Bed bugs and the right wing ‘astro-turf' campaign to rehabilitate DDT
Exponential growth in the population of bedbugs
X squared - Exponential growth in the population of bedbugsIn a previous posting I stated that the growth rate of the population of bedbugs during the current epidemic outbreak was exponential, and that the mathematical function which modeled this growth rate was 'x squared'. It has occurred to me that I did not justify this statement, and there might be those who are wondering where they might find a link to the scientific website to back up this claim.
There is no link to further information since the source of the information is myself, and therefore I thought I would explain the methodology I employed to arrive at this conclusion. What I did is some data mining, looking for bits and pieces of information scattered here and there which would indicate the number of times Pest Control Companies have been called to treat bedbugs. Much of the data I was able to collect concerns New York, since for some reason that information was easier to collect, but information from scattered other locations seemed to correspond year by year with the figures for New York.
The earliest reference to the emergence of the pesticide resistant bedbug I could locate was dated back to 1998. Female bedbugs only need to be inseminated once in their lifetime, and so it is required that bedbugs be exterminated repeatedly to remove mating competition from weaker insects before the genes for pesticide resistance can dominate. This process continues for several years. During this time many Pest Control Companies will not receive a single call for the treatment of bedbugs.
Once the genes for pesticide resistance gain a foothold, phone calls will then become more common, because the bugs will become more common. In what I will call year one, we find that Pest Control Companies will be receiving a handful of calls. In year two they will receive one or two dozen. In year three they will receive a couple of hundred and in year four a couple of tens of thousands.
If you think of these data points being plotted on a graph, and curve fitting can be employed to find a function that models, and thus best fits, the data points. In this case a good approximation of the data points is given by the exponential function 'x squared'.
This brings us to the year 2007, and the next data point on the graph takes us up to the hundreds of millions, which is impossible, one would think, since a Pest Control Company could not possibly be found receiving hundreds of millions of phone calls concerning bedbugs.
It is possible to test the accuracy of a function as a model by using the function to make predictions. In this case, if the function 'x squared' provides the proper modeling of the data points, and it seems that it does based on the data I was able to collect, then we can predict that Pest Control Companies, particularly in New York City, will be overwhelmed with phone calls concerning bedbugs in 2007. It is early in the year, but already I have read reports that there are Pest Control Companies in New York City are no longer accepting any more phone calls concerning bedbugs, because they are booked so far into the future there just isn't any point in taking any more calls. The early indications are that the function 'x squared' does indeed properly model the growth of the bedbug population, since the function does predict that Pest Control Companies, and in particular New York City, are about to be overwhelmed by an astonishing explosive growth in the population of bedbugs.
The billion dollar bugThe governing bodies of New York City are grossly downplaying the bedbug problem, in that the estimates they release to the public for the total number of bedbug cases in New York City are less than one quarter of the number of cases treated by a single Pest Control Company, and there are many Pest Control Companies in a mega-metropolis like New York City.
Anyone waiting for breaking news on the bedbug explosion in New York City will probably find themselves waiting for a while yet, for, you see, this is the billion dollar bug, and a bug that destructive to the economy of New York City is enough to make any politician crap their pants, and then begin deceiving the public and behaving recklessly, as though somehow through denial they could somehow just make the whole nightmare just go away.
You can well imagine the reaction of a business man from Singapore, due in New York City to discuss and then sign the papers for that really big deal, who suddenly cancels his hotel reservations and cancels his flight to New York. This does not mean that the deal went sour, because there is always teleconferencing.
You can also imagine New Yorkers becoming home bodies and reluctant to go out to restaurants or bars for fear of bringing home Frankenstein, the brain damaged, anywhere, anyplace, anytime bug.
You can imagine someone who had an equity portfolio, or at least they thought they did, until they found that they were holding onto the deed to a pile of bedbugs.
You can imagine bedbugs popping the real estate bubble, since it is hard to get top dollar when you have Frankenstein in the house. Real estate deals do require disclosure and people would get sued if they tried to deceive someone into buying the house of horrors.
All this is enough to keep politicians acting like a bunch of demented nut cases for a time. However New York City can be compared to a pressure cooker, and the heat on that pot and the amount of steam building up within can only increase, once people try phoning for a Pest Control Company only to get a recorded message telling them that they can't get a Pest Control Company to rid them of Frankenstein because they were to far back in line. Call again next year. Meanwhile their politicians will be busy digging a hole for themselves, issuing denials, each denial being another shovel full of dirt dug out of some deepening pit, which means the more they dig the more they will have to keep digging, until finally things reach the point in that pressure cooker that they just won't be able to dig anymore.
With this sort of thing going on it is only a matter of time before the truth does come out, because it can't be hidden forever. People do keep quiet about bedbugs, and with the government trying so damned hard to convince them that almost no one has bedbugs in New York City, this only encourages people to keep their mouths shut, since they do not realize that having bedbugs in New York City is actually becoming quite commonplace, and therefore since everyone is getting them it is foolish for everyone to keep quiet about it, while thinking that perhaps they were the only one for miles around who might have those things in their place.
The Boardroom BugNew York City is not the only place fighting a resurgence of bedbugs. At times when I have been going to work I have seen that someone has their mattresses outside in the freezing cold, which is like an announcement that there are bedbugs in the place. There was a big outbreak in one neighborhood in my city not long ago. The highrise in which I live is now battling an outbreak of pesticide resistant bedbugs.
There is a place where I have a part time job on the weekends which just recently was given the award for being the fastest growing company and one of the largest employers in the city. Now one of the problems with being the fastest growing company is that you hire a lot of people from all over the city. When a pesticide resistant bedbug is sprayed with pesticides is become very aggressive. People just do not realize just how virulently pestilential they have become, and I do not recall any Pest Control Company warning the people in this building about how they would become carriers of a plague. For this reason people go to work at one of the largest employers in the city carrying what used to be bedbugs onto the premises (I say used to be bedbugs, because once those things become brain damaged by pesticides, they suddenly lose interest in your bed and next thing you know they are biting people any damn place the mood hits them).
A very large employer has a large management team, and the management of the place meets in the boardroom. This weekend the boardroom doors were closed, and the reason was clear if you opened the door, for it turns out that someone unloaded an entire can of household Raid into the room and then slammed the door shut to keep that Raid in the room for the weekend. I stuck my nose into that room, and recognized instantly the odor of Raid, and I thought to myself, 'Frank at work'.
Frank was once a bedbug, a pesticide resistant bedbug, but now, after being 'brain damaged' by the pesticide, he is an anywhere anyplace anytime bug, and in this case it was pretty obvious that Frank is now the boardroom bug. Now this was a large boardroom, and the stench of Raid was very strong, and this leads a person to ask just what kind of bug is it that inspires such dread in human beings that an entire can of Raid would be dumped into the boardroom, and then the door slammed to trap that bug in that room full of Raid. Houseflies do not inspire such dread. Very few bugs inspire such an extreme response as unloading an entire can of Raid all at once into a room, followed by that door slamming technique. Someone must have spotted Frank, and thus the can of Raid, the idea being that the management will come back in on Monday morning to find Frank, the boardroom bug, lying on his back on the carpet with his legs in the air, having been done in by spending a weekend in a boardroom inhaling the fumes of that can of Raid.
In their dreams. Those people have a lot to learn.
The Bride of FrankensteinIn a previous posting I told the story of how this female Frankenstein bug was biting me, without getting caught, and then using my blood to lay her nymph eggs on the side of my computer chair so that her precious little darlings could hatch right next to a convenient food source.
One day, I happened to look to the right of my computer chair, and there she was stalking me, approaching my computer chair, to try pulling that dirty stunt one more time. Keep in mind that this predatory behavior of that demented, chemically altered bug was taking place in broad daylight out in the living room, and you can see that this was no longer a bed bug, but rather what we have here was the Bride of Frankenstein.
We stared into each other's eyes, he beady little bug eyes meeting mine, and she did that bug thing where she froze on the spot and didn't move. I got up and carefully began to move towards her, so that I could squash her, and I had that eerie sensation of those beady little eyes of hers watching my every move, and then at the right second, I made my move to strike her and she did that bedbug thing of firing off like a bullet shooting out of the muzzle of a gun. She disappeared so fast I am not sure what direction she went.
She'll be back, and I'll be ready for her. I have decided to surround my computer with glue traps, and then we'll see if she can fire off like a bullet while her toes are bogged down in a glue trap
I really don't like her, and what worries me the most is that dreadful thought that perhaps she might pass that mutant behavior on to her nymphs in some egg she lays, and then, once that starts, the human race will really have a problem. Her nymphs are normal bedbugs. They have only bitten me one time when I passed out and fell asleep on my computer chair. A bedbug is a formidable insect, and a nymph, being as small as a grain of pepper, and thus virtually undetectable, is more formidable still. The only reason her nymphs would wait to bite me when I fell asleep is because her nymphs are not brain damaged maniacs as she has become, but rather, you see, they are bedbugs, and thus even though they have no reason to wait, they wait to bite me when I am sleeping, because they are bedbugs and thus they carry with them from birth all the natural inhibitions that control and limit the behavior patterns of a bedbug. That, and that alone, is the only thing that stops them.
Nothing stops their mother, now that she has been brain damaged by pesticides, and now she has become the Bride of Frankenstein, and she is fearless, aggressive, and predatory, and when the highly specialized adaptations of a bedbug are employed as tools of aggression, she becomes unstoppable. All I can do is wait for the Pest Control Company to hopefully throw everything but the kitchen sink at her in the hope that maybe finally, at long last, she will drop dead, or I can try catching her in glue trap and squashing her the next time she tries pulling that stunt on me again, which will also solve the problem I have with her. Her nymphs don't concern me as much, because they are bedbugs, and as I found when I had bedbugs, rather than Frankenstein bugs, a bedbug has such powerful natural inhibitions, that if you follow the ancient advice, and sleep tight, and don't let the bedbugs bite, the bedbug gradually turns a golden color, which is its true color when it doesn't such blood, and then it goes into stasis, and it waits, even its entire natural lifespan is spent waiting for a chance to bite you when you are sleeping.
A golden bed bug could come down to the kitchen, crawl secretly up my pants legs with its specially padded feet, so I wouldn't feel a thing, and then it could inject me with that anesthetic, so I wouldn't feel a thing, and then it could bite me, becoming a nice, bright red bedbug again, but it doesn't. It turns golden. I also found some smaller sized golden nymphs. A nymph or a golden bedbug are just as formidable as the bride of Frankenstein, and like her they could very easily become unstoppable bugs, and they might if she passes along the genes for aggression and predatory behavior in her eggs, but for now they are inhibited by their own nature, because they are bedbugs, while she is not.
The right wing 'astro-turf' campaign to rehabilitate DDTA plague of pesticide resistant bedbugs is currently on the march in the country. The main carriers of the plague are what I refer to as 'Frankenstein bugs'. These are chemically altered bedbugs that have been somehow stripped of all their natural inhibitions, making them fearless and very aggressive. They are also very active during the time immediately after exposure to pesticides, since the pesticide acts like a stimulant, and this increased activity, combined with their reckless aggressive behavior makes them pestilential. They have no inhibitions which would cause them to avoid contact with humans as is the case with a normal bedbug, which is a bug you just do not see around, and for this reason they are carried from place to place by human carriers. The eggs these Frankenstein bugs lay result in the hatching of normal bedbugs, which are no where near as pestilential (a bedbug would have to accidentally hitch a ride with you, since it is very unlikely that it would approach you and climb up your pant leg as Frank will do). In this way, normal bedbugs can continue to be reticent and very shy bugs, hiding safely in their holes and cracks, while their mutant warrior cousins take on the task of spreading new bedbug colonies across the nation at an exponential rate of speed.
It is obvious that there is nothing to stop them, for if they could be stopped, there would not be a plague of these bugs, and it turns out that the methods employed to stop them are actually spreading them, since this plague is entirely a human driven event, for the bug spreading the contagion is a human creation. It is almost impossible to get people to stop spraying a bedbug with pesticides and even when it is a pesticide resistant bedbug, they continue to spray, the only difference being that spray and spray and spray, creating new mutants, and converting newly hatched nymphs into especially pestilential mutants, since these very aggressive nymphs are virtually impossible to detect and could be crawling all over people and would easily be mistaken for dust or a very tiny piece of fuzz, assuming they were noticed at all.
When an insect has once become resistant to a pesticide, and then the pesticide is no longer used, the insect is subjected to reduced selection pressure. It can gradually become more susceptible to that pesticide over a period of time. In the past, when this phenomenon was first noticed, the idea first occurred to people that perhaps they could practice pesticide switching. They would use a pesticide until resistance developed, and then switch, and then in the future they would switch back to the previous pesticide, which would be useful once again because reduced selection pressure would once again make the insects susceptible. This could theoretically go on forever, thus solving the problem of pesticide resistance in insects.
However the idea had to be abandoned, because it was discovered that when an insect has once developed pesticide resistance, the second time around the bug comes roaring back in no time at all. For this reason the arms race continues, and new insecticides always have to be developed, because you cannot simply switch back to the old ones.
I was reading some scientific info on this subject on the web, but after hours and hours of fruitless searching I have been unable to find the right search terms to bring the link up to the top of the listings. For this reason I will just relate the story to you, without supplying the link, and you will have to take my word on this one for the time being. A country in South East Asia, if I remember right it was Singapore, had a problem with pesticide resistant mosquitos spreading malaria, and it was discovered that the bugs were once again showing susceptibility to DDT. Therefore DDT was reintroduced, and knocked the bugs down in large numbers, and it seemed the practice was successful. However, almost immediately the bugs returned, and within months the spraying of DDT had to be canceled. It was a very short lived experiment, and it just did not work, for you see mosquitos developed pesticide resistance to DDT in the past and so it was just a matter of flipping a switch and they were resistant once again, this time almost immediately, rather than over a period of years.
One single genetic mutation leads to resistance to DDT. In fruit flies the mutation has spread around the globe, and even laboratory strains not exposed to DDT carry the gene. Lab specimens of the fruit fly from the 1930s, prior to the introduction of DDT, did not carry this mutation. What this means is that given the persistence of this single gene it would be very difficult to rid an insect of resistance to DDT after exposure to the chemical led to the development of such resistance. The same genetic changes are found in mosquitos, and of course, they are to be found in bedbugs as well. Bedbugs first displayed resistance to DDT in the late 1940s, just shortly after the chemical went into widespread use, and one of the reasons for such a rapid response is that resistance only requires a small change of a few sequences in one single gene. By the end of the 1950s this gene was so widespread that DDT was no longer being recommended as a treatment for bedbugs. The reason for this is selection pressure, in that such pressure is applied to the bus when the chemical is used, which eliminates the bugs without the mutated gene, which then selects those bugs which have the gene, which then causes the gene to spread.
Africa is fighting malaria by employing DDT as a repellant, the idea being that mosquitos don't like DDT so they stay out of the house which has been sprayed with DDT. The African experience is that when the DDT campaign first begins, people sleep soundly, without being bothered by bedbugs, since there is a dramatic drop in the bedbug population after spraying DDT in houses. This is then followed by a population explosion of DDT resistant bedbugs. The reports have it that DDT makes the bug pestilential, and its spreads aggressively when it comes roaring back after that DDT spraying, and I can believe that, for the bugs I have encountered mimic the behavior I have read concerning the very bad behavior of the DDT resistant African bedbug.
Tropical Medicine & International Health Volume 9 Issue 8 Page 846 - August 2004 Historical review of malarial control in southern African "Social resistance to DDT application due to bedbug infestation, as they are resistant to DDT"
The same resistance to DDT quickly developed in the United States, as noted on the website of the University of Kentucky.
Bedbug resistance to insecticides is not a new phenomenon. Resistance to DDT was first reported in the late 1940s and was so widespread a decade later that other products were already being recommended as alternatives.
Pyrethoids and DDT are two closely related chemicals, and therefore cross resistance to these two chemicals are often found since in the case of both of these chemicals resistance can be conferred through what are known as kdr/sodium channel genes, also referred to as the kdr mutation. Another indication of the close relationship between these two chemicals is the similarity in the changes induced in the bedbug - in both cases the bug becomes aggressive and both chemicals also act as a stimulant making the bug much more active, and for this reason my experience with the pesticide resistant bedbugs here mimics the reports of the virulent strains of DDT resistant bedbugs in Africa I had only previously read about, never having experienced such a thing myself until recently.
It is very common for resistance to these two chemicals to be found together, since resistance is conferred by similar mechanisms. According to WHO Atlas of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors of the WHO African region October 2005
The kdr mutation responsible for pyrethroid and DDT cross-resistance has been detected In West Africa at least, the presence of the kdr mutation is clearly associated with cross-resistance between DDT and all public health pyrethroids. Kdr is widely distributed and allelic frequencies of the gene in several areas are very high, commonly higher than 80 % (map 11). A slightly different mutation (kdr-type) has been detected in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Burundi...) The Eastern Africa mutation is likely responsible for DDT and pyrethroid resistance that has been found e.g. in Uganda. In Ethiopia, An. gambiae s.sl. is resistant to DDT but susceptible to pyrethroids. A resistance mechanism different from kdr is likely involved, that is specific to DDT (e.g. glutathione transferase).
Bedbugs are spreading around the nation and I have suggested that the rate of growth is exponential. According to reports I have come across, as many as 10 percent of the Hotels in the city of Vancouver are infested with bedbugs, and given that this is a hotel, we could expect that such bugs are probably also the aggressive Frankenstein bugs, since it is obvious that they are pesticide resistant, and it is also certain that they were exposed to pesticides in spite of this fact. I recall visiting a website run by the hotel industry lobbying group, where they insisted that hotels were safe, and that they were maintaining what they called 'hygienic conditions' by regular spraying for such pests as bedbugs every three months. That would be the worst thing you could do when a pesticide resistant strain is around, and this unsound practice probably then explains why so many hotels are now infested with pesticide resistant bedbugs, since after all that repeated spraying, those would be the only bugs remaining standing at the end of it all.
A hotel with bedbugs is confronted with two choices. They can go bankrupt or they can rent rooms, and faced with a choice like that, they rent rooms, and thus we keep hearing every couple of weeks it seems of hotels being sued because they rented rooms full of bedbugs. As an equity investment, a bedbug hotel isn't worth squat, and so therefore we can understand how a plague of such bugs is also a growing economic disaster. His is Frank, the billion dollar bug.
For this reason it would not be surprising to find that the government must do something, for when business trembles, the politicians crap their pants. Unfortunately when there isn't much to be done, and yet something must be done, the politicians will do something, and given the poor choices available, they will do something stupid since doing something stupid is preferable to doing nothing at all, especially when billions of dollars worth of damage to the economy is what is at stake..
Therefore I have not been surprised to see an astro-turf operation underway in recent months, the purpose of which is to rehabilitate DDT, for you see, if someone has lost millions in real estate equity, and bedbugs haven't seen DDT for a while, and will therefore be more susceptible to DDT due to reduced selection pressure, the decision will be made to catch the little buggers by surprise and knock them back with DDT. Given that DDT is now going to be the savior of billions of dollars and the great hope of those facing bankruptcy and ruin, and since there are no good ideas available at the moment, it is no surprise to find that we will be rolling the dice and taking our chances with DDT. After all, it couldn't get any worse than it is right now, and therefore it can only get better.
I disagree. You see, I have lived with Frank, and given the choice between the lesser of two evils, I would choose to live with a bedbug because I just cannot tolerate that Frankenstein bug. As you should know, over in Africa, there is resistance to the DDT program, and when you hear people making a fuss, and insisting that they will just roll the dice, and they will take their chances with malaria, because it is better than putting up with that Frankenstein bedbug problem caused by DDT, well that should give people some idea of just how bad that monstrous little insect becomes after it survives exposure to these chemicals. I don't have to imagine what that is like, having lived with those aggressive brain damaged little monsters myself.
Fortunately these pyrethoids break down and are not so persistent in the environment, while the same cannot be said of DDT, which is very persistent, does not break down, which means that I get viciously bothered by Frank on speed only for about the first week, and the plague is only at its most pestilential for about the first week, while in Africa, bedbugs are very aggressive and very pestilential all the time, because DDT does not break down in the environment, which then acts like a permanent stimulant to the bedbug, keeping them real busy all the time, thus leading many Africans to prefer a good case of malaria over an infestation of such nasty bugs.
All of this is true, but you would never know it by reading the media, for you see the media has been concentrated into giant monopolies, and once that happens you get astro-turf operations, since all someone has to do is push a button at some central location, and next thing you know the entire country is being covered with a layer of such astro-turf.
You can see one such astro-turf operation if you do a news search for terms such as bed bug ddt or its variant form bedbug ddt. The information in these stories is false, but then the purpose of such stories was not to research the article and then report the facts of the story, but rather the media was involved in one more of their astro-turf operations, following the instructions issued from the head quarters of that multi-national corporation. In this case the instructions to the media outlets was that they were to start shaping public opinion so that everyone would be ready to have the nation fumigated with DDT in the months ahead. The astro-turfing has been in progress since sometime earlier last year, and as the bedbugs have picked up steam, the astro-turfing really began to build up a head of steam in the last few months of last year, as the media got down to business and filled everyone's head with silly and inaccurate nonsense about DDT, that wonder chemical which sadly, is not being used on bedbugs.
You see, according to that astro-turfing campaign in the media, we have bedbugs and a plague, because we don't have DDT. Sadly DDT was banned, thus leading the little buggers to return. Therefore, the answer is obviously to bring back DDT, since it works miracles on bedbugs. The truth is that we have bedbugs because they are now resistant to pesticides, but people just persistently spray them, leading to Frankenstein bugs which are pestilential. The bedbug plague is a human creation and human driven event. They were also resistant to DDT long before DDT was banned, and thus no real connection exists there. Fortunately people did not keep spraying them with DDT when they were already resistant, thus avoiding a plague back in those days.
Since this is an unpopular chemical, DDT, we are talking about here, it will have to be rehabilitated so that it can be used again, and therefore making up some bullshit astro-turf campaign is justified, provided that it shapes public opinion in such a way that people will go along with the idea, so that bedbugs can be knocked down before they knock billions out of Wall Street equity portfolios, send the economy of New York City down the tank, hurt the travel industry by kicking them where it hurts, and start leading to bankruptcies, not to mention crawling all over just about every house in the country.
The right wing has been hard at work on that astro-turfing campaign for quite some time, because nothing gets some people going quicker than worrying about losing money. As good fortune has it, Africa has been fighting malaria since 2000 using DDT, and so it is no surprise that suddenly saving little black babies from malaria is now a hot issue for the right wing in the country.
The way that this part of the astro-turf campaign worked was that outraged citizens would cry out for the little black babies of Africa, and demand that politicians lift the ban on DDT. Bush would refuse until finally after months of public pressure, he was forced, quite reluctantly I am sure, to authorize the limited spraying of DDT on real estate in Africa. He has not yet gotten around to authorize the spraying of that wonder chemical on American real estate, but with New York and Wall Street being overrun with bedbugs it is only a matter of time, and most of the astro-turfing is already complete, in that people have been brainwashed by the media to believe that DDT is good to be used on bedbugs, so that even if people have second thoughts, they will be forced by great public demand to do it anyway, since that is now what people believe having already been brainwashed to believe such by the media during that big astro-turf campaign.
The following is one example of such astro-turfing, in the form of a letter to the President, pressuring Bush to lift the ban on DDT.
Jurassic Park author (and PhD molecular biologist) Michael Crichton was even more blunt: "Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America," he said in a September 2003 speech. "We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die, and we didn't give a damn."
Bush announced American participation in Africa's anti-malaria campaign in June, but he failed to mention DDT, and was criticized and subjected to 'public pressure' for having failed to do so, as in this example.
DDT, to give that chemical its more familiar name, works miracles against diseases that are spread by insects. During the Second World War, vast quantities of the stuff were dusted over troops and concentration-camp survivors to kill the body lice that spread typhus. Later, DDT was used widely in Latin America to beat back dengue and yellow fever. But the chemical's noblest calling is to combat malarial mosquitoes...The U.S. government's development programs don't purchase any of the chemical. In June President Bush made a great show of announcing a new five-year push against malaria; DDT appears to play no part in his plans.
As the astro-turfing campaign continued to build up a head of steam, Bush came under increasing pressure for failing to support 'lifting the ban on DDT', as in this example.
You're not going to like hearing this. The answer is three letters that have been demonized by the same kind of do-gooders who want to buy every African a bed net. It's called DDT. The very name of this pesticide conjures fears among people too young to remember exactly what a miracle wonder this pesticide was through the 1960s...Spraying DDT was a good thing? You bet it was. But malaria is indeed rearing its ugly head again around the world....Nuke the suckers that cause it with DDT. It actually works ..DDT is one of the greatest chemical accomplishments in the history of mankind. ...I know you don't believe me. You've been conditioned to think of DDT as an abhorrent toxic agent ...DDT saved lives and reduced human suffering. And it could do so again, if only people would wake up and stop believing propaganda
This all began in June, and then after months of being under 'public pressure', Bush was then forced to 'reverse his position', and in September came out publically in favor of using DDT, provided that its use was strictly limited to indoor use on pieces of real estate. This remarkable turn around marks one of the rare times that anyone ever convinced Bush to change one of his policies, for as we know he just never does change a single policy, come hell or high water, but then if this astro-turf campaign for DDT is taken as a model, one must suppose that Bush changes a policy only when under intense pressure for at least three months.
The stories of Bush changing his policy on DDT usage on real estate then began to appear in September.
DDT will be unleashed to fight malaria, September 2006 The policy change puts a U.N. agency in rare agreement with the Bush administration.The truth is that no such global ban on DDT ever existed, and it has always been in use for disease control, it was only banned for agricultural use, which then helps to slow the spread of insecticide resistance, keeping the pesticide useful for a longer time period when employed as a public health tool...DDT has always been in use in the fight against malaria where it was judged appropriate for the past few decades. There has been no 'global ban' on its use in this way, and thus there is no global ban for President Bush to lift because one never existed and you can't lift a ban on employing DDT as a tool to fight malaria when that ban does not exist. Thus what we have here is curious right wing 'astro-turf' operation intended to raise the profile of DDT and encourage public acceptance of the chemical so that it can be used more widely in the future. The real reason behind this astro-turf operation was then revealed after Bush flip flopped on the issue in September, when suddenly the media machine swung into action, and began to astro-turf the public with stories about bedbugs, planting the idea at the same time that people have bedbugs because of a ban on DDT.
All set for DDT use as ban lifted, September 20, 2006 It has taken something more than patty-cake to face down the environmentalist fanatics opposed to the indoor spraying of DDT.
The United States also stands poised to devote increased resources to IRS. Last year, President George W. Bush announced his President's Malaria Initiative, a five-year, 1.2-billion-dollar plan to reduce malaria-caused mortality by 50 percent in 14 sub-Saharan African countries. The initiative, which is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has earmarked 20 million dollars for IRS programmes in 2007, up from only one million dollars last year. "Under the leadership of President Bush," the U.S. has begun to support indoor spraying for malaria control in Africa, including programmes using DDT," said Senator Tom Coburn (Republican of Oklahoma), who hailed WHO's decision to endorse the use of DDT as "bold" and "revolutionary". "I hope that these strong new policies on spraying and DDT from the WHO will encourage more donors to do the same."
Link These extremists have been superstitiously, callously successful in opposing the use of DDT in Africa at the probable and ghastly cost of millions of lives, even when the best science instructs us that indoor spraying likely has no adverse health consequences for humans, no effect on wildlife and can often be the most effective technique available. These pathetic ideologues have issued their misleading words like so many terrorist assassins, and the world's politicians largely retreated for many years, but not Bush, whose approval of DDT when required already is saving precious lives.
A great deal of time and effort has been expended on fighting this astro-turf operation on the Tim Lambert website (although he doesn't mention the bit about the bedbug, he knows an astro-turf operation when he sees one). He goes to great length to refute some of the erroneous claims spread by the very busy astro- turfing crowd, but since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I would include the attached graphic, which sums up the points to be made rather nicely. The graph shows how the more you use DDT the more malaria you get, with increase in malaria rising exponentially at the same time as the amount of DDT you use increases. The reason for this increase in malaria is insect resistance to DDT, which requires more DDT, which leads to more resistance, and finally lots of malaria. The reason why the right wing is spreading the falsehood that DDT is the miracle chemical that fights malaria, and that environmentalists are killing millions of people, is because they are trying to make Mr. DDT into Mr. Happy so that when it comes time to spray down the country with DDT to stop that bedbug, people will no longer be haunted with fears about DDT but will instead have a warm fuzzy feeling, and not mind having their place sprayed with DDT.
This will then save billions of dollars in equity, and hotels will not have to worry that people will avoid hotels, this time not because of a bedbug, but because their room was doused with DDT. Something must be done to rehabilitate the reputation of DDT, and fast, real fast, because the bedbug is spreading fast, real fast.
The only problem with this reckless course of action is that when the DDT resistant bedbug comes roaring back, you wind up having DDT in your place, which means that you now are worse off than before, because you have a permanent Frankenstein bug in your place, for, you see, DDT does not break down in the environment, but rather it is a persistent organic pesticide. If you had to chose the lesser of two evils, the bedbug is the right choice, because as I have discovered you can deal with a bedbug but you cannot deal with Frankenstein. However with the bedbug now picking up steam and ready to go through a phase of truly explosive growth in population, and with the population already brainwashed by all that astro-turfing it is probably to late to save people from their sorry fate. If you want to think in quasi-religious terms you could say that for a country to have a monopolized media system is a sin, and the punishment for that sin consists of having the entire country astro-turfed, only to wind up being spanked for that sin by Frank, the anywhere, anyplace, anytime DDT brain damaged pestilential plague bug, which they invited into their home when they got astro-turfed and this then convinced them to take such a reckless risk. Not that it was all their own fault, for people cannot make informed choices without proper information, and when they are fed a constant diet of misinformation and are always being astro-turfed, it will be no surprise to see them making some very stupid and reckless choices, only to wind up being taken over the knee of Frank and then Frank will spank, and let me tell you, you don't want to be spanked by Frank because Frank spanks pretty hard indeed.
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