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back to article Climate change 'no excuse' for failure to beat malaria

A team of UK and American scientists say that - assuming global warming proceeds in line with mainstream expectation - there is no reason to fear a global malaria outbreak. It is often suggested that global warming might lead to a reappearance of the deadly disease in areas where it has been wiped out, and that it might spread …

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DDT in India

DDT may be officially banned but India uses it anyway and has seen a large reduction in malaria and dengue in recent years. I lived in Mumbai for two years and they would spray the entire apartment block with so much DDT that you could not see your hand in front of your face. I inhaled it on all occasions as did all neighbours and there were no bad health effects.

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Ru
Boffin

Re: DDT in India

"I inhaled it on all occasions as did all neighbours and there were no bad health effects."

Funny thing about chronic toxicity and exposure to carcinogens... just because you don't drop down dead on the spot, doesn't mean that the chemicals were harmless or that you were unaffected.

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As a smoker

I haven't got cancer yet, therefore it's clearly just anti-tobacco propaganda.

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Paris Hilton

DDT in India

Aron,

DDT was used in a big way at the end of WW2, in such jobs as delousing the prisoners who had managed to survive the Nazi

Concentration Camps.

No record of DDT affecting humans, just a few species (NOT all) of birds.

However the extremist book "Silent Spring" convinced the fear ridden politicians to ban it.

This bird would be unharmed.

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Role of the media

One of the problems with the climate change debate is the role of much of the media. Good science often doesn't give concrete answers, it can create further questions. This is unacceptable to the much media, who want answers and want them NOW! There are two groups who are happy to provide those answers, the hard core believers and the hard core deniers, so guess who gets the press?

Let's face it, "Global Catastophe in 5 years" or "Climate Conspiracy by Evil Scientists" are good headlines. "Some things in some places are going to get worse, but we can't tell when or how yet, but our best informed guess is..." is not a good headline.

You'll see the same impatience with the war in Afghanistan, oil spills, medical discoveries, etc, etc. The demand for definitive answers in impossible time scales doesn't help anyone.

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What is old is new again

The DDT ban in the USA was just an early example of Cap and Trade foolishness. There is no rational explanation for either.

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Malaria is not a hot country disease

The whole blather about malaria seems to be based on the belief that it's a disease of warm countries. This is bullshit, to be frank. Malaria was quite happily killing people as far north as southern Sweden until it was wiped out by improvements in hygiene and was most rampant in England during the little ice age. The idea that it will spread north in warmer weather is based on ignorance or some sort of bizarre confirmation bias that only ever sees global warming as the cause of everything.

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Farming

Draining marginal land to farm it was probably also a reason malaria largely disappeared from Europe. The population expansion and resulting demand for more food caused a lot of marginal lands to come under the plow here in Denmark (besides, losing a large part of the most fertile land to the Germans probably helped that along too). So the "economic development kills malaria" might only be a partial cop-out.

So get out yer shovels and drain those swamps, boys and girls!

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DDT

DDT isn't banned outright everywhere, it is getting new use when strictly kept inside buildings. If you spray it on the walls, it is absorbed and kills any mozzies than land on them, while not causing a problem to the wider food chain or humans.

@David Kelly 2 - The DDT ban was mainly because it entered the food chain at the bottom, concentrated as it went up and resulted in many of the top of the chain predators dieing. Also didn't it nearly wipe out the American Balled Eagle? So, foolish indeed... err...

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Nature Documentaries

"..American Balled Eagle.."

I think I remember that one. Did it push a little wheelbarrow in front of itself?

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It was actually the California Condor they focused on

with the Bald Eagle being the backup.

Interestingly enough, further research into the primary claim about this from the 1970s, that the accumulation of DDT caused a weakening of the egg shells, has proven that claim to be as valid as the claims the glaciers in India have disappeared.

As for the toxicity of DDT, I remember one of our Cub Scout leaders talking to us about some of his experiences in WWII. He was with one of the units that came in to help clean up the concentration camps. He said they marched the refugees through a processing line, and because of the lice and other vermin from the camp, they all got to open their shirts and drop they trousers to get doused with DDT. So I suspect the toxicity claims are highly overrated.

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Black Helicopters

Egg shells not weakened?

Please, say more!

The return of the pelican following the ban on DDT in California appears to contradict that statement. Or are pelicans a result of global warming? Pick yer conspiracy here.

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It is used Africa

South Africa still uses a lot of DDT and they have a wider range of predators than most European countries.

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Go

nada

"Funny thing about chronic toxicity and exposure to carcinogens... just because you don't drop down dead on the spot, doesn't mean that the chemicals were harmless or that you were unaffected."

NO ONE was affected or has been to date. NO ONE was affected when DDT was used to eliminate malaria in the US and Russia decades ago either. The amount of DDT required to cause human harm is much higher than needed to beat airborne vectors.

Learn something about toxicity levels and how long they have to be maintained for before talking eco-crap.

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Grenade

DDT

Sadly for all the supporters trumpeting support for DDT as an effective insecticide, one suggests you look up and learn about the following words or phrases "Insect Forced Evolution" , "Endocrinology" and 'Efficacy".

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