Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doing Business Allows For Doing Good.

By Rich Kozlovich


Over the years I have been linking articles to Green Notes that deal with the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2006 Steve Forbes wrote an article dealing with an investment concept promoted by Steve Milloy entitled, Pressuring Business to Believe in Business which is worth reading. 

Somehow we have come to feel we have an obligation to “give back” to something; to society, to the community or to some cause or other because we have been so blessed that we feel grateful and want others to benefit from our success. That success can come in many forms, not just money.

Volunteering for various causes or community activities is rampant in the United States. Why? There are a great many emotional reasons given as to why Americans are so generous with their time and money, and these are all true, but they are only secondary reasons. Everyone seems to keep missing the primary reason.

Because business is allowed to do business, which allows many to profit so much that they have the money, time and freedom to spread their largesse as far as they like; and to whomever they like. But first we have to understand the difference between doing business and doing good.

Forbes makes this point. “Just think of the phrase "giving back." The implication is that entrepreneurs or companies took what wasn't rightfully theirs and that they will make up for their business sins by giving their ill-gotten gains to worthy causes. Commerce and philanthropy are seen as polar opposites. The opposite is the truth: Commerce and philanthropy are two sides of the same coin. You don't succeed in business in a free society unless you meet the needs and wants of other people. As for "self-interest," it is actually a positive thing that people pursue their ambitions lawfully and develop their innate talents to the fullest. Commerce directs these energies in positive directions. The virtue of democratic capitalism is that one person's gain is also society's gain. Economics is not a zero-sum game as was once thought, though in many intellectual and political circles today it is still regarded as such. In actuality, businesses and entrepreneurs create incomprehensible, complex webs of cooperation that are all geared toward improving our lives.”
A lady at one of my accounts was thrilled with the idea that the “rich” were going to be taxed heavily under this new administration because it was time for them to “give back”. I said that they have always given back and in point of fact they give back constantly. She laughed and I went on to explain. They give all the jobs, and they pay 100% of all the taxes collected. How? Payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc. are collected from people who get their money from the rich. On a personal level they also pay almost all the income tax collected by the federal government.

When a man builds a $5,000,000 home he is giving back to the community. He doesn’t drive any nails. He doesn’t lay any cement block or cement floors. He doesn’t hang the dry wall, or run the electricity. He hires people to do that; to the tune of $5,000,000. And there are no strings attached except that these people have to perform. And there is no government middleman taking a huge chunk of that $5,000,000.

And after that do you know what this rich person did? He filled it with carpeting! Carpeting which someone had to manufacture, someone had to sell, someone had to ship, someone had to sell again and then finally someone had to lay the carpeting. Then he bought furniture to fill the house! Again, furniture someone had to manufacture, sell, transport, sell again and deliver. I don’t know how many have been to a $5,000,000 house, but the landscaping is done by professionals and there is usually a housekeeper. And I and my friends in the pest control business do the pest control at all of them; all of us collecting salaries he generates.

He not only gave back millions to the community, he gave jobs, he gave dignity and he gave prosperity to people who would in turn build houses, buy carpeting, furniture and even maybe go out to dinner and a movie once in a while. And they would be able to live where they wanted to and go to dinner where they pleased and eat what they wanted to eat. He gave freedom.

Does anyone think that it would be cheaper if you had to go through the federal government as the contractor who hired the actual contractor or if federal employees were used to build the home, which is what they do for all the other “give backs”?

When the earthquake struck Haiti the people of the United States personally gave millions to these poor suffering people, and that didn’t include what they gave via the U.S. government. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the American public personally gave more than all the self-righteous socialist European finger wagers combined. How much did Cuba and Venezuela give? More importantly….how much did the individual Cubans and Venezuelans personally give?

The evidence of the last century clearly demonstrates this one absolute, irrevocable fact; doing good can only be done if business is done first, and that means profit….lots of it.

Forbes goes on to say; “Yet companies are increasingly assaulted by anti-business groups and social activists operating under the banners of "corporate social responsibility" and "socially responsible investing." Corporations are under pressure to adopt policies that can harm free enterprise and the companies themselves (Citigroup for example, agreed to limit lending in certain developing countries as a result of a campaign by the Rainforest Action Network). Companies are often tempted to appease these groups lest they suffer harmful publicity or hostile regulation.”
The green activists make nothing, they are responsible for nothing, and as far as I can tell, they have only been successful at being activist extortionists who insist that everyone owes _________(fill in the blank) to promote their latest Philosophical Flavor of the Day. And as in the case of the Rainforest Action Network, and their greenie partners, forced lending institutions to stop lending for mining, logging and a host of things that would have helped people in the third world to come out of poverty, squalor, misery and suffering. Dystopia is the Sancho Panza of the environmental movement.

Good business is good social policy. Just ask the people of Haiti.


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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kilroy was here

By James A. Marusek

Please follow the link at the end of this post to see the rest of the commentary and the great pictures Jim has posted. RK

I had the great pleasure of attending the 4th International Conference on Climate Change in downtown Chicago this week. It was like for a moment being at the very center of the universe. I felt like going off and etching “Kilroy was here” permanently on stone in some corner of the hotel. But in my case it might be “Marusek was here”. I held back my temptation because the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel is far too beautiful to damage in any way. Besides I am a builder rather than a destroyer, unless of course it is something like the unscientific theory called man-made global warming.

This conference was ultimately about Liberty. The world’s elitists are determined to shackle the common man with a burden of undue taxation and totalitarian control. I say this quite literally. Their well-defined goal is to use a great flogging whip to rip the flesh off the backs of billions of hard-working individuals and drive them back into throes of slavery. That whip is the mythical fear of man-made global warming. The whip is fashioned in utter horror and despair for the future, for the very survival of our children. It is so fearsome that it possesses the power to shake the common man to his very core and onto his knees and into total submission. And the scary part is they almost succeeded.

The story behind the origin of “Kilroy was here” is an interesting one. Kilroy was believed to be an American shipyard inspector, James J. Kilroy. Shipyard workers were paid for the number of rivets they installed each day in constructing new ships. At the end of their shift, they marked in chalk where they stopped and the next riveter began. But some workers were unscrupulous and erased the original chalk line and moved it to steal a little extra money. Kilroy stopped this practice by writing, “Kilroy was here” at the site of each chalk mark. So the origin of “Kilroy was here” is a story about restoring honesty and integrity.

The conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute was well attended with almost a thousand scientists, economists and other interested parties to the global warming debate. As a result, the presentations were broken out into four simultaneous tracks. Two of these tracks dealt strictly with the Science. One track focused on Economics. And the final track dealt with Public Policy. Some of these sessions were standing room only as can be seen in the photograph on the next page. I arrived late to the first session, so I was one of those standing in the back of the room. After that I made a point of arriving early and staking out a seat.

The Plenary sessions revolved around meals. These meals were almost works of art. Renowned speakers would give talks. Each session began with a time to introduce oneself and practice the fine art of conversation. After the dinner and the talks, there were time to meet the speakers and mix. Don’t stop reading…..

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Malaria No More Policy

AFM, Malaria No More Policy Center, Friends of the Global Fight, and Syngenta, in conjunction with the Congressional Malaria Caucus, (also see Congressional Malaria Caucus expands) invite you to a briefing - June 14th, 12:30pm to 2pm - on Capitol Hill (venue to be confirmed) to discuss Public Health Insecticides and Integrated Vector Control


Join us for this important briefing to discuss the successes and challenges in controlling disease-spreading insects. The briefing will address policy considerations relating to the growing need for and use of safe and effective public health insecticides in malaria prevention programs, as well as for the control of other neglected diseases in the context of integrated vector control. For more information or to RSVP, please http://contactkanthony@fightingmalaria.org./

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Monday, May 24, 2010

The strange history of DDT
This post is from Shaw's Eco-Logic

If you've ever wondered how a chemical that earned the 1948 Nobel Prize could get blacklisted two decades later, you have to read The Excellent Powder: DDT's Political and Scientific History. Authors Donald Roberts and Richard Tren, of the group Africa Fighting Malaria, have done a superb job, and have somehow made the book suitable for the techie and layperson alike.

You'll read about the incredible junk science put forth by St. Rachel Carson, and the shameless posturing against this compound by elite journals such as Science. Meanwhile, millions of Africans were dying, but according to evil hacks like Paul Ehrlich, that was just fine.

If banning DDT is what founded the modern environmental movement, then it was founded on a gigantic lie. Read my book review in Health News Digest.

In anticipation of the e-mails: She is "Saint" Rachel since even though most Greens with a science background now acknowledge that her anti-DDT screed was complete nonsense, she has attained such iconic status that it doesn't matter. Yes, yes, I realize that the use of "Saint" is theologically incorrect, as all canonizations are infallible and go through an extensive vetting process, which our secular Saint Rachel did not—until it was too late.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409 & S. 560)

This first appeared in the spring issue of The Standard, the newsletter of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) presently establishes two primary ways that employees are able to form or join a union: (1) a private ballot election administered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after at least 30 percent of workers have signed authorization cards, or (2) the collection of signed authorization or “card checks” from a majority of employees in a bargaining unit.

The so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) fundamentally alters the NLRA by allowing unions to use the “card check” process or signature campaign each time they try to organize employees. The NLRB would be required to automatically certify any union that secures a simple majority of signatures through this petition like process. Such a process effectively allows the establishment of unions everywhere without a valid vote.

Under the “card check” method, union organizers present employee signatures on authorization cards as representing the true intent of the workers. However, even a Federal Appeals Court has noted that, “Workers sometimes sign union authorization cards not because they intend to vote for the union in the election, but to avoid offending the person who asks them to sign, often a fellow worker, or simply to get the person off their back.”

The only way to guarantee worker protection is through the continued use of a federally supervised private ballot so that personal decisions about whether to join a union remain private. Swapping federally supervised private ballot elections for a “card check” process tramples the privacy of individual workers who should not have to reveal to anyone how they exercise their right to choose whether to organize with their coworkers in a union. No one, employers and union organizers alike, should fear an election conducted by private ballot. It is the only manner in which to protect an individual’s freedom to choose without subtle or overt coercion or intimidation.

EFCA also includes language forcing binding arbitration on both the employer and collective bargaining unit. Specifically, the measure ends bargaining negotiations after only 120 days—90 days of negotiations and 30 days of mediation—and forces a two-year contract on both the employer and employees, thus providing motivation for either a union or employer to engage in bad faith bargaining until the end of the negotiating period. Consequently, a government arbitrator could impose unwanted employment conditions on both employees and management.

The National Pest Management Association urges members of Congress to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409 & S. 560).

Accomplishment! Life's Best Option

This first appeared in The Standard, the quarterly newsletter of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

As everyone knows, Bob Dold Jr. of Rose Pest Solutions has decided to run for office as a congressman from Illinois. He brings his expertise as a small business owner with him – having firsthand knowledge about pesticides and their value to society should be beneficial to the pesticide application industries. However, the Ohio pest control industry has an interesting connection to that congressional political scene as well.

For those of you who have been around the Ohio Pest Management Association (OPMA) for some years, you will remember Fred Dailey. Fred was the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture for many years. In fact, Dailey was Ohio’s longest serving ODA director, and is someone who also has firsthand knowledge about the importance of pesticides and those who apply them.

Among pest controllers Dailey was probably best known for the open door policy while at the ODA, as he frequently met with producer groups and the regulated community. Ohio Professional Applicators for Responsible Regulations (OPARR) and OPMA often held board meetings at the Bromfield Administration building and Dailey frequently spoke at those meetings. He understood the need for regulations but also understood the impact overly burdensome regulations can have on the private sector. It has been generally acknowledged by OPARR and OPMA representatives that he made every effort to be fair and balanced in the administration of the ODA’s regulatory authority.

During those years, Fred oversaw the complete renovation of the ODA campus and laboratories. He even obtained a $12 million appropriation just two weeks before the Strickland administration arrived to build a new plant pathology building. Funding for the design work was approved two years prior.

Dailey received international accreditation for the ODA laboratories, modernized many agricultural laws and eliminated old and outdated rules. He received national publicity for investigating and prosecuting livestock fitters and parents who tampered with exhibitions livestock by injecting the animals with vegetable oil, using illegal drugs, or employing other illegal or unethical practices. He also oversaw the transfer of permitting authority for large livestock farms from the Ohio EPA to ODA. He was elected by his peers to be president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).

Mr. Daily has had an interesting life. He was:

• A paratrooper in Vietnam

• Among the first Sky Marshals hired to prevent air piracy

• Executive Secretary of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association

• Chairman of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, appointed by George Bush and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate

• A former rodeo bull rider

• A mountain climber who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt. Elbrus in the former USSR

Ok . . . so what has he done lately?

Well, he is running for Congress. In 2008, he ran for Congress in the 18th district; a seat held by Zack Space. He is once again running for that same seat because he “believes government is too big, spends too much and taxes too often,” and he further states that it is “the private sector that creates jobs in our free enterprise economy.”

Oh. . . did we mention that in his spare time he also became the published author of a book entitled, Ridin’ the Eastern Range, a collection of heartwarming stories and poems about the joys and rewards of rural life and country living. Cowboy humorist Baxter Black wrote the forward for the book, which is illustrated by Jerry Palen. More information on Fred Dailey can be found at http://www.freddaileyforcongress.com./



# # #

What Congress Can Do About Bed Bugs

This first appeared in The Standard, the quarterly newslettter of the Ohio Pest Management Association. 

Bed bugs, a bloodsucking pest virtually eliminated in the United States only 20 years ago, are now found with increasing regularity throughout the United States and have become an epidemic in certain areas of the country such as Boston, Cincinnati, Columbus, Las Vegas, Louisville, Newark, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle.

Experts cite three primary reasons for the resurgent bed bug population:

- increased international travel,

- loss of pesticide products that effectively controlled bed bugs, and

- more targeted, precise application techniques.

Experts also believe that the problem will continue to grow as more and more bed bug strains develop resistance to some of the most widely used pesticide products.

The lack of a “silver bullet” product to manage bed bugs means that multiple treatments are usually necessary to gain effective control. Multiple treatments and non-chemical methods are costly and unaffordable for persons living on lower and fixed incomes. Oftentimes they are forced to throw out mattresses, furniture and other valuable possessions they lack the means to replace. Moreover, this scenario is ripe for pesticide misuse, similar to the situation that occurred in the mid to late 1990s when unlicensed applicators in several states applied an agricultural pesticide indoors to control ants and cockroaches, displacing thousands of lower income persons and costing the federal government approximately $75 million to clean up.

Without federal intervention, the crisis will continue to grow and diminish Americans’ quality of life. Options that Congress should consider to address the crisis are discussed below.

Provide Additional Resources and Direct CDC to Provide Leadership

Additional resources are needed to help combat bed bug problems that plague lower or fixed income housing. Congress can provide much needed relief by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to divert existing resources to fight bed bugs in lower and fixed income housing. Specifically, Congress should direct EPA and HUD to make funds available from the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program, Environmental Justice Small Grants and other programs to states, local governments and local housing authorities to combat bed bugs. To ensure that the funds are used effectively, eligibility should be limited to entities that adopt and implement a bed bug action plan and require treatments to be performed by state certified pesticide applicators, trained in effective pest management strategies.

Congress should direct the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to better assist states and local governments in controlling bed bugs by acknowledging the seriousness of the problems associated with such infestations. Unfortunately, CDC officials have largely resisted officially recognizing the gravity of bed bug infestations. Instead, they stress that bed bugs are incapable of spreading disease and have shown little concern for the allergic reactions, open scabs and sores, sleeplessness and emotional trauma caused by bed bugs. CDC’s increased leadership would permit state and local governments to take more forceful action in the fight against bed bugs.

Authorize Research

The pest management industry has funded a number of bed bug related research projects and will continue doing so. EPA’s continuing pesticide reevaluation program will likely lead to the loss of additional products. Because of the relatively small size of the bed bug product market and the high cost of developing new products, there may not be sufficient incentives for the private sector to develop new, safe and effective bed bug control products. Congress could rectify this problem by establishing a research program to help develop effective methods of controlling bed bugs and other resurgent household pests. The program could be housed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s IR-4 program or Agricultural Research Service, in conjunction with land grant universities with structural pest management expertise.

Additional Criteria in Approving Pesticide Products

When EPA registers new products, alters or reevaluates the registration of existing products or considers petitions for emergency exemptions, it should consider factors such as (1) the impact on Americans’ “quality of life” when residential and other pests are not able to be controlled; (2) the risks that arise when consumers resort to over applying ineffective products or using unregistered products or other homemade remedies; and (3) the opportunity for the proliferation of inefficacious or “snake-oil” type products when affordable, effective products do not exist.

In a related issue and to discourage the marketing of inefficacious products by unscrupulous companies, Congress could require efficacy data for all pesticide products claiming to control bed bugs, to provide assurances to the professional industry, consumers, and federal and state regulatory officials that such products work as advertised. This is especially important for bed bug control products because it is not immediately obvious when a product does not work.

A Concerted Federal Effort is Needed to Combat the Crisis

EPA should create an advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, chaired by the Assistant Administrator, advising the Agency on strategies it may adopt to effectively combat bed bugs. Members of the committee would be drawn from state and local health and housing officials, pest management industry representatives, and state pesticide regulatory agencies

Congress should require the Secretaries of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development and EPA Administrator to report to Congress on steps the federal government could take to combat the bed bug epidemic.

Congress should demand greater intergovernmental cooperation and coordination by instructing the Secretaries of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development and EPA Administrator to take measures to coordinate the federal government’s response to the crisis.

# # #

Pest Control in Challenging Times

This first appeared in the spring issue of The Standard, the quarterly newsletter of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

By Michelle Crawley

The past two years have posed many economic challenges to families and businesses, and the methods of coping are as varied as the businesses and individuals themselves. Recently, several OPMA member companies shared how they are navigating their businesses through these rough waters, and just when they expect to see recovery.

The verdict? These companies are faring well, despite the challenges that a recession can bring upon small businesses.

Todd Anderson has owned A-Best Termite and Pest Control since 1992. It is located in the Akron and Ravenna areas, employing eight people. In addition to running his business, Anderson is vice president of the Summit County Pest Control Association. Anderson says that while 2009 was the toughest year that any small business could go through, A-Best managed to meet all of their budget projections and even do a little better than the year before. The recession did not affect them as much as it could have, and he credits several adjustments that his company made in controlling costs for that success.

“We have not had to cut employees,” said Anderson. “In fact, we have brought an additional employee on, and have added a part-time office person to help with phones.”

Similarly, Mike Grace, owner of TNT Exterminating in Akron and past president of the OPMA said that, like most companies, they buckled down when the recession hit. His company employs 14, and he also has not had to cut anyone. Last year, despite a decline in sales, TNT’s profits were up.

“We really took a look at expenses in 2008 and got them under control,” said Grace. “So last year ended up being a banner year for us, due to the adjustments we made as the recession began.”

Gotcha! Pest Control Specialists in Akron is a three person operation, and specializes in the residential market. Owner Gregg Lang is past president of the Summit County Pest Control Association and is its current chairman of the board. He said that for his company, last year was slow and servicing for new businesses did not increase.

“We are not losing accounts; we are just not growing as fast as we used to be,” he said. “However, we stayed busy all year long, and because we are a small company we even sometimes push business to other companies in those busy times.”

Bob Caldwell is owner of Acme Exterminating Co. in Cleveland, and was the first president of the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association. His company employs nine people. He says that in an economy like this, it’s a matter of tightening your belt and getting rid of superfluous overhead. “Analyze your market, find your niche and adjust accordingly.”

“Controlling costs is a huge thing,” agreed Lang. He said that at Gotcha!, they have not had to do any major cost cutting, but are keeping their eye on things.

Commercial versus residential markets

Caldwell pointed out that commercial and residential markets must be approached differently, especially in these times.

“The commercial market is really getting hit by the recession,” he said, “so they may find that they have to cut pest control. It’s still a high priority in homes, though – they will not live with pests.”

Grace agreed, “We’re seeing our residential contract accounts rebound at TNT – and these are not only the people who call up once a year. We are finding that people are spending money quicker than before. Much of this is weather driven.”

However, Lang said that Gotcha! saw a lot of people trying to spray themselves before calling their company to come out. He says his company is also feeling the effects the poor real estate market. “People are not moving into new homes like they used to. So there are fewer wood destroying insect (WDI) inspections these days. In the past, we did about 1,300 of those per year. Now we’re doing less than half that number.”

But one thing that Lang said has helped is that, unlike a lot of the businesses that are out there, years ago his company got away from spraying once a season and they are instead doing quarterly service for residential clients and monthly service for commercial properties. This makes it easier for residential clients to spread out the payments, instead of getting hit with a large yearly charge. These accounts also tend to be more long-term.

Fuel costs

Lang said the diesel costs are killing them.

Similarly, Grace recognizes that fuel costs are key. He said that in 2008, TNT adjusted prices when gas hit $4 a gallon. Last year, the gas prices went back down, and that contributed to his increased profits. However, he expects fuel costs to skyrocket again this year.

“The dynamics of this industry really change with the gas prices,” says Grace. “It’s very difficult to raise prices as fast as gas goes up. Sometimes it happens so fast companies can’t recover. I see fuel prices as a huge indicator of the health of the industry. The price of gas can make or break us.”

Marketing costs

These companies are taking different approaches to marketing for 2010, but all agree that that advertising costs must be examined.

Like many companies we talked to, Caldwell has adjusted his marketing. He realizes that marketing today is different than in the past – especially with the electronic opportunities that the Internet brings. “Younger consumers are using the Web to find pest control companies, versus looking at the Yellow Pages like the older generation does.”

Lang has cut advertising costs at his business. Grace, too, has cut ad costs by backing out of some of the Yellow Page ads they had done for a long time. Instead, he is shifting dollars by doing some cable television ads for the first time. “By not having the 12-month commitment of a Yellow Pages ad, we have the flexibility to spend the money elsewhere,” he said.

Conversely, instead of cutting or shifting ad dollars, Anderson increased A-Best’s exposure as much as possible for 2010. He increased yellow page advertising, labeled his fleet and is paying his technicians a commission for add-on services.

“We always ran unmarked vehicles before,” said Anderson. “I realized that they could be an advertisement on the highway, so we labeled our entire service fleet to get that free advertising. We need people to know we are here.

“We also started doing direct mailings to customers we have seen in the past three years. Carpenter ants and bees and wasps are big problems in the Akron area. We sent out over 1,200 post cards targeting these pests. This reminds customers that they have had us out in the past, and that they should schedule with us again.”

“Our technicians are also keeping their eyes open for add-on items,” said Anderson. “We don’t want to nickel and dime the customer, but sometimes a technician may notice that someone needs a chimney cap, or they will offer a free termite inspection. These can pay off for customer and for us, adding some revenue.”

Anderson also runs a retail store. He finds that a lot of customers are do-it-yourselfers, so they come in and buy their chemicals.

Other strategies

One company said that carrying no debt and having a few dollars is their secret to weathering the storm. Having no creditors makes a company flexible.

Grace says that people are the key to TNT’s success. “That is where success comes from,” he said. “We’re fortunate that we have really good customers that have supported us over the years, and we’ve been around long enough to have good, solid technicians that have decided to stay with us, rather than work for a national company. So much of our success comes down to those people.”

Anderson says A-Best is doing several things to control costs. Like Grace, his people are key. “Our technicians are now cross trained – while we used to have an insect technician, termite technician and sales technician – now everyone in the company has the ability to talk to the customer and offer a solution.”

Lang agreed, “We build our business on having no recalls, and by having no recalls the cost for doing the service work is lower. This is a result of managing and training people correctly, which is key.”

Another of Anderson’s strategies is recognizing when pesticides go off their patent and are being made for a lower price. He tries to use such broad spectrum products, instead of the insect specific pesticides that were high cost. These work very well and can help save money.

Anderson also keeps his fleet longer than in years past. “We always ran a brand new fleet, but now we wait until the vehicles are paid off – so we are running them for one more year and are saving money monthly in our fleet costs by making that slight adjustment.”

He also tightens routes to save on mileage and fuel costs. 

Sunny days (and swarms of bugs) ahead! 

The consensus is that while the economy is still rocky, things are looking up.

“We’re going through changing times,” said Caldwell, “and I don’t know that we’ll ever get back to where we were in the boom years of the 80s – not soon, anyway. One has to figure out how to ride out this kind of economy – some will make it and some will not. A lot will depend on the type of operation they have. If they have one that has very little room for adjusting they will find it very difficult.”

Lang does not predict a slow season in 2010, but he does not expect the economy to change for several years. He again expects to see less new business coming in from Yellow Pages shoppers, but instead depends on referrals to bring in new business. “If you offer a quality service to people, they will always use you,” he says.

Anderson believes that having a snowy winter and early spring has created the perfect storm for 2010, and that all pest control companies could have a banner year. “The three feet of snow that we had for most of the winter kept the ground from completely freezing – so all the insects survived. The high level of moisture also helped. And with the early warm weather, we expect it to be a great spring.”

Grace agreed. “All indications are that 2010 will be a good year. A lot of this will be weather-driven on the residential side. Time will tell how other things like fuel prices affect the industry.

Here’s hoping for a great 2010!



# # #

Letter from the President - 2010 is off to a Busy Start with Many Legislative Issues

This first appeared in the spring issue of The Standard, the quarterly newsletter of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

By Andrew Christman

This year Cleveland ranked #1 on the Forbes “10 worst winter-weather cities” list, with Columbus also receiving accolades at #8!! Boston and New York debuted at #2 and #3, respectfully. Now that we have all survived one of the worst winters in our lifetime, it is time to enjoy spring. May Mother Nature bless us all with an abundance of insects and termite swarms this year!

Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., took place in March, and was well-represented by the Ohio contingency – with over 17 OPMA members in attendance! On Monday March 1st, OPMA attendees enjoyed great camaraderie, memory sharing and contagious laughter at our sponsored dinner. We dinned at an authentic Italian restaurant that was located in the basement of a historic brownstone home. Thank you to Karl Hinderer at Southern Mill Creek Products, Cam Renn at UNIVAR, Jason Carpenter at Environmental Pest Solutions, and Bob Rosenberg at NPMA for sponsoring such a wonderful evening. We had a blast and can’t wait to do it again next year.

The following morning, it was time to get down to business as we had our appointments with Congress. We had the opportunity to meet at the offices of Senator George V. Voinovich (R), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D), followed by meetings at the offices of our House Representatives Jean Schmidt (R-2nd), Steve Austria (R-7th), John Boehner (R-8th), Marcia Fudge (D-11th), Pat Tiberi (R-12th), Steven LaTourette (R-14th) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-15th). We provided Congress with Pest Management Fact Sheets, along with handouts detailing our three main Legislative issues. It was a busy and productive day.

Our areas of concern were what congress can do about the bed bug epidemic, and how they can support Ohio’s Section 18 Emergency Exemption request for the indoor residential use of propoxur for bed bug control. Our other issues included the School Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), and the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) otherwise known as “card check”.

Legislative issues have never been more important to our industry than they are today.

This is a crucial election year in Congress for small business owners. Please consider supporting OPMA’s PAC Fund. We need your support. In less then a year, EPA’s new political appointees have completely reshaped the Agency’s pesticide policies, and YOU will likely soon feel the impact. With that being said, we are fortunate enough that our industry has two representatives running for office. Fred Daily, former director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture is running for Congress in Ohio’s 18th District. Robert “Bob” Dold, Jr., family member and owner/operator of Rose Pest Solutions in Chicago, Illinois is the 10th District Congressional Candidate. Congratulations and Godspeed to both Fred and Bob!

Please understand that donations do not need to be large. Donations of $20, $30, $50 or even $100 can make a huge difference. Did you know that the majority of President Barack Obama’s campaign funds came from those who donated LESS then $100.00?!!

I continue to represent the OPMA at steering committee meetings and member meetings for the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force (COBBTF), as well as the Ohio Department of Health Bed Bug Workgroup. Weekly updates for the COBBTF are posted on OPMA’s Web site for your review.

On Wednesday March 24th I provided testimony as a proponent for Representative Mallory’s House Resolution 182 at the State Capital. HR 182 is a proponent for Ohio’s Section 18 request. Other proponent testimony included Dr. Susan Jones of OSU-E, Brad Corso of the Ohio Department of Health, Michael Evans of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, and Matt Beal of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. We were able to answer a lot of good questions from committee members, while setting the record straight. Thank you to our lobbyist Belinda Jones, and Lonnie Alonso, president of OPARR and owner of Columbus Pest Control, for their generous time and support. Lonnie also provided the same testimony as a proponent for State Senator Kearny.

I continue to encourage you to join a committee and/or attend an OPMA board meeting. This is your right as a member of the OPMA and a privilege to your company. Please contact me directly with your interest and I will be sure to place you on the appropriate committee. We have recently placed two new committee members – Gerald Moore of Terminix is now on the Education Committee, and Chris Snow of First Choice Pest Control is now on the Membership Committee. Congratulations Gerald and Chris!

We look forward to working with you.

The Summer Meeting Committee (with Scott Steckle of Varment Guard, and Craig Farrell of Expert Pest Management) has planned a casual and EXCITING summer meeting for the whole family to enjoy. We are going back to the family format that so many of our members have enjoyed over the years. Look at it as a well-deserved mini-vacation. The meeting will be held at the beautiful Cherry Valley Lodge Resort and Spa in Newark/Granville, Ohio. Cherry Valley Lodge and the City of Granville has so much to offer including a full spa inside the lodge, a 50,000 square foot water park resort, premium arcade center for the kids (and dads!), 5 pool side cabanas with flat screen TVs that the OPMA has reserved, a national historic downtown (with known ghosts that haunt the buildings), a winery and an award-winning golf course. Please save the date now! We can’t wait to see you on Friday, July 16th. Look for information to follow in the mail soon.

Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any recommendations or ideas to make OPMA and even a better organization then it already is. I am here to serve you.

Contact: achristman@ohioexterminating.com. Work phone is (614) 294-6311 x11, or cell number is (614) 374-9609.

Have a prosperous spring!


Sincerely,

Andrew Christman, OPMA President

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jimmy Stewart's Thunder Bay — Hollywood Prophecy

I would like to thank Mr. Fontova for giving me permission to reprint this article.  RK 

By Humberto Fontova


In the 1953 movie "Thunder Bay," Jimmy Stewart plays the complicated protagonist, Steve Martin, the hard-bitten, ex-navy oil engineer who built the first offshore oil platform off Louisiana in 1947. "The brawling, mauling story of the biggest bonanza of them all!" reads the Universal ad for the studio's first wide-screen movie. Much of the brawling by Stewart and his henchmen was against the local Cajuns who fished for a living. Their livelihood, it seemed obvious at the time, would soon vanish amidst a hellbroth of irreversible pollution.

The movie covers a time period of barely one year yet ends on a happy note of conciliation as the fishermen reaped a bonanza almost as big as Jimmy's itself. The oil structures had kicked in as artificial reefs and made possible a bigger haul of seafood than anything in these fishermen's lifetimes.

Alas, brawling by the real life Jimmy Stewart characters later cranked up to a level that dwarfed anything in the movie — but against a much more fanatical, underhanded and devious foe: environmentalists. If bona-fide science has crowned Global Warmists with ten foot dunce caps, then half a century of scientific evidence has crowned anti-offshore drilling activists with fifty foot dunce caps. Astoundingly, over the ensuing decades the verdict of this 1953 movie (that offshore oil drilling far from an environmental disaster was actually an environmental bonanza) has been pounded home with a vengeance. To wit:

With 3,203 of the 3,729 offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico off her coast, Louisiana provides almost a third of North America's commercial fisheries. A study by LSU's sea grant college shows that 85 percent of Louisiana's offshore fishing trips target these structures. "Oil platforms as artificial reefs support fish densities 10 to 1000 times that of adjacent sand and mud bottom, and almost always exceed fish densities found at both adjacent artificial reefs of other types and natural hard bottom," says a study by Dr Bob Shipp, professor at the Marine Sciences department of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, and currently, the vice-chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. "Evidence indicates that massive areas of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico were essentially empty of snapper stocks for the first hundred years of the fishery. Subsequently, areas in the western Gulf have become the major source of red snapper, concurrent with the appearance of thousands of petroleum platforms." (Italics mine).
More recently, the red snapper catch from the northwestern Gulf (Louisiana, studded with oil platforms) is estimated 6 to 7 times greater (italics mine) than the catch from the eastern Gulf (bereft of oil platforms.)" That this proliferation of seafood came because — rather than in spite — of the oil production rattled many environmental cages and provoked a legion of scoffers.

Amongst the scoffers were some The Travel Channel producers, fashionably greenish in their views. They read these claims in a book titled The Helldiver's Rodeo. (and Ted Nugent's blurb sure didn't help against their scoffing!) The book described an undersea panorama that (if true) could make an interesting show for the network, they concluded, while still scoffing.

They scoffed as we rode in from the airport. They scoffed over raw oysters, grilled redfish and seafood gumbo that night. More scoffing through the Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's. They scoffed even while suiting up in dive gear and checking the cameras as we tied up to an oil platform 20 miles in the Gulf.

But they came out of the water bug-eyed and indeed produced and broadcast a Travel Channel program showcasing a panorama that turned on its head every environmental superstition against offshore oil drilling. Schools of fish filled the water column from top to bottom — from 6-inch blennies to 12-foot sharks. Fish by the thousands. Fish by the ton.

The cameras were going crazy. Do I focus on the shoals of barracuda? Or that cloud of jacks? On the immense schools of snapper below, or on the fleet of tarpon above? How 'bout this — WHOOOAA — hammerhead!

We had some close-ups, too, of coral and sponges, the very things disappearing off Florida's (that bans offshore oil drilling) pampered reefs. Off Louisiana, they sprout in colorful profusion from the huge steel beams — acres of them. You'd never guess this was part of that unsightly structure above. The panorama of marine life around an offshore oil platform staggers anyone who puts on goggles and takes a peek, even (especially!) the most worldly scuba divers. Here's a video peek at this seafood bonanza.

And oh!…as a fanatical fisherman/scuba-diver I almost forgot to mention this trivial detail: the oil production platforms off Louisiana's coast also produce 80 percent of the oil and 72 percent of the natural gas produced in the U.S— and without causing a single major oil spill in half a century of this process. This record stands despite dozens of hurricanes — including the two most destructive in North American history, Camille and Katrina — repeatedly battering the drilling and production structures.

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Humberto Fontova is the author of Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him.   Visit http://www.hfontova.com/


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Pesticide Update

From the Ohio Farm Bureau, Adam Sharp
ISSUE:

On November 4, U.S. EPA published a request for public comments on Pesticide Drift Labeling. The purpose of the draft notice is to provide guidance on labeling statements concerning pesticide drift and to inform the public of EPA’s pesticide drift policies. EPA also published a notice requesting public comment on a petition related to children's exposure to pesticide drift and volatilization. The petition was submitted to the EPA by EarthJustice and Farmworker Justice. Completely preventing drift from a crop protection product is technically impossible. Any attempt by EPA to increase mitigation measures as a way of attaining the unachievable goal of “zero drift” would severely impact farmers who are already prohibited from spraying in areas near occupied structures, sensitive ecosystems and endangered species habitat. OFBF filed the following comments with the U.S. EPA.

Comments Submitted by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation:

Ohio farmers believe that protection of human health for adults and children and of the environment is best accomplished through a Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) approved and enforced label for the pesticide products, which include Directions for Use that are based upon a risk assessment and that incorporate mitigation and application techniques designed to minimize drift.
Vague language such as "could cause" or "may cause" adverse effects does not belong on a pesticide label because it is NOT in accordance with FIFRA risk-based standard of 'no unreasonable adverse effects' and it forces state regulators into the role of risk assessor to determine what 'may or could' cause an effect, which they are not trained to do and is the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
We are concerned that EPA's guidance on how to enforce the proposed drift label language sets an unachievable zero drift standard and sets the stage for frivolous tort lawsuits and enforcement actions against farmers.

We urge the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs to do the following: (1) NOT impose unnecessary buffers that would reduce cropland available for American agriculture; (2) Develop a bystander exposure scenario for the risk assessment in the pesticide registration process; (3) Develop risk-based tolerances for non-target property; (4) Maintain the FIFRA risk-based standard of "no unreasonable adverse effects"; (5) Acknowledge that some small level of pesticide drift is unavoidable (in some cases) and does not pose an "unreasonable adverse effect"; (6) Acknowledge that the mere detection of a pesticide off-target does not pose an unreasonable adverse effect and is not a violation of FIFRA that requires an enforcement action; (7) Remove the new hazard-based standard of "harm" from the Drift Pesticide Registration Notice; (8) Remove the vague, unenforceable, and unmanageable concepts of "could cause" or "may cause" adverse effects or "harm" from the Drift PRN.

If you have any questions, please contact Adam Sharp, Ohio farm Bureau Federation at asharp@ofbf.org.

This is an issue that goes beyond agricultural pesticide applications. We can be sure that anyone making an exterior pesticide application will be impacted by this issue.   This originally appeared in the May Issue of the Ohio Pest Management's quarterly newsletter, The StandardRK

Roasted Bedbugs and Old Memories

By Harry Katz

While my short term memory today is bad, I can still recall the acrid smell of roasting bedbugs in bedsprings with a candle when I was a youngster in the 1920’s. Candling bedsprings was what my mom learned when she lived in Russia at the turn of the century. We also put bottle caps filled with an oil of some type under the bed legs.

Many years later, in the 1940’s, when I was an exterminator (no “pest controllers” or “pest management” people then), bedbugs were endemic with the general public. The bugs were picked up in cloak rooms at school, at work, in theater seats, streetcar seats, etc, etc. Pyrethrum sprays, oil based, were available--no residuals, no EPA.

While treating a housing development, I once found a bedbug that was twice the normal size. I gave it to my friend Arnold Mallis in his Gulf Oil lab at nearby Harmarville, PA, who sent it to his friend Dr. L.Usinger in CA. Sure enough it was a bedbug based on the chromosomal pattern. Dr. Usinger wrote asking for more specimens. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any more so apparently I did too good of a job and as a result I potentially missed out on having a strain of bedbugs named after me. See Mallis’ Handbook on Pest Control, 7th Edition, p324.

Before the BC (Before Carson) Era, mostly oil based DDT and pyrethrum sprays were marketed in stores for bedbugs. Pest controllers, however, used a variety of toxicants. NPCA recommended 2% malathion for DDT resistant bedbugs. Others recommended diazinon, lindane,, methoxychlor, thanite, even deldrin. All cautioned not to spray the mattress. I used lindane at 0.1% with pyrethrums to kill the DDT resistant bedbugs. I got best control by using the dust made by mixing two desiccants, silica aerogel with diatomaceous earth. The DE tamed down the fluffy silica aerogel. I don’t know if the labels would permit this today, but this was permitted then. I sprinkled three tablespoons of the dust on the mattress, and lifted the sheet to distribute the dust. This is an excellent residual to control the emerging nymphs from the eggs laid in the mattress tufts. Heat from the body speeds the hatching time. I used the DDT spray in baseboards, wall crevices, perimeter, bed stands, furniture near the bed. (Never on the mattresses or sofas.)

If propoxur aerosol was available now for bedbugs, as it is available for other crawling insects, we would indeed have an excellent addition to our arsenal to control the bedbug, but not on mattresses or sofas. By today’s standards, our industry practices in the early days were primitive. I vividly recall ads with “Confidential Service” in phone books. Some talked about ‘secret formulas’. One promoted his barium carbonate rat bait as a virus. Some PCOs deliberately left streaks of sodium fluoride on the basement walls, and a smelly pesticide to prove that they did something, otherwise they would not get paid.

In the 50’s, several men died when they ate bread at a Salvation Army free food shelter in Pittsburgh, PA. The baker mistook white sodium fluoride for a bread ingredient. That is when the first law regulating pesticides was passed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture: sodium fluoride products had to be colored blue. I recall one old timer brought me an insect to identify. It was a subterranean termite. Another old timer became bald when he inhaled fumes from a solution of thallium sulphate that he was cooking with bait for rats. These excesses ended to a large extent because of Rachel Carson’s epic book, Silent Spring, which was a major motivating force behind the creation of the modern environmental movement, and caused the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency which promulgated regulations that were necessary to place controls on the sale and use of toxicants.

We truly grew as an industry and I believe that requiring companies to be tested and licensed brought this about. However, we have to remember that the first licensing was not introduced into the pest control industry by the EPA. Testing and licensing was first introduced into pest control in cities like Cleveland, Ohio by the pest control industry itself, years before the EPA.

In her book, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson described how a Penn State Researcher lost the sight of one eye while experimenting with the first batch of chlordane (1068) that was produced. She neglected to mention that the offending contaminant had been removed from the chlordane before it was marketed.

I also recall my friend Carroll Weil telling me that he was appointed to Congress’ MRAK Commission to investigate demands to outlaw DDT. Carroll was President of the Toxicological Society of America and a Fellow at the prestigious Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. He found that the data which the Committee used was badly flawed. The mice that they used for testing were specially bred to develop tumors . Even a benign tumor is reason to cancel a registration of a pesticide with the USDA. Carroll argued with the anti DDT members until late in the night. Finally, they said they would publish an addendum, and he capitulated, making it unanimous. Because the United States cancelled DDT registration, it was not available anywhere. Millions of natives in Third World countries died from malaria because they were not able to spray a few ounces of DDT solution on inside of their huts. Rachel Carson wrote the book to save the lives of many people from deadly toxicants. An unintended consequence was the death of millions to malaria.

At a hearing before an EPA appointed Judge to determine the future of DDT registration, after hearing lengthy talks by top scientists for many days, the Judge ruled that there was not sufficient reason to cancel the registration. Despite this, the head of the EPA, Ruckelshaus, ruled that DDT was in fact a carcinogen, overruling his own Administrative Law Judge.

This originally appeared in the May Issue of the Ohio Pest Management's quarterly newsletter, The Standard. RK

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chemicals and Cancer

Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality!
By Rich Kozlovich

Recently the Environmental Protection Agency accepted public comments regarding Ohio’s request for an emergency Section 18 exemption for propoxur in order to help bring this plague of bed bugs under control. A letter was sent to EPA from one of the anti-pesticide groups insisting that EPA refuse this request claiming, among other things, that propoxur causes cancer; in spite of the fact that the MSDS sheet clearly states that propoxur is not carcinogenic.

In an article I saved some time back a writer outlined the three pillars of science.

• The first is fallibility. The fact that you can be wrong, and if so proven by experimental input, any hypothesis can be—indeed, must be—corrected. .

• The second pillar of science is that by its very nature, science is impersonal. There is no ‘us’, there is no ‘them’. There is only the quest.

• The third pillar of science is peer group assessment. This allows for validation of your thesis by fellow scientists and is usually done in confidence.

We shall avail ourselves of these pillars to come to an understanding of the subject of chemicals and cancer. I will state this from the onset. Pesticides do not cause cancer, and that includes DDT. Science is firmly based on these three pillars; these claims about chemicals and cancer are superstition; which is based on mysticism. Let's listen to real scientists and those who have followed this issue for years.

Angela Logomasini, director of risk and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, states that “In recent decades, many have claimed that cancer is rising because of increased use of human made chemicals. But if chemicals were a source of health problems, one might expect that as chemical use increased around the world, there would be a measurable adverse effect on life expectancy, cancer rates, or other illnesses. Yet in developed nations, where chemical use has greatly increased, people are living longer, healthier lives.”

In another article entitled “The True Causes of Cancer” Logomasini observes that, “Environmental activists have long claimed that man-made chemicals are causing rampant cancer rates that could be addressed only by government regulation. Accordingly, lawmakers have passed laws directing government agencies to study environmental causes of cancer, estimate the number of lives allegedly lost, and devise regulations to reduce death rates. However, lawmakers should be aware of some key problems with how this system has worked in practice. First, the claim that chemical pollution is a major cancer cause is wrong. Second, agencies have relied on faulty scientific methods that grossly overestimate potential cancer deaths from chemicals and potential lives saved by regulation. As a result, regulatory policy tends to divert billions of dollars from other life-saving uses or from other efforts to improve quality of life to pay for unproductive regulations.”

An article which appeared in the New York Post by Jeff Stier of the American Council on Science and Health entitled, “A Cancer Non-Epidemic” states; “We have an epidemic of disbelief about cancer in this country -- but it's the opposite of what you probably expect. Cancer death rates have been falling for years, and now are falling even faster. Yet it's still stories about allegedly ignored cancer threats that grab our attention. If death rates were rising, the situation would (rightly) be front-page news. But the new report by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society notes that the rate of decline in U.S. cancer deaths has doubled. And that story got buried (A18 in The New York Times, nowhere in the Wall Street Journal). Most people will have forgotten the good news by the next time an activist group talks up "the cancer epidemic."

In 2006 this was published on the National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health web site. “Annual Report to the Nation Finds Cancer Death Rates Continue to Drop; Lower Cancer Rates Observed in U.S. Latino Populations -A new report from the nation's leading cancer organizations finds that Americans' risk of dying from cancer continues to drop, maintaining a trend that began in the early 1990s. However, the rate of new cancers remains stable. The "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2003, Featuring Cancer among U.S. Hispanic/Latino Populations" is published in the October 15, 2006, issue of Cancer*. The report includes comprehensive data on trends over the past several decades for all major cancers. It shows that the long-term decline in overall cancer death rates continued through 2003 for all races and both sexes combined. The declines were greater among men (1.6 percent per year from 1993 through 2003) than women (0.8 percent per year from 1992 through 2003).”

Bjorn Lomborg in his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, notes that if you were to compare the cancer rates and demographics from the turn of the last century to the turn of this century you would see two startling statistics. In the early 1900's few people smoked and few people lived to be over sixty five, which is why sixty five was chosen as the retirement age for Social Security purposes.

When the Chesterfield Girl died of lung cancer in 1992, Pulitzer Prize winning nationally syndicated columnist George Will wrote an article about it.

He recited an account where “at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis in 1919, a doctor summoned some medical students to an autopsy, saying the patient’s disease was so rare that most of the students would never see it again. It was lung cancer.”

Cancer is mostly an affliction of smokers and the aged. Yet we see the cancer rates dropping and we have a lot of smokers and a lot of over sixty five people. It those two demographics were taken out of the modern equation the drop in cancer rates would even more impressive.

“Dr. Bruce Ames is the recipient of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Prize and of the Tyler Prize for environmental achievement. He has served on the National Cancer Institute board of directors, and he's a member of the National Academy of Sciences” found through his research that naturally occurring chemicals, when fed in extremely high doses to test animals, were as likely to test carcinogenic as synthetic chemicals produced by chemical companies.

“At one time, he was the darling of the environmental movement. But now, the members of that movement have turned on him with a vengeance, accusing him of aiding and abetting "Corporate America," although he accepts no money other than his university salary”. Unfortunately his conclusion “was a very politically incorrect conclusion.” Ames said that, “The environmentalist activists, ‘have a religion’ that says that corporations are behind an exploding epidemic of cancer.”

This idea that “a rodent is a little man” became a valuable weapon for environmental activists and in 1958 the Delaney Clause required the Food and Drug Administration to ban any substance that cause cancer in animals….even when fed doses that could never be reached in a person’s lifetime of massive everyday use. In short, Delaney outlined the idea that if a substance causes cancer at any level, it causes cancer at every level. This is not science. Until then it was clearly understood that the dose makes the poison. At some point the molecular load of any substance becomes too small to impact cells. This “any dose is deadly” mentality lingers in spite of the fact that toxicologists disagree.

In 2005 the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) petitioned the EPA to “eliminate "junk science" from the process by which it determines whether a substance is likely to cause cancer in humans.”

“The petition, filed on behalf of ACSH by the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), a public interest law firm, argues that current EPA guidelines violate the Information Quality Act (IQA) -- the law that requires the federal government to ensure the "equality, objectivity, utility, and integrity" of information it dispenses to the public.”

“Specifically, EPA routinely declares chemicals "carcinogens" -- implying a likelihood of a health threat to humans -- based solely on the creation of tumors in lab rodents by the administration of super high doses irrelevant to ordinary human exposure levels. Furthermore, effects in a single species may not be applicable to another species (rat tests do not even reliably predict effects in mice, which are closely related to rats, let alone effects in humans), though similar effects in multiple species might be an indicator of a genuine problem.”

Bruce Ames notes that “there are major problems with this procedure.

• One, animals aren't necessarily the best stand-ins for humans. In fact, 30% of the time, a chemical that causes cancer in mice won't do so in rats and vice versa, even though these species are much closer to each other than they are to humans.

• For another, the dose given the animals is on average almost 400,000 times the dose that the Environmental Protection Agency tries to protect humans against.”

The ACSH went on to “request that EPA eliminate statements that indicate that a substance may properly be labeled a "likely" human carcinogen based solely or primarily on the results of animal studies. Such statements are scientifically unsound, argues the petition, which notes that the great majority of toxicologists share that assessment.”

EPA continually dodged this by extending their deadline for responding. Finally five months later they claimed that their “Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.” My question was then and still is; if EPA policy isn’t based on science, then what is it based on?

I think Dr. Elizabeth Whelan answers this best. “This is a free country, and we all have the right to be guided by superstitions, no matter how nonsensical; for example, my mother still forbids me to open an umbrella in her apartment. But we should no longer tolerate the mindless regulatory ritual of banning useful, safe chemicals "at the drop of a rat."

Sources:
1. Leaders & Success: Bruce Ames, by Michael Fumento
2. Cancer Trends , and, The True Causes of Cancer, by Angela Logomasini
3. A Cancer Non-Epidemic, and, We Should Expect More from the EPA, by Jeff Stier, Esq.
4. Annual Report to the Nation Finds Cancer Death Rates Continue to Drop; Lower Cancer Rates Observed in U.S. Latino Populations - National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health.
5. The Skeptical Environmentalist, by Bjorn Lomborg

This originally appeared in the May Issue of the Ohio Pest Management's quarterly newsletter, The Standard. RK

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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Alar Story

By Rich Kozlovich


The Alar story is a most enlightening account of how abuse of bureaucratic power, scare mongering by the media, and self enrichment by the green activists can create a real mess. If you ask most people who are somewhat familiar with this story how it all got started they will tell you that it was the 60 Minutes broadcast that did it. That is inaccurate; although the 60 Minutes segment set the story on fire, if you dig deeply into the whole Alar story you find that it takes so many twists and turns that it is hard to believe; but this is how the whole thing started.

In 1982 the EPA got caught up in a superfund scandal. By March of 1983 EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford resigned after finding herself in a bureaucratic mess between the EPA and the Department of Justice in an attempt to deal with this scandal. One prominent EPA staffer was fired and others left.

What has this to do with Alar? Everything! Because of the black eye EPA received over this it was decided that something had to be done to restore their credibility to the public. So what did they do? They felt that they needed to ban something, and since anti-pesticide activists love anyone who wants to ban something, they started looking around and viola; Alar was to be the target.

Why Alar? It had been used successfully as a growth regulator to keep apples from falling off trees since 1963. In 1983 the EPA placed Alar under “special review” and in 1984 they claimed that Alar was a potential carcinogen for children because after administering massive doses of Alar to mice tests showed that that it might cause cancer. It might be noted that rodent testing as a determinate as to what is carcinogenic has come under attack from the scientific community. Although critics of this procedure don’t disavow the value of using rodent testing, they dismiss the idea that EPA should be determining what is carcinogenic based on rodent testing alone.

On August 23, 2005 the American Council on Science and Health petitioned the EPA to “eliminate "junk science" from the process by which it determines whether a substance is likely to cause cancer in humans” under the Information Quality Act (IQA), which requires the government to use the best science available. Nearly five months later the EPA responded by “claiming that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.” If their policy guidelines aren’t based on scientific fact, what are they based on? What were they based on in 1985?

The reality is that in 1985 the EPA own “Scientific Advisory Panel” concluded that the laboratory animal studies of Alar were too flawed to use.” However, the anti-chemical people became involved to “help” EPA to ban Alar, because no matter how much they studied the matter EPA couldn’t develop enough evidence to justify banning Alar.

Eventually facts and studies were irrelevant. The NRDC, through Fenton Communications, a public relations firm that seems to specialize in representing radical environmental groups, approached 60 Minutes with this unwarranted health scare.

“Following the release of a report called “Intolerable Risk” — which claimed that Alar was “the most potent cancer-causing agent in our food supply” and blamed the chemical for “as many as 5,300” childhood cancer cases — Fenton and NRDC went on a five-month media blitz. The campaign kicked off with a CBS 60 Minutes feature seen by over 50 million Americans. Despite the fact that the claims were completely unfounded, hysteria set in. Apples were pulled off of grocery shelves, schools stopped serving them at lunch, and apple growers nationwide lost over $250 million.”

However, “from the standpoint of the NRDC and Fenton Communications, the campaign against Alar had been a phenomenal success. The public had been panicked, the product had been destroyed, and a major media organization, 60 minutes, had been a willing tool in carrying out the operation. Further, membership and contributions to the NRDC increased.” Worse yet, “after the election of President Clinton, the EPA ceased being an unwitting participant in the toxic scare campaign.”

“The Wall Street Journal printed one of David Fenton’s internal memos, after the Alar-on-apples scandal was publicly debunked. Here’s Fenton in his own words: “We designed [the Alar Campaign] so that revenue would flow back to the Natural Resources Defense Council from the public, and we sold this book about pesticides through a 900 number and the Donahue show. And to date there has been $700,000 in net revenue from it.”

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan states that “the Alar scare was totally without scientific merit. By the early 1990s, authorities ranging from the World Health Organization to U. S. surgeon general C. Everett Koop confirmed that there was never any health risk posed by the use of Alar. Even the late Don Hewitt, creator of 60 Minutes, told me that he regretted having done the Alar segment, but Ed Bradley, the producer of the piece, refused to retract it.”


When junk science becomes policy it is because the policy was already a conclusion in search of data. And when there is no data available… then apparently any old conclusion will do.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Paul Driessen’s “tour de force”

By Rich Kozlovich

For those of who have been reading Green Notes, or this blog, you are aware of how high a value I place on Mr. Driessen’s book, "Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death".

This is a book that is very readable for the general public and yet has the ability to capture the interest of those who are knowledgeable about scientific and environmental issues. It is a small publication and can be read in a short time. It should also be read more than once. I have just reread this book and I feel compelled to promote it to those who read this blog. In spite of ad hominem attacks and unfounded claims that his book is “unscientific” or that he is a corporate puppet, there are a host of well thought of individuals who have showered praise on this book because of the logic of his arguments and the facts presented. These are listed below. It can be ordered here.


The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity. The pain and suffering it is inflicting on families in developing countries must no longer be tolerated. This is the first book I’ve seen that tells the truth and lays it on the line. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about people, progress and our planet.” – Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder

“Paul Driessen has given us an amazing tour de force. He explores one of today’s most perplexing problems: the environmentally sensitive rich demanding that the Third World’s poor forego feeding themselves, solving their health and energy problems, and taking their rightful place among the earth’s prosperous people. Eco-Imperialism provides terrific intellectual ammunition and is outstandingly written. Very gripping to read.” – Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition

“Developing countries need to be free to make their own decisions about how to improve their people’s lives. Activists who’ve never had to worry about starvation, malaria and simple survival have no right to impose their fears, prejudices and ideologies on the world’s poor. That’s the central message of this book. It’s a message that needs to be spread far and wide.”  – CS Prakash, Professor of plant genetics, Tuskegee University

“The time has come to hold these radicals to civilized standards of behavior, end the tolerance for their lethal policies, and demand that they be held accountable for their excesses, and the poverty, disease and death they have perpetrated on the poor and powerless. Eco-Imperialism is an excellent start. Driessen does a masterful job of stripping away the radicals’ mantle of virtue, dissecting their bogus claims and holding them to the moral and ethical standards they have long demanded for everyone except themselves. And he does so with humor, outrage and passion – and always without pulling any punches.

“Every concerned citizen and policy maker should read this book. The environmentalists will hate it. The world’s destitute masses will love it. And everyone will be challenged by it to reexamine their beliefs and the environmental establishment’s claims.” – Niger Innis, National Spokesman, Congress of Racial Equality

(from his introduction to Eco-Imperialism)

“There is a shrill claim today by those that fill the streets to protest globalization, and by the organizations that put them there, that these white, relatively affluent groups are speaking on behalf of the world’s poor and powerless. This unfortunately, is a message that the Western media have bought uncritically – but not Paul Driessen. He cogently shows how the new Green Eco-Imperialists are seeking to impose their will on developing countries, interfering with their efforts to build dams or grow crops or do any of the things which can lift them out of poverty. These are life-and-death matters for the world’s poor, and Driessen is bold and honest enough to challenge the eco-interference in people’s lives as immoral and the cause of death and devastation in countries that are trying to develop and transform their lives. Both those who have bought the Green propaganda line and those who have not would benefit from reading Driessen’s Eco-Imperialism book.” – Thomas R. DeGregori, PhD, Professor of Economics, University of Houston

“Paul Driessen forcefully makes the case that the environmental movement has been needlessly anti-human. The real moral and technical challenge is to save both planet and people, and we’ve been given the intelligence and societal skills to do it. Hopefully, with the human population surge now ending, we’ll feel free to be humane again.” – Dennis Avery, Hudson Institute, author of Saving the Planet With Pesticides and Plastic

“The Developing World is developing! As a South African living and working in South Africa, I see every day the interaction between the modern, very advanced world of international corporate business, and the world of transitional rural people moving up the development ladder from a grass hut existence. This process is complex, and some first world people propagating their own extremely personal agendas ‘to save the world’ frequently do more harm to developing economies than a genuine caring society realises. Paul Driessen has done a superb job of seeing the picture from our side of the ocean.

“A developing country does not need First World ideological oppression. It needs to develop towards its own goals by means of its own self-respect. Driessen makes this clear, with facts and imagery tempered with passion and humour.” – Kelvin Kemm PhD, CEO: Stratek Business Strategy Consultants, Pretoria, South Africa.

“Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death is a no-holds-barred critique of what author Paul Driessen calls ‘ideological environmentalism.’ But unlike other books, it challenges eco-activists on what up to now has been the primary source of their strength: their bald assertion that they represent all that is noble, ethical, socially responsible, ‘sustainable,’ and even ordained by God. Rarely mincing words, Driessen demonstrates that – far from being moral – radical Green policies, principles and pressure tactics perpetuate poverty, misery, disease and premature death for hundreds of millions of people.” – Alan Caruba, National Anxiety Center, author of Warning Signs

“Just as environmental groups have blocked proper forest thinning and contributed to the devastating fires in California, the groups have also played a dominant role in denying access to basic tools for protecting and bettering lives of the world’s poorest people in developing countries. The complicity and devastating consequences of environmental NGO actions are clearly and unambiguously documented in Paul Driessen’s book, Eco-Imperialism: Green power - black death.

“Driessen is absolutely correct in his assessment that the actions of environmental groups are accountable to no standard of scientific accuracy, no standard of ethical behavior, no law, and no government. Environmental groups took their model for social/political action from the mode of environmental activism in the 1960s and 1970s, when the wildest claims of environmental damage were accepted without critical analysis. That approach to environmental activism brought about great changes. Some were good, but others were devastatingly wrong.

“The DDT story is one example of environmental activism taken to an extreme and horrific outcome. The model of environmental activism consisted of fabrications, selective use or outright misuse of science, legal actions, intimidation of scientists and corporations, civil disobedience, and an absolute conviction that all political, covert and unethical methods were justified in order to achieve a greater good. The same model is used today, even as the horrible consequences of environmental actions become increasingly apparent. Driessen is correct. It is high time that environmental organizations be held to standards already demanded of for-profit-corporations: namely, ethical conduct, respect for scientific accuracy, accountability and transparency.” – Donald R. Roberts, PhD, professor of tropical public health

Driessen clearly and skillfully shows how many false green claims even become government policy in the first world, resulting in the death of people in the developing world. In essence, the message of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power • Black Death is: It is time that businesses stopped being so afraid of the extreme greens that they fall all over themselves to be greener-than-thou, and beg forgiveness for doing business.

Business must be socially responsible, and under no circumstances should it have a don’t-care attitude about the environment. But it should not spread extreme green paranoia amongst the public, either. Driessen roundly tells the first world governments and company boardrooms not to sacrifice black lives in the interests of promoting a politically correct green image.  – Green & Gold Forum, Pretoria, South Africa

“The world’s poor billions used to suffer from imperialists who ‘exploited’ labour and natural resources in colonies. But they did so by investing in factories and mines, and providing technology and skills. Thus, enriching themselves at least meant that conditions improved in the colonies. Modern imperialists, appropriately called ‘eco-imperialists’ in this seminal book, are much worse. They no longer exploit colonies directly. Instead they ensure that ‘developing countries’ don’t develop. What started in the post-colonial world as the unsustainable ‘limits to growth’ movement has become a quagmire of sustainable nonsense in defence of elaborate stratagems to curtail prosperity in poor countries on the pretext that sustained development is not ‘sustainable.’

“This is one of the few Western books to expose eco-imperialism for what it is. It addresses health, economic and environmental issues from a refreshing developing country perspective. It takes on the anti-prosperity eco-establishment, the EU and other forces that impose their will, standards and distorted ethical principles on the world’s poor.

“Telling destitute people in my country, South Africa, and in countries with even greater destitution, that they must never aspire to living standards much better than they have now – because it wouldn’t be ‘sustainable’ – is just one example of the hypocrisy we have had thrust in our faces, in an era when we can and should grow fast enough to become fully developed in a single generation. We’re fed up with it, and gladdened that Driessen and others are taking up our cause. This book could mark a watershed event in environmental politics, and should be read (and absorbed) by all decent people who truly want to be ‘socially responsible.’” – Leon Louw, executive director, Free Market Foundation of South Africa


“Ideas and ideologies have consequences. Horrid ideas and ideologies have lethal consequences.” This is the central premise of the book Eco-Imperialism - Green power, black death. The lethal consequences of the idea that environmental values take precedence over the value of human lives is its central theme. And it documents these consequences in all their chilling detail…. What Paul Driessen documents in his book is that, by fanatically seeking to impose their agenda upon the whole of society, especially in the developing world, eco-imperialists are directly responsible for advocating policies that literally result in the deaths of countless millions of poor and desperate people about the globe.– Don Newman, senior policy analyst, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

“After listening to you on the Dennis Prager Show, I am compelled to go out and purchase your book, one which should be read by every single non-White and low-income White in America – notably those who largely vote Democrat. The reason I make this statement is that eco-imperialism, although horrendous in Third-World countries, also has an impact here in the United States.

“Notice how radical environmentalists in this country often oppose development. You may even hear some of these folks talk about ‘Affordable Housing’ – yet at the same time they lobby endlessly for regulations and restrictions that are often injurious to the majority of Black and Latino Americans. For example, The Bay Area, due to high taxation and land-use restriction, is one of the most prohibitive areas for minorities to reside – they simply cannot afford to live there. Because of their paranoid fear of sprawl, the elitist eco-imperialists virtually prevent upwardly-mobile people of color from improving their lot in life – only we, the wealthy and privileged, they seem to insist, can live in ‘nice’ homes and safe neighborhoods.

“I look forward to reading your eye-opening account.”– LaTonya Bethea, Southern California

“I recently purchased and read your book Eco-Imperialism. I just wanted to say I was amazed, appalled and disgusted with how the environmental groups have absolutely no regard for human life. Your book helped me realize some things I already knew and gave me much more detail and insight on things I didn’t know about how these environmental policies hurt MILLIONS of people in third world countries. I always believed that environmentalists’ attitude about ‘save the trees not the people’ was wrong. One of the things I learned from your book was how accurate and horrific that quote really is.

“I was completely unaware of the global ban on DDT. I was unaware how un-transparent many of these eco groups are. I also had no knowledge of the CSR practices used by for-profits and NGOs. I also had no knowledge about the debate over GM foods.

“I had been reading your book (in part) during trips to the local Starbucks coffee shop where I live. I'm a regular customer and most of the employees there know me. After a few days of reading and drinking coffee, several of them (some who are pro-eco-group types) began to ask me questions about what I was reading (they thought from the picture it was a book about starvation, which in a way is accurate). There was one girl working there in particular who I thought was going to cry when I started giving her the FACTS about how many children die each year as a result of environmental policy in third world countries. During our talk, it became clear how much the Greenpeace-type-endorsed ‘eco education’ had brainwashed her.

“I also realized that the mission work my local Catholic church does is much more important than I realized in relation to bringing clean water and sewage systems to villages in South America. I’ve truly enjoyed your book and will continue to share my reading experience with other people.” – Mark Allan, San Francisco Bay Area

Millions were left to starve [after Zambia rejected U.S. food aid] because of the unscientific bias of a few relatively wealthy environmentalists. The case is not an isolated one. Such blatant disregard for human life to promote the eco-environmental agenda is common throughout the Third World. To learn more about the havoc caused by environmental extremism the world over, get a copy of Paul Driessen's book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death. This important work clearly illustrates how environmentalists have taken their crusade a step too far. – Plain Facts, “Green policies starve Africa”

It has to be hoped the efforts of Driessen and Innis bear fruit. The moral bankruptcy of the modern environmental movement must be exposed, and their work is a good start. – Business Day, South Africa


Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death is a powerful indictment of environmentalism's many deadly impacts upon millions of struggling people in the Third World. Paul Driessen exposes the horrific body counts in developing nations that mount from green opposition to fossil fuels and hydroelectric power, biotechnology, modern agricultural methods and pesticides. His book convincingly demolishes any “idealistic” pretenses of the environmental movement. – Robert Bidinotto, writer, former Reader’s Digest staff writer (http://www.econot.com/)


Paul Driessen is the author of the book Eco-Imperialism. Green Power, Black Death. As its title suggests, the book illustrates how a putative concern for protecting ecosystems and preserving the planet under the banner of “corporate responsibility” results in just the opposite, not to mention the malnutrition, disease and deaths of millions of third world people. Read the compelling FrontPage.com interview with Paul Driessen in its entirety. Here’s a teaser [excerpts from the interview] There’s a lot more here, and it’s all worth reading. – Brian O’Connor, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology (retired)


In this masterful and important work, Paul Driessen illustrates how green activists couched in their world of plenty impose their untenable ideas on the Third-World and in the process create suffering and death. – ConservativeBookstore.com

“If you want to listen to the voice of the poor on environmental issues, read Eco-Imperialism. The poor of the world are tired of being led and dictated to by do-gooders who seem determined to keep them mired in poverty for their own selfish ideological and fundraising reasons. This book offers a platform for the voiceless and kicks off a debate that will help facilitate homegrown solutions to Third World problems.” James Shikwati, Inter-Region Economic Network Kenya

“There is no greater way to underline the point of Paul Driessen's brilliant and meticulously footnoted book than to read the [Amazon.com] review that blindly criticizes it (from a brave anonymous reader). Just for a start, the book and its message are endorsed by the man who founded Greenpeace – and that message is that the radical environmental movement has become so entrenched in dogma and a vision of a world without people that it summarily ignores the suffering, famine, disease and death of millions. These radical groups are incredibly well-funded, untaxed, and totally unaccountable. What's worse is that they flatly refuse to engage in any debate whatsoever. They expect their followers to toe the line or be immediately dismissed as corporate ghouls.

“Driessen’s review of their history and tactics is accurate, verifiable and horrifying. Anyone in politics, the media, or even the environmental movement itself ought to read this book and consider what it says. Driessen gives a voice, and a platform, to the people who are actually affected by decisions made by world bodies, NGOs, and pressure groups. What these people speak is the truth as they live it – not conjecture from 2000 miles away.

“Eco-Imperialism is a shocking, profound and desperately needed account of what happens when the privileged Western world decides the fate of millions of people whom they never have to see or hear. Driessen sees and hears, and shares it all.” Sterling Rome, freelance television writer and producer, United States

“I am watching your University of Wisconsin presentation on C-SPAN 2 ‘Book TV.’ I am a Liberian and a graduate of UMASS Boston with a degree in Management Information System. I will buy your book. Your position on how to help poorer countries of the world develop is just what we need!!!! As you know, we are just recovering from 14 years of civil wars, but some of the material you just talked about on TV could go a long way toward helping my people, especially with our great need for electricity, modern farming and education about these issues. I will also recommend you book to other Liberians, so that we can work together using some of your ideas. Maybe someday when Liberia is stabilized, we will invite you to speak at the University of Liberia.” Wilmot Bright, Liberia

“Though a quick read at 163 pages including footnotes, Eco-Imperialism is packed with more facts per square inch than anything I have read in a long time. Even the footnotes are full of interesting tidbits. The book doesn’t pull any punches either, identifying specific governments and corporations that should know better, yet carry out the environmentalist agenda with green blinders on.

“Not only does Driessen accurately delineate the principles, the problems and the players, he then offers up workable solutions. For instance, he demands that we hold the environmentalist non-government organizations (NGO’s) to the same high standards and laws of honesty, integrity, transparency, disclosure and accountability that have long been demanded from the corporate world.

“If you are a modern day environmentalist, you will hate this book. But if you are on the side of humanity and the world’s destitute masses, this book will shock, anger and enlighten you, as it disputes the current accepted wisdom about environmental ethics.” Rolf Penner, Canada (South-East Agripost)

“I enjoyed your book very much. You cover a lot of ground in such a limited frame, but your arguments are coherent and you do not pull your punches. This is particularly true of chapter eight on climate change.” David Knight, United Kingdom

“I happened to catch the discussion of your book Eco-Imperialism this past weekend on C-SPAN. I immediately ordered a copy for myself. It was interesting to see that several of the audience displayed that typical, irrational mindset the environmental movement has taken on – where reason and compromise are not an option. Your responses were calm, measured, and rational. Excellent. I’m sure I’m not the only one appalled at what ‘political correctness’ and the ‘environmental movement’ have wrought for the unfortunate innocents in the third world. Hopefully, your book will provide the education of a broad enough audience to begin the roll-back of these disastrous policies.” Don McGuire, United States

“I saw your U of Wisconsin presentation on C-SPAN this weekend and just wanted to say I can’t wait to read your book, and I applaud your common-sense approach to many Third World problems. Your arguments seem compelling and difficult to ignore. I’ve been waiting for a book exactly like yours to come along. I recently ordered The Skeptical Environmentalist, but I think I’ll read yours first.” John Silver, United States

“It has to be hoped the efforts of Driessen and Innis bear fruit. The moral bankruptcy of the modern environmental movement must be exposed, and their work is a good start.” Business Day, South Africa


“Paul Driessen has written an extremely powerful book that condemns the anti-people, genocidal tactics of ‘big green’ environmentalists. Driessen effectively sheds light on the environmental movement that sees NGOs, large corporations and environmental activists working in concert, under the guise of corporate social responsibility (CSR), to impose the environmental views of wealthy, well-fed people from developed nations onto poor, starving people in third-world countries – leading to prolonged suffering.” Eat First! United States

“My Lord! This is one of those books that has such an immediate and gut wrenching impact that it is hard not to lose your balance after each chapter. The modern, mostly American, environmental movement has gotten it all wrong. Hearing the logic of Doctor Norman Borlaug, who has concluded that organic farming will never be able to feed more than 4 billion people (6.6 is our current population, folks), or that good old fashioned malaria is killing a million people in Africa each year, left me cold. I’ve enjoyed the huge comeback of migratory wildfowl and raptors in the U.S. since we eliminated DDT, but I forgot to appreciate the benefit of not dying of malaria. We eliminated this disease, but won’t let others use the same method.” DB, helicopter pilot, United States (first published on Amazon.com)


“Paul Driessen’s challenging new book recalls the final words of Anna Bramwell’s little 1994
masterpiece, The Fading of the Greens: the environment ‘...is the “Northern White Empire’s last burden, and may be its last crusade.’”Philip Stott, emeritus professor of biogeography, University of London


“The premise of Paul Driessen’s sobering ‘Eco-Imperialism’ is as straightforward as it is chilling: the increasingly radical agenda of the so-called green movement is stifling economic development in the third world and, worse, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of millions. Is argument is presented with clarity and fact – as well fed affluent bureaucrats of the EU, UN, US and any number of environmental protection groups force their unfounded radical views on developing nations – the basic steps of economic evolution in these nations are being denied, virtually eliminating any hope for improvement.

Issues ranging from alternative energy source, genetically modified food, sweatshop labor, global warming and others are reviewed in enough detail to make the points, sparing the reader of the often endless graphs, charts, and minutia that often accompany books of this type. In an interesting twist, Driessen does not limit this criticism to the political bureaucrats and radical activists, but also points a finger at global corporations. On one hand, rather than standing up to the junk science and extreme positions of the radical green movement, most large corporations are simply rolling over, acquiescing to these economically dangerous demands. On the other hand, a number of corporations – most notably BP, to which Driessen delivers some well-deserved body blows – are allowing the Greens to play into their hands, duping the public into believing their pro-environmental purity, while in fact simply spinning clever PR smoke. BP, for example, would profit greatly from acceptance of the Kyoto accord through their natural gas business, while continuing to grow oil revenues and profits.

“Drinkers of the Green Kool Aid will undoubtedly dismiss ‘Eco-Imperialism’ out-of-hand, falling back on their tired and tiresome accusations of Driessen as simply another ‘corporate pawn.’ However, as Driessen so forcefully articulates, it is in fact the fat cat bureaucrats, environmentalists and politicians who are profiting at the expense of struggling third world nations. This proactive and chilling expose should be required reading in all US public schools, if for no other reason than to balance the steady diet of green pabulum our students are fed today.” Gary Griffiths, USA (first published on Amazon.com)

Before reading this exceptional primer on the negative effects of modern environmentalism, I was clueless of the far-reaching costs that group's policies have had on the Third World. Driessen documents at length the effect radical environmentalism has had on Africa's struggling poor, who want nothing more than to benefit from the same energy sources and standard of living the First World takes for granted. He shows how DDT saved thousands of lives in Africa by protecting families from malaria, while radical Greens fought to eliminate the benign chemical because of a theoretical risk it posed to birds. When families were restricted from using the chemical on their huts in Africa, malaria deaths shot through the roof. Driessen lays the blame for those thousands of deaths at the doorstep of the Sierra Club and other like-minded groups who would rather maintain a politically correct notion of what good environmentalism is rather than save actual lives.

Driessen goes on to show how environmentalists keep the Third World populations in poverty by fighting against the use of traditional, affordable sources of energy like coal and fossil fuels. Instead, Greens think other sources like wind and solar should be the only option for these people, disregarding the fact that the technology is nowhere near advanced enough to provide the energy needs these populations need to pull themselves out of poverty. Ironically, it would take over 10,000 acres of windmills to generate the same amount of electricity a 2-3 acre fossil fuel plant produces. So much for "saving the land."

Driessen does not endorse using fossil fuels forever and ever, amen. In fact, he wants nothing more than for the world to develop and invest in alternative energy because he knows as well as everyone else the day will come when we have no other choice. He simply believes (and rightly so) that, in the mean time, the problems of the Third World are real and not theoretical like so many Green "concerns," and that First World governments should not be intimidated by radical Greens and NGOs in their efforts to employ free-trade and responsible investment in these areas. One of the book’s biggest themes is how unfair it is that NGOs are not held to the same standards of accountability and transparency that they constantly demand from for-profit corporations.

The only problem with the book is that it is poorly edited, which takes away from its overall intellectual package and gives it a slightly amateur vibe. I came across way too many punctuation errors and word omissions for this to be a serious book for serious readers.

But the arguments are strong and the evidence is solid. Anyone interested in understanding why the Third World continues to fail at modernization should read this book.  Amzon.com reader, North Carolina, USA

(NOTE: The errors mentioned here have been corrected in the second printing, and spelling errors in the original review were corrected before it was posted here.)

I heard you on Book TV today. Thank goodness for your book. It is what I have been waiting for for years – someone to expose the environmental idiocy that has been an affront to human intelligence and common sense. I intend to do all I can to promote your book. Anne Grossman, USA

Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death can be ordered here.