Last Friday was Earth Day, and I am willing to bet that very few, if any, of the “celebrations” that marked the day touched on today- Africa Malaria Day. Malaria is the single largest cause of death in Africa- ahead of aids, even:
'Malaria kills one child every thirty seconds, about 3000 children every day, one in the five of the 4.6 million deaths in Africa each year is attributed to malaria and over one million people die of malaria each year, the report states in part. Also, more than 900,000 children under five years of age in Sub-Sahara Africa die of malaria.
As a heavy disease burden, an estimated 300-600 million people suffer from malaria each year, and the number of fever cases requiring treatment for malaria in children is much higher at an estimated 1-2 billion. The data from the same report indicates that more than 40% of the world population lives in malaria-risk areas, and 'it is more damaging to pregnant women, their unborn children, and this result into maternal anemia and low birth weight. Malaria in pregnancy kills up to 200,000 newborn babies each year'.
The United States donates $19 billion a year in foreign aid, yet millions of children are dying as a result of mosquito bites. Why? Because the environmental lobby in America and the rest of the world won the battle over DDT in the 1970’s:
The EPA held seven months of hearings in 1971-1972, with scientists giving evidence both for and against the use of DDT. At the end of the hearings, the hearing examiner, Edmund Sweeney, ruled that the scientific evidence provided no basis for banning DDT. In the summer of 1972 Ruckelshaus reviewed evidence collected during the agency's hearings as well as reports prepared by two DDT study groups (the Hilton and Mrak Commissions) that had both come to the opposite conclusion. He did not actually attend any of the EPA commission's hearings however, and according to his aides did not read any transcripts of it. Ruckelshaus overturned Sweeny's ruling and announced a ban on virtually all uses of DDT in the U.S., where it was classified in EPA Toxicity Class II. Ruckelshaus argued that the pesticide was "a warning that man may be exposing himself to a substance that may ultimately have a serious effect on his health." (Tren & Bate, 2004)(Milloy, 1999).
The left has their Silent Spring legacy- as Al Gore said in his preface to the 1994 edition:
Without this book, the environmental movement might have been long delayed or never have developed at all," declared then-Vice President Albert Gore in his introduction to the 1994 edition. The foreword to the 25th anniversary edition accurately declared, "It led to environmental legislation at every level of government."
As a result of that legislation no American diplomat is making the case for the renewed use of DDT in Africa or any other malaria stricken region, regardless of the veracity of the science. So called “liberal” nations like those found in the EU are willing to see countless children die of malaria- and even threaten the existence of those who manage to survive if they do so through the use of DDT:
The chief of the EU mission in Uganda, Sigurd Illing, said there could be dire consequences for outgoing trade with Europe -- which accounts for more than 30 percent of Uganda's total exports -- if DDT was detected in such goods.
"We support the fight against malaria ... but we wanted to make a general warning that all considerations should be made before the spraying," she told AFP by phone
And there it is: “we support the fight against malaria, but…” Never mind the dead children, or the $347,000,000 Uganda spends treating malaria. That is nearly 10% of the GDP of the entire nation., and that is just one nation in Africa.
Stopping malaria in Africa is easy. Admitting that science- liberal approved science in any case, might be wrong is hard. And so we have Kyoto at all costs, euthanization of children, and of course prohibitions against DDT.
While the Al Gore's of the world celebrate Earth Day and bask in the warm fuzzy they get from saving birds while children die needlessly, the mothers and fathers of countless dead children in Africa have their own legacy of the lessons learned from the book that launched the modern environmentalist movement. They would glady take the infinitesmal risk posed by DDT to have their children alive.