Friday, May 25, 2007

Rachel Carson: Mother of Environmentalism

Rachel Carson: The Mother of Environmentalism
Message #1 - 05/25/07 01:38 AM
The marine biologist and author Rachel Carson has been called "The Mother of Environmentalism". She is most known for her book "Silent Spring". She died of cancer in 1964. There was a move in Congress to honor what would be her 100th birthday. The move was blocked by a Congressman who blames her for helping ban DDT, a pesticide that was very effective at killing mosquitoes which transmit the deadly disease malaria. Malaria is a scourge of underdeveloped countries and kills millions of people every year.

I don't know a lot about DDT, pesticides, mosquitoes, and malaria. Is it fair to lay the blame of millions of deaths on Rachel Carson? Is this another case of science gone haywire with disastrous results? Is it comparable to what I call the scam and hysteria over global warming?

Rachel Carson is also credited (discredited) with fostering the widespread belief, (misbelief) that most cancers are caused by environmental "pollutants". Apparently many, many scientists disagree, unknown to most of the public.

Any comments people?

See this article:
DDT debate halts Rachel Carson honor
WASHINGTON -- A senator has delayed submitting a resolution to honor pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson on the 100th anniversary of her birth after a colleague signaled he would block it because of her aggressive fight against pesticides.

Carson's 1962 book "Silent Spring" revealed the harmful effects of DDT and other pesticides and helped launch the environmental movement. The longtime resident of Silver Spring, Md., died in 1964. She would have turned 100 this Sunday.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin's resolution had intended to honor Carson for her "legacy of scientific rigor coupled with poetic sensibility." But Susan Sullam, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Democrat, said he delayed the bill because Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., signaled he would use Senate rules to halt it.

In a statement on his Web site Tuesday, Coburn confirmed that he is holding up the bill. He blamed Carson for using "junk science" to turn the public against chemicals such as DDT that could prevent the spread of insect-borne diseases such as malaria.

Coburn, a doctor specializing in family medicine, obstetrics and allergies, said in the statement that 1 million to 2 million people die of malaria every year.

Since Carson's death from cancer, she has been celebrated as a hero by the environmental movement and as the inspiration for aggressive advocacy for nature.

Under Senate rules, any senator may hold up legislation that is scheduled as a "unanimous consent" measure for quicker-than-usual passage.

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