Topic: Accuracy in Media
Alan Caruba devotes his June 18 Accuracy in Media column to ranting about Rachel Carson and her book "Silent Spring," the 50 anniversary of whose publication is this year. To hear Caruba tell it, Carson helped foment America's "unfounded fears of pesticides" and is just like Hitler:
There are books that have doomed millions to death. “Das Capital” by Karl Marx kicked off the worst economic system of the modern era, claiming the lives of millions of Russians and Chinese, along with others in the process.
Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” mobilized Nazi Germany, led to World War Two in Europe, and was responsible for the deliberate killing of six million Jews and another five million Christians in its concentration camps, not counting the millions more in war dead. The Nazi leaders were ardent environmentalists.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson; a book that is credited with giving rise to the environmental movement in general and, in particular, America’s unfounded fears of pesticides, especially DDT.
Caruba goes on to rail about the DDT ban, claiming that "Malaria, once on the brink of being eliminated, has long since made resurgence since the ban of DDT, although some nations most affected by the disease have received permission to use it. That is Rachel Carson’s true and lethal legacy."
In fact, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes that DDT-resistant mosquitoes -- which carry the malaria virus -- had begun to appear well before the DDT ban due to overuse of the pesticide. Further, FAIR reports, there was never a global ban on DDT, and 10 out of the 17 African nations that currently conduct indoor spraying use DDT.
Caruba also claims that "The coast-to-coast plague of bedbugs that has occurred in the past decade and continues today could have been eliminated if DDT were still in use." In fact, Newsweek reports that, as with mosquitoes, bedbugs had developed resistance to DDT by the time of the DDT ban; besides, "In the 1960s and 1970s, most of the bedbugs that had survived the onslaught of DDT were wiped out by malathion, until it, too, stopped working."