The Zika virus has changed a lot of people’s opinion about insect repellents that contain DEET. For years, a number of pseudo-science groups vilified DEET, saying it could cause “permanent neurological damage or even death,” which, it turns out, is deliberately untrue.
But the rumors spread, and millions of people refused to use what Popular Science called, “the best insect repellent humans have ever invented.”
Faced with the threat of Zika virus, however, many people are now reconsidering their views on DEET, and insect repellents in general. Rather than blindly accepting the arguments of the anti-DEET crowd, people are looking at the research, such as this webpage from the Center for Disease Control which recommends using insect repellent that contains DEET to protect against the Zika virus (as well as the West Nile virus and other insect-borne diseases).
They are learning that the EPA “has not identified any risks of concern to human health, non-target species or the environment,” and that the Agency “continues to believe that the normal use of DEET does not present a health concern to the general population, including children.”
As a result, people are coming to the conclusion that the negative hype about DEET—a petchem product—is not true, and that divesting (as it were) from the use of DEET would have significant negative consequences for them personally.
Which brings us to the “keep it in the ground” movement. As with the fear-mongering around DEET, there are a lot of very scary—and very untrue—things being said about oil and natural gas. And if the “keep it in the ground” activists ever truly succeeded in keeping it in the ground, every aspect of our lives, from our health (insect repellent and medical supplies) to our careers (computers and cell phones) would be significantly upended.
So when the activists try to foist their misguided agenda on you, ask them to divest themselves first.