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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas
Monday, August 31, 2009
We Have Lost Our Minds; NPMA, Part I
Originally I intended this as a part of my five part “common sense” series. However, after reading some of the details of the NPMA/NRDC agreement in Pest Control Technology magazine, and talking to Bob Rosenberg, I believe that things have gotten so bad I intend to do a separate series on the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
They have shown a pattern of activity that has led to what I believe is a serious betrayal of the pest control industry by our “elected” representatives at NPMA. Part I is meant as in instructional piece, Part II will challenge the philosophy behind this action, and Part III will challenge the people behind this philosophy.
The Leadership of the National Pest Management Pest Control Association has now created a partnership with one of the most radical environmental groups in this nation and we are supposed to believe that this is, as Rob Lederer says, good for the industry. And what is the “good” role that the National Resource Defense Council going to play in directing the future of the structural pest control industry? They will “help” us decide what will constitute “green” pest control. There will be more about this in Part II.
I am willing to bet that if the elected NPMA leadership asked the general membership what they thought of this beforehand they would have gotten an earful that would have pierced their ear drums.
So that there is no mistake about who this Trojan horse is, I have linked and quoted information directly from the Activist Cash web site. I am a firm believer in the old axiom that birds of a feather flock together.
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the utility infielder of nanny groups. Because its name implies a wide-ranging universe of issues, the group can be counted on to inject itself into just about any debate where there’s an environmental argument to be made. Washington PR firm Fenton Communications has made use of the NRDC in a variety of public campaigns, the most famous example of which was the 1989 “Alar-on-apples” food 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.
Currently, NRDC is focusing a great deal of its vast resources fighting against genetically improved foods.
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.”
NRDC joined forces again with Fenton Communications in 1998 to promote a food-scare campaign called “Give Swordfish a Break!” which was operated by SeaWeb, an organization created by Fenton specifically for this campaign. Nearly all of the funding for this effort came from pass-through grants solicited by NRDC on behalf of SeaWeb. Two years later the anti-swordfish campaign folded, with both groups claiming victory. The whole promotion was based on the myth that Atlantic swordfish were being over-fished to the point of extinction. But according to the National Marine Fisheries Service, that simply wasn’t true.
American Corn Growers Association
At a March 21, 2000, press conference, the organic marketer-funded Center for Food Safety unveiled a petition demanding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration begin requiring warning labels on all genetically improved foods. Among the co-signers of this document were the American Corn Growers Association and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
With its all-American name, the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) brings to mind visions of Heartland cornfields and a simple farm life straight out of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.” But in reality, ACGA represents a farming style more Cuban than American.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
“The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is the undisputed leader among America’s “food police.” CSPI was founded in 1971 by current executive director Michael Jacobson, and two of his co-workers at Ralph Nader’s Center for the Study of Responsive Law. Since then, CSPI’s joyless eating club has issued hundreds of high-profile—and highly questionable—reports condemning soft drinks, fat substitutes, irradiated meat, biotech food crops, French fries, and just about anything that tastes good.”
In 1997-98, the Trees Foundation, which serves as the fiscal agent for various Earth First! groups, reported to the IRS that it received funding from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Trees noted that the NRDC money was “specifically designated for” three California groups “for their work in the Headwaters Forest protection effort.” One of these groups was the Ecology Center, where Karen Pickett runs the Headwaters campaign. Pickett is also the keeper of the cash for the Earth First! Direct Action Fund.
Another group that NRDC “specifically designated” should get pass-through money from the Trees Foundation was Redwood Justice. Redwood Justice’s main program is paying the legal bills for Earth First! leader Darryl Cherney’s lawsuit against the FBI.
A spin off this group is the super radical Earth Liberation Front (ELF). “Three workers sleeping at a construction site were able to escape after the terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF) set fire to an unfinished, 200-unit condominium development late one night in August, 2003. "It could have killed someone," said San Diego fire captain Jeff Carle.”
Environmental Media Services
SeaWeb’s wholly unnecessary “Give Swordfish a Break!” campaign, conceived and directed by Fenton Communications, was originally designed as a cooperative campaign with the Natural Resources Defense Council (SeaWeb and NRDC are still Fenton clients). In its typical role as media “front” group, Environmental Media Services heavily promoted the swordfish boycott on behalf of both NRDC and SeaWeb for two years, ending with a hollow declaration of victory in August 2000.
Environmental Working Group
The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Working Group are both clients of leftist PR firm Fenton Communications, based in Washington, DC. David Fenton, who runs this firm, also sits on EWG’s board.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes a remarkable number of anti-consumer activists on various advisory committees. When invitations to join the current EPA Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee were issued in August 2001, the Environmental Working Group’s Sean Gray made the list, as did Erik Olson of NRDC, John Vickery of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Troy Seidle of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
NRDC and EWG have been tag-teaming both EPA panels and the public for several years. In one celebrated episode, both groups’ representatives pulled out of Vice President Gore’s “Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee” in 1999, claiming that even Al “Earth in the Balance” Gore wasn’t banning pesticides fast enough for their liking. The two organizations co-released a (later debunked) report in 1996 claiming that 45 million Americans were drinking “contaminated” water. Not surprisingly, EWG pointed the finger of blame at “pesticide runoff.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace USA are both clients of leftist Washington PR boutique Fenton Communications. David Fenton’s flacks have perfected the art of the food scare, including NRDC’s Alar-on-apples fundraising scam in 1989, SeaWeb’s ridiculous 1988 swordfish boycott, and the more recent StarLink corn fiasco.
Greenpeace is the largest environmental organization in the world, with an international membership of over 5 million and offices in over 20 countries. Forbes magazine once described it as “a skillfully managed business” with full command of “the tools of direct mail and image manipulation -- and tactics that would bring instant condemnation if practiced by a for-profit corporation.” But Greenpeace has escaped public censure by hiding behind the mask of its “non-profit” status and its U.S. tax exemption.
Humane Society of the United States
When the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the United States Navy because it believed “human-generated noise -- including active sonars – ha[d] a negative effect on marine mammals,” the Humane Society of the United States was happy to sign on. The two groups have also sued Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport, O’Hare Airport, and others. The Keep Antibiotics Working (KAW) coalition counts both HSUS and NRDC as members. KAW aims to scare the public about the supposed “overuse” of antibiotics on farm animals. They were also both members of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Foodspeak coalition. Members hoped to avoid lawsuits for false claims against food companies by overturning food disparagement laws.
Despite the words “humane society” on its letterhead, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not affiliated with your local animal shelter. Despite the omnipresent dogs and cats in its fundraising materials, it’s not an organization that runs spay/neuter programs or takes in stray, neglected, and abused pets. And despite the common image of animal protection agencies as cash-strapped organizations dedicated to animal welfare, HSUS has become the wealthiest animal rights organization on earth.
While the Ruckus Society’s Tzeporah Berman (who coordinates rainforest programs for ForestEthics in Vancouver) oversaw a Canadian anti-logging campaign on the ground, NRDC put economic pressure on companies like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kinko’s, Nike, 3M, and Starbucks, each of which pledged to avoid buying products derived from British Columbia rainforest timber.
The Ruckus Society was founded in late 1995 by two giants of the radical environmentalist movement: Mike Roselle and Howard “Twilly” Cannon. Roselle was a founder of Earth First! (of 1980s tree-spiking fame), the group which spun off the domestic terrorist Earth Liberation Front in 1992. He also co-founded the radical Rainforest Action Network. Cannon built his extremist credentials as a front-line activist and ship’s captain with Greenpeace’s French and Russian anti-nuclear campaigns.
SeaWeb began as a “project” of the NRDC, with a start-up grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Now that SeaWeb has been spun off and enjoys relative independence, its leaders still collaborate with NRDC program directors on a variety of promotions, including the wholly unnecessary (and thoroughly debunked) “Give Swordfish a Break!” campaign. NRDC’s opinions on which species of menu fish are politically correct enough to eat can be found on SeaWeb’s “Seafood Choices Alliance” web site. Greenpeace USA and SeaWeb are both clients of leftist Washington PR boutique Fenton Communications, the widely-acknowledged kings of the modern food scare.
What can you say about a group of alarmist publicity-seekers whose greatest passion is “saving” fish species that aren’t even endangered? Are they crazy? Power-hungry? Misguided, as the U.S. government has said? Sadly, SeaWeb is just one in a long line of recent entrants into the food-scare industry. And judging from the the company it keeps, SeaWeb is a prime example of the well-networked Nanny Culture. Its pockets are deep, its friends are powerful, its tactics are disingenuous, and it’s not going away any time soon.
The Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have allied on numerous occasions to combat modern livestock farms, most notably joining with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Waterkeeper Alliance in 2003 to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for increased restrictions on pork farmers. The Sierra Club also promoted NRDC's notorious Alar on apples" food scare. The two groups have collaborated multiple times to lobby the U.S. government against biotech foods, and are members of the Keep Antibiotics Working campaign, a slick PR project that frightens Americans away from the conventional meat supply with reckless claims about the use of antibiotics in livestock.
Founded in 1892 by John Muir to "make the mountains glad," the Sierra Club is the oldest and arguably the most powerful environmental group in the nation. But its concerns are no longer limited to the happiness of the valleys. Once dedicated to conserving wilderness for future human enjoyment, the Sierra Club has become an anti-growth, anti-technology group that puts its utopian environmentalist vision before the well being of humans.
NRDC predates the Tides Center by several years, so it was never formally a Tides “project.” But it did enjoy similar “startup” assistance from the Tides Foundation during its early years. To date, Tides has used its “pass-through” granting structure to funnel over a quarter of a million dollars to NRDC, without ever acknowledging where the funds originally came from. In one example, the Tides Foundation was the funding vehicle through which NRDC received funds in 1989 to hire Fenton Communications, its PR firm of choice, to promote its much-hyped and thoroughly debunked Alar-on-apples food scare.
The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) calls one of its flagship programs the “Safe Food Fight.” And with WORC, the emphasis is always on fighting. After all, over 80% of WORC’s funding comes from big-money foundations, and they’re not paying WORC to be calm and rational.
Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists often brags about its cooperation with other environmental groups. Among the organizations with which UCS works closely, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) stands at the top of the list. UCS and NRDC regularly co-host press conferences, co-sign petitions, and co-author reports. Both groups are members of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition and the Save our Environment Coalition.
Committed to an “open-minded search for truth,” and armed with “unrivaled scientific expertise,” the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) “doesn’t say anything [it] can’t back up with solid evidence.” At least, that’s what its fund-raising letters say. The reality is quite different.
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Natural Resources Defense Council has collaborated with the Western Organization of Resource Councils in the past, most notably on matters of mining policy. During the years of the Clinton administration, NRDC and WORC co-signed at least three letters to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, urging that stricter standards be used for determining mining rights for coal in Western states. In one case, the two groups joined with Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to sue the Bureau of Land Management over the terms of its coal mining-rights leasing program.
These groups have promoted every misanthropic philosophical flavor of the day that has come down the pike for the last fifty years and if we are to believe all that is said, and I for one do, they have done it with lies, deception and junk science. We aren’t just partnering up with the NRDC; we are now in bed with every radical group in the world and they will have a say in everything that we do from now on!
And Rob Lederer thinks that this is a good thing!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Obama's Clone as Green Czar
President Barack Obama has appointed some 34 “czars” to drive policies with his cabinet heads and Democrat special interests. You will recall that “czars” were ruthless autocrats of former imperial Russia. Obama’s unelected and extra-constitutional czars are now dictating priorities in American government, and are not accountable to voters. Previous presidents back to the 1940s have appointed as many as a few dozen czar-like operatives – nowhere near the numbers heading progressive government programs of the Obama administration. Obama’s czars are paid annual salaries of $172,000, and can have ten-person staffs.
One of the most controversial of Obama’s czars is Van Jones, the green jobs czar. Obama appointed Jones in March 2009 to implement the Green Jobs Act of 2007, and to advise the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The Green Jobs Act authorizes $125 million a year for national and state programs to train workers for green jobs in future biofuel development, energy efficient buildings, renewable power, solar panel installation and energy efficient cars.
Van Jones is the “green clone” of Barack Obama. Jones is a proud legacy of urban black radicalism, a partisan community organizer, a politically-ambitious Ivy League lawyer who would transform America, a bestselling author, has two kids, etc. Jones and Obama are imperious, verbose and engaging speakers with progressive theories about how to “remake” America. Unfortunately, these ideologues are intent upon bending fiscal and technological realities to match their fanciful rhetoric. One of Van Jones’ famous quotes is, “I don’t care what the facts are.”
Here are excerpts from various Van Jones biographers:
Van Jones founded Green for All, a national organization that promises environmentally-friendly jobs. He wrote the 2008 New York Times bestseller "The Green Collar Economy" that is endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle and Al Gore. Jones’ Green for All group partners with Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection in proliferating global warming propaganda.
Jones is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (George Soros’ massive partisan think tank), the architects and advocates of most of Obama’s policies. Jones was a founder and leader of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement. The group, now disbanded, had Marxist, Leninist and Maoist influences. Jones admitted that he became a communist and radical after the officers accused of using excessive force on Rodney King were acquitted.
Jones was named TIME Magazine's 2008 Environmental Hero , and Jones has had progressive environmental writings published in numerous magazines and academic journals.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Van Jones co-authored Color of Change. Boasting 450,000 members, Color of Change has become the nation's largest online African-American advocacy group.
Jones is a founding board member of the National Apollo Alliance and 1 Sky, two national organizations promoting clean energy and climate solutions.
PAUL TAYLOR CONSULTING
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I Thought You Might Be Interested.
By Rich Kozlovich
There is an article which appeared in the
American Thinker by Robert Ferguson this month that is worth reading called,
The Real Climate Agenda.
I decided to post one of his readers comments that I felt was worth repeating. Unfortunately I have no way of getting Patrick49's permission, so I hope that if he should see his work repeated here he will officially and graciously grant that permission.
Even a cursory, honest review of the recent climate history shows global temperature peaked in 1998 according to recent observations and now despite computer projections failing to forecast a cooling phase, some experts provide an additional 10 to 20 year window for continued cooling bring the total to a 20 to 30 year of cooling in a predicted warming world. Even now we have a number of global warming advocates, including NASA, predicting an extended cooling period while their computer programs continue to predicate global warming as the CO2 increases from its present level of approximately 0.0375 percent of the atmosphere. The 3,000 Argo ocean monitors, operational since 2003, have found no ocean warming; only a slight decrease. Those environmentalist advocating to scrub 'global warming' from their vocabulary and replace it with meaningless, vague descriptions intended to confuse the public are continuing the greatest scam since Madoff made off with $50 billion.
Politicians should expand their knowledge of the science of “our deteriorating atmosphere.” nee 'global warming' and they could start by studying the 650 scientists who issued a strong dissent to the man made global warming theory in a letter to the recent UN Climate change conference held in Poland. Unfortunately anyone who opposes the computer generated doom and gloom scenarios is labeled a 'denier' or 'heretic'. There is a long list of science 'heretics', Copernicus and Galileo are two that proved to be right against a false consensus scientific belief. While Einstein and Bohr had headline grabbing civilized discussions, often described as debates, on Bohr's theory of quantum mechanics, any attempt in today's world to conduct a learned discussion of global warming, or cooling, or CO2 is met with vitriol filled attacks on men and women with impeccable scientific credentials. While paying homage to a trio of gurus of climate change, nee global warming, who are a motley crew.
- Al Gore a non-scientists, a C university student, a divinity school dropout, a lawyer with no science studies, an majority owner/investor in a company selling 'Carbon Credits' with a vested interest in limiting CO2 for profiteering and the producer of a movie that the British Courts found to have 9 or 11 inaccuracies and could not be shown in British schools without identifying and explanation of the inaccurate firstname.lastname@example.org
- James Hansen, manager of the NASA department that produced incorrect temperature data for six years, 2000- 2006, more recently issued completely incorrect temperature data for October 2008 which led to headlines claiming the 'hottest October on record" and testified in an English Court that civil disobedience and destruction of property is proper to reduce CO2 emissions.
- Michael Mann, a 'scientist' who used statistical legerdemain to eradicate the medieval warm period and the Middle Age 'Little Ice Age’ to give a perfectly straight handle on his 'Hockey stick' curve which was debunked by two Canadian statistical experts but is still the centerpiece of Al Gore's movie.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I know I said that I was going to do this weekly, but there is just too much information and too much to do, so I archived all the Morning Dispatches and then organized them by category. Since they are organized in this manner I can take one or two issues and highlight them. Unfortunately I have come to realize that I just can’t do it every week. There is just so much great information. I think this stuff is so great I hate “rationing” it, but I don’t see any other way. Having a real job can put a real crimp in real time allocations.
There is one way to get a daily dose of ASCH and that is through their Morning Dispatch. I wish to open this edition of the ACSH Report by quoting Dr. Elizabeth Whelan regarding their fund drive.
“Our message is really striking a nerve,” says ACSH president and founder Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. Dr. Whelan would like to thank the many Morning Dispatch readers who promptly and generously responded to the challenge put forth by an ACSH donor.“Raise $25,000 online this month, and I'll match it dollar for dollar,” the donor told us, “so you can stand up for what we believe in.” If you have not yet participated, please don't wait another day. Your donation today will have double the impact. Click here to donate safely and securely online -- or you can call ACSH, a non-profit dedicated to debunking unscientific claims, toll-free at 1-800-905-2694.I can only encourage everyone to donate to this fine organization. Good science isn’t easy to come by. Those who are willing and able to take on the junk scientists are even harder to find.
Rhetoric versus Reality - Life Expectancy
A recently released government report concludes that the average life expectancy in the U.S. has reached an all-time high at seventy-eight.
“This certainly flies in the face of all the health scares,” says Dr. Whelan, who once wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal titled “Living Longer and Feeling Worse About it.” One of ACSH’s friends reacted sardonically to the news: “Gosh, what terrible news for the eco-wackos...How can this be happening with all the ‘chemicals’ in the environment?” The good news was conspicuously absent from the New York Times. Gray Lady indeed"
All That Is Natural
A large study sanctioned by the UK’s Food Standards Agency and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that there is no significant nutritional difference between “organic” and conventionally produced food. The research replicates the results of an earlier study by ACSH advisor and Emeritus Professor of Food Toxicology at Rutgers University Dr. Joseph Rosen, who exposed the fallacies of the organic movement’s claim that organic food is more nutritious over a year ago.
“While it’s a meta-analysis and it only looked at nutrition as opposed to the presence of pesticides, it still provides evidence that organic food isn’t any better for you,” says ACSH’s Jeff Stier. “It’s like playing a game of whack-a-mole. It was already proven that people aren’t getting sick from pesticides on food, so the organic crowd claimed their food was more nutritious. Now that that has been disproved, they’re going back to the pesticides thing.”One such organic proponent is Dr. Marion Nestle of New York University, who says, “Organics aren't about nutrients. They are about cleaner and more sustainable production methods,” including “lower levels of pesticides and herbicides, which seems like a good idea.”ACSH staffers are grateful to Dominic Lawson, whose article on the UK’s TimesOnline offers support for his belief that “Organic food is just a tax on the gullible.” Lawson chronicles organic proponents’ recent shift to abusive personal attacks against scientists in light of the UK’s FSA report proving that organic food isn’t any more nutritious than conventionally produced food.
“We have no qualms with organic lobbyists who claim there’s more pesticides on foods that aren’t labeled as organic, but our response is: so what?” says Dr. Ross. “There are studies showing that those chemicals are safe at current levels of exposure. However, there are no studies that show a significant advantage associated with eating organic food.”
He quotes Dr. Ben Goldacre of the NHS, author of the acclaimed book Bad Science, who says, “In my experience the [comments of the] organic food, anti-vaccine, and homeopathy movements are unusually hateful and generally revolve around bizarre allegations that you covertly represent some financial or corporate interest. I do not, but I do think it reveals something about their own motives that they can only conceive of a person holding a position as a result of financial self-interest.”
He’s not the only one who has observed the deceitful trend. “Dr. Joseph Rosen noticed recent studies once more discrediting the claim that organic food is nutritionally superior,” says Seavey. “He’ll be writing a series of articles on the topic for our HealthFactsAndFears blog in the next few weeks.”
The article concludes by reiterating ACSH’s oft-repeated organic disclaimer: “This just demonstrates the common-sense point that diet, rather than whether food is produced‘organically’ or not, is the key to healthy eating.”
A New York Times blog reviews a farmer’s riposte to a prominent critic of modern agribusiness and its methods:“[Blake] Hurst argues that the ‘reality is messier’ than idealistic, non-farming critics would have it. Much of his argument comes down to: beware the law of unintended agricultural consequences.”
“Organic agriculture is built on the fraudulent claim that chemicals are dangerous,” says ACSH’s Todd Seavey. “So-called sustainable agriculture, more often than not, is actually a conglomeration of primitive methods that sustained us on the brink of starvation -- without using resources efficiently at all -- for millennia. These techniques, like a lot of other unscientific, anti-industrial trends in society, are a virtual war on modern civilization.”And of course we can’t leave without mentioning the logical conclusion of “organic” living and that is Holistic Medicine.
ACSH staffers were not surprised to see today’s New York Times mention Don Imus’ decision to forego traditional treatment for his stage two prostate cancer:
“Though he was initially advised to begin radiation treatments, he has so far chosen to treat the disease holistically. He has been dutifully ingesting habanero peppers and Japanese soy supplements as part of a regimen partly devised by his wife, a natural foods proponent.”I am not opposed to people trying anything that they wish to use in order to maintain their lives, after all, the pillars of medicine have been seriously wrong before. What I am really in favor of is anything that works. In words of this loose quote of the fictional character Dr. Noah Praetorius, “I am in favor of using anything that makes sick people well.”
As Dr. Ross points out, he probably isn't harming himself as “Watchful waiting without invasive treatment is often a valid approach for early-stage prostate cancer." But what about his listeners? That is the scary part; what happens to them if they follow his lead? Is Imus and his wife dulusional? I don't know, and for the most part I doubt if we will ever know for sure since most men die before prostate cancer can kill them. That's kind of a sick thought isn't it? It is true though.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Africa's Real Climate Crisis
by Fiona Kobusingye
Lung infections cause 1.4 million deaths, malaria 1 million more, intestinal diseases 700,000. Diseases that could be prevented with simple vaccines kill an additional 600,000 annually, while war, malnutrition and life in filthy slums send countless more parents and children to early graves.
And yet, day after day, Africans are told the biggest threat we face is – global warming.
Conferences, news stories, television programs, class lectures and one-sided “dialogues” repeat the claim endlessly. Using oil and petrol, even burning wood and charcoal, will dangerously overheat our planet, melt ice caps, flood coastal cities, and cause storms, droughts, disease and extinctions, we’re told.
Over 700 climate scientists and 31,000 other scientists say humans and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide have minimal effects on Earth’s temperature and climate, and there is no global warming crisis. But their views and studies are never invited or even tolerated in these “climate crisis” forums, especially at “ministerial dialogues” staged with United Nations money. Al Gore refuses to debate any of these experts, or even permit questions that he hasn’t approved ahead of time.
Instead, Africans are told climate change “threatens humanity more than HIV/AIDS.” More than 2.2 million dead Africans every year?
We are warned that it would be “nearly impossible to adapt to the loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet,” which would raise sea levels by “5 to 15 meters.” That certainly would impact our coastal communities. But how likely is it?
The average annual temperature in Antarctica is minus 50 degrees F! Summer in its Western Peninsula barely lasts two months and gets maybe 10 degrees above freezing for just a few hours a day. Not even Mr. Gore or UN computer models talk about raising Antarctic temperatures by 85 degrees F year-round. So how is that ice supposed to melt?
Let’s not forget that sea levels have risen 120 meters since the last Ice Age ended. Do the global warming alarmists think cave men fires caused that? Obviously, powerful natural forces caused those ancient glaciers to come and go – and caused the droughts, floods and climate changes that have affected Africa, the Earth and its animals and people for millions of years.
Just consider northern Africa, where green river valleys, hippopotami and happy villages suddenly got turned into the Sahara Desert 4,000 years ago. Scientists don’t know why, but it probably wasn’t Egyptian pharaohs building pyramids and driving chariots.
However, the real problem isn’t questionable or fake science, hysterical claims and worthless computer models that predict global warming disasters. It’s that they’re being used to justify telling Africans that we shouldn’t build coal or natural gas electrical power plants. It’s that the almost total absence of electricity is keeping us from creating jobs and becoming modern societies. It’s that these policies KILL.
The average African life span is lower than it was in the United States and Europe 100 years ago. But Africans are being told we shouldn’t develop, or have electricity or cars because, now that those countries are rich beyond anything we Africans can imagine, they’re worried about global warming.
The world needs to go on an energy diet, Al Gore and UN climate boss Yvo de Boer tell us. Well, I have news for them. Africans are already on an energy diet. We’re starving!
Al Gore uses more electricity in a week than 28 million Ugandans together use in a year. And those anti-electricity policies are keeping us impoverished.
Not having electricity means millions of Africans don’t have refrigerators to preserve food and medicine. Outside of wealthy parts of our big cities, people don’t have lights, computers, modern hospitals and schools, air conditioning – or offices, factories and shops to make things and create good jobs.
Not having electricity also means disease and death. It means millions die from lung infections, because they have to cook and heat with open fires; from intestinal diseases caused by spoiled food and unsafe drinking water; from malaria, TB, cholera, measles and other diseases that we could prevent or treat if we had proper medical facilities.
Hypothetical global warming a hundred years from now is worse than this?
Telling Africans they can’t have electricity and economic development – except what can be produced with some wind turbines or little solar panels – is immoral. It is a crime against humanity.
Meanwhile, China and India are building new coal-fired power plants every week, so that they can lift their people out of poverty. So even if Africa remains impoverished – and the US and Europe switched to windmills and nuclear power – global carbon dioxide levels would continue increasing for decades.
Even worse, the global warming crusaders don’t stop at telling us we can’t have electricity. They also campaign against biotechnology. As American, Brazilian and South African farmers will tell you, biotech seeds increase crop yields, reduce pesticide use, feed more people and help farmers earn more money. New varieties are being developed that can resist droughts – the kind Africa has always experienced, and the ones some claim will increase due to global warming.
Environmental radicals even oppose insecticides and the powerful spatial insect repellant DDT, which Uganda’s Health Ministry is safely using (along with bed nets and modern ACT drugs) to eliminate killer malaria. They claim global warming will make malaria worse. That’s ridiculous, because the disease was once found all over Europe, the United States and even Siberia.
Uganda and Africa need to stop worrying about what the West, the UN and Al Gore say. We need to focus on our own needs, resources and opportunities.
We don’t need more aid – especially the kind that goes mostly to corrupt officials who put the money in private bank accounts, hold global warming propaganda conferences and keep their own people poor. We don’t need rich countries promising climate change assistance (maybe, sometime, ten years from now), if we promise not to develop.
We need to stop acting like ignorant savages, who thought solar eclipses meant the gods were angry with them, and asked witch doctors to bring the sun back. We need to stop listening to global warming witch doctors, who get rich telling us to keep living “indigenous,” impoverished lives.
We need trade, manufacturing, electricity and transportation fuels to power modern industrial economies. We need to do what China and India are doing – develop – and trade more with them.
That is how we will get the jobs, prosperity, health and environmental quality we deserve.
Fiona Kobusingye is chairman of the human rights and economic development group CORE Uganda. In the coming months, CORE will present both Al Gore’s movie and another film, “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” at colleges and other events. It will do what Al Gore and the UN never permit: let people ask questions, debate the films and decide for themselves who is telling the truth, and what Uganda and Africa should do to make life better for their people.
Solar “Grand Minima” Threat Analysis
James A. Marusek, Nuclear Physicist and Engineer, U.S. Department of the Navy, retired
[Abstract] We are approaching a period when the sun is going quiet. In the past, these periods with few sunspots, such as the Dalton Minimum, Maunder Minimum, & Spörer Minimum, produced decades of global cooling, famine and plagues. This paper provides an analysis of the global cooling threat.
I. Solar Cycles
Solar activity, visible by the number of sunspots, varies over a cycle of approximately 11 years. This variation is defined as a solar sunspot cycle. The periodic cycle begins at a solar minimum, peaks at a solar maximum and then falls back down to the next solar minimum. The International Sunspot Index is used to define the beginning and end of each solar cycle. Currently the Earth is in a solar minimum transitioning into Solar Cycle 24.
The Sun undergoes a magnetic pole reversal approximately once every 11 years.
The Sun’s magnetic field is normally dipolar but during solar maximum, quadrupole and octupole components exist as well.It has been suggested that the sunspot cycle is related to the planetary cycle of the four major planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There are three centers of mass that are of interest, the sun, the major planets, and the solar system. Approximately once every eleven years, the four major planets are grouped ahead of the sun as the solar system moves through galactic space. This causes the sun to occupy a reciprocal position on the opposite side of the solar system’s center of mass. About eleven years later the major planets are grouped behind the sun causing it to occupy a reciprocal position ahead of the solar system’s center of mass.
The sun therefore alternately accelerates as it moves forward through galactic space and then decelerates to occupy a position behind the solar system’s center of mass. All this occurs while the solar system as a whole moves forward through galactic space. The acceleration and deceleration cause the sun to wobble in its path. The wobble creates turbulence in the sun’s interior, which is characterized by changes in sunspot activity.
II. The Quiet Sun - “Grand Minima”
The sun exhibits great variability in the strength of each solar cycle. This activity ranges from the extremely quiet “Grand Minima” such as the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715 A.D.) to a very active “Grand Maxima” such as the enhanced activity observed during most of the 20th century (1940-2000 A.D.). High energy galactic cosmic rays enter Earth’s atmosphere collide with sufficient force to cause a nuclear spallation reaction with atmospheric molecules. Some of the fission products include radionuclides 14C and 10Be, which settle down on Earth's surface. Their concentration can be measured in ice cores, allowing a reconstruction of solar activity levels into the distant past.
The sun’s magnetic field wrapped in the solar winds deflects galactic cosmic rays trying to enter the solar system and is therefore responsible for modulating production of these radioactive isotopes.............To read Mr. James Marusek’s entire article, please CLICK HERE. I highly recommend it. If you ever had any doubts that the so-called global warming “deniers” were the real scientists involved in this issue, this should go a long way toward dispelling that myth. RK
Forests of Concrete and Steel
by Paul Driessen
Spain did increase its installed wind power capacity to 10% of its total electricity, although actual energy output is 10-30% of this, or 1-3% of total electricity, because the wind is intermittent and unreliable. However, Spain spent $3.7 billion on the program in 2007 alone, King Juan Carlos University economics professor Gabriel Calzada determined.
It created 50,000 jobs, mostly installing wind turbines, at $73,000 in annual subsidies per job – and 10,000 of these jobs have already been terminated. The subsidies have been slashed, due to Spain’s growing economic problems, putting the remaining 40,000 jobs at risk.
Meanwhile, the cost of subsidized wind energy and carbon dioxide emission permits sent electricity prices soaring for other businesses – causing 2.2 jobs to be lost for every “green” job created, says Calzada. Spain’s unemployment rate is now 17% and rising. That’s hardly the “success” story so often cited by Congress and the Obama Administration.
Across the Channel, Britain’s biggest wind-energy projects are in trouble. Just as the UK government announced its goal of creating 400,000 eco-jobs by 2015, major green energy employer Vestas UK is ending production. All 7,000 turbines that Downing Street just committed to installing over the next decade will be manufactured – not in Britain, but in Germany, Denmark and China.
For businesses, existing global warming policies have added 21% to industrial electricity bills since 2001, and this will rise to 55% by 2020, the UK government admits. Its latest renewable energy strategy will add another 15% – meaning the total impact on British industry will likely be a prohibitive 70% cost increase over two decades. This is the result of the government’s plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions 34% below 1990 levels by 2020, and increase the share of renewables, especially wind, from 6% to 31% of Britain’s electricity.
These cost hikes could make British manufacturers uncompetitive, and send thousands more jobs overseas, the Energy Intensive Users Group reports. English steel mills could become “unable to compete globally, even at current domestic energy prices,” says British journalist Dominic Lawson; “but deliberately to make them uncompetitive is industrial vandalism – and even madness … a futile gesture ... and immoral.”
On this side of the pond, President Obama and anti-hydrocarbon members of Congress are promoting “green” energy and jobs, via new mandates, standards, tax breaks and subsidies. However, the United States would need 180,000 1.5-megawatt wind turbines by 2020, just to generate the 600 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity that compliance with the narrowly passed Waxman-Markey global warming bill would necessitate, retired energy and nuclear engineering professor James Rust calculates.
This would require millions of acres of scenic, habitat and agricultural lands, and 126 million tons of concrete, steel, fiberglass and “rare earth” minerals for the turbines, at 700 tons per turbine; prodigious quantities of concrete, steel, copper and land for new transmission lines; and still more land, fuel and raw materials for backup gas-fired generators. America’s new national forests will apparently be made of concrete and steel.
Those miners and drillers would likely be reclassified as “green” workers, based on the intended purpose of their output. However, the raw materials will probably not be produced in the States, because so many lands, prospects and deposits are off limits – and NIMBY litigation will further hamper resource extraction.
Air quality laws and skyrocketing energy costs (due to carbon taxes and expensive renewable energy mandates) will make wind turbine (and solar panel) manufacturing in the USA equally improbable. Thus, manufacturing could well be in China or India, and most “green” jobs could be for installers, as Spain and Britain discovered.
Posturing has already collided with reality in Texas, the nation’s wind energy capital. Austin’s GreenChoice program cannot find buyers for electricity generated entirely from wind and solar power. Its latest sales scheme has been a massive flop: after seven months, 99% of its recent electricity offering remains unsold.
Austin officials admit that “times have changed,” and the recession and falling energy prices may make it impossible for the city to meet its lofty goals. The company’s renewable electricity now costs almost three times more than standard electricity, and even eco-conscious consumers care more about the color of their money than the hue of their purported ideology.
Even worse for global warming alarmists and renewable energy advocates and rent seekers, global warming patterns have reversed during the past decade. Satellite data reveal that the planet is cooling, despite steadily rising carbon dioxide levels, and summertime low temperature records are being broken all over the United States.
You better hope global warming is caused by manmade co2 if youre investing in [renewable] sectors, says Daniel Rice, the past decade’s best-performing US equity fund manager (BlackRock Energy and Resources Fund). But evidence for manmade catastrophic global warming is dissipating faster than carbon dioxide from an open soda bottle on a hot summer day.
The crucial fact remains: wind and solar are simply not economical without major government subsidies or monstrous carbon taxes. Moreover, cap-and-tax legislation currently being promoted in the House and Senate is “not enough to do anything” about supposed global warming disasters notes Rice.
“All it does is provide Obama a pass to Copenhagen,” where the UN will host a climate change conference in December, Rice says. And those subsidies and taxes would drive energy prices still higher, killing jobs and skyrocketing the cost of everything we eat, drive, heat, cool, grow, make and do.
Congress and the Administration are dragging their feet on nuclear power, closing off access to more resource-rich lands, and imposing layers of new regulations on oil, gas and coal energy – denying Americans these vast stores of energy and hundreds of billions in revenue that developing them would generate. Meanwhile, slick wind turbine ad campaigns promote expensive, heavily subsidized, unreliable technologies that only climate activists and company lobbyists would describe as sustainable, affordable, eco-friendly or socially responsible.
The ads and lobbyists seek more mandates, tax breaks and subsidies. Wind promoters want to quiet opponents long enough to get energy and climate legislation enacted – before Americans realize how it would drive the price of energy still higher, kill jobs, curtail living standards and liberties, and raise the cost of everything we eat, drive, heat, cool, grow, make and do.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
“What’s Bugging You?”
Column for CVE Reporter for Sept 09
(Harry Katz is in his 90's now and is still a legendary defender of the pest control industry. Harry is probably the last of the old guard; those who were in leadership roles when all of this came into being. I would like to thank Harry for giving me permission to post his articles and for the interesting conversations about those days and the people involved. Harry and his peers were the giants of our industry whose shoulders we stand on today. RK)
Fear of pesticides is evident in the calls that I get for help with pest control problems. There is a good reason. Some fifty years ago, toxic materials were used indiscriminately by exterminators and the public. I recall a tragic even in the 1940’s in Pittsburgh, PA. A chef in the Salvation Army soup kitchen mistook white sodium fluoride roach powder for baking soda. Several men died. Congress then passed the first pesticide regulatory bill making sodium fluoride colored blue.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was enacted after Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring” in 1962. EPA regulated the labeling and sale of all pesticides, providing an exaggerated margin of safety for the public. With elegant language, she painted a bleak future for the environment, citing disastrous examples of pesticide poisoning. One case that she cited was how a Penn State researcher lost the sight of one eye after testing the first batch of chlordane that was made. She neglected to report that the Velsicol Corp was able to remove the offending contaminant before marketing the product.
Clearly, Rachel Carson wrote the book to alert the public and to save lives. Unwittingly, her book may have contributed to the deaths of millions in the third world. In 1948, one country, Ceylon, had 2, 800, 000 cases of malaria. In 1962, after DDT was used, only 31 cases were reported. When DDT was banned in 1968, the number jumped to 1, 000.000, and in 1969 jumped to 2,500,000 (p69, “Toxic Terror” by Dr Elizabeth Whelan).
In 1969, my friend in Pittsburgh, PA, Carroll Weil, was appointed to the MRAK commission to investigate Rachel Carson’s demand to outlaw DDT. Carroll was the President of the Toxicological Society of America and a Fellow at the prestigious Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. After reviewing all the data submitted on the procedures that were used to test DDT as a carcinogen, he found them to be faulty and refused to make the committee decision to ban DDT unanimous. After arguing late into the night, the committee promised to publish his addendum in a minority report. He then agreed to make it unanimous and that proved to be the death knell for millions in third world countries. Only 3 ounces of DDT solution sprayed on the interior walls of the huts would have greatly reduced malaria deaths.
Shortly after “Silent Spring” was published, a California exterminator, R.B. Loibl, pulled a publicity stunt. Fully aware of the possible hazards of DDT, he got his physician to measure out 10 ml of DDT solution which he and his wife voluntarily ingested for 90 days. He was monitored closely and there were no apparent repercussions. A year later, I met him at a convention of the National Pest Control Association. He was dancing with his wife after dinner on the closing day, even with impaired leg…a condition he had had for many years.
The Century Village caller had asked me if he should clean up the area where the pest management serviceman had sprayed. I told him that there could be immature cockroaches emerging from a hidden egg capsule. The film of dried-up toxicant could kill them , along with any new invasion of ants or other crawling insects.
Bottom line: There should be no fear from the use of pesticides, if the directions on the label are carefully followed.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Dear Mr. Weber
Most of us remember the article that appeared in Smart Money called; “10 Things Your Exterminator Won’t Tell You”, written in 2007. I saw that it was published recently again, but I didn’t really pay any attention to it nor did I compare it with the first one, as I just assumed it was the same type of stuff that went around the first time.
Little did I know that it was the same article! Kudos to Frank Andorka, Editorial Director of Pest Management Professional magazine, who did pay attention and did notice that it was the same article! But most importantly, he decided to do something about it. I am pleased that Frank has allowed me to reprint his letter to Tom Weber, Editor of Smart Money magazine.
When I first heard that Smart Money magazine had run a piece called “10 Things Your Exterminator Won’t Tell You,” I honestly thought it was a joke. After all, Ken Bensinger had already written that piece in 2007, and the industry did a good job of debunking it. I thought there’s no way a magazine with the reputation of Smart Money would try those scare people into not trusting their pest management professionals (PMPs) with the same sketchy journalism that they used the last time, would they?
But I went to the Web site and searched the title, there it was, published on July 21, 2009. Same headline, same writer, same scurrilous lies — I could hardly believe my eyes.
As if it couldn’t get any worse, it actually did. Not only was it a similar story, it was the same story. Word for word (well, you changed the headline on the first item, but that’s it). For the record, you slandered the PMPs you quoted once around, and now you’re doing it again. And I’m sure that Bonnie Rabe, the current president of the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, would be surprised to find out Steve Dwinnell had staged a coup to regain the position he held two years ago.
On another factual note, Michael Weisburger left his position as the president of “the nation’s largest pest control insurer” shortly after this hit-piece came out originally, although he is now back in the industry with his new venture called Planet PCO.
As one journalist to another, I need to ask you: What sort of standards do you have that you would rerun this piece without even trying to fix the errors and updating it? That’s more than dishonest, it’s lazy.
I would like to offer you the opportunity to defend the piece and its writer. At a day and time of your choosing, I would like to do a podcast with you so that you can answer questions about where you got the information for your article and why you feel the need to write derisively about the pest management industry every two years, a cycle as regular as the plague of locusts. I’ll even send you the questions in advance to avoid an ambush. What do you say?
Given what you had written in the piece in 2007, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that Smart Money would do it again. But it did — and it still saddens me. I hope you will do the industry the courtesy of answering their questions of you — I await your response.
Frank H. Andorka Jr.
Pest Management Professional
A Questex Media Group Publication
Integrated Media Solutions for Business
600 Superior Avenue East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
We will look forward to a follow up. In the meanwhile, the Col. John Boyd Award goes to Frank Andorka.
Killing Pesticides, Not Pests
We are going to go from cotton fields to bedrooms in order to connect the dots on the many ways the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups have conspired to deprive Americans of beneficial chemicals that protect crops and humans from insect pests.
Only a scant two percent of the U.S. population engages in the farming that feeds all the rest of us and provides a bounty for export. Farm kids will tell you how they were on a tractor by the age of eight or nine, working the fields from early morning until dusk. When they get older, a lot of them decide to take up another way of making a living because farming is very hard work.
Since the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, not to mention the Department of Agriculture, a life spent farming has become increasingly more difficult thanks to the endless regulations regarding land and water use, what products they can use to fend off the pests and weeds that attack crops, and the manner in which they can be applied.
Why should this matter to you? Ask yourself that question while you are prowling the aisles in your favorite supermarket. Here’s the equation to keep in mind: No farmers. No food. And that includes livestock that depend on feed like hay and grains. If you like a nice cotton shirt or dress, remember that it started in a farmer’s field.
On August 3, the Western Environmental Law Center sent out a news release to brag about that way the 6th Circuit had issued an order denying the pesticide industry’s petition for rehearing in National Cotton Council v. EPA No. 06-4630. The order upheld the Court’s earlier finding that pesticide residuals and biological pesticides constitute pollutants under the Clean Water Act.
Just about everything is a “pollutant” as far as the EPA is concerned, but they really hate pesticides. Now farmers seeking to protect their crops will be required to get a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. If their neighbors or just about anyone objects, they won’t get it.
Let me tell you about some of the pests that attack cotton. They include Alfalfa Looper, Boll Weevil Song, Cotton Bollworm, Cutworms, Leafhoppers, Pink Bollworm, Saltmarsh Catapillers, Silverfish Whitefly, Webspinning Spider Mites, and something called Thrips.
Those are just a few of the insect pests that attack a cotton crop and they are just a few of the hundreds of insect species with which farmers of every kind of crop must contend. The invention of pesticides tipped the struggle in their favor, allowing them to protect crops in a fashion that permits them to feed the rest of us.
Now, here’s where it goes beyond just the problems farmers encounter. The rest of us are subject to every kind of disease imaginable because a lot of insect pests transmit them. They did so quite famously during the Black Death that wiped out a third of Europe’s population and, these days, they spread Lyme Disease, West Nile Fever, Rocky Mountain Fever, Dysentery, and all manner of nasty stuff, including the Bubonic plague.
By 1996 the EPA had whipped up everybody’s fears that pesticides were so harmful to children that even more regulation was needed, so Congress obligingly passed the Food Quality Protection Act and it amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
While it is true that the EPA hasn’t banned a pesticide since DDT, it is equally true that it has found all kinds of ways to eliminate a variety of pesticides from use. Usually they cite “studies” in which some rats are stuffed so full of high doses of a pesticide that it causes them to become ill. Short of drinking a pesticide directly from the bottle, this is not likely to happen to you. Most structural pesticides are so diluted when applied that they are a threat solely to the pests.
All of which means that, while the farmers are encountering difficulty dealing with Mother Nature’s nasty creatures, the rest of us are increasingly vulnerable to them as well. A case in point is the raging population of bed bugs that was the subject of a recent EPA “summit.”
Simply put, if the EPA had not forced Ficam, a bendiocarb applied with water, and chlorpyrifos, formerly known as Dursban off the market, there would be NO bedbug problem because either one of these excellent pesticides would eliminate them.
The EPA’s message to us is that we should learn to love bedbugs because they are difficult and costly to eliminate these days. Fortunately, they do not spread disease.
And you thought the EPA was “protecting” you?
No, they are protecting the “environment.”
Caruba blogs daily at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. A business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center.
Monday, August 3, 2009
The Nature of Nature; Common Sense, Part II
An article by Thomas L. Friedman called the Age of Interruption elicited some comments from his readers, including this letter from someone who claims to be Cynthia Emerlye of South Pomfret, Vt. and appeared in the New York Times on July 5, 2006 where-in she waxed eloquent about the need to embrace nature.
(Editor’s note: I don’t believe that Cynthia Emerlye of South Pomfret, Vt. is a person. This is the name of a company in that town and it was probably written by some employee who wished to remain anonymous. RK)People keep yammering about the need to “return to nature” in order to restore their humanity and save the planet. Return to organic farming and eliminate pesticides and chemical fertilizers. No genetically modified foods, no roads, no cars, no electricity, no modern central heating or cooling in the home.
Having grown up on a farm in an area that had a substantial number of wells, springs and cisterns as water sources, along with outside toilets for personal use, I am somewhat familiar with the concept.
I remember well, and with great nostalgia, those starlit nights when I would lay on my back and see the great expanse of the Milky Way. In the country it is far more expansive than you could ever see in the city, or for that matter, even imagine in the city. You felt as if you were looking past eternity. You would be surprised at how many shooting stars appear on a clear night.
The problem with that is this…..Life isn’t lived that way. Those grand nights weren’t every night, and during the day those sights can’t be seen at all - and the memory of them doesn’t ease the burdens of everyday living. Just because these moments are prized and cherished by those of us who were able to enjoy them doesn’t alter the fact that the rest of the time was substantially more difficult. In other words; the farm is nice place to get away and visit, but I don’t want to live there anymore.
It's interesting that the people who lived that way didn’t quite see life the way these romantic greenies present it.
• When electricity was introduced into rural areas, very few said…"no, none of that throwing the switch stuff just to get light for me."
• When running water was introduced into these areas, very few said…."no, I would rather haul gallons and gallons of water up from the spring."
I had uncles and an aunt that did that. I want to see these romantic greenies do that on the first wash day. Does it ever occur to anyone to ask: If primitive was so good in the past; why did they ever abandon it in the past? If primitive is so great today….why do those who have the opportunity abandon primitive today abandon it so readily? I read about celebrities who rave about an outdoor experience as if they have had an epiphany….and then they go home. If it was so great….why didn’t they stay….forever?
Apparently Friedman really "loved" it for four days. I would have liked to have interviewed his guide, who knew every "chirp" in the jungle, and see if he would rather live with his family in modern America or primitive areas of South America.
Clearly, this is what some really desire and they would find contentment with this lifestyle, and those who wish to abandon modern life and revert back to nature have my blessing. As for everyone else, I think this is something most people would really hate. Worse yet; I think few would survive.
This quote appeared in the Blog Café Hayek regarding this letter. “Consider, for example, Thomas Babington Macaulay's description of life in the 17th-century Scottish highlands -- before anything beyond rudimentary commerce and industry reach there:”
“His lodging would sometimes have been in a hut of which every nook would have swarmed with vermin. He would have inhaled an atmosphere thick with peat smoke, and foul with a hundred noisome exhalations. At supper grain fit only for horses would have been set before him, accompanied by a cake of blood drawn from living cows. Some of the company with which he would have feasted would have been covered with cutaneous eruptions, and others would have been smeared with tar like sheep. His couch would have been the bare earth, dry or wet as the weather might be; and from that couch he would have risen half poisoned with stench, half blind with the reek of turf, and half mad with the itch.”I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like a good time to me. The movies don’t really depict the true nature of life in ancient times. It was brutal, ugly, backbreaking, uncomfortable, unhealthy, and most importantly; very short lived. This, is the embrace of nature.
We may wish to embrace nature in a loving way, and I think this is a good overall attitude, but let’s not lose sight of reality. Nature has no loving embrace for us in return. Nature is unthinking, brutal, unkind, uncaring, unhealthy and will make life short lived for those who aren’t prepared to change their environment in order to survive.
Nature will shine on us one day and rain on us the next. It doesn’t care, nor is nature able to care. Nature is an environmental machine that operates under a set of laws, and those laws have no human concepts of reality or compassion. Let’s stop being anthropomorphic about nature. Nature has no human qualities, period.
How many of us really want to go back to those eras? If we did, how may would survive the first year? How many really know how to produce the food they would need to survive? If you were able to produce enough food to survive, how do you preserve meats, fruits and vegetables without refrigeration or canning processes? If you did grow enough grain to get through the winter how would you process it and store it?
It was done in the old days. Do you know how? How many really do? To some extant I do, but none of that has any appeal for me at all. I have no desire to embrace primitivism, and I don’t seem to see the greenies embracing it as a permanent life style either. They pontificate about the glories of primitive living from the comforts and well laid tables of the modern world.
The environment has to be properly cared for, but all things in nature must be used as a means of survival. I am not talking about abusing nature. Having grown up on a small farm I know and understand the concepts of conservation (there is a difference between conservation and preservation) for future utilization. It is just like a bank account, if you deplete it there is nothing left. Nature does not think and does not care. Nature has no feelings, no concerns and no desires. Nature is here for our use and our benefit, not the other way around. We are not imposing on nature. Nature belongs to us.
I don’t really believe that this lady really intends for her comments to be taken to the above stated extremes, but these odes to nature have an impact on people’s emotions. Clear analytical thought becomes very difficult when living in an imaginary world of serendipity.
In the Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, wonderful, valuable and agreeable things not sought for suddenly would appear. To embrace nature for its beauty and grandeur is fortifying to the spirit, but to embrace in order to humanize it as if nature was warm, wonderful and serendipitous; is to place it above mankind.
It isn’t very bright either!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Alphabet Soup IPM; Common Sense, Part I
Heisenberg’s uncertainty Theory – The more closely you study the subject the less clearly defined it becomes.
Recently there was an IPM/bed bug study produced by Purdue University that took place in a bed bug project which was to determine which type of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) would be most efficacious and cost effective. In the abstract it outlines the program which was to last ten weeks in sixteen bed bug infested high rise low income apartments.
There was to be two treatment styles with apartments allotted for each style of “IPM” treatment. The first was designated as (D-IPM) with diatomaceous earth being the basis for treatment. The second was (S-IPM) with Phantom as the basis for control. Steam treatments and interceptors were also used. In the end the results were much the same. After bi-weekly inspections the costs were $463 and $482 per apartment respectively. There was also a fifty percent failure rate. That’s right! Fifty percent of the apartments were still infested after ten weeks of treatment.
A fifty percent failure rate; and they needed to fund a study to find this out? I would have been willing to tell them that at a fraction of the price. And just how long do we think that it will be before the apartments that were swept clean of bed bugs will be re-infested?
Was this study a failure or a success? If viewed in the traditional concept of failure and success, it would have to be a failure. In many ways it was a failure and in some ways it was a success because it highlights a number of things about IPM that have been a source of discussion between those who worship at the altar of IPM and those of us who believe that what they are promoting as IPM doesn’t exist in structural pest control, because so-called IPM is merely pest control with inadequate tools, which we will explore farther along.
First let’s look at whether this study was a failure or a success. Was it intended to be either? What was this study intended to do. Who benefited from this study? I intend to explore all of these issues.
Very often studies aren’t intended to be failures or successes as we may view things in those terms. They are very often merely designed to see what happens when (X) is done, in other words, “if we do this, what will be the results?” This seems to be the case.
I have had time to think about this and I have come to the conclusion that this study was a glorious success. It was a success because it highlights some important facts that we seem unwilling to face regarding IPM, especially involving bed bug control.
• This is a failure of priceThis study was a glorious success because it highlights that fact that ultimately the customer, and society as a whole, is paying the price and will continue to pay the price, for environmental regulations that were not based on science, but ideology.
• This is a failure of performance because of inadequate tools
• This is a failure of time
• This is failure of product
• This is a failure of definition
• This is a failure of public confidence
• This is a failure of good public health practices
• This is a success in that it points out what happens in the real world, with real people, living real lives.
• This is a success in pointing out that there is no such thing as an IPM methodology.
• This is a success in pointing out that the average person cannot afford Alphabet Soup IPM
• This is a success for grant chasers
IPM became the catch word to justify the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA, which along with re-registration, drove products off the market that worked. It is my view that justifying FQPA is what's behind this mad drive to impose IPM. If EPA wasn’t funding IPM it wouldn’t exist in structural pest control. The fact is that IPM in structural pest control has no logical foundation, and can only exists in structural pest control because the federal government says it exists.
They have been successful in removing products from the market that work. They must now be able to show that there is something to replace these products in order to further their goal to eventually eliminate all pesticides. IPM is their answer to pesticides; only it isn’t working.
We shouldn’t delude ourselves about this at all. Every pesticide category that has existed has come under attack in some manner or other from EPA and the greenies, and those products have been eliminated from the structural pest control arsenal. They may have some limited applications elsewhere, but for our purposes; that is immaterial. Chlorinated hydrocarbons are gone, organophosphates are mostly gone, Methyl carbamates are mostly gone and now pyrethroids are coming up for review with the goal of eliminating them also.
True, we now have neonicotinoids and pyrroles such as Phantom, but they apparently not the answer either. And Termidor isn’t labeled for inside use, but that is immaterial becuase it doesn't kill bed bugs. One more point. There has been no pesticide used in structural pest control that has been “banned” since DDT. The EPA has used all sorts of schemes to attain their goals, but outright banning hasn’t been one of them since DDT.
Everyone would like to avoid the fact that this just isn’t just a public health issue, it is an ideological battle; THAT IS THE REAL ISSUE! Bedbugs are merely a symptom to the affliction of ideology versus reality; of green mythology versus truth. We must come face to face with these questions:
- Does IPM really exist in structural pest control?
- What is more important; making IPM sacrosanct or eliminating bed bugs?
- If bed bugs transmitted the plague as fleas do, would we be having this discussion?
IPM was an economic program outlined in 1959 in an obscure agricultural magazine, Hilgardia, that being a certain amount of pests cause a certain amount of damage, and certain amount of pesticide costs certain about of money, when the threshold limit of pests causes more damage than the cost of pesticides, then a pesticide application was made. That is pretty straight forward. Now THAT is IPM!
How can anyone translate that into structural pest control? The very idea that IPM is something separate or better than what is called traditional pest control is inherently flawed thinking. There is no threshold limit of pests in homes and businesses.
I have been told the IPM is a successful methodology. Really? Apparently these researchers at Purdue aren’t aware of this “methodology” since they now have an alphabet soup of IPM “methodologies”. S-IPM and D-IPM, with (S-IPM) standing for Phantom IPM, (pun intended). Well then, how about these as designations? (SDU-IPM) for Dursban-IPM, or (SF-IPM) for Ficam-IPM, or (SDI-IPM) Diazinon-IPM. It is clear that the IPM can be defined and redefined unendingly. Why? Because IPM in structural pest control is an ideology. It is not now nor will it ever be a methodology!
Before we further explore what IPM is or isn’t, we need to define what pest control is. Pest control isn’t a methodology either; it is a practice, much like medicine. Don’t get your shorts all bunched up in a knot. Pest control is a practice exactly like medicine, and here's why.
In medicine the doctor (practitioner) examines the patient. In pest control the technician (practitioner) inspects the property. In medicine the practitioner makes a diagnosis. In pest control the practitioner identifies the pest. In medicine the practitioner determines the treatment the will give the quickest most efficacious relief possible. In pest control the practitioner determines the treatment that will give the quickest most efficacious relief possible. In medicine the practitioner outlines a program of preventative health care. In pest control the practitioner outlines a program of preventative applications.
Here is the rub. Does the doctor go through a list of techniques or products before he prescribes the one that will work the best? NO! Does the doctor start his treatment process by “bleeding” his patients first before moving on to more effective methods? NO! Yet those promoting IPM continue to demand that a whole host of hoops be jumped through before a pesticide application is made, insisting that pesticides are to be used only as a last resort. Even the EPA doesn't officially define IPM in that fashion. Are we to first resort to old techniques that became passe when pesticides were developed? If those techniques were so great; why did they abandon them for modern pest control in the first place?
Why should an experienced practitioner have to follow a circuitous plan from people who will do anything, or say anything, to eliminate pesticides? People who aren’t practitioners of pest control and aren’t responsible for the outcome?
- Do we really believe that the activists and their acolytes in government know how to treat a structure better than those in pest control?
- Do we really believe that all the theoretical health claims made by these people are true?
- Do we believe that everything we have been doing for over sixty years has been wrong?
I recently sent out a article that appeared on Monday, July 27, 2009 entitled, “Co-op hair-raiser: $250,000 bed bug bill”, that discussed the “total cost to make the three-tower, 217-unit Theater District co-op a bloodsucker-free zone: $250,000.” The article went on to say, “in addition, everything in the basement storage lockers was packed in impermeable containers and shipped to an off-site exterminator, while the storage rooms were treated. From now on, residents must put all their stored belongings in plastic bins with air-tight gaskets, or double wrap them in airtight plastics. The bug-sniffing beagle visits every week for now, and will eventually return three times a year. (This must be (DOG-IPM) for dog Integrated Pest Management. RK) The $250,000 bloodletting was paid from the building's reserve funds. A board member said it was a bargain compared to the cost of a bigger infestation. Scary. Is anyone is selling bed bug insurance policies yet?”
And this was a bargain?
- Do we really believe that this kind of service is available to the average person?
- Do we really believe that this is the answer to the EPA created plague?
- Do we really believe that people are going to stand for this while self-righteous activists inside and outside of the industry pontificate about the glories of IPM?
- I would like someone to once again explain to me why blaming EPA isn't the answer, especially since at the regulatory level they are the only ones capable of ending this problem.
- I would like for someone to also explain to me why anyone clings to the idea that chemistry isn't the answer.
- I would like someone to explain to me why chemistry was the answer 1946 but it isn’t now.
- I would like someone to explain to me why these so-called IPM programs that require unique technology, unending recalls, excessive amounts of money (that most people will be incapable of paying) and eventually repeated pesticide treatments with products that are inadequate is better for the public than what it replaced.
- I would like someone to explain to me why Dursban, Ficam and a host of other products that EPA forced off the market was so much worse for the public.
So we come to this question; why do those in research defend and promote this noxious policy so fiercely? Because there is a lot of money involved! Things like the Butterfield Bill are a classic example of what I am talking about. Fifty million a year and bed bugs will be no closer to being eliminated than before. However there will be loads of money for grant chasers. As for government support of this; along with the fact that many government agencies are infested with anti-pesticide activists, bureaucracies live to grow and IPM, the Butterfield Bill, the EPA Bed Bug Summits aid in unending growth.
Do these researchers really believe that IPM is the answer? Do they really believe that the products we lost caused all the terrible health problems that the EPA and the greenies claim? If they do; then they need to say so. If they don’t; then they need to say so. One of these researchers actually said that they ought to build a statue to Rachel Carson because of all the research money that came their way to “study” pesticides as a result of her book and the movement it stirred. What is it all about; grant money or truth? Where are our priorities?
But what about the public? Who will speak for them? Who will answer to them?
There are two great books out there that you may find interesting. The first one is by the American Council on Science and Health, called “Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? Scientific and Regulatory Issues in Perspective, and Bjorn Lomborg’s, “Skeptical Environmentalist”. Lomborg’s book is very long, deals with all environmental issues, and is highly technical; but anyone who reads it will become very authoritative on green subjects, and many of the actors.