DDT and Attacks on Rachel Carson: The CliffsNote Version

I thought this might be a good time to put up a collection of different posts I (and others) have written about the ongoing attacks on Rachel Carson.

What’s the issue?

A Salon article (with more from May Berenbaum!) provides a nice introduction:

Socrates Litsios, a historian and former scientist for the World Health Organization (the agency that has headed global malaria control efforts since the 1960s), says the assertion that “Silent Spring” and the DDT ban led to millions of deaths is “outrageous.” May Berenbaum, head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has studied mosquitoes and malaria, says that “to blame environmentalists who oppose DDT for more deaths than Hitler is worse than irresponsible.”

Here’s the “CliffsNote” version of every link that’s on this post:

DDT is NOT a cure-all solution for malaria. It has to be used–if it is used–carefully, with planning, evaluation, and forethought. It’s easy to understand why some folks want DDT to be a panacea–Malaria is a horrible disease, and children suffer the most. But jumping in and randomly spraying DDT can have the potential to make things worse, not better, in the long run.

Is DDT Safe, and a way to “fix” malaria?

Short Answer: No.

Whose idea was this, anyway?
The people who seem to be orchestrating some of the attacks have been masterfully tracked down by Deltoid, et al. over at ScienceBlogs.

Other interesting items:

If you read the “why I care” perhaps you’ll do me a favor.

First, if you know of good online resources that should be added to this list, please mention them in the comments. (Note that all comments with links are moderated). Second, if you have a blog, please link to this page, or to one of the other blogs or articles in this post. Right now, when you search for “Rachel Carson and DDT” on Google, all you get are hate sites. It’s amazing how full the net is of this misinformation.
If you have pages that discuss Carson as the talented writer and observer of nature, add her name to your tags. Let’s take Rachel’s reputation back!

EDITED 7/1/07 to add the next in the MFB/Ed’s series.
EDITED 8/10/08 to add more links