Monday, July 19, 2010

Is Embracing Science the Same as Embracing Facts?

By Rich Kozlovich

I came across an old file folder of my posts of days gone by. I have been reviewing these posts, links and articles and other articles that I have written over the last ten years and I find that I am as upset now as I was then. I have decided to republish this one.

This is a merger of two articles that first appeared in July of 2006. I couldn’t get an airing by the trade journals then and it is too late now. Since I have a much broader base of readers now than I did then, I wanted to reprint it since I still view our situation as precarious now as it was then. Possibly worse! RK

A recent article by Alan Caruba appeared in Pest Control’s Buzz Online news service entitled “Endless Environmental Lies” which demonstrated how the environmental movement and EPA are simply somewhat less than truthful and can’t be trusted. I invite you to peruse this article to see if you found anything “glib”, unethical, dishonest or untruthful in this article.

Thereafter Dr. Colleen Cannon, staff entomologist for Fridley, Minn. based Plunkett's Pest Control sent a letter to the editor in Pest Control’s Buzz on Line regarding the importance of embracing science because she decided Alan Caruba’s article diminished us as an industry. Her article was titled “Science Is Our Ally — Not Our Enemy”.

Alan doesn’t really need any help from me, but he also doesn’t normally reply to these types of letters, therefore I felt it was important for someone from the industry to speak up on this matter.

This article criticizing Mr. Caruba’s article implied that those who criticized EPA or the environmental movement were “glib” and were unwilling to “embrace” science. Why? The fact is that so many in our industry reflect this same kind of 5th columnist mentality.

Miss Cannon’s comment that we need to embrace “good science” is a comment we can all embrace. However I would like to point out the following. Miss Cannon was a bit “glib” herself in her challenge of Mr. Caruba’s article. I also found her “Dan Rather Defense” of scientific journals, whose objectivity has regularly come under attack in recent years, rather interesting. Pointing out who receives money from whom is an old environmentalist trick to cast aspersions on someone’s integrity without having to present any evidence of wrongdoing.

Personally, I appreciate the fact that large corporations have decided that enough misinformation is enough. Who would you expect to pay for it; the Environmental Defense Fund, (now known as Environmental Defense) which takes a large deal of the blame for the elimination of DDT and the 10’s of millions of deaths that followed. They have no credibility with anyone in the pest control industry that has followed these issues, so I decided to break her statements and arguments down and analyze them.

I am fascinated by the words these people use and how they use them. I wonder if they ever look them up in a dictionary when they write this stuff. So it is clear that we need some dictionary work here.

Let us start with the word glib. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary glib means: (All definitions are from this dictionary)
Glib 1. “marked by ease and informality” and “showing little forethought or preparation” clearly “lacking depth and substance” with “ superficial solutions to knotty problems” further “marked by ease and fluency in speaking or writing often to the point of being insincere or deceitful.” (Actually, this sounds like an environmentalist to me.)
In this very short article (you don’t get long articles in trade journals) Alan outlined very succinctly what is going on with the environmental movement. Miss Cannon failed to refute one point with any evidence to the contrary. Is that being “glib”? Would one call this a “superficial” response “lacking depth and substance”? How did she describe the article? “The general tone and lack of useful content made it little more than a diatribe.”
Diatribe - a prolonged discourse 2 : a bitter and abusive speech or writing 3 : ironic or satirical criticism
I defy anyone to find his article to be bitter, abusive, ironic or satirical, but even if it was; the question that should concern us is if it was factual or not. The word “diatribe” is an emotional trigger, which allows her to avoid presenting any evidence that would legitimately contradict statements made by Mr. Caruba. She presented no evidence other than her personal philosophy.

Why is it that whenever someone takes a strong stand against the conventional wisdom, in this case the EPA and the environmentalist’s claims, those arguments are called diatribes? Ranting and raving are favorite terms from that side of the room also, implying irrationally screamed nonsense! Again, this allows the accuser the luxury of not having to challenge their adversary’s statements with contrary facts. Why? Since they are clearly and obviously irrational no contrary evidence is necessary. Convenient isn’t it?

I would find it interesting as to what Miss Cannon would consider information that would prepare a technician to answer the questions of customers in the field “accurately and intelligently”. Should they say that what we are doing causes cancer? Should they say that the long-term effects will be detrimental especially to their children? Should they say that pesticides aren’t necessary? That is what the environmental movement is saying and it is all lies. Then again, perhaps this is what she believes, since she offered nothing in rebuttal to all of Mr. Caruba’s comments regarding the safety of our water supplies.

It isn’t “glib” to point out that the EPA and the environmental movement has perpetrated a virtual lava flow of scientifically dubious regulations through lies, which the media has helped perpetrate. It isn’t glib! It is tragic! Especially to all those who have died needlessly as a result of actions by the environmental movement and EPA.

She went on to say, “The author (Mr. Caruba) suggests that the EPA, news media, environmental groups and scientific journals are conspiring to spread misinformation and mislead the public on the facts.”

I love it when they use the word conspiracy. This has such a vile connotation that it automatically places the accused person in the category of an irrational nutcase which once again doesn’t require them to provide legitimate information by way of refutation. Alan never once used the word conspiracy. Let’s however explore this concept.

According the dictionary:
Conspire “implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery” requiring one to “join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement” which would require a scheme. That being a “secret plan or program of action” which implies a plot which is a “plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end” and “implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme” suggests “secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity” implies “a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means.”
The question we have to ask now is this. What is the difference between a secret plan with evil intent and a secret understanding with evil intent? Is it really any different than an open plan and an open understanding with evil intent? The difference is the same in the end.

I doubt if there are any, and I have no knowledge of any secret meetings between these groups, or any secret planning sessions either. This is not a secret conspiracy. This is an open paradigm. The EPA, the environmentalists and the media are engaged in a philosophy that is a conspiracy of paradigms to all who are willing look. They contrive to promote policies that will ultimately be detrimental to humanity because they are all true believers who have become imbued with the environmental litany. Their conspiracy is an open conspiracy of paradigms. Since they all think alike they promote the same junk science.

The EPA has never been a true scientific entity since its inception. In February of 1970 then President Nixon stated in a speech that he had taken steps to eliminate DDT. He then formed EPA in December of that same year, nine months after his original declaration. Seemingly, with his marching orders in place the first director of EPA William Ruckelshaus, an environmental activist, banned DDT in December of 1972 in spite of the fact that a federal magistrate ruled that there was no evidence to support claims against DDT. Ruckelshaus admitted two years later that the decision was based on political considerations, not science. EPA has been a virtual lava flow of scientifically dubious regulations ever since. The fact of the matter is that almost everything everyone “knows” about DDT is a lie.

Ever since that very successful effort by the environmentalists the pattern has been the same, as Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D. notes that there are seven steps to this process and usually follow this pattern:
1. Create a "scientific" study that predicts a public health disaster
2. Release the study to the media, before scientists can review it
3. Generate an intense emotional public reaction
4. Develop a government-enforced solution
5. Intimidate Congress into passing it into law
6. Coerce manufacturers to stop making the product
7. Bully users to replace it, or obliterate it
Peer review, which Miss Cannon rightly points out, is to eliminate scientific errors and fraud was never part of the DDT saga at EPA. Rachel Carson’s book first appeared as excerpts in New Yorker Magazine, not a scientific journal; unfortunately she died before real scientists using real science shredded her information. Ruckelshaus admitted two years later that he made the decision for political reasons and there was no science to support that decision.

The same pattern was repeated when “Our Stolen Future” was released. As a result Endocrine Disrupters were all the rage in the scientific journals and at EPA, which became the basis for part of FQPA. Afterwards it was found that the Tulane study which this was based on was a fraud. The regulations remain in spite of that.

She further comments that “Granted, one may quibble with the objectivity of the news media”. The media is now and has always been muckrakers. The word objectivity and the word media should only appear in the same sentence to show how little objectivity they are capable of. The old adage about never believing what you read in the newspaper didn’t come about by accident. The fact of the matter is; the media lies; not only the lies of commission, but mostly lies of omission. During the Dan Rather exercise in media objectivity a great deal of information came out showing just how the media views objectivity.
A reporter, Brian Ross, asked Marla Mapes (worked with Dan Rather on the Bush military service story) if she believed the story regarding Bush’s military service was true.   She stated “The story? Absolutely.”  Ross found this incredible and asked is “this story to be up to your standards”.

This is an important point!

Mapes stated "I’m perfectly willing to believe those documents are forgeries if there’s proof that I haven’t seen."

Does this take you back? It should.

Ross asked “"But isn’t it the other way around? Don’t you have to prove they’re authentic?"   Mapes responded by saying that “they haven’t been proven false.” Ross asked what most of us would consider obvious, “Have they proved to be authentic though? Isn’t that really what journalists do?”

And now the quote of the year!!!! Mapes says - "No, I don’t think that’s the standard."
I don’t know how any reasonable person could call this “quibbling” about media objectivity. This is not an aberration. It is the way they do business and it seriously affects events.

She intones further by saying, “the EPA may not perform flawlessly.”

Flawlessly? How about fraudulently? We could easily start and end with DDT to show all the fraudulent intentions in the world, but that was just the beginning of their fraudulent actions and they have continued on in this course ever since. The latest exposure of their “less than flawless” work is currently being demonstrated. Let’s note some obvious examples of their less than flawless work.

Second hand smoke.

For the record; I believe smoking, and all tobacco use, is one of the greatest banes of mankind. I also believe that smoking is the leading cause of cancer and that second hand smoke plays a part in this saga or at the very least is unhealthy. However, EPA made claims about second hand smoke in a “1993 report claiming to link secondhand smoke with lung cancer” that was clearly flawed and they had to know it. This “study that was eviscerated and vacated by a federal court in 1998 because the EPA’s science was so poor and contrived in nature.”

Steve Milloy’s article of July 27, 2006, “The EPA's Polluted Science” goes on to say, “The EPA typically decides first whether to regulate, and then it molds and manipulates the science to fit its regulatory decisions. This has long been standard practice at the agency – a 1992 report entitled “Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions” by a blue ribbon panel of scientists reviewing the EPA’s use of science concluded that the EPA “adjusts science to fit policy” – and was one of the reasons given by the federal court for vacating the EPA’s secondhand smoke risk assessment.”

The fact that I believe tobacco in all forms and practices is detrimental doesn’t mean that I wish to embrace junk science and deliberate fraud. This isn’t a little mistake, this is a pattern.

Let’s talk about dioxin.

“Although dubbed "the most dangerous chemical known to man" incredibly this was based entirely on the acute toxicity (poisoning) to a single species of animal -- guinea pigs. In humans incredibly massive doses have never been shown to cause any long-term damage besides severe acne, as was the case with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 2004.

This article went on to say: “In other words, the EPA can't just choose a formula because it's convenient and serves its political ends. It can't ignore the results of myriad animal and human studies and the determination of how a certain chemical affects human cells in favor of simple mathematics. Nor can it apply that formula because it favors environmentalist groups who make a living by terrifying us into believing that a single molecule of this or that threatens the existence of "peoplekind."

The less than “flawless” performance regarding the EPA’s activities continues:

“That's because while it's long been accepted that for acute toxicity that "the dose makes the poison"  the EPA uses as a rule for all potential carcinogens that if exposure to a rat of something at a level of, say, a quart a day for 30 years is cancer-causing then exposure of a hundredth of a gram a day for one week must also be carcinogenic to humans. No matter that FDA doesn't advise against women taking a daily iron pill because if they took 100 daily they would die.”

The American Council on Science and Health article dealing with this subject and EPA’s “science” behind determining what is carcinogenic shows more than just a few errors at EPA. Is it a conspiracy to continue to use science that is recognized as unscientific?

ACSH sued EPA over the manner in which they determined what is carcinogenic. What was EPA’s comment to the ACSH’S lawsuit over this issue? They stalled having to respond for 90 days and then gave themselves and extension to avoid this issue. “Finally, in early March, two weeks before their final self-imposed deadline, EPA replied with a dodge, claiming that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are

not statements of scientific fact –and thus not covered by the IQA – but merely statements of EPA policy. “One might have hoped that science and policy would go together at the world's most powerful regulatory agency “.  In my mind at least, EPA is saying; we make it up as we go along according to our whims and desires.

Cannon further states, “one may disagree with the goals of environmental groups”.  Well, most people would gladly and willing state they disagree with liars. This discusses the origin of Greenpeace and the kind of people it draws and their goals. Here is a quote.“Hunter would later confess in his book, The Greenpeace Chronicles.   Wrote Hunter: "We painted a rather extravagant picture…tidal waves, earthquakes, radioactive death clouds, decimated fisheries, deformed babies. We never said that's what would happen, only that it could happen." Hunter nevertheless justified the organization's calculated mendacity on the grounds that "children all over Canada were having dreams about bombs." A lie was therefore justified by the greater environmentalist good. It would not be the last time that a Greenpeace activist would invoke that rule to justify a deceitful campaign.”

Environmentalists and their philosophies.

Did you ever wonder from what source their philosophical drive is derived? What is environmentalism if not a form of religious fervor? This link is to a commentary that will probably shock those who have not seen this type of information n the past. Below are some interesting quotes.
1. "Saying homo sapiens are a `plague species,' the London Zoo opened a new exhibit featuring--eight humans. We have set up this exhibit to highlight the spread of man as a plague species and to communicate the importance of man's place in the planet's ecosystem." (Human Beings: Plague Species; WorldNet Daily, 2005)
 2. "Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs." (Earth First! Journal editor John Daily)
3. "To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem." (Yale professor Lamont Cole)

4. "The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States." (Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund)

5. "Until such time as homo sapiens decide to rejoin nature, (we) can only hope for the right virus to come along." (David Graber, research biologist with the National Park Service)

6. "Nonpersons or potential persons cannot be wronged because death does not deprive them of something they value." (John Harris, Sir David Alliance professor of bioethics, University of Manchester, England
She continues to defend her view by saying, “but lumping peer-reviewed scientific journals, like Science, into this group shows a deep misunderstanding of science.”

How can one have a deep misunderstanding of science? Science means; “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method. “

The implication is that this knowledge is true and factual because it has been proven by use of the scientific method of experimentation and observation. How can one misunderstand something so simple? As Mr. Spock would say in one of the Star Trek episodes, “if I drop a hammer in a positive gravity atmosphere, I don’t have to see it land to know in fact that it did”. Why? Because that is what happens over and over again. What if we now see trade journals (that is what these peer reviewed science journals really are) continue to favor certain philosophical views over others in spite of growing evidence that is contrary to the ones they keep promoting? Can we then lump them together with the environmentalists, the media and the EPA with all their flaws? Is there an issue that clearly shows this to be the case?

Global warming and the hockeystick debacle is exactly such an issue.

This report gives a black eye also to the IPCC and to the peer-review process of the science journals which supported the Hockeystick graph and it’s creators.  “You may recall that Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) was much maligned when he wrote a letter to the authors of the Hockeystick (Michael Mann et al), asking for answers about their publicly funded research. He and his US House Committee on Energy and Commerce were accused of McCarthyism, intimidation, and other crimes by Democrats, the “scientific establishment,” and by liberal Republicans. The National Academy weighed in with a report that mildly criticized the Hockeystick (see TWTW June 24 and July 1, 2006).”

“Then the US Cavalry appeared over the hill, in the form of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Committee appointed a group of statisticians of impeccable qualification and independence, under the leadership of Dr Edward Wegman, Professor of Statistics at George Mason University , who chairs the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. They have now produced a report that devastatingly demonstrates what we sceptics knew all along, that the hockey stick is pure nonsense.

So much information has come out since 2004 showing just how corrupt these “scientists” were then, and how corrupt they and their defenders continue to be. Their intellectual dishonesty smells to high heaven, and yet sanctimony continues within their ranks and of their defenders. Perhaps jail time will change all of that. Fraud is still a crime in most states, and the state of Virginia is perusing this. It is unfortunate that the researchers of the fraudulent Tulane endocrine study weren’t prosecuted. After all, they took public money and produced junk science that has impacted us to this day. As to why they weren’t prosecuted…we can only guess, but since they were producing the very kind of junk science that EPA wanted I have to assume the worst possible collusion.

Should we embrace science? Of course! Science that has been tested through observation and proper peer review without prejudice or preconception is to be prized. Unfortunately so much of what is going on fails to meet these criteria. Those who are a part of the pest control industry who fail to see this and continue to promote and defend junk science and junk scientists must be exposed as 5th columnists who will undermine who and what we are until there is no long any “we” left.

It pains me that we have no one in a position of responsibility in the pesticide application, manufacturing and distribution industries who is willing to take up the shield and sword in defense of our industry and use real science to publicly denounce those inside or outside of our industry who promote junk science.

She is correct, the elimination of pesticides and global warming are the two main issues of the environmental movement. Unfortunately they are lying on both of these issues, and she apparently has bought into all this greenie nonsense lock, stock and barrel. What the heck, let’s add the Montreal Protocol, IPM and Green Pest Control in for good measure.

What we need is a debate. Let’s start with IPM. Let’s do it at an NPMA national forum. Let’s do it before the stakeholders of our industry, the pest controllers, the manufacturers and the distributors and after all has been done and said; let the industry decide.

No, I am sorry, Mr. Caruba’s comments do not reflect badly on our industry. What reflects badly on our industry are those in pest control don’t know whose side they are on and in a effort to appear so much more enlightened than the rest of us end up doing nothing more than undermining us. Embracing the green movement and being in pest control is like having two diametrically opposing views in your head at the same time and believing they are both correct. That is a definition of insanity.  When we start embracing science in place of facts, we are embracing a Golden Calf.  An irrational and misanthropic one at that!

Comments will not be accepted that are rude, crude, stupid or smarmy. Nor will I allow ad hominem attacks or comments from anyone who is "Anonymous”. Even if those comments are positive.

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