Walter E. Williams
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Dr. Henry Miller, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Gregory Conko, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in their Forbes article "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies" (9/5/2012), wrote that her 1962 book, Silent Spring, led to a world ban on DDT use. The DDT ban was responsible for the loss of "tens of millions of human lives -- mostly children in poor, tropical countries -- have been traded for the possibility of slightly improved fertility in raptors (birds). This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last century." DDT presents no harm to humans and, when used properly, poses no environmental threat. In 1970, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences wrote: "To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. ... In a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable." Prior to the DDT ban, malaria was on the verge of extinction in some countries.

The World Health Organization estimates that malaria infects at least 200 million people, of which more than a half-million die, each year. Most malaria victims are African children. People who support the DDT ban are complicit in the deaths of tens of millions of Africans and Southeast Asians. Philanthropist Bill Gates is raising money for millions of mosquito nets, but to keep his environmentalist credentials, the last thing that he'd advocate is DDT use. Remarkably, black congressmen share his vision.

Wackoism didn't end with Carson's death. Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist, in his 1968 best-selling book, The Population Bomb, predicted major food shortages in the United States and that "in the 1970s ... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ehrlich saw England in more desperate straits, saying, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." On the first Earth Day, in 1970, Ehrlich warned: "In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish." Ehrlich continues to be a media and academic favorite.

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Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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