THAT’LL HAPPEN (Howard Stern urges the use of DDT to quell bedbug infestation of New
York.) The reason bedbugs (and the anopheles mosquito) are so rare in developed countries is that, back at the turn of the 20th Century, public health officials used DDT to eliminate the pests.
Then witless panic merchant, Rachel Carson wrote and published Silent Spring. A more fact-challenge, emotion-ridden screed has never been published. Despite the overwhelming weight of actual scientific evidence to the contrary, wide-ranging bird die-offs were blamed on DDT, and a new movement of the ignorant led by the mendacious — the modern (scorn quotes) “ecological” movement was born.
That was 1972 (that the ban was instituted). 38 years ago.
It has been estimated, probably as reliably as is possible, that a million or more preventable deaths are suffered in Africa from malaria every year. 38 million.
Unintended consequences? If you judge progressives by the words of their philosphical forebears, not so much. But does it matter? If a course of action is warned against and a person or group undertakes it nonetheless, and dire result eventuate, how can those consequences be said to be unintended because dangerous fools assert, “We never meant for THAT to happen”?
The bedbug problem is wider spread than anyone seems willing to admit, and demands a strong response. But, given the tendency of government (which is in the driver’s seat, given the current ban on DDT) to never fail to fail in these matters, don’t expect an appropriate response until the matter becomes disastrous in scope.
As the snarkists say, good luck with that.