DDT was banned in America in 1972 largely due to "large public outcry". However, "DDT continued to be the insecticide of choice in the battle against malaria as recently as 1994". DDT is not "completely" banned; it continues to be used where it is the most effective and wise choice.
>it's not part of their philosophy to *help* other human beings in any realistic sense
>Environmentalists don't have much room to complain about starving children dying of malaria
Regarding DDT, is is largely not debatable that DDT is fat-soluble, so as long as you are a vertebrate animal with greater than 0% body fat, being exposed to DDT either by inhalation or ingestion means it will be digested and settle in your body fat and is not flushed out by most any natural body cleansing process (studies in the US taken 10 years after the ban on DDT was enacted showed that there were still traces of DDT detectable in human subjects). Whether or not this has long term ill effects is still debatable, but wouldn't you rather know to be cautious about a compound that is very hard to get out of your system?
Additionally, with the recent publicity about the global climate issues, a large portion of environmentalists are not solely looking out for animal rights and well treatment. Instead they are concerned for those poverty-stricken and victims of epidemics such as malaria, and realize that finding a cure for malaria will doubtless please many people who are afflicted with it currently, but it will be of no use if those same people die of a water-borne illness from polluted rivers or from toxins obtained by eating the meat and fat of an animal exposed to a fat-soluble carcinogen (not saying DDT is this, but it or others could be) before the malaria cure is found.
>God forbid we should lose our precious polar bears! God almighty what will become of Churchill Manitoba?!
Yes, Churchill Manitoba, the "Polar Bear capital of the world" will lose its tourist trade. Additionally, without Polar Bears, they won't be around to predate upon the ringed seals (one of their more popular food choices), nor scavenge upon the carrion of beached whales and other carcasses. Meaning, the elderly, sick and diseased of the seal population will not be weeded out and lead to an increased population for the seals, leading to likely overcrowding and a greater chance of spreading disease around the population of seals, which will have a direct impact on the Inuits who hunt those seals as well. So, by assisting the Polar Bears, environmentalists are also preventing causing more 'starving children' in another portion of the world. Yes, preventative thinking (rather than reactionary) requires more speculation and time to come to fruition, but just because someone's paying attention to polar bears rather than the people starving right now doesn't mean they're not concerned about human starvation issues, nor are they simply not thinking.
As was mentioned by Ash Vince, the above posts by Dravik and Asrynachs were not based on serious facts (and indeed don't cite any references for their claims), and (hopefully) were intending to be more humorous than serious (Mod them Humorous rather than Insightful, please...). For those reading these threads who are still forming an opinion on the matter, hopefully the links I've pulled together here will help you make a more informed decision on the issues.