Saturday, April 10, 2004
In today's NY Times Magazine Tina Rosenberg makes the interesting case that Carson may have been too sucessfull: that because DDT is so reviled in the US its use in small (relatively environmentall benign) quantites in developing countries is strongly discouraged. The practicaly consequence of not using DDT is simple: more people die from malaria, a lot more (the difference varies from country to country but single digit numbers of deaths when DDT is employed vs. hundreds of thousands when it is not are not uncommon). Here, I want to argue, is one case in which american environmentalists have lost their way. Chemistry shouldn't be demonized, it should be critically evaluated and, when we can without causing profound harm for our future, used to help make lives better. To just standby when deaths happen that could be easily prevented - shame on us.