NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 25, 2007

The Los Angeles Times hypes an alleged link between global warming and a rise in malaria in parts of Africa.  It so happens those areas don't use a cure that the Times doesn't mention -- DDT, says Investor's Business Daily.

According to Times staff writer Edmund Sanders:

  • In Kenya's western highlands, maximum annual temperatures over the last 20 years are up about 1.8 degrees.
  • This has caused the emergence of malaria in towns like Thangathi, which Sanders calls one of the new fronts in the global struggle with a changing climate.
  • Industrialized nations, including the United States, account for the vast majority of carbon emissions, while poorer countries, particularly in Africa, are the most vulnerable to its effects.

What isn't mentioned in the Times piece is that Nairobi experienced malaria outbreaks all through the '20s, '30s and '40s, before supposed warming was the culprit.  Also missing is the fact that Kenya joined the worldwide hysteria against DDT in 1990 and outlawed the insecticide's use. That ban, not global warming, has spawned the resurgence of malaria in Kenya's cooler regions.  Consider the following example:

  • South Africa used DDT to fight malaria from 1946 to 1996, when it was replaced by other insecticides.
  • Cases rose from around 6,000 in 1995 to more than 60,000 in 2000, and deaths went from the dozens to the hundreds.
  • When South Africa reintroduced indoor spraying in 2003, it saw its malaria rates plummet 80 percent.

Source: Editorial, "DDT And Global Warming," Investor's Business Daily, July 24, 2007.


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