Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some Reading

The Rachel Carsen killed millions meme is back, you know the one that Roger Bate invented to distract the WHO from it's anti tobacco campaign

Tim Lambert is back

Ed Darrell is angry

and Thingsbreak is tearing Fuller a knew one.

Fred Pearce is doing his thingYale Environment 360 keeps this up and it will do a Nature climate blog job on itself.

Now why, you ask, would Yale Environment 360 feature a known dishonest hack who is beating on Kloor's drum.  Why simple, Kloor is a contributor and also a contributor to the Yale Climate Media Forum.  Since Eli is always slow walked at Kloorsville, perhaps one of the bunnies might go over there and asked who greased the way for Fred.


Ed Darrell said...

Angry to the point of incoherence, at least to those with a lens that shows Rachel Carson as a bad guy.

Can't post there tonight. Politically banned? Technical difficulties? SuperHurricane Sandy? Who knows.

The internet is a great idea. Someone should try it sometime.

Anonymous said...

Well color me stoopid, that is why they call me "Hey Stoopid".

Hmmm, 'PBS' Mk2.0.



How many millions of smokers WHO has killed by anathematizing tobacco safety research remains a two pipe problem, like second hand tularemia.

david lewis said...

I don't see where Pearce has committed himself in the Yale 360 piece to an attack on Carson.

He is attacking an environment movement that according to him, "has been dangerously wrong before" and is wrong now about whatever he's gassing on about.

What he says the movement got wrong in the past was its "blanket opposition" to DDT that he thinks was the case, that he thinks resulted in "millions of deaths".

Pierce was careful when naming Carson to absolve her, i.e.: "When Rachel Carson's sound case against the mass application of DDT... morphed into".

Carson died very soon after publishing "Silent Spring" well before any of this "morphing" took place. No one can pin any of this opposition to using DDT for malaria control on her, and Pierce doesn't seem to be doing so.

david lewis said...

Testimony by an insider that the morphing did take place in a movement made up of many people who claimed to be inspired by Rachel Carsons, after her death, is provided by a recent interview with Jonathon Porritt aired on the Australian public broadcaster (aired Oct 28 2012 available as a podcast and transcript here)

Porritt, in the interview:

"As Director of Friends of the Earth [ my note: in the U.K. ] through much of the 1980s I lived through these controversies myself and although we acknowledged at that time that there was still a role for DDT in malaria control (until such time as better alternatives were brought in), we didn’t exactly go out of our way to celebrate the success of DDT in saving so many lives. Our principal concern was to get all organophosphates, not just DDT, banned for use in agriculture, and so we tended to play down the public health arguments.

With the benefit of hindsight I came to the conclusion some time ago that campaigners got this one wrong by not distinguishing between the use of DDT in agriculture and the use of DDT in public health. It’s the one part of the legacy of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring that causes me much discomfort."

Porritt goes further than Pierce and tries to pin responsibility for his excesses on her, i.e. the statement about how the Carson "legacy" somehow caused his excesses.

Porritt is now cranking out the Carson opposed DDT for malaria control lie along with all the other morons:

Porritt: "Carson was also unforgiving in her attack on the use of DDT in particular, and not just in its use in agriculture. Although she was well aware of the horrific impact of insect-borne diseases on human health (including malaria, dengue fever, sleeping sickness, typhus and so on), she somehow failed to acknowledge that DDT had already played a significant role in helping to control the insects that carry these diseases - most importantly of all, the mosquito."

Which is unadulterated horsesh*t.

Carson, in this recording, speaking to the National
Women's Press Club in 1962, at minute 5:30: "I do favor insect control in appropriate situations"

Page 12, "Silent Spring" "It is not my contention that chemical pesticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm." -Google Books has a copy online that can be searched to see this.

An extended recent interview with one of her biographers, William Souder is here. He speaks on Carson, DDT and malaria, starting around minute 6 54 seconds:

"...Again, to reiterate, Carson always said that she was not opposed to such uses of DDT, she stated categorically, again and again, in many situations, and so she never, ever, said that DDT should not be used to fight malaria."

Porritt is like many Marxists who could be counted on not to have read Marx.

bill said...

Yes, but the point is that ascribing 'millions of deaths' to unspecified 'blanket opposition' resulting in a ban that never actually happened is horseshit, and of the first water...

J Bowers said...

"Porritt is like many Marxists..."

Is he a Marxist? He's been labelled one, but so has Obama.

J Bowers said...

Quote of the day:

"UPDATE: Some folks over at Collide-a-scape are trying to pin the decline in DDT use in some countries in the 60s against malaria on a 1971 US domestic ban. Yes, something in the 60s is being attributed to something that happened in the 70s."

William M. Connolley said...

> tearing Fuller a knew one.

Typo service: *new*

EliRabett said...

It's a feature not a bug. Know one Fuller and you know them all.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Marxist is one of those labels that has been meaningless for so long that it ought to discredit the one who uses it. Even Marx declared near the time of his death that he was not a marxist!

Other candidates include "Jeffersonian Democracy," Nazi and lukewarmer.

Ed Darrell said...

He is attacking an environment movement that according to him, "has been dangerously wrong before" and is wrong now about whatever he's gassing on about.

But his example of "dangerously wrong" is pure, undulterated bovine excrement, fresh and uncomposted, full of acid and bile, and not a whit of accuracy.

He may as well say he's attacking a medical movement "that has been dangerously wrong before" such as that time Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis proposed that physicians should wash hands between doing necropsies and treating maternity patients, "since everyone knows the pain and many millions of deaths that have resulted from chapped hands."

At least chapped hands may produce pain. There would be a thread of fact there.

david lewis said...

I didn't mean to imply Porritt was a Marxist - what I meant to write was that you can count on many who say they are inspired by Rachel Carson not to have read her.

My read of what Eli posted that we are commenting on was that it seemed Eli was saying Pearce was attacking Carson, which is why I commented that Pearce absolved Carson as he attacked the environment movement. Eli's way of expressing himself is entertaining, but sometimes he is so concise I don't get his meaning correctly.

I'm not saying I'm a fan of Pearce: I've heard him laud the activities of McIntyre... I did not take a position on whether Pearce was correct in his attack.

regarding "bill"s comment: I would say Pearce writes about "blanket opposition". He does not go further to say that the "blanket opposition" resulted in a global ban. Where is the "horseshit"?

I brought up what Porritt is saying now to show that there are people who were prominent in the environment movement at the time Pearce is saying they "were dangerously wrong" who talk now as if they would agree with Pearce.

Porritt was as prominent as you can get in the environment movement at the time in the UK. I don't say I agree with Pearce, or with Porritt.

Although Porritt describes his own activities as Director of Friends of the Earth UK around DDT and malaria in the early 1980s as something that "causes" him "much discomfort" these days, his explanation as to why, i.e. "we didn't exactly go out of our way to celebrate the success of DDT", leaves it completely to my imagination as to what it is that causes him to be uncomfortable.

I take this discomfort Porritt says he has now about his activities then and add the fact he has bought into the "Carson adamantly opposed DDT use for any purpose" line, and it looks to me like there may be evidence if someone dug it out that Porritt himself adamantly opposed DDT use for anything back then and influenced UK Friends of the Earth to do the same.

I don't know what the truth is.

I thought by posting here that some, more knowledgeable than myself, could throw some light on this for me. I'm wanting to see original sources. At present I'm ploughing through a Carson biography, "On a Farther Shore" by William Souder. I'll be re-reading Silent Spring next.

Hank Roberts said...

GM, says Fred Pierce?

I wonder about the comforting assumption behind the safety claims, myself.

"... reports of acquired genes in invertebrates and plants from free-living organisms ..."

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Yale must be hosting the "The Nutquacker Sweet", with Pearce as the prima balancerina -- after all his Climategate rubbish.



With the advent of advertising, materialism has become too important to be left to the marxists.

It would be like delegating theology to Roy Spencer.

Anonymous said...

The Atlantic ocean is up to 9F degrees warmer than average. Stefan's law says energy goes as the 4th power. Sandy is global warming, for real.

Snow Bunny

bill said...

Tim L has just announced he's been granted a right-of-reply on the Australian ABC's 'Ockham's Razor' to (usually reliable) science journalist Robyn Williams recent Carson commemoration piece that apparently also swallowed the myth...

EliRabett said...

Well, as such things go the SB law requires Kelvin so the difference is roughly 5 K and the amount of extra heat is

sigma [(To+5)^4- To^4)

Eli calls that a First Order McKitrick Error.

Kutai said...

And even if one (for the sake of the argument here) assumed that the "greens" were somehow responsible for the decline of use of DDT in a number of developing countries, and could do that because they were in cahoots with the aid donors - it would actually imply that the vilified "greens" and their evil donor friends were...well, the only ones actually providing aid to the above countries.