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My dog is an elitist
reply to Ian

Re: Any Canadian farmers care to comment?

said by Ian:

The HuffPo piece mentions the famous "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson, without noting that it's one of the most infamous cases of Junk Science being used as a policy tool.

Why should they note something that is nothing more than a trumped-up opinionated right-wing claim? From the start the criticism of the book was vicious, unrelenting, and entirely self-serving, and the attacks against Carson were sustained by virtually the entire chemical industry.

The scenario is one that many of us may find familiar. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Carson's book, The Guardian wrote:
said by »www.guardian.co.uk/global/blog/2···g-legacy :
Carson's critics have also been out in force this week. It is interesting to note that much of this criticism appears to be built on the same ideological foundation shared by many of today's prominent climate sceptics. So we have Matt Ridley writing in the Spectator, Ronald Bailey writing on Reason.com, and other similar pieces in Forbes and the New American (which itself links to a 2009 blog by James Delingpole on the Telegraph website).

This isn't an area in which I claim expertise, and there may (or may not) be actual deficiencies in Carson's work, but the accusations by the chemical and agricultural industries that she was nothing but "a hysterical woman" -- at the mere announcement of the forthcoming book in 1962 -- seem overblown to say the least, and the parallel with climate change denialism is as striking as it is expected and unremarkable considering where it's coming from. The James Delingpole fellow mentioned above, incidentally, is the same genius who claimed last year that "there has been no global warming since 1998" and that it's the objective of environmentalists to have us all living in "Maoist peasant colonies" and bomb us back to the Dark Ages.

Big industry is always going to react to any perceived threat to their financial interests with vicious opposition. That's been the political reality since industrialization, and the health and welfare of the population as a whole and the ecosystem that we inhabit seems always to fall to a small handful of heroic individuals who eke out what progress we've been able to make.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

I'm not talking about big chemical interests. I'm talking about the 2012 scientific understanding. And I'm not actually faulting Carson with having a 1962 level of knowledge.I hadn't intended to make a big deal about it. What happened with DDT happened.

Some degree of caution needs to be exercised when dealing with this problem. Banning GM-crops and pesticides would likely have many unintended bad consequences as well.
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong