Green Room

The Green Death

posted at 12:58 am on February 16, 2010 by

Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring used manipulated data and wildly exaggerated claims (sound familiar?) to push for a worldwide ban on the pesticide known as DDT – which is, to this day, the most effective weapon against malarial mosquitoes. The Environmental Protection Agency held extensive hearings after the uproar produced by this book… and these hearings concluded that DDT should not be banned. A few months after the hearings ended, EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus over-ruled his own agency and banned DDT anyway, in what he later admitted was a “political” decision. Threats to withhold American foreign aid swiftly spread the ban across the world.

The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives. This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.

The motivation behind Silent Spring, the suppression of nuclear power, the global-warming scam, and other outbreaks of environmentalist lunacy is the worship of centralized power and authority. The author, Rachel Carson, didn’t set out to kill sixty million people – she was a fanatical believer in the newly formed religion of radical environmentalism, whose body count comes from callousness, rather than blood thirst. The core belief of the environmental religion is the fundamental uncleanliness of human beings. All forms of human activity are bad for the environment… most especially including the activity of large private corporations. Deaths in faraway Africa barely registered on the radar screen of the growing Green movement, especially when measured against the exhilarating triumph of getting a sinful pesticide banned, at substantial cost to an evil corporation.

Those who were initiated into the higher mysteries of environmentalism saw the reduction of the human population as a benefit, although they’re generally more circumspect about saying so in public these days. As quoted by Walter Williams, the founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome, Alexander King, wrote in 1990: “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guayana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” Another charming quote comes from Dr. Charles Wurster, a leading opponent of DDT, who said of malaria deaths: “People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this is as good a way as any.”

Like the high priests of global warming, Rachel Carson knew what she was doing. She claimed DDT would actually destroy all life on Earth if its use continued – the “silent spring” of the title is a literal description of the epocalypse she forecast. She misused a quote from Albert Schweitzer about atomic warfare, implying the late doctor agreed with her crusade against pesticide by dedicating her book to him… when, in fact, Schweitzer viewed DDT as a “ray of hope” against disease-carrying insects. Some of the scientists attempting to debunk her hysteria went so far as to eat chunks of DDT to prove it was harmless, but she and her allies simply ignored them, making these skeptics the forerunners of today’s “global warming deniers” – absolutely correct and utterly vilified. William Ruckleshaus disregarded nine thousand pages of testimony when he imposed the DDT ban. Then as now, the science was settled… beneath a mass of politics and ideology.

Another way Silent Spring forecast the global-warming fraud was its insistence that readers ignore the simple evidence of reality around them. One of the founding myths of modern environmentalism was Carson’s assertion that bird eggs developed abnormally thin shells due to DDT exposure, leading the chicks to be crushed before they could hatch. As detailed in this American Spectator piece from 2005, no honest experimental attempt to produce this phenomenon has ever succeeded – even when using concentrations of DDT a hundred times greater than anything that could be encountered in nature. Carson claimed thin egg shells were bringing the robin and bald eagle to the edge of extinction… even as the bald eagle population doubled, and robins filled the trees. Today, those eagles and robins shiver in a blanket of snow caused by global warming.

The DDT ban isn’t the only example of environmental extremism coming with a stack of body bags. Mandatory gas mileage standards cause about 2,000 deaths per year, by compelling automakers to produce lighter, more fragile cars. The biofuel mania has led resources to be shifted away from growing food crops, resulting in higher food prices and starvation. Worst of all, the economic damage inflicted by the environmentalist religion directly correlates to life-threatening reductions in the human standard of living. The recent earthquake in Haiti is only the latest reminder that poverty kills, and collectivist politics are the most formidable engine of poverty on Earth.

Environmental extremism is a breathless handmaiden for collectivism. It pours a layer of smooth, creamy science over a relentless hunger for power. Since the boogeymen of the Green movement threaten the very Earth itself with imminent destruction, the environmentalist feels morally justified in suspending democracy and seizing the liberty of others. Of course we can’t put these matters to a vote! The dimwitted hicks in flyover country can’t understand advanced biochemistry or climate science. They might vote the wrong way, and we can’t risk the consequences! The phantom menaces of the Green movement can only be battled by a mighty central State. Talk of representation, property rights, and even free speech is madness when such a threat towers above the fragile ecosphere, wheezing pollutants and coughing out a stream of dead birds and drowned polar bears. You can see why the advocates of Big Government would eagerly race across a field of sustainable, organic grass to sweep environmentalists into their arms, and spin them around in the ozone-screened sunlight.

Green philosophy provides vital nourishment for the intellectual vanity of leftists, who get to pat themselves on the back for saving the world through the control-freak statism they longed to impose anyway. One of the reasons for the slow demise of the climate-change nonsense is that it takes a long time to let so much air out of so many egos. Calling “deniers” stupid and unpatriotic was very fulfilling. Likewise, you’ll find modern college campuses teeming with students – and teachers – who will fiercely insist that DDT thins egg shells and causes cancer. Environmentalism is a primitive religion which thrives by telling its faithful they’re too sophisticated for mere common sense.

The legacy of Silent Spring provides an object lesson in the importance of bringing the global-warming con artists to trial. No one was ever forced to answer for the misery inflicted by that book, or the damage it dealt to serious science. Today Rachel Carson is still celebrated as a hero, the secular saint who transformed superstition and hysteria into a Gospel for the modern god-state. The tactics she deployed against DDT resurfaced a decade later, in the Alar scare. It’s a strategy that offers great reward, and very little risk. We need to increase the risk factor, and frighten the next generation of junk scientists into being more careful with their research. If we don’t, the Church of Global Warming will just reappear in a few years, wearing new vestments and singing new hymms… but still offering the same communion of poverty, tyranny, and death.

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BigAlSouth on February 17, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Doc, the more I read of yours, the more convinced I am that you’re going to high places. Your recent essays on the necessity of litigation — to bust the prevailing environmentalists’ memes and stop their corruption — may just be the pony that takes you there.

You have stated the ‘why’ of court action. Now let’s move to the ‘how’.

‘How to fight AGW in the courts’ is a mostly empty niche that begs for expert occupants. Why not take it for your own?

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 7:26 AM

This is a truly great article; it strikes at the very heart of the problem. It should be read in every classroom and pulpit in America.

Send it to your friends, spread the word. This article gets the message across better than any I have seen thus far.

johnsteele on February 17, 2010 at 7:26 AM

California’s coastal fog has decreased significantly over the past 100 years, potentially endangering coast redwood trees dependent on cool, humid summers, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, scientists.

So obviously, to save the redwoods, all of California will have to be evacuated, abandoning homes and businesses.

J_Crater on February 17, 2010 at 7:34 AM

UPDATE 1-Texas to challenge US greenhouse gas rules
— Texas suit one of several to challenge EPA

DALLAS, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Texas and several national industry groups on Tuesday filed separate petitions in federal court challenging the government’s authority to regulate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Good examples here of both political and private use of courts to challenge AGW.

The political is, of course, the Texas AG. Let’s set out to elect pols who are committed to challenging AGW in the courts.

The private use of courts in Texas is being spearheaded thus:

The National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association also said on Tuesday they filed a petition challenging the EPA in federal appeals court.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. iron and steel makers have also signaled they would file lawsuits.

And here’s the AGWers’ response:

Environmental groups said Texas should focus on building cleaner energy sources instead of filing lawsuits.


petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 8:06 AM

I remember mosquito-free summers as a child. The mosquito-spray trucks (we called them that, don’t know what they were really called) would drive through all the streets fogging the area with DDT.

I also remember that we used to ride our bicycles through that DDT fog, and we would follow the trucks.

And ya know? I’m still here, alive and well with no cancers or illnesses. And so far as I know, so are all my old playmates!

I also remember when DDT was banned, and we no longer spent as much time outside playing in the hot humid summers, now that there were so many danged mosquitoes!

Beth Donovan on February 17, 2010 at 8:07 AM

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 8:06 AM

The point I meant to add here is that while we naturally think first, if not almost exclusively, of court challenges being initiated by our local/state officials, my hunch is the potential for policy-changing litigation is substantially larger from the legions of private sector suits that will (hopefully) emerge. Any strategy for using the courts to fight AGW should emphasize what activists should do to promote private sector anti-AGW litigation.

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 8:21 AM


badpenny on February 17, 2010 at 8:22 AM

And how many lives have been saved by people driving these “fragile” cars who crashed into people in non fragile cars with their “fragile” car rather than crashing into them with a big SUV?

MB4 on February 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM

A very solid majority of traffic deaths come from single car accidents. The next largest is crashing into a vehicle of similar size.

MarkTheGreat on February 17, 2010 at 8:24 AM

I am proud to be a SUV-driving, gas-guzzling alpha jerk, trying to keep my kids alive as I keep 3 baby seats out of the front seat.

You try getting 3 across in a small car, you eco-conscious green weenies.

Sloan Morganstern on February 17, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Your perspective and analysis is spot on as usual. I believe I overheard Rush talking about this yesterday. He must be a fan of your as well.

The question is though, how do we restore science to it’s rightful place?

CTSherman on February 17, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In PA, we named our Department of Environmental Protection building after her. Orwell missed this one when he dreamed up “1984”. Wonder what he would have called it.

“Ministry of _____”

mozemoose on February 17, 2010 at 9:10 AM

We need to increase the risk factor, and frighten the next generation of junk scientists into being more careful with their research. If we don’t, the Church of Global Warming….

I’m agnostic. Good advice, but limited. It’s the Church, not Chemistry 101. How about frightening the next generation of congregants? The charlatan preachers will emerge no matter what. Joni, Joan, Al, Michael–the troubadours du jour of Big Green Romance will be there. It’s the believers who present the risk. And AGW may be just the thing to empty the churches.
This time the left hasn’t limited its bomb-throwing to Africa. Or the apple orchards. There’s one sitting on every Western kitchen table. It needs to be properly identified and disarmed. In plain sight. As it was placed.

Or the inconvenient force multipliers will again carry the day.
“Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees. Pleeeeeeeeeez”. All over again.

Barnestormer on February 17, 2010 at 9:10 AM

My memory may serve well here, I believe it was Richard Miniter who wrote “Disinformation”. He included a chapter on this very subject, and indicated that the bird shells did in fact get thinner. What the Carson followers have never been told is that the person in charge of the study (and I believe he was a student, sound familiar?) had reduced, considerably, the amount of calcium in the birds’ diets. The study that showed the thinned shells has never been successfully duplicated, and those who continue to insist on “peer review” and the scientific method have never even been asked to explain this obvious disconnect. Why would this be, unless the result is exactly what they needed to murder tens of millions of people they saw as “inconvenient”? Hyperbole on my part? Maybe, but until someone, ANYONE, can answer the above assertions, I’ll stand by it.

runawayyyy on February 17, 2010 at 9:57 AM

There’s big news, as reported at (Exodus From Climate Change Bandwagon Begins en Masse),
in today’s CEI news release about the lawsuits that are starting to pop up:
New Lawsuit, Petition Challenge EPA Global Warming Regulations After Lead Global Warming Scientist Admits Data Sloppiness, No Warming
CEI, Allies Urge Reconsideration of Economy-Crushing Regulations

Washington, D.C., Feb. 16, 2009 – In two separate filings Tuesday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute challenged massive energy regulations forthcoming from the Environmental Protection Agency. The actions come in the wake of damaging disclosures this week by Phil Jones, head of the disgraced British Climate Research Unit, who reversed himself on several basic issues in a BBC interview.
CEI, along with nonprofit ally FreedomWorks and the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), filed a lawsuit in federal appeals court challenging EPA plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The lawsuit asks the court to review the EPA’s regulation.
In addition, CEI joined with SEPP and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change in updating its petition demanding that EPA reconsider its decision.
petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 9:51 AM

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Also from another thread:

Virginia’s AG takes on the EPA.

riverrat10k on February 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Important to note there are two separate petitions here, one to EPA and another to the federal appeals court:

1) On behalf of the state, Cuccinelli filed a petition asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its December finding that global warming poses a threat to people.

2) Cuccinelli also filed a petition with the federal appeals court in Washington seeking a court review of the EPA finding.

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Excellent post. How de we communicate these ideas when they are so orthogonal to the dominant watermelon narrative? We need the Big Hollywood approach; we are never going to get people educated by the left to understand this type of thing intellectually. We need a movie studio and 20 years of counter-agit-prop.
In the meantime, thanks Doc and keep it up. The only change I’d like to see from Salem is Doc on the payroll & front page.

motionview on February 17, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Eugenics at its finest.
Planned Parenthood would be proud.
Those babies killed were not white Europeans were they?

barnone on February 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM

We need the Big Hollywood approach; we are never going to get people educated by the left to understand this type of thing intellectually. We need a movie studio and 20 years of counter-agit-prop.

motionview on February 17, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Yes! The Big Hollywood approach and the Scopes Monkey Trial approach.

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Thank you, sir, for eloquently stating the case against radical environmentalism. As a retired foreign aid official I can certify many conversations with reputable international malaria control specialist venting their frustration and anger over the Luddite-style prohibitions against DDT. You failed, however, to mention the obstructionism of the environmentalists which has largely prevented the foreign aid community from carrying forward Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution to Africa. Add to this their continuing blockade against the introduction of genetically modified higher yielding crop varieties and you have millions more people sentenced to misery and death by the anti-human environmentalists. No, the road ahead could not be any clearer. Resources – people, time and money – must be found and organized to take the people and organizations responsible for this genocide – yes, genocide – and present the case against them in a very public forum such as the International Criminal Court. They should be made to pay dearly for their criminal acts.

boqueronman on February 17, 2010 at 12:35 PM

New way to deal with malaria. I’m all for DDT, but this sucker is just too cool.

Buford Gooch on February 17, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Darwinian calculations into its statistics. By that brutal calculus, we should be evolving a dominant species of SUV-driving, gas-guzzling alpha jerks, while the weak and eco-conscious will be buried in the wreckage of their Smart Cars and Priuses.

Doctor Zero on February 16, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Evolution in action!
Great article, you sir, are bookmarked.
(I’m actually thinking about de-tuning my Hummer, so it gets the half burned fuel out so much faster.

docjohn52 on February 18, 2010 at 12:57 AM

New way to deal with malaria. I’m all for DDT, but this sucker is just too cool.

Buford Gooch on February 17, 2010 at 2:26 PM


I’ve dreamed of a bug-zapping ray ever since I learned what a laser was.

Dark-Star on February 21, 2010 at 3:04 PM

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