Bring back DDT – Save Africa and other impoverished areas

Bring back DDT – Save Africa and other impoverished areasmosquite-feeding

Over 80% of infectious diseases are caused by insects and other arthropods. DDT is desperately needed in impoverished countries where insect borne diseases kill and sicken millions every year, cutting lifespans and productivity.  Africa, India and South-Central Americas are most affected. This unpardonable crime amounts to continuing genocide of brown races by western powers.

Without these insect borne diseases, populations may increase at first, but better health will facilitate the building of infrastructure and industry that can raise millions out of poverty, ignorance and hopelessness.


“How much labor and waste of time these wicked insects do cause, but a ray of hope, in the use of DDT, is now held out to us.”            — Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography, Dr. Albert Schweitzer (translated from Ma Vie et Ma Pensee)


DDT worked so well that malaria and similar diseases were eradicated in most developed countries and were near eradication in poorer countries before DDT was banned in 1972 by EPA in spite of failure to find any harm to humans or the environment by an overwhelming body of research.


“To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase in agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably, perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that, in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable. Abandonment of this valuable insecticide should be undertaken only at such time and in such places as it is evident that the prospective gain to humanity exceeds the consequent losses. At this writing, all available substitutes for DDT are both more expensive per crop-year and decidedly more hazardous.”

— National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Research in the Life Sciences of the Committee on Science and Public Policy, The Life Sciences: Recent Progress and Application to Human Affairs, The World of Biological Research, Requirements for the Future (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1970), 432.                             (Emphasis added)


Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring, was filled with lies, half-truths, misinterpretation of research results and wild speculations.  Rather than being an attempt to protect humans and the environment as stated, it was really part of an effort to stop population increases in Africa, India and other impoverished countries.


“My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.”

                          —Alexander King, cofounder of the Club of Rome, 1990


Population Bomb by Paul Erilich (1968) was a another book based on Malthusian, eugenicist, racist lies, aka propaganda.


“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…”                              — Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, 1968


Population control groups such as the Club of Rome, supported by charitable foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, continue to spread the myth of overpopulation.  Many rural areas have too few healthy people to build roads, other infrastructure and industry.

In 1972 DDT was banned by US EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence presented at hearings that refuted claims of harm by activist groups such as Environmental Defense Fund and Audubon Society.


“DDT is not a carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic hazard to man. The uses under regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on fresh water fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife…and…there is a present need for essential uses of DDT.”                — EPA Administrative Law Judge Edmund Sweeney, after months of hearings, “In the Matter of Stevens Industries, Inc., et al., L.F. & R. Docket Nos. 63, et al.). Hearing Examiner’s Recommended Findings, Conclusions, and Orders, April 1972.” (40 CFR 164.32). (Consolidated DDT Hearings)  As summarized in Barrons, May 1, 1972


Beginning the 1970’s, US AID, UN WHO, UNESCO and the World Bank have pressured leaders of poor countries to discontinue DDT as a prerequisite to receiving essential aid. This continues to the present with exception of recently allowing limited spraying of interior wall in selected areas.

Although DDT is the most studied pesticide on the planet, it is still listed as an environmental toxin and possible carcinogen because the EPA listing has not changed, in spite of all of the studies that failed to find harmful effects on humans or the environment. It is much safer and more economical than any of the proposed replacements.

Verifying the Claims of Silent Spring

None of Rachel Carson’s “facts” about environmental and human harm were true. Most of the facts below, except where noted, are from “DDT: A Study in Scientific Fraud,” by J. Gordon Edwards, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 9 Number 3 Fall 2004. (See link below)

Dr. Edwards examined each of Silent Spring’s claims and found them wrong and possibly fraudulent.

Not one person has been harmed or died from DDT.

  • The only death associated with DDT was a 3 yr. old child that drank a solution of DDT in kerosene, which is a hydrocarbon known to be toxic.
  • J. Gordon Edwards was a Ph.D. entomologist who sometimes ate a spoonful of DDT powder at his lectures as a demonstration of its safety. He suffered no significant ill effects and died of a heart attack at age 84 while hiking in the Rockies.

DDT is not carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic

  • “Workers in the Montrose Chemical Company had 1,300 man-years of exposure, and there was never any case of cancer during 19 years of continuous exposure to about 17mg/man/day.”
  • “Concerns were sometimes raised about possible carcinogenic effects of DDT, but instead its metabolites were often found to be anti-carcinogenic, significantly reducing tumors in rats.”
  • Expected rise in leukemia in children and breast cancer years later in girls exposed during puberty never happened.

Bird deaths, thin egg shells and buildup in the environment have proven to be false.

  • Bird deaths at the University of Michigan, cited by Carson, were not from DDT, but were probably from soil fungicide containing mercury. In later tests, mercury was found in the soil and earthworms there. Other areas did not experience bird deaths from spraying of DDT. Carson’s Source was: Bird Mortality in the Dutch elm disease program in Michigan, Bulletin 41, Cranebrook Institute of Science by George John Wallace; Walter P Nickell; Richard F Bernard
  • According to Audubon Society Annual Christmas Bird Counts, bird populations actually increased during the thirty years of DDT use. Numbers rose from 90 birds seen per observer in 1941 to 971 birds seen per observer in 1960.
  • The eggshell thinning studies cited by Carson could not be replicated and had actually reduced dietary calcium, needed to build egg shells, of experimental birds to get that result.
  • Museum specimens compared to wild population eggs may have led to false claims of thinning because the museums used the best specimens available; natural variability in the wild may have been interpreted as thinning. “the whole idea that pesticides are concentrated as one moves up the food chain, which is crucial to Carson’s arguments about distant and delayed effects, has become increasingly dubious in the years that followed” (Fleming, New Conservation Movement, 31). Source: Reading Rachel Carson by Charles T. Rubin
  • DDT is not metabolized by birds and is rapidly excreted in their droppings.
  • “The counts of raptorial birds migrating over Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania, indicated that there were many more hawks there during the “DDT years” than previously. The numbers counted there increased from 9,291 in 1946 (before much DDT was used) to 13,616 in 1963 and 29,765 in 1968, after 15 years of heavy DDT use.”

Aquatic life has not been harmed by DDT; it is practically insoluble in water, with only 1.2 parts per billion at saturation.

  • A study cited by Carson claimed 500 ppb DDT in seawater inhibited photosynthesis and killed algae. The problem with this study is that alcohol was added to the tank to dissolve the DDT in the water. Alcohol alone would do that.
  • The assumption of persistence of DDT in seawater for decades was also challenged. Tests showed DDT and its metabolites disappeared in as few as 38 days.

References:

See “DDT: A Study in Scientific Fraud,” by J. Gordon Edwards, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 9 Number 3 Fall 2004. On the web at:

http://www.jpands.org/vol9no3/edwards.pdf

See also “The Truth about DDT and Silent Spring” by Robert Zubrin, adapted from Robert Zubrin’s Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, published in 2012, in New Atlantis Books series. On the web at:

www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-truth-about-ddt-and-silent-spring

AGW Claims vs. Truth – 5. Developed countries are to blame for increased manmade carbon dioxide because they use most of the fossil fuels.

Global coal consumption

Truth: This is partially true. Industrialization is steadily increasing in developed and developing countries such as China and India. While developed countries are putting restrictions on themselves, international agreements exempt developing countries from such restrictions. These increases more than offset any gains from restrictions on developed countries.  However, see previous post AGW Claims vs. Truth – 2 & 2b for why we shouldn’t worry about increased CO2

In addition to industrialization, increased cooking fires and subsistence agriculture to feed an increasing population are also significant contributing factors. CO2 is CO2. There is no escape clause for renewable sources. It doesn’t matter whether it is from fossil fuels or burning dung or wood. Increased population in developing countries means more slash and burn agriculture and more cooking and heating by burning organic material. The modelers assume that renewable sources are exempt as causes because it is a renewable source. This is faulty thinking. Slash and burn agriculture of one acre releases a tenth of the carbon dioxide as ten acres. Subsistence agriculture is harmful to the environment because it results in depletion of soils so that it is necessary to clear more forest lands.

Subsistence farming requires burning to release the nitrogen for crops. Modern agriculture releases far less carbon dioxide than subsistence farming, so keeping people in poverty makes no sense unless your aim is to control or reduce the population in developing countries. It would be better if we helped developing countries develop modern agriculture and industry so they can clean up their act. When people are worried about how to feed their families, there is little time or incentive to do anything about pollution or the environment. In many underdeveloped countries the tradition of having as many children as possible is mostly due to the high rate of mortality in infancy and childhood from unchecked diseases, poor diet, indoor air pollution and poverty. Without the incentive of high infant and childhood mortality, family size and populations could naturally stabilize.

World Life Expectancy Map
World Life Expectancy Map which tracks well with Poverty Rates
LifeExpectancy_GDPperCapita - wiki
Life Expectancy vs. GDP per capita, 2009, World Bank

 

Anti-humanism, Environmentalism and the Overpopulation Myth

The roots of environmentalism go back to the eighteenth century in the form of the overpopulation myth of Malthusianism, which was all about limiting the human population to prevent a predicted Malthusian Catastrophe, i.e. mass starvation, and for genetic purity, especially among supposedly genetically inferior groups e.g. certain races, cultures and the chronically poor. This is based on the progressive beliefs in materialism, (i.e. there is no spiritual side, only the material we can see and touch), and humanism, (i e. man is the measure of everything and determines morals to suit his circumstances).  From these progressive philosophies grew socialism, communism, fascism, the eugenics[1] movement and environmentalism, all of which are about control of the masses by an elite few, and all are basically anti-human, anti-development and anti-freedom.

In 1798 Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principles of Population[2]  in which he predicted future starvation based on the assumption that the rate of population growth would far surpass the growth rate of food supplies. Using this, he proposed draconian measures to “fix” an assumed overpopulation problem at a time when world population was below one billion.  Malthus made two major erroneous assumptions:

  1. Genetic inferiority and enhanced fertility of less accomplished peoples
  2. No improvement in crop yields per acre.

He assumed that the only way to grow more food was to increase the number of acres under cultivation, which limited the total “carrying capacity” of any region and indeed the world. We now know that yields have improved by orders of magnitude through things such as introduction of more prolific, disease resistant plant varieties and high yield hybrids, nitrogen and mineral fertilization, mechanization and control of insect and rodent pests. Nor did he foresee the natural reduction of family size that usually occurs when people are raised beyond near-starvation subsistence, and when diseases are controlled so that high childhood mortality is reduced.

Using these false assumptions as a “reason,” he advocated government measures to reduce population growth rates among the poor such as regulating marriage, educating for moral abstinence, as well as birth control and sterilization. However, he opposed nutritional relief and improved hospital access that would have reduced infant mortality and extended life spans among the poor.  In his opinion, helping the poor only made the supposed overpopulation problem worse.  He extended this same philosophy to Africa where he observed that the Tsetse fly and Malaria helped to keep human population numbers and lifespans low, which he saw as a good thing.

This same upside down philosophy persists today among progressives who only typically want to manage the poor while keeping them poor.  Malthus was pushing evolution and eugenics long before Charles Darwin[3] and Frances Galton[4].   In The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin assumed that the superior races (white Europeans) would eventually cause the extinction of the inferior races (black and brown). Francis Galton coined the term eugenics for a theory about improving the human race through selective breeding and exclusion from reproduction of supposedly genetically inferior groups.


“At some future period, not very distant as measured in centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.

—Charles Darwin, Descent of Man


Because genetic inferiority of certain races, cultures and the poor has largely been rejected by more enlightened geneticists and the public in general, (but apparently not for powerful population control supporters), along with vastly improved food production rates, environmentalism is the latest cause celebre to cover brutal inhumanity to man in the form of forced or coerced population control in places like China, lndia and Africa.  The shift from eugenics or racial purity to environmentalism is based on the false assumption that the world is overpopulated, resulting in harm to the environment.  This makes environmentalism and population control a perfect match and a good fit for the progressive elite seeking control.

Is it true that the world overpopulated? Only if agriculture had remained as it was in the eighteenth century.  However, the advances in crop yields are more than enough to feed the world.  There is more than enough food for all.  The reason for starvation and poor nutrition is usually political mismanagement or worse, such as well-meaning environmental and population control philanthropic societies, NGOs, UN and local governments intentionally keeping the poorest in their disease ridden squalor without adequate infrastructure to provide for basic needs in order to control the people.  A healthy and educated population is much harder for a dictator to control and thereby remain in power.

The best way to stabilize population, if that is the goal, is to raise the standard of living by providing employment, transportation, electricity, medical care, education, clean water and adequate food. It is a well known fact that family size is naturally reduced when living standards are improved beyond the point where excess children are needed to insure replacement of those lost in early childhood to disease and malnutrition.  It can be argued that the population is too low in many areas to provide the cooperation and man power to provide better facilities without outside aid. Only cities are overpopulated, and that is usually by choice. As population numbers have grown, the world has seen an increase in the standard of living, as reflected in the global GDP per capita, due to division of labor and shared responsibility for both agriculture and developing infrastructure.  We should be doing all we can to raise the world’s poor out of poverty. Caring for the environment is the last thing on the minds of people who are having difficulty feeding their children.  Raising their standard of living is the best thing we could do to stabilize the population and protect the environment. Unfortunately, the progressives would rather do the opposite for ideological reasons.

I have seen the benefits of higher population and the negative side of low population myself. I grew up in an area of the Appalachian Mountains where population is low. Services that are available in the cities and towns a couple of hours away are not or only marginally available in these mountainous rural areas.  Even finding a plumber or electrician is difficult.  Although the situation is better now because of improvements in highways, many in the area still must travel to the cities for proper medical care.  Lower population means lower tax basis, fewer businesses, less opportunity. It has been difficult getting businesses, whether they are medical facilities, manufacturing, commercial or food and entertainment,  interested in locating in an area where the customer and workforce base are low.  It has been particularly difficult getting doctors to come and stay.  It hasn’t been that long since the first fast food restaurant came into the area.  I bring this up to illustrate the logic of raising the population to improve living standards.  Granted, this is a far cry from poor villages in other countries, but it still illustrates the point that higher population brings higher living standards.

[1] Eugenics is the “science” of improving the human race by selective breeding of genetically superior people and preventing supposedly genetically inferior people from reproducing.

[2] Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principles of Population, 1798, London

[3] Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species , 1858, London, The Descent of Man, 1871

[4] Francis Galton, 1865 article “Hereditary Talent and Character”, Hereditary Genius., 1869, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development, 1883.