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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Some time back a very good long time friend of mine accused me of not seeing the nuances of the issues we face. He stated; “You see things in strictly black and white. This one is an enemy, this one is a friend and there is no in between with you”. I told him that wasn’t true and that I actually understood the nuances and his comment was; “You think you understand them”.
Actually....., I think I understand them because I do understand them. I just don’t agree that we should have to constantly gray the facts and blur the truth while representing our industry.
• I believe that by accepting the nuances as truth we are actually accepting lies and publicity in place of facts and truth.
• I believe that when we do this we are giving aid and comfort to those that wish us ill.
• I believe that every time we give up something unnecessarily or inappropriately we are backing our industry into a wall.
• I believe that it is imperative that we recognize that we really do have enemies; that we must recognize them for what they are and deal with them accordingly.
• I believe that if everyone keeps turning reality into nuance, it becomes increasingly difficult to see reality and worse yet; to know what to do about it.
• I believe that it is important to understand the opposition’s views, but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept them. There is a difference between seeing the nuances and thinking that this is the way things should be.
• Aren’t nuances the shadow of substance? What reality do we face when we make the shadows real and the substance shadow?
• I believer that some things really are right and some things really are wrong.
• I believe the color gray is the same color as fog.
In my opinion there has never been a social phenomenon more nuanced than Corporate Social Responsibility. What exactly is Corporate Social Responsibility you ask? This link provides a good explanation of this business phenomenon. After following the link and reading the infromation; here are some points to ponder.
1. If CSR is being promoted because these ideas are so stupid they can’t be passed through the normal regulatory or statutory systems, why would anyone agree to them? What is the nuance here? Those who adopt CSR impositions don’t’ see the nuances.
2. If some businesses are embracing this concept so as to get a financial edge over their competitors, are they prepared for the unintended consequences that will appear long term? What is the nuance here? They will sell facts and truth to look good and make a few dollars more! They are totally unaware or uncaring about the long term consequences. In an attempt to look good to the public through publicity over this (in effect declaring that all others are irresponsible) are they selling their integrity for 12 pieces of silver?
3. If businesses feel they can use this publicity for the purpose of avoiding unpleasant regulations and joining with the “self-appointed representatives of "global civil society," are they destroying “the foundations of a free society”? What is the nuance here? “By obscuring the inherent conflict between individualism and collectivism, the doctrine of corporate social responsibility subverts the institutions of a free society. As these institutions—including private property, the modern corporation, and the free market—are the foundations upon which business depends, business leaders do a great disservice to their own interests—and ours—when they acquiesce to the demands of a Greenpeace or to the flatteries of the anti-capitalist intellectual class.” (I only wished I had said that myself. RK)
This leads me to ask some pointed questions.
1. Isn’t CSR actually irresponsible social behavior?
2. What if becomes socially responsible for corporations to demand the elimination of pesticides. Who will be responsible for the lives it will cost.
3. What if it becomes socially responsible to demand we all give up our property rights?
4. What if it becomes socially responsible to all accept a 30% hike in taxes so money becomes available for “the common good”? Who will decide what is the common good?
5. Has this socialist style mentality ever succeeded anywhere in the world? Has this socialist style mentality eliminated corruption or has it exacerbated it?
6. If you disagree with CSR, should it be okay if CSR activists picket you out of business. (this includes just about everyone in the activist community no matter what they call themselves.)
7. What happens when all responsibility for decision making is placed in the hands of these activists? Isn’t that what eventually happens when people use Neville Chamberlain’s “policy of appeasement”.
8. Does appeasement actually appease the activists or will it make them bolder and more demanding?
9. What if it becomes socially responsible to pay everyone twice a much? This actually happened in Russia after the Communists took over and they went broke.
10. Who decides how much people are to be paid?
11. What about the stockholders concerns for profit? Does this kind of action make someone liable for civil or criminal action if money is lost because the corporation flew off on some social crusade? What if the business goes under? If these kinds of actions cause someone to lose investment profits should the employee making these decisions be fired? Should investors like this kind of activity? Should stockholders concerns be ignored in place of appeasing activists? Should someone be arrested for misuse of company funds?
12. My final question is this. Are the chemical companies who manufacture pesticides part and parcel of all of this gamesmanship to the detriment of our industry?
Good questions, don’t you think? Actually I have one more question; does understanding nuances become a catch phrase that stands for the corruption of thought and action?
Oh....there is one more question to my good friend. Have I provided enough nuances for you, or do you think I missed something?
Activists make unscientific claims, totally convinced that they have all the answers and demand that everyone accept the idea that they know best about everything. And they insist they should be put in charge of everyone’s life!
This is really scary! I'm not even sure if they have the questions!
Not only because they have crazy ideas, but also because as soon as they come up with a solution, they end up protesting the very solutions they have promoted. Worse yet, their solutions always seem to be meaningless failures at best, but at the worst, their solutions are deadly.
They make all sorts of claims and express deep concern about environmental disasters that are supposedly manmade. It would be nice if they were as concerned about the disasters they really have caused worldwide with their policies. Unlike their lunatic claims, these disasters are not theoretical.
These disasters are very real and very real people really are dying very real deaths and suffering very real afflictions; and it is happening to millions because of them. So then, why do we want to become green?
In spite of the fact that there is a whole history out there that shows what happens when greenie policy becomes government policy; we have this feel good activism within our industry. An industry that should know better! What could be more distrssing then that.
Over the years I have seen more junk science in the media than I thought possible. How could I be so sure that this stuff is “Junk”? I have read enough to know when something is odiferous and where to go to properly research the information for myself.
Also, some time ago I became a member of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) and as a result I found that every scare promulgated by the activists was responded to by ACSH; usually by the very next day. In 2007 they instituted the Morning Dispatch to members. Just about every morning ACSH has a dispatch in my e-mail box letting me know what new scare is being pushed and their response to it.
These responses aren't always unfavorable as they are concerned with the facts and they are prepared to follow the facts wherever they may lead. Great stuff! This gives me a leg up in order to see what the whole story really is…..I don’t always agree with ACSH, albeit, I have great confidence in their expertise and integrity.
Last year their integrity was challenged by activists who didn’t like a stand they took on some issue. They claimed that ACSH only touted their position because they received funding from some large corporation, in spite of the fact that the amount was very small, and compared to be huge take the greenies bring in every year it certainly was a case of the pot calling the kettle black. At any rate Elizabeth Whelan handled this in a way that I will never forget. She told the activists whom ACSH stood against that if they thought that their views could be swayed by funding; then fund ACSH and see what happens. She didn’t get a check.
I would like to recommend that everyone consider joining…… This link "Donate to ACSH" will take you to the appropriated page, and while there, take time to explore their site…..it is worth the trip.
Green, UN, rich nation and African elites impose deadly anti-development colonialism
by Willie Soon and Paul Driessen
Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of Earth’s most impoverished regions. Over 90% of its people still lack electricity, running water, proper sanitation and decent housing. Malaria, malnutrition, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and intestinal diseases kill millions every year. Life expectancy is appalling, and falling.
And yet UN officials, European politicians, environmentalist groups and even African authorities insist that global warming is the gravest threat facing the continent. They claim there is no longer any debate over human-caused global warming – but ignore thousands of scientists who say human CO2 emissions are not the primary cause of climate changes, there is no evidence that future warming will be catastrophic, and computer models do not provide valid projections or “scenarios” for the future.
Warming alarmists use the “specter of climate change” to justify inhumane policies and shift the blame for problems that could be solved with the very technologies they oppose.
Past colonialism sought to develop mining, forestry and agriculture, and bring better government and healthcare practices to Africa . Eco-colonialism keeps Africans “traditional” and “indigenous,” by insisting that modern technologies are harmful and not “sustainable” in Africa .
Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity could power homes, offices, factories, schools and hospitals, create jobs, bring clean running water, and generate health and prosperity. But Rainforest Action Network and other pressure groups oppose coal and natural gas electricity generation on the grounds of climate change, and hydroelectric and nuclear power for other ideological reasons. They promote wind turbines and solar panels that provide electricity unreliably and in amounts too small to meet any but the most rudimentary needs.
Biotechnology could produce bumper crops that overcome droughts, floods, insects, viruses, and even global warming and cooling. But Greenpeace and Sierra Club oppose this precision hybrid-making technology, and instead promote land and labor-intensive subsistence farming.
DDT and insecticides could slash malaria rates that Al Gore and other climate alarmists falsely claim are rising because of global warming. But Pesticide Action Network and other activists stridently oppose their use, and the European Parliament recently imposed new pesticide restrictions that will further restrict African access to life-saving chemicals.
Recent incidents dramatize how depraved and deadly global warming politics have become.
In Gambia , a UN-subsidized “national ministerial dialogue” promoted extremist views on “catastrophic climate change” and “sustainable development.” A Forestry and Environment department representative asserted that it would be “nearly impossible to adapt to … impacts such as the loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet … and [resultant] 5-15 meter sea level rise.”
There was no mention of the near-zero probability of such an event happening. Average annual temperatures in Antarctica hover around minus 50 Centigrade (-58 F), while average temperatures for the two-month summer in its Western Peninsula are barely four degrees above freezing.
Scary tales of runaway temperature spikes melting 200,000 cubic miles of peninsular ice might be expected from Al Gore and James Hansen. But when Gambian ministers engage in such unscrupulous propaganda, they further degrade the health and welfare of their people.
Cameroon hosted a “fact-finding” visit from seven senior British Members of Parliament, who declaimed that climate change is “a jinx that threatens humanity more than HIV/AIDS.” They were joined by Cameroon ’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife in urging that forests be managed to increase absorption of planetary carbon dioxide and “reduce global warming.”
Few climate actions, however, come close to the travesty being played out in nearby Chad . There the government has banned the manufacture, importation and use of charcoal – the sole source of fuel for 99% of Chadians.
“Cooking is a fundamental necessity for every household,” its Environment Minister pronounced. But “with climate change every citizen must protect his environment.”
The edict has sent women and children scavenging for dead branches, cow dung, grass and anything else that burns. “People cannot cook,” said human rights activist Merlin Totinon Nguebetan. “Women giving birth cannot even find a bit of charcoal to heat water for washing,” said another.
The government admitted it had failed to prepare the public for its sudden decree, but announced no change in plans – saying only that scarce propane might be an alternative for some. When citizens protested, they were violently dispersed by police.
“We will not give up,” a women’s group leader said. “Better to die swiftly than continue dying slowly.”
So this is where radical climate change alarmism has taken us. When the health of Planet Earth is at stake, human life means little – even if the “disasters” are nothing more than worst-case scenarios conjured up by computer models, headline writers, Hollywood , and professional doomsayers like Gore, Hansen and NOAA alarmist-in-chief Susan Solomon.
“Every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh , an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned,” British arch-environmentalist George Monbiot hectored readers of The Guardian, in a typically hysteria-laced column.
One has to wonder if he would apply the same standard to eco-colonialist executives who continue to perpetuate poverty, disease, malnutrition and death in the name of preventing “global warming disasters” that fewer and fewer respectable scientists still believe are caused by human greenhouse gas emissions.
As economist Indur Goklany and even the UN climate panel acknowledge, future generations will be far richer than today’s. Poor families today should not be asked to bear the burden for richer families tomorrow, especially to guard against speculative climate and sustainability “disasters” whose “solutions” are worse than the purported problems.
The United Nations, European Union and United States need to address Africa ’s real problems and replace lethal eco-colonialism with fact-based science and humane public policies. And African countries need to take command of their future.
Africa needs to curb corruption. Adopt property rights and free enterprise principles. Promote sustained development. Utilize disease-preventing insecticides and modern agricultural biotechnology.
Rely less on foreign aid that is shriveling in the global recession and often comes with conditions and prohibitions that keep communities and nations deprived of energy and mired in poverty. Work with companies that want to develop natural resources, to get help building hospitals, schools and large-scale power plants that provide dependable, affordable electricity.
In short, Africa needs to remember Milton Friedman’s sage advice: “Poor countries should not do what rich countries did once they became rich. They should do what rich countries did to become rich.”
Soon is chief science adviser for the Science and Public Policy Institute and author of numerous papers on climate change. Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Words are powerful tools, especially when those words can't properly be defined and evoke a tremendous emotional response. Safe is one such word. Everyone wants their families to be safe. Everyone wants safe products. Well, what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that there can be no margin for error? Does that mean that there must be a total amelioration of all pain? Does that mean that nothing must ever go wrong?
Approximately 50,000 people die (*It is claimed that this number has dropped signifigantly over the last 10 years, although it is still high. The actual number seems to be in question. ) every year on America’s highways. Is driving safe? Every year people die from accidental electrocution. Is electricity safe? Every year a great many children drown. Is swimming safe?
Is it possible to show that any product is safe? NO! You can only prove something is unsafe, otherwise you are asking someone to prove a negative, a factual impossibility. We can only prove what things do, not what they don’t do. It is like asking someone to prove that they aren’t cheating on their spouse. You can only prove that someone is cheating. You cannot in any way prove that someone isn’t cheating.
Yet we are being required to show that pesticides are safe before we use them. This irrational, unscientific demand is made over and over again, and done so without protest. Worse yet it is done with support from many in and around our industry. Why? Because safe is one of those difficult to define words that can unite people in a cause that makes them feel all warm and fuzzy all over, not mention the feeling of moral superiority. After all, who is going to support un-safe products and practices?
These issues surrounding DDT demonstrate such unintended consequences of such emotional causes. Even after all the evidence has shown that most of what Rachel Carson said was inaccurate, even to the extent of misrepresenting the facts; even after everything she predicted turned out to be wrong; even after all the pain and suffering that has been, and is still being caused by the ban on DDT; people will not properly connect the ban with the disasters banning DDT caused.
There are those who will still defend the ban with fallacious arguments and demand more bans and more restrictions in the name of safety...especially "for the children". They simply refuse to admit they were wrong, in spite of all the pain and suffering, and mostly to the children. Why? It isn’t simply a matter of pride either. This refusal to admit that which should be obvious to the most casual observer is being driven by a misanthropic philosophy called environmentalism. Call it an “organic” philosophy, call it a “green” philosophy, simply call it IPM, it doesn’t matter; the goal is to eliminate products that allow more people to live longer, healthier lives; and they do it with fallacious health claims about pesticides.
Thomas Sowell, in his book, Economic Facts and Fallacies, defined logical fallacies in the following manner. “Fallacies are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical – but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing of ignored factors likely to lead to “unintended consequences,” a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment-
Let’s take the Fallacy of composition. It goes like this; DDT is found in birds. DDT killed the birds. Let’s ban DDT. Since DDT was a pesticide, and it was found in birds that died, all pesticides must kill birds; let’s ban all pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals and pesticides were found in dead birds so chemicals must kill birds; let’s ban all chemicals.
Our industry is so hot to be green and yet we don’t seem to have a clue as to what “going green” is going to mean to society as a whole. GO GREEN! GO GREEN! is the cry, but where is this leading? The activists never seem to have to explain their motives or ultimate goals. What are those goals? Let us have no doubts that the elimination of pesticides is one of them.
Actually it should be immaterial to intelligent, insightful, compassionate people whether they explain their goals or not. We should be able to see what their motives and goals are by the devastation they have wrought in the rest of the world.
We now know that environmentalism isn’t safe. Tell me; do you think that environmentalism should be banned?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It was the year 1799, during the “Dalton Minimum” when the sun was quiet that George Frederick Bollinger led a group of early pioneers from North Carolina to establish early settlements in Missouri. They hoped to cross their largest obstacle, the Mississippi River, on the ice, frozen solid in mid-winter.
The pioneers and their wagon train moved westward a few miles each day, making and breaking camp each night, fording the small streams and floating across the larger ones on rafts which they made from the nearby trees, following roads that were barely trails through forests and valleys.
They arrived on the east bank of the Mississippi River opposite St. Genevieve in late December, pitched camp and explored potential river crossings. St. Genevieve is located about a hundred miles downstream from Saint Louis. Winter had come early and the Mississippi river was already covered with ice. It was bitterly cold. They determined the ice was not yet thick enough to support a crossing of ox-carts and covered wagons. Daily the thickness of the ice was measured and then on December 31, a chopped hole in the ice indicated thickness well over two feet. They tested the ice by making a few trips across on foot and horseback. The believed the ice was thick enough to support a loaded wagon.
As a test, a wagon was selected to be driven across with no one riding and the driver would walk ahead watching the ice and leading his team. The trip across and back to camp was made without the ice cracking and preparations were made for an early crossing New Years Day.
The next morning final preparations were made to break camp and all supplies were loaded. The weather remained bitter cold with dark skies overhead and light snow falling, but the decision had been made to cross and there was no turning back. The group was devout German Reformed Protestants and they gathered together in the early cold gray dawn to seek guidance from their God for a safe crossing.
The cracking of whips like pistol shots rang out over the heads of the oxen to coax them out onto the ice; the crossing had began. All that were able, walked to lighten the loaded wagons, keeping a safe distance from the wagons, which were also spaced far apart to lessen the danger of breaking the ice. The crossing was made successfully with no mishaps, except extremely cold hands and feet.
The townsfolk of St. Genevieve had built a large fire to welcome and warm these new settlers. Safely across the Mississippi, they were relieved of their crossing fears and enjoyed the local hospitality. They exchanged news from the East for information of what they might expect ahead. Needed supplies were purchased and even the weather abated a little as the sun broke through the clouds. They settled along the Whitewater River where the soil was rich.
We are transitioning into Solar Cycle (SC) 24 and the sun has become fairly quiet. During most of the last century (SC 16-23) the sun has been in a “Grand Maxima”. As a result the Earth has experience warming. But with SC 24 the sun is again changing states. From the peak year 1998, the lower Troposphere temperatures globally have already fallen around 1/2 degree Celsius. This is despite the fact that during that same time period, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen 5% from 367 ppm to 386 ppm. Several solar scientist are predicting the sun will slide into a “Dalton Minimum” event in SC 25, about a decade from now. If that happens, the Earth will experience some bitterly cold winters for several decades.
The winters may once again resemble the winters 200 years ago during the time of the early pioneers. Imagine for a minute the west fork of the White River near Bloomfield, Indiana freezing into a block of ice two feet thick.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
On February 23, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closed the public comment period on a petition submitted by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) seeking to cancel registrations of 2,4-D herbicide and revoke its residue tolerances. The Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data anticipates that EPA will deny the petition and stand on its major scientific reassessment of 2,4-D and determination of eligibility for continued registration completed in 2005. EPA is also well aware of ongoing studies to further strengthen the database on 2,4-D.
It is not unusual for the NRDC and other interest groups to petition EPA for the cancellation of a pesticide registration. In response to several recent petitions, EPA has published a notice inviting public comments, carefully reviewed those comments and ultimately issued denials of the petitioners’ requests. The EPA’s reviews and responses obviously take time to complete. NRDC's petition to cancel dichlorvos in 2006 resulted in an order denying the petition in 2007. EPA followed a similar time course in response to a petition to revoke tolerances for carbaryl in 2007 by denying the petition in 2008.
For 2,4-D, the Task Force does not take for granted that EPA will deny NRDC’s petition. Rather, the Task Force submitted detailed scientific comments in response to NRDC’s petition, and was pleased that its many friends also urged EPA to deny the petition given EPA's recent thorough and thoughtful review of 2,4-D in the June 2005 Re-registration Eligibility Decision.
During the 2,4-D comment period, over 431 comments were submitted; overwhelmingly supporting EPA’s 2005 re-registration decision. Some 14 comments were negative, but provided no new or compelling evidence for EPA to cancel the product. Thank you to all the foresters, ranchers, farmers, scientists and habitat managers that wrote the Agency, providing real-world information on the value of 2,4-D to their management programs.
The Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data and the many users of 2,4-D are proud of the more than 300 state-of-the art GLP studies on mammalian toxicity, ecotoxicity, environmental fate and residue that support 2,4-D registrations. EPA’s recent Re-registration Eligibility Decision thoroughly reviewed this data base against the demanding environmental, food and child safety standards of the pesticide laws, FIFRA and FQPA. Other governmental authorities, such as Canada’s PMRA and the EU’s pesticide regulatory authority have also given 2,4-D a clean bill of health. Simply put, few pesticides, indeed few substances of any type, have been so thoroughly tested and so often reviewed by authorities worldwide as the herbicide 2,4-D. The NRDC petition raises no new issues that have not been thoroughly considered by others before.
The Task Force’s comments that carefully respond to the petition’s allegations are posted on the Task Force website at www.24d.org. We are confident that the Agency will deny the petition and re-confirm its 2005 decision that when used according to label directions 2,4-D meets FIFRA and FQPA standards for registration and establishment of residue tolerances.
Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data
Friday, March 6, 2009
(I would like to thank Jim for sending this to me and allowing be to publish it. I would also like to thank him for keeping me straight on the science. For more information regarding James Maursek and his web site IPMACT, please read my article, Web Site Worth Exploring.
By James Marusek,Nuclear Physicist, Engineer, U.S. Department of the Navy, retired
The sun has gone very quite as it transitions to Solar Cycle 24. As of the end of February, the cumulative number of spotless days (days without sunspots) is now at 558 days. The greatest number of cumulative spotless days during the solar minimums preceding solar cycles 16-23 was 568 days. This record will likely be broken during March. This is further evidence that the Grand Maximum state that has persisted during most of the 20th century is coming to an end.
The Ap index is a proxy measurement for the intensity of solar magnetic activity. The Ap index for February is "5" a slight uptick from the three consecutive months of "4's" (November 2008 - January 2009). An Ap index of "4" is the lowest recorded number since measurements began in January 1932.
Satellites provide generally the most accurate atmospheric temperature measurements covering the entire globe. Average yearly lower Troposphere temperatures (relative to the 1979-1998 average) were as follows: 1998 (0.512 degrees C.), 1999 (0.040), 2000 (0.035), 2001 (0.198), 2002 (0.311), 2003 (0.275), 2004 (0.195), 2005 (0.338), 2006 (0.260), 2007 (0.282) and 2008 (0.048) according to the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) LT5.2 satellite data. Comparing the peak year 1998 to the present, the lower Troposphere temperature has fallen approximately 1/2 degree Celsius. During that same time period, atmospheric carbon dioxide (at Mauna Loa) has risen 5% from 367 ppm to 386 ppm.
There will be some that might argue that the year 1998 was a temperature anomaly. Indeed, they would be correct. But the elevated temperatures observed that year were used to drive fear into the hearts of many people that the earth had finally reached a tipping point and this was proof-positive that man-made global warming was a hard fact instead of just a hypothesis based on untested computer models.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
By Paul Driessen:
“Corporate social responsibility” doctrine says companies must act ethically and further the well-being of society – not merely seek to improve market shares and bottom lines.
Ethical behavior is an essential element of business and capitalism. Companies that violate laws and societal norms are eventually found out – and punished, by courts and consumers.But this raises an often overlooked question that all CSR advocates should ask:
Shouldn’t society demand that every corporation chartered under its aegis (for-profit and not-for-profit alike) will promote societal well-being? Shouldn’t charities, government agencies, legislatures and activist groups be held to the same CSR standards as profit-based industries?
By any rational standard, preventing dangerous diseases promotes societal well-being – and actions that perpetuate disease contravene basic CSR principles.
A century ago, Dr. William Gorgas eradicated yellow fever and dramatically reduced malaria in Panama. He eliminated or poured kerosene on standing water, to prevent malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes from laying eggs and larvae from developing; fumigated areas infested with adult mosquitoes; and used nets to isolate infected patients and prevent them from being bitten and spreading the disease.
But today malaria still infects 500 million people a year, leaving them unable to work for weeks, rendering many permanently brain-damaged, and killing over a million parents and children.
And yet, politicians, foundations, activists and bureaucrats continue to promote false solutions. If accepted CSR standards were applied to them, many would be bankrupt, ostracized or imprisoned.
The United Nations, Al Gore, Senator Barbara Boxer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and others claim malaria is spreading due to global warming. The UN even pays African officials to host conferences that promote this party line.
The assertion boosts their anti-hydrocarbon agendas. It also shifts the blame and limited resources away from real solutions to pricey, politically correct schemes that actually perpetuate disease and death.
Malaria was prevalent in Virginia, Ohio, California the Netherlands and beyond, until DDT helped eradicate it. The disease killed 600,000 people in Siberia during the 1920s and 1930s. Obviously malaria's presence and geographical distribution is not defined by temperature alone.
Informed, comprehensive control measures reduce or eliminate malaria, note infectious disease experts Paul Reiter and Donald Roberts, even in tropical areas. When we let nature take its course, or apply partial or politically correct solutions, malaria spreads and people die.
With funding from San Francisco’s Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) helps nature take its course, by battling insecticide and DDT use. Their tunnel-visioned actions might protect the world’s most impoverished, disease-ridden people from minor speculative risks associated with insecticides – but they do so by imposing massive, immediate, life-threatening risks from diseases the insecticides could prevent.
The Gates Foundation supports fascinating research on anti-malaria vaccines and mosquitoes genetically engineered to be unable to carry malaria parasites. The work may pay off big time in a decade or two – assuming we can vaccinate 2 billion people who are at risk from getting malaria, or replace trillions of Anopheles mosquitoes with biotech varieties. But meanwhile, every year, a half billion people will become too sick to work, and a million will die, from a readily preventable disease.
“Nothing but nets” is a catchy basketball slogan, but a lousy disease prevention strategy. Bed net campaigns promise a few dollars will save a life, but actual malaria reductions are closer to 20-30% when recipients use their nets every night, no matter how sweltering it gets in their non-air-conditioned homes.
Truly comprehensive programs can slash malaria disease and death rates by 90% or even eradicate it completely. How is it ethical to promote anything less?
Yet, far too many companies, even ExxonMobil, won’t use or promote DDT, for fear of being attacked by PAN and its ilk. And some well-meaning innovators promote even more far-fetched “solutions,” like giant mosquito vacuums – for villages that don’t even have electricity.
These inadequate prevention strategies put the onus on often primitive clinics, overworked doctors and scarce, overused drugs to stop malaria. New Artemisia-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been a godsend, especially in Africa, where chloroquine is no longer effective.
But the more heavily they are used – because prevention efforts are constricted and misdirected – the sooner it is likely that malaria parasites will become resistant to ACT drugs. That likelihood is increased by companies like Erica in India that still distribute oral artemisinin mono-therapy tablets, which are more likely to result in resistant strains of malaria. Worse, increasing numbers of malaria medications distributed in Africa and elsewhere are substandard or even counterfeit knockoffs.
And too many governments of malaria-ridden countries do a horrendous job of safeguarding their people against these unscrupulous practices.
Malaria victims can ill afford such sick, fraudulent, irresponsible “social responsibility.” Human rights, and human lives, are at stake.
The world has limited money, especially amid this global recession. African nations are particularly destitute. Funds and resources need to be applied wisely, effectively and ethically.
First, we must do no harm – by focusing attention on bogus causes like global warming, for instance, or restricting malaria prevention to partial solutions like bed nets and drugs. Second, we must do actual good, by slashing malaria rates NOW.
It doesn’t take rocket science – just a modern version of what Gorgas used 100 years ago. Vastly improved tools are readily available. We need to use them.
Truly comprehensive programs include DDT on walls to keep mosquitoes out of houses, bed nets to further protect children and adults, and insecticides to control mosquito populations. These steps alone can prevent 80% or more of malaria cases. But other interventions must also be employed, if infections and deaths are to be eliminated.
Health ministries and aid agencies must help ensure that doctors have modern clinics closer to more villages, can quickly determine if a patient really has malaria, and have the proper ACT drugs to treat cases. They and field personnel must maintain systems to monitor mosquito populations and disease outbreaks on a continuing basis, and feed data into computerized command centers.
Communities must become better educated about the causes and symptoms of malaria, and how to eliminate brush and mosquito breeding areas from around homes. Larvacides can be used to kill mosquito larvae. Incentives and oversight must ensure that programs are working properly.
The number of nets distributed is irrelevant. The only valid test is malaria cases and deaths prevented.
A comprehensive program is a socially responsible program. Anything less is insufficient and immoral.
‘The increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind’
‘Children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science’
Posted orginally HERE By Marc Morano – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov
Washington, DC — Award-winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer declared man-made global warming fears “mistaken” and noted that the Earth was currently in a “CO2 famine now.” Happer, who has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, made his remarks during today’s Environment and Public Works Full Committee Hearing entitled “Update on the Latest Global Warming Science.”
“Many people don’t realize that over geological time, we’re really in a CO2 famine now. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geologic epoch) – 280 (parts per million - ppm) – that’s unheard of. Most of the time [CO2 levels] have been at least 1000 (ppm) and it’s been quite higher than that,” Happer told the Senate Committee. To read Happer’s complete opening statement click here:
Also: See Inhofe Warns of Costs of Massive $6.7 Trillion 'Climate Bailout'“Earth was just fine in those times,” Happer added. “The oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So it’s baffling to me that we’re so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started,” Happer explained. Happer also noted that “the number of [skeptical scientists] with the courage to speak out is growing” and he warned “children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science.” [In December, Happer requested to be added to the groundbreaking U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims Happer was pressed by the Committee on whether rising CO2 fears are valid. “I don’t think the laws of nature or physics and chemistry has changed in 80 million years. 80 million years ago the Earth was a very prosperous palace and there is no reason to suddenly think it will become bad now,” Happer added. Happer is a professor in the Department of Physics at Princeton University and former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences. Happer was reportedly fired by former Vice President Al Gore in 1993 for failing to adhere to Gore’s scientific views.
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“I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind,” Happer told the Committee. “What about the frightening consequences of increasing levels of CO2 that we keep hearing about? In a word, they are wildly exaggerated, just as the purported benefits of prohibition were wildly exaggerated,” he explained. “At least 90% of greenhouse warming is due to water vapor and clouds. Carbon dioxide is a bit player,” he added. “But the climate is warming and CO2 is increasing. Doesn’t this prove that CO2 is causing global warming through the greenhouse effect? No, the current warming period began about 1800 at the end of the little ice age, long before there was an appreciable increase of CO2. There have been similar and even larger warmings several times in the 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age. These earlier warmings clearly had nothing to do with the combustion of fossil fuels. The current warming also seems to be due mostly to natural causes, not to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Over the past ten years there has been no global warming, and in fact a slight cooling. This is not at all what was predicted by the IPCC models,” Happer testified. (Note: See: An abundance of peer-reviewed studies continue to debunk rising CO2 fears)
“The existence of climate variability in the past has long been an embarrassment to those who claim that all climate change is due to man and that man can control it. When I was a schoolboy, my textbooks on earth science showed a prominent ‘medieval warm period’ at the time the Vikings settled Greenland, followed by a vicious ‘little ice age’ that drove them out. So I was very surprised when I first saw the celebrated ‘hockey stick curve,’ in the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC. I could hardly believe my eyes. Both the little ice age and the Medieval Warm Period were gone, and the newly revised temperature of the world since the year 1000 had suddenly become absolutely flat until the last hundred years when it shot up like the blade on a hockey stick. This was far from an obscure detail, and the hockey stick was trumpeted around the world as evidence that the end was near. We now know that the hockey stick has nothing to do with reality but was the result of incorrect handling of proxy temperature records and incorrect statistical analysis. There really was a little ice age and there really was a medieval warm period that was as warm or warmer than today,” Happer continued.
“The whole hockey-stick episode reminds me of the motto of Orwell’s Ministry of Information in the novel 1984: ‘He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.’ The IPCC has made no serious attempt to model the natural variations of the earth’s temperature in the past. Whatever caused these large past variations, it was not due to people burning coal and oil. If you can’t model the past, where you know the answer pretty well, how can you model the future?” he stated.
“I keep hearing about the ‘pollutant CO2,’ or about ‘poisoning the atmosphere’ with CO2, or about minimizing our ‘carbon footprint.’ This brings to mind another Orwellian pronouncement that is worth pondering: ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.’ CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving ‘pollutant’ and ‘poison’ of their original meaning. Our exhaled breath contains about 4% CO2. That is 40,000 parts per million, or about 100 times the current atmospheric concentration. CO2 is absolutely essential for life on earth. Commercial greenhouse operators often use CO2 as a fertilizer to improve the health and growth rate of their plants. Plants, and our own primate ancestors evolved when the levels of atmospheric CO2 were about 1000 ppm, a level that we will probably not reach by burning fossil fuels, and far above our current level of about 380 ppm. We try to keep CO2 levels in our U.S. Navy submarines no higher than 8,000 parts per million, about 20 time current atmospheric levels. Few adverse effects are observed at even higher levels.”
More selected Happer excerpts:
“I do not think there is a consensus about an impending climate crisis. I personally certainly don’t believe we are facing a crisis unless we create one for ourselves, as Benjamin Rush did by bleeding his patients. Many others, wiser than I am, share my view. The number of those with the courage to speak out is growing. There may be an illusion of consensus. Like the temperance movement one hundred years ago the climate-catastrophe movement has enlisted the mass media, the leadership of scientific societies, the trustees of charitable foundations, and many other influential people to their cause. Just as editorials used to fulminate about the slippery path to hell behind the tavern door, hysterical op-ed’s lecture us today about the impending end of the planet and the need to stop climate change with bold political action. Many distinguished scientific journals now have editors who further the agenda of climate-change alarmism. Research papers with scientific findings contrary to the dogma of climate calamity are rejected by reviewers, many of whom fear that their research funding will be cut if any doubt is cast on the coming climate catastrophe. Speaking of the Romans, then invading Scotland in the year 83, the great Scottish chieftain Calgacus is quoted as saying “They make a desert and call it peace.” If you have the power to stifle dissent, you can indeed create the illusion of peace or consensus. The Romans have made impressive inroads into climate science. Certainly, it is a bit unnerving to read statements of Dr. James Hansen in the Congressional Record that climate skeptics are guilty of “high crimes against humanity and nature.”
Even elementary school teachers and writers of children’s books are enlisted to terrify our children and to promote the idea of impending climate doom. Having observed the education of many children, including my own, I am not sure how effective the effort will be. Many children seem to do just the opposite of what they are taught. Nevertheless, children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science. Many of you may know that in 2007 a British Court ruled that if Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was used in public schools, the children had to be told of eleven particularly troubling inaccuracies. You can easily find a list of the inaccuracies on the internet, but I will mention one. The court ruled that it was not possible to attribute hurricane Katrina to CO2. Indeed, had we taken a few of the many billions of dollars we have been spending on climate change research and propaganda and fixed the dykes and pumps around the New Orleans, most of the damage from Hurricane Katrina could have been avoided. See also: Prominent Scientist Fired By Gore Says Warming Alarm ‘Mistaken’
To read complete opening statement click here: