I am grateful to Google for so helpfully telling me which persons I should revere. This morning when I switched on, I was informed that today is the 107th anniversary of the birth of Rachel Louise Carson who wrote the book Silent Spring. This book proved to be a sensational success and its publication, more than any other single factor, created the environmentalist movement. It became trendy – even holy – to be Green. Carson argued that the use of pesticides was profoundly deleterious to animal life. Particularly, if the world continued its widespread use of DDT, the wild creatures would be killed off and we should enter the silent spring of her book’s emotive title.
The consequences of discontinuing the use of DDT have been catastrophic.
For example, in the southern states of the USA malaria killed as many people as scarlet fever prior to its eradication, by DDT, in 1947. After that it killed nobody there. Before 1953, when DDT was first used in India, there were 75 million cases of malaria every year and 800,000 deaths. By 1966 there were fewer than one million cases and proportionally fewer deaths. Similarly, Indonesia saw cases of malaria cut from 25% of the population to 1%. Since the banning of the widespread use of DDT in 1976, the scourge of malaria has returned with a vengeance. Now 2000 children die from it every day, most of them in Africa.
The author of Silent Spring was accused of the selective use of data and of fanaticism. Her most telling critics did not belong to Big Pharma but included internationally renowned biochemists such as Christopher Leaver and Bruce Ames, the immunologist Peter Lachman and the Director of Africa Fighting Malaria, Michael Tren. The true and accurate data concerning DDT’s great usefulness is still available and I have quoted some of it, above. Alas the fanaticism is still with us and it has become even more fanatical, a sort of worldwide, lethal psychosis. Sentimental attachment to what is called “the environment” has intensified and proliferated like the plague of malaria itself. If you say this, you will be pilloried as a man who wants to slaughter elephants for their ivory, shoot the remaining tigers and make impolite remarks about gorillas in the mist. Of course most of those who criticise the insanity of the Green agenda have no desire to do any of these things. We just don’t think that the best way to preserve animal life is by adopting a policy which murders millions of human beings, and impoverishes countless millions more.
So called environmentalism is not really about preserving animal species – or, to quote the vacuous slogan, “saving the planet” – but about political ambition and the means to control. Green is the new Red. The banning of DDT is probably the most extreme example of the awful consequences of following the Green agenda. There are many other examples of its disastrous effects. The useless windmills which are said to be constructed in order to save the environment but which succeed only in scarring the landscape. The vast subsidies paid to wealthy landowners for permitting these eyesores on their property is not only immoral in itself but also leads to methods of electricity generation which are absurdly expensive and so impoverish the poor yet further.
I have a dream: that one day there will be a great universal awakening amounting to the recognition that all this is sentimental. misanthropic folly, followed by a return to sense and with it the true conservation of a healthy environment.