Thursday, February 13, 2014

Colony Collapse Disorder: An Excuse, Not a Reason!

By Rich Kozlovich
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the term used to describe unexplained die-off of honey bee colonies. This has generated a great deal of speculation that was, and is, erroneous. Fortunately, information outlining how fallacious and unscientific are these claims by green activists, and their drive to ban neonicotinoids, is coming to the fore as more writers expose the lies behind this scaremongering. Paul Driessen recently wrote, To Bee or Not to Bee, Alan Caruba published , Another Environmental Lie Exposed: Bees are Thriving and Jon Entine, Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics As Driver, Pressure Builds To Rethink Ban.
Neonicotinoids is a classification of pesticides used extensively in agriculture to provide protection against insects that would destroy our food supply, and we need to get over this silly mantra - “we don’t need pesticides” - from the green movement, because that would really lead to the starvation they claim to be so concerned about.
All this irrational speculation would almost make one want to laugh, except the consequences for listening to these loony ideas is so dangerous. For years the world’s media inundated us with scaremongering articles about CCD with headlines such as, “Are GM Crops Killing Bees?”; “As Bees Go Missing”; “Why the Honey Bee Decline?”; “Who Killed the Honey Bees?”; “Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons!”
Reading these biased and unscientific pronouncements from the media would naturally generate a serious level of concern in society. There’s only one problem. It’s all wrong!
I would like to pose a question. Does anyone think it’s a bit odd that everyone is so hot to proclaim total disaster would ensue without honey bees? Yet the European honey bee is an introduced species brought here by European settlers, hence the name “European” honey bee? So, since the European honey bee isn’t native to North America, how did everything get pollinated here for previous untold millennia? It would appear the level of hysteria over this is somewhat misplaced.
So, what is the cause? Initially the environmentalists and their acolytes found mankind was clearly to be blamed, i.e., cell phones, power lines, global warming, genetically modified crops, and of course – pesticides – above all –pesticides! But, as Benjamin Franklin noted; “Truth will very patiently wait for us. And of course, I always get the same idiotic question; what is truth? Well that’s actually quite easy. Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality, so let’s take a quick look at the history of green activist’s claims and predictions versus reality. What we need to understand is green activist’s pronouncements, condemnations and predictions of doom have been so flawed they almost have a monopoly on being wrong.
At one point frogs, salamanders and other amphibians began to sprout extra legs, and naturally pesticides were immediately attacked without any evidence, and the studies that came out later supporting that view failed peer review and reality. Some were even found to be fraudulent as in the study conducted be“Steven R. Arnold, a former researcher at the Tulane University Center for Bioenvironmental Research. The Federal Office of Research Integrity found that Arnold had "committed scientific misconduct by intentionally falsifying the research results published in the Journal Science and by providing falsified and fabricated materials to investigating officials." Yet this work was foundational to parts of the Food Quality Protection Act and still remains in effect.
Although there is an article (Editor’s Note: This is an article worth exploring to find the logical fallacies and misrepresentations, asides and non sequiturs. Take the time to investigate this from both sides. You will find this an enlightening exploration, and remember this was written by one of the authors of Our Stolen Future. As I’m writing this I think perhaps I need to start a series on this subject once again.) supporting ED claims - by one of the authors of Our Stolen Future - and claiming the Tulane study had nothing to do with passage of FQPA, but Carol Browner, EPA administrator at the time, thought it was wonderful research, and Lynn Goldberg, EPA’s pesticide chief, said "I just can't remember a time where I've seen data so persuasive . . . the results are very clean looking.", although it hadn’t been peer reviewed and FQPA was passed before the peer review found it to be fraudulent. Goldberg claims she was taken out of context and expressed the need for validation through replication, however, no one waited for that to happen before FQPA was passed.
As for this study not playing a major role in FQPA’s passage - I think that is a load of rhetorical excuse making horsepucky. Science News ran pages on this, and in more than one issue, leaving everyone the impression it was fact, and in fact I was left a bit stunned by it all. After this was exposed as fraudulent I stopped subscribing to Science News since they refused to respond to my complaints and I never saw any kind of retraction. If there was a retraction it wasn’t anything on the order of the ED scare they promoted.
Dennis Avery pointed out in an article that;
“Minnesota school kids found deformed frogs in some local ponds, the finger of accusation was pointed at pesticides. Now, the deformities have been traced to a natural parasite, the trematode, which burrows into the just-forming leg joints of tadpoles. The absence of yellow-legged frogs in some California mountain lakes had been blamed on pesticide-laden dust rising from the intensively farmed San Joaquin Valley. However, when the fish management teams stopped stocking the mountain lakes with hungry trout, the frogs returned in large numbers.”
He further notes;
“Pesticides are still a favorite bogyman of concerned frog lovers, but the real-world Nebraska frogs thrived in the pesticide-tinged irrigation ditch until the farmer cut off the water. Meanwhile, frogs have been disappearing in lots of remote places where no pesticides are used.”
The real threat to amphibians and the main reason behind the worldwide decline in amphibians, which sees about one third of all species threatened with extinction, is chytridiomycosis, a frequently fatal disease caused by the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus – not pesticides!
This pattern of inaccurate pronouncements from the green movement plays out over and over again for every animal die off that occurs, and they’ve been largely wrong. So why should we believe anything they say? As for the recent die-off of bumble bees in multiple locations in Oregon? Well, in this case it really was caused by pesticides, but that event was a matter of misapplication, and was not associated with CCD. Initially the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) issued a temporary restriction on use of the two neonicotinoids used, or in this case, misused. After the investigation into this event the ODA allowed the temporary restriction to expire demonstrating confidence in the continued use of these products. There is a substantial difference between the misuse of a product and some sort of unidentified intrinsic, or systemic flaw in the product that has an overall detrimental impact.
There are some things we do know. We do know for sure this problem has nothing to do with cell phones, power lines, and pesticides have little to do with this increased level of die-offs within the honey bee population, and more officials are being made aware of that. We know the worldwide population of honey bees has increased during this so-called crisis; we know Canada uses a lot of neonicotinoids without any adverse effect on honey bees; we know parasites and pathogens play a massive role in these die-offs. Varroa mites are now known to carry tobacco ringworm virus, which is destructive to bee colonies.
We have to understand that no singular species is necessary for continued existence. In point of fact, the elimination of whole orders doesn’t matter either. James A. Marusek, a retired nuclear physicist& engineer for U.S. Department of the Navy wrote an impressive piece in 2004 called, “The Great Permian Extinction Debate”,where he lists all the ocean species that went extinct during that period.
During that period trilobites, which constituted 9 orders, more than 150 families, 5000 genera and over 15,000 species, were completely wiped out. All 9000 species of fusulinids ceased to exist, along with blastoids. Rugose and tabulate corals, and 90 percent of all brachiopod families and 95% of brachiopod genera went extinct, 98% of all crinozoa, 96% of all anthoaozans, 97 percent of ammonoids, 59% of all bivalves, 8 families of ostracods, 85% of the gastropods and 79% of bryozoans.
That didn’t include any land creatures, of which 70% of everything living on land died. Amazing!  All that devastation, destruction and extinction, and life still goes on!
As for the greenies who are so worried people will starve– that is an specious and emotional argument as an excuse to eliminate pesticides – all pesticides! They want to eliminate billions of people from the world’s population and the most radical of them want humanity totally eliminated. Their desire for the elimination of pesticides will go a long way toward attaining that goal. This issue with honey bees is just one more excuse by the environmental movement to ban more pesticides. Products we absolutely need to human existence. Once we get that firmly fixed into our heads clarity will follow. The bees are fine, these colonies will recover, we aren’t going to starve, pesticides are our friend, and soon the greenies will come up with a new or recycled scare. And based on their record for accuracy –another scare society can ignore with impunity.

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