Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Prove To Me That The Sky Isn't Falling, Then

Docto Zero over at Hot Air names the biggest killer of all-time...

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.

I couldn't pretend to be an expert on climate science or on DDT (okay, I could pretend -- but it would probably be as bad as a Jimmy Fallon comedy routine). But the folks who believe in manmade global warming have a problem right now -- they've based their argument largely on the idea that manmade global warming is settled science, and that the folks who disagree are either complete idiots or are acting out of monetary self-interest. Unfortunately, the data to support the claims for man-made global warming has come into question. This doesn't disprove the theory, but it should mean that the people supporting it need to provide more evidence. Unfortunately, they seem to have the idea of proof backwards, as the former head of the East Anglia Cimate Research Unit seeks to shift the burden of proof to skeptics...
Jones said he might submit a correction to Nature. But he nonetheless attacked bloggers and other critics for "hijacking the peer-review process... Why don't they do their own [temperature] reconstructions? If they want to criticise, they should write their own papers," he said.
Ed Morrissey gets the response to this idiotic question right...
Well, let’s see — could it be because we’re not the people advancing extraordinary claims about man-made influence on global weather patterns? This must be some new, previously unknown tenet of the Scientific Method, wherein people who point out errors, bias, bad process, and unsubstantiated claims from scientists are somehow required to disprove their unsupported hypotheses. It’s apparently no longer incumbent on Jones and his colleagues to substantiate their own conjectures with actual science, rather than use badly-lifted speculation from media interviews and unsupported propaganda from advocacy groups.
Maybe Doctor Zero is on to something. I'm also guessing that this makes a cap and trade bill this year as likely as the Sixers winning the NBA Title.

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