In 1962 she wrote Silent Spring, a cautionary criticism about the impacts of widespread pesticide use, particularly DDT, on both the natural world and human health. However, recent efforts to posthumously honour Rachel Carson have been stalled thanks to the work of certain Republicans in the US Senate, in particular one Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who implicitly holds Carson responsible for millions of malaria deaths that have occurred in the developing world. The people at Celsias have done a perfect job outlining the controversy and showing why the this accusation is false.
This unfortunate misconception is the result of a very misleading and inaccurate campaign that is being waged against Carson and the movement that she helped to initiate. Basically, the argument is that she pushed for a ban on the use of DDT, which led to the deaths of millions of people every year around the world. I hope to demonstrate that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. First, and possibly most important, is the fact that Carson never advocated an absolute ban on the use of DDT.
The article does indeed demonstrate that point, as do the words of Rachel Carson herself with her common sense prescription that governments should, "Spray as little as you possibly can" rather than, "Spray to the limit of your capacity".
Intervention at an intelligent and effective minimum, rather than a hysterical and reactionary maximum....that's good policy we can generalize to any political issue.
So once again the air clears and we see that it's certain "conservative" politicians who are overreacting - both in endorsing the indiscriminant use DDT and their wholly inaccurate attack on Rachel Carson.
Thanks to Celsias for a great summary of the issue.