Insecticide Alarmism, the DDT Ban and the Global Warming Scare

On the opening day of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, the US EPA declared that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant of the air. The long anticipated declaration that a natural component of air is a threat to public health was easily mocked, especially as it implies that simply to breathe is to pollute. A political motivation for this decision was evident: with the ‘Cap and Trade’ bill floundering in the Senate, this decision would permit regulation of CO2 emissions (under the existing Clean Air Act) without passing any new legislation. And it came just in time for the USA delegation at Copenhagen to point at least to this step as demonstrating USA readiness to take action on climate change.

William Ruckelshaus

William Ruckelshaus, the 1st head of the US EPA, acted quickly and against the evidence to ban DDT

This was not the first time that the EPA was seen to be acting on political consideration with little regard for the evidence. In fact, its first significant achievement, the banning of DDT in 1972, gives all the appearance of a political decision against the presented evidence. In this post I want to open up discussion of the links between recent Global Warming Alarmism and the organic insecticides scare of the 1960s and 1970s.

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