Stay tuned... I have to go to work, so more later. This is really interesting. I had not heard any of the criticisms of Carson, so I also did go looking. It is an interesting case study of how hard it can be to find the truth and how hard to have a reasonable, unpolarized, nuanced discussion.
Very short version. Dr J Gordon Edwards was one of her most ardent critics. He was not a bad guy, Sierra Clubber, mountain climber, etc. He died a few yrs ago at the age of 84 (or 85 depending on your source) of a heart attack while mountain climbing, after having in earlier years allegedly eaten DDT by the tsp full to disprove its harmful effects. (Which as noted above has nothing to do with either environmental effects or long term subtle effects in populations).
His issue was that the DDT ban was a bad thing, because it allowed comeback of malaria which is indeed a scourge of the developing world to this day.
So prior to Carson we had indiscriminate use of DDT sprayed by the ton from airplanes over vast swaths of the landscape. Then we had a total ban allowing return of malaria (and bedbugs, but they are not really known to cause disease, just itching and gross-out). So could there possibly be some middle course?
Stay tuned, but thanks ruggr for alerting me to this interesting controversy. Lets all try not to rant, because ranting and polarization and disregard for other people ideas, for subtlety and complexity, is a lot of what has gotten us in the mess we are in.