ENDLESS ENVIRONMENTAL LIES
By Alan Caruba
I have served as the public relations counselor to a state pest management association that began in 1941, when its founding members decided they needed to better understand the science involved with combating one of the most ancient vectors of disease and property damage, the billions of insect and rodent pests that besiege us to this day. Over the years since then, the association has invited scientists to educate its members to better serve their customers.
So, when I read yet another anti-pesticide news story in my daily newspaper, my first reaction was to heave a sigh of disgust and turn to the page. My next reaction was the same one that caused me to create the National Anxiety Center to dispute the endless environmental lies designed to influence public opinion and policy. I got angry.
“The nation’s streams and rivers, from the Midwestern corn belt to the Hawaiian Islands to the suburbs of New Jersey are infused with dangerous pesticides, the U.S. Geological Survey reported yesterday.” If you read no further than that first paragraph you would, like millions of other Americans, conclude that your health was endangered. You would be wrong.
Like all such newspaper and other media stories that sound the warning claxon, you have to read further to discover there is no danger. Further into the story, you would learn:
That was paragraph eight. In the next paragraph, the article notes: “How the compounds may interact in the human body is poorly understood.”
And, if you read still further, you would find a quote from Jay Vroom, President of Croplife America: “Normal water purification procedures used by municipalities … would remove most traces of pesticides.” The key word here is “traces,” because the measurements trumpeted in the first paragraph reflect a million parts per gallon and even a billion parts per gallon. Translation? Presence of pesticides in the water is so little as to constitute no health threat whatever. Moreover, your local water company removes those trace elements before you ever drink them.
So why, then, is the sidebar to the article titled “Drink at your own risk”? To scare you.
That is the single operational mode of all environmentalist organizations. The data they serve up to the mainstream media is cleverly arranged to put the scare in the first paragraph, the environmentalists being confident that you are not likely to read to the end of the story, nor even understand that the threat they are describing is non-existent.
In a similar fashion, the nation’s leading science magazines have become so debased by their alliance with environmentalists that one can no longer trust their latest “news.” A case in point is a recent issue of Science magazine that reported Antarctica is melting. Two weeks earlier, it reported that Greenland was also losing big chunks of ice. Run for your life, the sea level is about to swamp all the coastal cities of the world.
As Dr. Patrick Michaels noted on Tech Central Station, however, “Natural variability is sufficiently large on yearly and multidecadal time scales that it is simply impossible to conclude that anything other than natural variability is at play in either of those two stories.” In other words, a study based on the last three years of ice mass cannot possibly be taken seriously -- unless, of course, you are an editor for Science magazine.
If you are a scientist who follows such variations, you would know that, over the course of the past several decades, the ocean-land system of Antarctica has been experiencing a growth in the amount of snow and ice.
The lies the environmentalist movement has put forth over the last few decades can and does fill entire libraries. They have been aided and abetted by the mainstream media, which knows that scary news sells newspapers and attracts viewers and listeners.
As I write, Spring is right around the corner, and I guarantee you that billions of insect and rodent pests are about to debut once more to plague homeowners, apartment dwellers, and everyone else. It’s a good time to keep the phone number of your local pest management firm on the speed dial.
Science, Ethics, & Human Health
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly commentary, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center, which is located at www.anxietycenter.com.
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