The Heretics: Steve Milloy – by Rich Trzupek

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


Given the dogmatic fervor of global warming proponents, and their intolerance of skeptics who dare to question the latest commandment (see: cap-and-trade) in the green scripture, it is perhaps no coincidence that the environmentalist movement sometimes seems to have more in common with theology than with science. If that is true, then the logical word to describe those scientists who have challenged environmental hysteria and extremism is “heretics.” In a series of profiles, Front Page’s Rich Trzupek will spotlight prominent scientists whose “heretical” research, publications, and opinions have helped add a much-needed dose of balance and fact to environmental debates that for too long have been driven by fear mongering and alarmism. In a field that demands political conformity, they defiantly remain the heretics. – The Editors

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In green circles, Steve Milloy is a pariah. But for many scientists who worry that political agendas are corrupting independent research and undermining the scientific method, Milloy is a hero. Using his website, junkscience.com, to deliver his message, Milloy has been a key soldier in the front lines of the battle to maintain the kind of healthy skepticism that is a critical component of scientific endeavor.

It’s not overstating the case to say that Milloy, along with Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre and Joe Bast’s Heartland Institute, laid the groundwork for an increasingly skeptical public to ask the tough, uncomfortable questions that are making global warming zealots squirm.

There was a time, Milloy recalls, when he was almost a voice in the wilderness, after he first started to speak out on the issue in 1996. “We’ve been slogging away at this all through the decade,” he said. “The first part of the decade was really tough. Today, there are lots of people questioning the science behind global warming, but back in 2000 it was very lonely out there.”

One can measure Milloy’s importance by the vehemence with which his critics denounce his work. The Guardian’s George Monbiot has described Milloy as “the main entrepôt for almost every kind of climate-change denial that has found its way into the mainstream press.” To that, Milloy replies: “Why, thank you, George. We work very hard to deliver the whole counter case.”

As a regular guest on Fox News and the author of several popular books on the environment and science, including his latest work, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, Milloy is one of the most prominent figures offering a dissenting voice when alarmists of all sorts raise a hue and cry.

While he is best known for climate change skepticism, the “Junkman” takes on the questionable science behind popular hysteria wherever he finds it, from “dangerous” consumer products to the swine flu. A common thread runs through all his work: Milloy strives to be a calming, rational influence, patiently and clearly explaining scientific principles to show why some risks are overstated by the media and political figures.

Mention the word “dioxin” to the average person and it will call to mind what is popularly believed to be one of the most powerful toxins on earth. But it hardly rates a shrug in Milloy’s mind. He believes that Environmental Protection Agency’s dioxin standards are ridiculously low and went on to prove the point in one his earlier and most famous moments of, as he puts it, “debunking the junk.”

In 1999 Milloy had a sample of Ben & Jerry’s “World’s Best Vanilla” ice cream analyzed for dioxin. The results showed that the ice cream had over 2,000 times the amount of dioxin that EPA would later say was “the safe level” in its 2003 dioxin report, proving Milloy’s point that dioxin is everywhere in our life, from both man-made and natural sources. The dioxin scare was whipped up by junk science.

The World Health Organization rolled back its ban on using DDT in 2006, a move that will save millions in Africa from dying of malaria. There is little doubt that Junk Science played a role in achieving that result. “100 things you should know about DDT,” authored by Milloy and J. Gordon Edwards, is an invaluable compendium of facts about one of the world’s most useful and needlessly-maligned chemicals. This compellation of data and research makes the convincing argument that DDT presents no threat to human health and the environment; that using DDT to control malaria in the developing world is essential to public health there; and that the reasons DDT was banned in the United States were based on politics and personal profit, not science.

Milloy’s risk evaluation experience gave rise to Junk Science. He was employed as a lobbyist during George H.W. Bush’s term in office, trying to convince the President to sign an executive order that would bring some reason and structure to the EPA’s haphazard risk assessment process. That didn’t happen, primarily, Milloy believes, because doing so would have left EPA bureaucrats with much less to do. “Agencies like the EPA are happy to meet with you and to listen to you,” he recalled. “But, when it comes to doing something, if they don’t like what you say, they just ignore you.”

A likable, well-spoken man with a gift for breaking down complex concepts, one would think that Milloy would become a resource for many news networks. But with the notable exception of Fox, none of the other major outlets call on him any longer, not even to provide an alternative opinion. But then, his non-Fox exposure was minimal, even before global warming took center stage and left him out in the cold among the other networks. “I was on ABC once, with Peter Jennings,” Milloy said, pausing to add with a laugh: “No. Wait. It was with [outspoken libertarian] John Stossel, so I don’t think that counts. And then I used to be on CNBC from time to time, until the CEO of GE took me off.”

One might not know it from the mainstream media, but Milloy’s skepticism about the environmental movement has been repeatedly validated. When a whistleblower released e-mail and data files from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009, even some scientists who line up squarely in Al Gore’s camp were shocked by contents. The files revealed that, even at one of the world’s leading centers for climate research, global warming research is not quite as tidy a package of consensus as many alarmists claimed. The scandal, inevitably dubbed “Climategate,” proved to be a vindication for Milloy, demonstrating that many of the things he said were happening among the alarmist community – from data alteration, to “gatekeeping” at scientific journals that rejected inconvenient findings, to the manipulation of the mainstream media – were in fact going on. “It’s amazing,” Milloy said. “I engage in a lot of correspondence with other skeptics and we’ve never had any discussions that even come close to what is in the CRU files. We talk about what the data is telling us, not how we can manipulate the results.”

While Climategate and Copenhagen are important milestones in the fight to take back science, for Milloy they do not represent the tipping point. He believes that we reached that point a few years ago, when more and more of the public began to take notice of what was going on. When you examine the global warming debate, Milloy believes that even the casual observer realizes that the issue is not about science, but about control. “This is a tribal issue,” Milloy said. “The people on the left who advocate this stuff see the environment as a way to advance their political agenda.”

The overall impression that one takes away from a conversation with the Junkman is that he both enjoys his chosen mission and that he receives a good deal of personal satisfaction every time he convinces another reader to question conventional wisdom. He’s been fighting for rational analysis and scientific integrity over the course of two decades and he’s confident that the future will see more victories. “On my tombstone, it’ll say: he was right,” Milloy concluded. “And I was.”

  • edarrell

    Crap, Ed quit. I hate that. I wanted to run that libelous fool into the ground. He apparently realized I was going to, since he is either lying outright, or so contorting the facts that that is still the best word.

    I'm a lawyer, and I'm a long-time member of the Society of Professional Journalists. I don't call Milloy a research fraud without reasons. I am well aware of libel laws. This isn't libel. Truth is the defense here.

    On the other hand, Barry, you have given me mostly fraudulent citations.

    I resent the “libelous fool” comment, especially coming from someone foolishly issuing libel. You owe me an apology; and you owe us all some work in the library. Get cracking.

  • edarrell

    Barry, I have a longer response, but I fear it's gotten caught in the spam filters here because of the number of links I listed.

    You can find the citation you ask for here:
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-

    You don't have to spend money on this — just follow the citations and read the material available for free. Plus, Milloy misquotes Rachel Carson's book. You do have a copy of Silent Spring to compare, right?

  • Barry cooper

    I am asking a simple, simple, simple question. You have claimed multiple times two things: first, that Dewitt's study was miscited by Milloy; second, that you are read a number of the citations in Milloy's piece. You have repeatedly called Milloy a liar.

    You do not buttress this claim by repeating claims made by Carson in her book. I am certainly glad that we can agree that DDT is not a carcinogen.

    However, I have asked you repeatedly for the exact citation. J.B. Dewitt, correct? What magazine, what issue, what year, and what pages do I need to be looking at? YOU are the one who publicly called Milloy a liar. I am merely saying that you LOOK like a liar, and am giving you the opportunity to vindicate yourself by spending MY money to get access to a resource you claim you are citing faithfully, and which I strongly suspect you either have not read, or are willfully misrepresenting.

    Moreover, if in fact it is true, as you claim, that Milloy's citations don't “check out”, tell me which ones. I have a public library. I can likely go check them myself. If you want to make your case, it will be quick and efficient simply to point me to those sources. You're not lying about that, are you? If not, then this is really a very simple means of closing your case. I will look them up, and report faithfully–integrity is something I personally value–what I find.

    To be clear, what you have done here is simply repeat the catechism, with which I am well familiar. Lead is amplified in systems, too, as is mercury.

    You have repeated the catechism, and IGNORED ENTIRELY my repeated requests that you tell me exactly where you found the information in primary sources that allows you to call someone a liar in public with an apparently clear conscience.

    This point will continue to carry for me until you have provided actual checkable data–posts to a blog with an ax to grind clearly don't count. I want the actual primary texts.

    What issue number did Dewitt publish in? What page were you looking at? What other citations of Milloy didn't check out? These are simple questions, and to evade them is to plead guilty to being a disingenuous partisan.

    YOU are the one who brought these things up. Man up or shut up.

  • Barry cooper

    What link? YOU are the one claiming YOU have researched this. Give me TWO. The actual primary text from which the arguments are made about Dewitt is not cited in Milloy or your partisan blog. Please provide it. This is a very basic request.

    You have now posted the Millard Fillmore thing roughly three times. I see summaries of the text, but I don't see the citation. You do speak English as your primary language, correct? What part of this is ambiguous?

    I am academically trained. Academics don't read summaries of blogs for information, but the texts to which those secondary texts refer.

    At least, the competent, serious ones do.

  • Barry cooper

    That's the third time you've posted that. I don't think you have read ANY of the citations. I think you have read Silent Spring multiple times, and blogs supporting Carson in the face of overwhelming evidence that THE BITCH GOT IT WRONG.

    Which of these two should I start with, ace? I'm looking them up: 2. DeWitt, James B., “Effects of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Insecticides upon Quail and Pheasants,” Jour. Agric. and Food Chem., Vol. 4 (1956), No. 10, p. 863.

    3. Dewitt, James B., “Effects of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Insecticides on Quail and Pheasants,” Jour. Agric. and Food Chem., Vol. 3 (1955), No. 8, p. 672. (see abstract here)

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    Which one do you think is from 1956? That's the one.

    Yes, I know it's the third time I've posted it. At least.

    You claim to be trained, educated, and not blind. No evidence of any of that yet. Can you cut the insults and do your part?

    I can't help it if you have no discernment for hard research, nor accurate data. That award-winning blog I keep referring you to has the footnotes, the quotes from the pieces, and anything else you'd need. Did your academic training include how to read footnotes?

    If so, why do I have to keep reposting it?

  • Barry Cooper

    Mostly fraudulent? Which weren't?

    You'll get your apology the moment I decide you aren't a libelous fool. I do have a day job, but I WILL look these things up. I assume you've finally offered a direction in a thread below.

  • Barry Cooper

    To give me some hope you yourself have read it. You could have cut and pasted it days ago. You didn't. I don't believe you have read it. I believe you are lying when you say you have read it. And I don't believe it says what that blog says it does. But we'll find out.

  • Barry Cooper

    Let me make this simple: would it offend your sense of moral and professional integrity to learn that publicly funded, professional scientists had systematically suppressed alternative viewpoints, and doctored data to reach conclusions which the data otherwise did not support?

    Or are you an intellectual and moral nihilist, for whom nothing is wrong, and never could be, other than being a Conservative?

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

      If you're alleging that about DDT, then, yeah, I'd be offended. I'd be offended that you thought I'd buy such a piece of crap so counter to the history.

      The only publicly-funded professional scientists who worked hard to suppress information on DDT was J. Gordon Edwards, and he didn't work so hard to suppress as to misinform. I understand that he used to drink a teaspooonful of DDT before lectures. I think it may have affected his thinking, and his ability to discern fiction from fact.

      The story of DDT's dangers has been consistent in research papers since 1945 at least. The story of DDT's harms to birds and their reproduction has been consistent since at least 1955 — and the declines in birds were noted earlier than that, just with no cause attached.

      I hope your not offended that I call your bluff. If you're offended, stop bluffing.

  • andrewew

    “No one has ever claimed it was banned. It was officially considered a dangerous carcinogen and a disastrous toxin when used in the wild. “

    Barry, this very article claims DDT was banned by the WHO: “The World Health Organization rolled back its ban on using DDT in 2006…” This is an entirely false characterization of the history, as my citations have shown. Trzupek should issue a correction. Otherwise he's just living up to the stereotype about conservatives that they have no regard for truth.

    • Barry Cooper

      Here you go: http://africanhistory.about.com/b/2006/09/16/worl

      How hard did you look for that? To be clear, DDT was still officially available through that period. It wasn't an illicit, controlled substance. It's just that ALL of the high level officials at the UN and various foreign aid organizations told Africans it was a dangerous substance that shouldn't be used, and for which they would not pay.

      And the stereotype is that Conservatives have no heart and don't care about poor people. Given that it is Leftist policies which led to so much death in the developing world, I guess you really deserve that stereotype more than we do, in addition to your well earned and daily documentable proclivity for ignoring facts which don't fit the mold you were given in school.

      • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

        It's just that ALL of the high level officials at the UN and various foreign aid organizations told Africans it was a dangerous substance that shouldn't be used, and for which they would not pay.

        So your allegation is that Idi Amin and other African leaders were persuaded by Rachel Carson and unnamed, uncited UN officials who, in memos never recorded in history that cannot be found now, urged Amin and others not to use DDT? Can anyone be so wholly ignorant of African history as to believe any part of that?

        And, to the extent that any African leaders were not Idi Amin nor similarly encumbered by disregard for human life generally, your claim is that, despite the fact that DDT was available cheap and they didn't like interference from foreign nations, and despite the fact they knew better, they just didn't spray DDT on their own? I'm not sure which is more offensive, the claim that African leaders are too stupid to use DDT if it worked, or the claim they didn't care enough to bother to do it.

        Either claim is racist.

        DDT was never banned in Africa. It stopped working well against vectors of malaria in the middle 1960s. It was never a panacea, and it only worked in conjunction with improving health care greatly. Use of DDT alone without improving health care does nothing useful.

        You haven't talked about the fish kills, either. Sometimes DDT got out of control (usually from agricultural use, again). DDT killed off food fish in several places, prompting starvation.

        Africans aren't stupid. They'd use DDT if it were safe, and if it worked. Beating malaria requires more than just poisoning the heck out of Africa.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    So, please tell me: What rule was relaxed? Where is your documentation?

    Just because I state a fact would not be a challenge to a seeker of truth, would it? Why are you so threatened by a simple question of historicity?

    As a Reagan appointee, I challenge your credentials to call me a lefty.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    Why not use the solution that causes the fewest number of people to die?

    40 years later, and we are indeed using the solution that causes the fewest number of people to die, exactly what Rachel Carson recommended.

    Why do you slander her instead? If you are concerned about killing fewer people, why don't you fight malaria instead of the environmentalists who do fight malaria?

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    [Marvin, PH. 1964 Birds on the rise. Bull Entomol Soc Amer 10(3):184-186; Wurster, CF. 1969 Congressional Record S4599, May 5, 1969; Anon. 1942. The 42nd Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Magazine 44:1-75 (Jan/Feb 1942; Cruickshank, AD (Editor). 1961. The 61st Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Field Notes 15(2):84-300; White-Stevens, R.. 1972. Statistical analyses of Audubon Christmas Bird censuses. Letter to New York Times, August 15, 1972]

    Can you vouch for the existence of any of those claimed citations, plus that they say DDT doesn't cause harm? I can't find any of them. Can you?

    • Barry Cooper

      Most of the on-line databases only go back ten years or so. Here is one way to get to the Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America: http://journalseek.net/cgi-bin/journalseek/journa

      Here is Audobon Magazine. Their on-line access only goes back ten years. You are claiming to have looked at ALL the magazines from 1942 onwards (you did notice one citation is from 1942, which combined with your claimed exhaustive research leads necessarily to that conclusion). If we figure 6 journals a year, that is 402 journals. Do you have that many? Have you read them all?

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    Hey, I'm not the idiot who claimed Stalin as a buddy of free enterprise. I pointed out that the connection between environmentalists and the polluter-of-the-century Stalin were spurious at best.

    Glad to see you agree. Now, go and stop doing as Lysenko did.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    No, my argument is simply that there is no research to show that DDT doesn't thin the shells of eggs of raptors and other birds. There is some ambiguous evidence, but I have never seen that reported in an article that did not also document the thinning.

    So, any claim that DDT doesn't thin eggshells is not based on research, and misreports the research that is done. It is, consequently, the perpetration of a fraud on the reader.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    “As far as your point about DDT, look at the paper. He has DOZENS of citations showing NO long term problems in bird populations. Of course, actually doing work would be contrary to the code of the Gentleman Blogger.”

    Go hit a university library and let us know when you find that one of those citations is real, AND that the article says DDT is no problem for birds.

    I've been looking for several years now. Not one of Milloy's citations works as he claims, that I have found so far.

    Don't take my word for it — check with your library. Go see for yourself.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    As REAL science has proven, the gullible people are those who bought into the scare that DDT was hazardous.

    Please cite for me the studies that show that. No, don't recycle Milloy's stuff — if what you said were accurate, there would be dozens of studies to show it, right?

    Show us a dozen, can you?

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/ Ed Darrell

    Well, since DDT is the miracle cure for malaria, South Africa's Vhembe District of Limpopo Province must be completely malaria free, right?

    C'mon, Barry — show us the malaria figures for this district, can you?

    • Barry Cooper

      The World Health Organization says that it is THE most effective compound for use in-doors, and they officially recommend its use for that purpose. Does that count for anything?

  • edarrell

    I will point out, though, that the best way to think of leftists is that they are little machines, that are wound up to repeat certain things, and travel along a certain path. This is both a source of strength and a source of weakness.

    One of the best ways to defeat non-thinkers is simply to tell the truth and keep at it. Non-thinkers believe anyone with a different idea is a “leftist,” and they think that implies one set of political ideas. It's a shorthand way of saying they don't want to be bothered with having to think things through.

    Malaria and DDT are not simple issues, however. We already know that, just with the odd juxtaposition of Environmental Defense, the agency who first sued to stop DDT spraying in the U.S., having to plead with the George Bush administration to allow USAID money to be used for DDT treatments of huts in Africa.

    But while complex, these issues are not beyond the understanding of normal people who wish to find the facts, and who love the truth and will cling to it.

    You have no pigeon hole for that. Quit trying to push everything into pigeon holes. It makes the pigeons angry, and homeless.

  • Barry Cooper
  • Barry Cooper

    Well, I took the time to read everything Ed wrote. The first thing that is obvious is that he places his faith in those who oppose the use of DDT, and that he is being profoundly hypocritical in insisting I read articles he is claiming he has read, but hasn't. He has not even retrieved, himself, the very article which he attacked in his blog, point number 10. He compares what Milloy wrote to what Carson wrote, and finds in her favor, since she has more citations, and Milloy obviously has an axe to grind.

    However, given that, it is true–if perhaps accidental–that he is right that the Dewitt study shows increased mortality among chicks. It shows no effects to the adult birds of DDT consumption, or problems of reproduction. He gets that part wrong–after all, he didn't read the study before launching his apparently scholarly treatment of it–but the point remains that Carson was not fully wrong.

    This is a situation I have never yet encountered: an arrogant, somewhat sloppy advocate of the political use of environmentalism who is not fully wrong.

    I will continue doing research, and have some further, more general thoughts, but no time for them now.

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

      The first thing that is obvious is that he places his faith in those who oppose the use of DDT, and that he is being profoundly hypocritical in insisting I read articles he is claiming he has read, but hasn't. He has not even retrieved, himself, the very article which he attacked in his blog, point number 10. He compares what Milloy wrote to what Carson wrote, and finds in her favor, since she has more citations, and Milloy obviously has an axe to grind.

      Barry, if you're claiming DeWitt's research did NOT show that DDT kills chicks and otherwise interferes with bird breeding, you've stepped into the realm of writing fiction.

      DDT didn't kill the adults in grain-eating birds; generally the acute dose doesn't get quite high enough. It kills adults in insect-eating and other predator birds.

      But DDT also damaged the reproductive organs of the seed eaters. Alive but non-breeding birds don't do a lot for the survival of the species.

      Carson was absolutely right. No study has ever challenged any of her conclusions.

      I often encounter arrogant, sloppy advocates of poisoning Africa. Go check the literature. Spend a few days in the library. Reread the Scout Oath and Scout Law. You'll make time to do the right thing.

      • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

        For eggshell thinning, you may want to start reviewing research here:

        http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/16

        • Barry Cooper

          I will add, that the library got back with me, and I can get most of these on inter-library loan. That means I get acces to them at no charge, and with little work

          You say in your own piece that you have researched three citations. Since you have shown you didn't research Dewitt, that leaves two in the best case, and I doubt even those got beyond comparing Carson with Milloy.

          You a liar. You are misrepresenting, grossly, the work you have done. This sin is made all the more egregious since you are hanging your hat on accusing Milloy of the same. Milloy copied Edwards, or whatever the guys name was. You have no excuse.

          • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

            Barry, you claim I am a liar — I resent it, and especially from someone who defends a liar — and you claim that DeWitt's work is not as I presented it.

            Quote from DeWitt's work, will you? I've read DeWitt's articles. He says in each of them — you can read the abstracts on line — that DDT is a problem in eggshell thinning. Carson quotes at length from his work, and from his letters. I've read some of those letters. I've had contact with a man who interviewed DeWitt on that precise point for a book — one of those links you dishonestly and in such a cowardly manner refuse to read — and he confirms what DeWitt's work said, and what DeWitt said.

            Where have you quoted anything that gives you the brass to claim I lied?

            You're hot. You're angry. You're defending stuff that the library cannot back you on. I understand the emotion. Back off a bit and collect your wits, and your manners.

          • Barry Cooper

            Dewitt says, as I quoted: "egg production, fertility, and hatchability were relatively unaffected. . "

            This directly contradicts your statement "But DDT also damaged the reproductive organs of the seed eaters. "

            How is that complicated? Are you so silly that you are conflating DDT with the other tested pesticides? The evidence is right there.

          • Barry Cooper

            OBVIOUSLY, what you are doing is reading Carson as the authority, and making truth claims based on the ASSumption she is right, and Milloy is wrong wherever his citations differ from her.

            But the link YOU posted, and which I have reposted twice, says, explicitly, that DDT did NOT affect reproduction. It DOES say that the mortality rates of the chicks were affected in a very negative manner.

            Why on earth are you dilating on a point where you are PATENTLY, DEMONSTRABLE WRONG, when you have data which supports the point you want to make?

          • BArry

            What seems to be happening here is not patent political advocacy, so much as a personal defense of Carson herself. Did you have a crush on her? Why else do you feel the need to act stupidly in public, as in calling Milloy a liar, when your OWN PIECE STATES that you only "fisked" 3 sources out of all of them, and based on that you guess/wager/suspect (all words you used, if memory serves) that Milloy is a "liar".

            You are not quoting Dewitt accurately, despite your claim to have read him. That means you haven't read him, or you are stupid. You don't appear to be stupid, so that makes you a liar.

            That is the accurate word, your own narcisstic conceits to the contrary. You're not in friendly territory, and you won't get passes on blatant BS.

            I should have the piece some time next week. Apparently my libary card expired, and I have to go in and revalidate it. Once that is done, though, I can get a steady stream of citations. If I were you, and were trying to evaluate this honestly, that's what I would do, too.

            But of course, honest evaluation is not the task which you have set yourself.

          • Barry Cooper

            We are discussing potentialities that can be made realities: articles you claim are fraudulent that NEITHER of us have seen. I will get ten or so, picked from a cross-section of the piece, and report back in two weeks or so. If this thread is closed, I will post on your site what I find.

            In the meantime, two questions:

            1) Manifestly, the purported carcinogenicity of DDT was one of the key elements in the PR campaign led by the environmentalists who eventually got DDT banned for most uses in the US. Are you willing to concede that there is no moral or professional difference between overstating the effects on humans relative to understating them with respect to wildlife? That a lie is a lie no matter who tells it?

          • Barry Cooper

            2) Clearly, DDT has been used to great effect in the past. There is no dispute about this. Among other things, it played a key role in the eradication of malaria in the US south, and saved many millions of lives–by all accounts–in the first half of the 20th century. Given this, can we not posit that there are remaining uses for it in some areas, and that if it is indeed a bird killing agent, that we have to weigh its use in terms of human lives saved per bird killed? This point seems obvious to me, and it would be disingenuous to claim otherwise. How many birds are worth one human life, then? 10? 100? If we are going to implement rational policy, these are the sorts of questions that need to be answered.

          • Barry Cooper

            If of course you are not arguing against the on-going use of DDT in Africa, then its a moot point, since the individual nations can form their own policies. But if you want to claim that no one anywhere should be using it, then it comes into play, and you need to answer it.

            As mentioned, I will dig up a number of the citations, and report on them. This is more than you have been willing to do. Whatever they say, I will report faithfully.

            One last question, actually: how many of the citation need to be accurate for you to retract the insults you have leveled at Milloy? All of them? I will grant that Edwards did not get number 10 right, at least based on the abstract. I'm not fully convinced that political use has not been made even of that–so I will get the full article and read it–but what if all the rest–or most of them–say exactly what they are claimed to have said?

          • Barry Cooper

            You claim 'Milloy's "100 things" screed against DDT is filled in gross distortions, inaccuracies, errors, and flat out lies."

            Yet on your own site you admit to only having looked up 3 citations. You then "wagered" that the rest were lies. The two claims cannot be reconciled. You are citing as research what is manifestly simple assumption.

            You claim "I got DeWitt's paper, and it concludes that DDT is harmful to all birds. Generally DDT killed the chicks in the eggs before they could hatch".

            According to the citation we are both looking at, that simply isn't true. Carson may have made that claim, but that is not what the citation says. I view that as evidence that you are CLAIMING to have read the paper, when in fact you are simply taking Carson's word for it.

      • Barry Cooper

        Ed,

        Straighten up and fly right, or shut up. Here is the damn citation: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf60068a004

        You know, the one you keep pretending you have read. READ IT!!!!!!!

        It says EXPLICITLY–in clear enough prose for a hack like you–that "egg production, fertility, and hatchability were relatively unaffected. . "

        What part of that is ambiguous, Boy Scout? Do the damn work–the simple, basic work, which you keep claiming counterfactually you have done–or shut up. This is a very simple situation, now.

        • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

          Read the thing, Barry. Read it all the way through.

          Carson was writing about the effects of DDT and other pesticides on the reproduction of birds.

          Read that again: "reproduction of birds."

          What part is ambiguous? Nothing.

          DeWitt's research demonstrated clearly that DDT affected the reproduction of the birds. Among other things, when chicks did hatch, they all died.

          Which part do you fail to understand?

          I've done the work. I've quoted this to you at least a half-dozen times. I've given you the citations. I've given you citations to others who have checked the stuff out.

          Read it. The issue is reproduction.

          Steven Milloy edited out the parts of the quote that made the point, as dishonest as it is possible to get in academia.

          Read it carefully. "Egg production, fertility, and hatchability" being relatively unaffected is good for DDT — but you, you dishonest scoundrel, you cut the quote where Milloy did.

          Here's the whole quote from the abstract:

          Egg production, fertility, and hatchability were relatively unaffected were relatively unaffected by inclusion of pesticides in diets fed breeding quail, but chicks from these matings showed high mortality rates even when reared on insecticide-free diets. Lowered viability of quail chicks was most pronounced in groups receiving DDT and strobane in the reproduction diets.

          Carson was writing about the chicks. You're focusing on the adults.

          Another reason this research was so critical was because the claim of the DDT proponents at the time was that seed-eaters would be completely unaffected. They don't suffer from the biomagnification that raptors get. The doses they get is much lower, though it still accumulates ominously in their fat.

          I'll accept your apology just as soon as you reread the abstract. And I do expect an apology, if you're an honest man.

          • Barry Cooper

            I already admitted that the mortality rates of the chicks were increased 3-4 days ago. That does not work out to "Milloy is a liar".

            You have already demonstrated you are a liar, here, by claiming exhaustive knowledge of the citations Milloy put out there, when in fact you have done a half-assed job of reading no more than 3 of them, at most.

            I'm not apologizing, for the simple reason that, even if you are right, it is not as a result of doing the work you claim you have done. When I say I've read something, I've read it, and will reread as often as needed to get it right.

            As I said, I will continue to do the work you claim to have done, but manifestly haven't.

  • Barry Cooper

    I like to drive things into the ground, then keep driving. That’s when interesting insights come to you. First, I think we need to abolish once and for all the notion that simply because some body–some group of scientists, some court, some legislative body, some regulatory agency–says something is so, makes it so. Science can never be “settled”, finally.

    And ESPECIALLY when political benefits–i.e. power–flow from such a standardized and commoditized “range” of opinions, we need to be skeptical. If you want to see how the facade of science can be used to mask political agendas in detail, read Gary Taubes “Good Calories, bad calories”. When fat was officially declared a toxin, in effect, when ingested in more than nominal amounts, only TWO studies had been done on the actual dietary protocols being recommended, using homogeneous groups, and even then, THE RESULTS WERE CONTRADICTORY.

    Fat, you see, is a key component in meat, and meat is produced by corporations. What else did the leftists pushing the anti-fat agenda need to know? That C. Everett Coop worked under Reagan is moot: the fact that he relied on science that was political to the point of polemic is what is relevant.

    With respect to DDT, let us posit–and I will continue to do research–that it is not carcinogenic, does kill some–but not many–birds, and is a highly effective agent at killing disease vectors, except when used over large areas for long periods of time. That is my view currently.

    On the left, they chose to overemphasize the carcinogenic part of it so as to scare people. This enabled them to accomplish two things: get regulatory control that was greater than they had had before (not altogether bad, necessarily, since some poisons WERE in the enviroment, and DID need to be removed, like mercury), and to protect birds the world over. And if this meant increased human death in the then Third World, so be it.

    On the right–and to be clear, Milloy copied, but did not create this list, which apparently dates in it’s raw form to 1972–let us say that the effects on birds were underemphasized, and its malaria control potential overemphasized. This would have happened to block increased control of the private sector by the State, as facilitated by a misinformation campaign oriented around DDT.

    Is it clear, Constitutionally, that the Federal Government even HAS the power to regulate things like DDT? Clearly, the Supreme Court had no problem abusing its authority in the 70′s, as shown abundantly clearly by finding a right to abortion in the Bill of Rights; but do the rights to regulate interstate commerce and to legislate in the “public interest” convey on Congress the power to ban specific products which have both positive and negative aspects? Is or should this be a matter for the Courts? Should a regulatory body have that power, or should that not be a matter of legislation by Congress? Should it devolve to the sundry States?

    These are all valid questions. Clearly, a chain of decisions making the EPA’s decision legal can be cited, but were those decisions made with integrity with respect to what the Constitution actually says, and with respect to what was intended by our Founding Fathers, who understood all too well that power concentrated is power that will be abused?

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

      On the left, they chose to overemphasize the carcinogenic part of it so as to scare people. This enabled them to accomplish two things: get regulatory control that was greater than they had had before (not altogether bad, necessarily, since some poisons WERE in the enviroment, and DID need to be removed, like mercury), and to protect birds the world over. And if this meant increased human death in the then Third World, so be it.

      Except that carcinogenicity was a weak indication in 1962, and in 1972. DDT was not banned because it was considered to be carcinogenic. DDT was banned because it was a hazard when used as a pesticide, a hazard to beneficial insects, birds, amphibians, lizards, snakes and reptiles, and mammals. There was no "overemphasis" of carcinogenicity until Edwards and Milloy got into the act. When they say 'DDT was banned, but it was never proven to be carcinogenic,' most people won't stop to understand how that statement is misleading: DDT was banned for toxicity to wildlife and disruption of wild and domestic animal and plant life, not for causing cancer. It would be like saying 'DDT was banned, but it was never proven to cause explosions in the gas tanks of the Ford Pinto.' Exactly the same meaning, ignoring the reason that DDT was banned for use on agricultural crops.

      Is it clear, Constitutionally, that the Federal Government even HAS the power to regulate things like DDT?

      See the commerce clause, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. You would do well to look up the litigation on DDT, I would think. Or take a look at the here.)

  • Barry Cooper

    To claim that a key element in the PR/propaganda campaign that led to the banning of DDT was not the claim that it was killing our children is simply disingenous. It was. The whole thing was based largely on tapping into primal emotions. You yourself argued extensively earlier for the carcinogenicity of DDT. Why do that when it either isn't a carcinogen, or that fact is irrelevant to considering it? How else COULD it be poisoning Africans?

    I am well familiar with the Commerce Clause. It's abuse has been endemic at least since FDR. My question remains. Simply creating a legal chain of precedents–as was done in Roe v. Wade, is nothing other than clever fraud, rather than clumsy fraud.

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

      I noted that DDT is carcinogenic, exactly contrary to Milloy's unscientific (political purely?) claims. I also noted, if you read carefully, that DDT is a weak human carcinogen so far as we know.

      All that shows is that Milloy will make any claim no matter what science says, if it follows his political skew.

      The stuff is poison. Cancer isn't the only result of poisons. Among other, perhaps more dangerous effects of DDT on large mammals like humans, it messes up reproductive systems. The first daughter product of DDT is DDE, and DDE especially mimics estrogen in humans and all other animals. Look up "endocrine disruption" and you'll get a libraryful of bad health effects for everything but the possible exception of plants and algae.

      DDT is particularly deadly to fish and anything else that lives in water. Indoor spraying, we hope, doesn't get into waterways. There is a record of massive fish kills in Africa similar to the massive fish kills in the U.S., in Austin, Texas, and Oklahoma, and several other places.

      Plus, DDT isn't all that effective as a pesticide, especially absent a lot of money to upgrade health care systems.

      The debate on DDT itself is a diversion from the task of beating malaria.

      Interstate commerce in poisons is squarely in the purview of the commerce clause — under English common law and its American counterpart after 1787, use of DDT would probably be absolutely prohibited as a nuisance to neighbors. Be careful what you wish for if you wish for an end to commerce clause regulation of business.

      • Barry Cooper

        Ed,

        Here is your own text: "Although we provide evidence to suggest that DDT and DDE may pose a risk to human health, we also highlight the lack of knowledge about human exposure and health effects in communities where DDT is currently being sprayed for malaria control. We recommend research to address this gap and to develop safe and effective alternatives to DDT."

        We know it kills mosquitoes very well when not used indiscriminately. We know this leads to reduced death from malaria, which you don't have to worry about since it's been eliminated in the US. With DDT.

        We don't know, even now, if it causes illness in humans, or even in birds. Self evidently, the histrionicists–if I may be permitted a neologism–have a profound emotional committment to the validity of decisions they fought for 30 years ago. This does not mean wishing can be turned into scientific reality.

    • andrewew

      Barry, you obviously don't know wtf you're talking about. The main driver for banning the agricultural use of DDT in US was ecological effects. Yes, there was also some concern about carcinogenicity and human health effects, but EPA's prime motivation for banning–and the main argument championed by EDF–were ecological effects, not concerns over human health. See http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemical

      And I'd still like to see Rich Trzupek, the author, correct the factual errors he propagates in this article. "The World Health Organization rolled back its ban on using DDT in 2006…." W R O N G. WHO never had banned DDT, as the references I cited in earlier comments definitively demonstrate.

      • Barry Cooper

        And you don't read very well. There is a point where you shift from being pedantic to simply obstructionist. The simple fact of the matter is that prior to 2006, the official position of the WHO was that DDT should not be used for ANYTHING, since it constituted a danger unto itself.

        That position was reversed, and playing silly little language games only points to your inability to comment on the larger issue, that a potential tool for saving human life was rejected for 30 years for very dubious reasons.

        I will agree that "save the birds" was the motto under which DDT was banned in the US, but the way it was SOLD was that DDT was killing our little babies, giving pregnant mothers hemmhoroids, making Coca Cola taste better than Pepsi, and preventing the Vikings from winning a Super Bowl.

        It's much the same as with the current issue of the Himalayan Glaciers: manifestly inaccurate claims were made that served solely political ends.

        The mark of a little mind is an inability to deal with larger issues.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/ Ed Darrell

    There was a major conference at Alma College in Michigan a few months ago specifically looking at DDT. You may want to review the report of the people at that conference. It's available free from Environmental Health Perspectives through PubMed.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC27370

  • Barry Cooper

    Been busy. Got the issue with my card sorted, and just submitted for the 2 DeWitt pieces, and number 70, on the correllation of eggshell thickness and DDT residue.

    Since eagles seem to be Ed’s thing, I’ll probably get 3-4 of those, if this works.

    I’m curious to see the DeWitt pieces, to see if there is any gap between the abstract and the actual research.

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com Ed Darrell

      So, what did you learn from reading the actual research pieces?

  • http://homingparty.com/pg/blog/traducteuroolight Winfred Felico

    Oh, yeah, what are you gonna do? Release the dogs? Or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouth and when they bark, they shoot bees at you? – Homer

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