Pelosi: ‘I’m trying to save the planet’

With fewer than 20 legislative days before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the entire appropriations process has largely ground to a halt because of the ham-handed fighting that followed Republican attempts to lift the moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration. And after promising fairness and open debate, Pelosi has resorted to hard-nosed parliamentary devices that effectively bar any chance for Republicans to offer policy alternatives.

I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,” she says impatiently when questioned. “I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy.”

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We need oil to get to the next cleaner and better energy source – plain and simple. Pelosi has completely bought the man caused global warming stuff though – so there is no longer any reasoning with her. She’s ‘trying to save the planet.’ If that’s true – why doesn’t she call for some nation wide debates on climate science? I think that would be very interesting because the discussion might actually involve science, and get a lot of people to really think about energy solutions. But this isn’t going to happen – because as Al Gore has stated – the ‘debate is closed.’ 

Why can’t we be reasonable about this issue? Because the hard left environmental activists have a huge hold on the democratic party. It’s been this way ever since the 60’s when environmental groups overreacted to the environmental threat of DDT. The environmental groups won and gained a huge amount of leverage in the political sphere. This led to heavy restrictions on the use and production of the chemical (mostly based on questionable science)- which indirectly resulted in the deaths of millions (mostly women and children) in Africa to malaria.  

Only now are we finally seeing a change on this front:

In the early 1960s, several developing countries had nearly wiped out malaria. After they stopped using DDT, malaria came raging back and other control methods have had only modest success.

Which is why Arata Kochi, head of the WHO’s antimalaria campaign, has made the move to bring back DDT. His major effort at a news conference Friday in Washington, D.C., was not so much to announce the change, but to deflect potential opposition from environmental groups.

“We are asking these environmental groups to join the fight to save the lives of babies in Africa,” Kochi said. “This is our call to them.”

The fundamental failing of many environmental campaigns is the cost that it has on poor people. With the fervor over DDT – it was the destitute in Africa that suffered. The hype over biofuels also effected these people by driving up prices of corn around the world. They couldn’t afford to eat, so we could feel better about fueling our cars.

It’s the same story with Pelosi blocking oil expansion. This will drive up world oil prices. Again – who will this effect the most? The poor. For middle class folks, $4.00 gas (and it will go up from here) is annoying – but for the poor, it’s devastating. I guess if you are trying to ‘save the planet’ then the poor should just learn to deal with it…

It’s time we came up with reasonable solutions to energy needs, and move away from the hysteric apocalyptic ‘save the planet’ rhetoric. We can, and should do this in an environmentally responsible way. And we can do it without decimating the poor.

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5 Responses to “Pelosi: ‘I’m trying to save the planet’”

  1. Ed Darrell Says:

    Poor people are the chief victims of pollution. Green campaigns have improved the lives and health of poor people.

    The ban on DDT saved our environment, and ultimately it has saved human lives. Had the government acted in 1963, as President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Council recommended, DDT might have been effective against malaria much longer than it was, in many more places.

    Ironically, today in Africa nations turn to Rachel Carson’s methods to fight malaria. 44 years late.

    Don’t blame environmentalists for business and governmental failures.

  2. Mike O Says:

    Ed, Unlike you, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Africa and know how full of crap your argument is. ‘Saved the environment’?? What drivel! The unavailability/high price of DDT kill millions every year; a South African study shows it reduces malarial cases 80%. And I have watch as my kids go through repeated bouts of it

  3. Ed Darrell Says:

    Nice group of kids. They deserve real policy, real concern, and real effort to prevent malaria, not just talk.

    Yes, saved the environment. DDT is a deadly poison. When sprayed broadcast style, it kills almost anything smaller than a human, although it’s killed cows and big pigs, too. When DDT wipes out an ecosystem like that, malaria and dengue fever, and all other mosquito-borne illnesses come roaring back. DDT kills the predators of the mosquitoes much more effectively than it kills the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes breed much more quickly, too.

    Here in the Americans, DDT nearly wiped out osprey, brown pelicans, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. It caused alligators and lizards to be hermaphroditic, and sterile. It kills fish outright, except when its in highly reduced doses, when it gives the fish cancers and makes them ambiguously sexed, unable to reproduce. In Africa, it killed food fish. It killed mosquito predators of all sizes. Since the plan to keep mosquitoes down until the malaria parasite was wiped out could not be achieved, partly because of abuse by agricultural interests, the use of DDT contributed to the dramatic surge of malaria.

    And when the malaria parasites developed resistance and immunity to the medicines used to treat the disease, Africans were left almost defenseless.

    Of course, malaria levels are at much lower levels now than in the 1950s. DDT made some inroads — but not at all in Uganda. Uganda is one of those places where the government couldn’t get it together to join the mosquito eradication campaign of the World Health Organization. However, it’s also one of those places where DDT was overused on crops, driving the development of resistance an immunity in the mosquitoes.

    DDT is still cheap. What makes its use expensive is the sad fact that DDT is ineffective against the bugs that carry the worst form of the parasite. Testing is required to determine whether DDT will work at all; in order to keep DDT effective, testing is required to make sure applications are not driving new mutations of the mosquitoes to make them immune to the stuff. Plus, since it is so destructive when released in the wild, and it is still long-lived, applications need to be made by people trained to keep the stiff indoors, where it works.

    Uganda now has money for DDT, DDT, and plans to use it properly. However, in some places use is stopped by court order — cotton and tobacco growers sued. So, once again, it’s Uganda politics that interferes, nothing to do with those who protect the environment.

    That said, there is something even more important than spraying mosquitoes to fight malaria: Effective health care. That has at least two components, diagnosis and treatment. Uganda lacks the health care structure to diagnose forms of malaria effectively. Uganda lacks the health delivery system to get the most effective pharmaceuticals to people who have the disease. Uganda lacks the education programs to teach people to use the full regimen of the drugs to kill the parasites in them, instead of just make the people feel better and continue to harbor the parasite — which can then be sucked up by other mosquitoes and infect more people.

    If we could wipe out malaria in humans, that would wipe it out in mosquitoes, too, and mosquito control would be unnecessary (for malaria). That was the ultimate goal of the failed eradication campaign.

    So control of malaria requires a lot of work on the health care system, education and action to reduce exposure to mosquitoes. The bugs to worry about are active in the evening, mostly. If we could drain breeding pools near homes, we could reduce exposure (your work filling the pothole was a good thing to do). If we could teach people to keep draining tires, raingutters, and potholes, it would help a lot — if we could get the government to make roads that don’t have potholes, that would help a lot more.

    DDT can work, briefly, to knock down malaria rates. But only for short periods. In the U.S., we got rid of malaria with rising incomes. People could afford homes with screened windows. County governments could pay for public health agencies to treat the cases that arose. Effectively, according to CDC, malaria in the U.S. was almost completely eradicated by 1939. That was 7 years before DDT’s use was common for such stuff.

    And if you check South Africa, you’ll find that DDT was not the sole, nor the chief, tool of their recent work to reduce malaria. The disease came over the border. Delivery of health care was, and remains, the chief tool of fighting the disease.

    We cannon poison Africa to health.

    While we’re on the topic, Pelosi is right about oil, and that is a reflection of the Bush administrations stupidity on many issues, including DDT. You know, of course, that Bush resisted spending U.S. dollars for DDT until last year, right? Uganda couldn’t buy DDT because the U.S. wouldn’t allow it. Now, what was the reasoning behind that policy? I can’t find any. Even the anti-DDT environmental groups had okayed the use of DDT for indoor residual spraying in Uganda. Only Bush refused. Apparently, the health of Ugandans was not his concern.

    And that’s the same thing with oil. We’ve wasted 8 years when we could have been working toward energy independence. Ultimately, we have to do there, using alternative sources other than oil. Bush has dragged his feet at best, but actively opposed such efforts on other occasions. Why?

    So in the end, your filling a pothole may be more effective than the Bush administration. Yeah, it’d be nice if Uganda had some other tools. In the meantime, you’ve got a shovel . . .

  4. whatthecrap? Says:

    “Does Pelosi imagine that with so much of America declared off-limits, the planet is less injured as drilling shifts to Kazakhstan and Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea? That Russia will be more environmentally scrupulous than we in drilling in its Arctic?”

    -Krauthammer


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