Saturday, February 02, 2008

What Rick Mercer Is Always On About

Insecticidal Nets. Cheap. Long-lasting. Combine it with the judicious small scale spraying of DDT (inside houses), and the result, in Rwanda and Ethiopa, is what you see in the graph above--a larger than 50% decline in Malaria cases and deaths.


Anonymous said...

Daniel Quinn (born 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a U.S. writer. He is best known for his book Ishmael (1992), which won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991.
This fellowship was established to encourage authors to seek "creative and positive solutions to global problems". Ishmael is the first of a trilogy including The Story of B, and My Ishmael. The 1999 film Instinct is roughly based on the story.

Ishmael and its sequels brought ever-increasing fame to Quinn throughout the 1990s, and he became a very well-known author to certain segments of the environmental movement, the simplicity movement, the anarchist movement and Anarcho-primitivism movements. Quinn has traveled widely to lecture and discuss his books. As of 2006, he appears to be traveling less frequently, perhaps because of health issues.

While response to Ishmael was mostly very positive, Quinn inspired a great deal of controversy with his claim (most explicitly discussed in the appendix section of The Story of B) that since population growth is a function of food supply, food aid to impoverished nations merely puts off and dramatically worsens a massive population-environment crisis.

Quinn has replied with a modified version of some of Thomas Malthus's arguments, suggesting that current population growth is unsustainable both for human beings and other species, and that apparently benevolent policies now will wreak havoc when considered from a longer-term view. As evidence of this, he points to the extinction of 200 species a day currently being caused by human beings. Quinn has also suggested that the low fertility rates of developed nations are irrelevant as counter-evidence to his thesis, because the growing food production of developed nations is what is driving population growth in the Third World.

Raging Ranter said...

That was the most boring comment I've ever read. And I did, somehow, read the whole thing. Speaking of anonymous comments, there is one that should be purged. Basically says, "quit feeding the poor and solve the global population crisis." I wouldn't put my screen name to that one either.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you can't be serious?! Rachel Carson will start to cry if you recommend using DDT to try to save the lives of humans. Think about the few species of BIRDS which may be impacted!!!!!

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