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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Friday, December 14, 2007

What Does It Mean To Be Green?

By Rich Kozlovich

Mike Potter once said that the greatest challenge of the 21st century for the pest control industry will be the control of bedbugs. While controlling bedbugs may be our greatest pest control challenge, the real challenge for the pesticide application, manufacturing and distribution industries will be to define what it means to be “green”.

The people in pest control have a rational concern for the environment. We are trained to do good things for people while not harming the environment. Furthermore we actually believe that we do good things for people while not harming the environment, and we do. We believe that we are part of that thin gray line that is the first line of defense in the war for public health, and we are. We are the “hunters” that keep the tribe healthy. However, being concerned about the environment along with good health and being green are two entirely different things.

I firmly believe that in order to understand any issue you must understand the history of that issue. Therefore, In order to determine what it means to be green we need to see what those who profess to be green are for and what they are against. There are a host of issues that could be discussed, but for the sake of space let’s take just two; genetically modified foods and pesticides.

Genetically modified foods are anathema to those who are green. They consistently make all sorts of claims which have no basis in science. Some of these claims being outright lies about the effect of genetically modified organism’s on the environment and the impact on people’s health.

Vitamin A is a nutrient that is lacking in the diets of peoples living in Southeast Asia. As a result of intensive research scientists have found a way to add a molecule from a flower that would produce beta-carotene in rice. In turn the body would turn that into vitamin A. It was called by the trade name “Golden Rice” and developed specifically to address this deficiency. A deficiency “which kills at least 6,000 children every day” from malnutrition and “leads to irreversible blindness in 500,000 people each year”. The “green” activists, who claim to be so concerned about human health, especially children’s health, continue to stand against the use of these products. At one point they threw up so many barriers to this product that it was estimated that it would take five years before it could be made available. That means that 2,190,000 children would unnecessarily die and 2,500,000 people would go blind before this product could be available to work its healing properties. This is what it means to be green!

Pesticides are and have always been the great boogeyman of those who are green, especially after Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring. In fact, everything that the public believes about DDT is a lie. Carson was a wonderful writer, but she was wrong on almost everything she claimed, including her predictions. Furthermore, in one case she deliberately misrepresented the facts. Her evidence was largely anecdotal and if it had been peer reviewed it never would have been published. It did not appear in a peer reviewed science journal, where scientists could take a long hard look at her “science”. It appeared as excerpted installments in New Yorker magazine and did exactly what it was intended to do; grab a hold of the public’s fears and emotions through scare mongering. The result was the ban on DDT and the death of millions. Yet, that hasn’t stopped those who are green from demanding more and more bans on pesticides. These demands are supported by equally outrageous unscientific statements about cancer, asthma, endocrine disruption and a host of other hypothetical unwarranted fears about pesticides.

We are removing life saving products from the market at a record pace. Although new products become available, they also come under attack. Colony Collapse Disorder impacted the honey bee populations around the world. The first thing that came out of the environmental movement was that this was caused by genetically modified foods. Then neonicotinoids were blamed and one European country even banned (at least temporarily) the use of these products because of these claims, but to no avail. This was then followed by cell phone radiation. Although the overwhelming evidence was that this was a cyclical phenomenon probably caused by disease or fungus, in short it is “natural”. This irrationality is what it means to be green.

We are told that we should view becoming green in pest control as merely a marketing tool. However, when we start doing this, aren’t we in reality telling the public that we need to change what we are doing because what we are currently doing is wrong and what we have been doing it wrong for over sixty years? Are we not in fact saying that the environmental activists have been right all along and we may have been responsible for the death or infirmity of untold thousands because of our use of pesticides? Is this not a tacit approval of the greens and their accusations against us? Do we really believe that? This is what it means to be green.

Alan Caruba, of the National Anxiety Center, made this observation. Greens always have and always will oppose anything that benefits human beings. They will save the whales, the wolves and the grizzly bears.....They will seek to ban every pesticide and herbicide needed to protect against disease and the growing of crops, but the one thing they will NOT do is anything that will improve and protect the lives of human beings!”

We have discussed what greens are against; let us look at what they are for. Actually that isn’t as easy as it would seem. First, we have to understand that the environmental movement isn’t monolithic. When an activist group takes a stand that some members disagree with, they simply form another activist group with those who share their views and stand against those positions taken by other activists groups. This is why the greens are really good at finding fault while being very poor at finding solutions. They simply can’t find any solutions that they all agree on. There is however four areas in which they are in almost total harmony. First; there are too many people in the world. Second; the world’s wealth and resources need to be redistributed equitably, with them as the final arbiters as to how this is to be done. Third; we all need to return to nature and become one with the biosphere. Fourth; all chemicals are evil.

In April of 2007 Cheetah the chimpanzee of Tarzan movies fame turned 75. How long do you think he would have lasted if he had been living “back to nature”? How many people would survive one year by going “back to nature”? No modern conveniences, no electricity, no running water, no supermarkets, no public sanitation, no mechanized transportation, no central heating or air conditioning and no pesticides, no vaccinations and only organically grown foods. Not very many I would guess. Yet we keep hearing how people “have” to return to nature.

Earth First founder Dave Foreman was overheard saying, "Ours is an ecological perspective that views Earth as a community and recognizes such apparent enemies as 'disease' (e.g., malaria) and 'pests' (e.g., mosquitoes) not as manifestations of evil to be overcome but rather as vital and necessary components of a complex and vibrant biosphere." That is what it means to be green.

In the real world how long do you think “Jane” would have lasted in a real jungle in real life? Millions have contracted malaria and died in that area of the world and yet Tarzan and Jane never seemed to get sick? Why? Because it was a fantasy.

Hollywood presented their fictional life as happy and healthy, even healthier than those living in the modern world. In fact, the only real problems they ever encountered were when people from the modern world intruded on them. Occasionally one of these outsiders would be bitten by a poisonous spider or come down with some other malady, but never fear, they had a secret herbal “jungle” remedy, giving the impression that nothing else was needed. Jane would send Tarzan swinging out into the jungle to get some “natural” miracle cure. After returning Jane would smugly and confidently pronounce how there was nothing to worry about as they had their own pharmacopeia. The inference was obvious. Naturally occurring products were better than anything produced by man and we clearly needed to become one with nature. Perhaps this was the real beginning of the modern environmental movement. I wonder; is it possible that Rachel Carson liked the Tarzan movies? Makes sense, after all, Hollywood fiction is usually very well written smoke, mirrors, fantasy and make believe history! Just like Silent Spring.

In the real world it is quite different. Paul Dreissen points out that “Two billion people rarely or never have electricity – for lights, refrigeration and cooking, water treatment plants, hospitals, schools, offices, shops and factories. Women and children are plagued with lung infections caused by wood and dung fires, and by acute intestinal diseases caused by tainted water and spoiled food. Up to ten million die from these causes every year.” The fact of the matter is that where ever green policies have been strictly adhered to dystopia has followed. We must ask ourselves; if the green activists are so concerned about the health of those in the developed world, why do they show such distain for the health and lives of those living in the less developed parts of the world?

What does it mean to be Green? To be green is to be irrational and misanthropic.

What Does It Mean To Be Green?
What Does It Mean To Be Green, Part II
What Does It Mean To Be Green, Part III
What Does It Mean To Be Green, Part IV

Friday, December 7, 2007



By Dave Dietz: Submitted to Green Notes on 11/31/07

In the early 19th Century (1811, to be exact), Luddites (modern day eco extremists) tried to stop life progress by stopping labor and life saving change. Misguided Luddites tried to stop, to turn back the change now known as the Industrial Revolution. They failed and human lives and life quality advanced ...But today, again we face a popularly perceived movement that is, in fact, an anti-human, anti-human life quality advance protest simply clothed in a popular, important symbol of our time. In fact, honest headlines today should truthfully read:

... Eco leaders/extremist supporters unmasked ...And it's not a pretty picture!!

Certain environmental radicals will scream at and try to deny this truth. That's because the facts do and will honestly expose them as the human haters they are. Will they own up to this truth? Of course not. To do so would reveal not only their too true character but their phony motivations. So what are these motivations? They see humans as the antithesis of their imaginary, right place earth. They not only see any/all human life effort made or any/every human act or action taken to induce change for human life quality improvement as inimical, they actually attempt to delay, halt or reverse any such effort that is attempted.
As bad, the eco radicals actually do real harm to the environment. How are these anti-everything attitudes manifested?

Read on ...

Eco radicals have wrapped their anti-human modus operandi in layers of logical sounding statements which are, in reality, oxymoron's designed to hide the actual motivations, intentions and regulatory-practical human hindrances underhandedly undertaken by these sheep-clad carnivores.

Need an example?

Try the so-called "Precautionary Principle." The "precautionary principle" was developed at a conference of environmentalists and like-minded academics at the Wingspread Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin, in January, 1998. According to the Wingspread Declaration:
"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not established scientifically."

This principle captures much of the skepticism many environmentalists feel and have about the value and promise of technology. Environmentalists and like-minded skeptics see only technology's potential to cause a perceived, as against real, harm and do not, at all, balance a technology's actual benefits against this perception of harm or doom, be it imaginary or even possible. This extreme negativism, this rejection of change no matter the potential benefits of the change innovated, is a verbose restatement of Mother's child safety admonition of, "It's better to be safe than sorry." In other words, never risk making any change, no matter the potential benefits of such change. But, is such risk denial safe for human health or environment quality advance?

Perhaps not.

A critical flaw in the "safety first at any price" enviro argument is that obvious costs of such a policy are either ignored or not counted. The argumentative flaw is easy to see and simple to understand. It is that while the imagined but misperceived human health and environment harm risks might be reduced from doing nothing, by doing nothing real health and environment harms these policy changes might alleviate or correct continue and may worsen. Clearly, in other words, the imagined but unproven harms the eco radical critics of change fear are, to them, better than the reality (even if harmful or not as good as is possible) now and is also better than the life quality improvement that can be expected to be experienced from the change that is, by whatever method, purposefully delayed or denied. In short, unfounded fear and negative perception wins out over intended, needed change and truth.

Take the current controversy surrounding GM (Genetically Modified) foods.

GM, or derisively called "franken," foods are popularly imagined by critics to harmfully threaten natural food stuffs' genetic codes, potentially harm human nutrition and digestion and adversely affect all things from the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

But, again, this perception is belied by truth. And the truth does matter. As regards GM food development and widening use, in fact no human or environment ill effects or undue human health or environment harm have resulted from the development and increasing use of GM foods and materials. GM foods actually promise reductions in global hunger and malnutrition and a less chemical-dependant agriculture. Increased use of GM foods and materials further promises less land and water used for an ever better fed world, more targeted use of fewer pesticides, improved soil nutrition bases, increased distribution of essential foods which can be longer, more healthily stored and the aforementioned improved planetary bio-diversity.

In sum, the actual, proven benefits to human life and health and environment improvement are truly enormous, diversified and ubiquitous. Imagined perceptions of harm are completely belied the now well and conclusively proven real world truth/reality.

GM foods example conclusion statement/sentiment.

Why the radical eco actions are human harmful to humans and the environment. And, as you read the following, keep just one fact in mind. Agriculture today needs 65% of all fresh water with-drawls and consumes 80% of all fresh water used.

"By comparison with conventional crops, GM crops would, in fact, increase the quantity and nutritional quality of food supplies. Therefore, such crops would improve public health by reducing mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. In addition, cultivation of GM, rather than conventional, crops would, by increasing productivity, reduce the amount of land and water that would otherwise have to be diverted to humankind's needs. GM crops would also reduce the environmental damage from soil erosion and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Thus, GM crops would be more protective of habitat, biological diversity, water quality, and carbon stores and sinks than would conventional agriculture.

"Hence, a ban on GM crops--whether accomplished directly through the invocation of the precautionary principle or indirectly through application(s) of the Bio-safety Protocol--is likely to aggravate threats to bio-diversity and further increase the already considerable hurdles facing in situ conservation. Therefore, a ban would be counterproductive and contravene the spirit and letter of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The precautionary principle - properly applied, with a more comprehensive consideration of the public health and environmental consequences of a ban - argues instead for a sustained effort to research, develop and commercialize GM crops, provided reasonable caution is exercised during testing and commercialization of the crops.

"In this context, a "reasonable" precaution is one in which public health benefits are not negated by the harm incurred due to reductions (or delays) in enhancing the quantity or quality of food. The public health costs of any reductions (or delays), which would make food more costly and reduce broader access to higher quality food at least for a period, would be disproportionately borne by the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society. Also, the environmental gains flowing from a "reasonable" precaution should more than offset the environmental gains that would otherwise be obtained." (Indur M. Goklany, The Promise and Peril of Bioengineered Crops, The Improving State of the World 286-7)


Point - The eco-radicals were very deliberately loosey-goosey when they drafted their "precautionary principle" just so they could logically and within the "principle's" misguided intent always object to any and every proposed life change no matter the level/extent of the change's likely benefits to/for humans. Their "principle" is far worse than the Luddites sadly mistaken opposition to mechanized progress because it is deliberately, knowingly anti-human and anti-human life quality advance.
Another point.

At least when Congress asked FIFRA users to prove a negative, which we know is an impossibility, they intended a balancing act. Congress intended a risk-benefit analysis under FIFRA to thus permit the "safe" (a relative, ever subject to change word/term) pursuit of benefits with "reasonable," and in their judgment acceptable risk.

In establishing the "precautionary principle" the eco-extremists deliberately chose to eliminate any kind of balance or attempt to judge risk v. benefit. They chose, instead, to argue that any risk/harm, be it real or simply perceived or "dreamed up," was sufficient to delay or deny any human lifestyle change/advance. They will tolerate no human lifestyle change, no matter the risks it eliminates or the benefits it promises.

Each approach is argumentative and subject to endless interpretation. Congress, however, recognizes the potential human benefits of change. The eco-extremists not only try, with a perverse but well sounding logic, to delay/deny any/all change, they deliberately work to harm humans for their own satisfaction.

Mr. Dietz has a law degree from Willamette University and was the Executive Director of Oregonians for Food and Shelter (OFS) from its inception in 1980 until 1987.