Friday, March 11, 2011

The Pillars of IPM: Part IV

By Rich Kozlovich

The pillars that hold up the structure of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in structural pest control are arrogance, deceit, deception, ideology, lies, ignorance, scare tactics and its foundation is the Precautionary Principle; the bulwark of junk science.

The predictions and scares thrown up by the environmental movement has become conventional wisdom by repetition; yet have proven false time after time. That is the trouble with conventional wisdom. It still has to face the march of time before it becomes traditional wisdom. Unfortunately, these latest philosophical philosophies of the day have so very often left devastation in their wake in so many countries around the world.

From Malthus to Paul Ehrlich (look them up) they almost have a monopoly on being wrong. So then, why do we so readily accept their scare mongering? The goal for those who wish to implement IPM as a separate, practical pest control concept is the elimination of pesticides. I seem to have to repeat this over and over because so many claim this isn’t true, which makes me wonder what planet they are living on. If we are to eliminate all of these products that have been so effective and beneficial to mankind we had better ask three questions.  (I am paraphrasing these questions from comments made by Thomas Sowell. RK)
1. IPM (or green pest control for that matter) is better as opposed to what? If bed bugs are any indicator, IPM is an abject failure as opposed to using effective, inexpensive, easy to use chemistry that is available to everyone.
2. How much will it cost? Once again. If bed bugs are the touchstone we are to use. IPM is an abject failure.
3. What hard evidence do you have? The reality is that most of what the EPA promotes is based on “risk assumptions”, not actual science.
If the environmentalists truly are concerned about people’s health, why aren’t they taking stands to support DDT? Why aren’t they supporting genetically modified foods such as “Golden Rice”? Golden Rice is a genetically enhanced product that would bring much needed Vitamin A into the diets of the children in Asia and Africa. This one item alone would prevent 500,000 children from going blind every year. Americans have been using genetically modified (GM) foods for years without any adverse effects. Yet, well-fed activists living in industrialized countries have blocked aid in the form of corn that is GM to starving people in Africa between the years 2002 and 2004. This action alone caused the deaths of thousands. Then again, is it possible this is exactly what they want? Who are the killers here?

If they are really concerned about indoor air quality, why aren’t they supporting power plants in Africa so that those people don’t have to breathe the fumes of cooking fires made from dried dung and the respiratory problems that result? They are against chlorine in drinking water. What is the result of such thinking? Thousands died and tens of thousands were sickened when environmental activists convinced South American leaders to eliminate chlorine from their water supplies.

They oppose every one of these advancements, and as a result the afflictions, disease and starvation in Africa, South America and South East Asia is rampant and devastating to these poor countries. So few resources are spent of so many problems that could easily be fixed with modern agriculture techniques, modern chemistry and modern technology! Who is to answer for all of the, misery, squalor, diseases and deaths in the third world as a result of environmentalist policies?

It would seem to me that those that have supported and fought against all of the above items, including DDT, are guilty of crimes against humanity. At the very least they surely must be guilty of depraved indifference. Are these the people we are to listen to? They talk about theoretical risks while real devastation is taking place. Do they really care about the health and safety of our families or is all of the just a ploy to rid us of the tools needed to keep our society from becoming the nightmare that the third world has become.

However, I have to ask this. Let us suppose that this isn’t a ploy, and let us assume that they really do care so much about us and our families; then we have to ask, why do they hate the families of third world so badly?

Do environmentalists really believe they have created an environmental paradise in the third world with the policies they promote? If that is the case, why haven’t they moved there instead of continuing to stay in this environmental horror of well-fed comfort, economic advancement and chemical technology known as the western world? The real question we have to ask ourselves is this; who are the real killers here, pesticide manufacturers and applicators or environmental activists?

If IPM gains traction with consumers it will be because the environmental movement and their junk science allies have undermined all that we have done for the last 60 years. This will have been accomplished by consistently ignoring the actual science in preference of junk science by the activists, regulators, media, society as a whole and our own industry. We must begin to immediately recognize that any pest control concept called anything other than pest control diminishes us and what we do as an industry and is in reality an attack on our industry.

What we do is more important than some indefinable concept called IPM. In the real world of pest control we protect children, we protect homes, we protect food. We are on the front line of defense for the health and safety of the people of the world. We save lives! We are part and parcel of the public health service that stands on the wall and says; no one will harm you on my watch. What we do isn’t just a job; it is a mission, and we can’t carry out that mission that without preventative and corrective applications of pesticides.

I am not opposed to the tools and techniques that are used in so-called IPM programs because these tools and techniques are what we have preached and practiced for 150 years. The names of those tools have changed, but the tools are the same. Liquids, powders, baits, traps cleaning up debris and trash, sealing up access and harborage areas, drying up wet areas along with trapping and netting. These tools and techniques are 150 years old, and newspaper clippings going back to 1850 prove that. Just because we have added some new products such as IGR’s and some new baits doesn’t make it some kind of brand new thing called IPM. It’s still pest control.

The very idea of calling pest control anything but pest control is what I am opposed to. Words mean things and meanings have consequences. They provide the basis for ideas and concepts, including bad ones that can become pathways to unforeseen disasters. Words create ideologies. Junk science ideologies can only survive if they are fed by demagoguery. “IPM is an ideology, not a methodology.”

In summary, I object to using the term IPM, which needs to be eliminated from the lexicon of pest control terms. I object to attempting the creation of something outside of traditional pest control called something other than pest control. Something, which cannot be defined and will ultimately be used against our industry because someone says, “I don’t buy it”. I object to concept without form. I object to philosophical flavors of the day. I object to change for change sake. I object to the condescending arrogance of those caterwauling about IPM. But mostly, I object to the decisions made or influenced by the leaders and IPM harpies of our industry who then move on leaving the rest of us, and the companies we leave to our children, to live with the outcome.

Lastly, we need open and public debates regarding IPM. Let those that have views on this subject stand up against each other in a public forum and take their best shot before an audience of stakeholders. Let the manufacturers, distributors and applicators get a good look at what is presented and then finally after all has been said and done, let the industry decide if there really is a logical foundation for such a thing as IPM in structural pest control, and then decide what to do about it.  

Final thoughts to ponder.

When the leaders of the environmental movement make misanthropic comments about humanity and how the Earth is better off without mankind; why do we believe them when they say that we should adopt their policies, “because it is for the children”?

We have had the “best” and “brightest” tell us that everything we have done for 60 years is all wrong. We also have had more people live longer, healthier, happier lives than ever in human history. At the end of WWII the world’s population was about 2 billion people. Currently it is around 6.75 billion. It took thousands of years to hit 2 billion, but we have hit 6.75 in less than seventy five years. Can we assume they are wrong? Because it is clear that someone must have been doing something right!

It seems that no matter how much technology we develop to make life better; we keep hearing… and believing… that it is all making us sick. Don’t we ever ask ourselves; why so many more people are living longer healthier lives if everything modern is making us so sick?

I am convinced that the “best” and “brightest” amongst us believe that as long as they keep dumping more and more horsepucky on us that eventually we won’t notice the smell. Or worse yet; we will think that the smell is normal.

Finally; if “green” is so much better than modern civilization, why did anyone abandon it in the first place? If “green” was so good, there wouldn’t have been any pest problems; right? How then, did manufacturers convince anyone that they needed pesticides?

There is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control, and to be green is to be irrational and misanthropic. That is a view that has logical foundation.

The Pillars of IPM, Part I
The Pillars of IPM, Part II
The Pillars of IPM, Part III


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