I just spoke at an event organized by the UQ Greens to discuss emissions trading. There was lively debate over the relative merits, and prospects for success of emissions trading, carbon taxes, and direct regulation (my views here).
Things were made even livelier by the attendance of some LaRouche supporters who explained, as usual, that emissions trading was a genocidal plot by the British Royal Family. On an issue like climate change, LaRouchites represent the extreme fringe of rightwing opinion, taking the usual conspiracy theories about grantgrubbing scientists and environmentalist plans for world government into utterly paranoid territory.
But the traffic isn’t all one-way. On the issue of DDT, a lot of people buy a watered-down version of the LaRouche theory presented in LaRouche’s 21st Century Science by Gordon Edwards back in the early 1990s, according to which the US ban on agricultural use of DDT in 1972 produced a global ban on the use of DDT to fight malaria, costing millions of lives as part of a genocidal eco-imperialist plot.
Tobacco lobbyist Steven Milloy, looking for a stick with which to beat the environmental movement, used his junkscience site (then affiliated with the Cato Institute) to push Edwards’ LaRouchite fantasies, including the claims of genocide, but (doubtless in deference to conservative sensibilities) without the usual LaRouche link to the Royal Family (Milloy’s genocide clock is here). Roger Bate of AEI later took up the same line with great success, though he has backed away from it more recently.
But who would be stupid enough to fall for the second-hand propaganda of a nut group, recycled by the tobacco industry ?
(Answer over the fold)
1. An incomplete list of prominent rightwing commentators and institutions buying the LaRouche line on DDT (I’ll update this and add links as I get time)
2. A complete (AFAIK) list of rightwing commentators and institutions who explicitly reject the LaRouche line on DDT and criticise its advocates
(This line intentionally left blank)
I’d welcome any additions to Group 2. Also, rightwingers should feel free to write in explaining why LaRouche is right on DDT, or why your version of the DDT ban myth isn’t really the LaRouche/Milloy/Bate version (which will qualify you for an asterisk). But special rules apply for this post. Real names and country of origin required so your name can be added to the list. Anonymous/pseudonymous comments in support of the DDT ban myth or apologising for its advocates will be deleted.
 It’s interesting to compare the 2004 piece linked above, blaming the 1972 US ban on agricultural use for millions of deaths, with this from 2007 which, while still pro-DDT, is more or less factually accurate, noting “Although many believe that DDT was banned after 1972, it actually was not”. Unlike Milloy, Bate has responded to criticism by backing away from some of the more extreme claims.
 What is it with the right and crazy ex-Comms/Trots? The Revolutionary Communist Party (now Spiked) showed a parallel evolution to LaRouche from far left to far right, but treated with much more respect for reasons I can’t fathom.