Friday, March 09, 2007


Despite the environmentalist instigated DDT ban being well documented, reality averse denialist Tim Lambert continues to insist the ban never happened. The latest in his increasingly weak (and obviously desperate) DDT prevarications sees Lambert link to a post by the aptly named raving socialist, The Yorkshire Ranter:
Alex catches Dominic Lawson spreading the DDT ban myth. Lawson is the brother-in-law of Christopher Monckton who also spead the myth [sic].
In the linked post Alex the ranter says:
[Lawson] then proceeds to lie:
The same sort of argument, in fact, which caused countless millions of Africa children to die of malaria unnecessarily becasue [sic] the Green lobby sucessfully [sic] blocked the use of DDT.
This is simply factually incorrect. There is no ban on DDT for disease prevention. There is a specific clause in the Stockholm Convention that exempts DDT for malaria control from the international control. Mosquitoes began to be resistant to DDT in 1969, so its utility is limited to say the least. But if you do think it will work, you can buy the stuff at this link, like the governments of Madagascar, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Africa, Namibia, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Algeria, Thailand, and Myanmar.
For some reason Lawson's quote contains errors not in the original and no link is provided. Here's the unedited quote from The Independent -- it refers to anti-Green documentary producer Martin Durkin:
Durkin examined the Green campaigns against hydroelectric dams which would have brought clean water to parts of the subcontinent ravaged by water-borne disease, but which were opposed as "damaging to local biodiversity" - the same sort of argument, in fact, which caused countless millions of African children to die of malaria unnecessarily because the Green lobby successfully blocked the use of DDT.
Ranting Alex doesn't dispute the hydroelectric dam point, probably because it's indisputable. Lawson doesn't claim DDT was banned but rather that its use was "blocked". In fact, DDT was subject to a de facto ban, as confirmed by Dr Arata Kochi, Director of the World Health Organization’s Malaria Department:
Even though indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides had been remarkably effective preventing malaria sickness and death where used, this strategy seemed to have been abandoned by most countries nearly 30 years ago. By the early 1980s, WHO was no longer actively promoting it.

Some people told me that there was a good reason why its wide scale use had been phased out. I was told the practice was unsafe for humans, birds, fish and wildlife; that the use of DDT in the United States in the 1950s had led to the near extinction of the bald eagle. I was told that indoor spraying with DDT was “politically unpopular.”
That the de facto ban existed is beyond dispute.

Even though everything raving socialist Alex writes about DDT above is suspect -- one of his sources is none other than serial misleader Tim Lambert -- he reckons he's on a roll, continuing:
Anyway, [Lawson] describes the [The Great Global Warming Swindle] as follows:
We are taken to those vast tracts of Africa where there is no electricity, and see families huddled round a fire in their mud hut. Then we are told that "five million children under five die every year as a result of respiratory diseases from indoor smoke". Remember that, the next time you read about the ecological purity of heating derived from "biomass".
Hark! Wood pellets in a CHP scheme will fill your house with poisonous black smoke! And dead babies! Dead black babies! This is argumentation of a standard that shouldn't get out of primary school. A thought experiment - let me light a wood fire under a chimney, and Lawson light a gas or oil one without, and which one of us will die of carbon-monoxide poisoning first?
African babies killed by smoke from indoor cooking fires are just fucking hilarious and not worth arguing about. Socialists have some damn strange priorities.

Anyway, Alex's post goes on for another 850 words, if you can be bothered reading it. Let me know if he says anything worth knowing.


Anonymous J F Beck said...

Lawson is pointing out the irony involved in Africans using bio-fuels which are killing them. Do you seriously think he's suggesting developed world use of bio-fuels is going to kill our children?

10:49 AM  

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