Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sickening incompetence: the ecomyth as eco-imperialism

Today's discussion is a tough one because it evokes a lot of strong emotions and no small component of incredulity: once people read a little and dig a little deeper for themselves, they are either shocked at what they find or become vehemently defensive of the dogma they have been fed up to this point. The topic is the epidemic of malaria in Africa and its continued proliferation primarily due to the ecomyth that surrounds DDT.

As a primer, some excellent recent articles can be found here, here and here.

There's more on Driessen's website plus these links to Africa Fighting Malaria and the Malaria Foundation International.

Those not familar with the topic can come up to speed with this quick introduction to the issues and this new multimedia site meant for raising public awareness of the situation in Africa today. Both are easy reads and highly accessible for use by educators in classroom discussion.

Bottom line is this: Africa has a malaria epidemic that kills millions every year, especially young children. Those on the front line of the fight against malaria want to eradicate the disease the way we did: cheaply and effectively. Inside spraying of homes using DDT will accomplish this. Scientifically there is no sound reason not to do so. The only barrier is one induced and popularized by Western environmentalists: the ecomyth that DDT and other pesticides cause cancer in humans and denigrate the natural environment. The ecomyth as eco-imperialism.