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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

DDT Eliminating Malaria In Africa

DDT is an unpopular pesticide. Although, when I was a kid, we used to run around behind pick-up trucks spewing clouds of this stuff every night, it was banned from use in the USA. It seems it caused a great decline in birds by making the egg shells too soft so the chicks did not survive. Well, Africa has to make a choice between bird chicks dying or, as in the case of Uganda, the death of 110,000 children from malaria every year. Which would you choose?

The environmentalists, especially the European ones, are screaming. Richard Tren and Marian L. Tupy wrote an article about this in the August 18, 2005 Washington Times (p. A17) I quote their statistics from this article.

"Between 1998 and 2000, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa's most malarial province, stopped using DDT. The result was a 400% increase in malarial cases. The government was forced to reintroduce DDT. By 2001, malaria cases fell to their pre-1998 levels."
The EU is threatening Africa with sanctions. Africa scratches it's head and wonders what is wrong with the way the crazy Europeans think. It's a choice between birds or children for pete's sake ! They don't spray DDT on the field's like America did in the 50's. They only spray it in diluted form on the interior walls of their houses. In addition they sleep with bed nets.

The good news is that the US does not share the EU's approach to combating poverty and disease in Africa. President Bush committed $1.2 billion to Africa to help them stop malaria. His proposal specifically allows "indoor residual spraying.' Maybe the whole world is not insane after all.
This does not destroy the environment.


Blogger Ed Darrell said...

Inappropriate applications of DDT, such as those you laud, drive evolution of mosquitoes to be resistant to the stuff, and seriously damage ecosystems that naturally fight malaria. The birds you denigrate? They eat the mosquitoes that cause the disease.

What happens when the mosquitoes become resistant to the pesticide, but the birds are dead? That's right -- the disease roars back, more deadly than before.

DDT doesn't make us divine. We shouldn't play God just because we have it, either. Such hubris rests uneasily with Mother Nature, and with God.

3:46 AM, November 09, 2005  

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