It is commendable that last night American Idol opened the eyes of tens of millions of Americans to the very real threat of African malaria. Make no mistake, reaching out to the less fortunate among us is a monumental project, deserving of a standing ovation.
However, the question de jour is this: Why the conspicuous silence? Dead silence, if you will. Why, exactly, does malaria kill so many Africans?
Virginia Postrel tells us why....
Two million people a year, most of them little kids, are dying because of the West's anti-DDT superstition. Two...million...people...a...year.
Anti-DDT taboos undoubtedly kill even more than that, since the debilitation caused by malaria helps keep Africa desperately poor.
Ryan Seacrest could have enlightened about fifty million people and simultaneously help erase two and a half generations of unquestioning loyalty to the DDT myth. Yet he didn't. Why not?