British Gazette readers will of course recognise the man above right, the late and unlamented Adolf Hitler. They may not however recognise the woman above left. She was Rachel Louise Carson (1907 –1964).
In 1962, this woman published a book, Silent Spring. The book suggested that DDT might cause cancer in humans and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972. Due to the USA threatening develioping countries with withdrawal of US aid, DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention.
DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an organochlorine insecticide which is a colorless, crystalline solid, tasteless and almost odorless chemical compound.First synthesized in 1874, DDT’s insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, and it was used with great success in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. The Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods.” After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed.
This was the first victory of the Greenies and has been the most devastating in terms of human lives lost. In Sri Lanka (Ceylon), the country’s malaria burden shrunk from 2.8 million cases in the 1940s to just 17 in 1965, due to the use of DDT. Five years after the country stopped using DDT, the number of cases had risen to 500,000. In the 1980’s Madagascar stopped using DDT and immediately had an epidemic of malaria, resulting in the death of more than 100,000 people.
1930s – Malaria was common in the Southern United States.
1935 – Paul Müller begins a search for a new and better pesticide in Switzerland.
1939 – DDT discovered by Paul Müller.
1947 – In 13 southern states, over 4,650,000 houses were sprayed with DDT.
1948 – Paul Müller awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
1949 – Malaria eradicated from Italy.
1951 – Malaria eradicated from the U.S.
1955 – The World Health Organization (WHO) makes plans to eradicate malaria worldwide.
1959 – More than 80 million lbs of DDT was sprayed over the US (half a pound per person).
1961 – DDT use reaches its peak. It is registered for use on 334 agricultural products.
1962 – Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring blamed environmental destruction on DDT.
1964 – Rachel Carson died.
1965 – Paul Müller died.
1969 – Residues of DDT and its metabolites (such as DDE) found worldwide.
1970 – WHO announces that malaria has been eradicated in 37 countries.
1972 – EPA bans DDT in the U.S.
1976 – WHO gives up on eradicating malaria.
Quotes from those people in the know:
“My fly cage was so toxic after a short period that even after very thorough cleaning of the cage, untreated flies, on touching the walls, fell to the floor. I could carry on my trials only after dismantling the cage, having it thoroughly cleaned and after that leaving it for about one month in the open air.” – Paul Müller, on his discovery of DDT.
“The excellent DDT powder, which has been fully experimented with and found to yield astonishing results, will henceforth be used on a great scale by the British forces in Burma, and the American and Australian forces in the Pacific and India and in all theatres.” – Winston Churchill.
“After having tested different chemical combinations, you…made one of the greatest discoveries within the recent history of prophylactic medicine. DDT… kills the mosquito, which spreads malaria; the louse, which spreads typhus; the flea, which spreads the plague; and the sandfly, which spreads tropical diseases.” – Gustaf Hellström, at the Nobel Prize ceremonies
“DDT is the single most effective agent ever developed for saving human life.” – Dick Taverne.
“You could eat a spoonful of it and it wouldn’t hurt you.” – Dr. Donald Roberts, Professor Uniformed Services University, on DDT.
“Not even one peer-reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcomes exists.” – Amir Attaran, 2000 British Medical Journal essay
“If there’s nothing else and it’s going to save lives, we’re all for it. Nobody’s dogmatic about it.” – Greenpeace spokesperson Rick Hind, after Greenpeace stopped their effort to completely ban DDT.
With the honourable exception of Mr Hind above, there are regretfully some Greenies who regard humanity as a cancer and that humanity’s numbers need to be reduced – for the sake of the planet (that they like to deify as the Goddess, Gaia) and the other life forms, you understand!!!!!
Even Hitler would have baulked at this!!!!!