Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: The screening of the Rachel Carson film “Sense of Wonder” on Earth Day provides the Andover community with an extraordinary learning opportunity, a teachable moment you may wish to build on. As you are possibly aware, the demonization of DDT by Rachel Carson and others has led to the avoidable deaths of roughly 2,000,000 Africans every year since DDT was banned by the EPA in 1972. In addition to these unnecessary deaths (primarily from malaria), many more millions of Africans who do NOT die from a malarial infection, spend the rest of their lives impaired by the aftereffects of the disease. You may also be aware that malaria had almost been eradicated when the United States DDT ban went into effect. DDT is a benign insecticide that is harmless to humans. You or I could drink an entire glass of it without ill effects. It’s my opinion that, because these unnecessary deaths occur in Africa and are unnoticed by most of us in the West, the environmental movement has looked the other way all these years… and continues to do so. I consider it an ethical, scientific and political scandal. Certainly Ms. Carson did not intend that many tens of millions of Africans would die (and hundreds of millions would lead subpar lives) because of her crusade against DDT, but the consequence of her opinions has been deadly on a scale that makes the Holocaust look like no more than a bad dream. Disasters caused by good intentions (and ideologically tainted science) must be acknowledged if we are not to perpetuate such inhumanity. Sincerely, Fred Sanborn ’45