One of the clues that someone is financing a public relations campaign for DDT and against care for the environment is the way “news” keeps popping out about the benefits of DDT, though there is no natural process for making such news in back of the stories.
We old PR flacks recognize that without the push from an agent, these stories wouldn’t get written.
Just over a month ago there was a flurry of stories about how DDT was “effective” even after mosquitoes developed immunity to it, because it repels mosquitoes, too — even though that wasn’t what the researchers concluded, and that wasn’t the major thrust of the research article.
We also saw a Hoover Institute fellow call for DDT to be used to fight the spread of West Nile virus, though no public health official called for such action, though there is no particular need for such a drastic change in policy, and despite the fact that DDT spraying for the mosquitoes that carry West Nile is one of the least effective means of killing them (DDT is not a larvacide, and larvacides are called for to combat West Nile).
This month? No real news, but the American Enterprise Institute, which nominally is pitched at promoting business interests, issued a new report recycling all the old canards, calling for increased use of DDT in Africa to fight malaria, despite already expanded use, and despite a lack of call from health officials to spray more DDT.
Here’s how it looks on the internet:
November 5, 2007 – Wall Street Journal opinion piece by AEI’s Roger Bate, over the years one of the most ardent salesmen of DDT as the solution to nearly every problem, so long as it bashed environmentalists. WSJ notes the piece is a shorter version of the AEI report.
November 1, 2007 – TCS piece by AEI’s Roger Bate, complaining generally about environmentalists.
Random DDT stuff, some of which may turn into separate posts:
- Defeating Global Poverty
- Burrnnnnning Hot
- Dengue and malaria up in Philippines province
- International fund pays to fight malaria in Philippines, where 60% reduction was achieved in 1990s (without DDT)
- Thoughts about K4D
- Koenig’s interesting news articles
- And this thing, which shows not everything is a public relations plot: “Fear of pheromones,” at Science and Reason
- Roger Bates recycles canards for American Enterprise Institute (how far you have fallen, AEI — that alone may be worth a post)
- Center for Global Development, on the re-emergence of a drive to eradicate malaria
- British Medical Journal editorial on bednets — actually from February, but of course I wasn’t alerted to the anti-Rachel Carson crazies until about May
- TCS Daily eschews information and science for the crazies position
- AllAfrica.com on one more repetition that Uganda now uses DDT
- Abstract of an ancient article from Science; just a touchstone in the world of sanity