Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Civilization Day

Robert Zubrin at Washington Times has a great essay on Earth Day's Dark Side.


Using Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which falsely argued that DDT was endangering bird populations (in fact, it was protecting them from insect-born diseases) a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT. As a result, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did so in 1971. Subsequently, the U.S. Agency for International Development adopted regulations preventing it from funding international projects that used the vital pesticide. Together with similar enactments in Europe, this effectively banned the use of DDT in many Third World countries. By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from those restrictions has exceeded 100 million people...
European “greens” also have much horror to account for, notably through their campaign against genetically modified crops. Hundreds of millions of people in the Third World suffer from nutritional deficiencies resulting from their cereal-dominated diets. This can be rectified readily by employing genetically enhanced plants, such as golden rice, which is rich in vitamin A. But as a result of political pressure from green parties, the European Union has banned the import of crops from countries that employ such strains, thereby blackmailing many governments into forbidding their use. In consequence, millions of children are being unnecessarily blinded, crippled or killed every year.

Greens have blood on their hands. The global warming hoax is merely the latest iteration of an elitist anti-human crusade veiled with a patina of claims for stewardship for the environment. Hundreds of millions of innocents-- mostly desperately poor people in developing countries-- have died from disease and starvation because of these bastards.

So on this Earth Day-- the day in which green fanatics celebrate malaria and malnutrition and lucrative scientific hoaxes-- we should celebrate Civilization Day. Let us celebrate men like Norman Borlaug and Paul Muller who have quietly saved more than a billion people from starvation and disease. 

On this Earth Day, give the green nuts and killers and frauds the finger. Turn on all your lights, run 'em all night, leave your car running in the driveway and use as much gas as you can, run every appliance you own, and say a prayer of thanks for the blessings that genuine humane stewardship of our resources have brought to humanity.  


  1. Michael,

    How exactly does liberally applying insecticides such as DDT protect insectivorous birds from insect borne diseases? In Perth, during my childhood in the '60s a very popular insectivorous bird, the willy wagtail, became very uncommon in the metropolitan area. Initially it was thought to be predation from another iconic bird, the kookaburra, a type of kingfisher, which had been introduced (it's not native to WA).

    However, when gardeners stopped using as much insecticide, the willy wagtail made a great comeback, and I notice them coexisting quite happily at the local park with kookaburras.

    That's even without considering the effect of DDT making the egg shells of birds thinner and easier to break, explaining the precipitous decline in bird numbers, such as the American bald eagle.

    Actually, Rachel Carson was correct in her criticism of DDT. Although she did make an exception for its use in malaria control in 'Silent Spring'. However, the malaria control programs were seriously flawed in the way they were carried out in developing countries.

    Smallpox was eradicated because it has no healthy carriers. If you catch smallpox, you either recover and become immune or rapidly die. With an outbreak, all you need to do is quarantine and vaccinate the surrounding population.

    With malaria, there are healthy carriers. To eradicate malaria, you'd need to find and treat all the carriers and prevent transmission through mosquitoes for around 4 years in the entire population. A difficult and very expensive proposition in a developing country with few resources to pay for all its health care, including treatment of malaria.

    The malaria control programs also weren't popular in the communities being treated. Having internal walls sprayed with DDT wasn't liked, particularly as it often cause die-offs in the people's poultry.

    The article is wrong in its discussion of golden rice. It has only recently been developed and hasn't been released for use in ANY country. It also has the drawback that the beta-carotene (the precursor of vitamin A) it contains is also fat soluble, and requires fats in the diet to be absorbed, so if the diet is deficient in fats (as is the case in countries with endemic malnutrition), then it won't have much effect.

    Most of the Europeans' objection to genetically modified food is because the modification is to add resistance to herbicides, so that the farmers can apply herbicides more liberally to control weeds. The companies marketing the GMC get a lot of their income from selling the herbicides.

    You're not very consistent. You decry materialism, and then argue for us in the developed countries to consume much more than our fair share of the Earth's resources. Do you really think that there's an infinite supply of fossil fuels?

    The more energy we use, the more it costs, and the more unaffordable it becomes for the poor in developing countries. We really need to reduce our energy consumption, even if only to make Saudi Arabia poorer and less able to afford to pay for its export of its brand of militant Islam to other countries.

    1. The impact of DDT on malaria in South Africa is a good example. From

      "Where DDT is used, malaria deaths plummet. Where it is not used, they skyrocket. For example, in South Africa, the most developed nation on the continent, the incidence of malaria had been kept very low (below 10,000 cases annually) by the careful use of DDT. But in 1996 environmentalist pressure convinced program directors to cease using DDT. Malaria cases began to soar. One of the worst epidemics in the country's history ensued, with almost 6,200 cases in 2000. Shortly after this peak, South Africa reintroduced DDT. In one year, malaria cases plummeted by 80 percent. Next door, in Mozambique, which doesn't use DDT, malaria rates remain stratospheric. Similar experiences have been recorded in Zambia and other African countries.:

      You really don't give a shit about the millions of people who have died from green fanaticism, do you bach?

      If it doesn't fit your ideology, it doesn't matter.

    2. "You really don't give a shit about the millions of people who have died from green fanaticism, do you bach?"

      I suppose you missed the part where Carson made an exception for DDT use in Silent Spring, which bach pointed out. But since you never bother to read anything before you let the bullshit flow from your mouth, you probably didn't notice that.

      Facts seem to be a foreign concept to you.

    3. Oh. So what explains the frantic enviro-wacko efforts to ban DDT for malaria prevention, including the banning for such use by the US and most international aid agencies and the banning of all aid to countries that used DDT?

      So who was it who banned DDT for malaria control, if it wasn't the enviro-nuts?

      You killed a lot of people, and now you don't have the guts to face up to it. What a sniveling coward.

    4. "So who was it who banned DDT for malaria control, if it wasn't the enviro-nuts?"

      No one. DDT has always been available for malaria control under the WHO guidelines and has never been banned internationally. It was banned in the U.S. (mostly because mosquitoes were becoming resistant to it and the negatives outweighed the positives when compared to alternative strategies), but aid to countries that used it was never restricted. The only sniveler here is you, who spews bullshit and calls it fact.

    5. After the 1972 ban on DDT, it was USAID policy not to fund any development projects that used pesticides that were banned in the US (eg DDT). This policy was emulated by many European countries and by private donors. Basically, nations that wanted to use DDT had to find it, pay for it, and forfeit much of their foreign aid if they chose to use it.

      Face it, asshat. You guys banned DDT everywhere you could. Your record is clear. Millions died.

  2. Egnor: On this Earth Day, give the green nuts and killers and frauds the finger. Turn on all your lights, run 'em all night, leave your car running in the driveway and use as much gas as you can, run every appliance you own, and say a prayer of thanks for the blessings that genuine humane stewardship of our resources have brought to humanity.

    This guy is off his rocker. I wonder whether even his entourage would find this sort of Earth-day bashing amusing.

  3. “Turn on all your lights, run 'em all night, leave your car running in the driveway and use as much gas as you can, run every appliance you own.”

    Why stop there? Burn a pile of tires, pour your old paint and motor oil in the sewer, and bury your old computers in your yard; that will show those greenies!


  4. Chris Mooney was right in his book 'the Republican Brain'. Conservatives such as Michael Egnor do tend to score low on openness to new ideas, do like to see the world in black and white, don't like to see nuances and do tend to ignore confounding evidence if it conflicts with their cherished opinions.

    Rachel Carson was attacked by the chemical companies producing DDT because they feared that they'd lose money. Vested interests have continued to attack critics to maintain their profits. Cigarette companies have attacked doctors for noting that smoking, even secondhand, is dangerous. Coal companies have attacked environmentalists for noting that sulphates in coal cause acid rain, chemical companies have attacked the scientists warning of the ozone hole due to CFCs.

    Currently coal and oil companies are attacking the science of AGW.

    Michael is attempting to rewrite history to further his agenda. I don't know what his agenda actually is. He's not particularly logical or consistent. As a believer, he presumably thinks that God created everything to be 'good' and that humans shouldn't interfere with the natural order, so contraception and restricting human births is wrong. The natural order would also presumably include mosquitoes and malaria.

    Actually all human actions have unintended consequences, and we need to ensure that we are cautious in taking action. The article Michael quotes isn't very logical. It talks about vitamin A deficiency in the developing world, and the way golden rice will prevent it (it won't, you need fat in the diet too) and derides the 'banning' of DDT from malaria control (it wasn't). But doesn't mention that communities didn't like the spraying of DDT around their villages because it killed off their poultry and their source of eggs - a cheap supply of animal protein, fats and VITAMIN A!

    Malaria is an odd infection. It produces partial immunity in those who are carriers. If carriers are treated, they lose their partial immunity and become fully susceptible again. If malaria is only partially eradicated, when it makes its inevitable return, infection becomes much more severe in the previously partial immune.

    America managed to control malaria before DDT, by removing humans from mosquito breeding areas (or vice versa, by draining swamps).