Every single day I get e-mail from various environmental groups warning about global warming. Matt Drudge posts on his Web site the latest exhortations about this issue from scientists, politicians, Hollywood celebs, and, of course, Al Gore. A coalition of environmentalists and institutional investors recently laid out for AOL customers a listing of which companies will be best prepared for climate change. Greens may be concerned for their wallets, but when it comes to the lives of Africans, these environmentalists are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.
April 25 is Africa Malaria Day, but don't expect headlines reflecting on the unnecessary deaths of millions of Africans. Don't expect to hear about rallies organized by the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton alleging racism behind these deaths. In fact, the only civil rights organization that has been fully involved and spearheading efforts to stop the epidemic is based in New York City. It's the Congress of Racial Equality. Roy Innis, the CORE chairman, recently issued a press release citing the enormous impact of malaria on Africans. He writes: "Every year, over 400 million African mothers, fathers and children are stricken by acute malaria."
According to Mr. Innis, the calls for the world community to take action have led to nothing but bombast because "radical greens continue to obstruct proven strategies, and disease and death rates climb."
What's the environmentalists' beef? DDT, of course. The most effective insecticide against the malarial mosquito was banned here in 1972, thanks to Rachel Carson's junk science classic "The Silent Spring." Although never toxic to human beings, DDT was cited as endangering certain birds and banned - and millions of Africans died as a result. Why no outrage? All together now: Because it's in Africa.
Will this year be any different? Mr. Innis expresses hope that it will be because Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a cofounder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, and hundreds of physicians, clergy, and human rights advocates are joining him in demanding that DDT be put back into the malaria control arsenal.
There has been growing support for indoor DDT spraying, which greatly reduces any contact with the environment. Sprayed in small quantities, just twice a year, on the walls and eaves of mud and thatch or cinder block homes, it keeps 90% of the mosquitoes from entering the premises. No other insecticide - at any price - does that.
Within two years of starting DDT programs, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Madagascar, and Swaziland slashed their malaria rates by 75% or more. Other countries want to launch similar programs, but they are facing opposition from Europe.
The E.U. is warning of possible agricultural export sanctions against Uganda, Kenya, and other countries that use DDT to save lives. Now why on earth would the E.U. object to this life-saving measure for the African nations who rely greatly on their exports to Europe?
According to Mr. Innis, the E.U.'s trade representative to Uganda said recently that the E.U. "has no control" over environmental and consumer organizations that might pressure supermarkets to stop selling agricultural products from those nations. What a bunch of mealy-mouthed cowards the Europeans have morphed into! Is this the international community that Iraq war critics insist we pay attention to? What a joke.
Can an entire continent be so fearful of overzealous environmental wackos that they would rather see millions of Africans die than to face the threat of possible boycotts based on nothing?
Let's review the history of malaria, shall we? This dreadful disease used to kill thousands of Americans every year. It arrived in Europe 2,600 years ago. Cromwell died from it and Charles II and Louis XIV nearly perished. In his press release, Mr. Innis details the historical toll from the malarial mosquitoes on Europe. "Aggressive interventions, including widespread use of DDT, finally ended its deadly grip," he wrote. "Once the United States and Europe became malaria-free, however, they began to impose restrictions that have perpetuated malaria elsewhere, especially in Africa."
We hear so many conspiracy theories from radical leftist groups blaming white America for everything from AIDS to drugs in the ghettos, but when presented with factual data about African disease abetted by other radical groups, we hear nary a peep.
Why is it that whenever death occurs in huge numbers in other countries, the color of the victims' skin seems to determine how outraged we need to be? Rwanda? Sudan? Uganda? Ho-hum. But the decision not to sign the Kyoto global warming agreement attracts ecoterrorists and whacko hypocrites from around the globe to protest this neglect to control our climate.
Frankly, I'd rather let the planet flame out than stand by and have millions of fellow human beings die unnecessarily from bug bites.