Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What do climate change deniers have to do with Philip Morris and DDT?

Crooked Timber connects the GOP's tobacco stalwards with global warming denialists and an allegedly planted story that DDT bans increased malaria deaths. CT reports "the DDT campaign was pitched to the tobacco industry as a diversionary attack on the World Health Organization which was playing a leading role in campaigns against smoking. The leading figure in the exercise was Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute and its front organization, Africans Fighting Malaria.".

It's a great post with a nice aside about the relationship of global warming denialists to Philip Morris. The only catch for me is that I thought it was true that the WHO turned away from DDT for emotional and political rather than technical reasons. DDT has relatively safe uses, though it is true that any circulation of DDT means that it will also be misused. The WHO does favor some DDT use nowadays.

Bate's mission to distract the WHO from an anti-smoking campaign would, of course, be all the more effective if he had a point....

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