Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Numbers Game

Many of us are having trouble comprehending the fact that some 150,000 or more lost their lives in the recent tsunami in South Asia. Credible predictions hold that there will be more deaths in coming days from infectious diseases caused by almost total disruption of sewage systems and decomposing bodies contaminating the drinking water. As hard as these numbers are to grasp, we must keep in mind that they are largely the result of a natural disaster and the world-wide relief effort to help those affected has been quite large.
Perspective on all of this, however, might be realized by a consideration by a much greater human disaster which was brought about not so much by nature as by humans reaction to bad science. I speak of the 300 to 500 million cases of malaria each year which result in the death of at least 1 million --many of them children. Much of this could be alleviated by reversing the idiotic governmental restrictions on the use of DDT. Indoor spraying of DDT has been proven to be effective in reducing malaria and enviromentally safe. Don't expect the environmental wackos to reverse their objections or our cowardly politicians to face them down with facts.

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