"...DDT does things no other weapon, at any price, can do. Sprayed in tiny amounts just once or twice a year on the inside walls of homes, it keeps 90 percent of mosquitoes from even entering – and keeps those that do come in from biting. That’s why it has slashed malaria rates by 75 percent in South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and other countries where it has been used. Since DDT is no longer used in agriculture, mosquitoes are unlikely to become resistant to it. Studies show that even those that are immune to its killing properties are kept away by its repellant effects. The alleged dangers of DDT are ridiculously small or irrelevant compared to the dangers of diseases inflicted on Africa by tiny buzzing insects. Malaria alone infects over 400 million Africans annually, and kills the equivalent of ten jumbo jets full of passengers crashing every day. It enslaves the continent, kills babies and pregnant women, prevents people from working, perpetuates poverty, keeps tourists and investors from coming to Africa, and reduces the continent’s economic productivity by billions of dollars a year. In Kenya alone it costs 170 million lost working days annually..."
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It’s astonishing that elected officials would use their taxpayer-funded offices to bully a company’s president into changing his corporation’s philanthropic giving practices. And it’s deplorable that in trying to discredit critics of catastrophic global warming, Rockefeller and Snowe would stoop to using smear rhetoric that alludes to “Holocaust denial”—and is inaccurate to boot. No one seriously denies that the Earth is warming. The debate is over the extent and consequences of such warming. Remarkable, too, is the senators’ cryptic reference to a “scientific group” that would soon issue its “findings,” words that bestow authority on what, as we expected, would turn out to be no more than a political attack.
It didn’t take us long to figure out what this “scientific group” might be and who is behind it: For almost four decades, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has manipulated the high reputation of “science” to serve the low ends of politics. It has done a good job of cherry-picking scientific facts to stir up public fears to advance its agenda. This time it is promoting alarmist claims about global warming by leveraging the prestige of the “concerned scientist.”
The credulous media usually fall all over themselves to defer to UCS every time the group takes a political position. For instance, when it issued a report in 2004 criticizing President George W. Bush’s handling of science policy, the union was described as “a scientific advocacy group” (New York Times), “a group of scientists” (Reuters), “an independent Cambridge-based organization” (Boston Globe), and a “nonprofit ... advocacy group in Cambridge, Mass.” (Newsday). After all, who but concerned scientists would pass judgment on President Bush and conclude that he was a scientific ignoramus manipulating science in order to advance a partisan agenda?
That UCS is a highly partisan operation—well funded by left-leaning foundations and