Fresh off its controversial Iwo Jima cover with Marines raising a tree, Time magazine's May 5 issue celebrates with an Earth Day roundup. The cause for celebration? That in 2008, "every day is Earth Day," exulted Nancy Gibbs. Gibbs celebrated, among other things, the banning of DDT, which led to millions of preventable deaths from malaria. "Back in 1970, there was ... poison in our pesticides," she said, but after the Environmental Protection Agency was created, "DDT was banned." Perhaps she missed the fact that DDT was reinstated for use in malaria-ridden countries by order of the World Health Organization in 2006. Another part of this year's Earth Day roundup: "Bolivia's socialist President Evo Morales told the U.N. that 'if we want to save our planet Earth, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system.'" Meanwhile, Gibbs wrote, "capitalists polished their image to a green sheen." Gibbs's pro/con list was an interesting combination of priorities. Her pros post-EPA: "the air and water got cleaner, DDT was banned, leaded gas phased out, recycling phased in." Cons: "the world's population has nearly doubled, glaciers are melting, gas is within a drip of $4 a gallon, and there are food riots in countries where prices have soared owing to the diversion of grain to biofuels." So ... DDT ban good, more people bad? How about a media apology for pushing biofuels? But, Gibbs says we should rejoice because now at least greens have won and "there's no need to stop us in our tracks and force the issue onto the agenda."
Time Rejoices over World's Green Conscience, Banning of DDT
Amy Menefee Payne