Thursday, April 20, 2006


With nine DDT posts since January at his new site and 31 during 2005 at the old, Lambert has, to put it mildly, a "thing" about DDT. Sure, I've posted a fair bit on DDT but nowhere near as much as Lambert. With the sheer volume of material he's posted and the maze of internal links he's created it's very difficult to ferret through his DDT posts.

So, what say we do something different and play one of Lambert's favourite games, DDT ban myth bingo – Rather than put up the link to each square on the card the squares will be addressed left to right, top to bottom – go to the copy and paste link above if you want to access the links on the bingo card.

The upper left myth on the bingo card is "Sri Lanka banned DDT in 1964". Lambert probably has this basically correct in that Sri Lanka stopped using DDT for anti-malaria spraying but it's agricultural use continued. This square to Lambert.

Next is "The world Bank doesn't fund DDT spraying". Lambert says the World Bank funds DDT use in India, Madagascar and the Solomon Islands. The World Bank does fund DDT use in India but since the Indian government produces it's own DDT through Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. the World Bank has to accept India's use of DDT or cut off support funds. And anyway, the World Bank would prefer India find an alternative. The link Lambert provides for the Solomon Islands only covers up to 1999 and says nothing about recent World Bank funding for DDT. The Madagascar link is dated 2000; it says that the World Bank and the national government agreed in 1998 to seek alternatives to DDT. On balance Lambert has failed to make his case so he loses this square.

Next is "USAID doesn’t support DDT spraying". On the one hand USAID claims it's supportive of DDT spraying programs but no examples are given and the GAO investigation of the US's anti-malaria efforts finds fault with past funding – $0 has been spent by USAID for DDT purchase. Lambert loses this square.

Next is "Rachel Carson killed more people than Hitler". This isn't worth arguing about. Lambert wins this square.

The second row starts with "Alternative insecticides cost four times as much". Even though there are some doubts about the efficacy of deltamethrin, Lambert can have this square.

Next is "DDT could eradicate malaria". There is no attribution for this claim and the link doesn't really address eradication. Lambert loses this square.

Next is "We have to choose between saving wildlife from DDT and people from malaria". The only anti-malaria use of DDT suggested by anyone with any sense is indoor residual spraying (IRS). IRS poses no threat to wildlife. Lambert loses this square.

Next is "The EU threatens trade sanctions on countries that use DDT". Not only does the UN threaten trade sanctions, the EU threatens sanctions by consumer organisations. Lambert loses this square.

The third row begins with "No mention that mosquitoes evolve resistance to DDT". Mosquitoes develop resistance to all chemical insecticides. Lambert loses this square.

Next is "Fake Wurster quote: 'People are the main cause of our problems…We need to get rid of some of them and this is as good a way as anything'". It is a fake quote. Lambert wins this one.

Next is "Astroturf group Africa Fighting Malaria cited". Lambert can call AFM anything he chooses but that doesn't mean they're wrong any more often than he is. As he doesn't discredit AFM, Lambert loses this square.

Next is "The World Health Organization does not support DDT spraying". The WHO doesn't support DDT spraying. Lambert loses this square.

The bottom row starts with "Bed nets don’t work". Sure they work but a Lambert provided link says they don't work all that well unless coupled with DDT IRS. Lambert loses this square.

Next is "Reinstating DDT in South Africa caused a 95% decrease in deaths". Lambert's link is to one of his typically pathetic, obsessive, anti-Tim Blair rants. Lambert loses this square.

Next is "The article proposes DDT spraying where the mosquitoes are resistant to DDT". DDT is very effective at keeping mosquitoes out of sprayed dwellings even if the mosquitoes are resistant. Lambert loses this square.

Finally there's "DDT is banned." Lambert hasn't won enough squares to win the game so he can have this square uncontested.

Gee, Lambert can't even win when he's playing with himself. Now if Lambert or any of his toadies would like to prove me wrong...

Update: A non-bingo playing reader points out that he can't figure out what I'm trying to do in this post. A bingo game is won when a player wins all of the squares in line vertically, horizontally or diagonally. A win can also be achieved by winning the four corner squares. Lambert's bingo is a version of the game that isn't really meant to be won: it's meant to be a creative take on bingo to be used to find the supposed errors in DDT related written material. You're meant to use each "myth" square on Lambert's board to test the validity of this written material. (According to Lambert, the "myths" that describe each square are frequently occurring.)

In my post I look at the "myth" described by each square – if Lambert has the myth right he wins the sqaure; if he gets it wrong he loses the square. Mostly Lambert gets it wrong; if the game is played as traditional bingo he loses.

To be continued...


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