Over at GreenWatch we now have archived an interactive list of the “worst environmental prophecies of catastrophic doom.” It is a list of eleven of the most interesting and pointed cases of environmental activists raising the red alert, and the unintended fall out from it.
Every day over the next two weeks I will give you an example from the list to remind you of the dark side of environmentalism:
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s celebrated 1962 attack on farmers’ use of pesticides, DDT in particular, imagined a world in which there were no songbirds. Carson argued that pesticides were a major health hazard to man and a threat to all of nature. Carson defenders say the 1972 U.S. ban on commercial use of DDT saved the bald eagle, allowing the federal government to remove it from the “Endangered Species” list in 1995 and from the “Threatened Species” list in 2007. But bans on DDT have also led to an increase in disease: Malaria-infected mosquitoes are responsible for the death of millions of persons worldwide. Widespread high volume agricultural use of DDT in the 1950s and 1960s was a cause for concern, but banning it as a mosquito control method led to an upsurge in malaria cases. Changing the policy—against the objections of some groups—has reversed the previous surge in malaria-related deaths.