WE'RE TRANSNATIONALISTS, WE'RE HERE TO HELP:

April 2, 2007

Forty years of perverse “social responsibility” (Paul Driessen, April 2, 2007, Enter Stage Right)

Forty years ago, Environmental Defense (ED) was launched to secure a ban on DDT and, in the words of co-founder Charles Wurster, “achieve a level of authority” that environmentalists never had before. Its high-pressure campaign persuaded EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus to ignore the findings of his own scientific panel and ban DDT in the US in 1972.

The panel had concluded that DDT is not harmful to people, birds or the environment. That’s especially true when small quantities are sprayed on walls to repel mosquitoes and prevent malaria. However, ED and allied groups continued their misinformation campaign, until the chemical (and other insecticides) were banished even from most global healthcare programs.

Thankfully, DDT had already helped eradicate malaria in the United States and Europe. But the disease still sickens 500 million people a year and kills 2 million, mostly African women and children. Since 1972, tens of millions have died who might well have lived if their countries had been able to keep DDT in their disease control arsenals.

A year ago – after an extensive public education effort by the Congress of Racial Equality, Africa Fighting Malaria, Kill Malarial Mosquitoes NOW Coalition and other health and human rights groups- the USAID and World Health Organization finally began supporting DDT use once again. But ED, Pesticide Action Network and other agitators still promote ridiculous anti-DDT themes on their websites, claiming it is “associated with” low birth weights in babies and shortened lactation in nursing mothers.

Even if these assertions were true, notes Uganda’s Fiona Kobusingye, such risks “are nothing compared to the constant danger of losing more babies and mothers to malaria.” She has had malaria at least 20 times and lost her son, two sisters and five nephews to the disease. “How can US environmentalists tell us we should be more worried about insecticides than about malaria?” she asks. “Their attitudes are immoral eco-imperialism – a crime against humanity.”

None of these anti-insecticide pressure groups has ever apologized for their disingenuous campaigns or atoned in any way for the misery and death they helped perpetuate – much less been held accountable. Instead, they blame today’s horrendous malaria rates on global warming.

MORE:
-AUDIO/VIDEO: Redefining Sovereignty: Paul Driessen, Senior Fellow, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (Heritage Foundation, July 20, 2006)

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BEING PC MEANS NEVER HAVING TO FACE A RECKONING:

September 25, 2006

Day of reckoning for DDT foes? (Steven Milloy, September 25, 2006, Washington Times)

Overlooked in all the hoopla over the announcement is the terrible toll in human lives (tens of millions dead, mostly pregnant women and children under age 5), illness (billions sickened) and poverty (more than $1 trillion in lost GDP in sub-Saharan Africa alone) caused by the tragic, decades-long ban. […]

Rachel Carson kicked off DDT hysteria with her pseudoscientific 1962 book, “Silent Spring.” Miss Carson materially misrepresented DDT science in order to advance her anti-pesticide agenda. Today she is hailed as having launched the global environmental movement. A Pennsylvania state office building, Maryland elementary school, Pittsburgh bridge and a Maryland state park are named for her. The Smithsonian Institution commemorates her work against DDT. She was even honored with a 1981 U.S. postage stamp. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of her birth. Many celebrations are planned.

It’s quite a tribute for someone who was so dead wrong. At the very least, her name should be removed from public property and there should be no government-sponsored honors of Miss Carson.

The Audubon Society was a leader in the attack on DDT, including falsely accusing DDT defenders (who won a libel suit) of lying. Not wanting to jeopardize its nonprofit tax status, the Audubon Society formed the Environmental Defense Fund (now simply known as Environmental Defense) in 1967 to spearhead its anti-DDT efforts. Today the National Audubon Society takes in more than $100 million yearly and has assets worth more than $200 million. Environmental Defense takes in more than $65 million yearly with a net worth exceeding $73 million.

In a February 25, 1971, media release, the president of the Sierra Club said his organization wanted “a ban, not just a curb” on DDT, “even in the tropical countries where DDT has kept malaria under control. Today the Sierra Club rakes in more than $90 million per year and has more than $50 million in assets.

Business are often held liable and forced to pay monetary damages for defective products and false statements. Why shouldn’t the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club and other anti-DDT activist groups be held liable for the harm caused by their recklessly defective activism?

MORE:
WHO calls for more DDT use vs. malaria (LAURAN NEERGAARD, 9/15/06, AP)

A small number of malaria-plagued countries already use DDT, backed by a 2001 United Nations treaty that set out strict rules to prevent environmental contamination. But the influential WHO’s long-awaited announcement makes clear that it will push indoor spraying with a number of insecticides — and that DDT will be a top choice because when used properly it’s safe, effective and cheap.

“We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr. Arata Kochi, the WHO’s malaria chief. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”

“It’s a big change,” said biologist Amir Attaran of Canada’s University of Ottawa, who has long pushed for the guidelines and described a recent draft. “There has been a lot of resistance to using insecticides to control malaria, and one insecticide especially. … That will have to be re-evaluated by a lot of people.”

The U.S. government already has decided to pay for DDT and other indoor insecticide use as part of
President Bush’s $1.2 billion, five-year initiative to control malaria in Africa.

Finally: Good News for Malaria Victims (Paul Driessen, September 17, 2006, Chron Watch)

In Kenya alone, 34,000 young children a year perish from malaria, says Health Minister Charity Ngilu. Uganda suffers 100,000 deaths annually, notes Minister of Health Dr. Stephen Malinga – the equivalent of a jetliner with 275 people slamming into its Rwenzori Mountains every day.

Africa has 400 million cases of acute malaria per year; up to 2 million die. Countless millions are too sick to work or go to school, countless millions more must stay home to care for them, and meager family savings are exhausted on anti-malaria drugs.

The disease costs Kenya 170 million working days and billions of dollars annually. It is a major reason that few tourists and investors go to Africa, and that the sub-Sahara region remains one of the poorest on Earth.

Instead of improving, in recent decades the disease rates have worsened. A principal reason, as epidemiologist Robert Desowitz observed, has been insecticide-resistant mosquitoes lethally combined with insecticide-resistant health authorities, who insisted on politically correct policies, instead of proven, practical solutions.

Indeed, since the US banned DDT in 1972, despite an independent commission finding that it was safe for people and most wildlife, malaria has killed an estimated 50 million people. Opponents have focused relentlessly on the alleged risks of using DDT–while ignoring the undeniable tragedies the chemical could prevent.

DDT is no “silver bullet,” nor is it appropriate in all places or cases. However, it is a critical element of many successful malaria control programs. Sprayed just twice a year on the inside walls of homes, it keeps 90% of mosquitoes from even entering, irritates those that do come in so they don’t bite, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, does that.

Look Who’s Ignoring Science Now (Sebastian Mallaby, October 10, 2005, Washington Post)

DDT, to give that chemical its more familiar name, works miracles against diseases that are spread by insects. During the Second World War, vast quantities of the stuff were dusted over troops and concentration-camp survivors to kill the body lice that spread typhus. Later, DDT was used widely in Latin America to beat back dengue and yellow fever. But the chemical’s noblest calling is to combat malarial mosquitoes. In the early 20th century, Dunklin County, Missouri, had a higher rate of malarial mortality than Freetown, Sierra Leone. Between 1947 and 1949, DDT was sprayed on the internal walls of nearly 5 million American houses, and at the end of that process malaria had ceased to pose a significant threat in the United States.

DDT also helped to eliminate malaria in Europe and parts of Asia, and in 1970 the National Academy of Sciences estimated that the chemical had prevented 500 million deaths. And yet, despite that astounding number, DDT has all but disappeared from the malaria arsenal. Some 500 million people still get the disease annually, and at least 1 million die, but the World Health Organization refuses to recommend DDT spraying. The U.S. government’s development programs don’t purchase any of the chemical. In June President Bush made a great show of announcing a new five-year push against malaria; DDT appears to play no part in his plans.

But the worst culprit is the European Union. It not only refuses to fund DDT spraying: In the case of at least one country, it has also threatened to punish DDT use with import restrictions.

That country is Uganda, which suffered a crippling 12 million cases of malaria in a population of 27 million in 2003. The Ugandans know perfectly well that DDT can help them: As Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute recently testified to Congress, DDT spraying in one part of the country in 1959 and 1960 reduced the prevalence of malaria from 22 percent to less than 1 percent. Ugandans also know the record in South Africa, where the cessation of DDT spraying in 1996 allowed the number of malaria cases to multiply tenfold and where the resumption of spraying in 2000 helped to bring the caseload down by almost 80 percent.

So the Ugandans, not unreasonably, would like to use DDT. But in February the European Union waved an anti-scientific flag at them. The Europeans said Uganda might need to institute a new food monitoring program to assuage the health concerns of their consumers, even though hundreds of millions have been exposed to DDT without generating any solid evidence that the chemical harms people. The E.U. proposal might constitute an impossible administrative burden on a poor country. Anti-malaria campaigners say that other African governments are wary of even considering DDT, having seen what Uganda has gone through.

Why does Europe impede Uganda’s fight against malaria? The standard answer starts with “Silent Spring,” the book that helped launch the environmental movement in the 1960s and that painted a scary picture of DDT’s potential impact on the food chain. But this is only half right. The book’s overblown claims led to the banning of DDT in the United States in 1972 and its disappearance from aid-funded programs thereafter. But “Silent Spring” was really about the dangers of large-scale agricultural use of DDT, not the limited spraying of houses. Today mainstream environmental groups concede that in the context of malarial countries, the certain health benefits of anti-malarial spraying may outweigh the speculative environmental risks.


THE NGO AT THE END OF HISTORY:

April 24, 2006

A Million Paths to Peace (Michael Strong, 24 Apr 2006, Tech Central Station)

Something extraordinary is happening in global development circles. For the first time since the 19th century, progressive activists are embracing trade as positive tool for change. The global NGO Oxfam is the latest progressive interest group to change its tune. It has launched a campaign to end agricultural subsidies in the developed world.

This could represent a fundamental turning of the tide from a world based on nationalism and violence to a world based on commerce and peace.

Oxfam has a new section on its website devoted to “the private sector’s role in development,” where they acknowledge that “Oxfam GB believes that the private sector plays a central role in development, impacting on or contributing to poverty reduction in many different ways.” The awkward “impacting on,” rather than simply “contributing to,” poverty reduction rings of compromise language, perhaps included to satisfy lingering “old Left” market resentments among certain Oxfam stakeholders, but we should be strictly grateful for the core thesis: “The private sector plays a central role in development.”

In a recent paper, Columbia University political science professor Erik Gartzke shows that economic freedom (as measured by the Fraser Economic Freedom Index) is about fifty times more effective than democracy in diminishing violent conflict. Although it is not literally true that two nations with McDonald’s do not go to war with each other, nations with high levels of economic freedom are far less likely to be engaged in violent conflict than are nations without economic freedom. The democratic peace turns out to be the free market peace.

Evangelizing for democracy and capitalism is the transnationalism of the Right.


TRANSCENDING TRANSNATIONALISM:

December 18, 2005

Time names Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates Persons of Year (CNN, 12/18/05)

The good deeds of an activist rock legend and one of the world’s richest men and his wife carried the day in 2005, as Time magazine on Sunday named U2 frontman Bono and philanthropic couple Bill and Melinda Gates as its “Persons of the Year.”

The Left has long dreamed of transnational institutions and rules running the world, yet here are individuals, nevermind states, that matter more.


DON'T LET THEM DO TO US WHAT THEY DID TO FRANCE (via Luciferous):

July 26, 2004

“For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!”: The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem. (Der Spiegel, 7/04/05)

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa…

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

SPIEGEL: Even in a country like Kenya, people are starving to death each year. Someone has got to help them.

Shikwati: But it has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people.

If Europe had produced a Shikwati it might not have likewise been ruined by the Marshall Plan’s funding of the bureaucratic welfare state. He’s featured prominentlty in Paul Driessen’s excellent, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.


ECO-IMPERIALISM:

January 27, 2004

Green movement is morally bankrupt (Roger Bate, Jan 27 2004, Business Day)

THE view most people have of colonialism and imperialism is largely negative. So any charge that a group, individual or government is guilty of them is bound to be resisted strongly by the recipient.

Recently, in New York City, a broad charge of eco-imperialism was laid at the feet of the environmental movement. The Congress of Racial Equality (Core ) blames government officials, aid agency bureaucrats as well as sandal-wearing greens for mass disease and death in the poorest countries of the world because they export their most vile regulatory policies.

According to Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore: “The environmental movement has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity”. Last week he said: “The pain and suffering it inflicts on families in developing countries can no longer be tolerated.” So far the green movement has ignored the criticism, but it will soon have to respond, since “eco-imperialism” is becoming a more widely heard, if not yet fully appreciated, term. […]

Paul Driessen, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death, hopes, like Innes, that eco-imperialism becomes a household word. Driessen says: “It’s time to hold these groups accountable and compel organisations, foundations, courts and policymakers to understand the consequences of the policies they are imposing on our Earth’s poorest citizens.”

Mr. Driessen’s


BEYOND ACCOUNTABILITY? (via Mike Daley):

January 11, 2004

Asking the Do-Gooders to Prove They Do Good (JON CHRISTENSEN, 1/03/04, NY Times)

Wanting to know how a charity or foundation spends the millions it collects, or, more important, whether the programs it runs do any good, would seem reasonable, even necessary, to most people.

But reasonableness and need have never been sufficient to put ideas into practice. There are millions of these groups – commonly referred to as nongovernmental organizations, or NGO’s – worldwide, but few are subjected to that kind of meaningful oversight, say the specialists studying NGO accountability.

For some advocates that lack of oversight is a blessing. “Any attempt to explain, formalize and/or hold accountable the NGO community is dangerous,” writes Rob Gray, a professor at the Center for Social and Environmental Accounting Research at Glasgow University, in response to the report “The 21st Century NGO: In the Market for Change.” That study, published in June
by SustainAbility, an international consulting company, concluded that an “accountability squeeze” was one of the major challenges facing nonprofit organizations.

Even activists like Ralph Nader and the anti-globalization firebrand Naomi Klein, who have often been at the forefront of efforts demanding accountability from corporations and governments, have lashed out at calls for holding NGO’s similarly responsible. Mr. Nader, for example, objected to
a new