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July 29, 1974


JAMA. 1974;229(5):571-573. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230430063035

WE are in the midst of a great debate on how man should adjust to his environment. One viewpoint is that there are too many people, and we are rushing ahead to destruction of the Earth, and ourselves, by the use of unbridled technology. Some people who hold this viewpoint blame science for our problems, and they are quite pessimistic. The contrasting opinion admits the gravity of our environmental situation, but believes that science can, and must, solve the problems of pollution, energy, health, and the food supply. I think that physicians tend towards this second viewpoint because of their interest in human beings. Perhaps this is why they went into medicine in the first place.

One of the main objectives of the "environmental movement" is that the insecticide DDT should be banned. The drive to obtain this ban has become a crusade in which every effort is made to