Next time you run into a bunch of eco-loonies howling from the rooftops about the number of innocent Iraqi children killed by Anglo-American sanctions or the number of Africans whose lives are blighted by the alleged predations of globalisation, you might want to take some comfort from the realisation that what is really going on here is a massive exercise in guilt-displacement.
Green campaigns, you see, are not just a laughable manifestation of Western illiberal neurosis. They actually kill real people in the real world. There is no better illustration of this than their the long-standing (and shameful) war against DDT, an extremely useful chemical spray that has a proven track record in stopping the spread of malaria but which the greenies regard as a ‘toxin’ that must be eradicated in order to ‘improve’ the environment.
Using their customary formula of junk-science, scare-mongering, moral blackmail and religious fervour, the enviro-mentalists have managed to persuade Western governments to lean on the governments of developing countries to prohibit the use of this life-saving bit of technology.
This is neo-imperialism of the worst kind. Western greenies seem to regard the Third World as a sort of benevolent plantation where they can administer their muddle-headed, quasi-mystical, do-goodery to the poor, benighted fuzzy-wuzzys.
The results have been disastrous but the good news is that the ‘noble savages’ have had just about enough of this crap:
Kenya’s leading research center has come out in favor of using DDT to stem the toll of malaria in the country, reigniting a bitter debate between those who want to protect the environment and those who favor saving African children.
With the announcement, Kenya is poised to join a handful of other African countries, which are disregarding donor-nation admonitions that the chemical is an environmental disaster.
Proof (as if any more were actually needed) that one can afford to play along with these self-indulgent parlour games and humour the participants until such times as actual lives are on the line as a result. The Kenyans have rudely (and justly) reminded the world that they are critically vulnerable to the consequences of fashionable clap-trap in a way that over-stuffed and ridiculously coddled Western metropolitan elites are not.
“DDT is not the only weapon against malaria, but given its success in other parts of Africa, it would be of great benefit for malaria control in Kenya,” Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria, in Johannesburg said yesterday. “Not using DDT, in effect, condemns Africans to die.”
Dr. Davy Koech, director of KMRI, said DDT is one of the most effective pesticides against the anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria. He said malaria in Kenya has reached epidemic proportions.
Every person engaged in this campaign of prohibition should hang their heads in shame and ignominy.
Cheap and effective, DDT was once considered a modern miracle for dealing with malaria and insect pests in agriculture. It was used during World War II, when entire cities were sprayed to control lice and typhus. DDT was used to eradicate malaria in the United States, but it was also used by the ton for agriculture, where it killed birds. DDT was named the culprit and vilified by Rachel Carson in her 1962 book “Silent Spring,” leading to its ban in the United States in 1972.
I wonder if that book has even been objectively scrutinised?
Zambia recently decided to reintroduce the chemical for malaria control, and Uganda announced that it would begin using DDT again.
“In Europe, they used DDT to kill anopheles mosquitos that cause malaria,” Ugandan Health Minister Jim Muhewezi told the Monitor newspaper in Kampala. “Why can’t we use DDT to kill the enemy in our own camp?”
Because, Mr.Muhewezei, some Westerners regard ideology as being more important than life itself.
I sincerely hope that this outbreak of common sense continues to spread. I also hope that this episode goes some way to persuade sensible people in the Third World that their lives will not improve until they dismiss the idiotic ravings of Western socialist cranks and start to embrace the enlightenment of technology, capitalism, progress and property rights.
And, if there is any justice in this world, Western enviro-mentalists will all be rounded up and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
[My thanks to Chris Cooper for flagging up this issue on the Libertarian Alliance Forum]