By Kevin MooneyÂ
Hysteria over global warming has opened the door to restrictive energy policies that greatly jeopardize not only average Americans but also low income families in developing countries who are already beset by rising prices, according a new documentary on the modern environmental movement Â
“Not Evil, Just Wrong” takes a hard look at the potential human costs associated with the demands of environmentalism in areas of the world where carbon-based energy sources are vital. The current scare surrounding man-made global warming theories should be viewed within a larger historical context that reaches back to the early 1960s when Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” which argued against the use of pesticides like DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane).
Carson, an American marine biologist, argued that DDT and other pesticides were harmful both to wildlife and to humans. Her book offered up a scenario where birds succumbed to insecticides and stopped singing resulting in a “silent spring.”
But there is considerably scientific dispute today about Carson’s central claims. Some researchers now say the correlation she saw between cancer patterns and DDT is highly questionable. Experiments conducted subsequent to her book also show that any egg shell thinning for birds is most likely causes by other substances not DDT.
Moreover, the beneficial effects attached to the use of DDT in combating malaria, for instance, went unheralded at a critical moment in human history Ann McElinney and Phelim McAleer, the husband and wife film team, responsible for the new film pointed out in an interview.
The World Health Organization (WHO) credits DDT with saving anywhere from 50 million to a 100 million lives by preventing the spread of malaria. There were sharp drops in malaria cases reported in parts of Europe, India, and the U.S. following World War II according to WHO. In fact, malaria was virtually banished in the U.S. thanks to DDT, government studies show.
Unfortunately, DDT was later banned as a result of unfounded hysteria allowing malaria to spread in developing parts of the world where about 50 million children succumbed to the disease, the filmmakers argue.
McElinney and McAleer previously collaborated in directing and producing “Mine Your Own Business” set in Rosia Montana, an impoverished village in Romania where a Canadian mining company sought to set up shop. This previous film contrasted the views of environmentalists opposed to economic development with those of local villagers who favored the installation of a new mine.
“Not Evil, Just Wrong” expands on some of the themes raised in the earlier film and focuses attention on what the policy fallout might be if former Vice-President Al Gore and other environmental advocates prevailed in either freezing or greatly restricting the use of carbon dioxide.
“Carbon is the new DDT, it is the new bogeyman” McElinney said in an interview. “And in another 100 years there will be another false bogeyman. “The timing of this new film is incredible given the debate we are now having on energy use and we hope come to see that this new scare has all the hallmarks of past scares that never materialized.”
A small Indiana town called Vevay is the focal point for much of the action in the new film. It is a picturesque, economically vibrant community replete with restaurants and small businesses. However, the residents make it clear that their town would be difficult to sustain in the absence of cheap energy.
The scientific debate surrounding the question of man-made global warming is mentioned in the film. The infamous “hockey stick” that allegedly showed a sharp uptick in warming connected with human activity is mentioned, for instance. Although, the “hockey stick” was once cited in the United Nation’s (U.N.)Â International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) it was later shown to be false as the documentary points out.
Read the rest of this piece at News Busters.
That’s not so. Could you provide a citation to any study that takes issue with any of Carson’s actual claims in Silent Spring? I think any fair analysis would find that there is overwhelming scientific support for the claims she made. Discover magazine a year ago counted, and found more than 1,000 peer-reviewed, science studies corroborating her claims about effects on birds. Contrary studies? None.
Also not so. Every cancer-fighting agency in the world lists DDT as a probable human carcinogen. DDT’s effects generally are reduced the larger the size of the animal. DDT is a proven carcinogen in other mammals. DDT is not a powerful carcinogen in humans, most likely — but that is different from saying the links themselves are questionable.
DDT was not banned because it was thought to be carcinogenic. It was banned because it corrupted ecosystems in the wild. That’s still true.
The evidence of carcinogenicity for DDT is significantly stronger today than it was in 1962. That is not to say DDT is a potent carcinogen. But any claim that it is not is simply false. The American Cancer Society has no reason to lie about DDT.
That’s patently wrong. There is no such study. Don’t take my word for it, though — go look at the studies yourself. You’ll discover there is no study that denies DDT’s role in eggshell thinning.
This is an aside to the central points of the article, but…
Bitman J, Lillie RJ, Cecil HC, Fries GF. Effect of DDT on reproductive performance of caged leghorns. Poultry Science 1971 50:657-659.
Dan Dan Dan, there you go again. Fear-mongering and diverting attention away from the real concerns that some people are working hard for solutions that will help all people in the end. Be not afraid, Dan. We will all continue to use fossil fuels till the cows come home and then some. In the meantime don’t try to stiffle progress and technology. That’s suspicious and just really lame. Gren technology will add jobs and other benefits. Get a life, and a real job.
So-called Green technology and jobs would not exist on anything but a tiny scale were it not for government mandates and subsidy. Adding more people to the government’s payroll isn’t progress. Ultimately somebody has to pay for this. What happens when everyone is on the government dole and nobody is producing anything in the private sector? Total economic collapse. We’re teetering on the edge already.
Let me tell you a bit about Green technology: “Environmentally friendly” insulating foam destroyed a Space Shuttle and killed astronauts. Environmentally friendly power generation in thrid-world countries has resulted in underpowered hospitals that can either run a refrigerator or the lights, but not both simultaneously. Wind turbines can never – NEVER – replace conventional power production. Trying to do so will put our hospitals into third-world conditions and wipe out industry. The wind turbine industry is a scam to boost prices and sales of natural gas. Don’t try to tell me that “green technology” is progress. Windmills are centuries-old technology. Passenger rail transportation should be getting phased out as the inflexible dinosaur it is, not expanded. Corn-based ethanol is contributing to rampant inflation, food scarcity, increased transportation costs, and lower fuel economy. Compact flourescent lights are importing unprescedented amounts of mercury into our homes and soon, our landfills and who knows where else. Manufacture of hybrid car batteries is creating more pollution than is reduced by the electric motors.
We can generate energy from water. Hydrogen is abundant, inexhaustable, in fact and can be used for combustion or electric generation. All the greenies are focused on crap that doesn’t work – wind, solar, corn. Why not hydrogen and nuclear?
Show me the progress. Where?
That’s funny Dan. Asking where’s the progress when it is people like you who demean and block all efforts towards said progress. You’ve read Catch 22 I can tell. You are truly a dinosaur, inside and out.
What weâ€™re witnessing now is historic. It is the complete and utter repudiation of Reaganism-Bushism (libertarian economics) of course, but it runs even deeper than that. Not just the hyper-kleptocratic version of the American economic system is being left in shreds, but even its more moderate baseline version â€“ the Eisenhower model of nice, gray-suited capitalism â€“ is now also on the chopping block. Even that form of capitalism â€“ quaintly tame by todayâ€™s standards of astonishing rapaciousness â€“ was never sustainable, and part of what weâ€™ve been seeing this last decade is all the ruses by which we had greedily squeezed out more than our fair share of the pie now angrily biting back. The wars, the environmental rape, the exploitation of nice little brown people all around the world (and, after all, isnâ€™t that why Jesus made them?), the borrowing against our childrenâ€™s future, the tax avoidance free-riding, the credit card economy, the exporting of jobs to explode profits, the gluttony of 300 pound Americans and their SUVs and the giant screens on which they watch â€˜reality TVâ€™ (a nice euphemism for humiliating degradation) â€“ these are all screaming out to us simultaneously today, in an excruciating cacophonous harmony from Hell, that THIS MUST END NOW.
Well, thank you for that communist screed. Dig deep enough into the thoughts of a truly committed environmentalist, and it boils down to economics and political ideology. Thank you for helping demonstrate what I’ve been saying all along. What I still don’t fully grasp is why the lefty-loonies have to inject race into their rants. Is it just so simple that racism is a handy old tried and true stand-by smear to hurl at any ideological opponent, or is there some deeper psychology going on there?
I’ve done extensive research on these studies. It is obvious you have not. I recommend you look at Cornell’s synopsis at http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/ddt-ext.html.
Some highlights: “DDT is moderately to slightly toxic to studied mammalian species via the oral route.”
So don’t eat it.
“DDT is slightly to practically non-toxic to test animals via the dermal route.”
Don’t worry about touching it.
“It is thought that inhalation exposure to DDT will not result in significant absorption through the lung alveoli (tiny gas-exchange sacs) ” so breathing it isn’t toxic, but you may ingest some of what you breath. OTOH, “adults appear to tolerate moderate to high ingested doses of up to 280 mg/kg”, so you would have to breath it for years, or eat a whole lot of it.
If you feed enough of it to lab animals, they may develop liver, kidney and immune system problems, but “Adverse effects on the liver, kidney and immune system due to DDT exposure have not been demonstrated in humans in any of the studies which have been conducted to date” despite our indiscriminate use of it in the 1940s and 50s.
“Available epidemiological evidence from two studies does not indicate that reproductive effects have occurred in humans as a result of DDT exposure.”
” It seems unlikely that teratogenic effects will occur in humans due to DDT at likely exposure levels.
“it appears that DDT may have the potential to cause genotoxic effects in humans, but does not appear to be strongly mutagenic. It is unclear whether these effects may occur at exposure levels likely to be encountered by most people.”
“The available epidemiological evidence regarding DDT’s carcinogenicity in humans, when taken as a whole, does not suggest that DDT and its metabolites are carcinogenic in humans at likely dose levels ”
“DDT may be slightly toxic to practically non-toxic to birds.” Read that one again. There has always been a problem with the original (and non-reproducable) egg-shell study. They showed that ingestion of some DDT correlated to shell thinning, but ingestion of greater amounts did not. This is against all scientific studies of correlation, and screams that something is amiss with the study.
Finally, something DDT does significantly affect: “DDT is very highly toxic to many aquatic invertebrate species.” For instance, mosquitoes. But then, that’s why it was used.
Consider this: we used tons of the stuff everywhere in the US. Tons and tons of it – for everything, everywhere, for over a decade. No one got sick, No one died. Birds didn’t fall out of the sky. No species went extinct. WE GOT RID OF OUR MOSQUITO PROBLEM. There is NO reason to expect any environmental harm from the TARGETED, careful application of it for the purpose of eradicating disease carrying mosquitoes in Africa. Of course, if your real goal is the death of Africans you can always deny these studies.
More studies on shell-thinning (be sure to check out the last one in the list):
Many experiments on caged-birds demonstrate that DDT and its metabolites (DDD and DDE) do not cause serious egg shell thinning, even at levels many hundreds of times greater than wild birds would ever accumulate.
[Cecil, HC et al. 1971. Poultry Science 50: 656-659 (No effects of DDT or DDE, if adequate calcium is in diet); Chang, ES & ELR Stokstad. 1975. Poultry Science 54: 3-10 1975. (No effects of DDT on shells); Edwards, JG. 1971. Chem Eng News p. 6 & 59 (August 16, 1971) (Summary of egg shell- thinning and refutations presented revealing all data); Hazeltine, WE. 1974. Statement and affidavit, EPA Hearings on Tussock Moth Control, Portland Oregon, p. 9 (January 14, 1974); Jeffries, DJ. 1969. J Wildlife Management 32: 441-456 (Shells 7 percent thicker after two years on DDT diet); Robson, WA et al. 1976. Poultry Science 55:2222- 2227; Scott, ML et al. 1975. Poultry Science 54: 350-368 (Egg production, hatchability and shell quality depend on calcium, and are not effected by DDT and its metabolites); Spears, G & P. Waibel. 1972. Minn. Science 28(3):4-5; Tucker, RK & HA Haegele. 1970. Bull Environ Contam. Toxicol 5:191-194 (Neither egg weight nor shell thickness affected by 300 parts per million DDT in daily diet);Edwards, JG. 1973. Statement and affidavit, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, 24 pages, October 24, 1973; Poult Sci 1979 Nov;58(6):1432-49 (“There was no correlation between concentrations of pesticides and egg shell thinning] .”) ]
Experiments associating DDT with egg shell thinning involve doses much higher than would ever be encountered in the wild.
[J Toxicol Environ Health 1977 Nov;3(4):699-704 (50 ppm for 6 months); Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 1978;7(3):359-67 (“acute” doses); Acta Pharmacol Toxicol (Copenh) 1982 Feb;50(2):121-9 (40 mg/kg/day for 45 days); Fed Proc 1977 May;36(6):1888-93 (“In well-controlled experiments using white leghorn chickens and Japanese quail, dietary PCBs, DDT and related compounds produced no detrimental effects on eggshell quality. … no detrimental effects on eggshell quality, egg production or hatchability were found with … DDT up to 100 ppm)]
Laboratory egg shell thinning required massive doses of DDE far in excess of anything expected in nature, and massive laboratory doses produce much less thinning than is seen in many of the thin-shelled eggs collected in the wild.
[Hazeltine, WE. 1974. Statement and affidavit, EPA Hearings on Tussock Moth Control, Portland Oregon, p. 9 (January 14, 1974)]
Years of carefully controlled feeding experiments involving levels of DDT as high as present in most wild birds resulted in no tremors, mortality, thinning of egg shells nor reproductive interference.
[Scott, ML et al. 1975. Poultry Science 54: 350-368 (Egg production, hatch ability and shell quality depend on calcium, and are not effected by DDT and its metabolites)]
Egg shell thinning is not correlated with pesticide residues.
[Krantz WC. 1970 (No correlation between shell-thinning and pesticide residues in eggs) Pesticide Monitoring J 4(3): 136-141; Postupalsky, S. 1971. Canadian Wildlife Service manuscript, April 8, 1971 (No correlation between shell-thinning and DDE in eggs of bald eagles and cormorants); Anon. 1970. Oregon State University Health Sciences Conference, Annual report, p. 94. (Lowest DDT residues associated with thinnest shells in Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk and goshawk); Claus G and K Bolander. 1977. Ecological Sanity, David McKay Co., N.Y., p. 461. (Feeding thyreprotein causes hens to lay lighter eggs, with heavier, thicker shells)]
Among brown pelican egg shells examined there was no correlation between DDT residue and shell thickness.
[Switzer, B. 1972. Consolidated EPA hearings, Transcript pp. 8212-8336; and Hazeltine, WE. 1972. Why pelican eggshells are thin. Nature 239: 410-412]
Egg shells of red-tailed hawks were reported to be six percent thicker during years of heavy DDT usage than just before DDT use began. Golden eagle egg shells were 5 percent thicker than those produced before DDT use.
[Hickey, JJ and DW Anderson. 1968. Science 162: 271-273]