DDT nutcases

It’s spring, and nutcase fancies turn to thoughts of slandering Rachel Carson and making unholy noises toward environmentalists.

Here’s one nutcase who engages in that peculiar nutcase practice of completely rewriting posts of commenters — claims to be Graeme Bird; is he really running for office?  His claim is that lack of DDT is causing the spread of dengue in Queensland, Australia.  He won’t be swayed by reason or fact (of course — his avatar is a photo of confirmed liar Joe McCarthy).  He asks “how many have died,” but is unhappy with the official answer (one, but that’s not clear — an older woman in poor health).  Nor does he appear to have any sense of irony that drought-stricken Australia has a plague of mosquitoes due to recent rains.  Nor does he appear to understand that dengue is an imported disease in Australia, imported by a traveler, it appears.

Australian officials ask people to drain water from pots, old tires (“tyres” downunder), rain gutters, or any other small pool, which is where the vector mosquitoes breed and mature.  The nutcase appears unfamiliar with the concept of simply preventing the mosquitoes from breeding, in his rush to poison Australia.  Nor do alternative effective techniques for fighting the disease appear to be on his radar.

Alas, there are a lot of these lone nutcases loose.  Watch for updates here for a week or so.

I wonder if it’s a virus that makes them censor any fact or opinion contrary to their own, or whether they simply are complete cranks.  I mean, even Bush’s Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne got  DDT right.

(Bird’s blog is on WordPress, which will automatically post a link from this post to his blog.  Anyone want to wager on whether he has enough cojones to let the trackback stand?)

204 Responses to DDT nutcases

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    So, the guy over at Adirondack Musing eventually freed my post from his “moderation,” but stripped out identification of who made the post. He probably didn’t want anyone to be able to find their way back here.

    Over there, I said:

    Anonymous said…

    I’ll defer to the cancer experts. By 1994, no, DDT probably wasn’t known as a carcinogen as it is now — the role of estrogen in causing cancer wasn’t firm (DDE, the first daughter of DDT, mimics estrogen). DDT is a weak carcinogen. And while it could probably be used safely were that its only health issue, there are many other reasons not to use it.

    DDT is toxic to beneficial wildlife. It kills the predators of mosquitoes much more effectively than it kills mosquitoes. It’s not as effective as other pesticides, and it wreaks havoc on ecosystems.

    DDT use by the World Health Organization was suspended in Africa in the mid 1960s because it ceased to work. Overuse of the stuff in agriculture had bred mosquitoes that were immune to DDT, or at a minimum, highly resistant to it. So the dream of knocking down mosquitoes for six months or a year until malaria could be wiped out in humans, was defeated.

    Recent studies show that the toxic effects of DDT, including killing off the food fish for Africans, far outweigh the benefits of broadcast spraying, and in the end cause more acute deaths than those who might be spared malaria by the stuff. DDT is no panacea.

    Kids with malaria would love to be rid of it. DDT can’t do that. Only good pharmaceuticals can do that, delivered effectively in a working health care system. Those things cost money, and DDT can’t help there, either.

    The war against malaria requires the use of many weapons. DDT could be one, but it can’t be the only. Hoping to embarrass Rachel Carson, a dead scientist who was right, doesn’t save anyone.

    “Anonymous.” Harrumph.

    See it here: https://pudsandlosers.blogspot.com/2009/03/ddt-good-and-bad.html?showComment=1238383200000#c7103980770871717816


  2. graemebird says:

    Right. Testicular cancer on the increase. And so they are blaming it on DDT. Whereas anyone ought to see that as evidence for the opposite point of view.


  3. […] You’ll find one of the posts I mentioned at P.Z.’s house, here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Heartland on bedbugs: DDT stupidity, all the way […]


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    DDT and breast cancer:

    DDT and testicular cancer:

    DDT-related Chemical Linked to Testicular Cancer
    As Reported by Reuters. 2008 Apr 29

    Testicular cancer is found more often in men who have higher levels of DDE, a chemical related to the pesticide DDT. A study conducted among US military men showed that men with the highest DDE levels were 70% more likely to have testicular cancer. Although DDT was banned in this country in 1972, DDE remains in the environment. “It’s in the food chain now,” explains Dr. Katherine McGlynn, principal researcher for the study. About 90% of Americans have DDE in their blood. In some developing countries, DDT is still used to control the mosquitoes that carry malaria. Testicular cancer generally develops early, at around age 20 to 30. Most men are cured with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In many countries, the number of cases of testicular cancer has been increasing, possibly related to DDE exposure. The fact that this cancer appears early in life suggests that childhood exposure to a cancer-causing agent such as DDE, through breast feeding, for example, could play a role. The study was published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.



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