Whom to Believe?

 

 

Whom to believe?

Reason separates man from animals and politicians

by Mustang

Founded in 1968 at the Academia den Lincei (the Lincean Academy), the so-called Club of Rome is an association of 100 full members from among former and current heads of state, high ranking members of government, United Nations officials, diplomats, scientists, economists, and business leaders from around the world.  Today, the Club of Rome is based in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Stop laughing — it matters.

One of its founders was a gentleman named Alexander King (1909-2007), a British chemist and a pioneer of the so-called sustainable movement.  King’s concern was the impact upon the environment of “unprecedented economic growth.”  He argues that economic growth is a good thing, but too much of it has a deleterious effect on the environment.  To my mind, such a claim seems wholly sensible.  The problem, on this one issue, is the answer to the question, “Who gets to ‘regulate’ the global economy to mitigate its environmental impact?”

The real subject is the development and use of the chemical with the rather ridiculous sounding name Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.  With any name exceeding the number of letters in the alphabet, it seems prudent to shorten it to DDT.  One may recall that DDT was developed as a cure for insects known to cause serious illness and death among human beings.  It was developed in the 1930s, and came into use during World War II.  In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” was able to persuade John F. Kennedy to ban the product owing to her claim of birth defects to humans and the extinction of wildlife.

Alexander King (left) (1987)

Dr. Alexander King might have agreed with Carson to ban the product, but for entirely different reasons.  According to King in 1990, “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use.  In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria — but at the same time, the birth rate had doubled.  So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.”

Dr. King was a chemist.  Rachel Carson had a Master’s Degree in Zoology.  I make this point because while we may give credit to her work as an undersea biologist, she was out of her depth in matters of pesticides.  Her only practical work beyond university study, never quite making it to a doctoral level, was that she worked for the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries.

Why this matters (primarily to me, I suppose) is that I recently read a post at Pacific Paratrooper, whom I admire for her work respecting World War II, wherein G. P. Cox told the story of DDT’s development and how it materially served the interests of our combat troops in protecting them from virulent illnesses and diseases caused by insects.  While reading this article, I remembered as a youngster the DDT truck making a pass through our neighborhood on base housing at Camp Pendleton, California in 1952-53.

One commenter at Pacific Paratrooper, self-identifying at Jet Eliot, wrote, “I enjoyed this essay, GP, reading how the malaria and insects were dealt with in war times. A sign of the times, they created what they thought was a great thing to remedy their problems. Fortunately Rachel Carson and others were able to demand deeper investigation into these lethal chemicals and their detrimental effects on humans and the planet. We have pelicans and bald eagles and numerous other wildlife species now, all these years later, that were close to extinction due to DDT. And we are the generations of humans who have developed and benefitted from the curtailment of these strong chemicals. We live and learn, and fortunately our species continues.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Eliot’s argument is greatly contested in the scientific community, but it is a lie told so often that claims that DDT is harmful to humans is generally accepted as true.  It is what we’ve been told for the past 60 years.  Scientists today assure us that the lie is actually a damn lie.  Carson’s claim, they say, was based on emotion and junk science, and if this were not bad enough, the cost of such claims have been, quite literally, millions of lives.  This was the point made by Dr. King — whose only complaint was that DDT so effectively saved lives that we ended up having too many people on planet earth.

Of course, there a few issues with DDT that most people are unaware of.  For example, there is an issue with how the US Agency for International Development (USAID) went about forcing poor countries to stop using the product.  Essentially, USAID refused to fund any international projects that used DDT.  Around the world, poor countries were told that if they continued to use DDT, then they wouldn’t get any more monetary aid from the United States.  So, because many of these regimes were corrupt and put a higher value on access to the American people’s money than they did on the lives of their own citizens, they stopped using DDT.

Another issue is/was, the question of whose lives were saved through the use of DDT — mostly people of color living within the third and fourth world countries.  Since the suspension of the use of DDT (we are told), more than 100 million people have died in Africa alone due to  malaria (and other insect-borne diseases).  Apparently, the lives of one-hundred-million people do not matter quite as much if they have a darker complexion than the rest of us.

A third (but not last) issue is that Rachel Carson’s science was so fraudulent and distorted that one’s only rational conclusion is that she may rank along with Margaret Sanger as one of humanity’s greatest monsters, far above Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.

Modern scientists now tell us that the tragic irony of the tens of millions of deaths attributed to the banning of DDT is that all central claims made by Carson (and others) are patently false.  For example, in order to cause cancerous tumors in mice, the animal would have to be exposed to DDT 10 times its body weight over an extended period of time.  There is, today, no correlation of Carson’s data.  According to the World Health Organization, numerous studies have failed to show ‘any convincing evidence’ of patterns of associations between DDT and cancer.  A US study corroborated the WHO findings.

Carson claimed that the effect of DDT on wild birds was so severe that one day, all the birds on earth would be dead and we would experience the “silent spring.”  It was pure poppycock.  Scientific data reflects that between 1941 and 1960, when DDT was regularly used to thwart infectious diseases from insects, bird populations actually quadrupled.  Among Robins, whom Carson specifically singled out, the population of these animals between 1941-60 increased twelve-fold.

Worse than this was Carson’s (and Charles Wurster’s) claim that DDT was dangerous to phytoplankton in sea water.  Wurster, co-founder of the Environmental Defense Fund, conducted his experiments in salted water with alcohol added, not sea water.  So again, the science was skewed from the beginning.  Again, more than 100 million people have died because we stopped using DDT.

So far, at least, I suspect there may not be much interest in this topic, especially since malaria is not a problem most Americans have to deal with.  Dengue fever is, though.  But here’s the real point of this tirade.

If we cannot trust science on a matter such as DDT, then how can we have confidence in any other scientific product — where there are agendas to pursue.  Shall we, then, blindly trust science on matters that DO affect us — such as immunology and COVID-19, climate change as a man-caused phenomena, or that the oceans will soon cover all of our coastal cities?

You tell me.  Whom do we believe — and why?

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Rachael Carson debunked, millions died, now on to Climate Change?

There is a lesson for us here in the debunking of the dreaded DDT, whose ban has resulted in the death of millions of people. Are we going to walk head long into the Climate Change doom and gloom scenario as well? Burning our food (corn) for fuel which inflates the world’s cost, hits the poor the heaviest. First they came for our crapper, then the light bulb, our shower head, then the wood stove.Take our coal away. The smart meters come because they know we will have to have our power rationed. The EPA in now looking into the dangers of fracking. We know where this is going.

In this excellently written piece, Rachael Carson is compared to Pol Pot. There are few who are more responsible for mass genocide than Rachael Carson.

Carson’s bestselling brand of junk science and misanthropic, anti-capitalist doom-mongering has provided the model for the international green movement.

“In fact DeWitt’s research had shown the exact opposite:”

“DeWitt reported no significant difference in egg hatching between birds fed DDT and birds not fed DDT. Carson omitted mentioning DeWitt’s report that DDT-fed pheasants hatched about 50 percent more eggs than “control” pheasants.”

DDT doesn’t cause cancer. (Carson blamed DDT for something that was actually, later research found, caused by aflatoxin, a toxic by-product of fungi). Nor does it damage bird reproduction. In 1971-72 an EPA judge concluded after seven months and 9,000 pages of testimony:

In 2006, the WHO tacitly acknowledged its mistake by partially rescinding the ban. “We must take a position based on the science and the data. One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual spraying. Of the dozen or so insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT,” said Arata Kochi of WHO.

The Telegraph reports:

Yesterday would have been her 102nd birthday and I’m sorry I missed it, but my sharp-eyed fellow-traveller David Hinz at The Minority Report celebrated with a lively dance on the old fraud’s grave. He doesn’t mince his words: Rachel Carson – poster girl of the international eco movement – was a “mass murderer” to rival Stalin and Pol Pot.

Was she really responsible for the deaths of as many as 50 million people? That’s just an estimate. What we do know is that her landmark 1962 bestseller Silent Spring – the book that set a million and one green activists on the path of eco righteousness – was responsible for the worldwide ban on the insecticide DDT, the most effective preventative against the mosquitos which spread the world’s deadliest disease, Malaria. In this way countless millions of people, mostly Third World children, were condemned to death in the name of ecological correctness.

Rather as so many people do now with the global warming/climate change story, readers in the 1960s just couldn’t get enough of Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic predictions of man-made eco doom. There might, she claimed, be a cancer epidemic which would hit ‘practically 100 per cent’ of the human population; bird life would be wiped out. And all because of the evil DDT. As a result of this scare-mongering DDT was banned first by an eco-activist administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), subsequently by the UN and the World Health Organisation.

Problem was, few if any of the claims made by Carson were true. They were derived from a complete misrepresentation of research by Dr James DeWitt

Read more The Telegraph :

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