Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pesticide drinks for thee but not for me

Patrick Moore, the climate denialist who falsely claims to have helped found Greenpeace (UPDATE: facts are unclear, see David Lewis' comments. Either the pre-2008 documents were wrong or someone did dubious editing at Greenpeace) most recently offered his expertise to deny any health risks associated with glyphosate. Embedding the video didn't work, so here's the link to it, and key dialog below:

Moore:  you can drink a whole quart of it [glyphosate] and it won't hurt you. 
Interviewer:  You want to drink some? We have some here. 
Moore:  I'd be happy to, actually. Not, not really, but... 
Interviewer:  Not really? 
Moore: I know it wouldn't hurt me. 
Interviewer:  If you say so I have some glyphosate... 
Moore:  I'm not stupid. 
Interviewer:  So it's dangerous, right? 
Moore:  People try to commit suicide with it and fail fairly regularly. 
Interviewer:  Let's tell the truth, it's dangerous. 
Moore:  It's not dangerous to humans, no it's not. 
Interviewer:  So you are ready to drink one glass of glyphosate? 
Moore:  No I'm not an idiot. 

Shortly afterwards, Moore cuts off the interview and walks away.

Funny but also sad that an old man like that is so ready to lie. Drinking glyphosate is something that's okay for other people, but he's not stupid enough to actually believe the things he's saying.

I wonder if he continues to use the "you can drink it" line in contexts where he can't be challenged with a glass.


Aaron said...

Mining phosphorus to make glysophate makes a big mess!! see for example

It is not good for you - see and we have known that for a long time.

And it may be worse than we thought - see and indicating potential to cause birth defects that are not caught in standard chemical safety reviews.

anthrosciguy said...

To answer your last paragraph: stop wondering; he will.

Russell Seitz said...

Has Moore switched to saying glysophate never did the glyptodonts any harm?

neverendingaudit said...

There ought to be a series of dialogues like that somewhere.

Work title: Vladimir & Estragon - The Diminishing Returns.

Capt. Cluster Fred Uck USN (Rtd) said...

Didn't Monckers of Bonkers offer to eat spoonfuls of DDT in similar fashion a while back?

I don't think the interviewer had prepared thoroughly enough to take him up on it, though.

Tony Lee said...

Actually, interviewers don't need to have a drink prepared, they just have to extract a promise to drink the substance in the future.

Fernando Leanme said...

I like interviews, this one is really funny. Next week I'm going to do Netanyahu. That interview you put up above gave me some ideas. I definitely need to offer him something.

By the way, did you know there are outfits giving training sessions where one learns to avoid interview traps? I took one course back about 20 years ago, and it really helped.

whimcycle said...

The Merchants of Doubt DVD should have a collection of segments like this as a Bonus Feature.

And I agree with Fernando - the Devil's minions should be a little better at their jobs.

Richard Mercer said...

I was reading todays article on this topic at Scientific American, and it occurred to me that everyone is debating whether Glyphosate is toxic to humans. There was mention of evidence of tumors in lab animals. Which made me ask -Even if it is safe for humans, what about wildlife?

Fernando Leanme said...

Whimcycle, the training is a must have for all who face media and need to expect these circumstances. The proper answer should have been, "I'll take the maximum dosage allowed by the EPA and medical authorities on camera if you wish, and I invite you to join me".

We are also taught a simple technique: instead of answering the question, the interviewee sidesteps and launches a canned answer.

"I share your deep concern for the environment, and I sure wish we could focus on more important issues we know are critical and can save more lives. The fight against Ebola and similar diseases is an issue we need to discuss".


"I share your deep concern for the environment, but I think we need to focus on brain damage caused by football collisions. Have you heard the latest findings?"

This works pretty good most of the time. The key is to do an oh shucks face and keep a relaxed attitude. Clinton and Bush were really good at it.

EliRabett said...

Deadly for butterflies who eat off the weeds that are killed

Russell Seitz said...

Since the continuous dose limit for glyphosate is 1.75 mg/kg/ a day, and the legal contamination limit for water or fruit juice is under a part per million ( .7 mg/ liter)

Moore's stunt would require a nanoliter syringe and a tiny , tiny, glass.

Although some vrey unhappy rats have survived 1 gram injections, seven humans suceeded in killing themselves with the stuff last year.

Bernard J. said...

I'm sure that Moore would have agreed to imbibed an eye dropper full of a homeopathic tincture of phosphonomethylglycinium...

david lewis said...

Moore is a climate science denier, but I wonder about your claim that he "falsely claimed to have helped found Greenpeace".

The Greenpeace webpage your link goes to seems to be quite the revisionist bit of Greenpeace "history" when compared to this archived Greenpeace webpage maintained by the Internet Wayback Machine.

Moore has made this claim, that he was one of the founders of Greenpeace, for decades. It is only recently that Greenpeace has decided to contest it.

Brian said...

Thanks David, I've made an update. The pre-2008 website could be wrong and the later versions correct. Otherwise someone is doing a memory dump. Can't really tell from the info we've got.

Nigel Franks said...

Depends how you interpret "The committee's founders and first members include..."

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Wonderful! About time someone caught one of these liars like this.

I. Bernard Cohen at Pitt used to challenge "environmentalists" to eat as much coffee as he would eat Plutonium. Until his doctor told him that imperfections and lesions in his digestive system could trap the Plutonium.

jqb said...

it occurred to me that everyone is debating whether Glyphosate is toxic to humans.

In the same way that everyone is debating whether we really landed on the moon. A quart of glyphosate is extremely harmful.

"People try to commit suicide with it and fail fairly regularly. "

That's true! But then, they succeed fairly regularly too ... especially if they go for a quart.

jqb said...

"this archived Greenpeace webpage"

Oh please. The page says "there was no single founder" and lists Moore under "founders or early members" of "the Don't Make A Wave Committee", which later became Greenpeace. Nowhere does it say that Moore was a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace. And it's completely irrelevant ... deniers constantly cite Moore contra the entire scientific community, on the basis of being a "founder" or "co-founder" of Greenpeace.

Don't you know that this appeal to authority is a fallacy?

jqb said...

Moore has made this claim, that he was one of the founders of Greenpeace, for decades. It is only recently that Greenpeace has decided to contest it.

And your point is? The Greenpeace cite says

Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization. Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace. Phil Cotes, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970. Patrick Moore applied for a berth on the Phyllis Cormack in March, 1971 after the organization had already been in existence for a year. A copy of his application letter and Greenpeace's response are available here (PDF).

This is entirely factual and well-documented.

Either the pre-2008 documents were wrong or someone did dubious editing at Greenpeace

No no no ... neither of those is true. Patrick Moore was "an early member" of Greenpeace ... within a year of its founding is "early".

jqb said...

P.S. Did you bother to read Moore's letter at the Greenpeace page?

It is blatantly obvious from that letter that he was no "founder" or "co-founder" of Greenpeace. There has been no "dubious editing", other than by Moore and those who use him in their appeals to authority.

jqb said...

And rather than putting faith in david lewis's absurd and easily refuted charge that The Greenpeace webpage your link goes to seems to be quite the revisionist bit of Greenpeace "history", you can go to a thoroughly vetted and sourced site:

the Don't Make a Wave Committee was formed in January 1970 by Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Bob Hunter and incorporated in October 1970 (this is, of course, a matter of public record) ... Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, “Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions.” (that Moore did not join before 1971 is obvious from his introductory letter asking to sail on the Phyllis Cormack).