[Time passes and internet links die, expire, or otherwise fall into the black hole of irrelevancy. Alas. Rachel Carson is still right.]
Sometimes, when people make gross errors, they get caught. They apologize, or they mumble, and they move on.
A few times, when people make gross errors, they revel in it. Rather than admit the error, they make it again. They say it wasn’t an error. They repeat it, time and again, as if two wrongs make a right, or as if 126 wrongs make a right.
We caught Caosblog repeating some bad stuff about Rachel Carson, and false, good stuff about DDT, and false claims that eagles were not endangered by DDT. We called ’em on it. [But the blogger appears to have deleted the response. It was that good.]
Whoooee! This is the result. Note the list of unquestioning links to other stuff on the web. (Yeah. “Milton Fillmore.” Probably not reading comprehension error so much as rant-blindness.)
If there is anything crazy and mean about Rachel Carson, it’s probably in that list. If there is any wild and insane claim about the safety of DDT, it’s in that list. If there were any accurate information, it would be a miracle. (Well, actually there’s some good information in the National Geographic story about malaria, but I doubt the blog writer bothered to read it.) The blog links to all the Lyndon Larouche crazies, all the tobacco lobbyist crazies, and acts as if such manure is golden.
Very little of it is accurate. Most of the material so far out to lunch, it’s not even wrong. The person who runs the blog sent me an e-mail saying my comments are no longer welcome there, because of the tone of my remarks. Too many links to too much refutation of blog’s points, I gather — too much real information!
DDT poisoning clearly is damaging, with effects far beyond anything Rachel Carson ever predicted.
This is the venal, vicious spirit that Sen. Tom Coburn defends with his hold in the U.S. Senate on honors for Mrs. Carson. This is the spirit with which the anti-Rachel Carson movement rails at environmentalists about malaria in Africa, while holding back funding for anti-malaria projects in Africa.
Woody Allen had a line in Annie Hall that may be appropriate: “There’s nothing wrong with you that couldn’t be cured with Prozac and a polo mallet.”
Reason and evidence won’t do it now. When someone starts out arguing that eagles were not threatened with extinction by the poison that a thousand studies verified was doing them in, you can’t reason them back to reality.
Below the fold: At the second outlet of that blog, conversation carried for a while, though not necessarily so for enlightenment. In 2015, I thought it a good idea to capture some of that.
Exchanges from the Cao2 blog.
(Yes, this does nothing so well as demonstrate that Alun Salt was right. It’s also a good demonstration of the Gish Gallop, if you needed one.)