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Defending Rachel Carson

September 22nd, 2007

One of the stranger efforts of the political right over the last decade has been the effort to paint Rachel Carson as a mass murderer, on the basis of bogus claims conflating the US ban on non-public health uses of DDT with a non-existent ban on the use of DDT as an antimalarial. Starting from the lunatic fringe of the LaRouche movement and promoted primarily by current and retired hacks for the tobacco industry, this claim has become received wisdom throughout the US Republican party and its received offshoots. Although this nonsense has been comprehensively demolished by bloggers, most notably Tim Lambert, article-length refutations are desperately needed. Now Aaron Swartz has a piece published in Extra!. It’s great to see this but, as the global warming debate has shown, one refutation is never enough in resisting the Republican War on Science.

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  1. mugwump
    September 23rd, 2007 at 05:35 | #1

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  2. Jill Rush
    September 23rd, 2007 at 12:13 | #2

    Rachel Carson wrote a book which has withstood the test of time and will still appall those who read ot today. It is a shame that the effect of her work which put scientific terms in a manner that the ordinary person understood is being used to blacken her name.

    There are still those who argue that evolution is a myth and that the creation story of the bible is the truth. It can sometimes take a long time for some people to acknowledge science over personal greed or belief in one’s own system. Rachel Carson was an amazing woman as she was so far ahead of her time.

    Her life is worth celebrating for her clarity of thought and her understanding of the interconnectedness of life forms. It is of concern that there are those who not only disagree but will actively campaign against her legacy using emotive and false arguments.

    Her work should argue caution but for the carpetbaggers who want to make a quick buck, this is anathema. The symbiosis of genetically modified crops and pesticides makes me wonder if this could make a Silent Spring II as the impact on the market, human health and social structures of the poor are considered (and dismissed) whereas the uncontrolled spead of a crop like Canola on the wider environment appears to be ignored.

  3. wilful
    September 24th, 2007 at 13:51 | #3

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    WTF is that smartarse comment supposed to mean?

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