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Stewart Brand Gets Fact-Checked

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorNovember 9, 2010 4:15 AM


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One of my favorite new blogs (for me) is Ecological Sociology. Its current post on Stewart Brand's hypocrisy hits all the right notes. (Monbiot is all over this.) Long story short: In Brand's book, Whole Earth Discipline, he evidently writes (I haven't seen the passage myself yet):

...In an excess of zeal that [Rachel] Carson did not live to moderate, DDT was banned worldwide, and malaria took off in Africa. Quoted in a 2007 National Geographic article, Robert Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health said: "The ban on DDT may have killed 20m children.'

As Gary at Ecological Society notes:

It turns out that the 2001 Stockholm Convention which regulates DDT use worldwide a) doesn't ban DDT and b) explicitly allows use to control disease vectors (read kill the mosquitoes that carry malaria). Monbriot's blog traces a hilarious series of ineffective attempts to contact Brand and get him to address the issue .... sort of a text version of Michael Moore's Roger and Me. Brand even suggests that Monbriot's argument isn't with Brand but with Gwadz (who Brand quotes)!

Gary goes on to write:

Personally, I want science journalism that holds itself to higher standards than the ideological hacks that dominate political blogs and unthinkingly repeat whatever quote they can find that justifies their position.

Me too, but since when is Stewart Brand a science journalist?

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