Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Indoctrinate My Parents

The NYT highlights a new paradigm for the environment.  Using kids to indoctrinate their parents into the Way of the Green.  A little light fisking music maestro.

Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day. Over the years, the impact of this once seminal day has lessened.

The reason the impact has lessened, as I noted in an earlier post, is that things have gotten better over the last 40 years.  Our air and water are cleaner; our utilities and cars are cleaner and more efficient; our lives are healthier, happier and longer.  Earth Day was a lot more urgent when cities were drowning in smog and lakes were dying.  The remaining problems—resource shortages, overfishing, etc.—have solutions that are being worked on.  As for global warming, it’s not at all clear how big a problem that’s going to be.

Here’s a move in the right direction: launching this Earth Day is Green My Parents, a nationwide effort to inspire and organize kids to lead their families in measuring and reducing environmental impact at home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day. GMP’s initial goal is to have its first 100 youth advocates train and educate 100 peers (who will then turn to 100 of their respective peers and so on), with the aim of saving families $100 million between now and April 2011.

Am I the only one a little creeped out by this?  We’re one step away from using kids to inform on parents. 

(I’ll also note that what I call “The Hope of The Exponent”—that 100 will teach 100 will teach 100, etc.—is usually the sign of desperate movement.)

How? By washing in cold water, walking or biking to school/work and kicking the bottled-water habit, for example. GMP’s founders suggest that by taking simple steps like those, the average family could save over $1,000 each year.

I’m all in favor of getting rid of bottled water (voluntarily).  But washing in cold water?  Walking to work?  You don’t want to be anywhere on time and smelling good, do you?  All conservation is not equal.  You have to weigh how much money you are saving against how much inconvenience you’re creating.  Kids are notoriously bad at this, as anyone who has spent an hour arguing with a kid about socks can relate.

GMP recognizes that young people are inherently attuned to their environment and understand the importance of protecting it. Conversations I’ve had with kids of late reveal real worries about the future of the planet and concerns about their inability to act.

Bullshit.  As Don Boudreaux notes:

Kids aren’t inherently attuned to the environmental condition of even their own bedrooms, as a peek into a typical twelve-year-old’s room will instantly prove.  So it’s asinine to think that children “inherently” care about the condition of Siberia or of Brazilian rainforests.

Today’s prattling by young people about how awfully dirty the globe is reflects not kids’ “inherent” tuning-in to the global environment but, instead, their indoctrination – performed by teachers and popular media – into the Church of Gaia.

Children who express concern about the environment do so because they are impressionable and are, more often than not, being told doom and gloom stories by their teachers.  Sal 11000 Beta is not old enough for this, but all of my friends with older children have had the experience of their children coming home from school, filled with despair that the planet is being destroyed.  Even in my kid’s day care, she had to bring a list of three things she was doing to save the planet.

Children believe the planet is dying, not because they are inherently attuned to the Earth, but because their teachers tell them the planet is dying.  Even problems that have long been on the upswing—deforestation, acid rain and overpopulation—are still trotted out as the End of the World in our nation’s classrooms.  I once spent part of an afternoon deprogramming a nephew about the deforestation of North America.

The NYT story gets even worse from what I’ve quoted above.  It praises kids for “not thinking about limitations, but about good ideas”.  But our world is defined by limitations.  And the problem with green policy being implemented is not that people don’t care or are unaware of environmental concerns.  It’s that there are always tradeoffs involved and not everyone agrees on the relative weights of the important concerns.

Honestly, Earth Day brings out the worst ideas.  This article is literally praising the indoctrination of impressionable kids so that they can be used to emotionally blackmail their parents into engaging in “green” activities (which are often not green at all).

Sigh. At least there’s always George Carlin to set us right.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/25/10 at 06:35 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 04/25/10 at 09:20 PM from Germany

This line of BS has been out there since at least 1975 - for me the big tip off was “you don’t need to be as clean, people will get used to your stink”.  As if being French was going to help anything…

Last week on “bring your snot-nosed little puke to work day” I had a room full 3rd graders to address as I explained our ISO14000 program.  The little bastards are all quite well indoctrinated, spouting off meaningless green platitudes as if they were fact left and right.

Posted by on 04/25/10 at 10:35 PM from United States

For Earth day we had a little meaningless indoctrination actrivity for my students.  We were to deconrate local grocery stores’ paper bags with nice crayon slogans and such (way to keep challenging curriculum).  Several of my students asked for suggestions (knowing how I felt about Earth Day).  A few choice slogans were:
“The DDT ban has killed 30 million chidren”
“Al Gore Climate Hypocrit”
“Drive more, I’m cold”

I really hope someone complains-I will give my admins an ass full about political indocrination.

Posted by on 04/25/10 at 10:38 PM from United States

Children who express concern about the environment do so because they are impressionable and are, more often than not, being told doom and gloom stories by their teachers.  Sal 11000 Beta is not old enough for this, but all of my friends with older children have had the experience of their children coming home from school, filled with despair that the planet is being destroyed.  Even in my kid’s day care, she had to bring a list of three things she was doing to save the planet.

In my opinion, some of the shit these educators do to spook kids borders on child abuse--if my kid came home with a “list of things to save the planet” from their daycare, the supervisor would be getting an earful from me the next day.

You see this kind of crap in the “green” movement a lot, where they try to enlist kids as their little brown-shirted wards of the left-wing police state.  For example, this offensive piece of dreck from Canadian greenie David Suzuki.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 09:05 AM from Germany

I also have problems with this. There is NO WAY you could define this as education - it’s indoctrination. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, it doesn’t encourage critical thinking or inquiry (or even the development of skills), which are what education should be all about.

But then, neither does this:

“The DDT ban has killed 30 million chidren”

If this is the kind of (factually incorrect) bullshit you are pushing on your kids, then you are no better than the people you are criticizing.

Sorry, but your students shouldn’t know how you feel about earth day.

Posted by Ed Kline on 04/26/10 at 10:17 AM from United States

Stogy I have no idea what the numbers are, but the DDT ban has killed a lot of people.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/26/10 at 10:45 AM from United States

Am I the only one a little creeped out by this?  We’re one step away from using kids to inform on parents. 

Why does this strike you as odd? All you need to know why they feel this stuff is perfectly viable and good is to take a closer look at the beliefs of the people who is behind these events and thinking. They masquerade as greens, but they are really reds. It is not a coincidence that the Soviet Union and every other communist paradise as well as the Fascists, and in particular the Nazis, relied heavily on this kind of stuff. Children are much easier to control and indoctrinate than pesky adults. Especially the kind that see through the watermelons. When the state controls schools, it is even easier.

Stogy I have no idea what the numbers are, but the DDT ban has killed a lot of people.

The number has been in the millions. But don’t worry. It was ll those pesky dark skinned folk in places like Africa, South America, and Asia. No harm there..

(that was sarcasm for the idiots that don’t comprehend that)

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 10:51 AM from United States

The DDT ban has killed millions by allowing mosquito spread diseases to run rampant in developing countries.  30 million is most likely a low-ball answer.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 12:06 PM from United States

I’m struck by what my response would be to a child that started lecturing me on being “green” as shown in various commercials.  I mean aside “shut your fucking mouth” and “respect your elders you know-nothing little snit”.

And, in all honesty, who actually goes around and leaves the lights on and runs the water when they don’t have to any more?  This sort of stuff has been beaten out of people since at least 1980, and if nothing else people are always looking for a way to lower their utility bills.  One of the first things people look for in appliances is energy efficiency and determining how long it will take for something to “pay for itself” if you replace an older, but still working, unit. 

To find these sorts of indoctrination programs still in existence is baffling - are they aimed at 3rd world immigrants or something?

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 05:45 PM from United States

find these sorts of indoctrination programs still in existence is baffling - are they aimed at 3rd world immigrants or something?

They are aimed at keeping a sense of crisis.  Unless the next generation is convinced that the world is going to shit they won’t pony up money to keep Greenpeace and company going. 

Bjorn Lomborg had a piece in the WSJ for Earth Day.  It basically says “Hey lighten up, the environment is much better than it was 40 years ago” (also the thesis of his book).  He has been pilloried for saying this, not because it isn’t true but because its truth lessens the power and income of the activists.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 07:32 PM from Japan

The DDT ban has killed millions by allowing mosquito spread diseases to run rampant in developing countries.  30 million is most likely a low-ball answer.

I’d like to see a peer reviewed paper on how these numbers were derived. Had it not been banned for agricultural use about 30 years ago, I should point out, DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant. Do your ‘30 million’ figures take this into account?

There has been no international ban on domestic use of DDT for malaria spraying, although some countries have gone that far. It has been banned for agricultural use, however. Sri Lanka (for example - because I was just there) have reintroduced DDT use domestically (carefully) so that they can reduce malaria rates (and very successfully, too), but long term this is not a solution - mosquitoes will develop resistance fairly quickly (DDT has a half life of 12 years -which is more than double alternative products). And some epidemiologists actually argue that domestic spraying actually increases infection rates. Ultimately, it’s vector control that really reduces new infections.

So congratulations - your little counter-indoctrination is not only wrong, it’s wrong.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 07:34 PM from Japan

Bjorn Lomborg had a piece in the WSJ for Earth Day.  It basically says “Hey lighten up, the environment is much better than it was 40 years ago” (also the thesis of his book).  He has been pilloried for saying this, not because it isn’t true but because its truth lessens the power and income of the activists.

I think this is such bollocks. So you’ve moved all the factories to China and wonder why the environment got better? But the overconsumption causing the pollution and environmental degradation is still here. Every spring, my house is covered by a huge cloud of toxic dust from the new, highly polluted deserts of northern China. And have you seen the state of our fisheries?

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 09:04 PM from Japan

I should point out, DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant.

Just so you don’t think I am making this up, here’s Warren and Walsh (1979), in the New England Journal of Medicine, before the supposed global DDT ‘ban’ really took hold:

Because mosquitoes can be expected to become resistant to DDT within a few years, other, much more expensive pesticides must be substituted; the use of propoxur or fenetrithon will raise the cost of the chemicals five to 10 times. Furthermore there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remain toxic to the mosquitoes. Among the mosquitoes in which widespread resistance to insecticides has developed are Culex pipiens fatigans, the major vector of urban filariasis, and Aedes aegypti, the vector of yellow fever and dengue.

A better use of your time might be to start looking into who is propagating these myths and why. Because there is no science behind it.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 09:33 PM from Germany

You get a DDT primer here:

http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.html

I’ve read any number of articles on the use of DDT in 3rd world countries and the effective ban on it’s use by the UN.

And yes, mosquito resistance is factored into the calculations, and the application DDT itself for that matter.  Before anyone actually carts the stuff out and uses it they first prove that it will be effective against the local mosquito population so that they don’t waste their time and money.

The most conservative estimate I’ve seen is 20 million.  Many are easily double that.

A better use of your time might be to start looking into who is propagating these myths and why. Because there is no science behind it.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 09:34 PM from Germany

A better use of your time might be to start looking into who is propagating these myths and why. Because there is no science behind it.

Actually, a better use of your time might be to start looking into who propagated the myths about DDT being a horrible poison to the environment and why.  There is no science behind that - only a shitload of hype, disinformation and agenda.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 09:59 PM from United States

“Drive more, I’m cold”

That would be hilarious for a kid to carry that around with all of the other kids and their green messages. I imagine the other teachers had meltdowns.

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 10:38 PM from United States

Just so you don’t think I am making this up, here’s Warren and Walsh (1979), in the New England Journal of Medicine, before the supposed global DDT ‘ban’ really took hold:

Because mosquitoes can be expected to become resistant to DDT within a few years, other, much more expensive pesticides must be substituted; the use of propoxur or fenetrithon will raise the cost of the chemicals five to 10 times. Furthermore there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remain toxic to the mosquitoes. Among the mosquitoes in which widespread resistance to insecticides has developed are Culex pipiens fatigans, the major vector of urban filariasis, and Aedes aegypti, the vector of yellow fever and dengue.

Notice the bold part. Nowhere did they say what they meant by “a few years” when they said they thought mosquitoes would become resistant to DDT. They just stated their assumption that mosquitoes would become resistant to DDT at some point in the future and followed it with a good ole’ “there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remian toxic to the mosquitoes.” Perhaps that point in the future where mosquitoes developed resistance to DDT on a large scale would have been a few years after those 20 million people didn’t die.

Warren and Walsh are MD’s that specialize in infectious disease, not pesticide experts. They only assumed eventual widespread resistance to DDT because there is always eventual widespread pest resistance to all pesticides, unless the pest is completely eradicated. 

But hey, since we’re going to use two MD non-pesticide-expert-infectious-disease-experts’ opinions on mosquito resistance to DDT, why not throw in a Ph.D. non-pesticide-expert-infectious-disease-expert? Robert W. Gwadz is the chief of the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health. He said, “The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children.”

Posted by on 04/26/10 at 10:57 PM from United States

Every spring, my house is covered by a huge cloud of toxic dust from the new, highly polluted deserts of northern China.

Every spring my house gets covered by a huge cloud of dust, too. It’s pine pollen. If you’re getting a dust most noticeable in the spring from Northern China, it could simply be poplar pollen from the tree plantations there in what Wikipedia calls, “the biggest artificial forest in the world.” Jussayin, ya know.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 12:06 AM from United States

Before I wade in on DDT, I wanted to ask you about this:

I think this is such bollocks. So you’ve moved all the factories to China and wonder why the environment got better?

Does this mean that you are opposed to cap and trade and the EU carbon scheme?  Because that will just move more industry to places like China that don’t tax their energy supplies as much.  The US and the EU have more strict pollution regs than China or other third world countries, so cap and trade would likely increase pollution by moving more industry overseas.  Just curious.

Regarding Lomborg, have you read his book?  He tackles all sorts of thing (including Rachel Carson and DDT phobia). 

More later, to bed now.  Mrs. Ed is making tempting noises.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 03:22 AM from Japan

You get a DDT primer here:

http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.html

Yuh! I wouldn’t use Junkscience to prove anything. It’s a list of cherry-picked quotes and studies designed to misrepresent, not to show the real science. An actual scientific discussion would involve looking at and quoting scientific studies that show the very significant numbers of studies that have found connections between DDT use and cancer (I mean, what about Cohn, Wolff, Cirillo, Sholtz, 2007??), diabetes (Turyk, Anderson, Knobeloch, Imm, & Persky, 2009), and as an endocryne disruptor (higher miscarriages, lower semen counts, and possibly - although it is so far unclear from the literature - reductions in breast milk). Links coming.

I have to say, I thought the idea behind Junk Science was really great, and I was really excited when I found it. If they had actually looked at junk science in the same way the Ben Goldacre at the Guardian does, I would be spending a lot of time there. Not even Cato will have anything to do with Junk Science any more.

Now among the enormous list of cherry-picked studies is a repeat of the fallacious claim that DDT was banned. It’s not. However, there are and have been restrictions on its use. And rightly so, when you consider that using it is not simply a matter of spraying it around inside the house. You need according to the WHO

a programme infrastructure [to] be set up and maintained to include trained sprayers, supervisors, managers, stocks, equipment, and vehicles, that roads allow access to every village at the right time at least once a year, and that insecticides are not diverted to agriculture. The need to prevent diversion has been highlighted for DDT, but for malaria control it is equally important for other insecticides. Furthermore, especially in areas with intense and perennial transmission, it is essential to maintain the population’s long-term acceptance of spraying once or several times a year. [5]

In view of the difficulties encountered in maintaining indoor residual spraying, WHO has invested substantially in exploring other methods, especially insecticide-treated bednets. These nets have been effective in many rigorous trials, [6] especially to reduce childhood mortality in Africa. Few trials have compared insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying, but results so far suggest that the methods are more or less equal in efficacy. [7] As pointed out by WHO,[8] the two methods are similar in the way they work, although unlike indoor residual spraying, insecticide-treated nets can protect individual users or households. Few data exist for the use and cost-effectiveness of combining these two methods. In view of the substantial costs of prevention for the huge populations at risk, national programmes will generally need to choose one of these two methods for a specific geographical area.

The choice of insecticide is secondary. Since only pyrethroids can be used for insecticide-treated nets, and pyrethroid resistance is emerging as a constraint on their effectiveness, [9] the fact that four classes of insecticides can be used for indoor residual spraying should be one of the main reasons justifying renewed interest in this method. In the choice between indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated nets, a WHO study group convened in 2004 noted that the decision should, in most cases, be based on operational factors. [8] Because long-lasting insecticidal nets can be managed easily with minimum risk of diversion of insecticide, for most high-burden countries that have not developed an infrastructure for indoor residual spraying, the priority will be to ensure coverage of at-risk populations with such long-lasting nets. The renewed interest in indoor residual spraying could lead to interminable debates in countries about the pros and cons of DDT. Such discussions pit sectors against politicians when, in fact, a non-partisan commitment is needed desperately to protect individuals at risk of malaria with one of the two proven methods.

Now wouldn’t you have thought that a website designed to engage in a discussion of DDT would mention the Stockholm Convention in 2001, where the rules of use of DDT for public health were laid down. But no. Nothing. Not a sausage. Bugger all.

OK. And on Warren and Walsh:

Warren and Walsh are MD’s that specialize in infectious disease, not pesticide experts. They only assumed eventual widespread resistance to DDT because there is always eventual widespread pest resistance to all pesticides, unless the pest is completely eradicated.

Yes, they are experts in infectious disease. But as resistance had been seen in mosquitoes since 1947, I think they were fairly entitled to their base their view on the science. I only used Warren and Walsh because it was about 3 inches to the right of my computer screen at the time. And I used it to show that there was concern in the public health literature at the time about resistance. Not because I wanted to show scientific analysis of the resistance to DDT in mosquitoes.

And as for Robert W. Gwadz? How did he come to this figure? What was his methodology? What was his aim in giving the number? And nothing from Junk Science either on the ‘30 million’? A bit different from 20 million, isn’t it? And someone else said ‘hundreds of thousands’. So unless you are going to come up with something quantifiable, then I am going to treat it as just a made up number designed to throw around politically.

I’d find your deep concern over this much more believable if any of you had also expressed concern over the 100 million missing girls across Asia (definitely a security problem for the US and world stability - and three times the number you are claiming are missing from malaria), or if any of you were out campaigning against TRIPs agreements that deny lifesaving drugs to kids with HIV.

Ah, but there isn’t anything there that can be used to compare environmentalists to Hitler there, is there? Oh and Carson by the way, supported the public health use of DDT.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 03:51 AM from Japan

Hist_ed. I everything worked out nicely last night, and no-one logged off too early. DDT, apparently has that effect on… (sorry!)

Does this mean that you are opposed to cap and trade and the EU carbon scheme?  Because that will just move more industry to places like China that don’t tax their energy supplies as much

I don’t have a preferred CO2 reduction scheme. To me, it looks like they all suck. And the technical solutions don’t do much for me either:  carbon sequestration took a body blow yesterday too.

I do however, curse loudly, every anytime someone announces a new major oilfield. That’s my strategy at the moment.

Really though, I would like to see a lot more creativity in how we deal with energy consumption and wastage. And I am still hoping that ideas like the Solar Tower in Australia get off the ground, and the new exchangeable car battery trial for Tokyo taxis works out (yes, I know the energy for batteries still has to come from somewhere).

Oh, and Bug Girl (parasitologist) has an excellent take-down of the Junk Science site - I think she has done the old Junk Science page, which I always thought read like bad Soviet propaganda (at least they fixed that!), but many of the points she makes are still valid - particularly her stuff on DDT resistance.

This is my primary objection to the pro-DDT folks–they don’t seem to have ANY understanding of resistance management, or natural selection. They present DDT as a cure-all solution. This is a sure-fire way to end up on the “pesticide treadmill“, and risks loosing the ability to use other pesticides to control malaria.

She has a lovely graph too, indicating cross resistance.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 04:32 AM from United States

Stogy, DDT works to reduce mosquito-spread diseases in several ways.  One of them is by being toxic to mosquitos. This is the only way in which mosquitos can develop an immunity to its effects.  The much more common way is as an insect repellent.  Mosquitos do not develop a resistance to this effect since it doesn’t selectively kill only those who aren’t resistant.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 06:34 AM from Japan

Stogy, DDT works to reduce mosquito-spread diseases in several ways.  One of them is by being toxic to mosquitos. This is the only way in which mosquitos can develop an immunity to its effects.  The much more common way is as an insect repellent.  Mosquitos do not develop a resistance to this effect since it doesn’t selectively kill only those who aren’t resistant.

Well yeah, to some extent you are right. But you obviously didn’t get to Bug Girl’s point number three, which describes behavioral resistance, and natural selection based on how mosquitoes behave after they are ‘repelled’:

It’s important in an IPM strategy to know your pest–where do mosquitoes rest when they aren’t feeding? When do they feed? Many of the mosquito species important in malaria transmission are called “endophillic”; that’s a fancy way of saying they like to hang out indoors, in dark, enclosed areas. Like houses. So, spraying the interior walls of homes with DDT could be very effective for these species.

Except… not all mosquito species rest inside homes (Culex or Aedes do not, for example), so in areas where these species are the major vector, interior sprays won’t work.

The Junkscience people are partly correct; DDT does have a long lasting “irritancy” effect, where it provides a strong stimulation to take off and fly, making mosquitoes exit a treated house.

That sounds good, but this “bite and run” behavior means mosquitoes don’t rest on the treated walls. If they don’t rest on the inside wall, they don’t come in contact with the insecticide. The mozzies don’t die; and people are still bitten. There is abundant evidence from different parts of the world that DDT use created natural selection on endophillic species (usu. Anopheles), and resulted in altered behavior.

This was first described decades ago in Tanzania and Indonesia (4, 5). Some mosquitoes shifted their behavior to rest in bushes, or on the outsides of homes. Obviously, mosquitoes that have the “bite and run” trait will quickly increase in the population–since mosquitoes resting within a treated house are dead, and corpses rarely breed

In some cases, DDT irritancy can work for you–in this study, they conclude DDT will reduce mosquito/human contact. But they came to that conclusion after careful testing–not because of a political agenda. Note that the different species in the study cited had different responses to the DDT, as well. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Behavioral resistance continues to be a problem, and assessing the behavioral traits of a local population is an important first step to choosing an appropriate control.

Posted by Ed Kline on 04/27/10 at 08:54 AM from United States

Stogy this discussion is pointless. DDT is cheap. Ridiculously cheap. That’s why it should be used. A lot less people would be dead ( I dont know how many) if we hadnt put politcal pressure on poor countries to not use it.
I dont have to care about the 100 million missing Asian girls, to have a valid opinion on this subject. If people here has to prove their ‘i really care’ bona-fides to you, then the substsance of their arguments is really irrelevant. Passion is not a prerequisite to being correct.
DDT works, and it cheap. It night not work forever, but it wouldve worked very well at one time. Who knows, maybe if so many people hadn’t died of malaria, they woulda just starved to death anyway. That’s not really the point. The point is when public policy gets mixed up with religious belief (enviromentalism), bad shit happens. The enviromental lobby in 1st world countries are more than fine with 3rd world countries being stymied ( with people dying because of it) by their religious beliefs.
So I really dont want to read that you’d take any of us more seriously if we were a little more like Mother Teresa. Your side has blood on its hands.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 09:57 AM from United States

Junk Science is far from perfect - particularly since it’s gone whole hog into politics in the last couple years, but it’s still one of the only places out there there will even bother to debate commonly held myths of the modern age (oddly enough, nearly all of them perpetrated by the envirotards).

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 03:04 PM from United States

Yes, they are experts in infectious disease. But as resistance had been seen in mosquitoes since 1947, I think they were fairly entitled to their base their view on the science. I only used Warren and Walsh because it was about 3 inches to the right of my computer screen at the time. And I used it to show that there was concern in the public health literature at the time about resistance. Not because I wanted to show scientific analysis of the resistance to DDT in mosquitoes.

No. You said, “I should point out, DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant.” You used ONE article by Warren and Walsh about infectious disease that basically mentions DDT resistance in passing to back up that statement.

Since you want to go there, though....You say resistance was seen in mosquitoes in 1947. Resistance was obviously a concern in 1962 as evidenced by the mention in Silent Spring. Yet in 19 motherfucking 79 Warren and Walsh said, “mosquitoes can be expected to become resistant to DDT within a few years.” Sounds to me like mosquitoes were developing resistance pretty goddamned slowly if resistance was seen in 1947, and still in 1979, 32 years later, the authorities you choose to trust said, “mosquitoes can be expected to become resistant to DDT within a few years.” The world should be so lucky that resistance to pesticides becomes a problem over a period counted in decades rather than years. They should have been using DDT.

And as for Robert W. Gwadz? How did he come to this figure? What was his methodology? What was his aim in giving the number? And nothing from Junk Science either on the ‘30 million’? A bit different from 20 million, isn’t it? And someone else said ‘hundreds of thousands’. So unless you are going to come up with something quantifiable, then I am going to treat it as just a made up number designed to throw around politically.

Just as before, I’m not going to do your research for you. You can go to niaid.nih.gov and dig around, and you’ll probably find answers to your questions. What I will say, though, is this: You can choose to be a dumbass if you want and believe that what was said in an article by 2 MD’s in 1979 is the final word on mosquito borne infectious diseases and the number of people who died without or could have been saved by DDT.

I’ll believe what was said by the director of an agency that has been around since 1948, has hundreds if not thousands of MD’s and PhD’s on staff who have done thousands upon thousands of scientific studies into infectious disease, including scientific studies of infectious diseases vectored by mosquitoes. I’ll add that the NIAID is an institute of the NIH which was responsible for 28 percent of the total biomedical research funding spent annually in the U.S. at the last count. But hey....consensus in science isn’t everything, is it?

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 07:06 PM from Germany

I’ve run these points together to avoid multiple postings. Hope this works.

You say resistance was seen in mosquitoes in 1947. Resistance was obviously a concern in 1962 as evidenced by the mention in Silent Spring. Yet in 19 motherfucking 79 Warren and Walsh said, “mosquitoes can be expected to become resistant to DDT within a few years.”

Actually, you are reading Warren and Walsh wrong. Mosquitoes in South Asia were pretty much on the whole, resistant to DDT by this time, while in parts of Africa, they were not at all.  In Sri Lanka, mosquitoes have lost their resistance, which is why Sri Lanka has been successful in combatting malaria since 2000. But in the 70s, DDT was pretty much useless. So when you read:

Furthermore there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remain toxic to the mosquitoes

It means in any given country within any given time period. Resistance is not a global phenomenon - it’s region by region, and not necessarily permanent. And as I already said, my intention was to show that DDT resistance was a reasonably widely held concern at the time. Not to make a scientific statement about the speed or size of that level of resistance.

DDT is cheap. Ridiculously cheap. That’s why it should be used. A lot less people would be dead ( I dont know how many) if we hadnt put politcal pressure on poor countries to not use it.

I’ve already shown that the chemical is cheap, but the usage of it correctly is not. Also, while the per liter cost is low, the quantity needed for effective coverage is higher than some of the alternatives - meaning that its cost-effectiveness is less of a game changer than you think it would be (I can get links if you like when I get to my office). Couple this with the fact that it it is a toxic chemical that even with indoor spraying, ends up in the local environment, and many people actually don’t want it sprayed in their houses, and you don’t have the ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to malaria that you want. Had we used it cheaply, we wouldn’t have DDT as a weapon now against malaria.

But this misses my point. I don’t oppose DDT use when it’s handled properly. Most people working in the field don’t. Neither did Rachel Carson, who’s reputation has had to bear the brunt of this misinformation campaign.  And while some environmental organizations do support bans, a good number don’t (Sierra Club for example).

Next point:

I’ll believe what was said by the director of an agency that has been around since 1948, has hundreds if not thousands of MD’s and PhD’s on staff who have done thousands upon thousands of scientific studies into infectious disease, including scientific studies of infectious diseases vectored by mosquitoes.

Yes, there is debate about its use - which is as it should be. It’s a toxic chemical which causes behavioral resistance, cross resistance to other drugs, and has the potential for nasty side-effects. Actually, I agree with about two-thirds of what Gwantz says on malaria. But I don’t find the 20 million number credible, and I have already shown why - particularly because there was never a global ban, and many countries continued to use it through the 80s and 90s. USAID, which has also been criticized, for example:

USAID has never had a “policy” as such either “for” or “against” DDT for IRS.  The real change in the past two years has been a new interest and emphasis on the use of IRS in general, – with DDT or any other insecticide – as an effective malaria prevention strategy in tropical Africa.  (Recent successful applications of IRS, particularly in the southern Africa region, have also contributed to the keen interest among donors and among African malaria control programs.) For example, in fiscal Year 2005, USAID supported less than $1 million of IRS in Africa, with programs utilizing insecticides purchased by the host government or another donor.  For fiscal year 2007, in the PMI and in other bilateral programs, USAID will support over $20 million in IRS programs in Africa, including the direct purchase of insecticides.  This dramatic increase in the scale of our IRS programs overall is the greatest factor in DDT’s recent prominence in USAID programs.

So Ed, you’ll be happy to know that DDT is being used. But not because it’s cheap. Which is the right approach. 

I dont have to care about the 100 million missing Asian girls, to have a valid opinion on this subject. If people here has to prove their ‘i really care’ bona-fides to you, then the substsance of their arguments is really irrelevant. Passion is not a prerequisite to being correct.

See the problem is that I don’t actually believe you. I think that most of you would give this issue exactly the same attention you have given to these other two issues were it not for the fact that it makes moral outrage a convenient vehicle for against the ‘envirotards’. At least get yourself some consistency. It’s not expensive. Cheaper than DDT in fact.

but it’s still one of the only places out there there will even bother to debate commonly held myths of the modern age (oddly enough, nearly all of them perpetrated by the envirotards).

I’ve just shown that they are a completely partisan website, that cherry-picks and is funded by big tobacco and Exxon to produce highly politicized, highly biased, political noise, but you are going to continue to use them as your go-to website for matters scientific. Wow! As long as the political bent matches, eh? Let’s not worry too much about the science!

I want to go back to my original point - and another hypocrisy here. While there is a fairly strong consensus on denigrating this Earth Day indoctrination program, none of you have condemned hist_ed for his little counter-indoctrination session. He is imposing his ideas on his students in just the same way that the teachers that he opposes. It’s not education either.

Posted by on 04/27/10 at 11:01 PM from United States

Stogy, you are funny sometimes.  Let’s just take a look at a couple of your zingers above.  First:

I’d find your deep concern over this much more believable if any of you had also expressed concern over the 100 million missing girls across Asia (definitely a security problem for the US and world stability - and three times the number you are claiming are missing from malaria), or if any of you were out campaigning against TRIPs agreements that deny lifesaving drugs to kids with HIV.

Stogy you argue like an idiot.  You may not be an idiot, but you argue like one.  Maybe, just maybe no one here expressed an opinion about 100 million missing girls because that wasn’t related to the topic on this thread (hey, by the way, do you have an peer reviewed stuff to back up that figure?  Just curious.).  Let’s try your little technique out:

Stogy, I’d find your deep concern over this much more believable if you had also expressed concern over the millions who are sick because they have no access to cheap energy.  The poor of the world cook with dried ox shit and it affects their health and kills thousands a year.  How can you be so fucking heartless as to ignore this?

See Stogy, it really does nothing to address the argument at hand; it’s simply cheap, artificial moralizing about something you know nothing about (and in case you really are stupid, I am saying you know nothing about my or other poster’s opinions about missing girls)

Second:

I want to go back to my original point - and another hypocrisy here. While there is a fairly strong consensus on denigrating this Earth Day indoctrination program, none of you have condemned hist_ed for his little counter-indoctrination session. He is imposing his ideas on his students in just the same way that the teachers that he opposes. It’s not education either.

Go back to my original post, Stogy.  I was responding to some students’ questions.  It went something like this:
Student “Hey Mr Ed, this is stupid, can we write something funny?”
Me: “Sure, write whatever you want except it has to be G rated.”
Student “What’s something funny?”
Me: “How about ‘Drive more; I’m cold’”
Student: “Cool”
Me: “Yeah, literally.”

So, you seem to be saying that responding to questions willingly offered is the same as forcing students into a political activity with which they may or may not agree. Do you really think that?  Or only when the answers don’t jive with your own biases?

Third, your argument seems to be that we shouldn’t use DDT because then DDT wouldn’t be any good any more.  That’s sounds pretty close to arguing that we shouldn’t use a specific antibiotic to treat TB because it will lead to antibiotic resistant TB.  In both case, in the course of using the substance, we will save lives of people that would have died without it.  Even if the substance eventually becomes useless (and Drunkuss makes a pretty good point about the timeframe of DDT resistance), then using it and saving some lives means you save more lives than if you don’t use it.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 12:11 AM from United States

Actually, you are reading Warren and Walsh wrong. Mosquitoes in South Asia were pretty much on the whole, resistant to DDT by this time, while in parts of Africa, they were not at all.  In Sri Lanka, mosquitoes have lost their resistance, which is why Sri Lanka has been successful in combatting malaria since 2000. But in the 70s, DDT was pretty much useless. So when you read:

Furthermore there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remain toxic to the mosquitoes

It means in any given country within any given time period. Resistance is not a global phenomenon - it’s region by region, and not necessarily permanent. And as I already said, my intention was to show that DDT resistance was a reasonably widely held concern at the time. Not to make a scientific statement about the speed or size of that level of resistance.

I’m not reading Warren and Walsh wrong. You said, “Mosquitoes in South Asia were pretty much on the whole, resistant to DDT by this time.” This is just not true. Mosquitoes have never been “pretty much on the whole resistant to DDT” anywhere other than in the labs where they were propogated to be DDT resistant as part of resistance studies. DDT resistant strains of mosquitoes have been confirmed in a lot of different areas since the 1950’s, but in no way does that mean that DDT is not effective against the other species/subspecies of mosquitoes that carry other diseases in those same areas. DDT is still very effective in many countries against many species of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The real problem is that, although there is no worldwide ban on DDT for vector control, a lot of the third world shitholes that could benefit the most from using DDT have banned it locally [or just stopped using it] because environmental alarmist assholes with an outright objection to all pesticide use have scared them into believing that DDT is worse than shitting themselves to death from some mosquito borne disease or that DDT will create super-mosquitoes that are resistant to all means of control and will eat up all their goats. Even though DDT is recommended by the WHO for indoor residual spraying in many circumstances, only 12 countries were using it in 2008.

Make no mistake about it. The absence of a worldwide ban is not from lack of trying, though. These same envirotards constantly scream for a worldwide ban on DDT, but there is no entity that has the authority to enstate or enforce one.

But I don’t find the 20 million number credible, and I have already shown why - particularly because there was never a global ban, and many countries continued to use it through the 80s and 90s.

I guess you’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re wrong. As I already mentioned above, there may as well have been a global ban because the places that needed to be using DDT were banning it out of fear. Also, if that isn’t enough, local ban or not, how the fuck were these mosquito-disease-stricken countries supposed to procure DDT? The rest of the world with the technology and capacity to manufacture DDT had ceased production by the 1980’s and 1990’s save a number of companies that can be counted on your hands and toes from a number of countries that can be counted on your hands--possibly one hand.

If your opinion is that the 20 million number is not credible, I’ll remind you that the guy who said it is probably the number 1 fucking infectious disease guru of the entire world. His opinion is a little more informed than yours.

Posted by HARLEY on 04/28/10 at 05:02 AM from United States

As with most socialists, 20 million dead, are just a statistic....
who cares that in the time frame of using DDT, it could save many of those lives, and it it becomes ineffective, then we move on to a new formula. But the important thing here is that we do not use DDT, because its is bad. and they say so.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/28/10 at 06:39 AM from United States

I find the argument that DDT needed to be banned or the idea to ban it was sound because mosquitoes eventually would become resistant to it not just ludicrous, but nothing but a callous attempt to deflect from the real reasons it was banned. We don’t ban antibiotics because the bacteria they affect can become resistant do we? We use it judiciously and make sure the course is run to eradicate the bacteria. Same can be said about DDT. We in the west effectively eradicated the malaria problem because of DDT, then denied it to others. Arguing that we did so because DDT would lose its effectiveness is beyond stupid, if not outright evil. Since when does it make any kind of sense to ban the use of something out of fear that its effectiveness will dissipate? Doesn’t banning it basically make it completely and utterly ineffective immediately? WTF?

DDT was banned by bastards that believe man is a bigger plaque than mosquitoes and used scare tactics to do so. That’s the truth. Millions, in the poorest countries that could have actually made the best use of it, have died because of this ban. That’s a fact. Like all things from the left, they claim to do it for good reasons, but indubitably the end result is catastrophically bad.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 07:27 AM from Germany

Stogy, I’d find your deep concern over this much more believable if you had also expressed concern over the millions who are sick because they have no access to cheap energy.  The poor of the world cook with dried ox shit and it affects their health and kills thousands a year.  How can you be so fucking heartless as to ignore this?

This would be a fair point. I say would be a fair point, but it’s not on my list of left-wing talking points*. Which is where I get all my information from. Obviously. Like you (except it’s not the left wing list).

Now really. I mean are you actually pretending that this little right wing talking point is actually about the 20 million dead children? I mean really??? Say it is, and I will shut up on this. You can win the point, simply by being dishonest. We can even pretend that you guys are talking about the 100 million missing kids and the AIDS orphans who can’t get meds because of TRIPS on another thread.

See Stogy, it really does nothing to address the argument at hand; it’s simply cheap, artificial moralizing about something you know nothing about (and in case you really are stupid, I am saying you know nothing about my or other poster’s opinions about missing girls)

No. It’s not. This is part of a very systematic campaign to misrepresent the environmental movement - some of it is deserved, but quite a lot of it is not.

Go back to my original post, Stogy.

Yeah. I did.

I was responding to some students’ questions. 

No. You didn’t say that. You said:

Several of my students asked for suggestions (knowing how I felt about Earth Day)

OK. Suggestions you say… ..... but they already knew how you felt about Earth Day… Woah! Hold up there. Let’s look at that again: they already knew how you felt about Earth day.

Now, if I were a parent at your school, I would be banging on your principle’s door asking why you were giving your opinions to my child. Your job is not to get my kids to think like you do. It’s to get my kids to think for themselves. Critically. And to develop skills. Otherwise it’s indoctrination.

Or only when the answers don’t jive with your own biases?

Just for the record, I am actually on record for criticizing teachers publicly for pushing environmental agendas as well - and I have done this at a national conference on education (no links for this one, sorry). You should not be telling kids stuff like “The DDT ban has killed 30 million children.” just as much as you should not say “you need to have shorter showers to save the earth”. It’s unethical. And no, it’s not OK to tell them just because the kids asked you.

Third, your argument seems to be that we shouldn’t use DDT because then DDT wouldn’t be any good any more. 

No. You have misrepresented my argument. It’s that we should use DDT carefully so that we can maximize its effectiveness for the greatest good, and for the longest period of time. Misuse and overuse are exactly the way not to do that.

*Actually, didn’t want to interrupt the flow, (much more interesting to go on with my little rant) but quite curiously, one of the things I was doing in Sri Lanka earlier in the year was looking at possible alternatives to use of indoor open cooking fires in rural communities. So it is actually something I talk about. Just not here. Until now. Nice choice of example.  ;)

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 08:15 AM from Germany

I’m not reading Warren and Walsh wrong. You said, “Mosquitoes in South Asia were pretty much on the whole, resistant to DDT by this time.” This is just not true.

Um… You are right. It’s not the only strain of malaria-transmitting mosquito - even in South Asia, but I think you’ll find that the primary vector in South Asia for malaria is An. Cullifacies and that

in almost all areas of its distribution, it has become resistant to DDT and in most areas, to hexachlorocyclohexan as well.

Yes, I made a generalization, but it is a fairly well grounded one, and completely in keeping with Warren and Walsh.

I should remind you though, that here’s what you originally said:

They just stated their assumption that mosquitoes would become resistant to DDT at some point in the future and followed it with a good ole’ “there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remian toxic to the mosquitoes.”… They only assumed eventual widespread resistance to DDT because there is always eventual widespread pest resistance to all pesticides, unless the pest is completely eradicated.

And now, you’ve switched to:

DDT resistant strains of mosquitoes have been confirmed in a lot of different areas since the 1950’s, but in no way does that mean that DDT is not effective against the other species/subspecies of mosquitoes that carry other diseases in those same areas. DDT is still very effective in many countries against many species of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Notice a difference? You are actually now pretty much agreeing with both me (bar my slightly hasty generalization) and Walsh and Warren.

Make no mistake about it. The absence of a worldwide ban is not from lack of trying, though.

Yeah, as I said. Some environmental groups support a ban on DDT for health and environmental reasons (with reasonable scientific grounds - as stated above), some don’t for public health reasons (again, on reasonable scientific grounds). It’s a dangerous chemical and needs to be treated as such, and there should be debate about its use. I am glad that there is no ban on DDT yet as I don’t think we are ready to give up on it.

These same envirotards constantly scream for a worldwide ban on DDT, but there is no entity that has the authority to enstate or enforce one.

Actually there is. Any state party to the Stolkholm Treaty in 2001 is bound by its provisions - however an outright ban on DDT was not one of the provisions. Although there is a long-term commitment to phasing it out when alternatives become available.

I guess you’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re wrong.
As I already mentioned above, there may as well have been a global ban because the places that needed to be using DDT were banning it out of fear

I have just spent the better part of an hour looking through Gwantz’s academic papers to find something useful on DDT and malaria. Now I am not saying there isn’t anything, but not a lot on DDT research - in fact, that isn’t the kind of work he does on malaria at all. Certainly nothing academic on the 20 million people.

it is probably the number 1 fucking infectious disease guru of the entire world.

Wow! I’m impressed. His website doesn’t say that. Thanks for pointing it out. Although, I would have expected a little more on other diseases than just malaria. But, whatever - I’ll take your word for it.

His opinion is a little more informed than yours.

Obviously.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 08:53 AM from Germany

I find the argument that DDT needed to be banned or the idea to ban it was sound because mosquitoes eventually would become resistant to it not just ludicrous, but nothing but a callous attempt to deflect from the real reasons it was banned. We don’t ban antibiotics because the bacteria they affect can become resistant do we?

Actually we do. A couple of years ago, I had a huge fight here with Moxie (sp?) about this. She wanted to be able to self-subscribe herself anti-biotics because she had bronchitis. She thought that she had enough medical knowledge to be able to decide when she needed antibiotics. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. But I didn’t agree. The whole point of having a gatekeeper (i.e. the doctor) to stop overuse of antibiotics is really important. There is a whole lot of research and information now on how doctors should avoid giving antibiotics to patients who just ask for antibiotics when they have a virus, and they want something to help them feel better (it’s mainly placebo effect anyway). But the point is to slow down on unnecessary use of antibiotics.

And many countries do limit the agricultural use of whole classes of antibiotics for agricultural use, as that will render them less effective for human use - although there are few controls on this currently in the US. The FDA has been pushing for this for more than 10 years, while the Dept of Agriculture has been a little more hesitant (er… why?) The EU in 2006 actually banned all antibiotics used in growth promotion just because that’s what the EU does, obviously. Actually no:

The restrictions on antibiotic use are intended to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for human use. Long-term, low-level feeding of antibiotics to animals, a practice common in U.S. livestock production, creates the ideal conditions for the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The bacteria can be transferred to consumers in improperly cooked meat and can result in severe, even fatal, illness. People can also be exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment, due to the practice of spraying farm fields with animal manure, which allows resistant bacteria and antibiotics to enter the soil, air, and water. Farm workers can also contract antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections from working around livestock. Keeping antibiotics out of animal feed in the first place is the best way to limit the development of antibiotic resistance and keep antibiotics working in humans.

OK. So then you said:

We in the west effectively eradicated the malaria problem because of DDT, then denied it to others.

Where’d you get this drivel from? The battle against malaria in the US was pretty much over before DDT came along. Better sanitation. Drained swamps. Flynets on windows.  And then there were 15 good long years of DDT use throughout the world before it started to become less useful in many contexts. I think you’ll find many countries (such as Sri Lanka) were switching to alternatives even before the environmental evidence started really coming out. And USAID never banned it, as they have said. But they did switch away from it for a while.

Since when does it make any kind of sense to ban the use of something out of fear that its effectiveness will dissipate? Doesn’t banning it basically make it completely and utterly ineffective immediately?

You know, there is a case of this. It is better not to treat TB, than to treat it ineffectively. DOTS treatment takes a good 4 - 6 months (depending on the strain and severity of the infection). If you stop halfway through the treatment, and then restart again some months later, there is a very good chance you’ll be treating a drug resistant strain. One of the biggest problems in treatment in poor countries was that the poor were reselling the medicine for cash. Dries (i.e ones that hadn’t been inside a mouth) were, of course, worth more than wets. Which meant the Direct observation bit. Move your tongue to the left. And right. Good.

DDT was banned by bastards that believe man is a bigger plaque than mosquitoes and used scare tactics to do so.

There.is.no.ban.on.DDT. (nor was there ever one). Back of the class!!

(nice apt typo too, btw. Who dies first wins, and all that)

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/28/10 at 10:12 AM from United States

Actually we do. A couple of years ago, I had a huge fight here with Moxie (sp?) about this. She wanted to be able to self-subscribe herself anti-biotics because she had bronchitis. She thought that she had enough medical knowledge to be able to decide when she needed antibiotics. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. But I didn’t agree.

You are comparing the BANNING of DDT as an insecticide with the need to control antibiotics? You do know that the reason antibiotics are regulated and should not be dispensed by anyone other than doctors is because government made it the law? And that was so doctors could make sure people that got them not only got the right one, but could understand that they had to take the full 10 day course even when they felt fine after 5 days.

Quiting anti-biotics before the full course has been run is the fundamental underlying cause of resistant strains. We didn’t tell people that they didn’t know how to use DDT properly, and would require special access and a gguarantee of proper usage before they coudl use it, we told them they were NOT ALLOWED to use it period.

And many countries do limit the agricultural use of whole classes of antibiotics for agricultural use, as that will render them less effective for human use - although there are few controls on this currently in the US.

See my comment above.

You are not winning this argument Stogy. Quit while you are ahead. The more you try to create the false illusion that the two are similar, the dumber you make yourself look.

Where’d you get this drivel from? The battle against malaria in the US was pretty much over before DDT came along. Better sanitation. Drained swamps. Flynets on windows.

Source please. Here is mine, the CDC:

CDC and Malaria (1946-present)

CDC’s mission to combat malaria began at its inception on July 1, 1946. The Communicable Disease Center, as CDC was first known, stemmed from MCWA. Thus, much of the early work done by CDC was concentrated on the control and eradication of malaria in the United States.

Try again.

You know, there is a case of this. It is better not to treat TB, than to treat it ineffectively.

Tell that to the patients that suffer & die from TB. You aren’t privy to some Obamacare policies that we just don’t know of yet, are you? This sounds like the crap we will be hearing as quality of, and access to care go down the drain.

And claiming DDT had become ineffective is the hight of desperation, Stogy.

There.is.no.ban.on.DDT. (nor was there ever one). Back of the class!!

Gee, tell that to the people that would get screwed over royally by the nice watermelons enforcing the “non-ban” if they dared to use it.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 10:44 AM from Germany

You are comparing the BANNING of DDT as an insecticide with the need to control antibiotics?

Ah no. I am comparing the control of antibiotics with the control of DDT. But then I did actually provide an example of an antibiotics ban for good measure. Something you actually asked me to do. Where’s the gratitude, I ask you?

And that was so doctors could make sure people that got them not only got the right one, but could understand that they had to take the full 10 day course even when they felt fine after 5 days.

Right. So as there wouldn’t be resistance.

we told them they were NOT ALLOWED to use it period.

OK. So who is we? and who is they? DDT is pretty much banned in the US (apart from a few very tricky escape clauses), but it is not banned by a great many other countries, some of whom continued (legally) manufacturing and using - but not for agriculture.

OK. Sources. Yours doesn’t say what you think it does? See I didn’t say DDT wasn’t used, just that it’s role was less important than other factors. But why listen to me when you can have Zucker (1996, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol 2, no. 6):

The decline in transmission before the introduction of extensive mosquito control measures was attributed to a population shift from rural to urban areas, climatic conditions, increased drainage, improved housing and nutrition, better socioeconomic conditions and stand- ards of living, greater access to medical services, and the availability of quinine for treatment (1). Additional activities, conducted in the 1940s, that led to the interruption of malaria transmission included larviciding, screening of houses, house spraying (residual spray program with DDT), and use of DDT (for residual spray and larviciding), which removed breeding sites, decreased the den- sity of anophelines, and interrupted anopheline- human contact. Improved surveillance allowed treatment of parasitemic persons, focused control activities geographically, and allowed accurate as- sessment of the problem.

Now, you’ll notice that DDT use is described as an ADDITIONAL, rather than core reason for the decline - exactly as I said. The main reasons for the decline had already been implemented. DDT played only a minor role.

Tell that to the patients that suffer & die from TB.

Well either way they die - the choice is whether they die from an ordinary or a drug resistant strain. Of course it’s better to treat people properly.

And claiming DDT had become ineffective is the hight of desperation, Stogy.

I haven’t claimed it. I have shown it. Over and over and over again. It’s there. In the scientific literature.

Gee, tell that to the people that would get screwed over royally by the nice watermelons enforcing the “non-ban” if they dared to use it.

There is no ban on domestic use of DDT for public health reasons. Go back and have a look at the Stockholm treaty.

This was fun. But now this is getting boring.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 10:58 AM from United States

There.is.no.ban.on.DDT. (nor was there ever one). Back of the class!!

It’s banned in many countries outright, and EFFECTIVELY banned in most others.  When something is extremely difficult to obtain due to lack of production or others unwilling to let you have it, it might as well be banned for you too.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 11:07 AM from Germany

It’s banned in many countries outright, and EFFECTIVELY banned in most others. 

Rubbish! With WHO, USAID and a whole bunch of national governments actively using DDT in very careful controlled ways for malaria control (as I have already shown), you have absolutely no basis for this statement whatsoever - particularly as USAID is actually expanding its IPM approaches using DDT. If individual countries DO want to ban DDT, that is their right. Curiously, the US could also utilize the public health exception to the agricultural ban in 1972. But without malaria, what would be the point?

I think you need to provide some sources if you want me to take you seriously on this. And decent ones. Not those twits at Junk Science that you gave me before.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 01:31 PM from United States

Um… You are right. It’s not the only strain of malaria-transmitting mosquito - even in South Asia, but I think you’ll find that the primary vector in South Asia for malaria is An. Cullifacies and that in almost all areas of its distribution, it has become resistant to DDT and in most areas, to hexachlorocyclohexan as well.

Ok, so are you saying there should be not attempt to protect people in South Asia from say, elephantiasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, or encephalitis with DDT because some strains of Anopheles mosquitoes show some resistance to DDT? Nice. The bloodiest heart of all the regulars around here effectively just told me the third world can go piss up a rope. By the way, you’re wrong. I’ll type it in all caps so maybe you’ll understand it. “RESISTANCE TO DDT” DOES NOT MEAN “DDT DOES NOT WORK AND HAS NO EFFECT AT ALL.”

I should remind you though, that here’s what you originally said:

They just stated their assumption that mosquitoes would become resistant to DDT at some point in the future and followed it with a good ole’ “there is no way of knowing how long these insecticides will remian toxic to the mosquitoes.”… They only assumed eventual widespread resistance to DDT because there is always eventual widespread pest resistance to all pesticides, unless the pest is completely eradicated.

And now, you’ve switched to:

DDT resistant strains of mosquitoes have been confirmed in a lot of different areas since the 1950’s, but in no way does that mean that DDT is not effective against the other Species/subspecies of mosquitoes that carry other diseases in those same areas. DDT is still very effective in many countries against many species of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Notice a difference? You are actually now pretty much agreeing with both me (bar my slightly hasty generalization) and Walsh and Warren.

RESISTANCE TO DDT DOES NOT MEAN DDT HAS BEEN RENDERED COMPLETELY USELESS AGAINST MOSQUITOES. DDT WILL STILL EVEN KILL MOSQUITOES IN THE STRAINS WITH “RESISTANCE” TO DDT, JUST NOT AS EFFICIENTLY AS IN STRAINS WITH NO RESISTANCE. OTHERWISE THERE WOULD NOT HAVE TO BE A BAN ON DDT AT ALL BECAUSE IT WOULD JUST SIMPLY STOP WORKING, SO PEOPLE WOULD JUST SIMPLY STOP USING IT.

Actually there is. Any state party to the Stolkholm Treaty in 2001 is bound by its provisions - however an outright ban on DDT was not one of the provisions. Although there is a long-term commitment to phasing it out when alternatives become available.

Oh, yeah? If a state that signed on during the Stolkholm Convention changes it’s mind and decides not to follow it, what’s UNEP, IFCS, or IPCS going to do about it? Write a nasty letter or pass a resolution like the UN security council?

I have just spent the better part of an hour looking through Gwantz’s academic papers to find something useful on DDT and malaria. Now I am not saying there isn’t anything, but not a lot on DDT research - in fact, that isn’t the kind of work he does on malaria at all.

Certainly nothing academic on the 20 million people.

it is probably the number 1 fucking infectious disease guru of the entire world.

Wow! I’m impressed. His website doesn’t say that. Thanks for pointing it out. Although, I would have expected a little more on other diseases than just malaria. But, whatever - I’ll take your word for it.

Funny, Smartass. Warren and Welsh did not do any DDT work or any mosquito-as-vector work, either, for that matter, but you cited them as if they were experts on DDT or mosquitoes to back up your statement that, “DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant.” My point still stands. Gwadz is an expert in mosquito borne illnesses, especially malaria. He is also an expert in mosquitoes-as-vectors. Don’t believe me? Check out the LMVR’s description of their research program:

Research in the section explores broad population biology questions relevant to patterns of malaria transmission and vector control. Ecological, behavioral, genetic, and molecular approaches are used in our research. Studies are conducted at National Institutes of Health facilities in Rockville, Maryland, and at the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) in Bamako, Mali. The MRTC is the result of NIAID’s long-term collaboration with Malian scientists and physicians at the National School of Medicine. The MRTC is now a well-equipped, highly productive program where research is led and executed by Malian staff.

Research at the MRTC is focused on malaria but also addresses other vector-borne diseases, such as leishmaniasis. This exceptional research center provides NIAID researchers with unique opportunities for field-lab studies. In our research projects, we seek discoveries that improve understanding of phenotypic diversity in vector species, its adaptive value, and epidemiological consequences.

Gwadz’s estimate of 20 million deaths is not only the estimate of an expert in the field, but is pretty accurate, all things considered. Mosquitoes transmit disease to over 700 million people per year and cause tens of millions of deaths each year by some estimates. Malaria alone kills somewhere between 1 and 2 million people per year, 90 percent of which are in Africa. It just so happens that while the rest of the world was putting DDT on everything that moved, Africa was not using DDT for mosquito eradication programs or for agriculture on a large scale. If DDT would have been used in Africa, and if it even prevented half of the malaria deaths from 1970 to 2010, that would be between 18 and 27 million people, and that’s not counting deaths from other mosquito borne diseases that DDT could have prevented. In other areas outside of Africa, where DDT was used for mosquito eradication, a lot more than half of the malaria cases were prevented, but the watermelons screamed the whole time that DDT should be banned worldwide for all purposes. Go ahead. Keep sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling, “LA! LA! LA! LA!”

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 01:52 PM from United States

Rubbish! With WHO, USAID and a whole bunch of national governments actively using DDT in very careful controlled ways for malaria control (as I have already shown), you have absolutely no basis for this statement whatsoever - particularly as USAID is actually expanding its IPM approaches using DDT.

Bullshit. If a whole bunch of national governemnts are actively using DDT, why the fuck did WHO say only 12 countries were using DDT in it’s 2009 malaria report? I linked to that report for you a couple of comments up, FYI.

And if you don’t think DDT is EFFECTIVELY banned, tell me, where could your average mosquito-diseased African go to pick some up to use in his mud hut?

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 07:34 PM from Germany

And if you don’t think DDT is EFFECTIVELY banned, tell me, where could your average mosquito-diseased African go to pick some up to use in his mud hut?

Nowhere. Nor should they be able to. As I already said (over and over), DDT has to be used carefully - not just for health reasons, but for effectiveness. Use it in the wrong way and it’s not effective, and it loses its effectiveness over time. So it needs trained people to apply it and reasonably solid infrastructure as well. You can’t just splash it around any more.

WHO say only 12 countries were using DDT in it’s 2009 malaria report? I linked to that report for you a couple of comments up, FYI.

Well then your next step would be to look at the malaria rates in these countries, and the relative effectiveness of DDT usage. Just because only 12 countries are using it doesn’t mean that it would be the most effective weapon in countries that aren’t.

Gwadz’s estimate of 20 million deaths is not only the estimate of an expert in the field, but is pretty accurate, all things considered.

He’s got no data - and neither do you. I’ll believe a number that isn’t being thrown around like cheap propaganda.

If DDT would have been used in Africa, and if it even prevented half of the malaria deaths from 1970 to 2010, that would be between 18 and 27 million people

Again. DDT is only one of the many things that need to be done to defeat malaria. Perhaps if the world had maintained its commitments on foreign aid to the developing world, then we might have had a chance… But simply to say “prevented half of the malaria deaths” is not good enough, because I have consistently said that DDT needs to be used as part of an overall program to prevent malaria transmission - it’s not a solution in itself, which is what you are saying it is here.

but you cited them as if they were experts on DDT or mosquitoes to back up your statement that, “DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant.”

See. This is why this is getting boring - same old shit. Here (again) is why I cited Walsh and Warren:

I used it to show that there was concern in the public health literature at the time about resistance. Not because I wanted to show scientific analysis of the resistance to DDT in mosquitoes.

So no. I am not trying to show that they are better experts on malaria than Gwadz. That was clearly never my intention.

RESISTANCE TO DDT DOES NOT MEAN DDT HAS BEEN RENDERED COMPLETELY USELESS AGAINST MOSQUITOES.

No. You’re probably right on this (but I would really appreciate sources for this). But what are you arguing for here? I already said DDT has to be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management Strategy, and this (your argument above) would possibly even fit into one. But in terms of long-term effectiveness, and the problems of behavioral resistance, I think you would need to make a pretty strong case for its use to get it approved. However, DDT is always going to be more effective in genetically naive populations - but even then, not all of them. And even then it may be less effective to use it in combination with other chemicals in areas where there are sympatric strains. Just saying ‘use DDT’ doesn’t mean that it’s going to be effective everywhere - an assumption you make when you say “half of the malaria deaths preventable in Africa”.

So what are you arguing for? What do you want from this? More DDT usage? Unrestricted DDT usage?

Oh, yeah? If a state that signed on during the Stockholm Convention changes it’s mind and decides not to follow it, what’s UNEP, IFCS, or IPCS going to do about it? Write a nasty letter or pass a resolution like the UN security council?

Well, because often there are incentives to join, there are usually consequences for pulling out of a treaty like this - lack of access to new chemicals and technologies, sanctions etc. The main point of the convention is to limit the amount of POPs entering the environment - to make sure that DDT etc designed for public health use doesn’t end up on crops, for example.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 10:30 PM from Japan

Your claim about the usefulness of DDT in resistant areas has still been bothering me, so I started looking further. Here is a paper on DDT resistance and cross resistance (to DDE) in Sri Lanka by Herath and Jayawardene in the Bulletin of Entemological Research (1988). The study is interesting and shows that resistance tends to persist for up to a decade after the cessation of use. Use of DDT in Sri Lanka, was phased out in 1975 (hardly falling all over themselves to get in lock step with your supposed global ‘ban’ were they?) and resistance was still noted in both species in 1982-3. Declines in one species were quickly lost when DDE spraying began in 1984. The other species did not show significant resistance declines during the period.

Now the interesting bit is their conclusion, which would seem to go against what you said about the usefulness of DDT in areas which are resistant:

The reason for the increase in DDT resistance in the absence of positive DDT selection pressure will be investigated further. The presence of DDT resistance in both A. culicifacies and A. subpictus more than a decade after the cessation of spraying of this compound for mosquito control suggests that it is unlikely that DDT can be used for malaria control in the near future.

So if you have some peer reviewed literature pointing to the use of DDT in areas where there is widespread resistance, now’s the time to produce.

Posted by on 04/28/10 at 11:06 PM from Japan

OK. And let’s look at this claim (sorry for the multiple postings):

It just so happens that while the rest of the world was putting DDT on everything that moved, Africa was not using DDT for mosquito eradication programs or for agriculture on a large scale. If DDT would have been used in Africa, and if it even prevented half of the malaria deaths from 1970 to 2010, that would be between 18 and 27 million people, and that’s not counting deaths from other mosquito borne diseases that DDT could have prevented.

This is your analysis, but it is wrong in a number of respects. Firstly, your assumption is that Africa (or even the malarial areas) as a whole would have benefited from DDT use - whereas it can be shown that this is not true, and secondly, your claim that DDT was not used in Africa for DDT prevention (in suitable areas) is also false.

My data here is from a paper on the historical use of pesticides in Africa for Malaria prevention by Mabaso, Sharp and Lengeler (in Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2004). They focus on a number of countries in Southern Africa, because they note that:

In sub-Saharan Africa early malarial eradication pilot projects also showed that malaria is highly responsive to vector control by IRS but transmission could not be interrupted in the endemic tropical and lowland areas.

OK. So half your premise is gone - that Africa as a whole would have had much lower mortality from malaria had DDT been used more widely. In fact, only selected areas were suitable for this kind of intervention - areas in Southern Africa which therefore formed the basis of the study: South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

So they list up the timeframes for DDT use in these countries, based on historical records - and here’s is what they found (sorry about the long quote):

South Africa
1931 1946 DDT and BHC introduced
1958 Coverage of all malarial areas achieved
1960–96 DDT
1997–99 Deltamethrin (policy change)
2000 DDT (resistance to pyrethroids)

Namibia
1965 1970 Coverage of all malarial areas achieved
1965–2000 DDT (bendiocarb in western type residential areas) Pyrethrum (experimental IRS)

Swaziland
1945 IRS introduced and programme launched
1947–50 DDT (coverage of all malarial areas in 1950)
1951–60 BHC (shortage of DDT) dieldrin tried but was costly
1960–67 BHC and DDT (focal spraying)
1968–2000 DDT (cyfluthrin in houses with painted walls)

Botswana
1946 IRS introduced (limited scale)
1950–71 DDT (improved coverage)
1972 Fenitrothion tried and abandoned (low efficacy) 1974 Programme launched
1973–97 DDT
1998–2000 Deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin (policy change)

Zimbabwe
1945 1949 Programme launched
1957–62 DDT and BHC
1972–73 BHC (equally effective as DDT but cheaper)
1974–87 DDT (resistance to BHC)
1988–2000 Deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin (policy change)

Southern Mozambique 1946
1946–56 DDT and BHC (coverage of all targeted areas in 1950)
1960–69 DDT (only in Maputo region)
1993 Deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin (major towns)
2000 Bendiocarb (selected southern areas)

So in Southern Africa - the areas MOST likely to be affected positively by use of DDT, there is fairly consistent use of DDT throughout the time when there was a ban. Now I accept limitations on this, because in 1969 - before the international ban got going, there was a collapse in the global program to stop Malaria:

However, gains made in some of the countries, particularly in the tropical regions, could not be sustained and there were reverses due to financial, administrative or operational problems, resistance or behaviour of vectors, or to the inadequate development of basic health services (Najera 2001). The time-limited eradication policy was eventually abandoned in 1969 and replaced by a long-term Global Malaria Control Strategy in 1992.

Shortages DO seem to have affected DDT use - but mainly in the 60s - way before there was a global ban on agricultural use. Things seem to have got better in terms of supply in the 1970s. And then of course, resistance was a factor in some cases. What about policy change? Well that seems to have mainly happened in the late 90s - long after the ban, and heading into the Stockholm treaty period. On the whole, you’d have to say, this Western pressure from environmental groups doesn’t seem to have been very effective, does it.

So if anyone here still think this 20 million dead figure still has legs, I have a lovely (non-malarial, of course) swamp on the market. I’ll promise to drain, too. No really.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/29/10 at 06:48 AM from United States

There is no ban on domestic use of DDT for public health reasons. Go back and have a look at the Stockholm treaty.

You are a tool Stogy. Nice word play there. Domestic ban? WTF? There is no need of DDT domestically – I assume you are referring to the West by domestic, and if you are not accuse you of playing even faster and looser with the language – since we used it long ago to eradicate the malaria carrying mosquito, so why ban it? But this is all irrelevant, since what we are discussing is how we in the west that did use DDT to get rid of malaria are now blocked the use of DDT in third world countries that desperately need it and have populations that suffer massive deaths because we deny them the use of DDT.

When the use of something like DDT comes with a massive punitive response ranging from losing the funds the west pays dictators and wannabe dictators to keep the killing in what passed for their countries to a minimum, to withholding of food stuff and other things that are essential, in order to “disincentivise” you from using it, you can all but consider it a ban. If I told you there was no ban on the use of something, but that doing so would result in me all but slitting your throat, sane people without an agenda would agree that for all intents & purposes, what you have is a very effective ban.

This was fun. But now this is getting boring.

What I smell is desperation and what I see is you twisted into a pretzel to pretend this stuff wasn’t stupid. That never gets boring to me.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 09:10 AM from Germany

You are a tool Stogy. Nice word play there. Domestic ban? WTF?

No. I mean the US. And as for every other point you’ve made here, I’ve already dealt with it. We’re done Alex. Unless you have something new.

What I smell is desperation and what I see is you twisted into a pretzel to pretend this stuff wasn’t stupid. That never gets boring to me.

Alex. I have completely destroyed the “20 million dead as a result of the environmentalists ban on DDT” argument here on this thread (you’ll need to reread my previous three posts). Again: unless you have something new, or a decent counter argument, it’s time to move along.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 10:24 AM from United States

Nowhere. Nor should they be able to. As I already said (over and over), DDT has to be used carefully - not just for health reasons, but for effectiveness. Use it in the wrong way and it’s not effective, and it loses its effectiveness over time. So it needs trained people to apply it and reasonably solid infrastructure as well. You can’t just splash it around any more.

And therein lies the rub, doesn’t it? Those child-like niggers in Africa just aren’t smart enough or responsible enough and can’t be trained to use DDT in ways suitable for you, huh? Congratulations, you racist.

Well then your next step would be to look at the malaria rates in these countries, and the relative effectiveness of DDT usage. Just because only 12 countries are using it doesn’t mean that it would be the most effective weapon in countries that aren’t.

If you would read the report, the WHO thinks:

The two most powerful and most broadly applied interventions are insecticide-treated nets (ITN) and indoor residual spraying (IRS).

Scientific evidence indicates that IRS is effective in controlling malaria transmission and thus reduces the related burden of morbidity and mortality

DDT has comparatively long residual efficacy (≥ 6 months) against malaria vectors and plays an important role in the management of vector resistance.

In using the combination of IRS and ITNs, it is preferable to use a non-pyrethroid insecticide for IRS.

South Africa adopted ACTs for first-line treatment of malaria in 2001, and their introduction, with improved mosquito control (including spraying with DDT), has been associated
with a decrease in malaria cases.

Why would the WHO recommend DDT if they have never looked at the malaria rates in these countries, and the relative effectiveness of DDT usage? I just wonder.

He’s got no data - and neither do you. I’ll believe a number that isn’t being thrown around like cheap propaganda.

Why do you insist on trying to downplay the number of people killed by failing to implement one part of a mosquito control effort that has been proven time and time again to work? Is it because you feel guilty, or do you just think that number should be lower because black people should only be counted as 3/5ths of a person or something?

Again. DDT is only one of the many things that need to be done to defeat malaria. Perhaps if the world had maintained its commitments on foreign aid to the developing world, then we might have had a chance… But simply to say “prevented half of the malaria deaths” is not good enough, because I have consistently said that DDT needs to be used as part of an overall program to prevent malaria transmission - it’s not a solution in itself, which is what you are saying it is here.

Where DDT and little else has been used on a large scale to control mosquitoes, it has prevented way more than half of all malaria-related deaths.

As in the United States, from cdc.gov:

The National Malaria Eradication Program, a cooperative undertaking by State and local health agencies of 13 Southeastern States and the Communicable Disease Center of the U. S. Public Health Service, originally proposed by Dr. L. L. Williams, commenced operations on July 1, 1947. The program consisted primarily of DDT application to the interior surfaces of rural homes or entire premises in counties where malaria was reported to have been prevalent in recent years.

As in Sri Lanka, from Wikipedia:

When it was first introduced in World War II, DDT was very effective in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality.[15] The WHO’s anti-malaria campaign, which consisted mostly of spraying DDT, was initially very successful as well. For example, in Sri Lanka, the program reduced cases from about 3 million per year before spraying to just 29 in 1964.

Others, from cdc.gov:

With the success of DDT, the advent of less toxic, more effective synthetic antimalarials, and the enthusiastic and urgent belief that time and money were of the essence, the World Health Organization (WHO) submitted at the World Health Assembly in 1955 an ambitious proposal for the eradication of malaria worldwide.

Eradication efforts began and focused on house spraying with residual insecticides

, antimalarial drug treatment, and surveillance, and would be carried out in 4 successive steps: preparation, attack, consolidation, and maintenance. Successes included eradication in nations with temperate climates and seasonal malaria transmission. Some countries such as India and Sri Lanka had sharp reductions in the number of cases, followed by increases to substantial levels after efforts ceased.

DDT may not be “a solution in itself,” but it’s a hell of a lot closer than anything else going on these days.

See. This is why this is getting boring - same old shit. Here (again) is why I cited Walsh and Warren:

I used it to show that there was concern in the public health literature at the time about resistance. Not because I wanted to show scientific analysis of the resistance to DDT in mosquitoes.

So no. I am not trying to show that they are better experts on malaria than Gwadz. That was clearly never my intention.

You said:

I’d like to see a peer reviewed paper on how these numbers were derived. Had it not been banned for agricultural use about 30 years ago, I should point out, DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant.

Then you said:

I should point out, DDT would be quite useless by now, as every mosquito on earth would be completely resistant.

Just so you don’t think I am making this up, here’s Warren and Walsh (1979), in the New England Journal of Medicine, before the supposed global DDT ‘ban’ really took hold:

You made a ridiculous statement. You realized how ridiculous it was. Then you used the first thing you came across that mentioned DDT resistance to try and cover, just so no one thought you were making it up.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 10:25 AM from United States

No. You’re probably right on this (but I would really appreciate sources for this). But what are you arguing for here? I already said DDT has to be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management Strategy, and this (your argument above) would possibly even fit into one. But in terms of long-term effectiveness, and the problems of behavioral resistance, I think you would need to make a pretty strong case for its use to get it approved. However, DDT is always going to be more effective in genetically naive populations - but even then, not all of them. And even then it may be less effective to use it in combination with other chemicals in areas where there are sympatric strains. Just saying ‘use DDT’ doesn’t mean that it’s going to be effective everywhere - an assumption you make when you say “half of the malaria deaths preventable in Africa”.

Want a strong case? Millions of people die every year from mosquito-borne illness in countries where DDT has never been used widespread for mosquito control or agriculture. Resistance to DDT has not been confirmed on a large scale [since it’s never been tried] in many/most of these countries. DDT would lower the number of people who die every year. Strong enough, or do you just not care because it’s black people dying?

So what are you arguing for? What do you want from this? More DDT usage? Unrestricted DDT usage?

DDT should at least be tried on a large scale in the African countries where it has never been used. Whether the mosquitoes have some resistance to DDT there or not makes no difference. It may still kill or repel some of them, saving lives. Lowering the number of people who die from mosquito borne illness is better than doing nothing and patting ourselves on the back for saving DDT from resistance by mosquitoes. The rest of the world will likely never use DDT again for anything anyway. If it works well, millions of lives will be saved. If DDT does not work well, or if mosquitoes develop more resistance to DDT in the African countries, more people won’t suddenly start dying from mosquito borne illness, since they’re about at the max already anyway. If such an effort did render DDT useless against mosquitoes for the future, it doesnt fucking matter. No one else will be using it for vector control again anyway.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/29/10 at 01:30 PM from United States

Alex. I have completely destroyed the “20 million dead as a result of the environmentalists ban on DDT” argument here on this thread (you’ll need to reread my previous three posts).

Only in your head. I bet however you have no problem believing that the US killed half a million Iraqi children or that palestinians want peace and to coixist right next to Israel too, right?

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 01:52 PM from United States

Your claim about the usefulness of DDT in resistant areas has still been bothering me, so I started looking further. Here is a paper on DDT resistance and cross resistance (to DDE) in Sri Lanka by Herath and Jayawardene in the Bulletin of Entemological Research (1988). The study is interesting and shows that resistance tends to persist for up to a decade after the cessation of use. Use of DDT in Sri Lanka, was phased out in 1975 (hardly falling all over themselves to get in lock step with your supposed global ‘ban’ were they?) and resistance was still noted in both species in 1982-3. Declines in one species were quickly lost when DDE spraying began in 1984. The other species did not show significant resistance declines during the period.
Now the interesting bit is their conclusion, which would seem to go against what you said about the usefulness of DDT in areas which are resistant:
The reason for the increase in DDT resistance in the absence of positive DDT selection pressure will be investigated further. The presence of DDT resistance in both A. culicifacies and A. subpictus more than a decade after the cessation of spraying of this compound for mosquito control suggests that it is unlikely that DDT can be used for malaria control in the near future.
So if you have some peer reviewed literature pointing to the use of DDT in areas where there is widespread resistance, now’s the time to produce.

Devika, Perera, Hemingway, and Karunaratne. DDT still killed between 4 and 62 percent of all highly-resistant malaria-causing mosquitoes in Sri Lanka. I would say that DDT is pretty damned useful in the areas where 62 percent of malaria-causing were killed, even though they are considered “highly resistant.” If they added small amounts [small because they’re more expensive and harder to afford] of one/a few of the other 100 percent effective insecticides for the remaining mosquitoes and in the areas where resistance to DDT is higher, Sri Lanka would get malaria under control. This is exactly what is happening, thanks in part to DDT. According to the WHO, the number of reported cases of malaria between 2000 and 2008 has decreased by more than 50 percent.

Apparently you didn’t even read the Musawenkosi, et al, article. It does not disprove half my argument. It basically supports everything I have said on this thread.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 01:54 PM from United States

Correction: The number of reported cases of malaria between 2000 and 2008 has decreased by more than 50 percent in Sri Lanka, thanks in part to DDT.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 05:24 PM from Germany

And therein lies the rub, doesn’t it? Those child-like niggers in Africa just aren’t smart enough or responsible enough and can’t be trained to use DDT in ways suitable for you, huh? Congratulations, you racist.

Ah dear. Nah, I wouldn’t allow its untrained use anywhere in the West either - similar to the way we don’t allow people to self-prescribe antibiotics. This is the whole point of the Stockholm convention. Did you actually read any of it? So no racism here. You know, I actually thought you were putting up half decent arguments until this one.

Why would the WHO recommend DDT if they have never looked at the malaria rates in these countries, and the relative effectiveness of DDT usage? I just wonder.

Which countries? You only mentioned South Africa, which WAS on my list. And which countries are not. You’ve only done half the work here to make this an argument.

Why do you insist on trying to downplay the number of people killed by failing to implement one part of a mosquito control effort that has been proven time and time again to work? Is it because you feel guilty, or do you just think that number should be lower because black people should only be counted as 3/5ths of a person or something?

I didn’t. What I have done is shown that he is wrong in his assessment. Unless you can produce evidence that he is not, we’re done here.

You then launch into a long series of quotes about DDT use - none of which actually contradict anything that I have said, with the conclusion:

DDT may not be “a solution in itself,” but it’s a hell of a lot closer than anything else going on these days.

This just doesn’t follow from your quotes. And it doesn’t match anything that the peer reviewed literature, WHO, or USAID says about the ways to disrupt malaria transmission. I am not arguing that DDT wasn’t used successfully in the past - but that doesn’t mean that this would be successful now. Go back. I already went through this. And look at what Bug Girl said too. She’s a better writer than I am.

OK, then:

You made a ridiculous statement. You realized how ridiculous it was. Then you used the first thing you came across that mentioned DDT resistance to try and cover, just so no one thought you were making it up.

Nah. I already said it was just pure chance I used Warren and Walsh. It was on my desk - yes, I was reaching - across the table to pick it up. But again, my point was to show that resistance was a widespread concern in public health literature at the time. But then, why are you pushing this - it doesn’t actually invalidate the science behind it either.

Want a strong case? Millions of people die every year from mosquito-borne illness in countries where DDT has never been used widespread for mosquito control or agriculture.

Yeah, I already dealt with this. Which countries? Do you have something new?

If they added small amounts [small because they’re more expensive and harder to afford] of one/a few of the other 100 percent effective insecticides for the remaining mosquitoes and in the areas where resistance to DDT is higher, Sri Lanka would get malaria under control.

Where are you getting this from? It’s out of date or it’s wrong. They have malaria under control - 196 cases in 2007 (mostly in the former conflict areas of the NE.

Correction: The number of reported cases of malaria between 2000 and 2008 has decreased by more than 50 percent in Sri Lanka, thanks in part to DDT.

That’s right. And I already said this.  In part, due to DDT. If you read back, I said the reintroduction of DDT recently has been successful - because resistance has finally declined. And Sri Lanka has a very well organized, centrally controlled health sector (socialist, too!!)

I got a heavy work day, so back in 12 hours or so - I won’t be able to check your source until then, but I would be surprised if it contradicts anything I said.

I am disappointed. I actually thought you were doing a decent job of putting up a counter argument - you were challenging me to come up with something better, which was really nice. Until these last two posts. Unless you have something new, we’re done here.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 05:27 PM from Germany

Only in your head. I bet however you have no problem believing that the US killed half a million Iraqi children or that palestinians want peace and to coixist right next to Israel too, right?

Yeah, we’re done all right.

Posted by on 04/29/10 at 11:11 PM from United States

Holy shit, look what I started.  Then I don’t check in for a day or so and it’s done.  Crap Stogy, I wanted to respond to something.  Maybe this will be new enough (and it isn’t about DDT; it’s about me):

First, you are playing a little semantic game here:

I was responding to some students’ questions. 

No. You didn’t say that. You said:
Several of my students asked for suggestions (knowing how I felt about Earth Day)

Do you really think there is a meaningful difference between “Responding to some students’ questions” and “several of my students asked for suggestions”?  Isn’t asking for a suggestion a question?  (“Hey what would be funny?” “Can you tell me something I could write here?”)

I suppose they could have demanded suggestions “Gimme a funny slogan now teacher man.”

Now, onto the next point you make about me indoctrinating my students.  You apparently are getting the vapors over the fact that my students know that I think Earth Day is a farce (for what it worth, one of our greenest teachers also thinks Earth Day is a farce-for very different reasons than I) and that I made fun of Earth Day in front of them.  Did it occur to you that a school wide celebration of Earth Day is indoctrination?  Our science department had an Earth Day lesson that day for every student in the school.  Ditto the math department.  Even the PE department did something about biking and walking instead of driving.  Every SS teacher except me had a short (10-15 minute) mini lesson.  I am not aware of anyone teaching about Earth Day in LA classes or electives.  Plus of course, our half hour advisory class was devoted to it as well.  See, Stogy, I wasn’t indoctrinating, I was speaking truth to power (as them stinky hippies put it).

Let me ask you to answer a hypothetical honestly.  If school celebrated a Creationism Day and had lesson plans geared to it in half the academic departments plus an advisory class and one lone SS teacher spent ten minutes making jokes about it, would you accuse that teacher of indoctrinating his students?

Posted by on 04/30/10 at 04:47 AM from Germany

one lone SS teacher spent ten minutes making jokes about it, would you accuse that teacher of indoctrinating his students?

Yup.

Posted by on 04/30/10 at 12:34 PM from United States

Ah dear. Nah, I wouldn’t allow its untrained use anywhere in the West either - similar to the way we don’t allow people to self-prescribe antibiotics. This is the whole point of the Stockholm convention. Did you actually read any of it? So no racism here. You know, I actually thought you were putting up half decent arguments until this one.

Its convenient that it’s not even an issue in the West because it’s not needed. You would have been railing against everyone being able to use DDT back in the days of eradication in Western countries, too, right? If that would have been the case, you should be careful what you ask for.

Which countries? You only mentioned South Africa, which WAS on my list. And which countries are not. You’ve only done half the work here to make this an argument.

The WHO did not put a limitation on which countries should be using it. DDT is recommended for IRS in all countries. I posted this before, and I linked to the report that contains it. The WHO says:

Scientific evidence indicates that IRS is effective in controlling malaria transmission and thus reduces the related burden of morbidity and mortality

DDT has comparatively long residual efficacy (≥ 6 months) against malaria vectors and plays an important role in the management of vector resistance.

In using the combination of IRS and ITNs, it is preferable to use a non-pyrethroid insecticide for IRS.

Keep plugging your ears. That way you can always be right, as long as nothing contrary to your opinion accidentally penetrates your thick skull, right?

I didn’t. What I have done is shown that he is wrong in his assessment. Unless you can produce evidence that he is not, we’re done here.

You haven’t shown anything. You’ve given a mal-informed opinion based on literature that you haven’t even read. You’re disagreeing with Gwandz, who has expert scientific knowledge of the issue because he oversees and participates in most of the recent research into the topic You haven’t disproven the fact that DDT, with little or no other supplimental vector control activity, has been directly responsible for reducing the number of mosquito-borne illness deaths everywhere it has ever been used since the discovery of its insecticidal properties. You haven’t disproven that many tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people have died from mosquito-borne illness since the beginning of environmentalists’ efforts to keep dark-skinned people from using DDT. You haven’t disproven the fact that proportionally, 20 million people or so have died as a direct result of those efforts. You can post some random links that are unrelated to your statements then declare victory all you want, but you can’t change the facts.

Yeah, I already dealt with this. Which countries? Do you have something new?

Let’s see. According to your link upthread, DDT was used in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Southern Mozambique. It just so happens that these countries are now “low transmission” countries according to the WHO malaria report from 2009. Even if you take out [because it has been suggested that DDT might not work well] the rainforest countries of Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo, and the lowland swamp/flooded forest countries of Angola, Congo, and Zaire, in Sub-Saharan Africa that still leaves Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, the rest of Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia. Most of these countries are considered “high-burden” countries by the WHO. It says over and over and over in the literature that despite a lack of evidence for reasons not to use DDT, full scale eradication efforts with DDT [or any other pesticide for that matter] in these countries has never been pursued period. Logic should tell you that since DDT works well for mosquito eradication in most areas, since there’s no evidence to suggest that it will not work well in the aforementioned countries where it’s never been used on a large scale, and since these countries are constantly devastated by mosquito-borne illness, it might be a good idea to tell the anti-DDT environmentalists to go fuck themselves and use DDT there. Logic can’t be everyone’s strong point, though, I guess.

That’s right. And I already said this.  In part, due to DDT. If you read back, I said the reintroduction of DDT recently has been successful - because resistance has finally declined. And Sri Lanka has a very well organized, centrally controlled health sector (socialist, too!!)

DDT would also be successful in other areas where there’s very little resistance. Vector control makes the healthcare issue less of an issue. You don’t need healthcare [especially not socialized healthcare known for it’s corruption among the citizens of Sri Lanka] to try and heal people of the disease when they don’t get the disease.

I am disappointed. I actually thought you were doing a decent job of putting up a counter argument - you were challenging me to come up with something better, which was really nice. Until these last two posts. Unless you have something new, we’re done here.

Throwing up random names of researchers or links to environmentalists’ websites on a thread then declaring that you have disproven all other arguments is not something better. It’s weak, and you do it constantly here.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/30/10 at 01:57 PM from United States

one lone SS teacher spent ten minutes making jokes about it, would you accuse that teacher of indoctrinating his students?

Yup.

Ah, man. I call bullshit. Manure to outweigh the planet.

Posted by on 04/30/10 at 09:56 PM from United States

Yup.

Hmmmm, mindlessly parroting the official indoctrination is fine with you? 

Soooooo in Stogy world, if say, you wound up teaching in Germany in 1940, and you dissented a little from the official curriculum regarding Jews, would you be indoctrinating your students?

Posted by on 05/01/10 at 04:25 AM from Japan

Hmmmm, mindlessly parroting the official indoctrination is fine with you? Soooooo in Stogy world, if say, you wound up teaching in Germany in 1940, and you dissented a little from the official curriculum regarding Jews, would you be indoctrinating your students?

Ahhh. Nice angle, and it’s an interesting argument.

My response would be that, as far as I can see, you are arguing that counter-indoctrination is the only way to combat official indoctrination. However, there are different ways to go about it. For example, what about providing students with a diverse range of resources and allowing student-based critical analysis and discussion, with the teacher as facilitator, rather than ‘indoctrinator’? I accept though, that any choice of material is a political decision in itself - but generally speaking - it is possible to achieve SOME kind of balance.

So would this have worked in Nazi Germany? It’s hard to know. I am approaching this from an early 21st century value set. However, even the presentation of materials relating to the inherent humanity of Jews, gypsies, gays and communists (along with Nazi propaganda) would have been enough to get me carted off to a prison camp.

If you want students who will question authority, develop their own values, and have the ability to speak up when they see something they believe is wrong (whatever and whoever that is), you don’t get it by mirroring the same structures that you oppose.

Posted by on 05/01/10 at 05:50 AM from Germany

Hi Dunkkus, This was a better response than before.

Its convenient that it’s not even an issue in the West because
it’s not needed.

Ah, now here you actually misrepresent me. Because I was responding to
your allegation that I was racist in calling for controls on DDT usage -
and my point was that it shouldn’t be allowed to be used uncontrolled
anywhere - including the West (regardless of whether it’s need), so for
you to suddenly use this as an example of how I am inconsistent is ...um
.. inconsistent.

OK. So on to WHO and the IRS program. See far from recommending it in
every country (which your quote by the way didn’t mention - reading
problem??) they said this in the Global Malaria Program:

However, in Africa, the potential threat of resistance to public
health insecticides appears to be significant. Resistance to DDT and
pyrethroids in major malaria vectors has been found throughout West and
Central Africa, in some areas at a high level, as well as in several
parts of Eastern and Southern Africa. Resistance to carbamates has been
found in countries of West Africa, with a mechanism that also induces
cross resistance to organophosphates. The selection of resistance in
most malaria vectors is thought to be largely the result of past and
present use of insecticides in agriculture. The precise operational
implications of insecticide resistance are not yet fully understood.

A comprehensive assessment of resistance at the local level must be
carried out before planning any IRS programme, especially in West and
Central Africa. The possibility of insecticide resistance calls for the
careful monitoring of the susceptibility of malaria vectors to
insecticides throughout the world, and the sound management of
resistance.

But you promised me that there was no resistance in Africa because it
hadn’t really been used there. Turns out that just because it wasn’t
used there for IRS, doesn’t mean it wasn’t used for agriculture.

Keep plugging your ears. That way you can always be right, as long
as nothing contrary to your opinion accidentally penetrates your thick
skull, right?

Er… moving right along…

You’re disagreeing with Gwandz, who has expert scientific
knowledge of the issue because he oversees and participates in most of
the recent research into the topic

Gwadz is one of MANY people working on Malaria - I haven’t seen the
study he did on malaria deaths and DDT usage because… because… he
hasn’t written one. Until he does, I am skeptical of any figures he
pulls out of thin air. He is NOT the only person working in malaria
prevention, and just because he runs a program at the NIH, doesn’t mean
his opinion is any better than someone who works at WHO (this is the
same WHO that referred to Gwadz’ opinions as outrageous, btw)

You haven’t disproven the fact that DDT, with little or no other
supplimental vector control activity, has been directly responsible for
reducing the number of mosquito-borne illness deaths everywhere it has
ever been used since the discovery of its insecticidal
properties.

No. I haven’t been trying to.

You haven’t disproven that many tens of millions, if not hundreds
of millions of people have died from mosquito-borne illness since the
beginning of environmentalists’ efforts to keep dark-skinned people
from using DDT.

Well, ignoring the ad hominem, no, I haven’t been trying to do this
either.

You haven’t disproven the fact that proportionally, 20 million
people or so have died as a direct result of those efforts.

Actually, it’s really up to you to PROVE this, rather than me to prove a
negative. All you have is one quote from a professional who hasn’t
done any direct formal study on the subject - as far as I can see.

You’ve given a mal-informed opinion based on literature that you
haven’t even read.

Actually I’ve read everything I’ve quoted. Apart from the Gwadz piece,
and that’s mainly because he… er… hasn’t written it.

Most of these countries are considered “high-burden” countries
by the WHO. It says over and over and over in the literature that
despite a lack of evidence for reasons not to use DDT, full scale
eradication efforts with DDT [or any other pesticide for that matter] in
these countries has never been pursued period.

Well apart from the fact that the aforementioned WHO quote actually says
(once again, just in case you missed it the first time):

A comprehensive assessment of resistance at the local level must
be carried out before planning any IRS programme, especially in West and
Central Africa.

it might be a good idea to tell the anti-DDT environmentalists to
go fuck themselves and use DDT there.

So given that these countries have had very legitimate permission to use
DDT since 2001, when Stockholm was passed, why do you think they are
holding back? Do you really think that the environmentalists actually
have that much presence? Or are they waiting until they have the
necessary infrastructure to use DDT in ways that will maximize its effectiveness? I don’t know - do you?

DDT would also be successful in other areas where there’s very little resistance. Vector control makes the healthcare issue less of an issue.

True, but the ministry of health and nutrition in Sri Lanka is in charge of malaria control, so in this case, a strong centrally controlled system is exactly the kind of infrastructure that WHO is calling for.

You don’t need healthcare [especially not socialized healthcare known for it’s corruption among the citizens of Sri Lanka] to try and heal people of the disease when they don’t get the disease.

Actually, Sri Lankans are really proud of their health system. Last time I checked infant and maternal mortality were almost on par with the US - despite only health spending of 31 dollars per capita annually.

Throwing up random names of researchers or links to
environmentalists’ websites on a thread then declaring that you have disproven all other arguments is not something better. It’s weak, and you do it constantly here.

Actually most of what I linked to was peer reviewed or grey literature, rather than random websites. I haven’t seen anything like that for your 20 million.

Posted by on 05/01/10 at 08:00 PM from Germany

Sorry drunkkus,

I didn’t actually mean to misspell your name back there. Purely a typo. Sorry about that. :)

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