Activist junk science breeds bad policy

Banning neonic pesticides in wildlife refuges would hurt birds, bees, other wildlife and people

Guest post by Paul Driessen,

The House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources recently approved HR 2854, the 2019 Protect Our Refuges Act, prohibiting the use of neonicotinoid insecticides in any of the nation’s 560 National Wildlife Refuges, some of which are the size of Delaware and even Indiana. The legislation will now be considered by the full House, while a companion bill (S 1856) makes its way through the Senate.

The legislation is unnecessary, misguided and based on embarrassingly bad science. Rather than protecting our refuges, it would force farmers to use other insecticides that truly are harmful to bees, birds and other wildlife (and even humans), or end programs to grow crops that nourish refuge inhabitants and visitors. Sadly, the forces driving it forward are par for the course on far too many ecological issues.

The twin bills are designed to reinstate a 2014 Obama-era US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) ruling that banned neonic use in refuges, in response to sue-and-settle lawsuits and intense pressure from anti-pesticide groups. The FWS reversed the ban in 2018, after analyzing multiple scientific studies that found the insecticides are safe for bees, birds and other wildlife. The reversal once again allows the use of neonic-coated seeds or neonic sprays in parts of certain refuges where cooperative agreements between the FWS and farmers permit growing corn, alfalfa, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, clover and other crops.

Such agreements are employed when the Service determines that it cannot meet its wildlife enhancement and refuge management goals without assisting natural ecosystem processes. Refuges benefit from farmers providing more food for wildlife, including bees and migrating birds, under conditions set forth by the FWS. The farmers benefit from harvesting and selling the remaining crops.

The arrangements have worked well for decades. However, some environmentalist groups oppose any pesticide use (and even biotech crops) in refuges, while others oppose all farming (and grazing) in refuges. In recent years, they focused on neonics, alleging that this new insecticide technology threatens honeybees. After the 2018 decision, they sought legislation like HR 2854 to impose their views.

For years they had claimed neonics were causing “colony collapse disorder” around the world. When “bee-pocalypse” claims were disproven by studies in multiple countries, and by the rapid recovery of honeybee colonies from Varroa destrutor mites and other lethal pests and diseases, the groups shifted their attention to wild bees, about which far less is known. More recently, they have claimed birds are affected.

HR 2854 sponsor Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) insists that neonics are “toxic chemicals” that “infect” our soil and waterways, threaten biodiversity, bees and other wildlife in our refuges, and just pad “the bank accounts of chemical manufacturers.” She rarely lets reality get in the way of her rhetoric.

In a fascinating new article that should be required reading for every Member of Congress prior to voting on these bills, science journalist Jon Entine presents the facts about neonics, and depressing details about the junk science behind the ongoing activist and media frenzy about alleged threats to birds and bees.

For example, claims that bees are harmed by neonicotinoids are based on lab tests that exposed honeybees to dozens of times more neonics than they would ever encounter foraging for pollen or nectar. Assertions that birds are endangered by the same Imidacloprid are based on studies that force-fed sparrows the equivalent of at least 120 corn seeds at one time. Moreover, that earliest of all neonics is tens of times more toxic to birds than neonics that are actually used to coat corn, canola and other seeds today.

Moreover, neonics are used on only a few of the crops commonly planted in refuges (corn, alfalfa and wheat, for instance, but not clover), and not all those crops attract bees or birds. It’s a complex reality, which should not be (but too often is) simplified by cheap slogans and sound bites to drive agendas.

Neonicotinoids have become the world’s most widely used insecticide class because they work and are safe. At times they sprayed on fruits or vegetables, but about 90% of them are used as seed coatings. Either way, but particularly with coated seeds, their pest-killing properties are absorbed into plant tissues and so affect only insects that actually feed on the crops, especially early in the growing season. Neonics also reduce the need for multiple sprays, often with more harmful insecticides.

By the time the plants flower and attract bees, the amount of “neonics” in flowers, nectar and pollen can be measured in a few parts per billion, equal to a few seconds in 32 years.

This helps explain why dozens of extensive field studies in multiple countries found no harmful effects from neonics on bees under real-world conditions. That fact and increased success in controlling Varroa mites and bee diseases helps explain why hive numbers and honeybee populations have rebounded nicely. Most wild bees are also healthy, despite little-reported problems, such as diseases carried to wild bee colonies by their domesticated cousins.

Moreover, a 2015 study found that most wild bees never even come into contact with crops, or the neonics that supposedly threaten them. Only 2% of wild bees do much crop pollination in any event, and thus get exposed to various neonic pesticides; yet they are among the healthiest of wild bee species.

Bird counts are up, down or stable, depending on the species, while the sparrows used in the forced-feeding study have increased in numbers since neonics were introduced in the 1990s.

In recent decades, a lot of habitat and forage land has been lost to housing, business and shopping mall developments, solar installations, biofuel farms and other changes. The extra nourishment that crops planted in refuges can provide often offsets those losses. Farmers and ranchers should be given incentives to plant crops, not subjected to bans, disincentives, and increased costs that reduce flowers and forage.

More land dedicated to corn, sorghum, canola and other monoculture crops for biofuels has also reduced overall wildlife habitat land and flowers that bloom later in the season, nourishing bees during the critical weeks before winter sets in. Refuges planted with clover and other flowering crops can help here too.

Farmers who do plant these crops – and the bees that benefit – are much better served by neonic-coated crop seeds, than they are by a return to outdated insecticides that neonics have largely replaced: such as pyrethrin and organophosphate pesticides, which definitely do kill bees and other beneficial insects, threaten birds and other wildlife, and pose poisoning, cancer and other health risks to humans.

This higher-risk category includes crop-protection chemicals used by organic farmers. They may be “natural,” but many are highly toxic to beesand people. Pyrethrum and pyrethrins can kill bees on contact; these powerful neurotoxins have also been linked to leukemia in humans. Rotenone is also highly toxic to bees and fish and can enhance the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Copper sulfate fungicide is highly toxic to soil organisms, fish and aquatic invertebrates – and to human brains, livers and hearts.

Rep. Velázquez needs to acknowledge these realities. She should also recognize potentially serious threats to bees, wildlife, soils, waters and plants in refuges from sources that she, her colleagues and their environmentalist and media allies routinely ignore: solar panels, for instance. Not only do they blanket many thousands of acres, allowing little to grow beneath or between them. They can also leach cadmium and other metals into soils and waters. They should no longer be built near wildlife refuges.

Finally, it’s not just bees. It’s also birds, and bats – which are already being killed and even eradicated in many areas by America’s 56,000 wind turbines. Imagine what Green New Deal turbine numbers would do.

If Ms. Velázquez and her colleagues truly care about bees, birds, bats, other wildlife and refuges, they would hold hearings on all these problems – and enact legislation to address them. At the very least, Members of Congress should pay attention to the facts and studies noted here before they vote on HR 2854 or S 1856.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of many articles on the environment. He has degrees in geology, ecology and environmental law.

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71 thoughts on “Activist junk science breeds bad policy

  1. We had the recent WUWT story about Ancel Keys activist junk dietary science. link It’s demonstrable that people died because of that bad science. Some folks think it’s responsible for the obesity epidemic. link

    We also have acitivist junk science, in spades, in gender studies.

    … superstition and blind dogma are elevated to the status of knowledge obtained through science and rationality. link

    The activists tell us what the science should be. If scientists disagree with that approach their jobs and safety are in danger.

    It is obvious that CAGW is activist driven. That makes it hard to get real science published. example

  2. Pretty soon we’re going to start seeing bills introduced in Congress to stop walking on the ground because the sheer act will kill meiofauna (sp?).

    Will it go to that extreme? Probably not, but that extreme is a possibility. When one has the foundation that all human activity is “bad” for the environment, extremes are not that far out of reach.

    I can play that game too. So the problem is the insecticide on the refuges right? Well get rid of the refuges, problem solved. There now see? We can all pat ourselves on the back for taking action to save the environment. What about the farmers you say? Well their land will soon be a field of solar panels, progress you know! Gotta adapt or change, we’re on a mission to prove that humans are despicable creatures that are killing the environment.

    Ridiculous.

    • Pretty soon we’re going to start seeing bills introduced in Congress to stop walking on the ground because the sheer act will kill meiofauna.

      OMG, we have to exterminate all the elephants.

  3. Regarding “More land dedicated to corn, sorghum, canola and other monoculture crops for biofuels has also reduced overall wildlife habitat land and flowers that bloom later in the season”: How much of the sorghum and canola crops are being used for biofuels?

  4. Rep. Nydia Velázquez has a degree in political science, so she is a scientist. I am not sure how a “political science” differs from “witchcraft”?

    • Curious G, witchcraft usually has carefully thought out rituals and incantations that one must follow precisely to avoid severe difficulties and, according to practitioners, possible death! Progressive political science requires little more than a vivid imagination for making “stuff” up; one’s feeling and intentions are much more important than facts, logic, history and human nature. One can see this daily in the exhortations from the high priests of Climatastrophe as well as the chants from the Shampeachment hoaxers and their latest work of fiction. Progressivism means not only never having to say you’re sorry, you rarely have to issue retractions of the falsehoods you propagate! Unless you might have liability!

      • Hey, we had a brilliant Witchcraft detection system in the UK until the experts stepped in! A woman who knew anything about herbs, natural cures & the like, would be accused of being a Witch! She would then be democratically subjected to non-sexist distrcimination investigation, she would then be placed on a ducking-stool, dunked into pondwater for as long as possible, & if she survived without drowning of course, it would demonstrate that she was guilty as the water rejected her impurtity, & then simply burnt at the stake, it was better science than we have today! FACT! (Sarc off) AtB

  5. I’ve work in the pest control industry for 30 years (as technician, manufactures rep, distributors rep, consultant). I understand and for the most part agree with the points being made, but I have a couple of problems with the delivery. The suffix “icide” means kill. Hence no pesticide is safe. If you use the word safe anyone in the industry will cringe and most likely determine you don’ really understand the subject. Second toxicity is most often expressed in LD 50 (lethal does to 50 percent of a population). Using ppm is meaningless.

        • Nice troll comment. What nothing to add to the conversation so you try to look superior. To bad your wrong. LD 50 has been used in toxicology since 1927. In fact the term LD 50 was fist used in a toxicity paper published in 1927.

      • Charbonneau,

        With that caveat –

        “The suffix “icide” means kill. Hence no pesticide is safe. If you use the word safe anyone in the industry will cringe and most likely determine you don’ really understand the subject. Second toxicity is most often expressed in LD 50”

        the pesticity of the pests still remains.

        And the pesticides should involve some toxicity against pests.

    • LD 50 is used in cancer research, it has nothing to do with toxicity studies.
      A population of test animals is given the compound under study at a level that 50% of them die from the toxicity of the chemical. Then the survivors are checked to see if any of them develop cancer.
      I agree with you that in the context of cancer studies, LD50 is ridiculous.

  6. As for pyrethrin causing cancer in humans, as stated in “such as pyrethrin and organophosphate pesticides, which definitely do kill bees and other beneficial insects, threaten birds and other wildlife, and pose poisoning, cancer and other health risks to humans”:

    That sounds to me like an exaggeration. The International Agency for Research on Cancer found no significant evidence that any of the pyrethrins they studied cause cancer, and classified them as “not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans” (Group 3), the lowest cancer risk group that they put anything into with one exception. IARC is infamous for being an outlier that overstates the cancer risk of things, so this looks like strong evidence that pyrethrins are nothing to worry about in terms of causing cancer in humans.

  7. 20000 fold microwave radiation from all electronic radiation since the 80s has killed more birds than the windmill thrashers.
    The wintering birds chickadees, junkos, tufted tit-mousses, nuthatches, cardinals, woodpeckers are sparse in rural Pennsylvania where I live, to the extent that my nature loving neighbors have finally noticed.
    After the recent snow I don’t recall any scavengers showing up to feed on the natural weed seeds available on my 4 acres situate on a hill in Berks County. I even threw out half a loaf of stale bread—no takers.
    None of the above song birds showed.
    Not a damn crow or raven.
    Not a Turkey Buzzard.
    Not a raptor, red-tail hawk, falcon or eagle.
    Not a morning dove.
    My property is on the flyway with a neighboring pond, a winter residence to a couple of Canadian Geese. I’ve not seen a soul.
    I’m concerned that the extinction event is upon us and unless radical action is taken about wireless I fear we have created the fifth horse.
    The Malthusians are having their way??
    I am a 76 year old rational Professional Chemical Engineer not given to these thoughts—I am not a Tin-foil hat conspirator.
    Perhaps the cold November drove the avian population further south—I pray.
    Our area is flooded with Smart Meter Technology since last year mandated by our MORONIC PA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION who never verified the SAFETY OF THE TECHNOLOGY.
    Join the Petition https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/
    PS The Audubon Society says that 351 species of birds are threatened by CLIMATE CHANGE–right church wrong pew.

    • “I am a 76 year old rational Professional Chemical Engineer not given to these thoughts—I am not a Tin-foil hat conspirator.”

      Uh huh…pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.

      • Carbon Bigfoot – December 8, 2019 at 8:13 am

        I’m concerned that the extinction event is upon us and unless radical action is taken about wireless I fear we have created the fifth horse.

        @ Severian & Sheri …. I’m a 79 year old “original thinker”, degreed biologist and computer designing/programming dinosaur plus many other talents and experiences …… and its OK iffen y’all want to call me a “Tin-foil hat conspirator” ….. but ya better not be calling me ”late for a cold beer” cause that will get my dander up..

        Anyway, Carbon Bigfoot, like 10 or 15 years ago, whatever, ….. ever since CCD became a “hot” News item and no one provided the cause of it, ….. or any logical reasoning as to what the cause was, …… my common sense thinking, logical reasoning and intelligent deduction determined that “a wireless transmission frequency could very well be the cause of the Honey Bees CCD problem”, …. to wit:

        Honey Bees – Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is an abnormal phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind a queen, plenty of food, and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees.

        And there has never been any disabled or dead worker bees found around or near any CCD affected hives, ……. which infers to me that “they left home (hive) to collect pollen and couldn’t find their way back”.

        Like something messed up their biological GPS system and they just kept on their wacky “beeline” until they died. Something like a wireless frequency …… or a change in a solar irradiance frequency

        • sit a mobile phone on a beehive..and stand back
          ditto placing one near high tension powerlines
          expcet to be stung and then have the bees move out

          as for neonics
          theyre bloody systemic the entire plants tainted as well as pollen n nectar
          and it doesnt break down well and travels into water table

          just another dose of what ails you accumulating over time as humans eat the end products as well
          they had to double and a bit the accepted roundup in food residues as its risen so much over the years

          id rather cope with copper, rotenone,sulphur and pyrethrins thanks

          • If it doesn’t break down, then it isn’t a problem.
            As to increasing the acceptable levels of Round-Up, if it actually happened, probably has more to do with the studies that showed it wasn’t harmful.

            Bees coming out of the hive when it gets disturbed. Who’d a thunk it.

          • If it doesn’t break down, then it isn’t a problem.

            MarkW, …. lead (Pb) doesn’t break down after ingesting, is it a problem?

            Bees coming out of the hive when it gets disturbed. Who’d a thunk it.

            ”DUH”, sitting a board, a brick or a bucket on top of a hive doesn’t disturb them.

    • Carbon: Your definition of “I am a 76 year old rational Professional Chemical Engineer” is not like other people’s…..

    • Just looking at possibilities Bigfoot.
      1). It is very unlikely that microwave radiation causes any health issues since millions of people subject the side of their head to cellphone radiation for hours a day with the only known effect being inability to concentrate on tasks at hand. /s
      2). Wildlife populations go up and down by whole orders of magnitude over a decade or less. Over the years we’ve had “plagues” of rabbits, mice, deer, voles, coyotes, grasshoppers, frogs, crows, caterpillars, mosquitoes, you name it, including Canada geese. Three years later it’s hard to find any. My opinion is that what the weather was like during their breeding cycle, and presence of communicable disease are the predominant causes of these population swings. Canada geese, well, its wherever they decide to land. Always, extrapolation of these various species declines would estimate their total extinction by now. But no, next year the headlines in the local paper will be the rising pestilence of one or the other of these. The big city papers will manage to blame it on climate change or farmers.
      3) Not to be nasty, but maybe at 76, you don’t go out as much and don’t wander as far afield as you used to, so don’t see as much wildlife. I know I don’t at just a few years your junior. In my wandering about the yard, I just don’t see as many rabbits and deer and owls as I used to when I used to rip around for hours on a quad over much greater area more often.

      • DMacKenzie = December 8, 2019 at 9:37 am

        2). Wildlife populations go up and down by whole orders of magnitude over a decade or less.

        Shur nuff, ….. MacKenzi, …… right you are.

        That phenomena is often referred to as “the predator – prey cycle”.

        Take rabbits and foxes for one example.

        After three or four years of rabbit population increases, …. the fox population will begin increasing due to adequate food for fox litter survival. And during the next three or four years the fox population increases and their numbers prey heavily on the rabbits …… and the rabbit population starts decreasing, which in turn causes the foxes to die off due to lack of food. And the cycle begins again.

        • Sorry doesn’t work that way, predators are wholly dependent on prey, prey are totally dependent on condition that add to there success in reproduction. Predators do not lessen prey populations, it the availability of food, weather, and disease that limit prey populations. The droping bird populations in all probality have more to do with the reinterduction of West Nile than anything else, funny how that almost left out.

      • For about the past decade, I’ve lived in a house with a large deck on which I keep several bird feeders. Over this time I get a non-stop show of fluttering wings while drinking coffee in the morning or eating lunch here in the dining room/sunroom area. I’ve seen about 40 different species of birds in the yard.

        And I’ve noticed them come and go. The past couple of years during migration season all the rose breasted grosbeaks disappeared. This past spring they were back. Same at different times for the indigo buntings, the goldfinches, and numerous other migratory birds. None went away forever. Changes in temperature, warm/bad winters, food availability/lack along the migration routes, means those routes move east and west as the birds require. They are far from a static thing, tied down to the same route. They are mobile and shift as needed depending on a variety of factors.

        I did not immediately come to the conclusion that climate change had killed them all when for a few seasons they didn’t come by, and as time wore on I was proven right.

        • Your bird feeders attract large groups of birds …….. and large groups of birds will attract bird predators.

          So, what about the hawks and the feral and/or house cats in your neighborhood?

          • Well, my feeders hang off the 2nd story deck, with a large tree next to it that gives them cover. Oddly I never see a cat on the deck although they could climb the tree. Now raccoons at night, that’s another story. I see the odd feral cat in the yard but they don’t seem to have much success going at the birds and I rarely see them.

            Now opportunistic hawks that are known to be attracted to bird feeders, that I see. Both sharp shinned hawks and Cooper’s hawks. Suddenly they’ll be a mass scramble into the tree followed by a hawk alighting on the deck, quite exciting, amazing birds to see up close. I figure hawks have to eat too.

            I do see a lot of the results of breeding activity. The cardinals get at least three broods a year here. It’s fascinating to watch bird behavior and rearing of young so closely. I’ve looked out during peak breeding season and seen at least 20 cardinals on the deck, and that doesn’t include other birds, just cardinals.

            This is all much more relaxing and rewarding than watching the news in the morning.

    • Dear Big Carbon,

      We live in central Washington (the Left coast) and feed many pounds of Black Oil Sunflower seeds every year. I have not seen a Cardinal since leaving Pennsylvania in 1965. My loss.
      Anyway, there are so many of the smaller birds, such as Chickadees and Finches, that the sky is darkened with their comings and goings. Okay, a slight exaggeration there.
      Recently we have been invaded by Eurasian Collared Doves. [Wiki “In 1974, fewer than 50 Eurasian Collared Doves escaped captivity in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas“]
      I thought they might displace the local (Calif.) valley Quail, but that does not seem to be happening. Both sorts are thriving.
      Per your instructions, and a large check, I will capture some of Collared Doves and send them to Berks County.

      Also, try Black Oil Sunflower seeds with higher fat and thinner shells (not the striped ones).
      Have you thought about visiting the local chapter of the Audubon Society? They are climate crazies, but some local groups have interesting programs.

      Finally, those geese are properly termed “Canada Geese”, or Branta canadensis if you want to avoid confusion with other geese that spend part of the year with our northern neighbors.

    • Carbon –

      100 miles north of you in Ithaca NY the birds are still here – both in my yards and up the road at Cornell’s Lab of O. The same storm that got you left us only 10 inches. Yesterday the crows showed up 2 minutes after I dumped the results of our (once per decade !) freezer clean out; chickadees (unassuming and charming as usual) enjoyed sunflower seeds. When they don’t show up for a day or so, we assume “they got a better deal somewhere else”. They always come back. Worry NOT.

      I also fought with the Smart Meter advocates :

      http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN50.pdf

      Not that I particularly think SMs are dangerous (PAID EXPERTS ARE); but I am unimpressed with the EXACT SAME paid expert saying that SMs, tobacco, and asbestos are ALL harmless (except when defending asbestos does he blame tobacco for cancer)! My local power company (NYSEG) took his propaganda off their public site when I pointed this out. Small victory.

      -Bernie

      • the EXACT SAME paid expert saying that SMs, tobacco, and asbestos are ALL harmless

        Bernie, me pretty damn sure there are far more PAID EXPERTS claiming tobacco (smoke) causes cancer …… than there are claiming it is safe.

        Next to “fossil fuel” and “alcoholic beverage” sales, …… “tobacco” is surely the most profitable “cash cow” for extorting tax monies from the populace.

        • Samuel –
          I’m apparently missing any point you are offering. My comment (See my webnote ENWN-50 and references [4] and [5] therein) mentioned a single “expert” – in particular ONE who was provided by the electric company and SGCC as a defender of SMs. A web search showed that he also defended asbestos and tobacco in separate assertions. Do you disagree? Thanks.
          Bernie

          • Bernie, if you became ….. “unimpressed with the EXACT SAME paid expert saying that SMs, tobacco, and asbestos are ALL harmless’ …… then it is an obvious fact that you BELIEVE, without question, that one or more of said “SMs, tobacco, and asbestos” is/are a cancer causing carcinogen ….. and that ruffled your feathers enough to complain to the power company.

            Iffen you hadn’t been and avid believer in the cancer causing effect …….. then why complain?

            Cheers, ….. Sam C

          • Sam –

            I am still (more than ever) confused about what you are accusing me of!

            I think it is well-established (and perhaps as importantly, widely believed by the general public) that tobacco (T) and asbestos (A) are associated with cancer. Accordingly, if one were seeking to advance the position of SMs as being safe (which I suspect is true) you DON’T hire a “white coat” who has previously advocated that T and A are harmless, with the exception of his defense of A as harmless; instead blaming T in such cases! Just bad PR.

            That was my point. Sincerely, what actually is yours?

            -Bernie

          • Bernie Hutchins – December 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

            Sam –
            I am still (more than ever) confused about what you are accusing me of!

            1st of all, Bernie, ….. you don’t practice what you preach, to wit, excerpted from your cited link here.

            All views on scientific matters are not equal in a sense of democracy, but you really should have to have valid scientifically presented reasons to reject ANYONE’S views and promote your own.
            ……. [snip]……
            Claims based on (or shaped by) politics (like “Global Warning”) or religion (like antievolution) hold zero value. These should be, but too often are not, accepted or rejected on the merits of the arguments. Rather whether or not someone favors a conclusion determines the reaction.

            Bernie, there is no merits (actual factual scientific evidence) that supports your following claim (strike thru portion) of being a carcinogen.

            I think it is well-established (and perhaps as importantly, widely believed by the general public) that tobacco (T) and asbestos (A) are associated with cancer.

            The best you can claim is that the cancerous effects of both tobacco and asbestos are well established beliefs.

            And Bernie, you can improve your knowledge about “cancer causes” by paying attention to what the expert “experts” have to say, such as, to wit:

            DNA mutations

            “We’ve known for many years now that all cancers are due to abnormalities of DNA…that occur in every single cell of the body over the course of a lifetime,” said Stratton.

            “But although we’ve known that, it’s remarkable how rudimentary our knowledge is about what the processes are that cause these abnormalities, these mutations in our DNA.”

            “What we believe…is that sometimes in normal cells…this stops functioning properly and over-functions. It causes too many mutations and the accumulation of those mutations pushes the cell along the line to become cancer.”

            Read more @ http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/17/study-unpicks-gene-changes-behind-breast-cancer/
            from Reuters @ http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/17/us-cancer-breast-genetics-idUSBRE84G0XT20120517

            And Bernie, tell me how they determine the difference between …… diesel exhaust caused lung cancer ….. and cigarette smoke caused lung cancer, to wit:

            Diesel exhaust

            There’s new evidence that exposure to exhaust from diesel engines increases the risk of lung cancer.

            Diesel exhaust has long been classified as a probable carcinogen. But the 20-year study from the National Cancer Institute took a closer look by tracking more than 12,000 workers in certain kinds of mines — facilities that mined for potash, lime and other nonmetals. They breathed varying levels of exhaust from diesel-powered equipment, levels higher than the general population encounters.

            The most heavily exposed miners had three times the risk of death from lung cancer compared to workers with the lowest exposures, said the study released Friday by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
            http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46609036/ns/health-cancer/

          • Sam -]

            You are a bit (unjustifiably) free-wheeling with your use of invective, but while it has been tedious, we have eventually discovered where you were coming from. Apparently, you do not choose to entertain any evidence that tobacco is dangerous – the very mention seems to offends you. Your choice.

            But this sub-thread has drifted too far from bees and birds and microwaves so I will not offer further discussion. Last word is yours – if you want it.

            -Bernie

          • Sam -] you do not choose to entertain any evidence that tobacco is dangerous

            Bernie, I will entertain it just as soon as you provide me with actual factual evidence that tobacco is dangerous.

            A “consensus of opinions” that tobacco is dangerous is as asinine and idiotic as is the “consensus of opinions” that atmospheric CO2 is causing global warming climate change.

            I smoked cigarettes for 60 years without any dastardly effects to my lungs or my breathing. It was only after I was diagnosed with severe RA that my problems began.

            I paid 20 cents ($0.20) for my 1st pack of cigarettes in 52’ or 53’ and I smoked like a coal burning RR engine until the increased taxes raised the cost of a pack to 6 dollars ($6.00) and I put them down and haven’t smoked one since.

            “DUH”, getta clue, Bernie, all the millions of deaths attributed to tobacco and asbestos were not confirmed by autopsies, ….. not even 10% of them.

            Cheers, Sam C, AB Degree in Biological and Physical Science, GSC 63’ and ole computer designing dinosaur.

            ACS website – Date published – 2002

            This casual acceptance of smoking was the norm when the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout went nationwide more than 25 years ago in November 1977.That quarter century has marked dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco promotion and tobacco use. Many public places and work areas are now smoke-free which protects non-smokers and supports smokers who want to quit.

            The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout event grew out of a 1971 event in Randolph, MA, in which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. In 1974, Lynn R. Smith, editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota, spearheaded the state’s first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day. The idea caught on, and on Nov. 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society succeeded in getting nearly one million smokers to quit for the day. The first national Great American Smokeout was held in 1977.

            During the next 25 years the Smokeout was celebrated with rallies, parades, stunts, quitting information, and even “cold turkey” menu items in schools, workplaces, Main Streets, and legislative halls throughout the US.

            The Great American Smokeout has helped to spotlight the dangers of tobacco use and the challenges of quitting, but more importantly, it has set the stage for the cultural revolution in tobacco control that has occurred over this period.

    • Ummm, Carbon Bigfoot, those birds are probably all at my feeding station in the Midwest, stuffing themselves, even though the winter has been kinder and gentler this time than it was the past five to eight years.

      Want me to tell them to go back to your house? They may not want to go back to yours. Try putting out something besides stale bread. They don’t like it and won’t eat it if there is better foraging available. Try suet cakes or peanuts, or better yet, just go get some bird food at your local hardware store and put that out. And why is your age important? I’m 73, and I’ve seen just as much stuff as you have, and have yet to see a failure in birds showing up.

      • Sara – December 8, 2019 at 12:30 pm

        Try putting out something besides stale bread. They don’t like it and won’t eat it if there is better foraging available.

        Sara. you defined the cause of the “absent bird problem” when you stated “if there is better foraging available”.

        Carbon can’t solve his “lack of migratory birds” problem by putting out more or different food for them.

        Don’t forget, we are talking “migratory birds”, and those birds are like “vacationing” people on a long road trip. They HAVE TO stop ever so often to get something to eat and rest. Such as this migratory bird “rest stop”, the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

        Anyway, the use-to-be migratory bird “rest stop” from the Carolinas, across Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have been providing less n’ less food over the past 40 years due to a lack of home gardening and farming and the birds have changed their “migratory” route.

        But not so, Sara, ….. in the Midwest where you live, they are still producing a world of corn, soy, oats, rye, etc., etc., and it remains the major “flyway” for bird migrations. Besides NO mountains to fly over or around.

    • Bigfoot
      **PS The Audubon Society says that 351 species of birds are threatened by CLIMATE CHANGE–right church wrong pew.**
      Time to find a better source for information unless you like fiction.

    • You are a comedian .. were on Earth did you get this number

      20000 fold microwave radiation from all electronic radiation since the 80s

      The fact you don’t know there is a problem with that tells us all we need to know about you.

    • CB rest assured they’re doing well. We have songbird nesting sites in our neighborhood and had fledgling flight school 3 times this year.

  8. 120 corn seeds force fed to a sparrow at one time? What are they trying to do, make sparrow foie gras?

  9. It seems everybody and his aunt is trying to make fusion reactors work, the uk is investing a lot to try and make it work, if they do, then we can say goodbye to the vile solar panels and wind generators..

    Or will the greens say that fusion is bad and will destroy the world 😐 I wonder what vile greta will say..

  10. I used rotenone for years partially because it was “organic” and mostly because it was very effective. Suddenly, it’s a horrible poison. Sigh. Reminds me of the rotating honor of being the “most deadly drug in America”, which runs from statins to acetominophen to fentanyl to…..Science is 100% useless these days. Insecticides, drugs, oil, gas, chemicals, food, air, everything is horrible and killing us. We live in the Dark Ages, people. It will do no good to “educate” congress—you do that with a six or seven figure check. Not truth. Meanwhile, I use whatever works and blow off all the idiotic, poorly done studies in science and medicine, and conspiratorial beliefs of the natural foods empire. It’s the only option for now.

    (Actually, I now use ducks for insect control. I have to get additional members for the flock after a nasty incident with a raccoon, but all in all, they work well and are very tasty to eat if you let them hatch offspring. I would guess that won’t make a good “end of the world, the ducks will kill us all” movie, but I go for practical.)

  11. Great article. But you left out how many insects are killed by wind turbines. Millions? Billions? A googol?

    The smell of which would attract birds and bats, seriously increasing the slaughter. These people are truly insane.

  12. Russia Today is a major relay of the anti pesticide crooks.

    Once again, the House sides with Russia.

    Sad!

  13. Mods: I have no idea why this went into moderation.

    Great article. But you left out how many insects are killed by wind turbines. Millions? Billions? A googol?

    The smell of which would attract birds and bats, seriously increasing the slaughter. These people are truly insane.

    (I don’t either, but there were many others who got into moderation too. All freed now) SUNMOD

  14. Anti pesticide propaganda is a major thing in France and is particularly promoted by the “patriot”/”nationalist” parties. As a rule, these pro Russia political French parties are wrong about almost everything about the economy.

    The so called extreme right Marine Le Pen made Pierre Moscovici, a socialist, look almost like Reagan in a TV debate. She is practically the political child of Georges Marchais, the leader of the PCF in the 80ties, French Communist Party.

    (Georges Marchais was so critical of worker immigration that he would without doubt be threatened with indictment for “incitement to racial hate”, and risk jail time, he is was alive now.)

    That’s why the French “far right” is not even close to American conservatives. Marine Le Pen runs on a more state more regulation agenda, while at the same time riding the anti-red tape anti-tax wave. She has very little credibility.

  15. The aim of ‘Activist’ Climate Alarmists with junk science is always to worship Gaia and bring offerings of bad policy to her feet resulting in damage to wildlife, including birds, bees, animals and people. Gaia is supreme.

  16. In regard to electro magnetic radiation causing problems with life processes, be they wildlife or humans.

    This one has been around a long time. Persons living near power lines with a 50 or 60 Herttz frequency plus a high voltage, 300,000 volts seem to survive. There is a possible danger with cell phones as the radiation is close to the brain, but at the moment its heating of the tissues only. Possible DNA problems long term though.

    As a amateur radio operator VK5ELL for many years I am still around and almost 83.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • High power overhead lines have long be suspected of causing cancer (mostly leukemia). Some people say it’s the magnetism, others say it’s the air pollution.

      Either way, the number of people affected is minuscule.

  17. This reminds me of the time when cyclamates an artificial sweetener for beverages was declared a carcinogen and banned. Back then, even I could tell it was bad science, including heavy doses by injection, and later the results turned out to be not repeatable. The ban was kept.

  18. re “More land dedicated to corn, sorghum, canola and other monoculture crops for biofuels has also reduced overall wildlife habitat land, and …

    – should that read “increased overall wildlife habitat land”?

  19. I have been a beekeeper for about 35 years. All of my life since I was about 16, except for my years in the military. I lived through the inadvertent introduction of varroa mites into US bee colonies. The US hive numbers plummeted through the 1990s. Dropping by about half I believe. Previously, I had successfully wintered about 75% of my hives through a Michigan winter. Now without treatment, overwintering success is approximately nil. In the 1990s treatments were expensive and complicated hive management There are much better treatments available now that can be used at any time of year. The collapse of bee populations was definitely man made, but had nothing to do with neonics.

    The decline of hive populations and how it was used by activists is a useful lesson. AFTER the event had already occurred activists hijacked the issue for their political and financial gain. Those of us involved in beekeeping knew all along what was causing the decline in bee populations. It was never a mystery…

  20. “Assertions that birds are endangered by the same Imidacloprid are based on studies that force-fed sparrows the equivalent of at least 120 corn seeds at one time.”

    So noodling geese is barbaric, while noodling sparrows to prove your “scientific” hypothesis is good. Hypocrisy abounds in the green movement.

  21. As a classical, experienced graduate Chemist, I am very much against the current trendy fad of chemophobia.
    The neonic in Confidor or whatever its name where you live was designed and created by Chemists more capable than I am. It has stood the test of time and it has been important for global economies. It has been a purposeful, large benefit made by professionals who knew their craft and who, if you met them, would probably turn out to be normal family people and not the horrible monsters that some would have us think.
    Chemists have been a fundamental contributor to your standard of living and to mine.
    Treat them kindly, less they pack up their marbles and desert you for another game. Geoff S

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