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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Thursday, June 23, 2016

DDT - Drinking the Kool-Aid

By Rich Kozlovich (Originally published Wednesday, June 9, 2010 updated June 23, 2016)

Those in prominent positions who defend Rachel Carson and her acolytes are thoughtless elites who have drunk deeply of the Green Kool-Aid while living in the fever swamps of environmentalism. 

Elitists whose minds are ablaze with enlightenment! 

An enlightenment that only they can fully understand. They revel in “rhetoric filled with unending deposits of spite, hyperbole, lies and odium” as if they were listening to a symphonic orchestra playing music that is filled with a grandeur and beauty that completely mesmerizes and inspires those who are capable of hearing it.

The reality is this rhetoric, with the aid of government bureaucrats and a false media, is a symphony of discordant notes filling the ears, minds and emotions of the uninformed and misinformed, making it impossible for them to think clearly. Just as with bureaucracies and all their regulations, this discordant symphony constantly expands itself into issues such as animal rights, global warming, genetically modified foods, pesticides, private land ownership and hatred of the rich.  Destroying practical age-old traditional values, while promoting every form of radicalism as a new enlightenment. Unfortunately this is done without any penalty or consequence - for them - if they are wrong, because it's the rest of the world who pay the penalty for their "enlightened" rule making. 

This façade of intellectual and moral superiority is actually nothing more than aesthetic snobbery that carries with it a corresponding lack of concern for the poor who suffer needlessly so their egos can be stroked and feel good about themselves, creating fervor and excitement that can only be described as religious in nature. This symphony of environmental rhetoric is their Kyrie Eleison, and these elites are the clergy and high priests of the secular neo-pagan religion known as environmentalism.  It's roots may be solidly pagan in orgin, but in it's modern form - it got it's real start with the ban on DDT and Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring.

We have come through 60 plus years where marching, breaking windows, burning buildings, shouting insults and chanting slogans are considered intellectual debate. We have come to accept defamation of character as an intellectual argument and any science out of harmony with the “Green Litany” is the work of corrupted sycophants of big business. Unfortunately - as in the Middle Ages - anyone from business, government or science who disagrees with them is a heretic who must be purged by an inquisition of condemnatory public humiliation through their acolytes in government and the main stream media. It is clear that “some things are so stupid that only an intellectual can believe them”. 

How will history judge the moralistic ravings of these intellectual elites? Hopefully they will be judged by how many lives will have they've destroyed?

"There has never been a replicated study published in a peer-reviewed journal showing harm to human health from DDT" after six decades of human exposure, Amir Attaran of the Royal Institute of International Affairs has said.

So why is DDT banned in the U.S.? Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring," was published in 1962 attempting to make a case against man-made chemicals. She made the argument, which has since been discredited, that DDT ingestion caused reproduction problems in birds and caused cancer.

The EPA still lauds her as an environmental saint, in spite of all the studies that have clearly discredited almost everything she stated or claimed or predicted. EPA’s web site states:
Silent Spring played in the history of environmentalism roughly the same role that Uncle Tom’s Cabin played in the abolitionist movement. In fact, EPA today may be said without exaggeration to the extend4ed shadow of Rachel Carson. The influence of her book has brought together over 14,000 scientists, lawyers, managers, and other employees across the country to fight the good fight for “environmental protections.”

Skeptics then and now have accused Carson of shallow science, but her literary genius carried all before it.”
So it was her literary genius and not her scientific genius that did it!  At least EPA got that right.

Blame, as well, Richard Nixon and William Ruckelshaus. When judge Sweeney ruled against those wanting to ban DDT he stated that DDT wasn’t a carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man and did not have a deleterious effect of wildlife. President Richard Nixon was furious and stated that he was going to do everything he could to overturn that decision. Ruckelshaus, as the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency appointed by Nixon, banned DDT even though the judge who sat through a scientific hearing on DDT — a hearing that Ruckelshaus did not attend — ruled that it should remain in use.”

Those who still defend Carson and the EPA’s decision are legion and desperate. Studies abound to prove that which is un-provable i.e., that DDT and DDE, a metabolite of DDT, is toxic to people and wildlife and causes all sorts of afflictions. One recently released study called the Pine River Statement was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives entitled, “The Pine River Statement: Human Health Consequences of DDT Use”. Fifteen scientists reviewed almost 500 papers to prove that DDT or DDE caused “cancer, diabetes, fetal underdevelopment, shortened duration of lactation, reduced child growth, reproductive problems and neurodevelopmental problems.

The case they came up with “was weak” and “in order to prove a cause and effect relationship between DDT and human health harm, certain core criteria should be met, such as strength of association, biologic credibility, and consistency with other investigations. Two other important, although sometimes considered weaker, criteria are time sequence (cause must precede effect) and a proportional dose-response relationship. None of the studies presented in the Pine River Statement satisfy these criteria. The studies are un-replicated, contradictory, or statistically insignificant.” Yet the authors conclude that the evidence they present proves that DDT “may” pose a risk to human health.

I find it amazing that they feel compelled to continue spending millions to prove DDT is so terrible. If that was actually so it would have been clear to everyone and this would have been absolutely settled by now; yet they continue.


Because everything they have said or written about DDT is a lie and they desperately need to find a way of discrediting this banned product even now.


Because their cause against DDT gave them power, influence and money they had never dreamed of before. If their DDT claims are lies then all the claims about all the other pesticides can reasonably considered lies. and a valid case would be made that the rest of their scares are invlaid also.

Nixon wanted to get rid of DDT but he couldn’t because pesticides fell under the legislative authority of the USDA, and they didn’t agree with the idea that DDT should be eliminated. In order to strip that legislative authority from the USDA he created the EPA and appointed an underground greenie to be in charge. EPA was founded in corruption and has operated from the very beginning behind a curtain of lies, and nothing has changed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

DDT and The Magic Study Machine!

By Rich Kozlovich (Originally published Saturday, February 15, 2014)

In December 2011 I wrote an article entitled, DDT - Lets Have Another 10,000 Studies!, saying;
“There have been thousands of studies regarding the effects of DDT on the environment, people and wildlife, and most of them were junk science….. conclusions in search of data. A number of years ago…..Dr. Rutledge Taylor...produced a film documentary about DDT called  3 Billion and Counting. …..At one point he had received almost 100 studies from one of the anti-DDT groups claiming all sorts of things. He sent them to me and asked me to look them over…..
As I went through the first ten, very carefully outlining and taking notes on what was clearly wrong with those studies, I found out that they were filled with claptrap; speculation, weasel words, logical fallacies and weak associations. I went through the next ten just as carefully, without taking notes this time, and found the exact same pattern in all of them. I skipped to every fifth study only to find the same pattern over and over again. In short, these studies were nothing more than “academic welfare”!
You know what welfare is; pay without work; work being the operative word for producing something of value. And in these cases the ‘academic welfare’ produced preconceived conclusions. Conclusions in search of data! And everyone one of these studies was produced after DDT was banned! Why?”
Well, there is one thing we know for sure. Anti-DDT ‘studies’ will generate grant money, and the holy grail of science is grant money, and that’s what makes them ‘magic’. They’re magic because anti-DDT studies produce gold out of nothing. This kind of reminds me of that old Grimm brother’s fairy tale about Rumpelstiltskin and spinning straw into gold, and spinning is the operative word, because they're still desperately attempting to prove the ban really has some scientific basis instead of the political decision it really was.
One of of my readers sent me a link to this study, entitled, Elevated Serum Pesticide Levels and Risk for Alzheimer Disease, which claimed there ‘may’ be a link between Alzheimer’s and DDT, or in this case DDE the metabolite, or breakdown product, of DDT, finally concluding;
“Elevated serum DDE levels are associated with an increased risk for AD and carriers of an APOE4 ε4 allele may be more susceptible to the effects of DDE. Both DDT and DDE increase amyloid precursor protein levels, providing mechanistic plausibility for the association of DDE exposure with AD. Identifying people who have elevated levels of DDE and carry an APOE ε4 allele may lead to early identification of some cases of AD.”
The L.A. Times quotes and states;
"Over 80% of us have measurable levels of DDE in our blood, that is a reality," Richardson told The Times. "We get it from legacy contamination or food that comes from countries using DDT.  None of the people in the study had DDE levels that were way beyond what is found in the general population. "The levels we observed were not outside what you find in the top 5% of people in the United States," he said.
He added that some of the participants who had high DDE levels did not have Alzheimer's. "We need to do a lot more work to understand this association," he said."It may not be as simple as different levels of exposure.
With all those caveats, why was this study even published?
Let me tell you about weasel words and phrases, which has now been updated. When you start to look at these “studies” touted by the activists you find there is one common thread. They are full of weasel words and phrases. This gives them a great deal of wiggle room because they never come out and definitively state that things are factual, they’re always ‘maybes’, and always scary ‘maybes’.
Did it ever occur to anyone this is nothing more than unfounded printed accusations, or even professional guess work? When this stuff makes it into print the media consistently fails to give the impression this may not be viewed as real science from the rest of the scientific community.
The American Council on Science and Health published an article on January 28, 2014 dealing with this entitled, “New study tries to link Alzheimer’s disease and DDT; media thinks it succeeded”.
“A small biomonitoring study of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients’ exposure to DDT, as compared to those of non-AD patients, came up with some statistically significant associations of otherwise no clinical significance. But that didn’t stop the news media from blaring the findings hither and yon, without giving a moment’s thought to the underlying mechanisms or significance. As usual.”
The article goes on to say;
“among 86 AD and 79 control patients [Editor's note; way too small a number to mean anything]. These levels were measured in serum. [DDT] is persistent (meaning it does not break down rapidly in the environment), as is DDE. But the levels measured in the study subjects were in the nanogram per milligram of cholesterol range: where a nanogram is one-millionth of a milligram! Simply put, the levels of DDE were somewhat akin to a drop of water in an olympic-sized swimming pool or less.
The problem with so many of these studies is in how they’re conducted, and what the media fails to tell everyone, and probably doesn’t understand anyway. The article went on to say;
The results, such as they are, indicated that the measured levels of DDE were 3.8 fold higher in the AD patients than the controls. Does this mean that the DDT/DDE caused AD in those higher-exposed? Not at all. In fact, the 2 study groups were assembled in 2 different locations, and each group’s numbers failed to show any effect. The authors took care of that inconvenient problem by pooling both groups, and voila! the statistics came back to them as they hoped.
But while that teeny-tiny amount may make this whole endeavor ridiculous, even more so is this simple fact: while the amount of DDT/DDE in the environment has clearly declined since it was banned and its manufacture nearly disappeared forty-plus years ago, the incidence of AD has climbed, indeed accelerated over that same period. That’s tough to explain using the “DDT linked to Alzheimer’s” scare story. Isn’t it?  Also, can you postulate the likely biological hypothesis for how these chemicals infiltrate one’s brain and interfere with memory on a progressive basis? No? Neither can I.
The author of the study is quoted as saying;
“That is exactly why this study was done: to try to discover some–any– remediable factor to try to prevent AD. Otherwise, we just feel helpless and at the mercy of fate.
ACSH’s Dr. Gil Ross notes;           
“ that’s a poor excuse for twisting yourself into a pretzel to come up with some bizarre linkage such as this study. And then there’s this insinuation that all pesticides are alike, which is utter nonsense.”
Of course groundwork must be laid for future grant chasing. “We have submitted grants to follow this up in much larger groups of people,” ….“That is the most important step — to replicate this and to have it in a much larger sample.” And so it goes, "The Magic Study Machine" is kept humming - filling the world with hype that's promoted by scientifically illiterate journalists.
But this is just the latest study generated by the Magic Study Machine over DDT. In January 2012 it was declared that DDT was now “linked” [another weasel word] to Vitamin D deficiency. Why didn’t the problem appear 40 years ago? And its really hard to believe whatever is left of DDT could have this kind of impact on anyone.
Then there was the December 2011 claim that DDT causes lung problems in babies?
Again, as Steve Milloy notes;
“DDT hasn’t been used in developing countries for decades. Now it causes lung infections? Here’s the study. The statistical associations are weak and insignificant, the data self-reported and a credible biological explanation for how DDE could possibly cause respiratory tract infections is non-existent —and, of course, respiratory tract infections in infants are so common thath it is absurd to even attempt to attribute them to trace levels of a ubiquitous metabolite of a long-banned insecticide. “
Then there was the May 2011 claim that, DDT causes diabetes, breast cancer and infant deaths.  Steve Milloy states;
I traced the diabetes claim to a study published in the July 2009 Environmental Health Perspectives. Aside from the usual fatal flaws of weak association epidemiology, this study’s assertion that DDT metabolite DDE was associated with incident diabetes is laughable since the average body mass index (BMI) of the study subjects was 33.2 — e.g., meaning that the average study subject was likely to be obese (check out this chart to see what height/weight combos make for a BMI of 33+). Moreover, no significant associations were reported for study subjects with a BMI less than 29. I don’t know whether obesity leads to diabetes or diabetes leads to obesity, but there’s no evidence that DDT is involved.   As to the breast cancer risk claim, I last addressed this issue in an October 11, 2007 column, responding to an October 2007 Environmental Health Perspectives study.
What about infant deaths?
“The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences study referred to by the New York Times doesn’t even try to associate DDT with nonmalarial infant death. It instead only estimates nonmalarial deaths that may be associated with DDT spraying, the alleged “association” being based on three studie“suggesting” that DDT exposure may increase pre-term delivery and small-for-gestational-age births, and shorten the duration of lactation. “
Here’s Steve’s quick take on those three studies:
§ Association between maternal serum concentration of the DDT metabolite DDE and preterm and small-for-gestational-age babies at birth is an effort to retrospectively blame DDT for premies and underweight births 35 years after the births. But this can’t be credibly done with biased data and weak/inconsistent statistical associations.
§ DDE and Shortened Duration of Lactation in a Northern Mexican Town reports statistically insignificant results.
§ Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethene (DDE) in Human Milk: Effects on Growth, Morbidity,and Duration of Lactation confounding risk factors were not considered in a multivariate regression model (i.e., all at the same time), so its hard to blame DDT on even a statistical basis.
“So contrary to the New York Times‘ assertion, there is no credible evidence that DDT has anything to do with diabetes, heart disease or infant deaths. Moreover, given that one million children under the age of five die every year from malaria, even if DDT did increase the risk of diabetes, breast cancer and infant death, those risks would be better than the alternative. While the Times misinforms millions are dying needlessly.”
One thing will become clear for those of you who really want to understand what’s going on with these studies. So often these “Magic Studies” are conclusions in search of data.  They involve data dredging for associations and associations are not proof of causation, and invariably they are incapable of demonstrating the biological mechanism that supposedly make these things happen.
As for the Alzheimer study - you have to wonder if it ever occurred to these people the reason this problem is becoming so pronounced is because more people are living longer and the real cause is “multiple birthday syndrome”? Did it ever occur to these ‘scientists’ that these people might not have been able to experience “multiple birthday syndrome” without the advent of DDT?
For those of you who could care less about the facts you can take solace in one reader’s caustic remark; “That settles it…DDT is now on double-secret probation!” 

And the Magic Study Machine will soon crank out another crank study proving that DDT does ________, (just fill in the blank).  Who knows, you may be able to get a grant to study “something”, or even 'anything',  just so long as 'something' or 'anything' is caused by DDT.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science, Part IV: The Legacy

“Truth would very patiently wait for us”. Benjamin Franklin

By Rich Kozlovich

(Originally published May 12, 2012 updated May 10, 2016)

Carson became the visionary for modern environmental activism, in spite of the fact that Carson was “neither profound nor original” in her thinking. Carson’s “core message was very much in line with the content of previous’ ‘books and articles published in widely circulated magazines and newspapers.” In reality the “ideological core of modern environmentalism can be traced back to ideas that have been around for centuries and in some cases millennia.”

So why did she have such much of a larger impact on society than the writers before her? Carson wrote differently than her predecessors. Their writings were so obviously misanthropic they made little impact with anyone outside their circle of like thinkers. Carson wrote claiming there were serious health hazards from chemicals to humanity, especially DDT, and that was her message, a plea for the good of humanity. Make no mistake; it was her claims regarding chemicals and cancer that really struck a chord with the public.

She claimed that DDT was a serious carcinogenic agent that with continued use would eventually impact almost 100% of the population. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

  • In 1969 primates were used as test subjects for the cancer causing potential of DDT and were fed 33,000 times the amount of DDT than the estimated adult human exposure without any conclusive evidence of it being carcinogenic……Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 1999; 125(3-4):219-25
  • In over a 20 year period 692 women were studied (265 postmenopausal women with breast cancer and 341 controls) and found “no correlation between serum DDE (the metabolite or breakdown product of DDT) and breast cancer” in women…Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1999 June; 8(6):525-32
  • Workers exposed to 600 times the average amount of DDT the general population for periods of 9 to 19 years showed no elevated cancer risk ………..ER Laws, 1967. Archives of Environmental Health 15:766-775
  • To cap off her fallacious claims, a number of individuals ingested 35 mg of DDT daily for two years and tracked for several years afterward. No indication of cancer or even an elevation of risk of cancer…Hayes, W. 1956. JAMA 162:890-897
The science against DDT wasn’t weak - it was non-existent - and remains so to this day. Malaria spraying campaigns began during WWII, since that time until 1972 hundreds of millions of people around the world had been exposed to DDT in large concentrations, including using DDT dust directly on people during the war to get rid of lice. Some of the people were liberated concentration camp internees - with seriously compromised health - who showed no ill effects from these applications. The fact is “not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome." according to international health scholar Amir Attaran.

But it was Carson who became the right writer, with the right style, for the right time. She stunned the nation with “revelations” that society was “eroding the very fabric of life”, with our modern industrialized lifestyle.

Carson’s attack on “synthetic pesticides is not her most notable achievement”. It was her wider “ecological critique” of society as a whole that has had the most lasting impact. The most important thing we must come to understand is the popularity of Silent Spring created a pattern of thinking. As an example, in 1965 “Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote Wilderness Bill of Rights, proposing that animals, plants and natural objects should have legal rights just as humans do.” This irrational mental pattern continues almost unabated.

The most lasting achievement of Silent Spring was the embrace of the Precautionary Principle, the foundation for every piece of junk science ever promoted. The Precautionary Principle is more commonly known as the “better safe than sorry” principle. It is based on a totally unscientific line of thought that anything can do something detrimental so therefore we need to prevent its use before something bad happens; the lack of scientific findings not-with-standing.

If the Precautionary Principle had been imposed during Edison’s day we wouldn’t have electricity today since the Principle demands you must prove something is safe before you can use it, and we know that electricity isn’t safe. Proving something is safe is a scientific impossibility known as proving a negative. You cannot prove a negative. You can only prove what things do - not what they don’t do - and the green movement knows it. It’s like demanding proof that someone isn’t cheating on their spouse.

The interesting twist in their reasoning is that they refuse to apply this principle both ways. In other words - what would be the negative impact if a product isn’t used. The green movement has never been fond of truth, facts or logic. Neither are they consistent in their thinking. The theme of this movement is that man and all his works are evil and nature and all of its works are benign. Both over simplifications, and both wrong, and since environmentalism is the secular religion of the urban atheist, any deviation is heresy. But that is Carson’s legacy,

The origin of the Precautionary Principle can be traced back to much earlier times, so it was not unique to Silent Spring, but Carson made it popular thinking. Carson and Silent Spring is cited as illustrative in the thinking when developing the Registration, Evaluation, Authorizations, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in the EU, which was enacted in 2005. Silent Spring crossed international boundary’s impacting the world with irrational regulations and unpleasant consequences.

Rachel Carson's work created irrational fears that completely ignored the promise and solutions modern technology brings. Her work laid the foundation for a modern movement that prevents real solutions and real progress, which may actually harm humanity and the environment the green movement claims to be trying to protect. Wind mills are a classic example. They are destroying bat and avian life at massive levels, including endangered species, and the green movement says nothing. Let’s not fail to see things clearly. The movement she is credited with creating is, irrational, misanthropic and morally defective.

 That is her true legacy.

Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science!
Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science! Part II
Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science, Part III

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Heterodoxy Is Not For The Faint of Heart

By Rich Kozlovich

Orginally published February 6, 2009 updated January 20, 2016

It was reported on February 4th, 2009 that Bill Gates released mosquitoes in the conference room of a “well heeled crowd” of attendees at a technical conference in Calfiornia; proclaiming that “Malaria is spread by mosquitoes; I brought some. Here, I’ll let them roam around – there is no reason only poor people should be infected.’

Needless to say the crowd wasn’t happy, even after he assured them that these mosquitoes weren’t carrying malaria parasites, but I thought the whole irony of this stunt was rich in symbolism. The “rich” and I include everyone living in the first world, including you and me because we benefit from the realities of first world economics.   Generally speaking we don’t worry about mosquito borne diseases because we can afford to spray for them and we do.

First it was DDT, and now we have a host of products that are used (none of which the greenies support by the way, so whether it is DDT or anything else it just doesn’t matter to these misanthropes). Yet so many in the first world who've benefited from these life saving products stand against their use, including DDT, that will save millions of lives.

However, what if it was different?  What if we couldn't afford these pesticide applications?

Secondly we have expensive medications. David Gardner makes this point, “Although pills exist that can help prevent malaria, there is currently no vaccine. Preventative medication is used mainly by travelers and is not available to the vast majority of people living in the Third World.” Although he goes on to note that, “Resistance to antibiotics by the malaria parasite is also becoming a problem, with some preventative medications no longer effective in certain parts of the world.”

However, what if it was different?  What if we didn't have these products available, or worse yet, available but unaffordable?

So why did Bill Gates “perform” this stunt? To advertise the disaster that malaria is to the rest of the world…to shock the “rich” out of their sense of complacency and help them to understand what it is like when it really is different - and it's very different in the third world.

Gates quit Microsoft to work on his charitable programs. One of them is malaria, and he wanted to “hammer home the importance of malaria prevention.” He and his wife donated almost 170 million dollars last year to a program that is working to develop a vaccine for this nightmare disease.

Africa there isn’t a family that hasn’t suffered from the tragedy of malaria and its overall effects; death, retardation, reoccurring afflictions, not to mention the economic impact of having so many sick people in a society all the time. No society can overcome poverty when so much money is devoted to caring for the sick. No economy can overcome poverty when so many are unable to work. No economy can overcome poverty when so many healthy people have to devote so much time to care for their loved ones. No economy can overcome poverty when the healthy will themselves be struck down by this disease and they all know it is just a matter of time before it is their turn. According to Gardner, “Up to 2.7 million people a year still die of malaria each year, 75 per cent of them African children”.

Gates has been correctly criticized for not recognizing DDT is still the number one product in malaria prevention, however I am not going to beat on him over this. He at least recognizes that the problem exists and how severe it is. He at least is putting his money where his mouth is. He at least is advertising how serious a problem this is - and for that I have tremendous respect for him.  Still…this is clearly a case of not seeing the whole problem.

Malaria isn’t the only disease transmitted by mosquitoes.  Let’s review!

I have logged onto two web sites; one from the CDC and one from the state of Minnesota. Why Minnesota? Because it is so far north - it isn’t a subtropical or tropical area.

Let us review Minnesota's problems first.
West Nile Virus (WNV)
West Nile virus is a disease transmitted to people, horses, and birds. It is the most commonly reported mosquito-transmitted disease in Minnesota. Most people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms or flu-like symptoms, but some (primarily elderly) have more severe illness.

LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC)
LaCrosse encephalitis, which is transmitted by the Tree Hole mosquito, is responsible for 3 to 13 cases of severe illness (primarily in children) each year in Minnesota.

Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)
During 1941, there was a large regional outbreak of Western equine encephalitis. There may have been as many as 791 cases in Minnesota that year with 90 deaths. In more recent years, Minnesota has had infrequent and smaller outbreaks of WEE (15 human cases in 1975, single cases in 1983 and 1999).

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. EEE is quite severe and typically fatal among infected horses.

St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
CDC; Cases of St. Louis encephalitis are usually the result of unpredictable and intermittent localized epidemics. Attention: Non-MDH link

Along with those listed above the CDC listed a few more.

Arboviral Encephalitides
Causes aseptic meningitis or encephalitis. Many cases have only fever with headache, but can progress to focal paralysis, intractable seizures, coma and death. Varies with occurrence and intensity of epidemic transmission; usually 150-3,000 cases/year.

Japanese encephalitis
Mild infections occur without apparent symptoms other than fever with headache. More severe infection is marked by quick onset, headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, occasional convulsions (especially in infants) and spastic (but rarely flaccid) paralysis.

Dengue Fever
Also known a break bone fever because of the pain the symptoms of dengue include, fever, severe headache, pain behind the eye , joint and muscle pain, rash. Usually dengue fever causes a mild illness, but it can be severe and even cause dengue hemorrhagic (bleeding) fever (DHF), which can be fatal if not treated. People who have had dengue fever before are more at risk of getting DHF.

No vaccine is available to prevent dengue, and there is no specific medicine to cure dengue. Those who become ill with dengue fever can be given medicine to reduce fever, such as acetaminophen, and may need oral rehydration or intravenous fluids and, in severe cases, treatment to support their blood pressure.

Rift Valley Fever
RVF virus can cause several different disease syndromes. People with RVF typically have either no symptoms or a mild illness associated with fever and liver abnormalities. However, in some patients the illness can progress to hemorrhagic fever (which can lead to shock or hemorrhage), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain, which can lead to headaches, coma, or seizures), or ocular disease (diseases affecting the eye). Patients who become ill usually experience fever, generalized weakness, back pain, dizziness, and extreme weight loss at the onset of the illness. Typically, patients recover within two days to one week after onset of illness. The most common complication associated with RVF is inflammation of the retina (a structure connecting the nerves of the eye to the brain). As a result, approximately 1% - 10% of affected patients may have some permanent vision loss. Approximately 1% of humans that become infected with RVF die of the disease. Case-fatality proportions are significantly higher for infected animals. The most severe impact is observed in pregnant livestock infected with RVF, which results in abortion of virtually 100% of fetuses.
It is easy to see that the picture is much larger than malaria. The best prevention against malaria - and all the other afflictions that mosquitoes can transmit - is to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito. Although that isn’t entirely possible, it can be seriously reduced by the appropriate application of pesticides. Pesticides that work and affordable in the third world!

I applaud Bill Gates: I just hope that he can begin to really see the whole picture and begin to realize those who oppose pesticides can never be appeased because they are irrational and misanthropic, and it's long overdue for us to take a stand and say so!
The Boyd Principle, (" To Be or To Do: Which Way Will You Go?") states at some point in our lives we come to a fork in the road and must make a decision. If you take one path you will be popular and you will be rewarded. If you take the other path you will be criticized, ridiculed and scorned. However, you won’t have to turn your back on your friends or your principles. If you are more concerned with accomplishing that which is right and best - the satisfaction for having stood against the conventional wisdom on right principles will be your reward - and you may actually accomplish something worthwhile.

For those who haven't already looked up what heterodoxy means: It's not conforming with accepted or orthodox standards or belief. Standing up and telling the world, "you're all wrong, and I'm going to tell you why", isn't for the faint of heart.

All it takes is being right - being able to prove you're right - not being afraid to prove you're right - and the willingness to be un- liked.

Once you've reached that point it all becomes much easier.

"Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too." -- Andrew Breitbart

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science, Part III

By Rich Kozlovich
Rachel Carson is commonly known as the mother of the environmental movement due to the publication of her book Silent Spring.  Why did this book have such an impact?  First of all, she was an exceptional writer.  Her writing skills placed her beyond the works of others of her time discussing many of the same subjects.  Originally her major in college was English, which she later changed to biology, but first and foremost she considered herself a writer.   Although classified as a scientist, she wasn’t a practicing scientist.  While “working for the U.S. Bureau of Fish and Wildlife Services in the Commerce Department, her job there was as a writer, summarizing then popularizing the work of scientists in the lab and in the field.”
Before she wrote Silent Spring she was already well known for her books about the ocean.  Her personal research included “a brief and shallow dive clinging to a boat’s ladder”.  She never claimed to have been where she had not, but she wrote with a technique “guiding the reader in narrative form, observing as if with her own eyes- or the readers.”  . 
Silent Spring started as installments in New Yorker magazine.  Her ocean books were tremendously popular, and accurate.  Two were on the New York Best Sellers list, and appear to have been exemplary works of fact. This gave her credibility with the public, so she already had a reputation as a respected science writer.  The real driving force with the public was her claims that DDT caused cancer and made dire predictions that cancer would be a national plague caused by synthetic pesticides.  She was wrong, and if her work had been peer reviewed before publication the errors in her work would have been exposed.  But this was a book about scare mongering, not science. 
The one thing that I hear all the time is that DDT caused egg shell thinning and was destroying the bald eagle population and would decimate the entire bird population everywhere, including robins.  That was blatantly false.  This is an important falsehood because she must have known it was false.  Carson joined the national board of the Audubon Society in 1948 and had to know that the nation’s bird population wasn’t decreasing but in reality increasing during the DDT years.  She also had to know that robins were the most populace bird in North America during that time and had expanded somewhere between 12 and 26 times during those years.
The opening chapter of her book is entitled, “Fable for Tomorrow”, where she lays the foundation for the rest of her claims describes a town where;
“a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change.  Some evil spell had settled on the community” mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens; the cattle and sheep sickened and died.  Everywhere was a shadow of death.  The farmers spoke of much illness among their families.  In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients.  There had been several sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but even among children, who would be stricken and suddenly while at play and die within a few hours.”
“There was a strange stillness.  The birds, for example –where had they gone?  Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed.  The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted.  The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly.  It was a spring without voices.  On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods.”   
She went on to say that chickens had no chicks, farmers were unable to raise any pigs because the piglets were small and died in only a few days.  She then says that bees no longer droned among the blossoms of fruit trees and as a result they were barren.   She then goes on to say;
"No witchcraft no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves.” 
Powerful and moving words, but where was this town?  In the last two paragraphs of the first chapter of her book she then reveals the truth…. it doesn’t exist!
“This town does not actually exist, but it might easily have a thousand counterparts in America or elsewhere in the world.  I know of no community that has experienced all the misfortunes I describe." 
This is amazing.  After admitting she's making this all up she has the nerve to go on to say:
"Yet everyone one of these disasters has actually happened somewhere and many real communities have already suffered a substantial number of them.  A grim specter has crept upon us almost unnoticed, and this imagined tragedy may easily become a stark reality we all shall know."
"What has already silenced the voices of spring in countless towns in America? 
Towns she admits don't exist but - "This book is an attempt to explain.” - exactly what is it she wants to explain? 
So while admitting that this town doesn’t exist, she still attempts to claim all these things “might” be happening.  Her goal was to inculcate into people’s hearts and minds the idea that synthetic pesticides were responsible for an ultimate devastation of human and animal life.  Well, all she described wasn’t happening then nor did any of it ever happen.  Carson made it up and this trend continued throughout Silent Spring.
As for the bald eagle; she had to know the bald eagle population wasn’t decreasing.  Being involved with the Wildlife Service and the Audubon Society she had to know the truth.  In 1961 entomologist Philip H. Marvin noted in the Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America that “during the past 15 years of expanded insecticide use, bird numbers have multiplied several fold.”  This was based on the “observations of the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Census, which had been conducted every year around Christmas time since 1900 and co-sponsored by Carson’s employer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during Carson’s employment there and in the years preceding the publication of Silent Spring.”
Among the many misrepresentations in her book are her claims regarding egg shell thinning, which would threaten avian life in America with extinction.
She cited “an obscure study by Dr. James Dewitt of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to shown that DDT was reducing the number of bird eggs that were hatching.”
“However the actual study showed that despite feeding quail 3000 times the daily human intake of DDT, their eggs did not hatch significantly less than the control group. The same study done with pheasants showed that the survival rate of hatchlings of DDT feed pheasants actually increased. This is exactly the opposite of what Rachel Carson wrote.”

“Researchers that produced thin shelled quail eggs did so by reducing the calcium intake of the birds. After the study was published in Science magazine, it was exposed as a fraud. The study was then conducted with normal calcium intake. The quail fed DDT treated food did not produce thin shells. However, Science magazine refused to print that study. Its editor later related that they would never print an article supporting the use of DDT.”

Carson had to know that and yet still published lies which permeated her work.  On “Page 85" Carson says we are “adding... a new kind of havoc—the direct killing of birds, mammals, fishes, and indeed practically every form of wildlife by chemical insecticides indiscriminately sprayed on the land.”
Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, who spent much of his life debunking Carson’s claims asks;
Is it possible that Carson was unaware of the great increases in mammals and game birds harvested by hunters during the years of greatest use of the modern insecticides to which she objects? Is it possible that she was unaware of the tremendous increases in most kinds of North American birds, as documented year after year by participants in the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts? (That abundance was proven by the numbers of birds counted, per observer, on those counts.) The major things that limited numbers of fish during the ”DDT years” was the increasing competition among hordes of fishermen, the damming of multitudes of streams, and the sewage produced by our burgeoning population of healthy, well-fed American people.
As for DDT and bald eagles Steve Milloy, editor of states that;
“As early as 1921, the journal Ecology reported that bald eagles were threatened with extinction – 22 years before DDT production even began. According to a report in the National Museum Bulletin, the bald eagle reportedly had vanished from New England by 1937 – 10 years before widespread use of the pesticide.
“But by 1960 – 20 years after the Bald Eagle Protection Act and at the peak of DDT use – the Audubon Society reported counting 25 percent more eagles than in its pre-1941 census. U.S. Forest Service studies reported an increase in nesting bald eagle productivity from 51 in 1964 to 107 in 1970, according to the 1970 Annual Report on Bald Eagle Status.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service attributed bald eagle population reductions to a “widespread loss of suitable habitat,” but noted that “illegal shooting continues to be the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles,” according to a 1978 report in the Endangered Species Tech Bulletin…….U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that “DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs,” according to a 1966 report published in the “Transcripts of 31st North America Wildlife Conference.”
Is it any wonder that Carson captured the imagination of America with chapters entitled, Rivers of  Death; The Human Price; The Rumblings of an Avalanche and Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias.
Edwards went on to say at one of his lectures;
I trust that this partial analysis of Carson’s deceptions, false statements, horrible innuendoes, and ridiculous allegations in the first 125 pages of Silent Spring will indicate why so many scientists expressed opposition, antagonism, and perhaps even a little rage after reading Carson’s diatribe. No matter how deceitful her prose, however, the influence of Carson’s Silent Spring has been very great and it continues 30 years later to shape environmentalist propaganda and fund-raising as well as U.S. policy.
Carson never directly called for the ban on DDT, but the only conclusion anyone could come to after reading Silent Spring was that DDT had to be banned - it was - and people all over the third world became sickened by the hundreds of millions and millions of them died. 
Carson lied and people died. 
In a trial if someone has been found lying in any aspect of their testimony their entire testimony justifiably called into question.  Should this be any less true of scientists, or science writers?
It is one thing when the activists and the media spew out this nonsense, but I am outraged at those within our industry who jumped on board supported that which is unsupportable and corrupt.  Viv Forbes makes this statement regarding Global Warming.  “The public has been misled by an unholy alliance of environmental scaremongers, funds-seeking academics, sensation-seeking media, vote-seeking politicians and profit-seeking vested interests.”  That statement is an apt description for everything promoted by the environmental movement, including the ban on DDT. 
Much of what has appeared here was from the book “Silent Spring at 50” by Meiners, Desrochers, and Morriss, Steve Milloy’s “100 Things You Should Know About DDT”, and “The Lies of Rachel Carson”, a presentation by J. Gordon Edwards.  You may wish to view my Sunday, January 27, 2013 Book Review: Silent Spring at 50.   Rich Kozlovich

Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science!
Silent Spring: The Consequences of 50 Years of Junk Science! Part II