August 16, 2007Good news: Today's Wall Street Journal highlights the recent study on DDT benefits in repelling mosquitoes and battling resistance issues. This study was highlighted recently in an Open Market blog post as well. (Subscription required for Wall Street Journal link.)
The U.S. and Europe solved their malaria problem a half-century ago by employing DDT, but the mosquito-borne disease remains endemic to the lowland tropics of South America, Asia and Africa, where each year a half-billion people are infected and more than a million die. Despite those staggering numbers, radical environmental groups like the Pesticide Action Network continue to oppose use of the...
August 16, 2007Anti-DDT activists might read this with glee: Misinformation about DDT risks is undermining its use in Kampala, Uganda. A Ugandan news website reports that anti-DDT hype has led some people to block the spraying of their homes with DDT. This is clearly a tragedy as lives hang in the balance. Hopefully, as residents who allowed DDT spraying in their homes reap DDT's protective benefits, others will follow their lead.
August 9, 2007
Anti-DDT activists in the environmental movement often suggest we should stop using this chemical to save people from malaria and other diseases because mosquitoes will eventually develop resistance to the substance. However, a study published in the journal PloS Online explains why such arguments make no sense.
The study demonstrates that in addition to still being the most affordable product, DDT is likely the most effective over the long term because it repels most mosquitoes—keeping them from ever entering homes. These effects are critical for a couple reasons. First, mosquitoes are most active in transmitting disease at night as people sleep, so keeping these insects out of homes can reduce disease rates significantly. Second, DDT's repellency effects remain...
July 31, 2007A recent upsurge in Dengue offers a depressing reminder that malaria is not the only serious mosquito-borne disease affecting the world. Dengue—a virus transmitted by mosquito bites—can lead to fever, severe joint pain, internal hemorrhaging, and death for some.
This year, many Asian nations—particularly Cambodia, Indonesia, and
Vietnam—are suffering from a serious outbreak. Regarding this year's occurrence Kroeger Axel of the Dengue research coordinator for the World Health Organization notes: "We always think next year it will get better, but we always find next year it gets worse â€¦ There's a very clear upward trend."
The spread of Dengue could eventually affect the United States, as it did in 2001 when there was an outbreak in Hawaii. U.S. public-...
July 25, 2007It's always a delight to see our research trumpeted by the presidential candidates. But resident SarbOx scholar John Berlau must have been particularly pleased to see his arguments picked up by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, 1 of only 3 congressmen to vote "no" on Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002.
Quizzed about a recent SEC move to reform Section 404, a controversial internal controls provision, Paul relied on an extended Berlau quote for the nitty gritty details, then pressed for a full SOX repeal based on constitutional and economic grounds.
Ron Paul: No, the Securities and Exchange Commission's new regulations implementing Section 404 do not go nearly far enough in lifting the unjustified burdens Sarbanes-Oxley imposed on...
July 19, 2007The Environmental Working Group (EWG) doesn't want you to drink bottled water because it's a waste of resources. Tap water is just as good they say. Yet today's Washington Post reports that EWG also says tap water is not safe. What is one to do?! EWG suggests: Have the feds regulate more (making your tap water more expensive) and use Brita Filters (also more expensive, and I suspect EWG will someday say these don't work either!). I suggest: Ignore the EWG. Both tap and bottled water offer fine options. In another blog post, I already noted the craziness of the green attacks on bottled water.
EWG's claims about tap water are equally absurd. They maintain that chlorination—which is necessary to kill...
July 11, 2007
Some lawmakers maintain that energy needed to transport the bottled water is too high for the value that the product brings. Let everyone drink tap, they maintain.
San Francisco and some other cities are taking a stand by removing bottled water from government agencies, and some restaurants are taking it off the menu too. This is pure silliness, but it gets much worse.
Salt Lake City's Mayor Rocky Anderson...
July 9, 2007I've said it a million times: Recycling isn't environmentally beneficial if it uses more resources than it saves. That is why many government-mandated recycling programs are often wasteful. However, many people still don't get it. A recent blog post by Duke University political scientist Michael Munger offers yet more examples on why a blind devotion to recycling makes no sense environmentally or economically. It's worth checking out.
July 7, 2007The July issue of National Geographic features an excellent cover story on malaria. It notes the importance of DDT, highlights many problems with relying on bed nets alone, and even takes on Rachel Carson a little bit. The editor's note (on page 4) opens with a personal story of contracting malariaâ€¦because a bed net had a hole in it. The story notes:
Malaria is a confounding disease—often, it seems, contradictory to logic....Rachel Carson, the environmental icon, is a villain; her three-letter devil, DDT, is a savior...In 1962 Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, documenting this abuse and painting so damning a picture that the chemical was eventually outlawed by most of the world for agricultural use. Exceptions were made for malaria control, but DDT became nearly impossible...
July 2, 2007The Business and Media Institute reports that the greens are trying again to use the nation's national symbol—the Bald Eagle—to undermine free-markets. The Bald Eagle, which was recently removed from the Endangered Species list, faces another "dire" threat according to reports on "NBC Nightly News" and other news outlets. This time, the alleged culprit is sprawl.
"Urban sprawl has become the DDT of our generation,” biologist Bryan D. Watts noted in The Richmond Times Dispatch. According to Watts, the problem is free-market pressures and his "solution" involves regulating a lot more land. Ironically, it's not even clear how much impact DDT has had on the birds (the indoor uses for malaria control do not...