Rachel Carson’s anti-pesticide hysteria

The controversy surrounding neonicotinoids is already resulting in the environmentalist groups and their allies in the media comparing pesticides to DDT. Back in 2012 when there were commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, ReasonTV interviewed author Andrew Morriss who authored the book Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson. In this interview, Professor Morris correctly points out the genocide that resulted from Carson’s pseudoscience that lead to restrictions and non-use of DDT. The consequences of what happened when DDT was no longer used to control malaria have the potential to repeat themselves if pesticides, like neonics, are banned. Instead, this time what is at stake is our food supply. The mistakes of the past provide a clear example of what will happen if we repeat them.

15 thoughts on “Rachel Carson’s anti-pesticide hysteria

  1. Charlie called. Said you’re not supposed to use “Je suis Charlie!” unless you oppose stupid violence, as that piece on Silent Spring commits violence to the facts.

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    • Really? So Carson didn’t contribute to a genocide? I suppose Greenpeace’s opposition to GMO’s didn’t contribute to killing hundreds of thousands of people? Nor do anti-vaccine parents contribute to the deaths other parents children (including their own) by encouraging others not to vaccinate their kids?

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      • 1. Contrary to your assumption, DDT was never taken out of the malaria fight. EPA ordered that use to continue, even in the U.S.; EPA ordered that manufacturing of DDT in the U.S. was to continue, with 100% of output dedicated to export, to fight disease.

        2. At peak DDT use, 4 million died each year from malaria. Today, fewer than 610,000 die in a year. That’s more than 3 million lives saved every year over when DDT was rampant. So if you charge Rachel Carson with the DIFFERENCE in malaria deaths between the publication of Silent Spring and today, you must claim that she SAVED more than 96 million people from death by malaria.

        Just stick with the facts. Rachel Carson was right.

        https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/does-twitchy-really-just-mean-knee-jerk-correcting-the-record-deflecting-the-hoaxes-propaganda-and-mau-mauing-about-rachel-carson-and-ddt/

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      • You ignore the actual law, you ignore history, and you give us tobacco-lobby shills as sources?

        No wonder you’re so far asea!

        That’s Lyndon Larouche’s publication. Dr. Edwards was unable to get any of his rant published in peer review journals, for lack of evidence.

        Are you a Larouchite?

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      • No I am not and it is clear you are looking to argue rather than actually have a discussion out of sincere inquiry as your mind is obviously made up. I could show you evidence until we are both blue in the face and I will bet you would not believe me. Matter of fact I have shown you evidence of Rachel Carson’s flawed science and you don’t. Again, I would remind you that the subtitle of her book is “A fable for tomorrow”. “Fable” being the key word. I will give her credit that she did not call for a ban on DDT or other pesticides or insecticides, but her junk science resulted in it. Humans are part of the environment and we are natures favored species because of the civilization we have and have a right to bend nature to ensure and enhance our survival. Environmentalists like yourself are completely against that.

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      • If you could show me evidence, why don’t you? Instead, you post hack political screeds from Lyndon Larouche, bereft of science, and history.

        Rachel Carson’s “flawed science?” I DARE you to find any paper that questions any science research she noted in Silent Spring. There is none.

        In addition to the nation’s best scientists vouching for her accuracy in 1963, thousands of studies done since then have only verified her conclusions. The only way she might have erred was in going too easy on DDT for long-term effects.

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  2. Technically you are correct that DDT manufacturing was not banned for export for malaria control. However, the ban that Ruckleshaus published painted DDT in such damaging terms many other countries (including the ones in the malaria zone) enacted their own bans. The malaria control market made the manufacture of DDT in the US uneconomical. It was and still is made outside the US but the one thing that made it harder to use was our foreign aid being linked to malaria control usage. The exceptions you point to as DDT usage became harder to obtain since the manufacture and dissemination of DDT was restricted due to feel sources making it.

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    • Can you name any African nation that banned DDT, with documents to show it?

      Several stopped using DDT because DDT stopped working so well, especially after 1963 — ten years earlier than Fred Soper hoped, 50 years earlier than Rachel Carson feared.

      But I find it difficult to believe that Idi Amin, for one, stopped using DDT because he wanted to save eagles in America. You’ll need real, extraordinary evidence to make that claim stick.

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