A feeling of discouragement when you slip up is a sure sign that you put your faith in deeds. -Ibn 'Ata'llah
http://www.sunnipath.com
http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/
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Replies:
Posted By: love
Date Posted: 24 December 2008 at 2:45pm
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Admin/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml -

The issue shouldn't be about substituting environmentalism as faith, it's what is our purpose in life.  The science is there, but I don't believe most people are prepared to deal with the consequences of what we're seeing all around us. 

DDT failed to check Malaria in India 

September 7, 2006

http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/27/stories/2006092701891500.htm - http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/27/stories/2006092701891500.htm

 

DDT in India

June 2, 2008

http://www.countercurrents.org/shaji020608.htm - http://www.countercurrents.org/shaji020608.htm

 

May 17, 2000

http://www.brown.edu/Research/EnvStudies_Theses/full9900/creid/malaria_in_india.htm - http://www.brown.edu/Research/EnvStudies_Theses/full9900/creid/malaria_in_india.htm

 

“70-80% of the malaria control money in India is spent on insecticides (Dhingra et al., 1998).”

India began using DDT in 1946 and since then deaths from malaria has increased.  Malaria has become resistant to DDT.

 

“As of 1996, individuals of An. culicifacies, one of the six most important vectors of malaria in India, had been found resistant to DDT in 18 states and 286 districts, to HCH (hexachlorobenzene) in 16 states and 233 districts, and to malathion in 8 states and 71 districts.”

 

Who can argue that this is not robbing a nation of its resources and its future by damaging the reproductive health of its women and creating a malady of health issues for the disfigured children?  People can sit around and criticize all day, but what are we doing to help change the plight of a people who are physically getting sick?  We need a new paradigm shift and living a life according to Islamic principles can do just that.



Posted By: Andalus
Date Posted: 31 December 2008 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by love

file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Admin/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml -

The issue shouldn't be about substituting environmentalism as faith, it's what is our purpose in life.  The science is there, but I don't believe most people are prepared to deal with the consequences of what we're seeing all around us. 

 
Hi Love, I have to say that your reply, though you inteded well, your response highlites the problem that a rational discourse is rarely achievable with the environmentalist movement. I agree, as does hunter, that a sensible approach to the environment must be attempted, as long as sensibility is used by all parties.
 
Faith is a strong element in the environmentalist movement because the belief is more important than the actual facts. A prime example is the ban on DDT. It was not banned based upon science, but on belief. Belief out weighed any fact, as evident with Rachel Carson who used "what could be" to take precedence over "facts we know". She left out the facts that DDT had significantly reduced malaria out breaks which in some countries like Sri Lanks, brought the malarial death rate to under 10, down from millions the year before. Of course the discourse should contain how the pesticide is used, manufacture, and how to maintain its effectiveness in conjunction with other strategies. These additional points must be discoused also, but Carson was more intrested in pseudo science and emotionalism, and real rational discussion was trashed, with one side wanting to abuse DDT, and the other wanting to ban it from the earth.
 
 
 

DDT failed to check Malaria in India 

September 7, 2006

http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/27/stories/2006092701891500.htm - http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/09/27/stories/2006092701891500.htm

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So when antibiotics fail in a particular case against resistant microbe, do we throw out anti biotics? Absolutely not. We form a way to use and control the use of anti biotics as a viable method to fight disease, in conjunction with other methods.
 
 
The article goes on to criticize the factory who produces it.....so the method of maing it might be unsound, therefore stop making the product, which does save lives in other circumstances? That is irrational. The problem, if we take the article at its word, is the method of production, not DDT.
 
 
The article makes an interesting point,
One recent study found clear neurological effects, including developmental delays, among babies and toddlers exposed to DDT in the womb. Researchers in Mexico and South Africa found elevated levels of DDT in the blood of people living in areas where DDT was used to control malaria, and breastfed children in those areas received more DDT than the amount considered "safe" by WHO and FAO. Studies have also linked exposure to increased risk of breast cancer, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer lists DDT as a possible human carcinogen.
One, unreferenced study is hardly justifiable to bann DDT, especially taking into account that the millions of cases of deaths in some countries due to malaria can be prevented, I would say that a regulated use in conjunction with other methods for a comprehensive strategy to prevent malaria justifies it use and places question on the emotional driven  view to bann it. So on one side we have the view that some people might have some risk to side effects from DDT (still uncertain and in great dispute), in contrast to the flip side that DDT can help save millions.
 
 
 

DDT in India

June 2, 2008

http://www.countercurrents.org/shaji020608.htm - http://www.countercurrents.org/shaji020608.htm

<!--[if !supEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

 
 
 
The article claims that a factory has polluted the environment. The solution of environmetalists: Lets close the plant and ban DDT, of course leaving out any reasonable solution that is actually effective to replace DDT for some developing countries that have huge malaria problems. So the article does not support the claim that DDT should be banned. If the article is true, it owuld only suggest that the manfacturer is using a method that is not efficient.
 
 
 
 

May 17, 2000

http://www.brown.edu/Research/EnvStudies_Theses/full9900/creid/malaria_in_india.htm - http://www.brown.edu/Research/EnvStudies_Theses/full9900/creid/malaria_in_india.htm

<!--[if !supEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

 
 
 
No one has argued that DDT should be used because malaria cannot become resistant, and one could hardly make the argument that the ability to become resistant on the part of parasite means that DDT should be banned globally, because not in every area is the parasite resistant, and residual spraying is a use of DDT that acts as a repellent to masquitos. Once more, DDT use as part of a comprehensive strategie makes for a rational method to control malaria.
 
 
 

“70-80% of the malaria control money in India is spent on insecticides (Dhingra et al., 1998).”

 
 
This begs the question: So what? How does this necessarily mean that DDT should be banned?
 
 
 
 
 
India began using DDT in 1946 and since then deaths from malaria has increased.  Malaria has become resistant to DDT.

<!--[if !supEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

 
 
 
I covered this argument above. And no, India is not the only country in the world where malaria is rampant.
 
 
 

“As of 1996, individuals of An. culicifacies, one of the six most important vectors of malaria in India, had been found resistant to DDT in 18 states and 286 districts, to HCH (hexachlorobenzene) in 16 states and 233 districts, and to malathion in 8 states and 71 districts.”

<!--[if !supEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

 
 
 
Ah..India again. MUch like Carsen, you are trying to "stack cards" by leaving out all other scenerios and all the facts. India, India, India. By the way. lou leave out the fact that DDT can be a repellent used as a residual spray.
 
 

Who can argue that this is not robbing a nation of its resources and its future by damaging the reproductive health of its women and creating a malady of health issues for the disfigured children? 

 
Environmentlist hyperbole.....
 
 
People can sit around and criticize all day, but what are we doing to help change the plight of a people who are physically getting sick? 
 
Not allow insecticides like DDT to help stop the spread of some of the most deadliest diseases should not be an option.
 
 
 
 We need a new paradigm shift and living a life according to Islamic principles can do just that.
 
1) Islam is not environmentalism (as defined by the modenr movement). Islam respects nature, but also calls for rational and sane approaches to life.
2) Needing a new paradigm shift is idealist pie in the sky sollutions that sound good and appeal the the sheeple who were enchanted with the latest US president, but idealism is rarely ever pragmatic. We must move beyond slogans, feel good catch phrases, and emotional rhtoric, and ambrace sane solutions that take the environment and mans place in it into account.
 
 


-------------
A feeling of discouragement when you slip up is a sure sign that you put your faith in deeds. -Ibn 'Ata'llah
http://www.sunnipath.com
http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/
http://www.pt-go.com/



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