A couple days ago, I wrote a rant about how the environmental movement seemed more worried about the animals and trees than by dying children. I specifically pointed out that the ban on cheap, essentially non toxic DDT resulted in the resurgence of malaria in Africa and Asia, a disease that now kills 800 000 children a year.

The reason for the ban on DDT? It was because a revered scientist, Rachel Carson, wrote a book Silent Spring, pointing out that the DDT, when it entered the food chain, weakened shells of certain migratory birds, and threatened endangered species.

What she, and those who blindly supported her ban, did not ask is: Why is DDT used, and if we ban it, what will be the result?

The result is that many countries could not afford the more expensive insecticides, which often were more toxic and needed advanced techniques and trained people to carefully spray to prevent insecticide poisoning of the population. In countries where the average wage is $3 a day, the cost became prohibitive, and the result was a resurgence of malaria, and 800 000 deaths of children from malaria and malaria related complications. And to make things worse, the Falciparum malaria parasite became resistant to cheaper medicines, and so required more expensive combination therapy.

So today while reading the news, I ran across this small article:

HUH? I was puzzled, since no Democrat would dare to diss the powerful Environmental movement, and few Republicans know or care about the DDT/Malaria link.

So I checked, and of course, it was Doctor Coburn, a fellow Okie. Yup. He was elected despite the opposition of the Republican establishment in a state where populist (blue dog) Democrats are the rule.

Causing trouble again, hey doc? (he is also a minor hero to the pork busters, a fact that makes him few friends).

Yup. In 1939 it was Mr Smith going against the rich corrupt establishment. In 2007, it’s Dr. C.

Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. She had malaria while working as a missionary in Africa.

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