Another in a continuing series, showing the errors in JunkScience.com’s list of “100 things you should know about DDT.” (No, these are not in order.) In the summer of 2009, the denialists have trotted this error out again.
At the astonishingly truthfully-named site “junk science, and he dishes it out with large ladles.,” Steven Milloy creates a series of hoaxes with a page titled “100 things you should know about DDT.” It is loaded with hoaxes about DDT, urging its use, and about Rachel Carson, and about EPA and the federal regulation of DDT, and about malaria and DDT’s role in the ambitious but ill-fated campaign to eradicate malaria operated by the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1955, officially until 1969. Milloy knows
Among what must be 100 errors, Milloy makes this claim, I suppose to suggest that William Ruckelshaus was biased when Rickelshaus headed the Environmental Protection Agency:
14. William Ruckelshaus, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who made the ultimate decision to ban DDT in 1972, was a member of the Environmental Defense Fund. Ruckelshaus solicited donations for EDF on his personal stationery that read “EDF’s scientists blew the whistle on DDT by showing it to be a cancer hazard, and three years later, when the dust had cleared, EDF had won.”
This is a false statement on Milloy’s site. After finding no credible source for the claim that Ruckelshaus was ever affiliated with EDF in any way, I contacted Ruckelshaus’s office, and got confirmation that Ruckelshaus was not and never has been affiliated with EDF. It should be a clue that this claim appears only at sites who impugn Ruckelshaus for his action in banning DDT use in U.S. agriculture.
It is also highly unlikely that he ever wrote a fund-raising letter for the group, certainly not while he was a public official. The implicit claim of Junk Science.com, that William Ruckelshaus was not a fair referee in the DDT case, is a false claim.
I asked Milloy to correct errors at his site, and he has steadfastly refused.
Here is what Milloy’s point #14 would say, with the falsehoods removed:
14. William Ruckelshaus [was] the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who made the ultimate decision to ban DDT in 1972[.],
was a member of the Environmental Defense Fund. Ruckelshaus solicited donations for EDF on his personal stationery that read “EDF’s scientists blew the whistle on DDT by showing it to be a cancer hazard, and three years later, when the dust had cleared, EDF had won.”
Below the fold: William D. Ruckelshaus’s “official” biography, if you call him today, February 17, 2011. You should note, there is no mention of any work with EDF.
Biography of William D. Ruckelshaus:
William D. Ruckelshaus is currently a Strategic Director in the Madrona Venture Group, formed in 1999 and a principal in Madrona Investment Group, L.L.C. (MIG), a Seattle based investment company, formed in 1996. He was Chairman/CEO of Browning-Ferris Industries from 1988 to 1995 and Chairman from 1995 to 1999.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 24, 1932, Mr. Ruckelshaus graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and obtained his law degree from Harvard University in 1960. He began a career in law with the Indianapolis firm of Ruckelshaus, Bobbitt and O’Connor in 1960 and was associated with the firm for eight years. In addition, he was Deputy Attorney General of Indiana from 1960 through 1965. He was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives and its majority leader from 1967 to 1969. The President appointed him for the years 1969 and 1970 as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Ruckelshaus became the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s first Administrator when the agency was formed in December 1970, where he served until April 1973. In April 1973 he was appointed acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in the same year was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice.
From 1974 through 1976, Mr. Ruckelshaus was a senior partner in the Washington, DC law firm of Ruckelshaus Beveridge & Fairbanks. He joined Weyerhaeuser Company in Tacoma, Washington as Senior Vice President for Law and Corporate Affairs from 1976 to 1983 and was responsible for policy setting and coordination of the company’s key external relationships and its legal service functions. In 1983, Mr. Ruckelshaus was appointed by President Reagan as the fifth EPA Administrator until 1985. He served until joining Perkins Coie in 1985, a Seattle based law firm.
Currently, former Chairman of the Board of Isilon Systems and on the board of TVW. From July 1997 to July 1998, President Clinton appointed him as the U.S. envoy in the implementing of the Pacific Salmon Treaty and in 1999 he was appointed by Governor Gary Locke as the Chairman of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for the State of Washington and in May, 2007 appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire as Chairman of the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership. On June, 2001, he was appointed by President Bush as a member of the Commission on Ocean Policy which was created by Congress in 2000.
He currently serves on the Board of numerous profit and non for profit organizations, i.e., The Energy Foundation, Center for Global Development and founding Director of the Initiative for Global Development.
Mr. Ruckelshaus and his wife, Jill, reside in Seattle, Washington. They have five children and 12 grandchildren.