May 27, 2014

Rachel Carson - Truth will out

While Rachel Carson is  still a hero to most in the  environmentalist movement - below is today's Google home page -  more and more people are now admitting how shoddy was her science and how dangerous her legacy.  Bad science kills people. 

 Google Rachel-Carson

In Forbes, Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies

Carson’s proselytizing and advocacy raised substantial anxiety about DDT and led to bans in most of the world and to restrictions on other chemical pesticides.  But the fears she raised were based on gross misrepresentations and scholarship so atrocious that, if Carson were an academic, she would be guilty of egregious academic misconduct.  Her observations about DDT have been condemned by many scientists.  In the words of Professor Robert H. White-Stevens, an agriculturist and biology professor at Rutgers University, “If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.”
In 1992, San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards, a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, offered a persuasive and comprehensive rebuttal of “Silent Spring.” As he explained in “The Lies of Rachel Carson,” a stunning, point by point refutation, “it simply dawned on me that that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about [pesticides] and that I was being duped along with millions of other Americans.”  He demolished Carson’s arguments and assertions, calling attention to critical omissions, faulty assumptions, and outright fabrications.
The legacy of Rachel Carson is that tens of millions of human lives – mostly children in poor, tropical countries – have been traded for the possibility of slightly improved fertility in raptors.  This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last century.

Malarial Spring

Nearly lost in a sea of hagiographic links, an inconvenient truth can here and there be discerned: Banning DDT caused the avoidable death, by malaria, of at least 50 million human beings, mainly in the developing world. And the collateral damage continues today. As many as 2.7 million die each year of a disease that was on its way to obliteration prior to Carson’s profoundly unscientific campaign to ban a safe and effective insecticide.

Never one to mince words, James Delingpole calls Rachel Carson, environmentalism's answer to Pol Pot

DDT doesn't cause cancer. (Carson blamed DDT for something that was actually, later research found, caused by aflatoxin, a toxic by-product of fungi). Nor does it damage bird reproduction. In 1971-72 an EPA judge concluded after seven months and 9,000 pages of testimony:

"DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man… DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man… The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife."

In 2006, the WHO tacitly acknowledged its mistake by partially rescinding the ban. "We must take a position based on the science and the data. One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual spraying. Of the dozen or so insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT," said Arata Kochi of WHO.

Do the utterly misleading "extreme scenarios" posited by Rachel Carson remind you of anyone? Prince Charles, maybe? Al Gore? Dr James Hansen? No surprise if they do. Carson's bestselling brand of junk science and misanthropic, anti-capitalist doom-mongering has provided the model for the international green movement ever since.
Posted by Jill Fallon at May 27, 2014 8:59 PM | Permalink