Friday, April 27, 2012

The Big Lie: Rachel Carlson's "Spring"

The Warrior does a public service.

In brief, Carlson was a serial liar, a propagandist, and caused enormous wasted expenses.

IOW, she was AlGore's progenitor.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should look in the mirror before you start denigrating and demeaning people on a regular basis.

Yes, there are numerous instances in which her science is flawed. HOWEVER, the primary purpose of her work along with others was the indiscriminate and unquestioning use of pesticides. She was not necessarily concerned with direct human health effects; her thesis was that pesticides were damaging to ecosystems and the deterioration of ecosystems would be damaging to humans. Her work has led companies to be more mindful in their research and development of pesticides and has enabled Congress to keep a closer eye on those corporations (SOME, not ALL) who put profits first ahead of public health.

The problem is that few studies of health outcomes have been conducted in populations where indoor residual spraying with DDT is occurring. These populations likely have much higher exposures to DDT and may differ from those previously studied in ways that might affect susceptibility (e.g., genetics, diet, health status, and social class). MORE research is needed to determine the exposure and health risks associated with DDT used for indoor residual spraying in the relevant communities. An integrated approach to vector control is needed including improved housing to reduce scope for mosquitoes to enter houses, drainage in housing areas and indoor residual spraying. Other methods are under development.

So, just because there are discrepancies in her research does NOT discredit completely her work, or the environmental movement as a whole.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, there are numerous instances in which her science is flawed."? Seriously? You start your rebuttal with that line and then have the nerve to add a "however".

Science is not a toy. Science is not a game. Science is not a political tool. If you publish a paper or book and use your scientific credentials and then purposely attempt to mislead the reader you are a scientific fraud and NOTHING you say after that is relevant to anything.

If it helps you understand, "Yes the KKK is a bunch of extremist racists HOWEVER...". Ask yourself do you care what would come after that line?

That is how any scientist worth his salt feels after a colleague knowingly publishes false information in the name of science.

Amy said...

Carlson's work is directly responsible for the banning of DDT, which -- in turn -- is responsible for a massive increase in malaria, etc. from insect carriers. Especially in Africa. Tens of thousands of people, mostly children, have died because of Carlson's propaganda.

It's shameful.

Dad29 said...

But Amy--surely you understand that tens of thousands of human babies are irrelevant when "science" is at play.


Anonymous said...

Actually the ban was in the US only initially HOWEVER (I thought that was well suited here) the lack of demand led to production shortages and costs to skyrocket so in effect it took DDT out of the hands of the poorest of countries.

By the way malaria and other diseases that are spread by mosquito kill tens of millions not tens of thousands.

Anonymous said...

Let me reiterate...Her work has led companies to be more mindful in their research and development of pesticides and has enabled Congress to keep a closer eye on those corporations (SOME, not ALL) who put profits first ahead of public health.

She conducted INITIAL work which spurred other individuals to support or refute her findings.

At least I can acknowledge that some of her science was questionable. Yet, leave it to the "three amigos" to play the blame game and vilify her. She is primarily is responsible for those deaths? Grow up and stop being simplistic in your logic.

Anonymous said...

In Silent Spring Carson urged the use of "integrated pest management" (IPM) to fight malaria and other diseases carried or caused by insects, with a minimum of DDT.
(Rachel Carson did not call for a banning of DDT -- quite the contrary, she called for its use to be controlled to keep it available for use0.

In the rest of the world, IPM is known as "integrated vector management" (IVM). Very briefly, IPM involves use of pesticides only where necessary, and with great care not to use the same stuff too much and so push the insect pests to evolve resistance.

DDT is still used for Indoor Residual Spraying (and has been used constantly by the World Health Organization since the 1950's); but it is rotated now with a dozen other pesticides, each of which attacks the insects differently. In this fashion, the insects' evolution is kept off-balance, and it does not develop immunity so quickly as before.

IPM also involves using alternative methods. Since 2000, in tests and full-scale malaria fighting, bed nets have proven effective in preventing the bites that transmit the disease. In fact, bed nets tend to be about twice as effective as DDT, at less than a third of the cost. Mosquitoes do not develop resistance to nets, of course.

A notable exception is India, one of the few places that DDT is still manufactured in great quantity. In fact, India uses more DDT than the rest of the world combined. And that country still has a major problem with malaria.

India's example is instructive. We learn that DDT is not magic against malaria, and we learn that fighting the disease involves a great deal more than just spraying poisons willy-nilly.

Check the WHO figures on malaria deaths. In 1959 and 1960, the peak years of DDT use, malaria deaths totalled about 4 million, worldwide.

Today the death toll from malaria is the lowest in human history, under 900,000 per year. That's a reduction of 75% since peak DDT use.

If one wishes to claim that DDT could have prevented more deaths, shouldn't one have figures to show that malaria deaths increased when DDT use slowed? Instead, malaria deaths decreased, and are still decreasing.

In fact, malaria deaths have dropped in correspondence to the reduction of DDT use.

Odd to blame Carson for increased malaria deaths, when malaria deaths decreased instead.

Could DDT eradicate malaria? India still uses DDT heavily, and India is one of the few places malaria is surging.


Anonymous said...

You understand so little about her you can't even spell her name correctly. But then this is typical of your shallow analyses and sacrilegious philosophy.

Anonymous said...

That's all you got, anony 1:28 p.m.? You and TerryN have much in common it would appear.

It's called evidence. Care to counter what I stated with counter arguments?