[Editors note: This article was first published several years ago after a review of an environmental film. In view of the resignation of EPA head, Lisa Jackson, it is a good time to look at some of the damage done to our world by those following the religion of environmentalism.]
Yesterday I received a rather hostile response to the Copenhagen article. Not only did the reader argue with the facts, but criticized my use of a “non-Christian” source. My initial thoughts were to dash off a quick response to one who obviously is on the enviro bandwagon – one who believes DDT was damaging to both the humans and world we all live in. However, if there is one, I’m sure there are others who may believe this way and because of this, a more in depth discussion is in order. Keeping in mind that books have been written on the subject and the only thing I can do in this venue is hit the high points (or in this case, low points) of the DDT story.
To begin with, as far as citing a “non-Christian” source, here are a few points to ponder. First, I do not know the spiritual circumstances of the filmmakers in question, besides which, all truth is God’s truth. It does not matter who is presenting it. An honest secular scientist when observing and measuring God’s universe will have the same results as a Christian scientist. He may draw different conclusions, or have a different understanding, perhaps, but what he sees, if he wants the truth, will be the truth. There are no Christian microscopes, telescopes, thermometers or even rain gauges.
Second, since the initial criticism was that of a non-Christian film, I have to inquire of the spiritual status of Rachel Carson, who began the DDT panic, as well as those who slavishly followed her in demagoguing the issue to the point of having the life saver banned. The argument cuts both ways. If we are to reject Mr. McAleer’s film, we most like have to reject Ms. Carson’s book.
In 1970 the National Academy of Sciences, through its Committee on Research in the Life Sciences of the Committee on Science and Public Policy noted, “To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT… In little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable.” However after the ban, Africa News ran a story in 1999 that stated, “It is believed that [malaria] afflicts between 300 and 500 million every year, causing up to 2.7 million deaths, mainly among children under five years.” I have no idea if any of these people reporting were Christians, but it does not change the facts.
In his book, Malaria Capers, Robert Desowitz writes, “Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, ‘Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing.’” As people who understand the value of each individual, we cannot accept or tolerate this kind of thinking. We are told that there are other ways to destroy the mosquitoes, yet even they are not used… and the children continue to die.
After an extensive seven months of hearings running through 1972, EPA hearing examiner, Judge Edmund Sweeney, concluded that “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man… DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man… The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.” Ignoring this opinion, EPA administrator Donald Ruckelshaus, who was a member of the Environmental Defense Fund, issued a ban on DDT, even though he did not once attend the hearing and his aids contend he did not even read the transcript. Following this, he even refused Freedom of Information Act requests for the data he based his decision upon.
Rachel Carson and others claimed DDT to be a carcinogen, yet researchers have not been able to support this contention… not even after feeding primates 33,000 times the daily intake of the average human! Likewise the purported egg shell thinning could not be supported by serious researchers… even though they tried. Lead, oil, mercury and stress from a noisy environment have been shown to cause thinner egg shells… but not DDT!
Our First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of religion…” Yet, our government is promoting and practicing the religion of environmentalism as it throws more and more road blocks in the way of those celebrating the real reason for the Christmas season. Environmentalism can only be viewed as a religious practice as it is accepted by many in spite of the reality that much of the doctrine is based, not on data, but on a computer model than never has been verified and gives us results that fall directly in line the environmental orthodoxy.