Rachel Carson and DDT “ban” save millions of lives

August 27, 2007

[This post has been edited to correct links to go to their new URLs, I hope.  Please note in comments any links that don’t work.]

Some are Boojums is back — that’s good news for truth seekers, science error debunkers and historians who care about accuracy.

Masthead photo for Jim Easter's blog, Some Are Boojums

Masthead photo for Jim Easter’s blog, Some Are Boojums

Some are Boojums author Jim Easter guts the anti-Rachel Carson case in his relaunch post.

Pay particular attention to what Jim writes in conclusion:

That’s right. The 1972 DDT ban did nothing to restrict the chemical’s use against malaria, but had the effect of eliminating the single most intense source of selection pressure for insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. As the rest of the world followed suit in restricting agricultural use of DDT, the spread of resistance was slowed dramatically or stopped. By this single action, William Ruckelshaus — and, credit where it’s due, Rachel Carson — may well have saved millions of lives.

Steven Milloy is invited to add that to the DDT FAQ any time it’s convenient.

Particularly notable is Jim’s work to make available the much miscited administrative law ruling by Judge Edmund M. Sweeney. It is now available on-line, so the critics can now provide accurate citations to the decision, if their intent were to inform the public, instead of maligning the truth and misleading the public.

Mr. Easter’s applied history work in this effort is notable. The internet misses much of near-recent history, especially from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Much of today’s political discussion could benefit from information that would be available in libraries, had libraries not suffered from great budget and priorities cuts in the last 20 years. Jim Easter’s contribution to making a more complete record of the history of DDT and the history of the EPA deserves applause.


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