Who knew? Rachel Carson – climate change expert

NOTE: For those of you who don’t know, Rachel Carson has often been hailed as the “mother of the environmental movement” due to her book, Silent Spring.  Before that book, she wrote another, The Sea Around Us, in which she proposes mechanisms for climate change.

The mechanisms she proposes are all natural, all cyclic variation. No human created chemical influence (CO2) is mentioned. I wonder what she’d say today? Would she flip-flop and go with the flow of the current CO2 movement?

From Ed Sanders website, with some slight editing for readability and removal of the maddening glowing red background. (h/t to Steve McIntyre for the link) – Anthony

UPDATE: I removed a sentence above, because it was spawning debate in an off-topic area that I don’t wish to go into. – Anthony


From the book, The Sea Around Us.

Copyright 1950, 1951, by Rachel Carson.

Reprinted by permission of Oxford- University Press, Inc.

The old-timers are right–winters aren’t what they were. And the reason may be gigantic tides deep under the sea that apparently change the climate of the whole earth.

The ocean comes alive in one of this year’s most fascinating books. This article is condensed from The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson.  A lilelong student of nature, Miss Carson is editor-in-chief of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Day by day and season by season, the ocean dominates the world’s climate. Can it also be an agent in bringing about the long-period swings of climatic change that we know have occurred throughout the long history of the earth-the alternating periods of heat and cold, of drought and flood? There is a fascinating theory that it can.

This theory links events in the deep, hidden places of the ocean with the cyclic changes of eliminate and their effects on human history. It was developed by the distinguished Swedish oceanographer, Otto Pettersson, whose almost century-long life closed in 1941.

To review the Pettersson theory is to review also a pageant of human history, of men and nations in the control of elemental forces whose nature they never understood and whose very existence they never recognized.

Pettersson’s work was perhaps a natural outcome of the circumstances of his life. He was born-as he died 93 years later-on the shores of the Baltic, a sea of complex and wonderful hydrography. In his laboratory atop a sheer cliff overlooking the deep waters of the Gulmarfiord, instruments recorded strange phenomena in the depths of this gateway to the Baltic. As the ocean water presses in toward that inland sea it dips down and lets the fresh surface water roll out above it; and at that deep level where salt and fresh water come into contact there is a sharp layer of discontinuity, like the surface film between water and air.

The Atlantic is slowly rising, and there’s enough water frozen in land ice to raise it 100 feet. If ALL that ice were to melt, which is unlikely, New York would be flooded as shown on the left.

Giant Waves Under the Sea

Each day Pettersson’s instruments revealed a strong, pulsing movement of that deep layer – the pressing inward of great submarine waves, of moving mountains of water. The movement was strongest every twelfth hour of the day, and between the 12-hour intervals it subsided. Pettersson soon established a link between these submarine waves and the daily tides. “Moon waves,” he called them, and as he measured their height and timed their pulsing beat through the months and years, their relation to the ever-changing cycles of the tides became crystal clear.

He had found that the submarine waves varied in height and power as the tide – producing power of the moon and sun varied. From astronomical calculations he learned that the tides must have been at their greatest strength during the closing centuries of the Middle Ages – those centuries when the Baltic herring fishery was flourishing. Then sun, moon and earth came into such a position at the time of the winter solstice that they exerted the greatest possible attracting force upon the sea. Only about every 18 centuries do the heavenly ‘bodies assume this particular relation. But in that period of the Middle Ages, the great underwater waves pressed with unusual force into the narrow passages to the Baltic, and with the “water mountains” went the herring shoals. Later, when the tides became weaker, the herring remained outside the Baltic, in the North Sea.

Then Pettersson realized another fact of extreme significance – that those centuries of great tides had been a period of “startling and unusual occurrences” in the world of nature. Polar ice blocked much of the North Atlantic. The coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic were laid waste by violent storm floods. The winters were of “unexampled severity” and in consequence of the climatic rigors political and economic catastrophes occurred all over the populated regions of the earth. Could there be a connection between these events and those moving mountains of unseen water? Could the deep tides affect the lives of men as well as of herring?

Tides Affect Climate

Marshaling scientific, historic and literary evidence, he showed that there are alternating periods of mild and severe climates which correspond to the long-period cycles of the oceanic tides. The world’s most recent period of maximum tides, and most rigorous climate, occurred about 1488, its effect being felt, however, for several centuries before and after that year. The minimum tidal effect prevailed about A.D. 550, and it will occur again about the year 2400. Surface waves are mild compared to great submarine waves found at mouth of Baltic where salt water meets fresh. Such tide waves are thought to explain long-range climate changes.

During the latest period of benevolent climate, snow and ice were little known on the coast of Europe and in the seas about Iceland and Greenland. Then the Vikings sailed freely over northern seas, monks went back and forth between Ireland and “Thyle” or Iceland, and there was easy intercourse between Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries.

Storms and Floods Wreak Havoc

But these bland climatic conditions began to deteriorate in the thirteenth century. The seacoast of Holland was devastated by storm floods. Old Icelandic records say that, in the winters of the early 1300’s, packs of wolves crossed on the ice from Norway to Denmark. The entire Baltic froze over, forming a bridge of solid ice between Sweden and the Danish islands. Pedestrians and carriages crossed the frozen sea and hostelries were put up on the ice to accommodate them. The freezing of the Baltic seems to have shifted the course of storms originating in the low-pressure belt south of Iceland. In southern Europe, as a result, there were unusual storms, crop failures, famine and distress. Icelandic literature abounds in tales of volcanic eruptions and other violent natural catastrophes that occurred during the fourteenth century. Glaciers show effect of rising temperatures: they melt back faster than they are renewed by snow, so that they are shrinking. Many smaller ones have already disappeared.

All those ancient records of climatic variations seemed to Pettersson an indication that cyclic changes in the oceanic circulation of the Atlantic had occurred. Applying the discoveries in his laboratory on Gulmarfiord, he believed that the climatic changes were brought about as the tide-induced submarine waves disturbed the deep waters of polar seas. Although tidal movements are often weak at the surface of these seas, they set up strong pulsations at the submarine boundaries, where there is a layer of comparatively fresh, cold water lying upon a layer of salty, warmer water. Less ice is drifting down from the frozen top of the world, opening far northern seas to fisheries and navigation – all signs of the warming up of subarctic regions.

Warm Water Thaws lce

In the years or the centuries of strong tidal forces, unusual quantities of warm Atlantic water press into the Arctic Sea at deep levels, moving in under the ice. Then thousands of square miles of ice that norreally remain solidly frozen undergo partial thawing and break up. Drift ice, in extraordinary volume, enters the Labrador Current and is carried southward into the Atlantic. This changes the pattern of surface circulation, which is so intimately related to the winds, the rainfall and the air temperatures. For the drift ice then attacks the Gulf Stream south of Newfoundland and sends it on a more easterly course, deflecting the streams of warm surface water that usually bring a softening effect to the climate of Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen and northern Europe.

Although the really catastrophic disturbances of the polar region come only every 18 centuries, according to Pettersson, there are also rhythmically occurring periods that fall at varying intervals-for example, every nine, 18, or 86 years. These correspond to other tidal cycles. They produce climatic variations of shorter periods and of less drastic nature.

Fish Failed and Ships Sank

The year 1903, for instance, was memorable for its outbursts of polar ice in the Arctic and for the repercussions on Scandinavian fisheries. There was “a general failure of cod, herring .and other fish along the coast from Finmarken and Lofoten to the Skagerrak and Kattegat. The greater part of the Barents Sea was covered with pack ice up to May, the ice border approaching closer to the Murman and Finmarken coasts than ever before. Herds of arctic seals visited these coosts, and some species of the arctic whitefish extended their migrations to the Christiana Fiord and even entered into the Baltic.”

This outbreak of ice came in the year when earth, moon and sun were in a relative position that gives a secondary maximum of the tide-producing forces. The similar constellation of 1912 was another great ice year in the Labrador Current – a year that brought the disaster of the Titanic.

Now in our own lifetime we are witnessing a startling alteration of climate, and it is intriguing to apply Otto Pettersson’s ideas as a possible explanation.

It is now established beyond question that a definite change in the arctic climate set in about 1900, that it became astonishingly marked about 1980, and that it is now spreading into subarctic and temperate regions. The frigid top of the world is very clearly warming up.

Ships Sail Farther North

The trend toward a milder climate in the Arctic is perhaps most strikingly apparent in the greater ease of navigation in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Sea. In 1982, for example, the Knipowitsch sailed around Franz Josef Land for the first time in the history of arctic voyaging. And three years later the Russian ice-breaker Sadko went from the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya (Northern Land) to 82 degrees 41 minutes, north latitude – the northernmost point ever reached by a ship under its own power.

In 1940 the whole northern coast of Europe and Asia was remarkably free from ice during the summer months, and more than 100 vessels engaged in trade via the arctic routes. In 1942 a vessel unloaded supplies at the west Greenland port of Upernivik (latitude 72 degrees 43 minutes N) during Christmas week “in almost complete winter darkness.” During the Forties the season for shipping coal from West Spitsbergen ports lengthened to seven months, compared with three at the beginning of the century. The season when pack ice lies about Iceland became shorter by about two months than it was a century ago. Drift ice in the Russian sector of the Arctic Sea decreased by a million square kilometers between 1924 and 1944, and in the Laptev Sea two islands of fossil ice melted away completely, their position being marked by submarine shoals.

Birds and Fish Move Poleward

Activities in .the nonhuman world also reflect the warming of the Arctic – the changed habits and migrations of many fishes, birds, land mammals and whales.

Many new birds are appearing in far northern lands for the first time in our records. Some high-arctic forms, which thrive in cold climates, have shown their distaste for the warmer temperatures by visiting Greenland in decreasing numbers.

As the chill of the northern waters has abated and the fish have moved poleward, the fisheries around Iceland have expanded enormously, and it has become profitable for trawlers to push on to Bear Island, Spitsbergen and the Barents Sea. These waters now yield perhaps two billion pounds of cod a year – the largest catch of a single species by any fishery in the world. But its existence is tenuous. If the cycle turns the waters begin to chill, and the ice floes creep southward again, there is nothing man can do that will preserve the Arctic fishcries.

Glaciers Are Receding

The recession of the northern glaciers is going at such a rate that many smaller ones have already disappeared. If the present rate of melting continues others will soon follow them.

The melting away of the snow fields in the Opdal Mountains in Norway has exposed wooden – shafted arrows of a type used about A D. 400 to 500. This suggests that the snow cover in this region must now be less than it has been at any time within the past 1,400 to 1,500 years.

The glaciologist Hans Ahlmann reports that most Norwegian glaciers “are living only on their own mass without receiving any annual fiesh supply of snow”; that in the Alps there has been a general retreat and shrinkage of glaciers during the last decades, which became “catastrophic” in the summer of 1947, and that all glaciers around the North Atlantic coasts are shrinking. The most rapid recession of all is occurring in Alaska, where the Muir Glacier receded about 10 kilometers in 12 years.

The milder arctic and subarctic climate seems already to have resulted in longer growing seasons and better crops. The cultivation of oats has improved in Iceland. In Norway good seed years are now the rule rather than – the exception, and even in northern Scandinavia the trees have spread rapidly above their former timber lines, and both pine and spruce are making a quicker annual growth than they have for some time.

The World Is Warming Up

The countries where the most striking changes are taking place are those whose climate is most directly under the control the North Atlantic currents. Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen and all of northern Europe, as we have seen, experience heat and cold, drought and flood in accordance with the varying strength and warmth of the eastward – and northward – moving currents of the Atlantic.

It is interesting to calculate where our twentieth – century situation fits into the cosmic scheme of the shifting cycles of the tides. The great tides at the close of the Middle Ages, with their accompanying snow and ice, furious winds and inundating floods, are more than five centuries behind us. The era of weakest tidal movements, with a climate as benign as that of the early Middle Ages, is about four centuries ahead. We have therefore begun to move strongly into a period of warmer, milder weather. There will be fluctuations, as earth and sun and moon move through space and the tidal power waxes and wanes. But the long trend is toward a warmer earth; the pendulum is swinging.

Ed Sanders’ Comment:

If in fact the earth is getting warmer, I believe this is the explanation for it. Little we puny humans do will have much of an effect. Rachel Carson was the hero of the environmentalists, and perhaps rightly so back in the 60s. How about listening to her now? Or is the real agenda of the environmentalists to destroy the free enterprise system?

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64 thoughts on “Who knew? Rachel Carson – climate change expert

  1. I remember some serious “audits” of Carlson’s egg-thinning data that she claimed was caused by DDT, and the conclusion was that this claim was unsupportable. I think one should be very skeptical of anything she wrote. Looking through what’s posted above, I only see anecdotes and just-so statements, no actual science.

  2. I think that the reason for climate change is going to be debated for some time to come. The popular thought is to blame it on humans, is that the real cause..I don’t know…

  3. Pingback: Rachel Carson Sees Natural Causes for Global Warming | Skeptics Global Warming

  4. Clark,
    It was misrepresentation of science (something like what goes on in Climate Science)
    “Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT erroneously in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson wrote “Dr. DeWitt’s now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched.” DeWitt’s 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the “control”” birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt’s report that “control” pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs. ”
    “The environmental movement used DDT as a means to increase their power. Charles Wurster, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, commented, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.. In a sense, much more is at stake than DDT.””
    http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.htm#ref1

  5. I suppose humans are being blamed now, because there are more humans around than before. Advancements in technology and medicine have increased the world’s longevity (in general), which means we stick around on Earth much longer. xD
    But are we to blame for the climate change? God knows…

  6. Rachel Carson also said that DDT would cause cancer without supportive data. The link has never been proven. Banning DDT in Africa did more to promote the rise of malaria there since that people lost a weapon in the fight of malaria They didn’t spray it all over the place, but painted it on there door frames to keep the mosquitoes out. Dan Gardner, an Ottawa journalist has written about it here: http://www.dangardner.ca/Colmay2507.html
    Today, there is also a report released done by “credible” climate scientists that climate change is going to cause all kinds of illness. The story is blow. Where do these people come from? Do they think that being alarmist is good science? Where is the data to back it up, or where is the data that proves the climate is changing at all? We have only the IMPRESSION that climate is changing becasue we have 24 hour weather news, satellites to track storms and weather by the second and a camcorders in the hands of millions of people. We didnt have that even 25 years ago. The only thing that is changing is our increased ability to OBSERVE and document climate.
    Global warming has been happening for 18,000 years (in the latest glacial cycle) and so we should blame our caveman brothers for producing too much CO2?? It is just unimaginable how much science has been thrown out the window to form these climate change “ideas.” They should be relegated to the realm of science fiction! Think people, THINK!!
    Expert warns about climate change health effects
    Updated Fri. Jul. 25 2008 9:43 AM ET
    CTV.ca News Staff
    The federal government needs to put more resources into both preparing for and preventing the health effects of changing weather, says one of the authors of an as-yet-unreleased Health Canada report on climate change.
    Nobel Prize-winning climate change scientist Gordon McBean told CTV’s Canada AM on Friday that the federal government needs to have a co-ordinated national warning system for potentially hazardous weather patterns such as extreme hot or cold temperatures.
    “There’s a need for more warning systems,” McBean said. “We have heat alerts in some cities and not in others. I’d like to see some more national co-ordination and leadership on a warning system across the country that integrates all these things rather than having it piecemeal here and there.”
    McBean, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, released his chapter of the report on climate change and health to The Canadian Press this week.
    In the chapter, McBean warns that extreme weather conditions will put Canadians at greater risk of injuries, illness and mental-health problems related to stress, CP reported.
    The chapter also says that the elderly and young children face the greatest risks for developing adverse health effects from climate change.
    McBean said weather patterns can have devastating consequences on human beings, including a wide range of physical and mental illnesses and even death.
    Events such as floods and tornados can not only kill or injure people, but they can also have long-term health effects, he said.
    For example, major storms can contaminate water systems — such as the storm that led to Walkerton, Ont.’s E.coli outbreak in 2000. The outbreak killed seven people and made more than 2,000 others sick.
    McBean also said that living through a terrifying event could cause psychological trauma.
    He would like to see a system similar to those in some European countries, which post health advisories if weather conditions may trigger certain health problems, such as migraine or an asthma attack.
    Quentin Chiotti of the environmental think-tank Pollution Probe collaborated on the report, and told CP that it is a “wake-up call . . . that climate change is going to have a significant impact on the health of Canadians.”
    McBean released his chapter of the report, which was written by a number of leading scientists, to spur the government to take action now. He said he hopes the recent government announcement of new funds for infrastructure will include money to improve emergency preparedness.
    He said that infrastructure needs to be able to “withstand the changing climate events” so people’s health is not impacted.
    McBean said he began work on the report back in 2003 and completed most of his work in 2006.
    At a press conference earlier this week, Health Minister Tony Clement was asked when the report might be released. Clement said that he hadn’t yet read it, but it would be released to the public after he reviews it and then develops any necessary policy recommendations based on the findings.

  7. Tim Lambert has started many threads on his Deltoid blog trying to get Rachel Carson of the hook for starting very effective green campaign against all use of DDT. He has a real bee in his bonnet that in many countries DDT was not actually banned. As if it makes any difference to a poor family whether it is not illegal to use DDT if the governments and aid agencies had been persuaded by the green lobby not to provide it. Is someone on two dollars a day whose children are at risk of malaria supposed to buy DDT off the internet?
    Some people on Deltoid even argue that Carson was not actually in favour of a ban on all use of DDT, but anyone who reads Silent Spring knows that is nonsense. Of course back in 1964 Carson could be forgiven in making an honest mistake, but it is a scandal that there are still millions suffering from malaria because the enviromental movement will not admit that she was wrong and support the use of DDT spraying inside the home

  8. Umm… this is an interesting essay, but it is not a scientific paper.
    I think in the sceptic movement we are on stronger ground when we emulate Steve McIntyre and try to do ‘proper’ science. There have recently been several papers suggesting that oceanic cycles may be responsible for Earth temperature cycles – I would love to see these subjected to the same rigorous investigation that Steve has pioneered.
    Science is in a dangerous state – it has become heavily politicised. The dark wing of climate science is spreading over many other areas – some leadership is needed. The Hockey Team would look at the heading of these papers – if it agreed with their hypothesis they would accept them without question; if it disagreed they would produce some reason to ignore them – a lack of ‘peer review’ perhaps.
    What should happen is that constructive criticism should be applied, to papers on all sides of the argument. We should not pick papers which agree with our beliefs and praise them – this is climate science. Instead we should be looking for firm data, supporting those of us competent enough to write papers, and then examining them critically – not ‘believing that this is the explanation’ or ‘listening to Rachel Carson’….

  9. I found this a great read. I was Pettersson, contemplating Nature, the sea, and the tides from my perch on a high cliff overlooking the sea–then inside a cold room, pen in hand, writing my thoughts.
    No matter what one thinks of Rachel Carson, she writes persuasively with good imagery. I do wonder about the edits or am I just confused? It says the book was copyright in 1950,51 so why is there a mention of something that occurred in 1980 and 1982?
    But I always love to read older references to conditions occurring during the time of the LIA and MWP because today’s habit of rewriting history to fit an agenda makes me nuts. And it’s very compelling thinking about the conditions back then in terms of mariners, the sea, sea ice, and fisheries.
    I know there is so much more written history about this area of the world during that time than there is about, say, California 1000 years ago. And the warmers know that too and take advantage by calling those climatic periods local rather than global. So they ignore the 1100 year old dead trees found well above the current treeline in the sierra nevadas. But when one attempts to rewrite history, it’s just so easy to get tripped up by little bitty details, isn’t it?
    REPLY: It was “reissued” in 1982, see the Amazon link from the book title

  10. The implication of this post is that it is a long quote from a book by Rachel Carson and from it I take the following quote:-
    “It is now established beyond question that a definite change in the arctic climate set in about 1900, that it became astonishingly marked about 1980, and that it is now spreading into subarctic and temperate regions. The frigid top of the world is very clearly warming up.
    Ships Sail Farther North
    The trend toward a milder climate in the Arctic is perhaps most strikingly apparent in the greater ease of navigation in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Sea. In 1982, for example, the Knipowitsch sailed around Franz Josef Land for the first time in the history of arctic voyaging. And three years later the Russian ice-breaker Sadko went from the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya (Northern Land) to 82 degrees 41 minutes, north latitude – the northernmost point ever reached by a ship under its own power.”
    Not bad for someone who died in 1964. Perhaps a better heading would be “Who knew? Rachel Carson – climate change expert and psychic”

  11. Something that has changed in recent years is the need to blame someone. Nothing happens by itself, or as a result of natural causes. Perhaps this is to to trial lawyers or a growing social insecurity. If we can place the blame, that removes uncertainty. It doesn’t matter if it has no basis in reality.
    We saw something similar at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. There was a backlash, as many could not understand, nor accept the changes. Now we want security. The world is too complex for most. Blame it on education if you like. Our math and science performance is dismal. Touchy-feely subjects flourish. We don’t teach students to think, we teach them to conform.
    I have no idea where this will lead, nor how to change direction. Without solid science, we will certainly make bad decisions. “Silent Spring” scared the daylights out of me 45 years ago. Al Gore tries to do the same today. If it takes another 45 years to defuse him, we may not have anything left at all. I’m not at an age where I want to live in the world the current crop of alarmists want to impose on me.
    So, what should we do? How much of the world is already on the bandwagon?

  12. I encountered this curious reference googling Otto Petterson, whose name had been mentioned in another context. Petterson’s theories are referred to in two articles by Keeling and Whorf (that’s the Keeling of the CO2 measuements):
    Keeling, Charles D. and T. P. Whorf. 1997. Possible forcing global temperature by oceanic tides. Proceedings, National Academy of Sciences of the United States. 94:8321-8328.
    Keeling, Charles D. and Whorf, Timothy P.: 2000. The 1,800-year oceanic tidal cycle: A possible cause of rapid climate change . Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 April 11; 97(8): 3814–3819. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0244.
    Ynestad publishes on this sort of stuff – see bibliography http://ansatte.hials.no/hy/climate/litterature.htm
    I have no opinion on this particular theory; I just thought it was intriguing to see Rachel Carson’s name turn up in this context.

  13. “REPLY: It was “reissued” in 1982, see the Amazon link from the book title”
    Ah. Missed that. Thanks.
    “In 1982, for example, the Knipowitsch sailed around Franz Josef Land for the first time in the history of arctic voyaging. And three years later the Russian ice-breaker Sadko went from the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya (Northern Land) to 82 degrees 41 minutes, north latitude – the northernmost point ever reached by a ship under its own power.”
    But we know now that American subs surfaced at the North Pole even earlier in the 1950’s. I’m assuming that info was still classified at the time this part was added. Perhaps the Russian’s did too and didn’t tell anyone either. 🙂

  14. After reading this, I am reminded of poor Alfred Wegener. That chap had it easy, it only took a few decades to locate the mechanism for continental drift and now plate tectonics is well established.
    Now here we are, faced with yet another cyclic event used to postulate how climate changes. The question is, what’s the mechanism?
    With all these cycles I keep reading about, I wonder, is there a commonality? Pity the poor climatologist. Peer pressure is great to latch onto CO2 as the forcing mechanism that’s responsible for the recent warming. It’s so simple; no need to look at tidal surges, solar variability, orbital mechanics, the alphabet soup of ocean events (PDO, AO, etc), cloud variations, Galactic Cosmic Rays, aerosols — and the list goes one.
    Set ’em up Sam and keep ’em coming till my climatologist friend here is on the floor — he really needs it!

  15. Bill Marsh,
    Junk Science gets the DeWitt stuff exactly wrong. As a general rule, you’d do well not to put credence in a site that advertises its work as junk.
    Turns out that in DeWitt’s experiments, even the grain-eating birds that were fed DDT died in significant numbers. Of those that managed to lay eggs, most of the chicks died. Milloy cut the quote from Carson — DeWitt said that 80% of the eggs hatched in one group, but all the chicks died within a week.
    Turns out that nothing Rachel Carson said about DDT and birds has ever proven to be in error. Discover magazine counted, and noted last November that more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies had been done on the stuff Carson cited, all of them supporting her claims.
    You can get the dope here:
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/100-things-about-ddt-dissecting-10/
    See especially the comments by Joshua Buhs, and a commenter named Soso.

  16. Rachel Carson also said that DDT would cause cancer without supportive data.

    Stan Williams, bet you can’t cite any page in Silent Spring that doesn’t have supportive data. Try it with your claim above.

  17. So which is worse? A very short life due to Malaria or the possibility of cancer in the longer term due to DDT.
    That’s the problem with Climate Alarmism. It is devoid of context and trade-off which any engineer will tell you are the critical analysis behaviors that get from theory to working design.
    If we let Algore and his puppet Hansen destroy world economy and energy production, we will be worse off than if we adapt to climate over time based on market response and common sense efficiency.

  18. “But these bland climatic conditions began to deteriorate in the thirteenth century. The seacoast of Holland was devastated by storm floods. ”
    I love this 2 liner.
    Devasted = large coastal islands disappear, 100’s sq km flooded, and death tolls inthe 100,000’s, entire shore lines re-arranged.
    (In medieval europe! the entire population of england was 5 million or so)

  19. I can just remember the DDT scare. During my time in the military in the early 70’s (very early 70’s) I can remember some of the old timers wishing we had some DDT to kill the little skeeters. I surely agreed with them the only thing that kept you from being carried away day or night was lead boots and then all it felt like was left was your bones and nerves hurting like crazy. I suspect that while studies proved that DDT was a very dangerous chemical there should have been a way to make use of its power with out over exposure to people and animals. I know I would have preferred it to agent orange.
    Anthony or Charles you may snip if you want.
    Bill Derryberry

  20. If we let Algore and his puppet Hansen destroy world economy and energy production, we will be worse off than if we adapt to climate over time based on market response and common sense efficiency.

    Speaking of alarmism, controlling air pollution by planting trees destroys the economy exactly how?
    The current recession (let’s hope it’s not a depression) is one prompted significantly by the do-nothing stance. Some market response. Some common sense efficiency. You don’t own Ford stock, of course, nor are you employed there. Easy for you to say.

  21. The current recession (let’s hope it’s not a depression) is one prompted significantly by the do-nothing stance.
    Ed, there is no “recession” – yet. But if one does develop, or worse, I’m going to lay it to the “do-nothing” policies long championed by our brave new “Environmentalists”: no new drilling, no new refineries, no new nuclear energy plants, no new hydro-electric plants, etc..
    Btw, Ed, your above statement is nothing more than another example of the usual groupist propagandistic-meme-tactic we now see incessantly coming from [non-Classical] Liberals and Progressives as alleged argument – it’s one meant to be simply repeated in classic groupthink fashion instead of justified by facts and reason. Nor do I think returning human thought and Science to such pre-rational, pre-Enlightenment levels will itself be “new” or desireable.

  22. Ed Darnell: “The current recession (let’s hope it’s not a depression) is one prompted significantly by the do-nothing stance. Some market response. Some common sense efficiency”
    The current recession is a result of the known positions of a liberal Congress. Taxation of productivity, redistribution of wealth and government control over more and more of everyones lives. The simple notion that they may acutally succeed in making these things come to pass and their history of changing directions mid stream depending on polling data has stymied investment and innovation. Who wants to put billions of dollars at risk so that liberals can take the profits under some kind of misdirected fairness doctrine? Who can trust them to stay the course and allow you to reap the benefits of your investment? In this election year, just about everyone is now waiting to see what happens before taking any risks.

  23. Speaking of alarmism, controlling air pollution by planting trees destroys the economy exactly how?
    Yah, good straw man there, Ed. Give yourself a pat on the back.
    The current recession (let’s hope it’s not a depression) is one prompted significantly by the do-nothing stance.
    Good red herring there, Ed. Wow, your alarmism is burning on all four cylinders.

  24. “The current recession (let’s hope it’s not a depression) is one prompted significantly by the do-nothing stance. Some market response. Some common sense efficiency. You don’t own Ford stock, of course, nor are you employed there. Easy for you to say.” Ed Darrell
    Our economic system is built on a dishonest banking system (fractional reserve banking) which also leads to the boom-bust cycle.
    Until we have an honest banking system, what is the point in new regulations? See http://www.mises.org and http://www.lewrockwell.com for more info.

  25. Gary:
    As usual, David A cherrypicks his data. Look at Figure 3 and wonder what happened to the dark blue curve [11-12] before 0 months and the light blue curve before -6 months. Perhaps they don’t fit the heavy green curve [23-24], so better not plot them …
    To only use one station [Hanover, NH] is silly and the delta T is way too big, but I don’t really want to pick his stuff apart, because it will have no effect on him or his followers.
    As I have pointed out several times [here and elsewhere] the notion that there are two separate is false. the spread is so large that one cannot make that claim. See the lower plot at: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA12.png
    On its face the Janssens’s [Archibald] plot shows the green line leaving the blue and now touching to red, so one could say that SC24 has joined the high crowd . But you can’t really tell. The paper is just guesswork. Janssens is more guarded than David A.
    Janssens’s curves are cumulative and that makes it hard to see what really goes on. A better plot would be simply the number of spotless days per month [normalized to 31 days] since the 1st [or even better, the 10th] spotless day. Here is such a plot: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA14.png for cycles since #6 [a few missing days in the earlier cycles have been filled in based on the 27-day rotation]
    You can clearly see several things:
    1) the large noise
    2) the narrow distribution [red] for large cycles
    3) the broader distribution [blue] for small cycles
    4) it is only in the last few months that 23-24 has pulled away from the red and joined the blue [signaling a low cycle]. Note that this is kind of the opposite of what I see in the cumulative plot; again showing that the cumulative plot is hard to interpret.

  26. Ed Darrell (08:16:05) : Speaking of alarmism, controlling air pollution by planting trees destroys the economy exactly how?
    So all Al Gore and Hansen want is for us to plant more trees? What world do you live in?
    The current recession (let’s hope it’s not a depression) is one prompted significantly by the do-nothing stance. Some market response.
    Just exactly what do you mean by a “do-nothing stance?” I presume you mean lack of “alternate energy” development? The biggest problem with the greenies is their seemingly clueless understanding of even basic economy and common sense.
    Nearly all technological changes arose out of genuine necessity which in turn means cost-effective. Mandating ineffective solutions only makes things worse. If your arm is broken, investing in faith healers and buying fingernail polish is a waste of time and money.
    Wind power is hardly an effective solution. Denmark has discovered this the hard way. There’s not been any recent real technological breakthrough that suddenly allows wind power to be used. It’s been around for a very long time. If it was truly economically feasible, it would have been more fully developed if only to satisfy greed. Why is it ineffective? I’ll leave that as your homework assignment. Hint: think about variability and meeting peak demand.
    You don’t think the price of corn has anything to do with the recession by any chance? That, by the way, is being driven by the “do anything” approach of subsidies for production of ethanol additives to fuel.
    Believe it or not, solar power was patented by one Nikola Tesla in the early part of the last century. Why has it languished? Think economics and efficiency. Yes, strides are being made but don’t expect it to go anywhere until it becomes economically viable. On a larger scale, it has many of the same problems as wind power.
    So much for the faith healing. How about the fingernail polish?
    For instance: chanting slogans, making token statements (just to show how green one really is), and holding hypocritical stances. I can’t help thinking about that great video of a recent Al Gore rant in DC, showing supposedly green supporters showing up in taxis in response to Al’s exhorting them to bicycle of use public transportation (hey, that’s public transportation, too, donchya know?) not to mention Gore’s idling 22-limousine entourage. Do what I say — not what I say. It’s for the other guy, eh ? Nudge wink wink!
    If the greenies really want anyone to listen maybe they should try making economic sense for a change. You want “green” energy sources? Instead of engaging in the greenie pastime of complaining and going-on about dastardly “big oil” et alia how about putting your collective thinking caps on and develop something usable? Hey, if Al Gore can get a 1/2 Nobel Peace prize for just yapping, you might even qualify for a whole one for actually contributing! You might even find the whole world following you!
    Whatchya think?

  27. Discover Magazine didn’t “count” over 1,000 pro-Carson articles, as Ed Darrell writes. It did link to this study from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp35.pdf
    which may include “over 1,000” references (I didn’t count). Not all of the papers support Carson. Take this quote from the ATSDR study: “Chronic exposure (>1 year) to DDT caused cancer in multiple strains of mice but not in dogs; most studies in nonhuman primates have also been negative.”
    From the Discover Magazine article: “Although the EPA has classified DDT and its metabolites, DDE and DDD, as ‘probable human carcinogens,’ and although mice exposed to DDT for more than a year did develop liver tumors, a detailed analysis of multiple studies of breast, pancreatic, prostate, testicular, and other forms of cancer in people led the authors of the ATSDR report to conclude that “there is no clear evidence that exposure to DDT/DDE causes cancer in humans.’”
    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/nov/can-a-maligned-pesticide-save-lives

  28. Not all of the papers support Carson.

    That’s not what Discover said. Let me leave you with the same challenge Steven Milloy has been unable to answer since last November: Show us the study that disputes Carson. I can’t find one.

  29. Show us the study that disputes Carson. I can’t find one.
    Ed, why don’t you show me just one case of DDT-caused cancer in a human? According to Carson and studies supporting Carson, there should have been plenty of them by now, right? Where are they?
    Perhaps you need to get Malaria yourself, or have your own young child die of Malarial Encephalitis, in order to understand just where the rubber meets the road on this matter.
    The same goes for genetically modified seeds – modified so as to produce an increased protein content of crops. You know where those fat bellies in starved African children come from? Kwashiorkor = diffuse protein malnutrition, leading to inadequate serum albumin concentrations, thus decreased serum oncotic [an anti-osmotic] pressure within the capillaries, hence ascites – fluid transuded into the abdomen, outside of “viscera” – it’s just sitting there, Ed, for everyone to see as a bloated abdomen.
    The brave new “Environmentalists” already have a lot to answer for even without adding the implied gravamen of the AGW demon to their list of debits.

  30. Correct. That’s just what Ed Darrell claimed earlier in this thread. As Ed now acknowledges, Discover never claimed all the papers support Carson. In fact, as I illustrated with quotes from the article and the ATSDR study, some papers do not support Carson.

  31. “For example, major storms can contaminate water systems — such as the storm that led to Walkerton, Ont.’s E.coli outbreak in 2000. The outbreak killed seven people and made more than 2,000 others sick.”
    I thought the Walkerton outbreak was caused by lack of training and inattention to the details of maintaining a water treatment plant. The storm simply provided an access route for the pathogen, it wasn’t responsible for the outbreak. If the operators had done their job, the e E coli would have been identified and cleaned up early on. A boil water warning would also have been issued.
    If the storm was the cause of the outbreak, then the ensuing court cases and inquiries should have been aimed at good old mother nature.
    As for Carson’s conclusions in The Sea Around Us, they should be evaluated on their own merits. Her campaign against DDT should not be at issue in this context, to do otherwise is ad hominem, something we always rale against.

  32. The author did a good job documenting natural climatic changes over the last 1500 years.

  33. I challenged anyone to find the research that doesn’t support Rachel Carson on DDT. No one has offered an example.
    J. Peden said:

    Ed, why don’t you show me just one case of DDT-caused cancer in a human? According to Carson and studies supporting Carson, there should have been plenty of them by now, right? Where are they?

    In the first place, you err in assuming Ms. Carson wrote that DDT causes cancer. Instead, she cited the research at the time that implicated human created chemicals in the same family. Fortunately for us, DDT itself does not appear to be a strong carcinogen, but every cancer-fighting organization on Earth lists DDT as a probable human carcinogen, exactly as Carson wrote in 1962. More recent research indicates the cancer link is to the offspring of humans exposed, just as most of the other bad effects apart from acute toxicity affect the offspring of the organism involved. For example, the link to testicular cancer in young men:
    http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/djn101v1
    or this recent Canadian study that shows DDT metabolites (DDE) promote the aggressive growth of breast cancer cells. Ms. Carson I believe did not suggest a direct link to breast cancer; Junk Science has cited several studies that show weak links to breast cancer, or which failed to find a link to breast cancer, suggesting in a bait-and-switch claim that Carson was in error. However, as you can see, cancer researchers have found links, and serious scientists who fight cancer still list DDT as a probable human carcinogen.
    Now we know a probable cause for those who lack the balls to read Carson’s books, or to take on Carson on what she really said, instead of on hoax claims. Sad, really.

    Perhaps you need to get Malaria yourself, or have your own young child die of Malarial Encephalitis, in order to understand just where the rubber meets the road on this matter.

    Perhaps you ought to mind your own blessed business about personal tragedies before you go shooting your mouth off about medical causes you don’t know anything about.
    If you had bothered to read Carson’s book and pay attention, you’d know that the current successes against malaria are due to the adoption of the mosquito fighting programs Rachel Carson urged in 1962. May I send you the medical bills for the diseases we could have prevented had we acted sooner? It’s notable that President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Council was charged to investigate Carson’s book at the time; their report in May 1963 said Carson was spot on, scientifically, in every way but one: They said the government should act much more quickly against DDT than Carson urged, because the dangers were greater than she said. Still it was a decade later before the U.S. government took serious action — too late for most of the malaria-fighting programs.

    The same goes for genetically modified seeds – modified so as to produce an increased protein content of crops. You know where those fat bellies in starved African children come from? Kwashiorkor = diffuse protein malnutrition, leading to inadequate serum albumin concentrations, thus decreased serum oncotic [an anti-osmotic] pressure within the capillaries, hence ascites – fluid transuded into the abdomen, outside of “viscera” – it’s just sitting there, Ed, for everyone to see as a bloated abdomen.

    You’re off the topic. Carson said nothing against genetically modified seeds. The seeds that offer hope to cure malnutrition are not the GM seeds that are most worried about. As a pragmatic matter, African farmers generally don’t use airplanes to spray their fields with Round-Up, so they don’t need pesticide-resistant soybeans and maize. I don’t know what your bug is about malnutrition, but it has nothing to do with Rachel Carson.

    The brave new “Environmentalists” already have a lot to answer for even without adding the implied gravamen of the AGW demon to their list of debits.

    You’d probably urge shooting Paul Revere for disturbing the peace, too. We see how you are.

  34. The key to studying Silent Spring to determine if Rachel Carson is deserving of the hagiography her proponents have constructed is to find an on-line copy.
    The best I have been able to do so far is: Google Books.

  35. For what it’s worth, here are the official NTP and IARC designations for DDT.
    http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol53/04-ddt.html
    “5.5 Evaluation
    There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of DDT.
    There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of DDT.
    Overall evaluation
    DDT is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).”
    http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/eleventh/profiles/s064ddt.pdf
    “Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
    Like climate science, issues surrounding carcinogenicity often reduce to “how much” and “under what circumstances”.
    It is informative to read the complete reports for DDT I’ve linked to above.

  36. Ed Darrell, why do you choose to place your bets on what is so far only possibly suggestive evidence that DDT has some role in the causation of certain Cancers – even after very significant efforts have been made to actually find such a role – and against the strong evidence and reality now well established that DDT use will certainly result in the elimination of a quite massive amount of human misery and death?
    For example, from the Oxford study abstract: “Conclusions: Increased exposure to p,p’-DDE may be associated with the risk of both seminomatous and nonseminomatous TGCTs, whereas exposure to chlordane compounds and metabolites may be associated with the risk of seminoma. Because evidence suggests that TGCT is initiated in very early life, it is possible that exposure to these persistent organic pesticides during fetal life or via breast feeding may increase the risk of TGCT in young men.”
    Imo, the Authors tellingly emphasize the conservative “may be associated with” as opposed to the more definitive “is associated with” or “has been shown to cause” TGCTs. Iow, all the Authors have by their own admission as of this date is an as yet even unverified correlation between certain levels of DDT metabolites and the odds of getting TGCTs – that’s all. Therefore, as I implied earlier, there appears to be even less of a basis at this point to assert that “DDT causes TGCTs”, or “is a significant factor” or that any particular person with a TGCT got it because of DDT metabolites.
    [The Authors of this recent study themselves did not say anything of the kind in the Abstract, a fact which I’m giving some weight to since they have probably also reviewed the literature.]
    And the issue involving DDT metabolites and Breast Cancer seems to be at about the same stage, involving only a possible correlation in some women. Given the massive amounts of money ostensibly going into Breast Cancer research, where’s the actual beef?
    So when you say, May I send you the medical bills for the diseases we could have prevented had we acted sooner [by banning the use of DDT earlier]?, I have to ask again, “What ‘diseases’ are you referring to, and especially in contrast to the disease which we know will actually be prevented by eliminating Malaria through using DDT?”
    Once again, just why do the allegedly progressive new “Environmentalists” appear to be so intent upon creating such a large observable debt against Humanity?

  37. loki, Cao “documents” her complaints with citations to Junk Science, the site which has dubious evidence at best. Every citation from Junk Science is ripped from Lyndon Larouche’s group — but do as I did: Get those citations, go to a library and see if you can get the sources. In every case I’ve found so far, the cited works say either the opposite of what Junk Science claims, or the cited sources do not exist in the form claimed. 100% inaccuracy is rare, even on the internet.
    “How to tell is someone is wrong about DDT and Rachel Carson”
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/how-to-tell-if-someone-is-wrong-about-ddt-and-rachel-carson/
    “More DDT poisoning”
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/more-ddt-poisoning/
    John M, while remembering that Carson did not claim DDT is carcinogenic, and that EPA’s action against DDT was not based on human carcinogenicity, you’ll notice that none of the official documents suggests that DDT is NOT carcinogenic to humans — so it would be error to claim DDT as not carcinogenic. Fortunately — fortunately — DDT appears to be weakly carcinogenic in humans.
    It’ll shrink the testes of your son and maybe give him a woman’s mammaries; if he’s exposed in utero, it may make give him functioning ovaries. We know it does that to sport fish, and other water-dwelling creatures.
    Not carcinogenic? Testes-shrinking, chemical-castrating would be enough to make me pause before saying it’s safe.

  38. Once again, just why do the allegedly progressive new “Environmentalists” appear to be so intent upon creating such a large observable debt against Humanity?
    Because the target audience resides in the First World and fears cancer more than it does malaria. Of course, the real basis for the relative fears is that cancer is a higher risk factor for that group than malaria. So the push is to play on those fears. I think it telling that the millions of annual malarial cases, occurring as we speak, are never mentioned. Obviously to them, the toll in the Third World is regrettable but we must set our priorities straight: the supposed damage to raptors and the off chance that maybe there is an association between DDT and that fearsome cancer must, of course, take precedence. Who cares about those Africans anyway?
    Ed Darrell rails against Steve Milloy so he probably thinks it a lie that the DDT ban, despite his own agency’s findings, was used by the Administrator of the EPA to demonstrate EPA muscle and not-so coincidentally create a precedent.
    Ed Darrell probably thinks it also a lie that the U.S. ban on DDT put a real crimp in the availability of DDT worldwide. Of course, the Greenies can disingenuously say: “But the use of DDT for health reasons WASN’T banned!” while all the while knowing a single U.S. ban made a ban for health reasons totally unnecessary. The greenies know how badly banning for health reasons would play.
    The Green movement might have laudable stated goals but their not-so-uncommon superciliousness, total lack of proportion, and absurd priorities are truly disgusting.

  39. Ed,
    Sorry, but I’ve read too many sensationlistic claims about this or that chemical causing this or that. If you’re going to play that game, you’re going to end up living on a diet of pure glucose, water, metamucil, vitamin pills, and a cocktail of amino acids (but not too much of either).

  40. Ed Darrell: How to tell is someone is wrong about DDT and Rachel Carson”
    Ed, the ranting at the link you gave is in reference to the following footnote:

    31 Sweeney EM. EPA Hearing Examiner’s recommendations and findings concerning DDT hearings. 25 April 1972 (40 CFR 164.32), specifically, the reference to 40 CFR 164.32.

    The blogger goes on and on about how 40 CFR 164.32 is a section of regulation and obviously couldn’t have Sweeney’s findings.
    Apparently, unbeknownst to the blogger, as well as yourself, Ed, this is more or less a standard way to refer to a report required by regulation. The relevant part of that regulation (40 CFR 164.32) is:

    At the conclusion of proceedings consolidated under this section, the Administrative Law Judge shall issue one decision under Sec. 164.90

    So the footnote is refering to the decision Sweeney was required to make under 40 CFR 164.32. It’s likely part of the title. If you wander on down to the agency you could request a copy by asking for “Sweeney, 40 CFR 164.32 decision, 25 April 1972” and you would receive it.
    Hopefully, you aren’t as clueless in your other DDT research.

  41. Silent Spring
    Since her death from breast cancer in 1964, Rachel Carson has come to be celebrated as a hero by environmentalists. The title “Silent Spring” refers to the sad absence of songbirds in springtime because they die from eating insects containing toxic amounts of DDT and other pesticides.
    To read more:
    Rachel Carson and Silent Spring by Jeffrey Dach MD
    Jeffrey Dach MD
    4700 Sheridan Suite T
    Hollywood Fl 33021
    954-983-1443
    Web Site Jeffrey Dach MD
    Natural Medicine 101

  42. Ed Darrell says:

    Get those citations, go to a library and see if you can get the sources.

    Well, when I come back from Alaska, I figure I will check out the Audubon data that Cao cites and provides that seems to demonstrate that Carson told untruths.

  43. The link provided by jeffrey dach md (15:24:10) says (emphasis mine):

    Unfortunately, the proposed bill was effectively blocked by Republican Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., in a move seeming to represent the interests of the chemical and pesticide industry. Senator Tom Coburn commented that DDT was important for malaria control. How much malaria have you seen in the US lately, Tom? Let me answer that for you; very little. Malaria has been eradicated in the US since the 1950’s. Of the 1,337 malaria cases reported for 2002 in the United States, all but five were imported, i.e., acquired in malaria-endemic countries outside the US. There were 8 reported deaths from malaria in the US in 2002.

    Hmmm… so Rachel’s legacy, albeit through good intention, has millions suffering and many thousands dying annually from malaria? I wonder how she would have reacted had she only known.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43460-2004Jul11.html
    http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/impact/statistics.htm
    Hopefully, some day a vaccine can be made available.
    You might want to take a look at my (13:55:43) post, jefferey, and the preceding posts to put it in context. It’s like deja vu all over again.

  44. Leif,
    “To only use one station [Hanover, NH] is silly and the delta T is way too big, but I don’t really want to pick his stuff apart, because it will have no effect on him or his followers.”
    The object here is to avoid UHI, I don’t have a problem with a small sample here for reasons well established.
    “As I have pointed out several times [here and elsewhere] the notion that there are two separate is false. the spread is so large that one cannot make that claim.”
    Your preciosity regarding what others can or cannot claim is on occasion amusing. Here you provide an improved criterion of a bifurcation showing that their claim is slipshod because their demonstration is so. Well Ok, you’ve got me there. QED, when all correct predictions follow from slipshod work their serendipity falls from ‘accidence’.

  45. I can’t beleave that there are still people who think that we haven’t had anything to do with global warming! Who doesn’t drive a car today?
    I’ve been to Norway (you probabbely know that the norwegians were the first to come up with forecasts?) and although most of the people think it’s just a place covered with ice, there ar lerge differences in temperature. The Golf Stream makes west coast much warmer than the southeast coast, inspite the fact that its exposed to the open Ocean. It is a wellestablished scientific fact that the golf stream reversed in the past, during the ice age, and it seems quite creadible to me that it happened due to the volcanic activity wich caused global klimate change as many scientists have proposed. Some believe that the same may happen because global warming today, what also seems probable.
    Less seriously, I’ve heard a jokes there that the global warming would’nt occur if the swedes would’nt eat beans, but this relation between global warming and the beans has’nt been established as a fact. I guess it is scandinaves who may be quite concerned with CO2/global warming issues, because they have ozon hole above their head, and the weather is getting quite messy and unpredictible there. Am I wrong?
    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html?query=NORWAY&field=geo&match=exact
    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-04-19-norway-emissions_N.htm

  46. DAV said:

    The blogger goes on and on about how 40 CFR 164.32 is a section of regulation and obviously couldn’t have Sweeney’s findings.
    Apparently, unbeknownst to the blogger, as well as yourself, Ed, this is more or less a standard way to refer to a report required by regulation. The relevant part of that regulation (40 CFR 164.32) is:
    At the conclusion of proceedings consolidated under this section, the Administrative Law Judge shall issue one decision under Sec. 164.90
    So the footnote is refering to the decision Sweeney was required to make under 40 CFR 164.32. It’s likely part of the title. If you wander on down to the agency you could request a copy by asking for “Sweeney, 40 CFR 164.32 decision, 25 April 1972″ and you would receive it.

    That’s not a standard way to refer to any government hearing. Put in “40 CFR 164.32” into Google, you’ll get the relevant section of the Code of Federal Regulations, but nothing specific to EPA, nothing on DDT. If you used that reference even at the EPA library, you’d get puzzled looks. It’s a faulty citation — I believe done to make it appear more sciency, but make it almost impossible to track down what the author was talking about (originally, Gordon Edwards). It’s a common trick in tinfoil hattery; it suckers in the unwary, and it makes responses difficult.
    Don’t take my word for it. Check the Harvard Bluebook for legal citations (or whatever name it goes by these days), or the MLA, or Turabian, or any authority you choose. Check West’s legal publications, on-line or in print. The citation is simply wrong. The citation goes to the section of the code that covers administrative law hearings. Yes, that citation appears on the cover of the report — citing a citation in a report is not citing the report itself.
    In fact the hearings presided over by Edmund Sweeney are, by now, difficult to come by. Jim Easter put it on line for those who are source challenged, to overcome the citation fogging done by those Chronically Obsessed With Rachel Carson (COWRC):
    http://www.someareboojums.org/blog/?p=62
    Or, now that the EPA has caught up, check it here:
    http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/1972_EPA_DDT_hearing.PDF

  47. John M. said:

    Sorry, but I’ve read too many sensationlistic claims about this or that chemical causing this or that. If you’re going to play that game, you’re going to end up living on a diet of pure glucose, water, metamucil, vitamin pills, and a cocktail of amino acids (but not too much of either).

    The game being played is the sensationalistic claim that there is no evidence of harm for DDT. To the contrary, there is much evidence of harm.
    To the specific claim that “DDT is not carcinogenic” I cite the findings of every cancer-fighting agency on Earth that it is a probable human carcinogen — not sensationalistic in any way, quite mild, really, but a direct refutation of the false claim that it is NOT carcinogenic.
    Don’t make crazy, sensational claims, or defend them, by claiming my accurate citations are anything other than accurate. If you have evidence that clears DDT from implication in cancers, I would love to have it, and so would the American Cancer Society. If you don’t have that Earthshaking research paper, don’t pretend you do.

  48. Ed Darrell (02:23:42) : “That’s not a standard way to refer to any government hearing. Put in “40 CFR 164.32″ into Google, you’ll get the relevant section of the Code of Federal Regulations, but nothing specific to EPA, nothing on DDT.”
    Of course. The number by itself means the regulatory section.
    You are really clueless; are a careless reader; or enjoy missing the point. Which is it? My guess: a mixture. You’re not very careful in your research from all appearances. One example: your Google search technique. Goes against credibility and expertise which doesn’t help your argument.

  49. Ed Darrell, I don’t normally go out of my way like this but here goes.
    This isn’t exactly proof of how to properly cite but FWIW I think I can find the pedigree of the citation you are denigrating. The one your blogger is chortling over likely was an abbreviation of the reference contained in http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.htm footnote 17:

    Sweeney, EM. 1972. EPA Hearing Examiner’s recommendations and findings concerning DDT hearings, April 25, 1972 (40 CFR 164.32, 113 pages). Summarized in Barrons (May 1, 1972) and Oregonian (April 26, 1972)

    Note that the citation’s citations cite (ahem) both Barrons and the Oregonian. For one, Steve Milloy may be many things but he isn’t stupid. He was an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and currently one for Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s unlikely he doesn’t understand proper citation. Secondly, Barrons is the publisher of the Wall Street Journal. An unlikely organization to lack knowledge in proper citation. Likewise the Oregonian.

  50. DAV, as a troll, you are a special variety. I was a professional copy editor. I have been a book publisher. I have a law degree. I teach this stuff in colleges. I live in these sorts of citations. Your ruminations about how that incorrect and misleading citation might be saved are bizarre and off the mark.
    Call a librarian. If you go to that 40 CFR designation, you will find nothing at all that will come close.
    You could have Googled it — but that appears beyond your ken. How in the hell you’d ever find anything not handed to you on a platter in a library is a great mystery. Well, hell, so far you haven’t.
    Here, try this. Quote for us the part that says crapola about DDT, will you?
    http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title40/40-23.0.1.1.13.2.11.9.html
    The wild goose chases the late Gordon Edwards offers are to obfuscate his own research shortcomings. I would encourage you to spend a few hours in a good library and try to find the material those guys refer to. Since I don’t believe Gordon Edwards was completely addled, it seems to me either Lyndon Larouche’s minions worked hard to hide the research they refer to, or Steven Milloy was paid good money to hide the tracks. It took Jim Easter only a few months to find that hearing record — it is unavailable in most EPA libraries.
    The article in Barrons is a diatribe. It summarizes a couple of points in the hearing decision, but nothing from the hearing record. It’s an incomplete article, in my opinion, because it fails to make adequate record of the two federal court orders EPA was under to get those hearings done. It also fails to document the difference of opinion between Sweeney and every other official who looked at it — whether EPA had authority to suspend the registration of DDT for spraying of cotton if the manufacturers had changed their instructions to say such spraying was not approved. Sweeney, working under old Agriculture rules, assumed he lacked the authority to make that decision; the two federal courts had ordered EPA to restrict DDT based on the science presented in open court (and in both of those cases the DDT manufacturers were parties). The ONLY POINT upon which Ruckleshaus overruled Sweeney was on the suspension of the modified registration. That decision was immediately appealed, and the federal courts delivered summary judgment that Ruckleshaus had acted correctly. If you know what summary judgment means, you know there was no case whatsoever in favor of DDT, and that Ruckleshaus’s decision was rock solid (for neophytes, under U.S. administrative law, there must be a substantial case on the record in favor of an agency’s ruling; if there is not a substantial case, the decision must be overturned. In the case of DDT, the case was well beyond substantial. It was overwhelming.)
    By the way, there is solid evidence that the 1972 ban on broadcast spraying of DDT in the U.S. did nothing whatsoever to limit availability of DDT world wide. How do we know? Because the DDT manufacturers kept making the stuff here in the U.S. for foreign sale. Most of those manufacturing sites were closed down after the Superfund bill was passed and those sites now are sucking up your tax monies in cleanups. The manufacturers declared bankruptcy and stuck you with the bill. But after 1972, they had more than a decade run to pollute, and they took full advantage of that time.
    I’d tell you to look up the case of the DDT pollution in Santa Barbara Channel, but you’ll look for it in the CFR.

  51. Ed Darrell (15:08:27) : I have a law degree
    Hmmm…I suppose that may explain your penchant for substituting ad hominem in lieu of cogent counter-argument and perhaps also an explanation of your tendency to half-quote and misquote. I had assumed you didn’t know better. My mistake.
    [Reply: Anthony let this one through without comment, but I would like to issue a warning to tone down what is essentially a personal attack~charles the moderator]

  52. FOR JEEZ or ANTHONY:
    Did you mean me, jeez? The series of posts from myself started about what is, I think, a very ad hominem attack by Ed when he posted his link to a blog that was a blatant personal attack, albeit on a non-poster. See Ed Darrell (12:28:46). The half-quoting I’m referring to are of my own statements.
    My apologies for the harsh tone.
    I intended it to be a parting comment/ In the interest of peace, please delete this and my previous post.
    DAV

  53. I didn’t follow the whole exchange so I don’t always know “who started it”. Anthony approves some posts, I approve others. It just seemed that a polite request to tone it down was in order. Nothing personal, no demerits on file, and no need to delete previous post.~charles the moderator.

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