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I have been publicly attacked by Rudy M. Wiesemann, whose paycheck has always been provided by the chemical industry, just in case you haven't already figured that out (My Word, “No need to save the planet,” May 1).
His first attack was by E-mail/telephone shortly to inform me that my information about how banning the sale of DDT in this country allowed the Bald Eagle and all other raptors, to be able to successfully raise families again. DDT was causing their eggshells to be so thin that raptors could not sit on their eggs through incubation without crushing them. This was well documented in Rachel Carson's famous book Silent Spring.
Does Rudy really think that somehow all raptor species recovered on their own and the banning of DDT had nothing to do with it?
I am also very inquisitive about a huge valley area in Argentina, where, in the last year or so, approximately 20,000 dead migrating Swanson’s Hawks were found after the area had been sprayed with DDT to kill grasshoppers. Swanson's Hawks are a grasshopper-eating bird about the size of a Red-Tailed Hawk. Of course, American chemical companies are selling DDT south of the border to empty their warehouses of this deadly insecticide, and we are getting it back in food products that we consume. That’s another mystery where I am sure Rudy has all the answers.
When I was 8 years old, I watched my father handling a new insecticide called Paris Green, which he was putting on our cabbage plants to ward off insects. Within a fairly short period of time, he was dying with kidney cancer. We had to sell everything we owned just to pay doctor and hospital bills, and on Feb. 17, 1946, a week after my 10th birthday, my father's spirit departed at the age of 45.
In 1995, as I was leaving my 16-year volunteer tenure as chair of Kentucky's Environmental Quality Commission, I discovered there was a warehouse full of Paris Green in Lawrenceburg that was so toxic that the federal or state governments had no idea how to dispose of this insecticide. However, I am confident that Rudy probably can write a 10-page document on how wonderful Paris Green was.
Anyone who believes what Wiesemann wrote about climate change has not been observant, or the chemical industry is financing their lifestyle. In closing, my information is based on a 71-plus-year life filled with the natural world that I want my 9 children, 17 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren to enjoy as well as all the other inhabitants of this planet. Yes, the planet will survive, but will life survive and what will the quality of life be? The sooner we can convert to safe alternative energy and quit being swayed by greed, the better our planet and all life on it will become. Of 200 out of 80,000 chemicals have been tested and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be safe.
Oh, by the way, Rudy, if I agreed with you, we would both be wrong.
Horace Brown lives in Bagdad.