Day by Day

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Bringing Back DDT

Even without DDT, currently approved pesticides controlled mosquitoes moderately well last year in much of the eastern and southern United States, in spite of near-hysterical resistance to spraying by environmental activists, who have attacked the killing of mosquitoes as "disrupting the food chain." And New York's Green Party literature declared, "These diseases only kill the old and people whose health is already poor." These activists seem to regard epidemics of infectious diseases as a valid method of human population control. (Interestingly, Illinois led the nation in both West Nile infections and deaths in 2002 because government officials, bullied by radical environmentalists, rejected the widespread spraying of insecticides.)

Since the banning of DDT, insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue -- and now West Nile virus -- have been on the rise. (Had they been declining, activists would probably have demanded that we protect the infectious agents as endangered species.) The World Health Organization estimates that malaria kills about a million people annually, and that there are between 300 million and 500 million new cases each year.

TCS: Enviro-Sci - How Many Must Die?

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