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Passions in Poetry

DDT (for Tim)

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Brad
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0 posted 01-08-2005 12:31 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well Tim, it seems you beat Nick to it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/08/opinion/8kristof.html?oref=login

quote:
If the U.S. wants to help people in tsunami-hit countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia - not to mention other poor countries in Africa - there's one step that would cost us nothing and would save hundreds of thousands of lives.

It would be to allow DDT in malaria-ravaged countries.


----

quote:

In the 1950's, 60's and early 70's, DDT was used to reduce malaria around the world, even eliminating it in places like Taiwan. But then the growing recognition of the harm DDT can cause in the environment - threatening the extinction of the bald eagle, for example - led DDT to be banned in the West and stigmatized worldwide. Ever since, malaria has been on the rise.

The poor countries that were able to keep malaria in check tend to be the same few that continued to use DDT, like Ecuador. Similarly, in Mexico, malaria rose and fell with the use of DDT. South Africa brought back DDT in 2000, after a switch to other pesticides had led to a surge in malaria, and now the disease is under control again. The evidence is overwhelming: DDT saves lives.

But most Western aid agencies will not pay for anti-malarial programs that use DDT, and that pretty much ensures that DDT won't be used. Instead, the U.N. and Western donors encourage use of insecticide-treated bed nets and medicine to cure malaria.


-----

[quote]Is it safe? DDT was sprayed in America in the 1950's as children played in the spray, and up to 80,000 tons a year were sprayed on American crops. There is some research suggesting that it could lead to premature births, but humans are far better off exposed to DDT than exposed to malaria.

I called the World Wildlife Fund, thinking I would get a fight. But Richard Liroff, its expert on toxins, said he could accept the use of DDT when necessary in anti-malaria programs.

"South Africa was right to use DDT," he said. "If the alternatives to DDT aren't working, as they weren't in South Africa, geez, you've got to use it. In South Africa it prevented tens of thousands of malaria cases and saved lots of lives."

At Greenpeace, Rick Hind noted reasons to be wary of DDT, but added: "If there's nothing else and it's going to save lives, we're all for it. Nobody's dogmatic about it."

So why do the U.N. and donor agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, generally avoid financing DDT programs? The main obstacle seems to be bureaucratic caution and inertia. President Bush should cut through that and lead an effort to fight malaria using all necessary tools - including DDT.

I dropped a lot of the details to make it manageable, but it's very interesting. Take a look if you can find the time.



Tim
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1 posted 01-08-2005 12:43 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

appreciate the url...
I will need to sign up for the NY Times first, but will do so read the article.

Huan Yi
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2 posted 01-08-2005 10:08 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,143577,00.html

It's free.
Brad
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3 posted 01-08-2005 10:31 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

So is the NYT.

Still, it's a good comparative article.
Huan Yi
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4 posted 01-12-2005 08:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi



“Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, "Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing."

[Desowitz, RS. 1992. Malaria Capers, W.W. Norton & Company]”

http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.htm
Denise
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5 posted 01-12-2005 09:27 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

That's really disheartening to see that John. So basically DDT use was discouraged by the World Health Organization so that people would die so as not to overpopulate a region?

I think I'm going to be sick.
Juju
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6 posted 01-12-2005 09:29 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Huh?????

Thats not even funny. I hope there is better methodes then that
Brad
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7 posted 01-12-2005 10:23 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Why no names?

Balladeer
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8 posted 01-12-2005 11:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm going to have to dig through my old books but, when I was a little bugman, we read in one  of the textbooks that the prohibition of ddt caused more loss of life than any other act in the history of man due to the millions of people who died from starvation through the inability to control locusts and insects without it.

I'll see if I can find it, along with references....
Tim
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9 posted 01-12-2005 11:47 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I think the quote about the WHO is a bit of a mischaracterization.  The quote is not an official position, but the alleged quote of one man who worked for the agency.

The situation is tragic enough without such a statement as I think it would be hard to dispute that millions and millions of children have died unnecessarily in third world countries due to the environmental movement.

But, it is unlikely that DDT will be used because the basis for the ban rests in "The Silent Spring" which is the bible for the environmentalists.  While there is virtually no scientific support for the conclusions of the book, the book is compared to Uncle Tom's Cabin by not only the eco-nuts, but the general environmental movement.

Al Gore wrote an introduction...
http://www.uneco.org/ssalgoreintro.html

Not that is scary.   By the way, I think Balladeer's hero (Ayn Rand) wrote a book once indicating when a fish is put on the same plane morally with a human, then the human will be sacrificed to protect the fish.  (a very rough paraphrase... but the point is that it is far better to let millions of children die in third world countries than to be ecologically incorrect)
Huan Yi
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10 posted 01-13-2005 12:46 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“Paul Driessen Eco-Imperialism: GreenPower ~ Black Death . . .

In his introduction to Driessen’s book, Niger Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality says, “This book should have been written years ago.” He’s right, but it has taken years for the full picture of the evil perpetrated by those claiming they want to “save the Earth” to emerge. Many of us who have struggled to demonstrate the moral depravity and corruption of the environmental movement have concentrated on various elements of it. Driessen’s triumph has been to present the full picture.

Capturing the theme of Driessen’s book, Innis says “The movement imposes the views of mostly wealthy, comfortable Americans and Europeans on mostly poor, desperate Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. It violates these people’s most basic human rights, denying them economic opportunities, the chance for better lives, the right to rid their countries of diseases that were vanquished long ago in Europe and the United States.”


http://www.eco-imperialism.com/content/book_reviews_caruba.php3


“Just for a start the book and its message is endorsed by the man who FOUNDED Greenpeace - and that message is that the Radical Environmental movement has become so entrenched in dogma and a vision of a world without people that they summarily ignore the suffering, famine, disease, and death of millions.”

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0939571234/qid=1105594776/sr  =2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/102-5575332-8033722


Tim,

The quote strikes me as Malthusian:

http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/Malthus.htm#Population
Brad
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11 posted 01-13-2005 01:25 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Instead of villifying the enivironmentalist movement, why not write a letter to or e-mail your congressman and/or senator.

I see no reason to echo Tim's fatalism and while I certainly neither have the time nor inclination (and of course I live in the wrong area )to be an activist, it's not a difficult thing.

If we've screwed up here, stop whining and try to change it!
Balladeer
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12 posted 01-13-2005 01:30 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

hmmm...never read that, Tim, and I have all her works but it sounds like something she would say, for sure.
Tim
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13 posted 01-13-2005 11:27 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Balladeer, perhaps one of the essays in "The New Left"?

Brad, vilify?  I would characterize most of the posts in this forum as vilification.

As far as e-mailing my congressman, sheesh, you can do that just as easily as an expatriate.  It seems a bit of a cop-out however.

If I wanted to influence legislation, I would certainly not put emailing high on the list.  I might speak to my Congressman, or perhaps write a letter.  

Having spent 7 years in our state capital and some eighteen years on the legislative committee of our state organization, I suspect the best way to get something done politically is to avoid the politicians and deal with the media.  Politicians are far more likely to respond to the media than an email.

In any event, do you dispute my statements regarding the deaths caused by the non-use of DDT?

Do you dispute the prevention of DDT arises primarily from "The Silent Spring" and the environmental movement?

Do you dispute that science has disproven virtually every claim made against DDT use except perhaps the thinning of bird shells?

Sometimes the presentation of facts can be considered vilification I guess.

As far as a fatalist, I suspect that could be synonomous with accepting reality on occasion.

I would glady listen to any refutation that our resident environmentalist, Noah has to say about the use of DDT.  I even promise to keep an open mind.

Alicat
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14 posted 01-14-2005 12:08 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

If the pro comes down to saving human lives through eradication of mosquitos, locusts, aphids, and other critters which ruin crops and spread typhoid and malaria versus the con of thinning bird shells which can still hatch into healthy birds, I'm gonna have to side with the pro.  Now, I'm not against the environment, I like the environment, I like looking at and enjoying the environment.  Howsoever, the list of critters alleged to be threatened by DDT, and not by egg collectors, pales when compared to human life, at least in my rather simple book with large letters and lots of pictures.

How vibrant would the local economies in Africa, Asia, and Oceania be if they had more workers, and more crops to feed themselves and sell for possible profit?  Or is it simply that since typhoid and malaria, not to mention swarms of locusts, are no longer a fixture of Europe and the US, through the usage of DDT in the past, that there is no inclination to roll back the ban on it, since those countries don't need it.
Brad
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15 posted 01-14-2005 05:40 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Brad, vilify?  I would characterize most of the posts in this forum as vilification.


And yet, the responses that I quoted from environmentalists get no response? Why does a quote from an 'unnamed official' provoke a response when my quotes, as Thatcher might say, "We can do business with these people."

quote:
As far as e-mailing my congressman, sheesh, you can do that just as easily as an expatriate.  It seems a bit of a cop-out however.


I didn't say I wouldn't.

quote:
If I wanted to influence legislation, I would certainly not put emailing high on the list.  I might speak to my Congressman, or perhaps write a letter.


Then do it. It seems a small price to pay for legislation that can save millions of lives.  

quote:
Having spent 7 years in our state capital and some eighteen years on the legislative committee of our state organization, I suspect the best way to get something done politically is to avoid the politicians and deal with the media.  Politicians are far more likely to respond to the media than an email.


Then do it. You've got a lot more clout than I have.

quote:
In any event, do you dispute my statements regarding the deaths caused by the non-use of DDT?


No, I find both you and Kristof convincing at the moment. I may do a little more homework, but for the most part I am convinced.

quote:
Do you dispute the prevention of DDT arises primarily from "The Silent Spring" and the environmental movement?


And yet the two spokemen I quoted from the environmentalist movement have both repudiated your stance on their intransigence. I'm not saying it will be easy, nor am I saying that all environmentalists will embrace this, but they don't run the country.

quote:
Do you dispute that science has disproven virtually every claim made against DDT use except perhaps the thinning of bird shells?


Don't know.

quote:
Sometimes the presentation of facts can be considered vilification I guess.


Did you read John's quotes? That's what I call vilification. Vilification in the search for vindication? Okay, you're right.

Feel better now.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we have a window of opportunity here where something positive could be accomplished?

quote:
As far as a fatalist, I suspect that could be synonomous with accepting reality on occasion.


What would have happened had Reagan and Thatcher rebuffed the outstretched hand of Gorbachev?

quote:
I would glady listen to any refutation that our resident environmentalist, Noah has to say about the use of DDT.  I even promise to keep an open mind.


And none as yet. The point is that you are winning this argument. Now what?

Mistletoe Angel
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16 posted 01-14-2005 06:47 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Seems some here are curious where I stand on the use of the pesticide DDT.

Firstly, let me say I truly do respect the views of those who passionately advocate the end of the DDT ban, for it is quite a potent pesticide and insecticide that truly can effectively kill massive swarms of mosquitoes and the transmitting of deadly diseases.

I think the best approach in exploring the issue is understanding how it was banned in the first place.

DDT was introduced in the World War II era, and was used for three decades before being banned on June 14, 1972, when William D. Ruckelshaus, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the registration of the product.

Ruckelshaus said he was convinced that ongoing use of DDT would create unacceptable risks to the environment and potential harm to human health. Increased insect resistance, the advancement and development of more effective alternative pesticides, growing public and user concern over adverse environmental side effects including liver failure, respiratory system abnormalities and risk of liver cancer, and governmental restriction on DDT use since 1969, are cited as the chief reasons.

It has also been proven that DDT can affect the nervous system. Reports have consistently shown that patients who have swallowed large intakes of DDT poisoning can have higher tremor and seizure rates.

Finally, it is important to know that DDT sticks strongly to soil, and can build up in plants and in the layers of tissues of fish, birds, and other animals. It has been known that DDT can break down and remain in the environment for 2-15 years after usage. Many agree that DDT was responsible for the toxic effects on the reproductive systems of wildlife where it was used in agriculture. It has also centrally affected aquatic life and decreased successful rates of reproduction among many species.

It's even argued that 25 years since its ban in 1997, bald eagle population numbers had jumped about tenfold, and was downgraded from endangered to threatened because of that. Orher species also rebounded reportedly after its ban.

Could there have been lies and hysteria generated about DDT due to the hype and cult success behind the successful 1962 publication "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson? Absolutely. I won't dispute that there may indeed have been irrationality at the time that fearmongered some sort of wide-scale frenzy.

I really don't lean far in support of its continued ban. I do believe it causes those abnormal effects on the environment and species I went a little into, but indeed I also believe in those statistics of its usage in South America, for instance, credited for the reduction of malaria-related cases at the time.

Do I think the ban of DDT has resulted in genocide? I think that's arguable. Indeed if we all believed it truly was genocide, the ban would have been lifted a long time ago. Malaria does kill, no question about that, I sympathize with the millions of children worldwide who continue to pray they don't get bitten by the virus. Some believed in 1970 DDT was credited for saving the lives of 500 million. Is that true? That statistic too can be argued, but, if not 500 million, certainly a lot. Plus the fact its inventor, Swiss scientist Paul Muller, was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine because of it, which I also respect and understand how it fuels the other side of the debate.

So, to be honest, I'm kind of neutral on this issue. I don't want a child to die every 30 seconds because of a fatal infection like malaria, while I also don't want our environment to be poisoned to the point of no return and regret it later, for I believe the environment must be nurtured and protected for our children and our children's children and so on.

And this is precisely why I respect and understand DDT is such a controversial debate topic, perhaps just as intense as abortion.

This is also precisely why I believe the scientific community and Junkmen need to collaborate and get together to decipher the sound from the junk. Indeed there really is junk science out there, just as there is junk propaganda those on the other side keep spewing out. Some sort of leadership effort like the 9/11 Commission must be formed, a bi-lateral arrangement, so we can find once and for all what is true and what isn't.

There are cost-efficient alternatives out there that are not as toxic as DDT I believe should be studied and considered as an alternative insecticide agent, and if there's one that is both less toxic and proven to fight the spread of bacteria and disease, I think then it would be fair to not need DDT anymore.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Tim
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17 posted 01-14-2005 06:54 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

We can hope some sanity and sensibility comes to the forefront and those who do have the clout take action.  

Recognizing my cynicism, I have noticed a ray of light from the tsunami.  It is unfortunate, but far too often it takes enormous tragedy to awaken people to suffering that already exists.

I have observed even in our local paper articles about malaria and pernicious effect
that will be compounded by the tsunami, malaria, and the lack of DDT.  So heck fire, I have alerted Passions with your assistance, so maybe the rest of the world will follow along. "smile"

Huan Yi
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18 posted 01-14-2005 08:40 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,


http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.htm

I would rather you read it than me
cut and paste its data to compare
to your comments.


Krawdad
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19 posted 01-14-2005 10:15 PM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

Perhaps there ought to be an auto-lock for any thread that begins to cite internet bunk, as we are witnessing here, repeatedly.  Or maybe that site Huan Yi seems to rely on is better described as meta-bunk.
Not to mention the statement that claims there is actually data there.
Has anyone ever tried to read, critically and fairly, an article published in a refereed journal?  (I doubt Steven J. Malloy has lately, if ever.)
Noah, I'm sure you are not fooled by this political pick-list.  I hope others are not.
This is not the way you do science, this is the way you do politics.
And this thread echoes how the politically powerful are trying, successfully I'm sorry to say, to trash science as a way of thinking about and understanding the world.
Tim
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20 posted 01-14-2005 11:07 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I wonder if the Times article is internet bunk also?

Alicat
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21 posted 01-15-2005 10:51 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Yanno, I was reminded of something this morning.  Back in the early 80's, when I was in Middle School, we were required to take 'fine art' electives.  Yeah, I know, required electives.  Anyhow, I sided with a semester of theater and a semester of music appreciation.  In that second class, the teacher played for us over and over again Olivia Newton John's 'Silver Rain'.  We were even graded on how well we knew it by use of 'fill in the blank' questions.  Of course I thought nothing of it at the time, thinking DDT was the Devil's Brew basically, never knowing how affective it was on disease carrying and crop destroying insects until much later.  I do recall the spray trucks making their rounds, they still do, but even then I don't think they used DDT.  At least the mosquittos weren't thinned out any by it.
Mistletoe Angel
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22 posted 01-15-2005 02:17 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

No, Krawdad, you are absolutely right. If one can think I will be persuaded by a source as wildly biased as Fox News, one is wildly mistaken.

I made my case in the tsunami thread that Steven Milloy is no different than the so-called "environmentalist extremists" he speaks of, in that he, himself, is party-line, and will find every opportunity to bash environmentalists to further his own junk-science career and image.

Plus, like I said, you have to really know him personally. He used to be a lobbyist for Philip Morris, a corrupted and heinous company that spread bad health and social irresponsibility on humanity (they silently changed their name to Altria to try and window dress their history). He even led the The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, and its principal backer was Philip Morris.

I really am making an effort to submit moderate sources to threads such as this, but as long as Huan Yi and others keep providing unilateral sources, I have to provide the other biased half because, as it is, Fox News claims they are "fair and balanced" when they are actually "bare and biased" and when I don't provide the other half from the other side of the spectrum, it sends miscommunication and a deception on what the stance is from the left.

Anywho, I think I'm taking quite a moderate stance here on this issue. Here I am saying that the solution to hear out both sides and sort out the sound science from the junk science and the sound Junkmen from the propaganda Junkmen is to form some sort of coalition or organization which consists of an equal amount of proclaimed scientists, activists, etc. and finally we can get somewhere and find some answers and dish out the filler.

Many here want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth behind DDT. I want that too, just as I want justice and the protection of our environment, old-growth forests, etc. I am actually pretty much on the fence on DDT and believe, like I already said, it's possible when "Silent Spring" was published, it was just like the Y2K scare or the way the media always scares the public of a terrorist attack every holiday season and it resulted in a deep frenzy of propaganda to ban DDT. There may indeed be much faulty science behind the origin of its ban.

However, I also believe we are not going to get anywhere when we're just pointing fingers at one another and not talking it out. Those in opposition to the ban keep accusing environmentalists as genocidists and murderers, yet I feel when they're not willing to talk this out collectively, we're all taking responsibility.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Tim
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23 posted 01-15-2005 02:44 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Noah, by refusing to believe any source that does not conform to your progressive views makes your ability to rationally view a subject suspect.  

Even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally, and the facts will not change whether they are presented on Fox, by Michael Moore, or uttered by President Bush.

The non-use of DDT has led and will continue to lead to untold millions of deaths around the world, the majority being defenseless children.  

The evidence is overwhelming.
Mistletoe Angel
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24 posted 01-15-2005 03:06 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Well, that's just the problem, Tim.

How do we know for sure Rachel Carson was that blind hog and the information she assembled in "Silent Spring" was that golden acorn? For all we know, there actually is truth behind the publication. I myself am skeptical to its authenticity, but there may be something to it.

You have to accept there is a debate here, an argument. Indeed there is a massive amount of evidence in those in opposition of the ban, but there is much evidence on the other side that can challenge it.

I myself looked over the 106 reasons the DDT ban should be lifted, and indeed I find reason to agree or at least consider some points.

Now, isn't it fair if you put your shoes in someone like Ruckelshaus for a minute or so and think, "Well, wait a minute, what if DDT causes some consequential effects in the long run, what if suddenly there were alarming, accelerating rates of cancer and the populations of fish dwindled and in result create famine conditions that can starve out large populations?"

I certainly do not want a defenseless child to die every half a minute from malaria. I also believe since this is such a controversial issue, both sides need to get down to the bottom of this and settle this diplomatically and responsibly. After all, I also don't want to wake up in 2025 and hear that famine and cancer rates have increased alarmingly in result of the poisoning of ecosystems, all because we didn't take the time to have a thoughtful and sophisicated chat on the issue and consider the risks.

The sooner we do so, the better. Further procrastination will only be more costly.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
 
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