1. Carson got into the thing only after 15 years of studies trying to sound the alarm from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and others. The Forest Service stopped using DDT in 1958 because of its ecosystem destruction, a full year before Carson even started writing in earnest.
The shadow was on the land. Carson merely opened our eyes to it.
The truth is:
Carson wrote "Dr. DeWitt's now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched." DeWitt's 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the "control"" birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt's report that "control" pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs.
Ed Darrell wrote:
Were it true that the ban on spraying DDT on cotton in Texas allowed malaria to spread in Africa (and I can't believe anyone is that map challenged), the annual death rate from malaria has run at or under a million people a year since EPA acted in 1972. That's 38 years. 38 times one million would be 38 million deaths worldwide. 60 million is an inflated figure in any case.
The US Ban on DDT helped spread the way for the World Health Organization to back off from their 1955 goal of using DDT to bring Malaria under control in the third world, like it already had been in the developed nations.
The World Health Organization disagrees with the "under 1 million" and calls it "at least one million". Africa News in 1999 put the estimate at 2.7 million per year for the continent of Africa. I simply guestimated between 1 million and 2.7 million and rounded down to get to 60 million. But obviously the difference between an "overinflated 60 million" and an "accurate and factual 38 million" isn't any problem, because after all, we are only talking about dark skinned people here, it isn't like they are really human or anything.
Ed Darrell said:
3. Mosquitoes don't migrate from Texas to Africa. Can you explain, please, how not using DDT in Texas causes a rise in malaria in Africa?
See above you simpering sub-monkey moron. Also there was never a "rise" in African malaria, just never a reduction. That place can be a real hell hole.
The truth is that even DDT resistant mosquitoes will avoid areas sprayed with DDT, which is why the WHO has issued a statement as recently as 2006 that supports the use of DDT in Africa. Evidently it's ok for the WHO to eradicate smallpox, but not use DDT to eradicate malaria according to the environmental elite who don't live in crushing poverty.
It's assholes like Ed Darrell that are all for condemning children to blindness because Golden Rice is a genetically engineered crop, and therefore it's ok for the EU to refuse to trade with countries that grow gene modified foodstuffs.
Ed Darrell said:
4. DDT resistance and immunity arose in African mosquitoes in the early 1960s. By 1965, most populations of mosquito that carried malaria and could be assaulted by spraying, were resistant or immune to DDT (see Malcolm Gladwell's profile of malaria-fighter Fred Soper; see Socrates Litsios's Tomorrow of Malaria; see Jonathan Weiner's The Beak of the Finch, a story of evolution in our time.
If DDT didn't work against mosquitoes, as Rachel Carson had predicted in 1962, how is it you blame her for anything? She wasn't the one who overused and abused DDT.
Once again, see above you mouth breathing simian. DDT is useful even against resistant mosquitoes. You don't have to kill all the malaria in the world, just stop the infection in humans.
Ed Darrell said:
5. Check with Audubon. Peregrine falcon populations did not increase during DDT's peak use years. DDT instead made the birds unable to reproduce, and pushed them to the brink of extinction. There are dozens of studies on this point, all of which deny precisely your claim. Peregrines came off the endangered species list, because the decline of residual DDT in their tissues stopped making their eggs and chicks unviable.
The truth is: Up through the 1960s, it was known as a "duck hawk" and regarded as a "bounty bird," a nuisance predator subject to indiscriminate shooting across the West. Overhunting is a much more rational explanation for the decline of Peregrine Falcons than DDT, especially when you look at the data that Rachel Carson so glibly misrepresented.
A Finnish study on historical bounty payment records found this: The ‘golden age’ of bounty schemes from 1898 to the 1920s contributed to local extinctions of both mammalian and avian species.
And what does the Audubon society say about raptor populations during DDT use?
In actuality, however, declines in bird populations either had occurred before DDT was present or had occured years after DDT’s use. A comparison of the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts between 1941 (pre-DDT) and 1960 (after DDT’s use had waned) reveals that at least 26 different kinds of birds became more numerous during those decades, the period of greatest DDT usage. The Audubon counts document an overall increase in birds seen per observer from 1941 to 1960, and statistical analyses of the Audubon data confirm the perceived increases. For example, only 197 bald eagles were documented in 194111; the number had increased to 891 in 1960.12
At Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania, teams of ornithologists made daily counts of migrating raptors for over 40 years. The counts—published annually by the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association—reveal great increases in most kinds of hawks during the DDT years. The osprey counts increased as follows: in 1946, 191; in 1956, 288; in 1967, 457; and in 1972, 630.13 In 1942 Dr. Joseph Hickey—who in 1968 would blame DDT for bird population decline—reported that 70 per-cent of the eastern osprey population had been killed by pole traps around fish hatcheries.14 That same year, before DDT came into use, Hickey noted a decline in the population of peregrine falcons.15
Ed Darrell said:
6. Carson's sources showed that chicks either did not hatch, or could not survive to fledging, when the parents got dosed with DDT. No one fully understood the mechanism -- the research all showed bird death. It is misleading to say the research didn't show eggshell thinning, because that wasn't being researched.
See the truth of the Dewitt experiment, which means read my first response again.
Ed Darrell said:
7. Subsequent research fully and completely established that eggshell thinning is caused by DDT and its daughter products, and that this meant eggs laid by bald eagles, brown pelicans, peregrine falcons and osprey, could not survive.
And obviously you can show me the mechanism of action? Oh wait, it is "still unknown". And as I have already linked, hunting for bounty or anti-predation efforts is the more likely culprit for raptor decline.
8. Please explain this: Malaria death rates today are less than half what they were when DDT use was at its peak.
Is the rest of your research so sloppy as that?
My research isn't sloppy you koolaid drinking zombie, there is a huge effort at education, treated sleeping net distribution, limited indoor spraying efforts going on in Africa. But none of it is as effective as DDT was in the developed world.