Posts Tagged ‘Silent Spring’

Rachel Carson and her Darwinian followers retrace the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko’s biologists. Erlich, Wurster, there is a collection of them. You might remember Erlich’s apocalyptic scare tactics about the population explosion:

“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

He was wrong. Why should we believe any of them? They CONTINUE to be WRONG; it’s their pattern, based on their ideology. Real science and Evolutionist Darwinian Socialism do not go together; we saw this with the results of Hitler’s experiments, attempting to create the Master Race (Lebensborn): what they got was ordinary people.

Lysenko was a mediocre researcher, and so appears to be Rachel Carson. She wasn’t a practicing research scientist, but she devotes long chapters to the discussion of genetics in Silent Spring, with explanations of functions of life at the cellular level, and theories about the causes of cancer. From a scientist’s point of view, she commits a number of faux pas’s. She misuses the word “mutagen”, mis-cites the writings of medical authorities, and gives credence to cancer theories which are highly speculative or were already discarded. She describes chemicals in general as the

“sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world-the very nature of its life.” (Carson 1962, p. 16).

Very dramatic, but chemicals are also life-saving, which she neglects to make mention of, particularly in the case of DDT. So-the questionable scientific generalizations should be put to rest, as should the romantic notion of nature as being benign and fragile.

Carson’s view on mosquito ‘resistance’ to DDT and Darwin’s ’survival of the fittest’ is very similar to the Lysenko biologists’ view. The “resistance” of mosquitoes to DDT argument is based on the idea that chemicals eliminate the weaker members of the pest population, and that survivors would be the ones best able to recover from attack. She claimed these mutations would be hardier, and that combating them would lead to a process of escalation in which ever more toxic chemicals would be necessary to combat them. Given her view of stronger and stronger pest specimens evolving after chemical control, she predicted an endless vicious circle.

Happily, in the real world, resistance is not an expression of the selection of the strongest specimens in a population, nor do mutations produce stronger or more complex individuals. As the compound kills all individuals that do not possess the resistant trait, those which live give rise to a new population that consists only of resistant individuals. It’s untrue that the resistant strains represent a “superbug”; they are weaker than the population which has been eliminated. No mutations produce stronger individuals; this is also true in human biology.

Dr. Lee Spetner, who taught information theory for a decade at Johns Hopkins University, and the Weizman Institute, spent years studying mutations. In his book, “Not by Chance, Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution”, he writes,

In all the reading I’ve done in the life-sciences literature, I’ve never found a mutation that added information…All point mutations that have been studied in the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it.

Mutations delete information from the genetic code. They never create more complex information. What are they actually observed to cause in human beings? Death. Sterility. Hemophilia. Sickle Cell Anemia. Cystic Fybrosis. Down’s Syndrome. Over 4,000 diseases. The genetic code is designed to run an organism perfectly–mutations delete information from the code, causing birth defects.

This is quite a problem for the Rachel Carson worshippers. No ’superbug’ is created when mosquitos populations mutate to adapt to the effects of DDT.

Another hypothesis is that resistance to DDT was already in the hereditary strings of DNA of certain mosquitoes and it isn’t a mutation phenomenon at all.

Carson, like Lysenko’s biologists, has a strong consistency in her thought processes and even in how “Silent Spring” is being treated like some kind of holy writ. The facts she presents are just as reliable as those presented by Lysenko’s biologists. Lynseko thought they could condition cows to produced 50 liters of milk a day. They also planted wheat in a field that would normally produce rye, with the idea that it would magically produce rye just because the field normally produced rye. As evidence, they planted a field that was normally planted with rye, with wheat. And they held up their results which contained some rye, as the definitive proof that wheat was turning into rye. Forget the simple common-sense approach which would have a normal person deduce that a field formerly planted with rye would sprout rye because there would be some rye seeds left from the last crop. Common sense doesn’t seem to bother leftist environmentalists, neither did it bother Lynseko. And it worked until the Soviets realized what he was saying wasn’t realistic in the real world, so eventually they discarded his work.

It is no wonder that today Lysenko’s science has been abandoned and is considered fraudulent!

Lysenkoist biologists were firmly planted in the world of Stalinist Marxism. Both Marx and Stalin praised Darwin, and they did all they could do to separate themselves from the traditions of Western biology, just as the modern-day environmentalists are attempting to do.

Luboš Motl

Both communism and Nazism were trying to influence natural sciences but I would say that the actual impact was much weaker than the impact of environmentalism on climate science or the impact of feminism on biology. The environmentalists are eager to suppress any research of the actual natural mechanisms driving the climate while feminism and other egalitarian ideologies are eager to suppress the research of all parts of biology that unmasks differences between various groups of people. Nazi and communist leaders of science were biased but I am afraid that they were not *that* biased.

Carson was a feminist marine biologist. Certainly her environmentalist following (including the global warming enthusiasts) seems to be Marxist in their ideological leanings, including the methodology they use for ‘debate’, which follows Motl’s bullet points and those who opposed Lysenko’s ‘creative biology’.

But also, Wurster’s “science” seems to back the contention that Rachel Carson’s worshippers following a Soviet-era Lysenko biology roadmap in achieving their scientific test results; stack the deck in your favor and back the conclusions into the experiments instead of testing for a hypothesis and modifying the hypothesis when the test results do not prove the original hypothesis.

Here is a comparison chart showing the different figures Wurster gives his audience in a very carefully crafted screed. The table compares Wurster’s theoretical values, the values he mentions in the 1970 oral presentation entitled “DDT and the Environment”, delivered at the Yale School of Forestry’s symposium series “Issues in the Environmental Crisis”, and correlative data drawn from the 1967 publication DDT Residues in an East Coast Estuary: A Case of Biological Concentration of a Persistent Insecticide, that he produced with Isaacson and Woodwell.

Comparison of Residue Levels in Marine Organisms
All values expressed in ppb

Trophic levels, organisms Wurster, 1970: proposed calculated magnifications Wurster, 1970 stated values Woodwell, etal., 1967: published data
1. Algae .025-.5 88
2. zooplankton 5 5 40
3a. Shrimp 20 20 .160
3b. Small fish 25-50 250-1,000 230-940
4a. Small bird 250-500 3,000-5,000 1,480-9,600
4b. Large fish 125-500 1,000-2,000 1,480-9,600
5a. Large bird 1,250-5,000 20,000-30,000 22,800-26,400
4c. Squid 125-500
5b. Bermuda petrel 1,250-5000 6,400 (in eggs and dead chicks)

The differences between his stated values and the data published in 1967 are breathtaking, particularly at the lower trophic levels. In the lecture, Wurster tells his audience that zooplankton contain 5 ppb, and shrimp, one level up in the food chain, 20 ppb. In 1967, on the other hand, these levels were eight times higher: 40 and 160 ppb respectively. Woodwell was never informed about Wurster’s adjustments in a downward direction from the residues they reported in 1967.

The first “case” Wurster discusses deals with the phenomenon of biological magnification through the foodchain. His material almost exclusively comes from research he performed together with George Woodwell and Peter Isaacson in DDT residues in a Long Island marsh (Woodwell et al, 1967):

“We ran something in excess of 200 analyses in the summer of 1966 on soils, grasses and many kinds of organisms. The marsh averaged about a pound of DDt per acre. In the whole group of analyses there was but a single zero-only one analysis in which we could detect no trace of DDT. It was a sample of mud from forty centimeters under the surface of the marsh.”

This statement-that the marsh contained an average of about one pound per acre of residues proved to be an embarrassing point to George Woodwell, the first author of the 1967 publication on the marsh, since in the original paper they wrote: “DDT residues in the soil of an extensive salt marsh on the south shore of Long Island average more than 13 pounds per acre (15 kilograms per hectare)”(Woodwell et al., 1967, p. 821.)

When confronted during the consolidated DDT hearings with this, Woodwell said, “That is a true statement in my experience. I didn’t know that Dr. Wurster had said that, but that is true…(p. 7236)…it is also true that this sampling (referring to the original data reported for the marsh) is deliberately biased in order to find the highest residues we could find. (Woodwell, 1972, p. 7235.)

And what purpose does a ’swamp’ serve, anyway? It is a natural area of cleaning the environment. A swamp or marsh collects impurities. It is for this reason that eco-engineers create man-made marshes in some areas. So this was a good place to go if one was intentionally looking for DDT concentrations above the norm.

“We estimated that in our own marsh the water contained fifty parts per trillion of DDT. Two steps up the food chain the zooplankton contained a hundred times more DDt than the water, while shrimp feeding on zooplankton were four times higher in DDT content than were the zooplankton. Smaller fish, such as minnows and silversides carried about one-fourth to one part per million (ppm) of DDT – concentrations five to ten times higher than the zooplankton on which they were presumably feeding. The large fish, among them pickerel and needlefish, have one or two ppm of DDT – again five or ten times higher than the small fish. Birds such as terns contain from three to ten ppm of DDT, about ten times higher than the small fish on which they feed. Finally, at the top of the particular food web, we see the large-diving ducks, such as mergansers and cormorants, which contain from twenty to thirty ppm of DDT, about ten times higher than the larger fish they eat.” (Wurster, 1970, p. 42, 43.)

But unfortunately there are also discrepancies within this second paragraph, between the math in the calculated values he suggests and the “actual” residue values he refers to. He says that five to ten times more residues occur in small fish feeding on zooplankton than within the zooplankton. He then states that “this is one-fourth to one part per million of DDT.” He has already told us that the zooplankton contain about 5 ppb (100 times the 50 ppt level in the water). Five to ten times 5 ppb would be 25-50 ppb, instead of the stated 250-1,000 ppb (the same as 1/4 to 1 ppm). These differences between the proposed magnification calculations and values he claims are typical for each trophic level can be found throughout his whole food-chain summary.

Can anybody say “Junk Science”?

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One of the major complaints in Silent Spring about DDT was its alleged effect on bird populations. The sky is falling! But this, like so many of the claims by environmentalists, needs to be more closely examined before anyone should react. Unfortunately, past experience shows us that Schneider wasn’t alone in his thought processes when he said:

[W]e have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.- Stephen Schneider (quoted in Our Fragile Earth by Jonathan Schell)

I think this pretty well sums up the politicized science we’re facing today, and that hoodwinked us in the past.

A good example is when in 1965, in Hanover, New Hampshire, Charles F. Wurster sounded the alarm over a few dead robins, after some elm trees had been sprayed with DDT to save them from Dutch Elm Disease. He claimed a 70% decline in the resident population of 12 robins. Of course, common sense might dictate that these 8 missing robins could very well have disappeared for some other reason. But from that sampling, he extrapolated a “70% decline” to a mortality rate of 350 to 400 birds in Hanover. Amazingly, this “study” launched Wurster’s career as an “expert” on the effect of DDT in nontarget species. Wurster wrote in a 1969 article on DDT (Bioscience, Sept. 1969, Vol. 19):

“If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve, and probably retain in other environmental issues, a level of authority they have never had before. In a sense, then, much more is at stake than DDT.”

This is a telling admission as to what he was really after. The name Trofim Lysenko seems to keep coming back to me for some reason.

Brooding pairs of robins produce on average two broods of 4 to 5 offspring a year; so if 50% of the young survive to adulthood and there are 5 million robins in the United States, there would be an annual increase of 11 million robins. (This is a very low estimate; bird expert Roger Tory Peterson, said in 1963 that the American robin is probably “North America’s number one bird” in terms of numbers ) Bird banders report that 25% of the young survive, but that is still an increase of 5.5 million robins annually, and according to “Ask A Scientist” Zoo Archives, the lifespan of a Robin, once they make it past the first year, is 5 or 6 years; the oldest banded robin was about 13 years 11 months. So it’s no wonder Peterson said they’re America’s number one bird in terms of numbers!

Did DDT actually affect the count of robins? Rachel Carson, claims on page 118 in Silent Spring that the robin “is on the verge of extinction”. The number of robins increased during the period of heavy DDT usage by 1237%. Here in Illinois, during that period, the population doubled. This is not even close to a “verge of extinction”.

Actual bird counts are listed in the table below. These figures compare pre-DDT counts with those at the height of DDT usage (1941-1960). No species was omitted that showed a reduction per observer. Total average all species bird count per observer was 1,480 in 1941, as compared to 5,860 in 1960. Decreased species, such as swans, geese, and ducks, we know were hunted. Bluebirds are known to be susceptible to cold winters in addition to being cavity nesters. (Rotting treetrunks are not readily available to them because dead tree removal is commonplace in areas where there are carefully pruned lawns and trees; e.g., where people are.)

The 257% increase in swallows contrasts with Silent Spring’s claim, which says on page 111,

“Swallows have been hard hit…. Our sky overhead was full of them only four years ago. Now we seldom see any.”

The “silence” in Silent Spring would have been broken by the loud chatter of black-birds, which increased by 3900%, squawks from annoying starlings, which increased 1069%, and cackling from grackles, which increased by 13,159%. An environmental biochemist complained in 2002 that “starlings thrive, 8 million of them, in Fresno County, California, which uses more pesticides than any other county in the United States.”

AUDUBON SOCIETY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT DATA 1941 (2,331 observers), compared with 1960, (8,928 observers)

Species 1941 1960 Ratio 1960/1941
Eagle .08 .10 1.25
Gull 53.40 72.00 1.33
Raven .29 .30 1.03
Crow 79.59 28.04 .35
Pheasant .88 1.15 1.31
Mourning Dove 2.83 2.21 .78
Swallow 3.18 8.17 2.57
Grebe 6.15 27.14 4.41
Pelican 1.07 3.12 2.92
Cormorant 1.91 1.18 .62
Heron .97 1.82 1.88
Egret .63 1.88 2.98
Swan 7.96 3.81 .48
Goose 78.43 78.04 .99
Duck 916.81 306.85 .33
Blackbird 58.99 2,302.01 39.02
Grackle 10.70 1407.98 131.59
Cowbird 17.17 368.09 21.44
Chickadee 9.15 6.26 .68
Titmouse 2.16 2.05 .95
Nuthatch 1.81 1.50 .83
Robin 8.41 104.01 12.37
English Sparrow 22.80 40.19 1.76
Bluebird 1.60 .77 .48
Starling 90.88 971.45 10.69

Some of these species, such as the sparrow, starling and gull, my husband refers to as ‘flying rats’. They are a nuisance, as their nests clog drainage pipes and gutters, their fecal matter contaminate grain storage facilities, they damage crops and interfere with livestock production–particularly poultry. They also spread diseases like chlamydiosis, coccidiosis, erysipeloid, Newcastle’s, parathypoid, pullorum, salmonellosis, transmissible gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, various encephalitis viruses, vibriosis, and yersinosis, spread internal parasites such as acariasis, schistosomiasis, taeniasis, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis, and spread household pests such as bed bugs, carpet beetles, clothes moths, fleas, lice, mites, and ticks.

I have been unable to find numbers on the rock pigeon, which is one of the leading pests in urban areas.

These stark realities are completely omitted in the environmentalists’ fantasyworld.

Silent Spring doesn’t recognize that DDT saved millions of lives through eradicating mosquitoes carrying malaria, or that it saved lives during WWII from typhus carried by lice. Environmentalists have a blindness toward the other side of nature; which is far from benign.

There was no “silent spring”, DDT didn’t effect the birds; and the fantasy of a natural fragile earth wonderland, which one of my commenters called “Eden”-doesn’t exist, either.

  1. (November 22, 1989) “Loads of Media Coverage“, Detroit News
  2. Schnell (October, 1989)”Our Fragile Earth,” Discover; 44.
  3. Doris H. Wurster, Charles F. Wurster, Jr., and Walter N. Strickland, 1965. “Bird Mortality Following DDT Spraying for Dutch Elm Disease,” Ecology (Summer), Vol. 46, pp. 488-499.
  4. Doris H. Wurster, Charles F. Wurster, Jr., and Walter N. Strickland, 1965. “Bird Mortality Following DDT Spraying for Dutch Elm Disease“, Science 2 April 1965: Vol. 148. no. 3666, pp. 90 – 91 DOI: 10.1126/science.148.3666.90
  5. Wurster, C. et al (1965) Bird Mortality after Spraying for Dutch Elm Disease with DDT Science 2 April 1965: Vol. 148. no. 3666, pp. 90 – 91 DOI: 10.1126/science.148.3666.90
  6. Charles F. Wurster, (September, 1969) DDT Goes to Trial in Madison BioScience, Vol. 19, No. 9, pp. 809-813 doi:10.2307/1294792
  7. Tren, R. & Bate, R. (2004). “South Africa’s War against Malaria: Lessons for the Developing World“. Cato Policy Analysis (513).
  8. Roger Tory Peterson, 1963. The Birds (New York: Life Nature Library).
  9. American Robin: Information and Much More. Answers.com
  10. American Robin Lifespan, “Ask a Scientist, Zoo Archives, NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators. Argonne National Laboratory, Division of Educational Programs, Harold Myron, Ph.D., Division Director.
  11. Jukes, T.E. (2002) Silent Spring and the Betrayal
    of Environmentalism
    , Jukes is a Biochemist and former professor in the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley.
  12. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE with permission from Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, and Gary E. Larson, editors; (Cooperative Extension Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control, Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee).

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rachelwaswrong.jpgFrom the Website (click on the image): Cultural myths often stand in the way of human progress—in some cases producing devastating consequences. In fact, today millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 best selling book Silent Spring. Many have praised Carson for raising concerns—some legitimate—about problems associated with the overuse of chemicals. Yet her extreme rhetoric generated a culture of fear, resulting in policies have deprived many people access to life-saving chemicals. In particular, many nations curbed the use of the pesticide DDT for malaria control because Carson created unfounded fears about the chemical. As the world commemorates the 100th birthday (May 27, 2007) of the late Rachel Carson, it is time to acknowledge the unintended, adverse effects of Carson’s legacy and find ways to correct them.*******

It’s been said that Al Gore is the Rachel Carson of Global Warming. bwahahahaha! There is a strong corrolation there.

ecofreaks.jpgAs Berlau writes, “America . . . is still mighty prosperous, but environmentalism is putting us on the brink of danger as well. As technology after technology that our grandparents put in place is being banned, and new technologies never even come to market, we risk a public-health disaster. Environmentalists have promoted all sorts of doomsday scenarios about population explosions and massive cancer crises from pesticides that have been shown to be false. But now, because we have done away with so many useful products based on those scares, we are in danger of an old-fashion doomsday returning, because we’ve lost what protected us from the wrath of nature. Indeed, as we will see throughout this book, public health hazards caused by environmental policies are already on the scene.”

Click on the picture to the right, which will take you to Amazon to read more about this book that exposes the environmental movement for what it really is.

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