The wags and denialists over at Anthony Watts’ joint are up to their old tricks, accusing others of their own errors. Today it’s a guest post by Bernie Lewin, in which he claims that climate warming was all psychological, a “scare”:
Yet we can find precedents to this science-base scare in many health scares of recent decades, and also in environmental scares since the DDT cancer scare triggered by Silent Spring, politicised by the EDF and legalized by the newly formed EPA. (See Scared to Death which finds a repeating pattern to these science-based scares.)
He fails to even think that Rachel Carson was right. Lewin demonstrates incompetence at history, law and science, and the first point of the Scout Law, all in one sentence.
So much error. So little time to correct.
- Carson didn’t claim DDT caused cancer. She noted that we create thousands of chemicals that may cause cancer, that cancers were rising in frequency, and that there was no testing of the new substances prior to their marketing. Was there a DDT/cancer scare? Lewin doesn’t offer any evidence. (We had to correct Matt Ridley on this a couple of weeks ago — see his post here.)
- EDF (Environmental Defense Fund, now known as Environmental Defense) was on DDT without Carson — suing to stop DDT spraying (for no good reason) on Long Island in 1968. EDF relied on science that was courtroom ready. (I had misremembered the year of EDF’s suit in an earlier version of this post; my apologies to the two or three who may have read it.) EDF’s suits established, on the basis of science, that DDT is an uncontrollable poison in the wild. Lewin ignores science and law in his off-hand indictment of Carson’s book and ED.
- EPA didn’t act against DDT until 1972. EPA banned DDT use on agricultural crops in the U.S. because DDT kills non-target species and, basically, entire ecosystems. EPA was specific: The ban had nothing to do with cancer. Once again, Lewin ignores history, science and law.
So, in Lewin’s guest post, we see the pattern that continues at Watts’s place — unfair and wrong indictments of science, ignorance of history, little understanding of law.
All while trying to mock scientists: ‘Of course scientists are almost always wrong,’ Watts’s blog argues, once again.
Watts won’t let me correct his errors there, even though he’s still coddling those who misdescribe Rachel Carson as a mass murderer, while denying he does it himself. Consequently his readers won’t be alerted to this post because Watts or his minions will edit out the automatic ping his blog gets that this post is here. Propaganda promoting falsehood can’t stand the sunlight of fact and truth.
Just because there’s a scare doesn’t mean there’s not a reason to be scared. DDT is a deadly toxin, so long-lived that it almost cannot ever be eradicated from the environment. It kills everything small, quickly, unless so much of it is used that the small things evolve quickly to be resistant and immune to it.
So, if we are to assume, as Lewin wrote, that the anti-warming bunch is to warming what the campaign against Rachel Carson by the DDT manufacturers was to DDT’s harms, we get a hint of what’s really up at Watts Up: Any anti-warming claim is a hoax. Why put it so cryptically, if that’s what they meant to say?
When Lewin looks at the history of DDT and Rachel Carson, he’s looking at the false history, and he draws the wrong conclusions. Should we trust a guy so sloppy with the facts to be right on anything else?