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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Monday, December 28, 2009

Who Raises A Banner That Says: I Stand For Consensus!

Rich Kozlovich

I sent out a Green Notes newsletter each week in 2009. I have had people e-mail me saying “thank you for all the work that you do” putting together these fifty two issues. Naturally I am always flattered and I thank them for making me feel as if it isn’t all in vain, but there isn’t really as much work as you might think….at least for me. I would have been reading these articles and researching the information anyway. That’s where the most time is involved, so after that, it’s pretty much a snap. Perhaps what makes it all special is the desire to share this information; which is appreciated and enjoyed , or irritating depending on one’s point of view.

At the end of the year I go back and take all the issues and break them down into the individual categories and archive those links by subject. If it is an Endangered Species Act subject that I have an interest in I can go back and find the article dealing with that subject much more easily. I also break these articles down into animal categories.

In most of my Green Notes issues I have a section called, “Quotes of the Week”. As I was going through all of the quotes I couldn’t help thinking how insightful some of them were when all of a sudden I had a SHAZAM moment. Why not create a readable article out of nothing but these quotes even if they have to be paraphrased?

I am going to have to watch those SHAZAM moments! I keep forgetting that I have a job that interferes with my life; if I had known how much work this was going to turn out to be I wouldn’t have undertaken this task in the first place, but……. Here it is!

For me, pragmatism is not enough, nor is that fashionable word consensus. To me consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects—the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner "I stand for consensus"?

Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us . Opposing this new authoritarian collectivist green offensive is "The Battle of Our Times" . For me, the laws of physics are not subject to change by virtue of a public consensus or declarations of highly placed politicians and government science bureaucrats. We're under attack by a lot of alarmists . We must learn and remember that the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary .

The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false. I have said more than once that history never repeats itself: what happens is that people keep forgetting it . Show me someone who does not read books and I will show you someone lost in the fog of propaganda, manipulation, and the lies that pass for the news of the day. Books can tell you who you are, what you believe, and why. They always leave you changed in some fashion .

Fortunate is the person who can look back at his or her life and say, "I would do it all again, the same way.” Most of us mortals have made mistakes, sometimes too many to count. Some mistakes have to do with career. Some have to do with money. Some have to do with other poor decisions and poor choices – reconsidered, of course, with the benefit of hindsight. But the ones that cause the most regret and the most pain have to do with the treatment of other people – especially those who loved and trusted us. We finally discover the value and worth of what we once had and failed to appreciate . Let all who are here remember that we are on the stage of history, and that whatever our station may be, and whatever part we have to play, great or small, our conduct is liable to be scrutinized, not only by history, but by our own descendants .

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane . Losing liberty over a theoretical threat is the main concern here (no one has ever been killed by manmade global warming. because there is no way to distinguish manmade warming from natural) . We have all been lied to by a shameless confederation of scientists, their professional publications, their formal organizations, and politicians seeking to use this big scare to advance their careers and agendas. The problem for all of them is that the real science does not support global warming and never did. Real scientists, branded dissenters, skeptics, and deniers, held true to the principles of science, knowing that it would eventually end this vast and terrible hoax .

We keep hearing outrageous statements from the greenies claiming that modern living is killing us and they repeat things they know are false over and over again. The Bolsheviks discovered that truth does not matter so long as there is reiteration. The greenies have no difficulty whatever in countering a fact by a lie which, if repeated often enough and loudly enough, becomes accepted by the people .

It ain’t what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's the things you know for sure that just ain't so . Think about the things that have improved our lives the most over the past century – medical advances, the transportation revolution, huge increases in consumer goods, dramatic improvements in housing, the computer revolution. The people who created these things – the doers – are not popular heroes. Our heroes are the talkers who complain about the doers .

In 1900, the world supported 56 billion human life years, notes climatologist John Christy: 1.6 billion people times a 35-year average life span. Today it supports 429 billion life years: 6.5 billion people times a 66-year average life span – and they live far better than anyone in history . Then ask yourself….do I really want to abandon what we have to live in squalor and dystopia? Because that is the alternative!

Greenies don't like tidal power, it might upset the fish, you know. So: Coal, nuclear and hydroelectric are positively EVIL; windmills are no good; tidal power is no good. There's just no such thing as a happy Greenie . What is the alternative? What will make the greenies happy? Make no mistake: Living green is really about someone else micro-regulating you -- downsizing your dreams and plugging each one of us into a brand new social order for which we never bargained .

Journalists have generally given up on seeking to understand science, but instead look for the next scientist who will say something strange so that they have a “story” . Credibility has to be earned, and once it’s squandered may never be recovered , and with the internet we have discovered that the media squandered any credibility they had many years ago.

Let’s just take Global Warming scares promoted by the media. Newspapers should think about the damage they are doing to many persons, particularly young kids, by spreading the exaggerated views of a human impact on climate. As far as I can see the IPCC 'Global Temperature' is wrong. Temperature is fluctuating but it is still most places cooler than in the 1930s and 1940s.

It will take about 800 years before the water level has increased by one meter" Changes in solar irradiation have been the dominant causes of changes in climate. Volcanic eruptions can have caused some cooling events and greenhouse gases may have contributed to the increase in temperature over the last decades. However, the influence of solar variability has been the major forcing factor and will probably also remain so in the future .

Every totalitarian regime needs its defining myth. With the Nazis, it was the “Aryan” fantasy of racial purity. With the USSR, it was the dictatorship of the proletariat. With secularized, semi-pagan Western societies in historic decline, it is global warming .

Environmentalists-even mainstream environmentalists are less concerned about any crisis posed by global warming than they are eager to command human behavior and restrict economic activity. Their true plans and ambitions: to stop economic development and return mankind centuries back. They are interested in their businesses and their profits made with the help of politicians” . Take away the grant money and they will go away.

Why are economic conditions chaotic? The reason is simple. Americans no longer possess the freedom to produce the goods and services required to maintain their former standard of living. Taxation – both direct and indirect through currency inflation – runaway government regulation and government-sponsored-and-encouraged litigation have reduced the productivity of Americans below that required to maintain their way of life. This tyranny – this economic slavery – has been produced entirely by the federal and state governments of the United States .

Science has traditionally been held in high esteem. That clearly is no longer the case. What has changed? The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming? In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy , yet those who dared question the “consensus science” of the warmers were declared, skeptics and deniers such as the holocaust deniers. In short…they were called heretics.

What is the mission of the environmentalists? To spread the truth! No matter how many lies it takes. Green activists will always be outraged about something. What outrages them on any given day will depend on the emotions they are feeling on any given day . This is where I really have a problem with modern-day environmentalism; it confuses opinion with what we know to be true, and disguises what are really political agendas with environmental rhetoric . Those who talk about climate change are the same ones who occupy the tenth circle of Hell for many Americans: Politicians, the Media, Scientists, Educators, Hippies, and Showbiz types. So it’s a moral imperative to be against what they’re for .
“The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity. The pain and suffering it is inflicting on families in developing countries must no longer be tolerated. Eco-Imperialism is the first book I’ve seen that tells the truth and lays it on the line. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about people, progress and our planet.” – Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder
It’s bad enough that politicians and scientists have been drinking the Kool-Aid, what is truly amazing is how many corporate types have been imbibing and buying into these anti-business Corporate Social Responsibility scenarios. When the corporate Neville Chamberlains ultimately forfeit their salaries, bonuses and their jobs thanks to their spineless leadership and the anti-capitalism cabal that now inhabits wine and cheese bars in the District of Columbia, I hope to be around to ask this simple question: “So, how’s that hope and change working out for you ?

Climate change is not a scientific problem that found political support; this is about eco-activists and politicians who found a scientific issue they feel can leverage them into power and control. The environment is a great way to advance a political agenda that favors central planning and an intrusive government. What better way to control someone’s property than to subordinate one’s private property rights to environmental concerns . If the congressional, administration and activist conspirators behind this massive deceit were in the private sector – peddling bogus drugs, rather than bogus science – they’d quickly become convicts. Instead of jail time, though, they’ll probably get bonus checks . It is time to clean out the climate cesspool, and bring integrity, transparency and accountability back to science, law and public policy .

There is one good thing about the lunatic "global warming" catechism now taught our youth in the mandatory government youth propaganda camps : When they are finally forced to admit that the globe has been cooling again, not warming, for the past decade, yet proceed to demand precisely the same remedies for "global cooling" (which they will cleverly dub "climate change") as they did for "global warming" -- that is to say higher electric bills, more government controls, taxes sufficient to cripple our industrial economy and generally lower our standard of living in keeping with the world socialist doctrine that America and particularly the "capitalist rich" must be "punished" and "made to sacrifice" in penitence for our former prosperity -- there is finally a decent chance they'll simply be laughed out of town .

Recently I was foolish enough to try to reason with an environmentalist. But it became obvious that he had his mind made up and didn't want to hear any evidence to the contrary. The Pope is more likely to have read Karl Marx than an environmentalist is to have read even a single book that criticized environmentalism .

The EPA's muddled machinations should not come as a surprise, because the agency long has been a haven for scientifically insupportable policies perpetrated by anti-technology ideologues in career and appointed positions. It has a sordid history of incompetence, duplicity, and pandering to the most extreme factions of the environmental movement, all of which appears to be accelerating . The environmental movement has become so radical as to be an easily identified hazard to American life, and the EPA is not on my list of favorite agencies .

There is no dealing with the greenies. They will never be satisfied and as for those who wish to define green and adopt it as a business model and make the green movement partners of some sort; let me help you! Green is a mixture of blue and yellow. That is the only factual definition of green that will stand the test of time. After that; any other definition is a corruption of a perfectly nice color. Remember, when you dance with the Devil you won’t call the tune, you won’t choose the dance, you won’t lead, you can’t change partners and you may not be allowed to leave the dance.

When I wrote this article in Word I inserted foot notes with numbers that linked the quotes to the names listed below.  I can't seem to get blogger to accept this set up, so I just listed the names.  Suffice it to say the 99% of this article are the quotes.  I inserted some of my words in order to link the quotes.  If you wish to see the names that go with the quotes, please to Green Notes Quotes 2009.   RK

Margaret Thatcher in a 1981 speech:
Ludwig von Mises
Viv Forbes
James A. Peden , atmospheric physicist
Dan Miller, a publisher at the Heartland Institute
H. L. Mencken
Paul Johnson
Gerard Jackson is Brookesnews economics editor
Alan Caruba
Larry Elder
Winston Churchill
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)
Dr. Roy Spenser
Alan Caruba
Winston Churchill, Brighton, October 4, 1947
Mark Twain
Thomas Sowell
Paul Driessen
Jon Ray
Steve Milloy
Stephen Murgatroyd
James Lewis
Dr. Wibjorn Karlen Emeritus professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Peter Mullen
Vaclav Klaus, EU President
Arthur Robinson, Ph.D., energy expert and scientist.
Jon Ray
Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland
Rich Kozlovich
Patrick Moore
Dr. Roy Spenser
Nick Nichols
Dr. Jay Lehr
Paul Driessen
Paul Driessen
Vin Suprynowicz
Thomas Sowell
Henry Miller and Gilbert Ross
Nancy Brown, Township Trustee in Clark County, Ohio
Rich Kozlovich


Sunday, December 27, 2009

“Who but the mindless?”

By Rich Kozlovich

On April 1, 2009 Pete Grasso did a good job of identifying how people in the industry are beginning to identify with “going green” in his article, The Evolution of Green.
• Green. It's the biggest buzzword right now — not just in the pest management industry but in everyday life.
• Green is the hot topic everyone is talking about.
• Green has moved past the point of simply being a term — green is now a movement
• …many will argue that integrated pest management (IPM) is green pest solutions.
• Green is here to stay.
• Green has evolved, and green continues to evolve in the pest management industry.
Heterodoxy isn’t for the faint of heart and truth be told…it isn’t for most everyone else either. The trade journals for our industry are simply not crusading publications. They are not now, nor do I ever believe they will be rocks in the current.

I think that this is mostly due to two factors. Basically they were never created for this purpose. They were created to educate the industry. That has varied somewhat, but that is what they do, and for the most part they do a good job of it. Those who fit this mold were naturally brought in to run the trades and as a result they may never be crusaders. However, this concept for the trades came into being (taking a look at the history of PCT and PMP is quite interesting and worth the effort) long before the environmental movement and the EPA came into existence. The concerns are different now.

They note that Austin Frishman urges the industry “to be proactive and define and adopt green as a way of doing business (April 2008).” Quite frankly; there are a large number of prominent individuals in the industry, and at least one Hall of Fame winner who have believed for a long time that Austin has lost it and needs to retire, including me. Green isn’t ours to define or own; it is the insane nightmare wholly owned by the environmental movement and it is ours to defeat.

Green isn’t just about doing business. Pete is correct in stating that Green is a movement! It is a movement that has demonstrated a total disregard for humanity. It is an irrational and misanthropic movement that believes the number one problem with the planet is people. They have likened people to diseases such as cancer and AIDS and even a virus that is infecting the planet. The best thing they call humanity is a pest.

They rhapsodize about how quickly the world will turn back into an “Eden” after mankind is wiped out by some sort of virus that they pray will befall us. How insane is that? Who would be left to care? This is what Green really is, a movement rife with irrational and misanthropic “solutions”. Who but the mindless can buy into this? Who but the mindless can promote this? Who but the mindless can believe this is a good thing?

Everywhere in the world where people live in the manner that the greenies demand we adopt are lessons in dystopia.  Why can’t we understand that? It is bad enough that we don’t get the real history of what going green means, we, as an industry don’t even know that history. Dystopia is the Sancho Panza of the green movement. It follows the green movement everywhere their “solutions” are implemented. In South American they convinced the leaders in these countries that chlorine in the drinking water was going to cause cancer. They removed the chlorine from their drinking water and hundreds died and tens of thousands were sickened. Have we lost our minds listening to and embracing these people’s ideas and views?

Pete went on to say that, “Many pest management professionals (PMPs) have embraced the idea of providing green pest solutions for their customers. Others are still trying to define what it means to have a green program, and some are hoping green is a passing fad. We're here to tell those hearty holdouts that it's not”, and “Green is here to stay. Green has evolved, and green continues to evolve in the pest management industry.”

I have no objection to a pest control company providing any service that their customers want. What I object to is the idea that there really is something called “Green Pest Management”. There is no such thing! It is pest control…period! The fact that someone is focusing on the using of one type of product over others, or one program over another doesn’t make it anything but pest control. When we start to call pest control by other names such a s IPM or GPM we imply that this is different, better and superior to what everyone else is doing. Claptrap! By focusing on some products or techniques to the exclusion of others or vice versa doesn’t make it anything other than pest control; nor is it better, different or superior.

Pete quoted “Linda Prentice, associate certified entomologist with Bug-Out Service in Jacksonville, Fla.,” who “believes the industry has reached the point where everyone agrees that going green is the way to go”, and that "I think the industry has a pretty good idea now of what it means to be green," she says. "When Bug-Out started to define green as botanical, all-natural products, the company looked at the last 10 years and realized it was headed in that direction all along."

There are a number of logical fallacies here.

One, the industry will never reach the point where “everyone” will agree that “green is the way to go” because there is no such thing as GPM any more than there is any such thing as IPM in structural pest control.

Two, the industry has never had any idea what green means and neither does anyone else. As I stated in my article, The Trades and Me: A Dialog on Going Green, there are only two states that have a definition of GPM. APSCRO (Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials) sent out a survey to find out if any states had a definition for green. Two states did! That’s it, two states, Georgia and California. “Georgia’s definition is that “Green Pest Management can best be defined as a service that employs and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach while utilizing fewer of the earth’s resources as a part of a larger effort to reduce human impacts on the environment”. California’s report of a definition of GPM referenced their existing definition of integrated pest management and did not elaborate further on GPM. GPM is even more indefinable than IPM! They are so intellectually inadequate that they use a defining term, IPM, to define another defining term. Then again, defining green makes everyone intellectually inadequate because there is no scientific basis for “green”. In short, there are no facts to support any claim that one thing is more green than another.

Three, using “botanicals” doesn’t make someone green no matter what everyone agrees on. That is their definition, and that is ok with me, but let’s not confuse their views with anyone else’s view on what constitutes green, or even reality. They are still using chemicals. Chemicals that have been processed into some usable and deliverable form! So what makes this different from what everyone buys from FMC, Bayer, Dow, DuPont or any of the other pesticide manufacturers? And please don’t even dare tell me that they are healthier for their customers!
Green is a mixture of blue and yellow. That is the only factual definition of green that will stand the test of time. After that; any other definition is a corruption of a perfectly nice color.
An architect friend of mine and I had a conversation dealing with this idea that green can be defined. He told me that steel is a green product. I laughed incredulously and asked how that could be? He said it was recyclable so it was listed as a green product. Insane? Because there is no way to logically and intelligently define a concept that has no scientific basis for its existence. It is all emotion, feeling good about ourselves and the planet, feeling self righteous and better than our peers. Let’s take a look as some of the quotes and analyze what motivates these people!

• "To the general public, green means something and makes them feel as though they're doing something good." - Kevin Kordek, president of A-Active Termite and Pest Control in Virginia Beach, Va.
• "I think term green is more about marketing than it is about action.” "For our company, we became green almost 15 years ago but we called it IPM or 'common sense.' "Common sense tells you, if there's a better way to do something, then do it," he continues For us, that meant getting rid of baseboard spraying years ago."- Matt Nixon, chief executive officer of American Pest Management in Washington D.C.
Pete cites the efforts of “Genma Holmes, president of Holmes Pest Control in Hermitage, Tenn.,” who “jumped on green right away because that's what her customers wanted. Holmes conducted her own focus groups to find out what services consumers looked for in a pest management company. She goes on to say that, "I don't care what the industry is doing; I'm going to do what my customers are asking for," Holmes says. "Consumers' words to me were, 'We want something green.'"

I don’t have a problem with that because that is merely responding to the market place, but is that really it? I keep wondering… this really what “all” of her customers wanted? In Ohio I rarely have anyone insist of IPM let alone GPM. I have only lost one account because of GPM. I will be the first to admit that Ohioans are more emotionally balanced than those that live on the east and west coasts, but I find it hard to believe that everyone there is this unbalanced. Most of our pest control people merely offer “whatever services you are comfortable with” or something similar as their slogan.

Pete goes on to say, “she's gotten into green because her children are into "saving the earth." And there it is….. isn’t it. None of the nonsensical claims by the greenies has come true and the health claims they spew out have turned out to be claptrap, but “Green” makes them feel good! My question is now and has always been….how were we destroying the Earth before? We made it better, healthier, safer and made it possible for modern living. Is that what they want to replace by going green? That is what the environmentalists want!

• "Part of the evolution of green — and I would say it's still an embryo — is that it has a ways to go before there is a definition of green in the pest management industry," "Will there come a point in time when all PMPs subscribe to a particular methodology that is considered to be greener than what we do now?" - Kordek says.
I agree with this statement, except that there is no such thing as a methodology in pest control. Pest control is a practice, like medicine and requires differing techniques and tools based on the applicator’s knowledge and experience. However, this demonstrates there is no scientific basis for “green” and clearly that there is no definition for GPM that will stand the test of time. It isn’t science. Today’s absolute truth will become tomorrow’s absolute nonsense, and not because new facts have been discovered. It will become nonsense because another new philosophical flavor of the day will be promoted by the activists, touted by their bureaucratic acolytes and advertised by a corrupt media; and these people will clutch it to their breasts.

• "We'll get better and better tools," says Jack Marlowe, president of Eden Advanced Pest Technologies in Olympia, Wash. "I think our ability to step up and do IPM, by the pure sense of that definition, will become better and better."

If green is so effective why then do they need “better and better tools” and what will those tools be? Chemicals? If so, how is that different than (for lack of a better term) “traditional” pest control? And what in the world is “the pure sense of that definition” that “will become better and better."? We in Ohio recently adopted an IPM standard. I was privileged to be a part of that process and I can tell you that it took two years from start to finish; and every state that has done so has gone through the same struggle. Why? If IPM had a “pure definition” it certainly wasn’t obvious to the casual observer, or anyone else for that matter. I keep hearing terms like, Deep IPM, Pure IPM, True IPM and Real IPM. When does the defining and re-defining stop?

What is the matter with everyone? There is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control because IPM is an agricultural term. And that is the only area that it can be defined scientifically because it is based on threshold limits. A certain amount of pests do a certain amount of damage. After pests reach a certain threshold limit the amount of damage they do justifies pesticide applications economically. That is IPM….period; and has no place in structural pest control.

• "Regardless of what color you're calling your program, you have to be more deliberate about the choices you're making about materials," Marlowe says "You have to be able to defend your position. Whatever you choose, you need to be able to make your case as to why you choose what you choose."
I am not a Pest Management Professional; I am not an Entomological Consultant. I am part of the thin gray line that stands between the public and disaster. I am an exterminator and I am proud to call myself an exterminator! I simply do pest control! I don’t need to color it! Pest control isn’t a methodology, it is a practice. Green isn’t even that. Green is an ideology that is based on an irrational philosophy that is rife with misanthropic goals. Who but the mindless could embrace such nonsense?


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Great Cranberry Scare of 1959

By Rich Kozlovich

For years I have been distressed at the lack of aggressive reporting by the information deliverers of our industry; including Pest Control Technology, Pest Management Professionals, the National Pest Management Association and even the Professional Pest Management Alliance for not dealing with all of these health scares involving pesticides that are nothing more than junk science. Future articles will deal with scares that haven’t been properly defended against by our industry. There will be articles dealing with pesticides and cancer, autism, asthma, endocrine disruption, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, IQ, and even that most elusive scare of them all known as the “window of vulnerability”.

For all of my adult life I have heard about products that “must” cause cancer because they have been tested for carcinogenicity on rodents. How did all of this scare mongering get started?

A weed killer known as aminotriazole was applied to cranberry crops in 1957, although it hadn’t yet been approved for that application until the following year. Tests showed that when aminotriazole was fed to rats, at a concentration of 100 parts per million, cancer could be induced in the thyroid, therefore it was declared carcinogenic by the Food and Drug Administration.

What does that really mean? The human equivalent would mean that human beings would have to ingest 15,000 pounds of cranberries every day of their lives for years. We have come to understand the insanity of this kind of testing in recent years, but the mentality still prevails. We also seem to fail to recognize that mice are not little rats and rats are not little people! Just because some product tests positive in mice doesn’t mean that it will even test positive in a rat; let alone people!

The EPA is aware of this, but they still insist on using these kinds of tests to determine what is and what isn’t carcinogenic. This isn’t the best science required by the Information Quality Act, but the EPA claims that these determinations don’t fall under the IQA because this is a matter of EPA policy, not science. I will be dealing with this in another article.

Although there were no detected residues in 1958, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Arthur Fleming announced on November 9th, 1959 that cranberries from Oregon had been contaminated with aminotriazole and warned that other shipments from Washington and Oregon (which was 9% of the overall crop) may also be contaminated. He noted that Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey berries were not contaminated but he recommended that no one buy any cranberries at all ........15 days before Thanksgiving.

People went right over the edge. Michigan, Kentucky and Washington State called for “voluntary suspensions”. Ohio banned cranberry sales entirely. So also did San Francisco and Chicago. Restaurants and grocery stores purged their pantries and shelves of cranberry products and a nightclub in Chicago maintained a one to a customer limit on cranberry cocktails.

Although growers agreed to work with the FDA over this, they were furious at Secretary Fleming and demanded apologies and some even demanded he be dismissed from his post. The backtracking started immediately! In those days farmers were a whole lot more important to the politicians than green scare mongering activists.

Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson publically stated that he would have cranberries for Thanksgiving. Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy, both running for President of the United States, really got into the act. Nixon had four helpings of cranberry sauce and Kennedy drank two glasses of cranberry juice. This made a huge difference! Although there were very real losses, it was far less than the 45 to 50 million (Fifty million dollars in 1959 had the buying power of about 365 million dollars today) than was anticipated. Far different from the fraudulent Alar scare of 1989 when farmers became far less important to politicians than green scare mongering activists!

We have learned that these types of risks are “infinitesimal” due to the “enormous” amounts fed to rats. “Dr. Edwin Astwood, a professor of medicine at Tufts University, noted that certain turnips naturally contained 100 times as much anti-thyroid potency as did any cranberries contaminated with aminotriazole.”

This pattern plays out all though nature in the foods we eat. Real scientists have always known this! However the public is just now coming to this understanding, in spite of claims of activists, the bureaucrats, the media and the political element that doesn’t care about anything except getting elected.

This event did exacerbate the public’s already chemophobic mentality because of “wildlife and conservation groups and … pure food enthusiasts, who believe that chemical residues on agriculture products pose a threat to (human) health”.

To put this in its proper perspective, Dr. Bruce Ames, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, states that a cup (one cup mind you) of coffee contains 11 different carcinogens, and in that one cup of coffee you will consume more carcinogens than all the pesticide residue on all the food you will consume in one year.

Claus and Bolander note that “There are approximately 2 million organic compounds known. (This was printed in 1972. Currently there are over 4 million and 100,000 new compounds being produced every year and although, “the division between "organic" and "inorganic" carbon compounds while "useful in organizing the vast subject of chemistry... is somewhat arbitrary". I am not sure what are the significance of those numbers, since there “is no "official" definition of an organic compound. Some text books define an organic compound as one containing a C-H bond. Others state that if a molecule contains carbon it is organic.” It is enough to be said that the number of organic compounds is large, but whether the number is two million or ten million, natural or synthetic, is immaterial to the principles stated below.)

The majority of them are natural, but some have been produced in man’s laboratories. It is often stated that there is a clear difference between man-made chemicals and those which occur naturally, but the borders are actually fluid...many chemicals which were synthesized and first identified in laboratories were later found to occur in nature. Again the principle questions to be considered when talking about contamination with organic compounds are: how great are the amounts to which humans are exposed and what are the relative risks when compared with “natural” contaminants?”

The consequences of this scare are being felt today because it gave impetus to the 1958 Delaney clause, which was an amendment to The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, which “codified the ‘mouse-as-a-little-man’ principle” and that massive amounts of any product fed to rodents would have the same effect as “moderate doses” in human beings and the FDA’s (and Secretary Fleming’s) hands were tied.

We know this isn’t true! At some point the molecular load of any agent is far too small for cells to begin to respond to their presence. This is known as the “Threshold Principle”. “When the causative agent or source is below the threshold, one speaks of the ‘no-effect level’. In nature, the threshold principle operates equally in the realms of atoms, of cells, of whole organisms, and even in ecosystems.”

But the “public has been taught to fear trace amounts of chemicals regardless of the actual human health risk. And this boggy little brouhaha laid the groundwork for scares yet to come.”


The American Council on Science and Health, Facts Versus Fears, pgs. 6, 7.
Ecological Sanity, by Claus and Bolander, pgs. 188, 189, 212

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let Me Tell You about Trofim Denisovich Lysenko

By Rich Kozlovich

Born on September 29, 1898 he died on November 20, 1976. He was a Ukrainian agronomist and director of biology under Joseph Stalin. Rejecting traditional thought regarding Mendelian genetics and embryology he “reinterpreted Darwin’s thoughts to “fit the framework of what he called the ‘new creation biology’.” The only views that could be “scientific” under Lysenko had to be “consistent with social theory”, i.e. Stalin’s thoughts.

He supported the hybridization theories of Ivan Michurin that gained support from Stalin, which of course made his views “truth” and altered the entire structure of Russian biological thinking. This dominated the Russian field of biology for about 30 years and along with collectivization of the Russian farms they managed to starve millions to death. As a Darwinian evolutionist (versus Neo-Darwinism) he believed that evolution could be “forced” through something he called acquired inheritance. Furthermore anyone who disagreed with him was a scientific outcast and purged from their position, their jobs and in some cases died in concentrations camps.

As Director of the Institute of Genetics within the Soviet Union’s Academy of Sciences he stridently pushed the idea that plants could be forced to acquire characteristics that they had not demonstrated before through what is known as environmentally acquired inheritance, or theory of adaptation, originally promoted by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

It wasn’t just plants though. Lysenkoists believed that just as exercise could turn a normal man into a muscle man, training could “force” cows to “happily and naturally deliver 50 liters of milk per day” which would change their normal inheritable limits of production; genetics, which they rejected, notwithstanding; believing that they could imprint acquired characteristics and skills from one generation that could be passed on to the next generation. (it gets even more complicated and irrational as it goes along)

However, all his thinking was tied to the ‘social theories’ of Stalin and his communist cohorts. Bukharin, who was a “founding member of the Soviet Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a keen botanist”, stated in 1935 that “pure science pursued for its own sake would disappear, for the interests of scientists would spontaneously turn to problems of the current Five Year Plan”.

Lysenko believed that “amassing of evidence was substituted for casual proof as the means demonstrating the “correctness” of the underlying hypotheses” and those who failed to conform to the tenets of the new biology could be silenced or suppressed as enemies of the truth. It also did not concern him if his followers “manipulated” somewhat their data or their experimental results, since minor falsifications could still support the ideological cause, which represented a higher level of truth than the precise reporting of facts.”

In other words, if they could amass enough evidence to support their ideas it didn’t matter if it was factual or not, and if that which we actually see and that which is actually occurring was entirely different from their “evidence”; it simply didn’t matter. Sound familiar?

They never were able to “train” cows to deliver 50 liters of milk a day, but they did create some interesting grafting techniques that created a fruit that “looked like an apple, smelled like a rose and tasted like a prune!”

One example of this thinking was his work on rye grain. Bewteen 1928 and 1940 Stalin’s collectivization of farms starved millions to death, so getting more grain in more areas was vital. The claim was that they could turn wheat into rye by just planting it in climates “favoring the growth of rye”. Huge acreage was devoted to this program which was intended to “teach” wheat to become rye.

Literally hundreds of thousands of individual grains of wheat were examined, and some turned out to be rye. The fact that the harvesting machines used that year were used the previous year to harvest rye didn’t bother them in the least. And as for those foolish enough to point out that the rye grains may have been contaminants from the previous harvest; well…..things didn’t go well for them as truth wasn’t as important as promoting the ideological thinking, or if you will, the “consensus” science. They were silenced and branded lackeys of western imperialism and western biological thinking. Sound familiar?

What happened to the rest? For almost 30 years some of the finest minds in Russian biology either “became infected with this apparent madness” or “converted” to it. “Other scientists, who were skeptical, were threatened with loss of their working and publishing opportunities if they did not conform to these views. As a result they were forced to adjust the direction of their research or to contribute some kind of work which was in accord with the Stalinist ideology.” Some got around this by publishing entirely in Latin …which the commissars were ignorant of. Some refused to bend to the madness of the new biological ideology at all, and were permanently silenced.

Remember Bukharin? In later years he said “mass annihilation of completely defenseless men, with women and children" under forced collectivization and liquidation of kulaks as a class that dehumanized the Party members with "the profound psychological change in those communists who took part in the campaign. Instead of going mad, they accepted terror as a normal administrative method and regarded obedience to all orders from above as a supreme virtue... They are no longer human beings. They have truly become the cogs in a terrible machine." He later found out how true this was when his onetime close personal friend Stalin had him killed; after a trial of course.

Why do I bring this up? The views and thinking in the green movement and those within the political realm as compared to Lysenkoism and those monsters that murdered millions of innocent people with their policies are very similar.

Lysenko came to prominence because he was “discovered by a sensational journalist by the name of Fedorovich.” Articles appeared in Pravda praising his abilities, which mostly amounted to attacking real science and making promises that never had a chance of becoming reality based on his unfounded views of reality, which amounted to junk science.

Here is one such example of his meddling. They could only use seed potatoes from Northern Russia because a degenerative virus existed in Southern Russia. This was expensive so when Lysenko made the pronouncement that it wasn’t a virus causing this at all, but was in reality a problem with hot temperatures; the Politburo jumped on it.  His solution was to plant in the summer for a fall harvest and he claimed that this would eliminate the degeneration problem. The result was disastrous, in spite of the selectively favorable reports, which made the “studies” fit the preconceived conclusion that promoted his junk science.

In point of fact, Lysenko later proclaimed that there was no such thing as viruses, setting Russian virology back for years, and yet much of his work is now considered fraudulent. Not just wrong, but fraudulent, and he was the driving power in Russian agrarian science for almost 30 years. Thirty years of fraud, thirty years of watching disaster swirl around them, thirty years of knowingly manipulating the data to promote nonsense for personal gain.

How different is it today? Many have come into prominence in modern times promoting junk science in order to promote environmental issues, the “higher truth” if you will, in much the same manner. As Viv Forbes notes, ““The public has been misled on this issue by an unholy alliance of environmental scaremongers, funds-seeking academics, sensation-seeking media, vote-seeking politicians and profit-seeking vested interests.” Truth is not the holy grail of science. It is grant money. Grant money that is only distributed to those who tout a certain “socially” acceptable line.
• Global warming will destroy the world.
• Global warming is caused by western industrialization.
• Global Warming can only be fixed if we give the rest of the world all our money and shut down our manufacturing plants.
• The world is reaching a “tipping point” from which we can’t recover, so we can’t wait.
• Cancer is on the increase as a result of modern lifestyles.
• Only solar and wind energy can save us because there is no oil any longer and even if there was its use must be opposed.
• Eating meat causes global warming.
• Pesticides cause every known disease and infirmity that can be conjured up.
• Drinking water is contaminated and causes an unending list of ailments.
• Plastic toys impact reproduction.
• Vaccinations cause autism.
• DDT causes…..oh….just stick anything in there and it will be approved.
• And the one I really like the best; Multiple Chemical Sensitivity syndrome, which displays “the symptoms of every disease or disorder known [in] psychology, psychiatry, and the general medical profession." And there is no cure!
Try applying for a grant that proves otherwise. What is sad is that so many have to suffer before everyone realizes that what has happened in the past is being repeated now. More subtly of course; after all, no one is being taken out and shot or sent to concentration camps for scientific disagreements, but those who haven’t touted the “acceptable” line have lost grants, jobs and been prevented from publishing articles in scientific journals that are critical of the “science” promoting these issues. The fact of the matter is that Lysenkoism is a pattern of thinking that is the same today as it was then; and over the long haul just as deadly to humanity.

Ecology Sanity, by Claus and Bolander
Sick of It All, by Michael Fumento

I would also like to draw everyone's attention to a recent article;

Politicizing science - Thomas Sowell: Do not expect disinterested search for truth when money's involved


Saturday, December 12, 2009

We don't need no stinkin' evidence

Why can’t you be more polite, and stop questioning our integrity and science?

by Paul Driessen

Who can forget the classic confrontation between Humphrey Bogart and Alfonso Bedoya in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” It’s now being reprised in living color, featuring banditos from East Anglia, Penn State, Washington and the UN.

“We’re Federales,” they tell us. “You know, climate police. Evidence? We ain’t got no evidence. We don’t need no evidence. We don’t have to show you any stinkin’ evidence.

“Hold your tongue, hombre. We ain’t trying to do you any harm. Why don’t you try to be a little more polite? Why don’t you just throw us a little more money, and stop questioning our integrity and science?”

The United States alone has spent over $30 billion on alarmist “climate science” over the past 20 years – plus another $35 billion on renewable energy – based on the banditos’ tales of global warming catastrophe, if we don’t slash fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

However, instead of solid, reproducible scientific evidence, the bandito scientists offered hypotheses, speculation, assumptions, assertions, “hockey stick” graphs, computer models and worst-case scenarios – purporting to demonstrate that CO2 causes planetary warming … and the warming will be cataclysmic.

Their reports were “peer-reviewed” by networks of fellow alarmists who tied every temperature, weather and wildlife anomaly to global warming and carbon dioxide. When challenged, they claimed the “science is settled” and stonewalled requests from experts who did not accept dire predictions of planetary mayhem – and wanted to examine the raw temperature data, computer codes and analyses.

Suddenly, however, the world got a glimpse into the mindset and machinations of these tax-funded catastrophists. Thousands of emails revealed systematic, concerted collusion to conceal and delete data, manipulate temperature trends that contradicted predictions of dangerous warming, stifle debate, and pressure scientific journals to publish only alarmist studies … and exclude dissenting analyses.

This fraudulent science is the basis for congressional cap-tax-and-trade legislation, EPA’s pronouncement that CO2 “endangers” human health and welfare, and the new global governance treaty being debated in Copenhagen. The actions will result in huge taxes on energy use, reduced liberties and living standards, millions of lost jobs, and a massive transfer of wealth from energy-consuming families and businesses to governments and their allies.

The proposed Copenhagen treaty authorizes the “transfer of technical and financial resources” from developed countries to developing countries, to help them address climate change impacts allegedly caused by hydrocarbon use in industrialized nations. Free or low-cost technology transfers would include electrical generation and pollution control equipment and patents. “Financial resources” would tally $50-200 billion per year, most of it apparently from the United States.

The money would come from fines for noncompliance with CO2 emission rules, a global “carbon tax” on energy use, a new levy on air travel, and “mandatory contributions” as high as 1% of GDP, paid by (formerly) rich developed countries, as new foreign aid for corrupt officials in poor nations.

One would think such actions would be based on rock-solid science. One would be wrong. It’s time to ask the critical question – which the White House, UN, EPA, “mainstream” media (especially the Associated Press, New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN) have refused to consider:

What evidence backs up the terrifying disaster claims, the calls for drastic “solutions” that won’t work, to a crisis that extensive evidence strongly suggests is speculative or even illusory?

Reliable satellite temperature measurements span most of the planet. However, they only cover the last 30 years – and for the past 15 years show stable and then declining temperatures, despite steadily rising CO2 levels. So climate crisis scientists have focused their “research” on ground temperatures.

However, nearly half of the world’s remaining ground-based gauges are in the United States, and cover just 1.8% of the Earth’s surface. Moreover, as meteorologist Anthony Watts has demonstrated, most of those gauges are close to air conditioning exhausts, tarmac, blacktop and other urban heat sources. So they read high, and then are further “adjusted” upward, corrupting climate records, models and analyses.

Most of Siberia’s stations were shut down years ago, leaving that vast frigid region devoid of reliable data, and further tilting average global temperatures upward. Britain’s combined marine and land-based temperatures were “value-added” (aggregated, averaged and manipulated) by its East Anglia University Climate Research Unit (CRU) – which then tossed or lost all the original raw data, so no one could check its methodology, accuracy and honesty. (Try that tactic with your friendly IRS.)

The incomplete, averaged and manipulated ground temperature data were then fed into computer models that reflect our still limited understanding of climate causes and dynamics; assume CO2 is the primary driver in climate change; and poorly analyze the vast, complex, chaotic planetary climate system. The models have never been able to forecast climate accurately, even one year in advance, much less 50 or 100. They can’t reproduce prior years’ climates. They failed to predict the stable and declining temperatures of the past 15 years.

But even that didn’t conjure up the desired “manmade climate crisis.” As a CRU programmer put it, the only way the models can produce “the proper result” is when programmers apply a “very artificial correction,” use “low pass filtering at century and longer time scales,” and “include a load of garbage.”

Back in 1999, CRU director Phil Jones reported that he’d “just used [Penn State climatologist Michael Mann’s] trick … to hide the decline” in average global temperatures. In October 2009, US climate scientist Kevin Trenberth moaned that alarmists still “can’t account for the lack of warming and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

Nevertheless, “peer reviewed” scientific journals somehow produce “consensus” among “mainstream” scientists, offer “unequivocal” evidence of disastrous manmade global warming – and give the IPCC, White House, EPA and Congress the “proof” they need to justify treaties, laws and regulations that will send energy costs skyrocketing. Compliant media outlets whitewash the email and science scandal, and trumpet the latest alarmist claims. And voila, like Freddy Krueger in “Nightmare on Elm Street,” the predicted warming crisis is back, just in time for Copenhagen.

Evidence tampering like this would get legal cases thrown out of court – and land the manipulators in jail. To use it in advancing economy-wrecking energy policies is criminal.

Just one week ago, President Obama promised jobs summit attendees, “We will do everything we can to bring down the unemployment rate.”

I would like to thank Paul for giving me blanket permission to reprint his work.  RK

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bedbugs and Reality; Part II

By Rich Kozlovich

For those who have asked; I know that most people split the word bed and bug to come up with bed bug….however, I find that the dictionary allows for both….and I like this spelling; bedbug, get over it!

Renee Corea has been in the forefront of New York City’s battle against bedbugs and is part of their Bed Bug Task Force. I first became aware of her web site, New York vs Bed Bugs ,some months back when she highlighted two articles I did on the subject in her post of May 24, 2009, called, Blaming EPA is not the answer either.

She went on to say, “I have been wanting to write about this for a while but the most credible public proponent of the idea that the great bed bug debacle of the 21st century is all EPA’s fault was Rich Kozlovich who has written two passionate posts on this subject, Bedbug Summit: Activity As A Substitute For Accomplishment and The Butterfield Bill: Activity as a Substitute for Accomplishment, Part II,but writing about Kozlovich’s views seemed daunting because he has already divided the pest control industry into Chamberlains and Quislings and, well, what do you do with that, engage, laugh? For someone on the outside, even selective engagement would be acquiescing to the futility and politicizing."

I thought it worthwhile to respond by saying, “I have just become aware of your site and I will put you in my favorites. Having said that I would like to add my views to this posting. I would also like to correct one of your statements in that I have already divided the pest control industry into Chamberlains and Quislings. Actually I have divided the pest control industry into Chamberlains, Quislings and Churchills. Every organization is divided in this manner; appeasers, traitors or defenders.”

She responded, “Hi Rich, thank you for your comment. I will have more thoughts I expect but I just wanted to say for now that I believe that EPA is showing leadership now. Whether it is late or not, it is necessary as the situation is indeed dire, and I want to hang on to the hope that they will be able to do just that, lead. As for IPM, it’s too complex and politicized a debate for me to engage. I will have to write for an explanation of the Kilgore comment, however. It’s been hard to smile this week and your pointing out my Churchill omission did the trick, so thanks for that.”

We have corresponded ever since. I have yet to find a site that follows this issue any better and she has taken great efforts to trace the history of bedbugs and their control. I would like to recommend the site to everyone. You will have to go back some way to get it all, but the trip is worth it!

Recent articles on her site are worth exploring as she writes, “I was moved by this post: Bedbugs: A Modern-Day Leprosy. Seriously. – Bart Campolo – God’s Politics Blog (Cincinnati)”,  which clearly outlines the problem with all of these so-called solutions that are being touted and promoted, whether it is IPM (whatever that really means, after all, we must remember that Phantom is now IPM, so I don’t know why Dursban can’t be IPM!) or heat treatments, freezing treatments or fumigation. Whether they work or not isn’t the issue; they are out of reach financially to the vast majority of the population of the U.S.; and if that is true, and it is, where does that leave the rest of the world? If the least of us cannot rid themselves of this plague, we will never be rid of them again.

An article that was highlighted involved an interview with Ron Harrison, Entomologist, Ph.D., is director of technical services for Orkin, Inc., which was informative but meaningless as far as outlining the real answer; inexpensive efficacious chemistry that is available to everyone!

And there was a posting regarding “Bed Bug Central is coordinating charitable bed bug treatments for the holidays. Details of the program and how to apply here:” Good heartedness, compassion and kindness are not to be eschewed, but what about tomorrow and the day after that and the months and years that follow? It is the same problem and the same real answer; inexpensive efficacious chemistry that is available to everyone! I say this over and over again because it is true.

Although the history of this event doesn’t correspond to this issue, Cato’s words ring in my ears; Carthago delenda est! -- Carthage must be destroyed, because it clearly shows that you must stand for something and say so….often…..if anything is to be accomplished.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dickensian Truths?

Editors Note: Reprinted with permission from Dr. Ray. Did everyone see the movie "The Mutiny on the Bounty"? Perhaps everyone would like to read the real history of that story also; most importantly to read the follow up history.  
Except for the characters, the ship, the voyage and the fact that there really was a mutiny, everything you know about this account is a lie.  There is a startlingly large amount of things that people "know for sure" that just simply aren't true.  
 Once we get past these historical "truths" about society in general, perhaps we can move on to "green" activism in order to see it correctly.  RK
By Jon Ray

Although we never normally think of him that way, Dickens may be the second most influential Leftist after Marx. His storytelling ability enthralls us to this day and is for almost all of us the only picture we have of the 19th century -- and a dismal picture it is. Dickens portrayed the worst of his times, not the average or the typical but we tend to accept his verbal pictures as typical. And the situations that Dickens described were so bad that the word "Dickensian" has come to mean oppressive, uncaring and inhuman. His novels were, however, political propaganda. Surprisingly, England in the Victorian era had a social welfare system that was both fairly comprehensive and independent of the government.

Even in the modern era of universal government welfare payments we can still find people living in "Dickensian" conditions -- for one obvious instance, the Australian Aborigines. All systems have some weaknesses and concentrating on the worst cases tells us nothing about how well the system works as a whole. A modern-day Dickens could equally well describe terrible situations caused by the actions of heartless government employees. See SOCIALIZED MEDICINE for just some examples of that. So let us now look briefly at what history tells us about the Victorian system rather than at what the novels of Dickens tell us about it:

There were two main sources of social security in Victorian England: The parish and the Friendly Societies. The parish system is the one Dickens concentrated on but it was in fact the Friendly Societies that were more important. We still have many of the Friendly Societies with us to this day. Most Australians will have heard of Manchester Unity, The Oddfellows, The Druids and various other societies. These days just about all they provide is health insurance but in the Victorian era their functions were much broader.

They also provided unemployment insurance, widows benefits, funeral benefits and various social functions. In the Victorian era a skilled worker would normally join a Friendly Society associated with his work, his town or his religion. If no other Society suited him he could join the Oddfellows. When he joined, he signed up to pay a weekly subscription to the society out of his wages. In return the Society covered him for most of the problems of daily life. If he got sick he went for free to the Society's doctor or a doctor that the Society had an agreement with. If he got really sick he could be admitted for free to a hospital run or approved by the Society. If he became unemployed he would receive a weekly payment from the Society to keep him going. If he died, his widow would be looked after. So ordinary workers in the Victorian era in fact had quite a high level of social welfare benefits -- all privately provided without any involvement by the government.

Some people, however, fell outside the Friendly Society system by reason of being too poor or too foolish to join. For these there was the parish system of poorhouses and workhouses. This was a system whereby the local parish of the Church of England gave charity to the poor so that nobody need be without shelter or food. It provided only the most basic food and shelter and did nothing to make poverty comfortable but it did make sure that everybody was provided for in some way. It was in that system that Oliver Twist was portrayed by Dickens as asking for "more please", implying that the people in it were not well fed. About that, though, we read:

Doctors writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) say they have uncovered the gruel truth behind the Victorian workhouse. Charles Dickens, they contend, was exaggerating when he portrayed Oliver Twist and other orphans driven to the brink of starvation by a miserly diet of watery porridge. In fact, the food provided under 1834 Poor Law Act, which set up workhouses for the destitute poor in mid-19th-century Britain, was dreary but there was plenty of it and the diet was nutritious enough for children of Oliver's age, their paper says.

In Oliver Twist, Dickens wrote, the orphans were given "three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week and half a roll on Sunday." On feast days, according to the novel, the inmates received an extra two and a quarter ounces (64 grams) of bread.

Four medical experts, with skills ranging from nutrition to paediatrics and the history of medicine, say such a diet would have killed or crippled the children, inflicting anaemia, scurvy, rickets and other diseases linked to vitamin deficiency. They took a closer look at the actual historical record, sifting through contemporary documents and even replicating the gruel that workhouse children most likely had.

One important source for their research was a treatise by a physician, Jonathan Pereira. He wrote it in 1843, five years after Dickens completed "Oliver Twist" and ignited a furious debate about the workhouses. Pereira found that the local boards of the guardians of the poor had a choice of six "workhouse dietaries", one of which they could choose according to the circumstances of each establishment. On the basis of Pereira's figures, using a recipe for water gruel taken from a 17th-century English cook book, the authors calculate Oliver would have had around three pints (1.76 litres) of gruel per day, comprising 3.75 ounces (106 grams) of top-quality oatmeal from Berwick, Scotland. Far from being thin, the gruel would have been "substantial," the authors say.

This would not have been the only source of food. Pereira details "considerable amounts" of beef and mutton that were delivered to individual London workhouses. "The diet described by Dickens would not have supported health and growth in a nine-year-old child, but the published workhouse diets would have generally met that need," the BMJ paper says. "Given the limited number of food staples used, the workhouse diet was certainly dreary but it was adequate."

The authors add a caveat, saying that this assumption is made on the basis that inmates actually received the quantity and quality of food prescribed, but Pereira's book suggests this was generally the case.
Such a system was sometimes no doubt heartless and could be abused and it was episodes of heartlessness and abuse that Dickens portrayed -- and which he moved his middle-class readers to "improve". Attempting to improve the Victorian system, however destroyed it. As one commentator acerbically observes:
In effect, the bourgeoisie declared war on their underlings, and tried to improve them out of existence. Their weapons in this war were 'a national system of education, a state system of welfare, public housing schemes and, later on, a state system of hospitals, a comprehensive system of National Insurance and much else besides.' These might not all sound like unmitigated evils to LRB readers, but Mount does a spirited job of pointing to the ways in which all of these structures were imposed on top of previously existing working-class vehicles for self-help. In one of the most original sections of Mind the Gap, he evokes a thriving culture of schools, Sunday schools, reading rooms, Nonconformist religion, collective insurance and trade unions. 'It is not too much to say that the lower classes in Britain between 1800 and 1940 had created a remarkable civilisation of their own which it is hard to parallel in human history: narrow-minded perhaps, prudish certainly, occasionally pharisaical, but steadfast, industrious, honourable, idealistic, peaceable and purposeful.'

And then this civilisation was dismantled. To take only one of a number of Mount's examples, the extensive culture of privately run working-class schools was destroyed by the board-schools founded by the 1870 Education Act, which were not free, but were effectively subsidised to a point where they put their private competitors out of business. All of this was part of a process in which 'the working classes are firmly tagged as the patients, never the agents.'
So any system can be abused and can fail and there is no doubt that the present system of government welfare that we have is also often heartless and is also often abused. The main difference between then and now is that the present system is more generous. Our unemployed get more spent on them. Our society today is however much richer than the England of Victorian times so the more generous provisions of the present era would probably have occurred under any system.

Child labour
The plight of child labourers in Victorian Britain is not usually considered to have been a happy one. Writers such as Charles Dickens painted a grim picture of the hardships suffered by young people in the mills, factories and workhouses of the Industrial Revolution. But an official report into the treatment of working children in the 1840s, made available online yesterday for the first time, suggests the situation was not so bad after all.

The frank accounts emerged in interviews with dozens of youngsters conducted for the Children's Employment Commission. The commission was set up by Lord Ashley in 1840 to support his campaign for reducing the working hours of women and children.

Surprisingly, a number of the children interviewed did not complain about their lot -- even though they were questioned away from their workplace and the scrutinising eyes of their employers.

Sub-commissioner Frederick Roper noted in his 1841 investigation of pre-independence Dublin's pin-making establishments: "Notwithstanding their evident poverty ... there is in their countenances an appearance of good health and much cheerfulness."

A report on workers at a factory in Belfast found a 14-year-old boy who earned four shillings a week "would rather be doing something better ... but does not dislike his current employment". The report concluded: "I find all in this factory able to read, and nearly all to write. They are orderly, appear to be well-behaved, and to be very contented."

So once again we see that the Dickensian portrayal of something is at least questionable.

Happy people?

It is notable that contented, successful people (Podsnap, Gradgrind) are portrayed most unfavourably by Dickens. This too is Leftist. As noted conservative historian Russell Kirk quoted Bagehot as saying: "Conservatism is enjoyment". The converse is however more familiar: Leftists are miserable sods always complaining about something. They have a pervasive hatred of the world around them. And that, presumably, is why Dickens and many other literary figures are Leftist. Just as newspapers do well on accounts of disasters, so tales of suffering, unhappiness and escape from oppression sell novels. As Bagehot also said: "All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape." Conservatives, of course are not so driven. They see plenty to criticize in the world but are generally content just to get on with their own lives rather than constantly striving to tear down "the system". (More brilliant Bagehot quotes here)

Let me say just a few words about Mr Podsnap (in "Our Mutual Friend"). Read how Dickens describes him here

It is a classic piece of Leftist poison, where Mr Podsnap's contentment with himself and the world about him is completely transmogrified. Podsnap can literally do nothing right. Even his patriotism is portrayed as ignorant -- something that anticipated modern Leftism. And Podsnap's success in business seems to be just somehow accidental -- with no suggestion that Podsnap may work hard and intelligently at what he does. The Leftists of academe whom I know so well think exactly that way about business to this day. And even Mr Podsnap's furniture is ridiculed. And there is of course no suggestion that solid citizens like Mr Podsnap keep the world on an even keel. Leftists don't want the world kept on an even keel. Their ideal is revolution -- with all the hate-driven indifference to human life that that normally entails.

So let us not get a false picture of the evil capitalistic 19th century from Dickens's brilliant propaganda. The 19th century was in fact second only to the 20th century for the improvements it brought to the lives of ordinary English people.

I mentioned recently a minor Australian Leftist blog that seems to have a devotion to listing my "sins". If they ever read the present post they will no doubt add breathlessly to the list that I criticize the great Dickens. Horror! How imbecilic I must be to challenge such a conventional hero!

Leftists tend to think of themselves as iconoclastic (even though they have said little that is original since Marx) but they put up very effective mental barriers against real iconoclasm (such as my critique of Dickens). They just see real iconoclasm as too far beyond the pale to contemplate. That is certainly the commonest reaction I get from Leftists when I point out that Hitler was a socialist. Their low level of intellectual curiosity makes them very conventional thinkers. Only the simplest of propositions (e.g. Bush = Hitler) get past their mental portals.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Trades and Me: A Dialog on Going Green

By Rich Kozlovich

For some time I have been disturbed by what has been appearing in the trade journals promoting Green Pest Management (GPM). Some months ago I sent an e-mail to Frank Andorka of Pest Management Professional (PMP) magazine and Dan Moreland, of Pest Control Technology (PCT), asking if they would allow me to interview them for an article that would appear in The Standard (Newsletter for the Ohio Pest Management Association) dealing with this issue.

Dan thanked me for asking but felt that PCT’s role was to tell the story, not to be the story. Since so much of what they print can mold the industry I found that to be unfortunate and I still do, because clearly; the trades are part of the story.

However, Frank Andorka agreed with relish…Frank does seem to enjoy pushing the edge a bit. I also asked if he could include Pete Grasso in this interview and they agreed, so we set up a luncheon date at the best steakhouse in Cleveland; John Q’s Steakhouse right in the center of Cleveland’s downtown area.

What finally prompted me to ask for this interview was an article by Pete that appeared this past April in PMP which seemed to be promoting GPM. I commented to everyone that Pete must have had an epiphany. After all, here was a guy who has been involved in the pest control industry for a nanosecond and he is already promoting GPM; so he must have had an epiphany. I told this to Pete and he seemed genuinely puzzled. He said that he gets a great deal of feedback from our industry, but this was the first (and seemingly the only time) he got a telephone call about an article…..and they were upset at what seemed to be his promotion of GPM.

As I said, Pete seemed genuinely puzzled at this because that wasn't his intention. He said that this was merely a follow up from an article that appeared some years previously (before he was involved with our industry) and he was interested in seeing if any views had changed within the industry.

I then asked them to define green. Frank started by saying that “green was the use of all tools including pesticides, emphasizing inspection. As a result, pesticide impact is minimal." He went on to say that “newer pesticides will be getting better environmental profiles, because in reality the only green manufacturers are interested is in money." (I would like to point out that Frank didn't say this to denigrate the manufacturers, merely to point out that they would react to the market because that is what they are in business for.) He also said that “you can be as green as you want, but if a house is infested with termites the homeowner wants something done. “

I then turned to Pete who had a somewhat different take…one that I was impressed with. He said that green can't be defined with our own definitions. "We need the customer’s definition. Only the customer can properly define green for us. What if you declare you are doing green pest control and the customer says that they don't consider what you did to be green enough? As a PMP you can only define green as your customer defines green." Pete felt that each customer has their own definition. Or they may just want green, but have no idea what that means which is why Pete and Frank liked the idea that NPMA could present one definition.

Each agreed that an industry definition was needed as a jumping off point, but Pete maintained that the definition must be within the customer’s framework of green. Frank pointed out that you have a consistent standard and if you have six or seven organizations creating competing standards, that can't happen. They both seem to agree with this concept.

Frank felt that the industry must take “control of green and not lose this issue as we lost IPM. “ This prompted some back and forth discussion and I commented that IPM was never our issue to define and neither is “green”. This issue belongs solely to the green activists. They started it and they promoted it. It belongs to them! I said that there is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control and neither is there any such thing as GPM. This is their issue and it is our job to defeat it, not embrace it. I also stated that there is no such thing as “traditional pest control” either!

If you look back to the ads that appeared in newspapers in the 1850’s the first reaction you get is….WOW they had IPM in 1850! Like medicine, pest control is a practice; it is not a methodology, and we use whatever tools that work. Those tools and techniques have changed over the last 150 years, but it was just pest control then and it is still just pest control now.

I pointed out that only two states have a definition of green. APSCRO (Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials) sent out a survey to find out if any states had a definition for green. That’s it….two states, Georgia and California. “Georgia’s definition is that “Green Pest Management can best be defined as a service that employs and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach while utilizing fewer of the earth’s resources as a part of a larger effort to reduce human impacts on the environment”. California’s report of a definition of GPM referenced their existing definition of integrated pest management and did not elaborate further on GPM.

Frank chuckled because he had always been taught that you don't use a defining term such as IPM to define another defining term. The fact of the matter is that defining GPM is a bad as defining IPM. The states can’t do it any better than they were able to define IPM. There will be no end to the changes or demands. As I stated, pest control isn't a methodology, it is a practice. Well, IPM and GPM aren't a methodology either, but neither are they a practice. Both IPM and GPM are ideologies disguised as methodologies and that is why they are so hard to find a single definition, which I believe is a Sisyphean task.

At this point I changed the direction as I wanted to know why they don't run more articles dealing with science issues that would give the technicians the intellectual tools to defend the industry. As an example, I asked why are there not more articles on cancer and pesticides?

They felt that this isn't what the industry is interested in. They both felt that the technicians are not out there fighting the science battles of our industry. They felt that they are more concerned about how to do their work effectively and run their businesses profitably. While this is true, I disagree that there isn't enough interest in the science that defends our industry! After all, I do it all the time; why should we think that no one else wants to have the intellectual responses to these attacks against us?

I would love to see a survey of the pest control industry to see how many believe that pesticides cause cancer. I would be willing to bet that there are far more than we think because the information deliverers of our industry don't focus on it. And if our information deliverers don't explain it where else are they going to find it? If they don't explain it; doesn't that lend credence to these false health claims? After all, silence denotes agreement.

I know that there is pressure on anyone who does editorial work and takes in advertising dollars. Newspapers are brow beaten all the time by customers who are being attacked in the news or editorial sections. Pete said, “whatever you know about newspapers, it is ten times more intense in trade journals. “ Frank observed that when it comes to trade journals; it is “ten times more intense in this industry.” They seem to get it from everyone! I may have to stop browbeating the trades a little.

I asked them what their mission was for the pest control industry.

Pete – "We must be a reliable information source on technical issues, news, business information and keeping everyone informed as to what other PMP’s are doing."

Frank –"We are an advocate and conscience for the pest control industry. We advocate for the industry when we can and we act as a conscience when we must."

I think that is a great quote, one that the leaders of our associations may wish to dwell on for a while.

This interview took two very fast hours, and there was a lot more give and take between us. I must say that I came away far more impressed than I expected. They are sincere in their efforts and they don't necessarily have the same views on what goes on in pest control. I think that this was what surprised me the most. They don't have meetings to decide what they think, or what they will say. I'm not sure how I feel about that as a business practice in general, but I like it as an editorial practice.

One thing is for sure. Green isn't going away and it is clear that the trades aren't in a position to do many of the things that I would like to see done.

I have taken the steps to start a third trade magazine. I initially was thinking about a quarterly magazine that would focus on defending the industry, challenging irrational claims by activists, unscientific regulations and decisions by industry leaders. Unfortunately I found that the costs of such an endeavor are breath stopping. So I am looking at a web magazine that would be on the order of I am attempting to get funding, writers and those with technical expertise lined up. I don’t know if this can be pulled off, but we will have to see.

Thanks to both Frank Andorka and Pete Grasso for their taking time away from their work to do this. It was very gracious of them both. As a side bar, Pete is a lot taller than I expected and Frank seems much healthier, which I am happy to report.