Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gullibility: How a book of lies resulted in the needless deaths of millions worldwide!

gul lible (gul e bal) adj,  1. easily cheated or tricked.

For your consideration, one of the biggest lies of the 20th century which has resulted in the needless deaths of millions of people. I am talking about Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring" which poisoned the world against DDT and other pesticides. According to Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, writing in Science & Technology Magazine, Carson's best-selling book is full of lies (follow the link to read Dr. Edwards' critique for yourself).

“To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. In little more than two decades DDThas prevented 500 million human deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable.”  – National Academy of Sciences, 1970

Spraying DDT in houses and on mosquito breeding grounds was the primary reason that rates of malaria around the world declined dramatically after the Second World War. Nearly one million Indians died from malaria in 1945, but DDT spraying reduced this to a few thousand by 1960. However, concerns about the environmental harm of DDT led to a decline in spraying, and likewise, a resurgence of malaria.

Today there are once again millions of cases of malaria in India, and over 300 million cases worldwide—most in sub-Saharan Africa. Cases of malaria in South Africa have risen by over 1000 percent in the past five years. Only those countries that have continued to use DDT, such as Ecuador, have contained or reduced malaria.

What or Who is Preventing the Use of DDT?
Environmental "whackos" who insist on maintaining the ban on DDT in the face of human suffering. Around the time of the DDT ban, Dr. Charles Wurster, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, may have revealed how some environmentalists really feel about human beings when he was asked if people might die as a result of the DDT ban: "Probably...so what? People are the causes of all the problems; we have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this is as good a way as any."

While the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, and UNICEF have recommended continued DDT use, influential organizations such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, Greenpeace and others continue to push for the ban in spite of overwhelming evidence that DDT does not harm the environment and is the most effective answer to the eradication of malaria. 

Help a child, buy a mosquito net
In 2007, 2008 & 2010, American Idol helped raise awareness about malaria ("Malaria No More") and millions of Americans donated 1.6 million life-saving mosquito nets to families across Africa.

As I watched this, I thought "what a waste!" American Idol has been duped and is duping Americans into believing that they are really making a difference in the fight against malaria in Africa. Instead of buying nets, had that money gone for the purchase of DDT, malaria would NOW be eradicated from Africa. History! End of story! But, as least you can feel that you are doing something by purchasing a mosquito net for some poor suffering African child, even if it's only a band-aid solution to the problem. BTW, US Agency for Int. Development USAID only distributes one mosquito net per family which usually goes to the youngest child, leaving all the other family members in a typical African household at risk for malaria.

After South Africa suffered its worst ever malaria outbreak, it decided to risk Western displeasure and revert to the old methods. In one year, incidence of malaria was reduced by 80 percent. Uganda is currently considering a return to DDT but is being threatened by the European Union (EU) with sanctions against agricultural products. The EU claims that DDT bought for public health protection could be corruptly sold to farmers and that residues would end up in produce.

We pay a heavy price for our gullibility. It's easy to believe a lie or a book full of lies when you don't have to live with your family in a hut in Africa trying to fend off deadly malaria with the good intentions of one mosquito net provided by American Idol, the U.S. govt. or the UN. It's easy to ignore the truth and the facts about DDT when your life is not at stake. We are a people who like to pat ourselves on the back and wear lapel ribbons and think we're doing so much and then we stand in the way of real solutions to problems like malaria.

Pray that the eyes of the world leaders would be opened, even as the eyes of South Africa and some 22 other nations have been opened to once again use DDT in combating malaria. 

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