DDT Confusion

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Tim Lambert continues to puncture a favorite meme among the right—the idea that environmentalists have somehow condemned millions of Third World people to death by malaria as a result of their lobbying against DDT since the 1970s. As it happens, this “conventional wisdom” contains a lot of errors. DDT has not been banned outright—not from being used for disease prevention, at any rate—and in many cases, it’s not used because it just doesn’t provide the best protection against malaria. (In Sri Lanka, for instance, they’ve stopped using DDT against mosquitoes because the bugs have all become resistant, not because environmentalists want Sri Lankan children to contract malaria.)

Now there are cases in which certain groups try to discourage DDT use in certain countries—and those cases can be debated on the merits; sometimes the decisions are more rational than people like Nick Kristof make them out to be—but pretending there’s some global ban on DDT that was foisted on the world after thousands of activists read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is flatly untrue. Go here for more.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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