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Smearing Rachel Carson

By Blogger for The Christian Science Monitor / May 27, 2008

Photo illustration/US Fish & Wildlife Service

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To many, Rachel Carson, who was born 101 years ago on Tuesday, is a hero. Her 1962 book, "Silent Spring," considered a cornerstone of modern environmentalism, earned her a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. The US Environmental Protection Agency describes itself as no less than "the extended shadow of Rachel Carson," and her name graces a number of conservation areas, schools, and environmental prizes.

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To others, however, she is responsible for more deaths than Hitler. They blame "Silent Spring" as responsible for a ban on DDT that has left millions vulnerable to malaria. Here's an excerpt from a 2003 article from FrontPage magazine, titled, "Rachel Carson's Ecological Genocide."

A pandemic is slaughtering millions, mostly children and pregnant women – one child every 15 seconds; 3 million people annually; and over 100 million people since 1972 – but there are no protestors [sic] clogging the streets or media stories about this tragedy. These deaths can be laid at the doorstep of author Rachel's Carson. Her 1962 bestselling book Silent Spring detailed the alleged "dangers" of the pesticide DDT, which had practically eliminated malaria. Within ten years, the environmentalist movement had convinced the powers that be to outlaw DDT. Denied the use of this cheap, safe and effective pesticide, millions of people – mostly poor Africans – have died due to the environmentalist dogma propounded by Carson's book. Her coterie of admirers at the U.N. and environmental groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund have managed to bring malaria and typhus back to sub-Saharan Africa with a vengeance.

FrontPage is not alone in blaming the deaths of millions on the Pennsylvania-born wildlife biologist. Capitalism Magazine, also using the word "genocide" to describe Carson's actions, claims that her case against the pesticide is "nonexistent," and that she would sooner sought to "accommodate" malaria than eradicate it. Last year, on the centennial of Carson's birth, The National Review, Reason, the Examiner, and The Wall Street Journal all ran commentaries disputing the scientific basis of her findings that DDT is harmful to humans and wildlife, and claiming that she ignored the benefits of the pesticide. Steve Milloy, Fox News's "Junk Science" commentator, maintains The Malaria Clock: A Green Eco-Imperialist Legacy of Death, which keeps a running tally of those who have died of malaria worldwide since the United States banned DDT in 1972.

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