More on junk environmental “science”, plus update
Yesterday Jane made a comment, “This reminds me of the environmentalists successful campaign to stop the use of DDT in Africa where malaria rates are now sky high”.
Junk Science has an article by Roger Thurow that explains why In Malaria War, South Africa Turns
To Pesticide Long Banned in the West
Mr. Sharp believes that the best way to keep mosquitoes from becoming pesticide-resistant is for the entire region to hit them with a coordinated rotation of sprays that include DDT. Otherwise, he says, resistant mosquitoes will cross borders to areas where they can thrive.
Mr. Sharp unfurls a map of the Mozambique-South Africa-Swaziland border area, where he has charted the prevalence of the malaria parasite in children under 15. In South Africa and Swaziland, where DDT is sprayed inside houses, most rates are in the single digits, with the highest, 41.8%, recorded in a South African village near Mozambique. In southern Mozambique, where a more expensive carbamate insecticide is used, the rates rarely fall below 70% and often approach 90%.
“No doubt about it, malaria’s the most common illness here,” says Antonio Gumende, sliding behind his desk in the one-room clinic in the small southern Mozambican village of Mahubo. “In the summer, it’s about 100 cases a week.”
On Mr. Sharp’s map, Mahubo is in an area where three-quarters of the children are thought to have the malaria parasite. “Last month, the government introduced nets for beds, but I don’t think it’s enough,” Dr. Gumende says, adding that he doesn’t remember any spraying locally. Should DDT be used? “Whatever works,” he says
The same site also has a list of 100 things you should know about DDT , including It is believed that [malaria] afflicts between 300 and 500 million every year, causing up to 2.7 million deaths, mainly among children under five years. When used carefully, DDT would help save lives.
Update: Climate change and other alarms, at Samizdata.