Those of us who have been fighting the lunatic fringe of the inaptly named environmental movement—and, sadly, it’s a pretty large fringe—took some encouragement from an editorial in the November 8th Wall Street Journal entitled “DDT Save Lives.”
While the content of this piece offers nothing new to anyone rational in this field, I would imagine that such paragraphs as this one:
The perception — going back to Rachel Carson — that DDT spraying is dangerous has long since been debunked. An Environmental Protection Agency hearing as long ago as 1972 concluded that “DDT is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to man” and that “these uses of DDT [to fight malaria] do not have a deleterious effect on fish, birds, wildlife, or estuarine organisms.”
might come as quite a shock to most people under 40, who were fed the usual Leftist nonsense as a steady diet during their formative years. To say nothing of anyone else who actually believed the mainstream media’s take on enviro issues.
We do note that despite EPA’s conclusion, as mentioned above, agency head Bill Ruckelshaus still went ahead and banned the insecticide, in an act he himself admitted was politically driven. And, we aren’t exactly holding our breath waiting for the many schools named after dear Ms. Carson to be renamed after someone more worthy, and less responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans.
Is it not fair, 33 years after the criminally ill-advised banning of DDT, to ask just whose environment our Greens were trying to protect? Upping the ante a bit, even if DDT were harmful to certain bird species (which it is not) would that be worth millions of innocent human deaths?
Much as apologists for totalitarian regimes and fanatics used the French proverb, “To make an omelette, you have to break some eggs,” far too many Greens would respond, “Yes!” You see, theirs is a millenarian movement, as were Stalin’s and Hitler’s, if you think about it. Although the original meaning of this word had religious connotations, nowadays it refers more to “a period of prevailing virtue or great happiness or perfect government or freedom from familiar ills and imperfections of human existence.”
While millenarian movements of old at least started out to improve the miserable lives of those on the lowest rungs of society, the Greens have no such pretense. Rather, they pursue some sick, perhaps drug-induced fantasy of a mythic Eden, in which only the elect can enter. Capitalism and industrial development are the enemies not so much because they cause pollution, but because they raise the unwashed masses to new levels of wealth and achievement.
Thus, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter predicted the downfall of capitalism at the hands of disaffected intellectuals in his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942). The revenge of these bitter elitists is therefore thrust upon those they perceive as their inferiors.
Hiding behind a faux banner of environmentalism, then, they can close factories, and kill entire industries, while untold numbers of common men suffer. They can join government agencies that demand such things as fuel economy standards, while even acknowledging drastic effects on vehicle safety. And, as they ignore the highway carnage, they can simultaneously argue for absurdly low regulatory levels for thousands of chemicals, on the basis that if one person in a million is hurt, that is reason enough.
Who could argue against cheap energy to improve the lots of all citizens of the world? Our Greens can.
Dr. Paul Ehrlich: “Giving society cheap abundant energy…would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
Amory Lovins: “It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap abundant energy because of what we might do with it.”
That both Ehrlich and Lovins have famously been wrong on just about every single issue they have embraced matters not to their audience. Why should it? They are mindless fanatics.
Hopefully, the reemergence of DDT marks a turning point.