UCSB ENVS 106 - Lecture 07 Merchants of Doubt Ch 7 end and Pacala_POST (17 pages)

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Lecture 07 Merchants of Doubt Ch 7 end and Pacala_POST



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Merchants of Doubt Chapter 7 Denial Rides Again The Revisionist Attack on Rachel Carson Silent Spring 1962 Warned of the dangers of pesticides to natural ecosystems especially DDT Dangers of bioaccumulation Slow to break down so can persist throughout the food web and build up in animals Potential cancer risk to humans Unintended Consequences Kills far and wide and sometimes kills the predators that help to balance out the problem Indiscriminate use can lead to resistance and ineffectiveness No responsible person contends that insect borne disease should be ignored The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection but it has heard little of the other side of the story the defeats the short lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts Resistanc Even worse we may have destroyed Reactions Industry Carson was hysterical and emotional President s Science Advisory Committee PSAC Found a number of uncertainties in clearly documenting a case against DDT Faced challenges with studying acute vs chronic effects Still recommended restrictions on pesticide use The hazards resulting from their use dictate rapid strengthening of interim measures until such time as we have realized a comprehensive program for controlling environmental pollution Did not claim clear evidence of harm but put the burden of proof of safety on the chemical manufacturers 1972 10 years after Silent Spring US Federal Government bans DDT http www forbes com sites henrymiller 2012 09 05 rachel carsons deadly fantasies 3e4e1a4a15d1 New Attacks on Carson Rachel Carson s work is responsible for 50 million deaths Banning DDT was the worst crime of the century Dixy Lee Ray In 1948 before the use of DDT there were 2 8 million cases of malaria in Sri Lanka By 1963 there were only 17 Low levels of infection continued until the late 1960s when the attacks on DDT in the U S convinced officials to suspend spraying In 1968 there were one million cases of malaria In 1969 the number reached 2 5 million back to pre DDT levels Moreover by 1972 the largely unsubstantiated charges against DDT in the United States had a worldwide effect In 1968 malaria flared up but DDT was still being used in Sri Lanka and the government used even more DDT Resistance was the problem Managing mosquitos requires multiple approaches beyond pesticides Network of Right Wing Foundations Broader Critique of Environmental Policies Academic Study 56 environmentally skeptical books published in the 1990s 92 were linked to right wing foundations Echoes outward into the media sphere as well Other connections Merchants of Doubt Conclusion Of Free Speech and Free Markets It s important to note that Oreskes and Conway are trying to



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