Sunday, December 27, 2009

“Who but the mindless?”

By Rich Kozlovich

On April 1, 2009 Pete Grasso did a good job of identifying how people in the industry are beginning to identify with “going green” in his article, The Evolution of Green.
• Green. It's the biggest buzzword right now — not just in the pest management industry but in everyday life.
• Green is the hot topic everyone is talking about.
• Green has moved past the point of simply being a term — green is now a movement
• …many will argue that integrated pest management (IPM) is green pest solutions.
• Green is here to stay.
• Green has evolved, and green continues to evolve in the pest management industry.
Heterodoxy isn’t for the faint of heart and truth be told…it isn’t for most everyone else either. The trade journals for our industry are simply not crusading publications. They are not now, nor do I ever believe they will be rocks in the current.

I think that this is mostly due to two factors. Basically they were never created for this purpose. They were created to educate the industry. That has varied somewhat, but that is what they do, and for the most part they do a good job of it. Those who fit this mold were naturally brought in to run the trades and as a result they may never be crusaders. However, this concept for the trades came into being (taking a look at the history of PCT and PMP is quite interesting and worth the effort) long before the environmental movement and the EPA came into existence. The concerns are different now.

They note that Austin Frishman urges the industry “to be proactive and define and adopt green as a way of doing business (April 2008).” Quite frankly; there are a large number of prominent individuals in the industry, and at least one Hall of Fame winner who have believed for a long time that Austin has lost it and needs to retire, including me. Green isn’t ours to define or own; it is the insane nightmare wholly owned by the environmental movement and it is ours to defeat.

Green isn’t just about doing business. Pete is correct in stating that Green is a movement! It is a movement that has demonstrated a total disregard for humanity. It is an irrational and misanthropic movement that believes the number one problem with the planet is people. They have likened people to diseases such as cancer and AIDS and even a virus that is infecting the planet. The best thing they call humanity is a pest.

They rhapsodize about how quickly the world will turn back into an “Eden” after mankind is wiped out by some sort of virus that they pray will befall us. How insane is that? Who would be left to care? This is what Green really is, a movement rife with irrational and misanthropic “solutions”. Who but the mindless can buy into this? Who but the mindless can promote this? Who but the mindless can believe this is a good thing?

Everywhere in the world where people live in the manner that the greenies demand we adopt are lessons in dystopia.  Why can’t we understand that? It is bad enough that we don’t get the real history of what going green means, we, as an industry don’t even know that history. Dystopia is the Sancho Panza of the green movement. It follows the green movement everywhere their “solutions” are implemented. In South American they convinced the leaders in these countries that chlorine in the drinking water was going to cause cancer. They removed the chlorine from their drinking water and hundreds died and tens of thousands were sickened. Have we lost our minds listening to and embracing these people’s ideas and views?

Pete went on to say that, “Many pest management professionals (PMPs) have embraced the idea of providing green pest solutions for their customers. Others are still trying to define what it means to have a green program, and some are hoping green is a passing fad. We're here to tell those hearty holdouts that it's not”, and “Green is here to stay. Green has evolved, and green continues to evolve in the pest management industry.”

I have no objection to a pest control company providing any service that their customers want. What I object to is the idea that there really is something called “Green Pest Management”. There is no such thing! It is pest control…period! The fact that someone is focusing on the using of one type of product over others, or one program over another doesn’t make it anything but pest control. When we start to call pest control by other names such a s IPM or GPM we imply that this is different, better and superior to what everyone else is doing. Claptrap! By focusing on some products or techniques to the exclusion of others or vice versa doesn’t make it anything other than pest control; nor is it better, different or superior.

Pete quoted “Linda Prentice, associate certified entomologist with Bug-Out Service in Jacksonville, Fla.,” who “believes the industry has reached the point where everyone agrees that going green is the way to go”, and that "I think the industry has a pretty good idea now of what it means to be green," she says. "When Bug-Out started to define green as botanical, all-natural products, the company looked at the last 10 years and realized it was headed in that direction all along."

There are a number of logical fallacies here.

One, the industry will never reach the point where “everyone” will agree that “green is the way to go” because there is no such thing as GPM any more than there is any such thing as IPM in structural pest control.

Two, the industry has never had any idea what green means and neither does anyone else. As I stated in my article, The Trades and Me: A Dialog on Going Green, there are only two states that have a definition of GPM. APSCRO (Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials) sent out a survey to find out if any states had a definition for green. Two states did! That’s it, two states, Georgia and California. “Georgia’s definition is that “Green Pest Management can best be defined as a service that employs and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach while utilizing fewer of the earth’s resources as a part of a larger effort to reduce human impacts on the environment”. California’s report of a definition of GPM referenced their existing definition of integrated pest management and did not elaborate further on GPM. GPM is even more indefinable than IPM! They are so intellectually inadequate that they use a defining term, IPM, to define another defining term. Then again, defining green makes everyone intellectually inadequate because there is no scientific basis for “green”. In short, there are no facts to support any claim that one thing is more green than another.

Three, using “botanicals” doesn’t make someone green no matter what everyone agrees on. That is their definition, and that is ok with me, but let’s not confuse their views with anyone else’s view on what constitutes green, or even reality. They are still using chemicals. Chemicals that have been processed into some usable and deliverable form! So what makes this different from what everyone buys from FMC, Bayer, Dow, DuPont or any of the other pesticide manufacturers? And please don’t even dare tell me that they are healthier for their customers!
Green is a mixture of blue and yellow. That is the only factual definition of green that will stand the test of time. After that; any other definition is a corruption of a perfectly nice color.
An architect friend of mine and I had a conversation dealing with this idea that green can be defined. He told me that steel is a green product. I laughed incredulously and asked how that could be? He said it was recyclable so it was listed as a green product. Insane? Because there is no way to logically and intelligently define a concept that has no scientific basis for its existence. It is all emotion, feeling good about ourselves and the planet, feeling self righteous and better than our peers. Let’s take a look as some of the quotes and analyze what motivates these people!

• "To the general public, green means something and makes them feel as though they're doing something good." - Kevin Kordek, president of A-Active Termite and Pest Control in Virginia Beach, Va.
• "I think term green is more about marketing than it is about action.” "For our company, we became green almost 15 years ago but we called it IPM or 'common sense.' "Common sense tells you, if there's a better way to do something, then do it," he continues For us, that meant getting rid of baseboard spraying years ago."- Matt Nixon, chief executive officer of American Pest Management in Washington D.C.
Pete cites the efforts of “Genma Holmes, president of Holmes Pest Control in Hermitage, Tenn.,” who “jumped on green right away because that's what her customers wanted. Holmes conducted her own focus groups to find out what services consumers looked for in a pest management company. She goes on to say that, "I don't care what the industry is doing; I'm going to do what my customers are asking for," Holmes says. "Consumers' words to me were, 'We want something green.'"

I don’t have a problem with that because that is merely responding to the market place, but is that really it? I keep wondering… this really what “all” of her customers wanted? In Ohio I rarely have anyone insist of IPM let alone GPM. I have only lost one account because of GPM. I will be the first to admit that Ohioans are more emotionally balanced than those that live on the east and west coasts, but I find it hard to believe that everyone there is this unbalanced. Most of our pest control people merely offer “whatever services you are comfortable with” or something similar as their slogan.

Pete goes on to say, “she's gotten into green because her children are into "saving the earth." And there it is….. isn’t it. None of the nonsensical claims by the greenies has come true and the health claims they spew out have turned out to be claptrap, but “Green” makes them feel good! My question is now and has always been….how were we destroying the Earth before? We made it better, healthier, safer and made it possible for modern living. Is that what they want to replace by going green? That is what the environmentalists want!

• "Part of the evolution of green — and I would say it's still an embryo — is that it has a ways to go before there is a definition of green in the pest management industry," "Will there come a point in time when all PMPs subscribe to a particular methodology that is considered to be greener than what we do now?" - Kordek says.
I agree with this statement, except that there is no such thing as a methodology in pest control. Pest control is a practice, like medicine and requires differing techniques and tools based on the applicator’s knowledge and experience. However, this demonstrates there is no scientific basis for “green” and clearly that there is no definition for GPM that will stand the test of time. It isn’t science. Today’s absolute truth will become tomorrow’s absolute nonsense, and not because new facts have been discovered. It will become nonsense because another new philosophical flavor of the day will be promoted by the activists, touted by their bureaucratic acolytes and advertised by a corrupt media; and these people will clutch it to their breasts.

• "We'll get better and better tools," says Jack Marlowe, president of Eden Advanced Pest Technologies in Olympia, Wash. "I think our ability to step up and do IPM, by the pure sense of that definition, will become better and better."

If green is so effective why then do they need “better and better tools” and what will those tools be? Chemicals? If so, how is that different than (for lack of a better term) “traditional” pest control? And what in the world is “the pure sense of that definition” that “will become better and better."? We in Ohio recently adopted an IPM standard. I was privileged to be a part of that process and I can tell you that it took two years from start to finish; and every state that has done so has gone through the same struggle. Why? If IPM had a “pure definition” it certainly wasn’t obvious to the casual observer, or anyone else for that matter. I keep hearing terms like, Deep IPM, Pure IPM, True IPM and Real IPM. When does the defining and re-defining stop?

What is the matter with everyone? There is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control because IPM is an agricultural term. And that is the only area that it can be defined scientifically because it is based on threshold limits. A certain amount of pests do a certain amount of damage. After pests reach a certain threshold limit the amount of damage they do justifies pesticide applications economically. That is IPM….period; and has no place in structural pest control.

• "Regardless of what color you're calling your program, you have to be more deliberate about the choices you're making about materials," Marlowe says "You have to be able to defend your position. Whatever you choose, you need to be able to make your case as to why you choose what you choose."
I am not a Pest Management Professional; I am not an Entomological Consultant. I am part of the thin gray line that stands between the public and disaster. I am an exterminator and I am proud to call myself an exterminator! I simply do pest control! I don’t need to color it! Pest control isn’t a methodology, it is a practice. Green isn’t even that. Green is an ideology that is based on an irrational philosophy that is rife with misanthropic goals. Who but the mindless could embrace such nonsense?


1 comment:

Rich Kozlovich said...

I had to remove this line from my post.

"He did a good job, except he didn’t ask me what I thought to counterbalance these comments."

Pete reminded me that, "I did in fact contact you to get your thoughts when writing that article. I included your comments in my First Word column that month."

Thanks Pete for keeping me straight and best wishes.