Enemies of humanity

Mosquitoes and uncaring environmental activists perpetuate poverty, disease and death

Steven Lyazi

After being infected again with malaria last July, I spent almost a month in a Kampala hospital. Paying for my treatment was extremely difficult, as it is for most Ugandan and African families. I was lucky I could scrape the money together. Many families cannot afford proper treatment.

Where and how can they get the money to go back to the hospital again and again, every time a family member gets malaria, when they also need food, clothes and so many other things – or malaria makes them so sick that they can’t work for weeks or even months? Many parents can do nothing except watch their loved ones die in agony, and then give them a simple burial.

Far too many people still die from malaria every year in Africa, the vast majority of them women and children. Too many more die from lung and intestinal diseases, because we don’t have electricity, natural gas, clean water, or decent modern homes, clinics and hospitals.

Malaria also makes many people so weak that they die from other diseases that people in Europe and the United States rarely even hear about, like chronic dysentery. It saps people’s strength for years and leaves them with severe liver and kidney damage. Cerebral malaria causes lifelong learning and memory problems.

All these diseases create enormous barriers to Africa’s economic growth. They drain our national healthcare budgets and deepen our poverty. Malaria control and treatment alone cost Africa over $12 billion annually. Uganda alone spends $11 million a year fighting it. The disease drains an estimated $100 billion every year from the African economy.

Malaria also hits India and other countries really hard. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it drains India’s economy of as much as $2 billion every year. Billions in wages are lost, because people die or are absent from work, have low productivity due to fatigue, and have to spend so much on bed nets, insecticides, bug repellants, medicines, treatments and hospital care.

Terrible roads mean that, even when AIDS and other drugs are shipped to African countries, few people receive them. Many sit in warehouses until their expiration date passes, and then those expired drugs get sold on the black market. People buy them, and die. Other times, they take drugs until they feel better, and then sell the rest of the prescription. Then a more deadly, resistant malaria comes back and makes them even worse.

And yet global green campaigners endlessly spend money trying to prevent Africans from using fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy and trying to sell us little solar ovens. But this great generosity does nothing to address the horrible realities of people dying now – day after day, year after year. Greens worry constantly about Africans being exposed to insecticides. We worry about dying from malaria.

We don’t need enemies of humanity. What we need is financial and political support to conquer malaria, lung diseases and intestinal parasites. We need clean water and affordable, reliable electricity in our villages and cities. We need modern hospitals.

We need environmental activists to realize how important fossil fuels and hydroelectric plants are to having decent, healthy living standards, lights, computers, the internet, clean hospitals, clean water, and everything else modern countries have.

We need them to support us Africans in preventing malaria in the first place – which means we need more than bed nets. We need campaigners to recognize that we have the same rights as people in modern, rich, industrialized countries to decent living standards and modern technology.

Malaria protozoans are constantly mutating, making available treatments less effective. Many families cannot afford the drugs, and many of the drugs are fake, just packaged to look like the real thing. People spend money on them, they don’t help at all, and people die.

The WHO says over 3 billion people around the world are still at risk of getting malaria. In 2015, there were 212 million cases of malaria and 438,000 people died, the vast majority of them in Africa.

Many of these illnesses and deaths could be prevented if just a few simple steps were taken right now, especially by allowing and encouraging countries to use preventive measures that work, like DDT.

So many people have access to medical care only on an irregular basis. Others have never learned how to take proper care of themselves or their children. But the most fundamental problem is malaria-carrying mosquitoes that are the source of our biggest scourge. And there is a readily available life-saving solution – DDT and other pesticides to kill mosquitoes and keep them out of our homes.

To me, there is simply no substitute for DDT. It is the most affordable, longest lasting, most effective mosquito repellant in existence. Sprayed in tiny amounts on the walls of traditional homes, just once or twice a year, DDT repels mosquitoes from the entire house, kills any that land on walls, and perplexes or irritates any that are not killed or repelled, so their urge to bite is gone.

Other pesticides that some activists say we can use are not as appropriate, or they are up to six times more expensive than DDT, or they have to be sprayed much more often. Every dollar spent this way is a dollar that’s unavailable for safe drinking water, electricity and other critical needs.

DDT for indoor residual spraying programs is rejected because it is supposedly dangerous to the environment and might be detected in our blood or on agricultural products. We use it carefully, it is less dangerous than other pesticides, and being able to detect it does not mean it is a risk to anyone. No one has ever died from it, and it can help prevent malaria and other diseases that ruin our lives and kill us.

Where DDT is used in the developing world, malaria cases and deaths often drop by 80% or more. Where it is not used, people die. If we can prevent malaria and other insect-carried diseases in the first place, we won’t have so many people sick and out of work. Families won’t have to spend their savings on treatment. Doctors and nurses won’t be overwhelmed, and will have the time and resources to address other health problems. It’s that simple.

But too many politicians and activists have made it impossible to prevent the disease by killing and repelling mosquitoes. They constantly oppose DDT use and insist that developing countries rely on insecticide-treated bed nets, larvae-eating fish and other strategies that are simply inadequate.

Malaria is no longer a killer in western countries – because they used DDT to help eradicate the disease decades ago. That may be a key reason as why many well-off westerners talk about environmental considerations being supreme, and tell Africans and other third world countries not to use pesticides because of supposed health risks and environmental damage.

Malaria also has nothing to do with global warming. It existed for centuries in northern Europe and even in Siberia. The same mosquito species still live there. They just don’t carry malaria anymore, and so cannot transmit it to people. That’s what we want to do in Africa.

Americans would never tolerate being told they could not protect their children – or that they should rely on bed nets or wait more long years for new drug treatments or magic mosquitoes that cannot carry malaria. But Africans are repeatedly told we have to be content with exactly these limited safeguards, while parents and children get sick and die. That is inhumane and imperialistic.

If wealthy nations and NGOs really want to help developing nations, they should support fossil fuel power plants for reliable, affordable electricity. They should support DDT as an important part of the solution to eradicate this serial killer, so that Africans can work, spend less on malaria, have more money for other healthcare and family needs, and develop as much as rich nations have.


Steven Lyazi is a student and worker in Kampala, Uganda. He served as special assistant to Congress of Racial Equality-Uganda director Cyril Boynes, until Mr. Boynes’ death in January 2015. He plans to attend college and help his country and Africa get the energy and other modern technologies they need.

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Coach Springer
July 27, 2017 5:12 am

Environmentalism is life threatening? Well, it has a certain misanthropic angle embedded in the concept.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Coach Springer
July 27, 2017 7:55 am

Hostility to humanity is the basis of environmentalism.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 27, 2017 9:06 am

Disagree. I don’t think eliminating diseases on a continent where the people still practice slavery and cannibalism openly is saving humanity. In fact, I am pretty sure it’s the opposite.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 27, 2017 2:47 pm

To treat all Africans – regardless of their person morality, nationality, culture or race – as though they are equally guilty is about as hostile and racist as it gets.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 27, 2017 6:55 pm

I doubt the roughly half-million children dying annually from malaria are the maim drivers of cannibalism or slave trading.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 28, 2017 12:08 pm

Go to Africa and see for yourself. Mothers bringing their mud covered infants and children to us for treatment. When the child spikes a fever that’s what the local Shaman would tell them to do. Really not a bad idea when you have nothing else. But we had something else and the word got out and we took care of all of them we could. SF MTT outside of Mogadishu, Liberia 1982. Our mission said nothing about treating the indigenous population, we were there to train Liberian troops, but on advise and with support from many, we garnered enough medicines in the DoD system that were about to expire (they pull them off the shelf 2 months before expiration date) and enough medical equipment and materials to fill a small CONEX. We set up our own clinic with the help of the Army PA serving at the US embassy. And we two medics and that PA took care of all we could on our own time when not training Liberian soldiers. The soldiers dependents came first but we treated many others. We learned to cover our garbage/trash pit that included medical waste with CS powder. It was the only way to keep the local women from coming in at night and rummaging through it for what they thought they could use. Believe me, it will get ones attention when you find a patient with the S&S of hemorrhagic fever. Scared the hell out of us. Turned out to be Yellow Fever not Ebola.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 28, 2017 4:52 pm

Wish one could edit. It was Monrovia, Liberia!

Reply to  Coach Springer
July 27, 2017 2:44 pm

As a hunter, I see the hostility of the self-proclaimed environmentalists and “animal rights” activists, all too frequently.
Attempt to rationally discuss concepts like sustainable utilisation and the need to adopt strategies that feed and empower Africans AS WELL AS conserving wildlife and the natural environment…. and a common response is that there are “too many people”, so that it doesn’t matter that human beings suffer and die.
Sacrifices on the altar of green religion.

Stephen Duval
Reply to  PeterW.
July 30, 2017 6:24 am

Call it what it is Green Genocide.
Greens have already killed tens of millions of African given their opposition to DDT, Golden Rice (genetically engineered rice with additional vitamin A), and coal fired electricity.
If the Greens manage to prevent the use of genetic engineering to increase crop yields, nutritional content, and drought resistance, their body count will extend into the hundreds of millions.
Green dreams are not only delusional, Green dreams kill.

Steven Lyazi
Reply to  PeterW.
July 31, 2017 7:15 am

Hi, PeterW and RAH.
yes, I can understand everything you are talking about. It’s true and there needs to be a solution. I would like to discuss more with you guys in depth. Especially RAH on the Liberia Issues. Please send me an email steven.lyazi@gmail.com or call me on +256 786 813 666.
Thank you.

Coach Springer
July 27, 2017 5:14 am

About those roads, I’m sure that battery powered bulldozers are just around the corner. (/s)

Reply to  Coach Springer
July 27, 2017 9:16 am

Maybe they should consider solar powered bulldozers…

July 27, 2017 5:27 am

With so much talk of population control in the U.N. it seems that the lack of eradication of malaria bearing mosquitoes does assist the world planners in that endeavor.

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  ron
July 27, 2017 8:33 am

I’m sure you know this, because I detect a note of irony in your post, but population growth rates tend to run higher in areas where poverty and suffering are more widespread. Advanced societies lower their birth rates voluntarily. Where infant mortality is high and life expectancy is low, people have more children, just in case.
The “world planners” aren’t trying to kill off the riffraff with epidemics; they just don’t think things through.

Gerald Cooper
Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
July 27, 2017 8:51 am

Tom, isn’t it also because in Africa for example the poorest are subsistence farmers – who rely on children to help with farming, tending livestock etc.

Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
July 27, 2017 9:07 am

Africa has native farmers? Where? Which country isn’t subsidized almost exclusively by US aid?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
July 27, 2017 2:53 pm

Unfortunately, the aid is in the wrong form and only serves to put the local farmers out of business by ruining their market. Hard to compete with free food when you are a farmer.

Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
July 28, 2017 6:17 am

“The “world planners” aren’t trying to kill off the riffraff with epidemics; they just don’t think things through.”
I used to think that 30 years ago, but ‘world planners’ cannot be that ignorant. They know exactly what they are doing, and, like Pontius Pilot, they wash their hands of it and go home an hug their healthy children.
DDT was so demonized in the 60’s and 70’s that it is still associated with the ‘silent spring’ mentality of the left. ‘Planners’ had to make a choice: save millions of lives in Africa, or incur the wrath of their ‘liberal’ constituents, which includes the media. For 3 decades, they have avoided criticism by letting tens of millions of people die needlessly.
The decision on DDT was not an isolated incident. ‘World planners’ (politicians and the like) will usually make a bad decision over risking bad publicity. The term ‘politically correct’ came about to describe this behavior. Dissuading the use of DDT as a mosquito repellant in Africa is politically correct voluntary manslaughter!

The Expulsive
July 27, 2017 5:34 am

All I can say is “I agree”. The scare over DDT based on its over-usage may have had legs and justification as a crop spray, but its limited use for indoor protection is something that should not be banned. I remember Vapona no pest strips and how these would eradicate mosquitoes, fleas and ticks in the barn and house…I believe these had DDT or D4D in them and worked effectively.

Reply to  The Expulsive
July 27, 2017 6:02 am

Typically, enviros with their simplistic black and white ; good and bad world view can not handle any nuances like that. DDT is BAD it must be banned.
Zealots , the lot of them.

Reply to  Greg
July 27, 2017 8:51 am

There is reportedly a boycott of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for a 1.74 PARTS PER BILLION level of glysophate found in the samples. People who freak out over this are not playing with a full deck. Less than 2 parts per BILLION. Can we get crazier? (Don’t answer, it will only depress me.)

Reply to  Greg
July 27, 2017 2:32 pm

Seeking not to depress you . . . . .. ..
And apologies, but have you noted that some folk – watermelons, maybe – are severely exercised about carbon dioxide – ‘CO2’ – that, even at a level, to the nearest one tenth of one percent by volume, is still zero?
These folk look like they need help.
Far more than I do.
And. You certainly don’t!

Stu C
Reply to  The Expulsive
July 27, 2017 7:01 am

Vapona strips are DDVP (Dichlorvos or 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate) in the organophosphate family of insecticides. And are still available (in Canada anyway). DDT was a different family of insecticides, organochlorine.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Stu C
July 27, 2017 8:27 am

Vapona strips are still available in the U.S. They are labeled for use in unoccupied spaces like garages and attics.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  The Expulsive
July 27, 2017 7:38 am

I would not expect to find ticks surviving in a low humidity enclosure where DDVP is effective. Desiccation is the major cause of death in a tick, followed by starvation.

Reply to  The Expulsive
July 27, 2017 9:42 am

DDT is banned nationwide in only a couple dozen nations, most of which don’t have malaria problems. (It is banned for agricultural uses in most nations.) Also, mosquitoes develop a resistance to it over about 7 years where it is used enough to keep their populations down.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
July 28, 2017 3:39 am

DDT is banned to avoid that the mosquitoes develop resistance? What is the advantage of not having the mosquitoes develop resistance when meanwhile during 7 years countless people may have a chance to survive.

Reply to  Rainer Bensch
July 28, 2017 5:17 am

The answer to DDT resistance, when it arises, is not banning DDT, it is adding another agent to DDT treatment, just as resistant malaria or TB is treated with a multi-drug approach.

Reply to  The Expulsive
July 27, 2017 12:55 pm

Somewhere I saw videos of kids being doused in a fog of DDT. Clearly I don’t think this is an appropriate use but it does seem to indicate a pretty low toxicity in people anyway. OTOH I also read somewhere that excess exposure to DDT caused symptoms similar to polio.
I understand the author’s points but what I don’t understand is why Africans don’t just say screw you and manufacture DDT themselves

Pop Piasa
Reply to  taz1999
July 27, 2017 2:58 pm

Maybe when they have cheap, plentiful energy they will (manufacture it themselves).

Reply to  taz1999
July 28, 2017 1:39 am

Your right Donald. After WW2 DDT was commonly used through-out Europe for delousing of children. It was extremely effective. The picture you are thinking about may have been from Italy circa 1945 or 1946: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbL4o6tEX28

Reply to  taz1999
July 28, 2017 6:25 am

The major trade of Africa is agricultural products with Europe. European nations will not buy any produce from a country that uses DDT, even as a repellant inside of homes. Technically, this is not a ban on DDT, but it has the same effect.

Tom Kennedy
Reply to  jclarke341
July 28, 2017 7:55 am

Smoking gun!
My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.
—Alexander King, cofounder of the Club of Rome, 1990[2]

Stephen Duval
Reply to  taz1999
July 30, 2017 6:33 am

I grew up on an Army base in the 50’s. Every day the trucks would come around with foggers spraying DDT. We used to run behind the truck in the fog.
As the base was out in the woods, getting rid of the mosquitos in the summer was fantastic.
Hasn’t had any detrimental effect so far.
There was a person who gave lectures promoting the use of DDT to prevent malaria. As part of the presentation he would drink a glass of DDT.
DDT is not harmful to people or birds. Saint Rachel Carson was a purveyor of junk science. The Greens would rather kill millions than admit that she was a fraud.

Paul MIller
July 27, 2017 5:35 am

A very good case can be made to charge Rachel Carson and her cabal of misanthropes of Crimes against Humanity. The death toll caused by the ban on DDT, for which she was proud of taking credit rivals that of Stalin, Pol Pot, Mau, Lenin,and several others. In my opinion the environmental greenies can take there misbegotten religion and fold it six ways and stick it where the son don’t shine

Phil Rae
Reply to  Paul MIller
July 27, 2017 5:57 am

+100…..but, of course, many environmentalists deny responsibility for restrictions on the use of DDT these days. The number of deaths ultimately attributable to Carson’s Silent Spring will probably never be known but it set the standard for the alarmist agendas (including CAGW) that we are all still dealing with today! Truly criminal misanthropy!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Phil Rae
July 27, 2017 3:05 pm

The same freshman biology teacher who introduced me to Carson’s predictions in 1970 also told us that plastic milk jugs were indestructible in nature. Part of the “believe or be chastised” environmentalism.

Reply to  Paul MIller
July 27, 2017 8:00 am

To value signalers, such environmentalists and progressives, there are no such things as consequences. There are only undesired outcomes which others must now deal with.

Reply to  rocketscientist
July 27, 2017 8:52 am

There are only imaginary outcomes which others must now deal with.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Paul MIller
July 27, 2017 9:05 am

“A very good case can be made to charge Rachel Carson”
Rachel Carson was just a citizen with an opinion. Bans are created by governments.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 27, 2017 12:40 pm

James Delingpole is just a citizen with an opinion, but you wouldn’t use that debating tactic in his support. Bans are created by governments, true, but they do so legally, as opposed to the extralegal methods of the Team. Once again, Nick, you give a fellow philosophical traveller a free pass for publishing flawed work. Yet for those whose writings you find disagreeable, there is no nit so small that you cannot endlessly pick at it.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 27, 2017 3:13 pm

So, by the same token, Gore, Mann (et al) are just innocent citizens with a collective opinion, and the government create the climate scare?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 28, 2017 8:05 am

James Delingpole has no scientific background and makes a living out of confirming the established prejudices of others…
Frankly I think he’s a sort of ‘skeptic alarmist’… making people worked up about climate issues by stating them in a way which presses their buttons…

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 31, 2017 3:13 pm

“James Delingpole has no scientific background”
Says a paid-to-peddle-CAGW-garbage skanky troll with no scientific background either.
As to “pressing buttons”, talk about pots calling kettles black… I saw your admission that you trolled sceptic blogs to pull peoples’ chains and wind them up.
You really are a piece of work.

Reply to  Paul MIller
July 27, 2017 1:12 pm

exactly, well said. It was her book that started this thoughtless murder of millions of non westerners by decree of the ban on DDT using lib language the “rich old white men”, far from the eye of dark people, so well fed and with so many options and rights they can’t understand the misery this has caused. Mark Levin, radio host, talks about this too recently..but many < 50 have no memory of what Carson's book did to the lives of the poorest.

Reply to  Paul MIller
July 27, 2017 1:35 pm

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring encouraged many to rally to her cause, despite actual science that disproved her assertions that DDT caused cancer (she was dying of it at the time and blamed it on DDT), was killing off the raptors, but strangely not other birds, and there was no way it could be used safely. Her influence over Nixon’s Sec. of the Interior, caused him to ban DDT and reject all the science that showed it to be both useful and safe.

Reply to  pameladragon
July 27, 2017 2:02 pm

See article “DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud” Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 9, Number 3, Fall 2004. by J. Gordon Edwards at http://www.jpands.org/vol9no3/edwards.pdf for a summary of the scientific findings, the EPA hearings finding no harm and the contrary decision by EPA administrator Wm. Ruckelshaus to ban it anyway.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  pameladragon
July 27, 2017 2:18 pm

She just wrote a book. She had no special powers over Nixon’s Sec. Many people at the time thought DDT should be banned. If Governments impose bans, it is their responsibility. They have the resources and obligation to assess the facts.

Reply to  pameladragon
July 27, 2017 6:09 pm

She just wrote a book.
This book is being studied in schools today. Rachel Carson is celebrated, by environmentalists, as a person who was instrumental in saving birds from extinction.
You can’t have it both ways. If she is a famous environmentalist, she did not “just wrote a book”.
In conclusion, I can also say that Karl Marx just wrote a book as well. I don’t have to tell you the rest of the story, only to remind you that it’s still being written today and will continue to do so into indefinite future.

July 27, 2017 5:54 am

The West isn’t that safe. A Malaria case and a handful of Dengue cases turned up near where I live recently. Obviously functional Western health services jump on outbreaks pretty quickly, but since DDT is illegal here it is impractical to conduct widespread spraying to suppress the local mosquito population.
Naturally it will all be blamed on climate if things get out of hand…

Stephen Duval
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 30, 2017 6:40 am

Bed bugs are an EPA created epidemic that is here already. I would not be surprised to see malaria and other African diseases that are mosquito born flare up in the USA given the power of the Green lobby.
Maybe when people’s children start dying, they will rise up against Big Green and its genocidal policies.

July 27, 2017 5:57 am

Environmental activists have a lot to answer to. However, corrupt, kleptocratic African dictators perhaps more so.

Johnny Cuyana
Reply to  vuurklip
July 27, 2017 6:23 am

vuurklip, you are correct EXACTLY!. As I wrote below, “Without a universal movement toward recognition and acceptance of the respect for the “inalienable rights” of EACH AND EVERY person, equally and fairly — read: getting rid of the centralized “command and control” dictators — ALL such material pro-humanity efforts, although providing some [necessary] shorter term relief, is largely pissing in the wind. [Insanity = repeating the same yet expecting a different result.]

Reply to  Johnny Cuyana
July 27, 2017 9:10 am

Utopia is a fantasy, do what you’re suggesting and you’re going to have to deal with a different set of problems that are worse or the worst.

Steven Lyazi
Reply to  Johnny Cuyana
July 31, 2017 7:32 am

Hi, Johnny Cuyana.
Please contact me on my email steven.lyazi@gmail.com.

Reply to  vuurklip
July 27, 2017 8:13 am

Ah yes, it has been quipped that the true “outcome” of climate change and the Paris accord is: “to take money from poor people in rich countries and give it to rich people is poor countries.”
I spent a month in Kenya and can attest to there not being 3 miles of continuous good road in the whole country, but except in a few instances no crew of workers was actually repairing anything, not even on dirt and gravel roads filling in pot holes with shovels. My observation was that everyone was sitting around waiting for the “government” to come and fix them. A quote from the article is rather telling, “Others have never learned how to take proper care of themselves or their children.” I suppose that’s the governments responsibility too.
There appears to be a deeper underlying problem beyond outside assistance.

July 27, 2017 5:59 am

Paul Miller: On one level I agree, but attacking Saint Rachel will not help get DDT reintroduced as a widespread treatment for mosquito borne disease. Best to keep the argument focused on the problem and leave the icons alone. The successful eradication of malaria, etc., using DDT will be the best and most appropriate eulogy for her.

July 27, 2017 6:02 am

I am puzzled by this article.
DDT has never, ever, been banned for use in combating Malaria and is still in use for that where deemed appropriate.
note there are other approaches to fighting the mosquitos.
and Kenya is right in the middle of a world bank funded project to bring electricity to all its citizens… using renewables extensively, especially where there is no grid.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 7:46 am

Griff, one if the easiest ways of getting something banned in a “primitive” country is to convince those who make decisions about such things that it has been banned elsewhere while quoting any documents, research papers, interviews, articles you can find that state or imply that something “used to be” the cause of x deaths.
A large number of people in the “civilised” world believe that it has been banned and usuall quote Carson and egg shells before adding “and quite right too!”
It isn’t just greenies that don’t do nuance very well!

Stephen Duval
Reply to  Newminster
July 30, 2017 8:47 am

The Big Green propaganda machine has swung into action defending Saint Rachel Carson from claims that she is a mass murderer. Carson did not kill anyone, just as Marx never killed anyone. It is her ideas that have led to genocide.
The Greens are claiming that they did not ban DDT. Anyone familiar with the lies spread by Global Warming alarmists will see the similarity to the lies spread by the anti pesticide gang.
“Government agencies – including the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry – will likewise continue pouring hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into anti-DDT research, in futile attempts to prove DDT causes some sort of meaningful harm. And the malaria death toll will continue to mount.
Worse, they have now been joined by the United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Facility and even World Health Organization Environmental Division – all of whom share the avowed goal of ending all DDT production by 2017, and banning all use of DDT in disease control by 2020.”
“the bogus GEF project appears to have been conducted using funds diverted from already insufficient malaria control budgets. The GEF, UNEP, Stockholm Convention Secretariat and radical environmental groups are using money intended for malaria control to launch anti-pesticide programs in countries plagued by malaria, and gain control over public health policies, insecticides and programs.
the GEF has spent over $800 million on efforts to eliminate DDT and other “persistent organic pollutants” (POPs). It budgeted nearly $150 million in 2007 alone on its campaign to ban DDT production and use – but spent a lousy $22 million researching alternatives to DDT for vector control.”
Also “The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History”
“Orchestrated, well-financed, earnest, but erroneous campaigns forced most countries to ban DDT without scientific justification. “

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:00 am

I am puzzled by this article.
no surprise.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:09 am

Fortunately the Lamu Coal Fired power station is being built and will be ready to turn on the juice this year or next. With coal power, Kenya is on the right track.
Coal will save the world.

old engineer
Reply to  Klem
July 27, 2017 12:21 pm

Apparently the Lamu Coal fired power plant is mired in legal battles, with Greenpeace beginning at the forefront of those contesting the plant. See:

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:11 am

DDT was banned outright for all uses by many countries. The ban includes the import, export, sale, use, and manufacture. One of the biggest instigators of that ban was the US. To enforce the ban the US threatened to withhold any and all foreign aid to any country which did not comply. Further, the US prevailed on other countries to join the ban or lose military aid. This brought in the NATO countries and most of the SEATO countries also cutting off foreign aid to non-compliant countries. The pressure to ban and comply was enormous.
I personally am old enough to remember the political movement to ban DDT. It was huge and widespread. The DDT panic resembled, in every way, the current panic over Global Warming.
The death toll from the DDT ban is estimated at from 40 million to 80 million dead, making the DDT banners the largest mass murders in history. In response to this stark fact, the radical left and the environmental movement have embarked on a campaign to claim the ban never happened. This is utterly execrable.
Indeed, one commenter here at WUWT claimed that there was no ban because the UN international DDT ban was not signed by 100% of the UN membership, therefor it never happened at all! Shameful
If DDT was never banned, why is it’s use such an issue??????

Reply to  TonyL
July 27, 2017 9:48 am

There is an outright ban on DDT in only about a couple dozen countries, most of which don’t have malaria problems. Most other countries only ban DDT for agricultural purposes and allow it for mosquito control.

Tom Halla
Reply to  TonyL
July 27, 2017 1:39 pm

Rachel Carson was a popularizer of the movement against organochlorine pesticides, not the originator. It was the researchers Carson was basing her work on were from the US National Cancer Institute, like Wilhelm Hueper and Umberto Saffiotti. This sort of model was also part of Nixon’s “War on Cancer” .

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:38 am

Griff, Steven wrote the article for the likes of you.
DDT is among severely restricted chemicals, subject to export notification procedure, listed in the annex III of the Rotterdam convention, as enacted in the applicable national rules of the countries concerned and as amended. For example, Regulation (EU) No 649/2012 as modified three times since the first publication.
Dizzying? Yes. A this is only one substance and only one initiative. There are many more and new are being born as we speak.
A countless number of hours on taxpayers’ dime and Earth’s lungs are being shamelessly destroyed in the bureaucracy involved. Only massive companies like Monsanto can hire the lawyers required to cope with the red tape involved. And then they’ll charge accordingly.
This is the gang green gift to our world.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 9:16 am

Grigg- your important quote- “For now, the weapons of choice remain what they have been for a while: diligently covering beds with nets infused with pyrethroids, synthetic versions of organic pesticides; judiciously coating the interiors of houses with DDT and other chemicals; and carefully mopping up pools of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. That last one requires arduous and often fruitless labor. But it is a challenge that ought to be familiar to the Trump administration. To borrow a phrase it has popularized, it means draining the swamp.”
Like most leftist propaganda, the nuances ” I don’t mean to ban all uses of chemical insecticides(Carson)” get lost in the noise. The fact that use of effective pesticides was not completely banned was lost in the political turmoil that followed.
As Steven Lyazi says above “To me, there is simply no substitute for DDT. It is the most affordable, longest lasting, most effective mosquito repellant in existence.”
The first EPA adinstrator, William Ruckelshaus, unilaterally banned DDT in the US-“That’s science, it can help, but this is a political decision”.
I’m sure his deep political acumen has been greatly appreciated by the millions of people who suffered the death of children, families, and friends whohave died due to his political opinions. It has been very unfortunate that the first, and probably most significant action of the EPA was driven by politics, not science. It is still primarily driven by politics, not science.

Reply to  philohippous
July 27, 2017 9:51 am

Mosquitoes develop resistance to DDT where it is used for about 7 years.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  philohippous
July 28, 2017 3:56 am

People don’t develop resistance to malaria if they are not infected. So using DDT is counter-productive? /s

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 9:23 am

Scientific American disagrees with you:
“The scientists from the United States and South Africa said the insecticide, banned decades ago in most of the world, should only be used as a last resort in combating malaria.” I suppose Africa could be an exception, but it’s not mentioned as such. There were huge increases in malaria worldwide when nations stopped using the chemical, banned or not.
DDT was reintroduced in the mid-2000’s for use in combating malaria. It is still used that way. There was no “official ban” but nations did not use DDT because of the US’s ban on it (politics as usual).
There are other ways of combating mosquitos, yes. Getting people to empty standing water, supposedly using mosquito netting helps (I remain skeptical), and so forth. However, just like much of the US, people just will not take action. In the US, mosquitos spread West Nile and Zika. Spraying for mosquitos was common when there were outbreaks of Zika virus. One supposes there are other sprays that work, but if they are “chemical”, the enviros will balk.
I assume you live 100% off grid, no powerline to your house and burn wood for heat (or whatever you can find to burn, as they do in Africa). Otherwise, you are pushing a lifestyle you have no familiarity with on people who you don’t know because you want them in the dark without any conveniences. That would be immoral, so I am assuming you are 100% off grid.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 1:21 pm

“and Kenya is right in the middle of a world bank funded…..”CLUNK
Griff derails again….crash imminent.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 3:04 pm

Griff says “DDT has never, ever, been banned for use in combating Malaria“.
BS. See below.
The campaign against DDT has been relentless and criminally destructive:
2001 bmj: Pressures on poor countries to ban the insecticide DDT because of fears that its use would harm the environment have led to a resurgence of malaria in the world, yet the environmental impact of its use are “negligible,” a study published this week has said.
The study shows that after malaria was eradicated in wealthy countries and DDT was banned in those places, poor countries were pressured by health and donor agencies and environmental groups to stop using DDT spraying programmes. The agencies feared that they would harm the environment and adversely affect human health.
But these fears were unsubstantiated, the study’s authors believe. “No scientific peer reviewed study has ever replicated any case of negative human …

DDT was undoubtedly very effective:
2004 NYT Magazine: KwaZulu-Natal [] sprayed with DDT until 1996, then stopped, in part under pressure from other nations, and switched to another insecticide. But mosquitoes proved to be resistant to the new insecticide, and malaria cases soared. Since DDT was brought back in 2000, malaria is once again under control. To South Africans, DDT is their best defense against a killer disease.
Griff and many others continue to deny that DDT was banned. But DDT was indeed banned:
Unknown date – POPs Toolkit:
The use of DDT has been banned in 34 countries and severely restricted in 34 other countries.
2002 American Council on Science and Health:
THE DDT BAN TURNS 30 — Millions Dead of Malaria Because of Ban, More Deaths

The contempt that this shows for disadvantaged nations is breathtaking:
2004 Executive Intelligence Review: Spurred by the dramatic and life-saving results in a few African nations that persisted in using DDT, a larger group of nations, now malaria-ravaged, want to use the banned pesticide.
As well as the bans, and in spite of its impressive life-saving benefits, the use of DDT has continued to be actively discouraged, by people who should have known better:
2009 Scientific American: A panel of scientists recommended today that the spraying of DDT in malaria-plagued Africa and Asia should be greatly reduced.
The scientists from the United States and South Africa said the insecticide, banned decades ago in most of the world, should only be used as a last resort in combating malaria.


Nick Stokes
Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 27, 2017 11:06 pm

“The scientists from the United States and South Africa said the insecticide…”
That link goes on to say:
“The stance of the panel, led by a University of California epidemiologist, is likely to be controversial with public health officials. Use of DDT to fight malaria has been increasing since it was endorsed in 2006 by the World Health Organization and the President’s Malaria Initiative, a U.S. aid program launched by former President Bush.
In many African countries, as well as India and North Korea, the pesticide is sprayed inside homes and buildings to kill mosquitoes that carry malaria.”

Sounds like it is used where it is needed, even if some express doubts.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 28, 2017 5:29 am

Nick. How on Earth can you refer to this – The use of DDT has been banned in 34 countries and severely restricted in 34 other countries.
– as just “express doubts”!!! [“Sounds like it is used where it is needed, even if some express doubts“.]
Your comments relate to a 2009 report, so how come there’s a 2016 report saying “The Zika ‘crisis’: Another result of DDT ban“.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 28, 2017 11:11 am

“so how come there’s a 2016 report saying “
It isn’t a report. It’s a crackpot opinion in WND. It’s actually just a throwaway line with no evidence.
But as to the 34 countries, there is no indication that those are countries with any malaria problem. In Australia, for example, DDT is not allowed. But we have no local malaria, and we have plenty of permitted insecticides. There is no mass spraying for mosquitoes, and wouldn’t be if DDT were permitted.

Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 8:24 am

At first, I could not place the ‘feel’ I had for you post Griff. It was an attitude that was familiar, but I just could not name it. Then it hit me: “Let them eat cake!”
This is the attitude of elitists who, once informed of the problems of the poor, give a response that shows a complete ignorance of the issue and a hefty dose of haughtiness.
The classic example is the princess, informed that the people have no bread to eat, replies “Let them eat cake.” Today, when the left is informed of millions dying of malaria in Africa says: “Let them have solar panels”.

July 27, 2017 6:07 am

If wealthy nations and NGOs really want to help developing nations, they should support fossil fuel power plants for reliable, affordable electricity. They should support DDT as an important part of the solution to eradicate this serial killer, so that Africans can work, spend less on malaria, have more money for other healthcare and family needs, and develop as much as rich nations have.

Thank you Steven Lyazi. Sounds good to me.
DDT is safer than caffeine (based on EPA reported acute toxicity and carcinogenicity studies in rodents and dogs). Malaria kills all vertebrates, including birds, more than DDT ever has. The difficulty with DDT is bioaccumulation, but it’s not eternal and doubtfully wasted in Africa.
DDT restrictions originate from the UN Environment Programme, Rotterdam Convention. UNEP is also the origin of the pointless ozone alarm, which makes refrigerators needlessly expensive. Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention to be more exact. In addition to the notoriously misanthropogenic CO2 alarm, these are the main barriers to African development in my opinion.
UNEP secretariat is in Nairobi, Kenya. African countries, incl. the African Union, should speak up over there. And your reasoning is an excellent start Steven.

Steven Lyazi
Reply to  jaakkokateenkorva
July 31, 2017 7:05 am

Hi, jaakkokateenkorva.
Thank you for your comment and thoughts. If it is possible. Let’s keep in touch as we may work out something better for our planets.

Tom Kennedy
July 27, 2017 6:12 am

Since wind turbines in the US are killing millions of bats and birds yearly, which are a safe, natural way to control mosquitoes, we may have to start using DDT and other chemicals broadly again.
The motto of some of these fool environmentalists should be:
“We have to kill the environment to save the environment.”

Reply to  Tom Kennedy
July 27, 2017 7:52 am

In short: they aren’t.
The figures are misrepresented

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 9:08 am

In short: They are.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 10:16 am

Sheri if you add up the figures from the likes of Save the Eagles and compare them to population surveys, then all the eagles are already extinct.

Tom Kennedy
Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 11:32 am

Twice as many bats are killed than birds because they die if they come close to blades due to pressure changes called Barotrauma. Scientific American has several articles explaining this. Hambler (Biologist from Oxford) estimates 70 bats killed for each megawatt installed. That would be 5- 6 million in 2015. SEO/Birdlife estimates in Spain are higher – they estimate 200-670 bats per year per turbine. A study by the Leibniz institute for zoo and wildlife show bats killed by German Turbines are killing 200,000 bats per year.
The eagle slaughter is at Altamonte pass in California is well documented.
Bat Conservation International reports unaccounted kills because of scavenger removal can be very high. This is so serious a problem, that even the best searches at dawn are too late to prevent unaccounted for removal of dead bats.
“As turbine height increases, bat deaths increase exponentially,” says ecologist Erin Baerwald of the University of Calgary in Alberta, who led research into the deaths as part of her master’s project. “What we found is a lot of internal hemorrhaging.”
Offshore wind farms are just as bad posing a growing threat to seabirds and migratory birds.
In short if anything the estimates of kills are low .

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 1:05 pm

Griff, yes they are.
I suggest you look up regulations for possessing eagle products or harming eagles. You cannot even own the feathers, yet you support their wholesale slaughter by impractical wind farms that would not exist without subsidies. If the same regulations were applied to wind and solar as are applied to other industries about killing or harming eagles they would out of business immediately.

Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 9:27 am

Griff: Not seeing that the numbers on Save the Eagles add up to extinction. Anyway, I don’t use figures from activist groups on either side.

Reply to  Griff
July 31, 2017 3:18 pm

“The figures are misrepresented”

Johnny Cuyana
July 27, 2017 6:12 am

My family and I will continue to give, as we are able, to various charities; however, in the longer term it will not matter a wit, regardless of the tons of money [and whatever] which are contributed toward humanitarian purposes, if these countries [societies] — in Africa, or wherever they may be — do not rid themselves of these oppressive “command and control” centralized [dictatorial] governments. Without the initiation of a universal recognition and acceptance of the respect for the “inalienable rights” of EACH AND EVERY person, equally and fairly, ALL such material pro-humanity efforts, although providing some [necessary] shorter term relief, is just pissing in the wind. [Insanity = repeating the same yet expecting a different result.]

Gerald Cooper
Reply to  Johnny Cuyana
July 27, 2017 8:55 am

People like Mugabe in Zimbabwe will take your charity donation – thank you very much.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Gerald Cooper
July 27, 2017 8:29 pm

Name any country in Africa that receives donations from charities and you will find a “Mugabe” with his hand held out. That’s why I do not donate to charities who send that money to Africa…’coz I know 99.9% of that money goes to corrupt officials.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 28, 2017 5:31 am

That’s why I donate only to organizations that make sure the money or the goods it buys reaches the people directly. Examples include World Vision and Samariran’s Purse. Do your homework and you will find others. I do not donate to UN agencies or Red Cross/ Crescent because donations often end up in government warehouses or pockets of officials.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Gerald Cooper
July 28, 2017 5:53 am

“kaykiser July 28, 2017 at 5:31 am”
It never does.

July 27, 2017 6:21 am

Environmentalists don’t care about the environment, population control is their game, the intend to “manage” the global population to “sustainable levels”. Unfortunately for Steven, the environmental groups are destined to be the ” managers” and the poor of Africa are destined to be “managed”, perhaps out of existence. The best way to eliminate poverty is to eliminate the impoverished.

Johnny Cuyana
Reply to  CraigAustin
July 27, 2017 6:44 am

CraigA., you are correct about this demented and misguided attitude of enviro-whackos and their desire for mandated population control; in fact, they do not even recognize the proper paradigm. They crave a centralized “command and control” government authority … in order to address the environmental problems as they see them. What these whackos fail to understand and appreciate is that such “command and control” governments do not come without additional baggage. To wit: throughout human history — even going back to Paleolithic times — centralized “command and control” government authorities have been the source, by far, of the WORST environmental transgressions. In recent times, just read a bit about the communists of Russia and all Eastern Europe, China, ME [particularly Egypt and Yemen], South America [rape of the rain forest], and, of course, just about all of Africa.
Without a movement toward a global transition to government systems which embrace the recognition and acceptance of the “inalienable rights”, equally and fairly FOR ALL, we, as a planet, are doomed to never being able to address properly and comprehensively our environmental issues — and any other local and global issues — whatever and wherever they may be.

July 27, 2017 6:22 am


Reply to  krishnakumarsinghblog
July 27, 2017 12:53 pm

Very good!

I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 6:29 am

Other times, they take drugs until they feel better, and then sell the rest of the prescription. Then a more deadly, resistant malaria comes back and makes them even worse.

Now there’s a study saying that taking all of a drug prescription until it is gone is actually what causes drug resistence.
See.. the science is never settled.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 9:49 am

A very interesting study. It reminds me of when people were required to take antibiotics before dental work due to a heart murmur. The requirement was based on a conclusion apparently arrived at by reasoning that viruses and bacteria that entered the bloodstream via the dental work could lodge in the heart valve and cause a serious infection. However, when the overuse of antibiotics started to become clear, the recommendation was removed, based on the idea that overuse of antibiotics is bad. Now, there’s no routine use of antibiotics before dental work, only highly specific cases where other factors exist. The science is really never settled.

July 27, 2017 6:33 am

Bravo, sir. I agree.

Gary Pearse
July 27, 2017 6:34 am

How do we get this very articulate fellow on a speaking tour. I have thought for years that some form of newspaper should be published and widely distributed in Africa to inform of the harm done by Ngos on such things, anti-mining, anti-development and the vicious neocolonialism of these agents of doom. Maybe the Heartland I. may be interested. Lyazi seems to look at the spectrum of societal problems arising out of restrictive NGO policies. Political correctness doctrine might be made positive use of – there would be no protests against a tour.
I’d be happy to donate play dough for the safe places along the route if necessary. sarc.

Barry Sheridan
July 27, 2017 6:36 am

I regret to say it but western activists care not for the suffering of Africans unless it can be used to demonstrate their credentials as saviours of planet earth. Providing a better life isn’t on the agenda either, that might risk some imagined catastrophe like climate change because improving standards means having access to electricity all the time. The truth is that most opinion formers in the west as wedded to the idea of a substantial reduction in the worlds population, malaria helps in that cause.

July 27, 2017 6:37 am

Look, I think the case can be made that DDT disrupts biochemical pathways common to both mosquitoes and amphibians/birds/mammals. So Carson is maybe not such an evil person after all, but our reaction to her might have been overdone.
I think it’s a little nuts to constantly beat up environmentalists for wanting clean air, water and food since what environmentalists are doing is largely a reaction to irresponsible corporate dumping (by some bad actors) of whatever it can whenever it can, no matter how toxic. So let’s be reasonable about this. For example, there’s a history of poisonings of fruits during the early 1900s from pesticides that were overused, and the government agreed to keep this quiet provided that the processors kept residues below a certain level. It’s not a fiction that some pesticides in very small amounts can be harmful to humans, and that some people are likely more susceptible to harms from pesticides than others.
That said, do the benefits of DDT used responsibly outweigh the potential harms? Probably, yes. But probably not used as we in the US did, when we literally sprayed it in the streets with children present. It was also used in kitchen cabinets and even in lunch boxes. We went from one extreme to the other.

Reply to  Don132
July 27, 2017 8:55 am

Excellent post Don. I believe Carson herself stated the reaction to her work was overblown. DDT can be nasty stuff, there is no denying it.
The analog I like to make with DDT is leaded gas. If you start asking the question “what is the acceptable amount of lead we can be exposed to” you are asking the wrong question. The question is “what is the benefit to leaded gas and does it justify the exposure”. That’s an easy one, and we eventually answered that question properly.
But we treated DDT like leaded gas, and it didn’t deserve it.

Reply to  ckb
July 27, 2017 10:31 am

Here’s the catch: the dose makes the poison, the basic tenet of toxicology.
Both ckb and Don132 touched on the problems with DDT – it was largely a usage pattern that created the issues. It was sprayed indiscriminately in the environment in many situations. Couple that with the bioaccumulation properties inherent in the chemical class it is in, the organochlorines, and problems were bound to crop up. Had we used it more moderately and hadn’t been using multiple other ogranochlorine insecticides at the same time, then it’s unlikely we would have seen the rapid onset of bioaccumulation problems.
Where I take issue with Don’s statement is when he states “pesticides in very small amounts can be harmful to humans and that some people are more likely susceptible than others”. While on it’s face that is true the devil is in the details. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 added an additional safety factor to the maximum residue limit, another 10X. What was already in place was a dual safety factor on the No Observed Adverse Effect Level – the NOAEL is the point at which laboratory animals do not show any effects from laboratory test dosing. Prior to 1996 there was a 100X safety factor already in place. 10X for susceptible individuals and 10X again as a margin of safety. The FQPA added another 10X bringing us to 1000X the NOAEL which is an incredibly small value to begin with. You are not exposed to even the NOAEL when food is in violation of maximum residue limits, you are somewhere between the old 100X and the new 1000X safety factors.
Can pesticides be harmful to people? Yes, absolutely they can. Acute poisonings are almost always lethal. Chronic poisonings are far, far more rare but do occur. There is research to show that pesticide factory workers and even farmers can have issues. What that research also shows is that the individuals invariably ignored safety precautions (respirators, gloves, other proper equipment) leading to repeated exposure that caused the subsequent problems. These issues could have been largely mitigated by following safety protocols as listed on the label. I’d contend the consuming public is far more likely to be exposed to food borne illness from mishandling of food (hello Chipotle, I’m looking at you and your penchant for “natural”).
DDT only has moderate toxicity to humans (LD50 between 50-500). The dose, as mentioned at the outset makes the poison. The single most reviled pesticide currently being used in the world is glyphosate or RoundUp, made by the hated Monstanto. It has an LD50 of 5000. It’s less toxic than table salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. But it’s evil because people really don’t get toxicity. There is research to show that it is relatively inert in the human body and might make an excellent carrier molecule for delivering cellularly targeted applications of medication (think cancer specific delivery) but it’s doubtful it will come to the market because the anti-pesticide, anti-Monsanto folks wouldn’t allow it. Pity.
The article above is an excellent perspective on the realities of DDT use in the third world. DDT resistance by mosquitoes is inevitable, as is the case of all things we treat with pesticides (or antibiotics for that matter). It’s not a matter of if rather a matter of when. But the problem with a fatalistic point of view is that you condemn literally millions of people to die in the interim while the product is working. Given the relative length of time that DDT has been in use as a space spray and the lack of current resistance to that (50+ year) I’d suggest we’re talking about killing billions of people because of an environmental mindset, something that should be morally reprehensible to all regardless of their feelings on pesticides. Bed nets address the time when people are sleeping which isn’t the only time people are exposed to mosquito bites. Surface sprays of DDT have the effects the article author mentioned, the most important being a repellent effect.
I’ve also noted several comments blaming the U.S. however Europe needs to shoulder a significant portion of the blame as well. The reason for this is that the EU restricts the use of DDT in African countries out of “fear” that it will be used on crops instead of just as a space spray for malaria protection. So any country that has agricultural production AND a malaria problem is stricken from the import list of the EU. It’s a non-tariff trade barrier that literally kills people. The use of malaria isn’t restricted in the country but the larger scale (i.e. non-subsistence) farmers and the politicians of the country disallow importation of DDT into the country because it would harm the export market. Isn’t that nice?
And early 1900s pesticide poisonings? I’m assuming we’re talking sulphur, copper and arsenic as the sources? Most modern pesticides came along far later than that. Ware’s “The Pesticide Book” is an excellent resource that gives a timeline for modern pesticides and when they came to market, largely post-WWII.

Brett Keane
Reply to  Don132
July 27, 2017 3:33 pm

@ July 27, 2017 at 6:37 am; And yet Don, I can say as a plant pathologist, that your reaction is still excessive as regards harm. Household misuse, inside, was just about the only problem. Soon that was fixed by education and newer chemicals. What DDT did was miraculous. It is still potent, and we know more about its safe use than any greeny. Same for Neonics.

Bill Illis
July 27, 2017 6:42 am

Nice article and very well written. There are other insecticides that work on mosquitoes, its just that they are expensive and/or harmful to people when used in the concentrations needed.

Bob Greene
July 27, 2017 6:45 am

Excellent post.
In the 1950’s my home town had regular DDT fogging. The only result I can see is we are now looking at ailments that come from being in our 70’s.

July 27, 2017 6:48 am

“Malaria is no longer a killer in western countries – because they used DDT to help eradicate the disease decades ago. ”
Wrong. Malaria was gone from most western countries long before DDT was invented. The main reason seems to have been better quality housing, that decreased the number of mosquitos in indoor environments (malaria is mostly transmitted indoors, even in the tropics).

Angry of East a
Reply to  tty
July 27, 2017 7:31 am

This is exactly wrong – DDT was a vital component in finishing off Malarial outbreaks often of some severity in various places in the rich west and was also vital in controlling several other insect bite transmitted diseases.
But the worst crime was banning its use by poor countries and Steven’s eloquent piece shames the entire environmental movement which has achieved its moral virtue over the dead bodies of millions of its third world victims. It is inexcusable and hand wringing apologetics about whether it had a role to play in the rich west does not absolve the green advocates for their murderous ban and indifference to the world’s poor. I suggest you read Steven’ s piece again carefully.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Angry of East a
July 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Yes DDT and draining swamps and marshes eliminated the malaria problem in America.

Reply to  tty
July 27, 2017 8:07 am

long before DDT was invented.
Nope. DDT eradicated malaria in the USA
“The National Malaria Eradication Program was 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. The program commenced operations on July 1, 1947. It 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. By the end of 1949, more than 4,650,000 house spray applications had been made. It also included drainage, removal of mosquito breeding sites, and spraying (occasionally from aircrafts) of insecticides. Total elimination of transmission was slowly achieved. In 1949, the country was declared free of malaria as a significant public health problem. By 1951, CDC gradually withdrew from active participation in the operational phases of the program and shifted its interest to surveillance, and in 1952, CDC participation in operations ceased altogether.”

Brett Keane
Reply to  ferdberple
July 27, 2017 3:43 pm

Thankyou Ferd. It seems only the renewal of famine and pestilence in the West will educate greenies. Maybe, but probably they will be killed by such, first. Ahh, human nature…….

July 27, 2017 6:55 am

You miss the point. Environmentalism isn’t about making lives better and easier, it is about having fewer people on earth. They would prefer about 6/7 of us would die off and leave the righteous 1 billion behind.

I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 6:56 am

…promoting renewable energy and trying to sell us little solar ovens…

Nothing wrong with solar stoves, though they’re not always practical. Rocket stoves, on the other hand, would be fantastic additions to anyone’s home that utilizes open fire indoor cooking, and would go a long way towards improving their health. Properly constructed, they are highly efficient and produce virtually no particulates. They can be built with just about anything non-combustible (eg, mud, rocks, tin cans). All they need is the knowledge.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 9:58 am

The important question here: Do you personally cook on a rocket stove? If not, why not? Are you giving them second best and you’re keeping the best for yourself?
(It’s okay to use the rocket stove as a middle step to a “real stove” but unless one can say “Yes, I use that”, it’s really not a permanent solution.)

Reply to  Sheri
July 27, 2017 10:15 am

The point is without a solar LED light, or a solar panel, or a fuel efficient stove nobody is giving them anything.
In the last 50 years what effort has gone in to providing fossil fuel power and a grid even in African cities?
Nearly none.
How long must they wait? when they can get a step up right now?

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Sheri
July 27, 2017 10:51 am

I don’t see how that’s relevant. My comment concerned those who live in huts or what have you, and cook over open fires. A rocket stove would immediately reduce that health risk at little cost. All they need is to know how to build one, and that would probably be better than someone just giving them one.
As far as me cooking on a rocket stove, if that’s all I had, that’s what I’d do. Some people in modern countries actually do cook on wood stoves when the power’s out.

Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 9:34 am

The point is there is NO plan to ever raise their standard of living because to do so involves fossil fuels. They are condemned to slightly more than their original poverty state. You advocates do not live at that lever. Why not? If it’s so great?
I used to agree that giving them “something” to improve their lot was good, but now I realize all that is is a way to deny them modern power systems. With all the money WASTED on global warming scams, real power and sewers could have been installed. Their standard of living would go way up. That does NOT happen—it’s not an attempt to help, it’s an attempt to placate.
I have a saying on one of my anti-wind posters: “Any” solution is not the solution if it’s the wrong solution.

Stephen Duval
Reply to  Sheri
July 30, 2017 9:11 am

It is the Greens who are preventing the financing of African coal fired electricity plants. Electricity is the magic that saves lives, clean water, sewage system, refrigeration for food, etc.
Green dreams kill.

I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 7:08 am

Malaria … existed for centuries in northern Europe and even in Siberia. The same mosquito species still live there. They just don’t carry malaria anymore, and so cannot transmit it to people.

Doesn’t make sense… If DDT is the answer, how did malaria disappear from Siberia if DDT wasn’t involved? Seems to be more to the issue here than just killing mosquitoes

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 7:30 am

Better housing was the key, it broke the transmission chain. Which is expensive, and may be difficult to apply in the tropics (mosquito-proof housing without A/C may be unlivable there).

Reply to  tty
July 27, 2017 8:24 am

Better housing was the key
agreed. the “better housing” had DDT sprayed on the walls.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  tty
July 27, 2017 9:41 am

In Siberia?

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 8:22 am

more to the issue here than just killing mosquitoes
“The eradication of malaria in Europe after WWII through the use of DDT resulted from an altogether different line of research in chemistry8, which was merged after 1943 with earlier strategies to fight mosquitoes and insects in general.”

Reply to  ferdberple
July 27, 2017 10:37 am

An excellent article on the elimination of malaria from Europe and the U.S. Interestingly the author, Paul Rieter, is persona non grata with the global warming/climate change crowd largely because of that article.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 28, 2017 5:47 am

“How did malaria disappear from Siberia?”. It looks like they used DDT to eliminate it:
in the 1920s, in the wake of massive social and economic disruption, a [malaria] pandemic swept through the entire Soviet Union. [] The advent of DDT revolutionized malaria control..”.
Once malaria has been eliminated, the mosquitoes can come back, because there then isn’t any malaria to spread.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 28, 2017 10:09 am

Mosquitoes don’t naturally carry the malaria parasite. They pick up the parasite from infected humans. The parasite can incubate inside the mosquito and then be passed to another human if the mosquito goes for another blood meal. People sleeping in close proximity to each other provide the perfect environment for spreading the malaria parasite. Small children clinging to their mothers at night is perhaps the optimum scenario, and may explain the prevalence of the problem among those groups. DDT on the inside walls repels the mosquitoes from this environment, and greatly reduces the spread of the problem.
You don’t have to kill all the mosquitoes to fix the problem. You just have to keep them away from human buffets. Once the parasite is eradicated from the human population, it is difficult for it to start spreading again, especially if the population lives in sealed homes and often in separate bedrooms, like in the west.

Reply to  jclarke341
July 28, 2017 11:49 am

jclarke341 is exactly right. The anopheles mosquito prefers human environments. The key to getting rid of malaria is screened windows and doors. This is how it was eradicated in Siberia where it was endemic until the 1950s (or so, can’t remember exactly). Once you break the chain of transmission, mainly during sleeping, malaria dies out.

July 27, 2017 7:13 am

This essay sums up the imperialistic nature of the so-called climate consensus rather well.
Do we pick the human reality or the climate model?

I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 7:14 am

I don’t understand what the point of this article is. DDT is still used in the world for malaria control.

Although the pesticide was banned in many countries, some countries in Africa, Asia, and South America needed the pesticide for mosquito control in order to reduce the risk of malaria. In 2006, WHO supported the indoor use of DDT in African countries where malaria remained a major challenge. The organization stated that the benefits of the pesticides to African countries outweighed the adverse effects it had on the environment. India and North Korea have continued the use of the pesticides for agricultural use despite the ban. Approximately 4,000 tons of DDT are produced annually for the vector control program. It is legal to manufacture DDT in the US, though it can only be exported for use in foreign nations. DDT can only be used in the US for public health emergencies, such as controlling vector disease. Today, DDT is manufactured in North Korea, India, and China. India remains the largest consumer of the product for vector control and agricultural use. China produces 4,500 metric tons of the product of which 80–90% is used to produce Dicofol, an acaricide. African countries do not use the product for agricultural purposes but countries such as Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, and Swaziland use it to control malaria.


Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 8:29 am

DDT is still used in the world for malaria control.
funding is the key. many organizations cut off funding if you use DDT, even though it is legal to use. As a result there is significant pressure to not use DDT, because those in the position to make decisions often prefer money to no money.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 27, 2017 9:15 am

“funding is the key. many organizations cut off funding if you use DDT, even though it is legal to use.”
It is legal, and it is encouraged.
This paper describes recent implementations of IRS (indoor residual spraying) using DDT in Uganda. It is widespread, andapparently successful. From the paper
“In 2006, IRS supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was added to the intervention strategies for malaria control initially focusing in malaria prone areas in the southwest and later concentrating on the highly endemic areas in northern Uganda.”

July 27, 2017 7:23 am

Much of the “corruption” in Africa, Middle East, India, Far East, lingering in China is not viewed as such, rather, the Chief sprinkles the money to family members first, and then on down the line of tribal members. This is the tribal way which has lasted for 10’s of Thousands of years. Coexistence, at least in the long term is just not in most tribal societies vocabulary or thought process. In addition, doing harmful or illegal things inflicted upon other tribes or tribal members is not viewed as “bad”. How many times have we heard “Family First” and its iterations after some atrocity committed against a non-tribal neighbor. The Biafra tragedy is simmering in Nigeria now again along tribal lines. Saudia Arabia gave a load of dates for breaking the fast of Ramadan to the victims of Boka Haram in Northern Nigeria, and, the shipment was dispersed to venders on the streets of Lagos thousands of miles away from their intended location. On and on.
Just as rape and indiscriminate killing of women and children is a method of terrorizing and controlling whole populations, we hear of the brutality of tribal wars now, instead of spears, with Kalashnikovs.
Against this backdrop, comes outside money and ideas. The money is taken, thank you, but you can leave your ideas back home. Steven Lyazi may be able to see that life can be different, and wants those life improvements for himself, his family, and maybe his unrelated neighbors and countrymen. And yet, when projects, large hydro-electric projects along the Congo River near Kinshasa, are planned and begun to be built in stages, the construction is impeded by money siphoned off by tribal leaders, construction is at times poor quality, money being made from selling electricity to Kinshasa is also siphoned off leaving no money for maintenance, turbines, the power grid all grind to a halt. Of course, it is someone else fault. The Congo River has the potential to electrify major portions of Africa. Tribal leaders, traditional healers, other keepers of the culture do not want to have their corner of power and influence to be touched, particularly by outsiders.
To my mind, there are no simple solutions to the current tribalism which is governing most of the impoverished people of the world. Working one-on-one, a little bit at a time seems to be the only effective way to alter some people’s lives, that is of course, until one bumps up against tribal taboos.

Reply to  RiHo08
July 27, 2017 8:38 am

doing harmful or illegal things inflicted upon other tribes or tribal members is not viewed as “bad”.
more than that, it is often encouraged. stealing from another tribe, rather than your own, makes sense. be it food or mates. It could well be programmed into our DNA at a low level.
“A study has proved for the first time that groups of aggressive chimpanzees invade the territory of their neighbours in order to acquire more resources or mates”

Killer Marmot
July 27, 2017 7:33 am

Environmentalists’ opposition to GMO is another case in point. I don’t know if Golden Rice would have worked as well as some hoped, but it was well worth trying.

Ed I
July 27, 2017 7:36 am

The last epidemic of malaria in the USA was in Perry, Florida in 1949. Even though DDT was available, they stopped the epidemic by putting window and door screens as well as isolating individuals with the disease. If you listen to the environmentalists malaria and other arthrovectored diseases are expanding today because of AGW. When Zika showed up in the USA the first screaming was that it was an example of AGW impacts. Even CDC’s first warnings on Zika basically said such things are to be expected due to AGW. Aedes aegypti is the vector. Problem was that Philadelphia and Boston both had yellow fever (also vectored by aegypti) epidemics during the Little Ice Age. CDC and others quickly “cleaned” their sites when reminded of that little fact. If you have paid attention recently some on the AGW crowd have claimed that having fewer babies will mean less carbon dioxide emissions and the sooner the baby boomers pass on the better for the planet. Somebody even claimed that baby boomers were destroying the earth for the poor millennials. I dealt with the environmental community a long time in my career. Many, though not all, see humans as a disease of the planet earth. Somehow they don’t include themselves just anyone that does buy into to their latest sky is falling announcement. While they claim to be inclusive they see those in Africa as ignorant and even stupid. If those in Africa would just listen to them the world would be a better place. Finally, as a conference some years ago I sat at the same table of several people who had worked at high levels in the companies making DDT at the time the Nixon administration banned it. They said agreeing to the ban was the worst mistake their companies ever made. The reason they agreed was that due to overuse and misuse most pest insect were resistant. Florida was the first state to document resistant to DDT. It was in salt marsh mosquitoes. DDT was used at ever stage of the mosquitoes life; the single biggest mistake. Why did Florida mosquito control use so much, it was basically free, barrels of it, left over after WWII when the military left.

James Bull
July 27, 2017 8:02 am

For several years now my wife and I have supported a charity which encourages trade not aid working with people to help themselves out of difficulties by training them in animal and crop husbandry.
The aid part is the supply of the training and start up supplies but comes with the requirement to pass it on to others.
James Bull

Reply to  James Bull
July 27, 2017 8:11 am

Great idea…
I wonder if you have seen this?
you pick a person to give a small loan to.. they repay… you can make another loan
you can see who and what you are lending on.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:47 am

That fits under microfinance or microcredit. Hernando de Soto has been pushing this for decades as a way to get Latin America on the move.

July 27, 2017 8:09 am

Then there is this – showing Kenya is providing its citizens with electricity, rapidly and using renewables too:
“Kenya’s national electrification campaign is taking less than half the time it took America”
“Kenya’s electrification campaign is notable in other ways. Much of Kenya’s energy comes from non-fossil fuel sources—more than 60% of installed capacity comes from hydro and geothermal power. Kenya opened the world’s largest geothermal plant last year at the Olkaria Geothermal field in southwestern Kenya where another plant is being built and expected to come online in two years. Kenya is also building Africa’s biggest wind energy farm to generate a fifth of its power.”

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:46 am

That title is hilarious. Kenya has 6% of the area the US has with well established and proven technology to work with. Not to mention all of the foreign aid it receives.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 8:46 am

It would be more humane to allow these countries choose themselves what’s the best for them. If you listen carefully, that’s what Steven is asking.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 9:24 am

That is great that Kenya has access to all that geothermal power. It is a shame it has taken them this long to utilize it.
Geothermal and hydro-electric are some of the lowest cost power sources available, so this is really good for a poor country.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 10:08 am

So sad. Enviros are so into “we’ll give you second best” while we keep all the good stuff. Selfish, so very, very selfish.

Reply to  Sheri
July 27, 2017 10:13 am

How is it second best?
It is there, it works, they are getting electricity to their citizens.

Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 9:28 am

So does an outhouse. Do you use an outhouse as your first choice?

July 27, 2017 8:13 am

It isn’t politically correct to say so but if British interests in Africa had continued to this day the state of that Continent would be very different.
Electricity, natural gas, clean water, decent modern homes, clinics and hospitals were the sort of priorities that the British Administration excelled in providing as witness the city then known as Salisbury (now Harare) in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) which was once the most prosperous and advanced city in the whole of Africa but which is now a sad wreck.
Surely some better compromise could have been reached between the Colonial Administrations and the indigenous populations had the politically motivated and power hungry (leftist) agitators not had their way.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
July 27, 2017 11:53 am

Stephen Wilde
Nothing un PC about that comment whatsoever.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
July 27, 2017 1:39 pm

You are right about more development with colonial involvement. Although I do not exonerate the colonial powers because they were not adequately preparing the people for self government, the communists, mostly Soviets, had as one of their goals to force or urge independence before the people were ready for self rule. This naturally resulted in communist sponsored dictators, corruption and violence.

July 27, 2017 8:40 am

Stopping malaria and other diseases in Africa really isn’t an environmental issue, it is an economic one. If people of Africa aren’t killed by malaria they will die from cholera, starvation, or a menagerie of other plagues that come about as a result of poverty. The only way to stop suffering in Africa is to bring about economic change and the only force shown to lift people out of poverty and increase the standard of living is free market enterprise. However, environmentalist hate capitalism more than pollution and nations within Africa have to stop killing its own people because they don’t pray toward a box of trinkets in Mecca, or have noses slightly wider than others, or one tribe stole another tribe’s cow a thousand years ago.

July 27, 2017 8:46 am

“enemies of humanity” = Friends of the Earth (and Greenpeace, WWF etc)

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
July 27, 2017 8:56 am

A.k.a. the sweet granddaughter of the Mother Earth (Gaia) and master of the damned (Tartarus)comment image

Angry of East Abgkia
July 27, 2017 9:56 am

On an individual basis I don’t doubt the sincerity of anyone who has expressed a view here in wanting to see the end of Malaria and the improvement of third world lives by the eradication of insect vector diseases. The difficulty is exactly that as a collective group the green movement has been responsible for the removal of the cheapest and probably the world’s single most effective Insecticide ever invented from the armoury of disease fighting controls available to poor countries. The results have been catastrophic in terms of lives unnecessarily lost.
Nor is it just Malaria. Another case in point is Kala Azar, a fly spread parasite that disappeared after DDT was used to control the fly by spraying homes. The disease particularly killed children, though it was easily treated by medicines that the poor couldn’t afford. With the removal of DDT the disease reappeared after a decades long absence, though at first doctors didn’t always recognise what it was since it had been all but forgotten. Now places like Bihar province in India are back to fighting this vile disease and once more expensive drugs are required after infection has already wreaked harm instead of using the preventative properties of DDT. Green peace is still trying to stop the reintroduction of DDT to combat disease in India last time I looked.
No one advocates spraying DDT on food crops but the blocking of its use to fight insect borne disease is a disgrace which no civilised government or NGO should support.

Reply to  Angry of East Abgkia
July 27, 2017 10:10 am

But, let me tell you again: DDT is still used to fight malaria by spraying houses.
Greenpeace is fighting use of DDT on tea plantations, not in disease control.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 11:00 am

Indeed you risk sounding like a broken record: UN and national authorities have a myriad of recommendations and rules preventing pesticide manufacturing, dispatch, handling, transport, import and export, particularly DDT, but not only.

Reply to  Griff
July 27, 2017 1:17 pm

if that’s the case, why did the author of this article bother to write it?
Not that I think he’s targeting DDT specifically, he mentions electricity and fossil fuel derived energy. I think DDT is merely a very obvious example of the neglect the west exhibits towards developing nations.
Much of that neglect is perpetrated by external governments imposing sanctions in the event these nations don’t dance to their tune. They often can’t use DDT because they simply can’t afford the labour involved in using it, or the technology to can it, and distribute it to home-owners, free.
And whilst I apportion blame to the green movement for much of this, I can’t hand on heart, absolve any other foreign agency from equal blame.
My late father in law walked into Maiduguri (the town Boko Haram razed a few years ago) as a UN member when it had two tin huts. He and an Irish doctor turned one of the huts into a clinic and they built the foundation on which a University town was built. And in case you imagine there was an army of UN officials rolling into the town in white land rovers, he rode in on horseback, and there was him and the doctor, that was it for several years.
His contempt for interfering external agencies was profound. He hated the greens with a passion because of their amateurish interference and rabble rousing. He later condemned Geldof’s Band Aid as hopeless, as unless the funds raised were channelled through the UN, 99% would be stolen and end up on the black market. As it was, he knew that probably 50% of UN aid went the same way.
And the comment in the piece about solar ovens is telling. These people don’t want solar ovens. They want what the west have, gas and electric ovens. Even now, cities in Africa are reliant on timber for fuel, bought from ‘illegal’ loggers they can’t survive without. The term ‘illegal’ in this case is a western imposed term to describe old fashioned wood cutters, but we won’t let them burn fossil fuels to prosper, indeed, we won’t let them burn fossil fuels to live. Then we blame them for deforestation.
Laughably, the Chinese are doing the job we’re being stopped from doing by the green blob. If we continue to be scared of minority groups, China will become the worlds dominant nation because they will have exploited and liberated Africa, amongst others, whilst we stand off and wring our hands lest we offend yet another privileged, western minority group.
And irrespective of your views, as an august member of WUWT, you must surely recognise the detrimental effect minority groups are having on British society, and the western world in general. Our governments are petrified of offending one group or another. The Tottenham riots being a case in point, an individual killed by a policeman, known to the police for good reason, and a riot was perpetrated on his behalf. That’s minority group, mob rule in action, and it turned into a looting rampage.
Green groups are no different, they present a physical, intellectual and political threat out of all proportion to their cause on the basis that if they start negotiating from a high point, they can afford to lose some ground and still win the fight. So they prey on fear for support and leave a lasting impression out of all proportion to the event.
The problem with that is, if green negotiations begin at demanding 100%, expecting 25%, and 50% is achieved, the 25% gain is corrupt and wasteful.

Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 12:29 am

Yes Hot – why?

July 27, 2017 12:21 pm

CraigA: “Environmentalists don’t care about the environment, population control is their game, the intend to “manage” the global population to “sustainable levels”. Unfortunately for Steven, the environmental groups are destined to be the ” managers” and the poor of Africa are destined to be “managed”, perhaps out of existence. The best way to eliminate poverty is to eliminate the impoverished.
You are right in your assessment. Population control is the real goal in a world where the birth rate of many countries is below replacement levels. See quotes below.
“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.” (emphasis added)
— The Club of Rome
“My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.”
—Alexander King, cofounder of the Club of Rome, 1990

Reply to  kaykiser
July 27, 2017 1:25 pm

That’s terrifying.

Tom Halla
July 27, 2017 1:52 pm

Good discussion. Economic development is most of the solution to disease problems, and the green blob has a prejudice against it. There is a theme that in much of the Third World that if the cure for a dread disease was a clean glass of water, it would be just as unavailable as whatever high-tech treatment one could think of.

Kelvin Duncan
July 27, 2017 4:57 pm

I have not found any evidence of ill effects from the use of DDT. There was one Canadian study on rodents but it was latter shown that it was due to rotten feed, not DDT.
DDT can be easily removed from soils where it is persistent by using methods that do not cost much and do not interfere with farming activities. However, in soils that experience reliable rainfall throughout the year DDT does not persist. This is because a healthy soil biota rapidly eats it! If soils do experience seasonal drought then DDT can be easily removed over about 3 years using my methods.
DDT is by far the cheapest and most effective means of combating malaria and it is to our eternal shame that we have murdered so many people who could have been saved. But it is not only death that matters as the article points out. The weakening of workers devastates the economy.
There have been periodic calls by scientists to lift the ban. It’s about time to ignore Carson’s nonsense and reinstate DDT as a mosquito deterrent and very effective, cheap and safe insecticide.

Reply to  Kelvin Duncan
July 28, 2017 12:28 am

There were many studies in the UK showing that DDT decreased eggshell thickness in birds of prey, causing failure of breeding.
Look it up…

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 4:43 am

I did. What I found was

The USFWS examined every bald eagle found dead in the U.S. between 1961-1977 (266 birds) and reported no adverse effects caused by DDT or its residues.
One of the most notorious DDT “factoids” is that it thinned bird egg shells. But a 1970 study published in Pesticides Monitoring Journal reported that DDT residues in bird egg shells were not correlated with thinning. Numerous other feeding studies on caged birds indicate that DDT isn’t associated with egg shell thinning.
In the few studies claiming to implicate DDT as the cause of thinning, the birds were fed diets that were either low in calcium, included other known egg shell-thinning substances, or that contained levels of DDT far in excess of levels that would be found in the environment – and even then, the massive doses produced much less thinning than what had been found in egg shells in the wild.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 12:11 pm

This has pretty much been known all along. Grift simply parrots rationalized, self-justifying activist crap.

July 27, 2017 6:27 pm

Africa for and by Africans. If Americans had followed the European paradigm of years past we would be. Third World country today. Get the formula for DDT and cook your own

July 27, 2017 7:55 pm

“Malaria … existed for centuries in northern Europe and even in Siberia. The same mosquito species still live there. They just don’t carry malaria anymore…”
I’m puzzled by this statement. Since DDT eradicates malaria only by exterminating the mosquitos that transmit the parasite, how was it possible to eradicate the malaria parasites without also wiping out the carrier mosquitos?

Reply to  otropogo
July 28, 2017 5:53 am

The reason malaria did not return to developed countries after its use was discontinued is that use continued, with drug treatment and mosquito proof housing, long enough that all carriers (humans) were eliminated. The missing link in malaria is that mosquitos are “born” free of disease and must acquire malaria plasmodia from an infected host. Agresively treating all cases and isolating them would end the cycle. The answer to eliminating malaria is “All of the above.” Ie. Spraying indoors and outside, oiling or draining standing water at least every 5 days, mosquito proofing houses with screen wire or similar, drug treatment and isolation of infected hosts, etc. Please also note that over 80% of infectious diseases in developing countries are zoonotic ( involve an insect vector or carrier). Flies, etc. Spread TB, dysentery, leprosy, etc. from open toilets, infected people, garbage. Eliminate malaria and also reduce other insect borne diseases.

Reply to  kaykiser
July 28, 2017 9:52 am

Still puzzled. How could malaria be eliminated from the mosquito carriers without exterminating the entire carrier species in the region? And in that case, where would the plasmodium-free mosquitos of the same species come from?

Reply to  kaykiser
July 28, 2017 10:28 am

For otropogo,
Malaria must be acquired from a host (human) for it to be transmitted to another human. It isn’t transmitted from parent to offspring (transovarial transmission) so they aren’t born carrying the disease, they must acquire it. By maximally reducing the population of mosquito vectors over a period of time (we don’t eliminate mosquitoes, at best we minimize their population for a short period of time) while concurrently treating the human victims we reduce (and eliminate) the presence of the malaria. Even if the mosquito population rebounds it has nowhere to pick up the malaria from since, as kaykiser points out, there is no malaria to acquire by the mosquitoes. They can’t transmit what isn’t there to pick up. This is feasible in the first world where we can do all of the things that kaykiser discusses and all must be done to reach the point of eliminating the disease, not the vector.

Reply to  buggs
July 28, 2017 2:07 pm

July 28, 2017 at 10:28 am said
“For otropogo,
Malaria must be acquired from a host (human) for it to be transmitted to another human”.
Got that.
So it’s a disease that’s native to humans and no other species, and just accidentally got picked up and transmitted by mosquitos. So how did it manage to propagate before the suitable mosquitos happened along? Vampires?

Reply to  kaykiser
July 28, 2017 10:36 am

Again…mosquitoes don’t pick up the parasite from the wild, nor do they spread it amongst themselves. They get it from humans and pass it off to other humans when feeding on multiple hosts. If no human in the population has the parasite, mosquitoes cannot spread it.
You can eradicate the problem by killing all the mosquitoes (almost impossible), removing all human carriers from the population (extraordinarily immoral, not to mention very difficult where the parasite is prevalent) or prevent mosquitoes from feasting on multiple humans.

Reply to  otropogo
July 28, 2017 11:59 am

You don’t need to eliminate the mosquitos, only prevent them from getting into your house with screens/windows so they can’t acquire the parasite from a person and pass it on. This is why malaria never came back in the US or Siberia. The only reason people have to spray DDT inside in Africa is because they live in huts with no windows or doors. It is a disease of extreme poverty. Saying spraying your bedding is a good solution is to admit that these people will continue to live in huts.

Crispin in Waterloo
July 27, 2017 8:26 pm

There are now low power blue laser mosquito killing ‘curtains’ that can target and zap 2000 mozzies per second. They are illegal to use Inn the countries where they were invented, UT that shouldn’t other developing countries that face the harsh realities of malaria.
A really good use of solar electric power and a battery is efficiently killing mosquitoes.
Just for interest, hitting them with a blue light causes them to be stunned. They drop to the ground and die. No one knows why, as far as I hear.
This is a perfect application for a high tech, non-chemical technology that can selectively target female mosquitoes. Unlike a ‘bug zapper’ it doesn’t kill indiscriminately. It listens and targets and zaps.
There is nothing wrong with introducing high tech products to Africa. They did fine with cell phones and practically invented cell phone internet banking.

July 27, 2017 10:47 pm

Brilliant article Steven. I worked in Kenya and Tanzania for six years in the 1980s and the picture you paint communicates something I have always found hard to explain to Westerners who have no experience of living without clean water, abundant energy and affordable medical care around the corner.

Steven Lyazi
Reply to  John Hardy
July 28, 2017 4:43 am

Hi, John Hardy.
Thanks for the comment and the great work you did in Africa. The battle still continues and we have to win it. If you ever plan to come back in Uganda and particularly Uganda do not hesitate to contact me.
[Personal info forwarded to John but snipped from here. -mod]

Reply to  Steven Lyazi
July 28, 2017 4:16 pm

Steven for your article +10,000

July 28, 2017 12:17 am

Cockroaches are ground mosquitoes. They depend on water and wood.

July 28, 2017 2:00 am

Steven, as someone who has had malaria four times myself and has seen the damage it does, I have great compassion for you. And I have worked in rural development in Africa, so I’ve seen the problems there up close and personal. Not pretty.
However, you lose me when you say:

We don’t need enemies of humanity. What we need is financial and political support to conquer malaria, lung diseases and intestinal parasites. We need clean water and affordable, reliable electricity in our villages and cities. We need modern hospitals.
We need environmental activists to realize how important fossil fuels and hydroelectric plants are to having decent, healthy living standards, lights, computers, the internet, clean hospitals, clean water, and everything else modern countries have.
We need them to support us Africans in preventing malaria in the first place – which means we need more than bed nets. We need campaigners to recognize that we have the same rights as people in modern, rich, industrialized countries to decent living standards and modern technology.

Seriously? I’m supposed to pull out my wallet and once again pay for your bednets and educational campaigns? Really?
Because as I’m sure you know, bednets are the most cost effective way to make a real difference in malaria transmission rates … but since the US has already shipped millions of treated bednets to Africa, and paid for millions more, and funded endless educational campaigns, I gotta admit, I’m getting a rush of donor fatigue just thinking about African bednets.
And I’m sorry, but there is no RIGHT to decent living standards. We have decent living standards in the West for one reason and one reason alone—because we WORKED for them … I know it’s a novel concept, but that’s why boots have bootstraps, so you can use them to pull yourselves up. You want decent living standards?
Then you damn well better get busy building them, because demanding them as a RIGHT is a non-starter, and nobody either can or will provide them for you. Medico, cura te ipsum!
I fear you’ve fallen into the trap of expecting me and my friends in the West to continue to fix your failures and cover your debts … sorry, been there, done that. How many billions and billions of dollars have the West given you guys to date, and you still are cooking on three rocks and not using bednets? And you haven’t yet figured out how to clean up your dang water?
I cannot tell you the number of dead foreign aid projects I’ve seen in Africa, where Westerners have expended their time and treasure doing their best to assist you. Now I admit that in some cases the aid was poorly planned or not exactly timely and the like … SO FREAKIN’ WHAT! We expected you to do your part, and instead, by and large, you pissed on what we gave you and went back to living in poverty.
So I’m sorry, but while your diagnosis is good, in that you do have malaria to deal with, the reality is that YOU have malaria to deal with, not me. I’ve had it four times myself, and not one time did I ask you or anyone else to buy me a bednet.
Please be clear that this is not any kind of knock on you and yours. Africans are like everyone else, good, bad, and ugly. The people that I’ve met in and from Africa have been as good as any other folk.
Instead, please consider this to be what is called “tough love”. At present, of the foreign aid sent to Africa, 21.2% is wasted on unnecessary projects, 47.1%% is merely enabling further enervating dependency on the white man, 31.2% ends up in your leaders’ Swiss bank accounts, and the remaining 0.7% might do some good … yeah, I just made up those numbers, but they’re not far wrong.
So while I do have great compassion for you, I’m done with propping you up until you get with the picture. You need to stand up, shake off the centuries of somnolence, and START TO MAKE YOUR OWN LIVES BETTER. Because I can guarantee you one thing.
Nobody else can do it for you, as billions of white man dollars poured into Africa have proven beyond a doubt.
And you know what? If you actually do stand up and start doing it for yourselves, solving your own problems in your own inimitable African fashion, you’ll be amazed at the assistance that you will get along the way from people of all colors. We’ve been rooting for you for decades to come to the party, and we will continue to be on your side … but tragically or fortunately, you have to do it for yourselves. We can’t do it for you.
My best wishes for your success and progress in these matters,
PS—Your attitude reminds me of an old joke which is absolutely not politically correct … but as many non-PC jokes do, it contains a kernel of important truth.
There’s a Texan and a Mexican in a bar in Houston, and the Mexican says, “I’m really angry at you Texans”.
“Why’s that, pardner?” says the Texan.
“You stole our land from us! This used to be ours!” replies the Mexican in an angry tone.
“Well, yes,” the Texan says, “but why are you so upset? We’ve been friends for years, and that was centuries ago, and besides, you guys still have plenty of land. “
“That’s true,” the Mexican says …“but you guys stole the land with all the good roads and the power lines and left us the rest!”
I’m sure that you can apply that to Africa and the question of whether you have a RIGHT to decent living standards, paved roads, and power lines …

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 28, 2017 9:15 am

Willis: while of course no one has a right to anything, current development agencies and NGOs are trying to PREVENT development. One NGO recently convinced a government not to accept food aid during a famine because the food was GMO. Development aid has ignored roads, railroads, canals and power plants. Environmental groups oppose sustainable hunting–my friend just went on a hunting safari and paid $10,000 to shoot ranch-raised big game. Money in their pocket.

Reply to  ccscientist
July 28, 2017 9:23 pm

ccscientist, you are entirely correct. If you want to help the environment, do NOT rely on environmentalists. These days they have another agenda entirely. See my post on How environmental organizations are destroying the environment
All the best to you, and to everyone in Africa,

July 28, 2017 3:46 am
July 28, 2017 9:11 am

If you really want to protect the environment, you will do things to help a country develop economically. Wildlife was much worse off in Europe and the US 100 years ago because people shot/fished anything edible and cut down forests wastefully. Many game species in the US were restored by efforts of hunters. Pollution is less now because we can afford to clean it up. Development agencies are truly trying to prevent Africa from developing. The World Bank, for example, won’t lend money for power plants because of “global warming”. Africa needs roads, canals, and railroads because most of their rivers are unfit for barge traffic (waterfalls everywhere). Without transport you cannot have trade and without trade you are poor. A colleague was in East Africa years ago and saw simply spectacular mahogany stands but they were worthless because there was no way to get them to market. I have seen TV spots about how clever some guy was showing that you could create skylights in huts with used 1 liter soft drink plastic bottles. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

July 28, 2017 5:21 pm

July 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm said:
“So it’s a disease that’s native to humans and no other species, and just accidentally got picked up and transmitted by mosquitos.”
BZZT.. got the answer to both my own question and the question “why Africa” at
and the answer is “Primates” Europe and North America don’t have any…

Reply to  otropogo
July 28, 2017 10:32 pm

otropogo July 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm

and the answer is “Primates” Europe and North America don’t have any…

Sorry, OtherPogo, but that’s not true at all.
Neither the Solomon islands nor PNG have any primates, and before WWII they were known as the “White Man’s Grave” because of malaria.
And until DDT, malaria was lethally common in the US … no primates here. Heck it was common as far north as Siberia back in the day, and the only primate there is the Yeti …

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 29, 2017 5:59 am

Malaria in primates and other animals are different species of plasmodium than those that infect humans, with the exception of P. knowles that infects primates and humans. The worst and most prevalent is P. falciparum that only infect humans and can cause death in days from cerebral malaria or strokes and heart attacks from clots.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 29, 2017 9:26 am

Willis Eschenbach
July 28, 2017 at 10:32 pm wrote
‘otropogo July 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm
and the answer is “Primates” Europe and North America don’t have any…
Sorry, OtherPogo, but that’s not true at all.’
Thanks for the heads up, Willis.
In fact, my statement above is technically somewhat inaccurate, as there are still a few apes on Gibraltar. But that’s immaterial to my point, which I evidently did not make clearly enough.
My proposed “answer” was meant to refer, not to the occurrence of human cases of malaria, but to the difficulty of long-term eradication where a major reservoir of infection may pose an intractable problem. In this case, the existence of significant non-human primate populations in the region.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 29, 2017 1:34 pm

Thanks, otropogo, I’d missed your underlying point. My bad.

Reply to  otropogo
July 31, 2017 8:42 am

July 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm wrote:
“…and the answer is “Primates” Europe and North America don’t have any…”
OH NOs! Further reading (see link below), makes my “answer” doubtful (see link below).
It seems that primate plasmodium parasites ARE species-specific. There is some transmissability of a the simian plasmodium knowelsi to humans, but it never reaches endemic proportions due to inability “…to complete their life cycle in anthropophilic mosquito vectors…”
So the mystery endures, at least in my mind (admittedly profoundly untrained in microbiology), as to how five species of plasmodium came to be uniquely parasitical on homo sapiens as well as completely dependent on an accidental carrier for continued existence. If the mosquito can only pick up the parasite from humans, it follows it had to initially develop and spread somehow without the mosquitos.
I believe we’re back to vampires (ie. these species evolved in humans from some less specialized primate plasmodium species and initially propagated via person to person transmission until suitable anthropophilic mosquitos came along to do the “heavy lifting”…
(Got to love that word “anthropophilic”. It makes the little blood suckers seem almost cuddly).
If anyone can shed more light on this, it would be most welcome.

July 29, 2017 5:50 am

Amen. Power and transportation improvements would go a long way toward economic growth and environmental responsibility. There are enough natural resources to supply hydroelectric as well as fossil fuel power plants. The UN, World Bank and environmentalists have blocked over 200 hydroelectric plants. Hydro is clean and reliable. It isn’t even necessary to fund huge dams. Smaller regional plants can use low to medium waterfalls or “run of the river” systems. Electric power would facilitate road and railroad building and upkeep as well as power hospitals, clinics, schools, home refrigerators, stoves, etc.

July 29, 2017 6:20 am

Malaria is not a human or mosquito only disease. It is a vectored disease in which both the mosquito and humans are involved in its life cycle. Newly hatched uninfected mosquitos bite infected humans and pick up the plasmodium in their gut. It then changes form and migrates to the salivary glands. In that form it is transmitted to humans. It the travels to the liver and transforms into a third form that then infects red blood cells, multiply using iron from hemigloben, killing the blood cells, and burst out into the blood stream and lymphatic system. Only then are the classic immune response symptoms evident, and can infect a second mosquito. No mosquito, no transmission. The reason vaccines have not been developed is that it is not a virus or bacterium. It is a single celled nucleated protozoa aka plasmodium. Only a few animal vaccines for similar organisms have been achieved, and only in animals.

Reply to  kaykiser
July 29, 2017 1:32 pm

In reading jclarke341 July 28, 2017 at 10:09 am, I realized that some might think there is no time lag between the mosquito acquiring the infection and its transmission to other humans. This is in error. It takes time, usually 12 days, for the acquired plasmodium gametophyte form to convert to the sporozoite form, move to the mosquito’s salivary glands and be ready for transmission. Thus, close contact between the source and other humans, (such as mother and child sleeping together), is irrelevant.
This is only one of several points at which the cycle can be broken. 1. Draining the water or oiling the surface will stop the cycle at the eggs, larvae and pupae stages. 1. Eggs laid on the water surface at dawn and dusk hatch in 48 hrs and sink to the bottom. 2, The larvae need to breath at the surface either by lying on the surface (Anopheles, the malaria vector) or by siphon under the surface. A very thin film of oil will disrupt this, as will draining water containers every few days during which time the larvae must molt several times before pupating. 3. The pupae must also breathe at the water’s surface and new adults emerge in 48 hours at the water’s surface. 4. Fish, frogs, turtles and other predatory insect larvae in the water can consume many of the mosquito larvae. Bats, birds and predatory insects may also eat newly emerged adults. New adults are free of infection. 5. New adults must pick up the malaria plasmodium by feeding on an infected human but if no infected human is bitten, mosquitos will eventually die (40 to 60 days). 6. After acquiring the malaria plasmodium from an infected human, killing the mosquito during the 12 days required to form sporozoites and before transmission will stop the cycle. 7. Even if infected, a human cannot pass it on to a mosquito until the sporozoites in the liver sexually reproduce to form merozoites, then release them into the bloodstream where they infect red blood cells. This takes about 10 days. Then the merozoites must have time to asexually reproduce and multiply inside red blood cells, forming gametophytes which are released into the serum when the red blood cells are killed and disrupted. All of this takes place before significant symptoms are evident. Only when sufficient numbers of red blood cells are disrupted to cause an immune response and other damage will fever, sweats and chills appear, so a person can have malaria for a couple of weeks before he knows it. 8. At this time, the gametophytes can be passed to another mosquito but if no mosquito bites before treatment kills the plasmodia, then the cycle is disrupted. Protecting a symptomatic person from mosquito bites is key. Meanwhile, there may be liver damage and kidney damage from disrupted cells. It is estimated that a pint of blood is lost for each infection. For Plasmodium falciparum, the worst and most prevalent species in Africa, the merozoites can also make blood cells sticky causing them to form clots that can cause strokes or heart attacks. Malaria can enter the lymphatic system and cause damage to other parts of the body. Cerebral malaria, the most deadly form, is usually caused by this species and if it does not kill outright it often leaves children with brain damage. 9. Prophylactic drug treatment before symptoms appear could disrupt the cycle as well as 10. treatment after symptoms appear. The earlier drug treatment is started the better the outcome. 11. Reinfection is possible because the immune response is incomplete or temporary, so protection from mosquito bites after an infection is cured is important.

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