Update: As Professor Judith Curry adds (note it applies to the media as well as the warmists in the government or universities):
I have been a professional meteorologist for 36 years. Since my debut on television in 1979, I have been an eyewitness to the many changes in technology, society, and how we communicate. I am one who embraces change, and celebrates the higher quality of life we enjoy now thanks to this progress.
But, at the same time, I realize the instant communication platforms we enjoy now do have some negatives that are troubling. Just a few examples in recent days…
I would say hundreds of people have sent this image to me over the past 24 hours via social media.
Comments are attached… like “This is a cloud never seen before in the U.S."..."can’t you see this is due to government manipulation of the weather from chemtrails"… “no doubt this is a sign of the end of the age”.
Let’s get real. This is a lenticular cloud. They have always been around, and quite frankly aren’t that unusual (although it is an anomaly to see one away from a mountain range). The one thing that is different today is that almost everyone has a camera phone, and almost everyone shares pictures of weather events. You didn’t see these often in earlier decades because technology didn’t allow it. Lenticular clouds are nothing new. But, yes, they are cool to see.
No doubt national news media outlets are out of control when it comes to weather coverage, and their idiotic claims find their way to us on a daily basis.
The Houston flooding is a great example. We are being told this is “unprecedented”...Houston is “under water”...and it is due to manmade global warming.
Yes, the flooding in Houston yesterday was severe, and a serious threat to life and property. A genuine weather disaster that has brought on suffering.
But, no, this was not “unprecedented”. Flooding from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 was more widespread, and flood waters were deeper. There is no comparison. In fact, many circulated this image in recent days, claiming it is “Houston underwater” from the flooding of May 25-26, 2015. The truth is that this image was captured in June 2001 during flooding from Allison.
Flood events in 2009, 2006, 1998, 1994, 1989, 1983, and 1979 brought higher water levels to most of Houston, and there were many very serious flood events before the 1970s.
On the other issue, the entire climate change situation has become politicized, which I hate. Those on the right, and those on the left hang out in “echo chambers”, listening to those with similar world views refusing to believe anything else could be true.
Everyone knows the climate is changing; it always has, and always will. I do not know of a single “climate denier”. I am still waiting to meet one.
The debate involves the anthropogenic impact, and this is not why I am writing this piece. Let’s just say the Houston flood this week is weather, and not climate, and leave it at that.
I do encourage you to listen to the opposing point of view in the climate debate, but be sure the person you hear admits they can be wrong, and has no financial interest in the issue. Unfortunately, those kind of qualified people are very hard to find these days. It is also hard to find people that discuss climate without using the words “neocon” and “libtard”. I honestly can’t stand politics; it is tearing this nation apart.
Back to my point...many professional meteorologists feel like we are fighting a losing battle when it comes to national media and social media hype and disinformation. They will be sure to let you know that weather events they are reporting on are “unprecedented”, there are “millions and millions in the path”, it is caused by a “monster storm”, and “the worst is yet to come” since these events are becoming more “frequent”.
You will never hear about the low tornado count in recent years, the lack of major hurricane landfalls on U.S. coasts over the past 10 years, or the low number of wildfires this year. It doesn’t fit their story. But, never let facts get in the way of a good story… there will ALWAYS be a heat wave, flood, wildfire, tornado, tyhpoon, cold wave, and snow storm somewhere. And, trust me, they will find them, and it will probably lead their newscasts. But, users beware…
Dr. Larry Bell
Major threats to America’s security are heating up all over the world, but not due to global warming. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t know that according to statements and actions of top Obama administration leaders.
Speaking to Coast Guard Academy graduates on May 20, the president said: “The threat of changing climate cuts to the very core of your service,” adding that “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security and immediate risk to our national security.”
This echoes the view of Secretary of State John Kerry who has described climate change as “the biggest challenge we face right now.” To support this claim, both he and Obama have cited unprecedented storms, unprecedented hurricanes, unprecedented droughts, unprecedented fires ....everything it seems but an unprecedented lack of simple fact checking.
A reality check would also reveal another inconvenient truth. Despite rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, that rocketing off-the-chart warming predicted by theoretical climate models has flared out. Although everyone I know recognizes that climate really does change, it just hasn’t done so lately. Satellite recordings show that global temperatures have actually been flat over the past 18 years and counting.
So what information earned climate change the distinction of constituting an epic security threat warranting military preparedness?
That feverishly overheated policy priority originated with a warning by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that global warming would melt the massive Himalayan ice mass. This would flood rivers vital to agriculture which would later dry up as glaciers retreated.
The climatological calamity would cause mass migrations of millions of people from lowland Bangladesh across national borders, with militaries (including ours) becoming involved.
As IPCC finally admitted, that scenario was entirely fabricated without a shred of supporting science by a fellow who worked for its director. Nevertheless, in 2007 Senate Armed Services Committee members Hillary Clinton and Republican John Warner snuck some of that message into an amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act, which got our military into the climate protection business, whether they wanted to be or not.
Despite no credible evidence that a climate crisis, much less, any human-caused one, actually exists, a 2010 Department of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) has ordained that climate change will play a “significant role in shaping the future security environment.” Accordingly, considerations of threats posed by climate change are now mandated to be incorporated into DOD’s long-range strategic plans.
Former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Thomas Hayward strongly laments that development. He told me in a 2012 Forbes.com interview: “Despite the large number of scientific organizations within DOD and the military services, none has challenged IPCC’s flawed science of climate change, when in fact, available climate science literature is replete with peer reviewed research contradicting their assertion that man is primarily responsible.”
Hayward further pointed out that this woe begotten folly is adding unwarranted costs to defense budgets and operations at a time when important programs that really do benefit America’s security interests are being sacrificed as austerity measures.
For example, as we reduce second-strike sea and air deterrence capabilities in an Obama dream world without nuclear weapons, Russia, China, and rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran continue to expand first-strike arsenals with determination and impunity.
By 2018, the Navy will reduce the number of deployed and non-deployed submarine-launched ballistic nuclear missiles from 336 to 280. In fact, some of the missile tubes aboard the Navy’s 14 Ohio-class ballistic submarines will be purposefully altered to prevent ballistic missile launches.
The Air Force is trimming its bomber fleet from 93 to 60, including the 19B-2 stealth bomber. In addition, fifty of our 450 Minuteman III missiles will be removed from silos and stored. The remaining 400 will constitute the lowest number since 1962 when America had 203. That total was rapidly expanded following the Cuban missile crisis.
In 2009, the White House reneged on promises to the Czech Republic to establish a missile defense site in Poland to appease Russia’s vehement opposition. Incidentally, that cancelled Polish missile defense installation would also have afforded some protection for America against Iranian and North Korean nuclear EMP strikes launched over the South Pole . . . true threats discussed in my two previous columns.
And just how do those world and national security threats posed by long-term global warming compare with still another somewhat more immediate risk . . . the accelerating spread of an ISIS caliphate beyond Syria and Iraq, with affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, and Libya?
Whereas the president has branded “climate change deniers” as dangerous threats to our future, we will be safer with more of his attention directed to some other deniers - those who cut off heads and burn people alive for not believing as they do.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of ”Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and ”Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012).
These are excellent books and make wonderful gifts. I enjoyed them. I have also been impressed by many of the books in the Icecap Amazon Book Store. Two others you might find enlightening are Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout by Dr. Patrick Moore and Environmentlism Gone Mad by former EPA climate scientist/economist Alan Carlin. I am reading the latter now. I am very impressed. See a review by Alan Caruba here. These people ooze credibility because of where they have been - on the inside seeing how the green movement turned watermelon—green on the outside but red on the inside.
David Cameron wins majority for Conservatives in Election 2015 victory
Britain’s Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has lost his seat to the Conservative party, in an election night that has seen the Liberal Democrats presence in the House of Commons decimated. -The Mirror, 8 May 2015
David Cameron has won the general election with an outright majority after Labour was virtually wiped out in Scotland and the Liberal Democrat vote collapsed. Mr Cameron hailed the “sweetest victory” as his party secured the 323 seats needed to form a government without needing to go into coalition. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, has resigned. Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor was the biggest scalp of the night, losing his Leeds seat to the Tories. - The Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2015
The Prime Minister has pledged to stop future government funding to windfarm projects including the delayed inquiry and to give local people the final say - if he is re-elected today. Mr Cameron pledged to stop the windfarm project and any other on-shore windfarms within Montgomeryshire if he was elected to take a second term in Government. He said: “I want to make it clear that if there is a Conservative Government in place we will remove all subsidy for on-shore wind and local people should have a greater say.” Ben Goddard, County Times, 7 May 2015
Speculation is growing that energy and climate change department’s days of independence could be numbered. A government source said that if David Cameron is re-elected, he is likely to fold it into the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, where the government has more staff with commercial experience. - John Collingridge and Danny Fortson, The Sunday Times, 5 April 2015
New government will have to address capacity shortfalls to avoid blackouts. Avoiding a power blackout will be one of the first priorities for whoever forms the next government, a leading consultant has suggested. Critics argue that a focus on renewables has left Britain’s power network now dangerously short of spare capacity. - Andrew Critchlow, The Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2015
Thanks to Dr. Benny Peiser of The GWPF
Here are someof the reasons we need to do the same here.
By Paul Homewood
Even at this early stage of the year, there is a concerted effort to make it the “warmest evah”.
Joe Romm has this graph of the GISS numbers for the first three months of the year, and Gavin has clearly been busy!
Predictably, Seth Borenstein has gleefully reported that NOAA has also shown the warmest first quarter of the year ahead of 2002.
Unfortunately, the more comprehensive and accurate satellites show no such thing.
For January to March, UAH rank this as only 4th warmest behind 2010, 1998 and even 2007.
According to RSS, this year so far is even lower down the rankings in 8th place. See in this WAPO story how the nonsense from Seth and Romm and the warmists and enviro extremists in the capitol, have cost DC gardeners and horticulturalists dearly the last two years.
Given the weak El Nino conditions in place since last April, there is nothing out of the ordinary about the satellite rankings.
We have been repeatedly assured for the past year that satellite temperatures would catch up with the surface datasets. They have not, and instead the latter continue to diverge more and more.
The alarmist tactic now is to tell us to simply ignore the satellite data, as it is “not measuring the same thing”, and is therefore somehow irrelevant. This is all highly amusing, as the UK Met Office, back in 2013, was reassuring us that the surface datasets were reliable as:
“Changes in temperature observed in surface data records are corroborated by records of temperatures in the troposphere recorded by satellites”
This divergence is now becoming the elephant in the room, which the likes of NASA and their media allies are desperately trying to ignore.
It is time that the matter was fully investigated by a properly independent inquiry.
Icecap Note: The theory remember has the warmth trapped in the atmosphere by CO2 and H2Ov and other gases and some of the heat rerdiated back. The modles have the warming greater aloft than at the ground. The greater warming at the surface is the signature of the UHI effect.
Also NOAA and NASA have not cooperated on the corruption of the surface data but on a prodigious work of science fiction, the GCRP, which the demagogue party, the radical enviros and their allies in the MSM will use to eliminate our most reliable workhorse energy sources and drive up prices, hurting the poor and middle class.
Also see this on how elitists are ”Oppressing the Poor in the Name fo Global Warming.”
Democrats’ attempts to paralyze climate skeptics in academia, think tanks, and companies, using intimidating letters threatening a federal investigation into their funding connections, backfired. They opened a Pandora’s Box of questions concerning where climate alarmists get their money. Now Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer (CA), Ed Markey (MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Democrat Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva have egg on their faces.
Public-choice economics explains politicians and bureaucrats are as self-interested as anyone. They seek expanded authority and bigger budgets. Because the federal government and left-wing foundations provide the vast bulk of climate research funding, funding from these two sources certainly should undergo at least as much scrutiny as funding from private industry.
Nearly all university-based climate scientists are funded mainly by federal grants, and the ideological and political goals of those authorizing the grants could reasonably be expected to affect the kind of research universities and researchers undertake. The conflict between gaining research money and scientific integrity puts sound but nonconformist science at a crushing disadvantage.
Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University’s notorious ClimateGate email scandal figure, has garnered close to $6 million promoting scary scientific conclusions serving government’s goal of control over energy sources, $3.6 million of it from the National Science Foundation. Both PSU and the NSF conducted investigations absolving Mann of any wrongdoing in ClimateGate, but with the offending institutions effectively investigating one of their own, would anyone expect a different outcome?
Influence, Conflicts of Interest
Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer has written more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and testified before Congress on multiple occasions. He was the Environmental Defense Fund’s senior scientist (1981-2002) and remains as science advisor to the multimillion-dollar lobbying group (2013 assets: $208.7 million). EDF has received $2.8 million in federal grants since 2008, spent $11.3 million on lobbying, and has 55 people on 32 federal advisory committees.
Since 2008, EDF has received 3,332 grants from 600 foundations, totaling $544,487,562. EDF is deeply rooted in left-wing foundation agendas. Oppenheimer’s professorship is supported in part by private equity tycoon Carl Ferenbach’s High Meadows Foundation, which has given Princeton $6.5 million and the Environmental Defense Fund $6 million. Ferenbach is both EDF’s Chairman of the Board and a trustee of Princeton, suggesting a strong conflict of interest.
The proudly progressive Center for American Progress (CAP) has five people on federal advisory committees, spent $3.6 million on lobbying, and gave $312,400 to Democrat candidates in 2014. CAP Senior Fellow and Chief Science Advisor Joe Romm has testified before Congress on global warming and coauthored numerous peer-reviewed studies. Yet Romm failed to file conflict-of-interest disclosures for an article in Environmental Research Letters although the journal explicitly requires it.
Since 2004, CAP has been supported by left-wing foundations including Marilsa (Getty Oil fortune, $7 million), Rockefeller (Standard Oil fortune, $5 million), Sea Change (ties to Russian oil money laundering, $4.8 million), and 200 other left-wing foundations.
Government and foundation monies go only toward research advancing a pro-regulatory climate agenda. That is the greatest threat to the integrity of scientific research.
Ron Arnold (email@example.com) is a free-enterprise activist, author, and commentator.
Joseph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi, Weatherbell Analytics LLC
See this story on why arctic ice changes can be explained totally with natural variability - cycles in the oceans and sun. I have extracted a short segment from that story and added to it.
See how well arctic temperatures correlate with ocean (Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or AMO) and solar (TSI) cycles.
In the record-setting (since satellite monitoring began in 1979) summer melt season of 2007, NSIDC noted the importance of both oceans in the arctic ice.
“One prominent researcher, Igor Polyakov at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, points out that pulses of unusually warm water have been entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic, which several years later are seen in the ocean north of Siberia. These pulses of water are helping to heat the upper Arctic Ocean, contributing to summer ice melt and helping to reduce winter ice growth.
Another scientist, Koji Shimada of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, reports evidence of changes in ocean circulation in the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean. Through a complex interaction with declining sea ice, warm water entering the Arctic Ocean through Bering Strait in summer is being shunted from the Alaskan coast into the Arctic Ocean, where it fosters further ice loss. Many questions still remain to be answered, but these changes in ocean circulation may be important keys for understanding the observed loss of Arctic sea ice.”
Frances et al. (GRL 2007) showed how the warming in the arctic and the melting ice was related to warm water (+3C) in the Barents Sea moving slowly into the Siberian arctic and melting the ice. She also noted the positive feedback of changed “albedo” due to open water then further enhances the warming.
The International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks showed how arctic temperatures have cycled with intrusions of Atlantic water -cold and warm.
See how the Atlantic has cooled and though the Pacific (PDO) has spiked, there are signs that this is temporary like the late 1950s and it will turn cold again in two years. When both oceans cool, the arctic, we predict will recover. Some may try and delay the truth by adjusting how and where they measure ocean ice (redefining the arctic region or what percentage of ice/ or level of satellite brightness qualifies).
Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray have a variant of the water temperature based AMO that factors in atmospheric pressure. JB sparked this post with this ‘musings on the arctic ice’, a bit to long to post in its entirety on Icecap.
Perhaps the recovery has started.
As JB’s PDF shows, CFS climate model has a higher minimum than 2014 (20%). See his post for how this model has done last year.
Yesterday, a paper was released from Mann and Rahmstorf showing the Atlantic Conveyor Belt slowing cauding the ‘pause’.
From the “we told you so yesterday” and the “settled science” department. This study was released in 2010, and they used actual measurements, rather than proxy data and reconstructions like Mann did. Gee, what a concept!
NASA Study Finds Atlantic ‘Conveyor Belt’ Not Slowing
Illustration depicting the overturning circulation of the global ocean. Throughout the Atlantic Ocean, the circulation carries warm waters (red arrows) northward near the surface and cold deep waters (blue arrows) southward. Image credit: NASA/JPL
PASADENA, Calif. New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years. The data suggest the circulation may have even sped up slightly in the recent past.
The findings are the result of a new monitoring technique, developed by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using measurements from ocean-observing satellites and profiling floats. The findings are reported in the March 25 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
The Atlantic overturning circulation is a system of currents, including the Gulf Stream, that bring warm surface waters from the tropics northward into the North Atlantic. There, in the seas surrounding Greenland, the water cools, sinks to great depths and changes direction. What was once warm surface water heading north turns into cold deep water going south. This overturning is one part of the vast conveyor belt of ocean currents that move heat around the globe.
Without the heat carried by this circulation system, the climate around the North Atlantic - in Europe, North America and North Africa - would likely be much colder. Scientists hypothesize that rapid cooling 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age was triggered when freshwater from melting glaciers altered the ocean’s salinity and slowed the overturning rate. That reduced the amount of heat carried northward as a result.
Until recently, the only direct measurements of the circulation’s strength have been from ship-based surveys and a set of moorings anchored to the ocean floor in the mid-latitudes. Willis’ new technique is based on data from NASA satellite altimeters, which measure changes in the height of the sea surface, as well as data from Argo profiling floats. The international Argo array, supported in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, includes approximately 3,000 robotic floats that measure temperature, salinity and velocity across the world’s ocean.
With this new technique, Willis was able to calculate changes in the northward-flowing part of the circulation at about 41 degrees latitude, roughly between New York and northern Portugal. Combining satellite and float measurements, he found no change in the strength of the circulation overturning from 2002 to 2009. Looking further back with satellite altimeter data alone before the float data were available, Willis found evidence that the circulation had sped up about 20 percent from 1993 to 2009. This is the longest direct record of variability in the Atlantic overturning to date and the only one at high latitudes.
The latest climate models predict the overturning circulation will slow down as greenhouse gases warm the planet and melting ice adds freshwater to the ocean. “Warm, freshwater is lighter and sinks less readily than cold, salty water,” Willis explained.
For now, however, there are no signs of a slowdown in the circulation. “The changes we’re seeing in overturning strength are probably part of a natural cycle,” said Willis. “The slight increase in overturning since 1993 coincides with a decades-long natural pattern of Atlantic heating and cooling.”
If or when the overturning circulation slows, the results are unlikely to be dramatic. “No one is predicting another ice age as a result of changes in the Atlantic overturning,” said Willis. “Even if the overturning was the Godzilla of climate 12,000 years ago, the climate was much colder then. Models of today’s warmer conditions suggest that a slowdown would have a much smaller impact now.
“But the Atlantic overturning circulation is still an important player in today’s climate,” Willis added. “Some have suggested cyclic changes in the overturning may be warming and cooling the whole North Atlantic over the course of several decades and affecting rainfall patterns across the United States and Africa, and even the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic.”
With their ability to observe the Atlantic overturning at high latitudes, Willis said, satellite altimeters and the Argo array are an important complement to the mooring and ship-based measurements currently being used to monitor the overturning at lower latitudes. “Nobody imagined that this large-scale circulation could be captured by these global observing systems,” said Willis. “Their amazing precision allows us to detect subtle changes in the ocean that could have big impacts on climate.”
Steve McIntyre remarks about the Mann/Rahmstorf’s paper:
“The proxy data used to reconstruct AMOC is the same data as Mann et al 2009 - i.e. includes strip bark bristlecones and contaminated Tiljander sediments. in other words, bristlecones not only are a magic thermometer for NH temperature and SH temperature, but now Gulf Stream flow rates. Remarkable.”
Pierre Gosselin over at “No Tricks Zone” is reporting that within a day of its publication, the paper from the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has now been debunked and denounced by German climate scholars, some of whom side with the warmer view of climate.
Malaria has afflicted mankind for thousands of years. It sickened millions of Americans into the 1930s and was finally eradicated in the United States in 1952, with DDT playing a critical role in reducing mosquitoes that carried the disease from one victim to the next. Malaria was wiped out in Canada, Europe, Russia and many other regions over the next two decades. However, it is still prevalent in Africa, many parts of Asia and even in South America due largely to intense opposition to DDT and other pesticides by radical Big Green environmentalists.
A new documentary film, 3 Billion and Counting, chronicles the devastation and death perpetuated by anti-DDT campaigns that have removed this vital disease prevention weapon from many malaria control arsenals. Dr. Rutledge Taylor’s self-financed film also lays out the facts about the chemical’s actual safety and environmental record, through his own research and comments by malaria and DDT experts from around the world.
Thank you for posting my article, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.
Its anti-DDT war is a lethal “death-rate solution” imposed on Third World countries
The terms racism, white supremacy, crimes against humanity are bandied about so often that they have become almost meaningless. But they are absolutely appropriate in an arena where they are too rarely applied: radical environmentalism’s campaigns that perpetuate poverty, disease and death, by denying Earth’s most impoverished and powerless people access to modern life-saving technologies.
Imagine activist groups preventing you from having your child vaccinated against polio or hepatitis, or from starting her on chemotherapy for leukemia - because they are “concerned” about “possible side-effects” and the “ethics” of permitting such “risky” procedures. Absurd! you say. Outrageous!
Of course it is. But that is what radical environmentalists are doing to Third World countries. By denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable electricity, modern fertilizers and biotech seeds, and especially DDT to prevent malaria and other insect-borne diseases, they are killing millions every year.
Many of my articles have documented this. Now a new film written, self-financed and produced by Dr. D. Rutledge Taylor, MD graphically presents powerful new evidence of how the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, other predominantly white environmentalist pressure groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conspired to hide and discredit scientific evidence, and wage a campaign of disinformation and outright lies, to ban the most effective weapon yet devised to prevent malaria and other vicious diseases.
3 Billion and Counting: The death toll is mounting shows how DDT was invented on the eve of World War II and became a secret weapon that kept Allied soldiers on the battlefield, instead of in hospitals or graves. After the war, it was sprayed on millions of Europeans to prevent typhus. It then eradicated malaria in Europe, the United States and other developed nations. No one ever got sick from DDT.
Available on demand and through Amazon.com, You Tube, Google Play, iTunes and elsewhere, the film chronicles how Rachel Carson’s wildly inaccurate book Silent Spring helped persuade the Audubon Society to launch the Environmental Defense Fund for the sole purpose of demanding a DDT ban.
Why would Audubon do such a thing? Its own research and Department of the Interior studies showed that bird and animal populations were exploding during the two decades when DDT was used most widely. Countless other studies documented that the life-saving chemical was safe for humans and most wildlife, including bald eagles. People actually tried to kill themselves with DDT and repeatedly failed.
An EPA scientific panel conducted six months of hearings, compiled 9,312 pages of studies and testimony, and concluded that DDT was safe and effective, was not carcinogenic, and should not be banned. Nevertheless, without attending a single hour of hearings or reading a single page of the panel’s report, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned U.S. production and use of DDT in 1972 - at a time when over 80% of the chemical was being exported for disease control.
Then why the attacks? As EDF scientist Charles Wurster said 1969, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” When asked later how he justified human deaths from pesticides that replaced DDT, versus the “mere loss of some birds,” he said “organophosphates act locally and only kill farm workers, and most of them are Mexicans and Negroes.”
Ruckelshaus said he had a political problem, and fixed it. He never considered the plight of malaria victims, and anti-DDT activists still ignore their agony and deaths. Audubon, EDF, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Pesticide Action Network, Natural Resource Defense Council and other radical groups that oppose DDT just don’t give a damn even as they have become filthy, callously rich by opposing the life-saving chemical and other technologies.
Sierra Club executive director David Brower, Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich and other arch-environmentalists believed the biggest problem facing Planet Earth was “uncontrolled growth” in human populations. Ehrlich argued that the “instant death control” provided by DDT exports was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in underdeveloped countries. Those countries were not practicing a “birth rate solution” and thus needed to have “death rate solutions” imposed on them, via campaigns against energy, Golden Rice and other biotech crops, and especially DDT.
Almost 3.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of getting this horrific disease, 207 million are actually infected every year, and over 800,000 die year after year from malaria. The vast majority are children and pregnant women, and some 90% of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa. In that region, a child still dies every minute from malaria, and most African children have been brain-damaged to some degree by malaria. Worldwide, nearly 80% of all infectious diseases are spread by insects.
Malaria is certainly a disease of poverty. But poverty is a disease of malaria. It leaves victims too sick to work or care for their families, for weeks on end. Medicines and hospital stays drain families’ meager savings. The disease costs tens of millions of lost work hours, billions in lost wages, and tens of billions for medicines and care in antiquated hospitals. It leaves entire nations impoverished.
However, spraying small amounts of DDT on the walls and eaves of cinderblock and mud-and-thatch homes, once or twice a year puts a long-lasting mosquito net over entire households. It keeps 80-90% of mosquitoes from even entering the homes; irritates any that do enter, so they leave without biting; and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do all this.
In response to these facts, anti-DDT pressure groups rail about risks that are trivial, illusory or fabricated. DDT is associated with low birth-weights, slow reflexes and weakened immune systems in babies, and could cause premature birth and lactation failure in nursing mothers, they claim.
Not one peer-reviewed scientific study supports any of this fear-mongering. Every one of these alleged problems is definitely associated with malaria and other endemic Third World diseases. And compared to the death and devastation that DDT could prevent, the alleged DDT risks are irrelevant.
However, constant deception and harassment by these groups have caused many health agencies and aid organizations to not use or fund DDT, and often other pesticides. Instead, they focus on bed nets, education, “capacity building,” and treatment with drugs that are too often unavailable, counterfeit, or ineffective because the malaria parasites have become resistant to them.
Still, the efforts have been somewhat successful. Millions of women and young children now sleep under insecticide-treated nets. Millions now get diagnosed more quickly and receive better care and medicines, often at clinics where two doctors examine up to 400 patients a day. In 2010, the World Health Organization and Roll Back Malaria boasted of an 18% reduction in child mortality, compared with 2000.
But that is not nearly good enough. We would never tolerate 18% as “good enough,” if American or European children’s lives (or Greenpeace and EDF kids’ lives) were at stake and a 90% reduction were possible as it would be, if health workers were also eradicating mosquitoes and spraying DDT.
Instead, they protect Africans and Asians from minimal or illusory risks, by condemning them to agonizing deaths from readily preventable diseases. “They are using us in anti-DDT experiments,” says Ugandan human rights activist Fiona Kobusingye. “They are playing with our lives.”
They are also playing with American lives. Spraying clothes with DDT once a year would keep infected ticks away and prevent Lyme disease that leaves tens of thousands battling chronic, debilitating pain and illness for years, Dr. Taylor explains. But the same anti-pesticide radicals are dead-set against that.
Dr. Taylor ends his film by drinking 3 grams of DDT...in 2008 - with no ill effects, then or today.
Watch 3 Billion and Counting. Then contact these Big Green pressure groups and their staffs and board members, and the foundations, politicians and bureaucrats who support them. Tell them it’s time to end their eco-manslaughter.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine. He is a featured expert in 3 Billion and Counting.