Again, *facepalm*

So continuing with the wonderfully intelligent people in my class…we just had an assignment to discuss the spraying of pesticides in North Borneo to combat malaria. Here’s how one of the threads went down:

I understand that getting rid of the malaria was a good thing. WHat I do not understand is why more precautions were not taken to ensure that the problems that they had did not happen. It is the job of the health departments to make it safe for people to be around these chemicals. I know personally that I would have been terrifyed if my roof started to cave in and I had a family there. ALthough the DDT helped the people, in the long run certain things should not of happened, and someone has to take the fall for it.

My reply:

As to why no precautions were taken, again, remember the time – this was 1955.

Science and policy did not yet look into larger repercussions, which I suppose is one of the failings of science at that time. I think if you look at science and technology of the middle of the 20th century, you certainly see a lot of “best intention” solutions that go on to have devastating effects, mostly due to the fact that environmentalism and the concepts of ecosystems and homeostasis were unheard of (the term “homeostasis” itself wasn’t even coined until the 30s, so it would have been quite a new thought in 1955).

And here’s the reply to that:

Besides that, they probably all needed a new roof anyway. This way they got rid of the disease and a new roof to boot. In 1955, there was not as much research and experimenting as there is today.


~ by Matt Stratton on September 4, 2007.

2 Responses to “Again, *facepalm*”

  1. Are you sure they didn’t place you in the remedial class?

    *facepalm* indeed.

  2. awesome. terrifyed indeed. you should not of been forced to take this class. yay new roofs!

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