Monday, March 05, 2007

Ann Coulter's Little White Lies

Yesterday I was feeling particularly brave and decided to venture into that cesspool known as I had hoped that the mAnnly would have done some fact checking before writing her column. Alas, it was not to be.

Her column on global warming was a screed of republican talking points and accusations leveled against Democrats and Liberals, blaming them for all of the evil in the world, blah, blah, blah… But then one little morsel caught my attention:

“…DDT opponent Rachel Carson wanted to eliminate Africans (introduction to her book "Silent Spring" written by ... Al Gore!)…”

Al Gore endorsing a proponent of mass genocide? Could it be true?

A search in The Google brought up an obscure article from 2003 from entitled “Rachel Carson’s Ecological Genocide” by Lisa Makson. Okay, now it’s looking even worse for Al – promoting someone who is against the environment. After a few moments of silent contemplation and prayer, I ran a check on Rachel Carson. Who was this mystery woman preaching the virtues of destroying the environment and killing off Africans?

To put it in the simplest terms, Rachel Carson was one of the original environmentalists. Carson was a zoologist and marine biologist who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was during her years at the Bureau that she became troubled by the effects of pesticides, including the newly created DDT. This led her to write the book Silent Spring. It was not a total condemnation of the use of pesticides so much as its careless misuse. In her own words,

"Spray as little as you possibly can rather than [S]pray to the limit of your capacity."

As with most environmentalists, Carson had a number of opponents, most notably the chemical industry, which produced those pesticides. Time Magazine, in 1999, wrote the following:

"Carson was violently assailed by threats of lawsuits and derision, including suggestions that this meticulous scientist was a "hysterical woman" unqualified to write such a book. A huge counterattack was organized and led by Monsanto, Velsicol, American Cyanamid - indeed, the whole chemical industry - duly supported by the Agriculture Department as well as the more cautious in the media."

So, what does the banning of DDT have to do with the genocide of Africans? According to FrontPageMagazine one word: Malaria.

From the United Nations website:

“Malaria is by far the world's most important tropical parasitic disease, and kills more people than any other communicable disease except tuberculosis. In many developing countries, and in Africa especially, malaria exacts an enormous toll in lives, in medical costs, and in days of labour lost.

The spread of the disease is linked with activities like road building, mining, logging and new agricultural and irrigation projects, particularly in "frontier" areas like the Amazon.”

So now I am beginning to wonder if this is really about the loss of African lives or is it about money and revenues lost.

I went back to the original article and checked the sources for this expose. One of the comments, by Dr. Wenceslaus Kilama, Chairman of the Malaria Foundation International, is taken totally out of context and appears to back up Ms. Makson’s viewpoint. Two other sources are repeatedly cited, namely Dr. Harold M. Koenig and Dr. Roger Bate.

Dr. Koenig, a former Surgeon General and retired Navy vice admiral, currently is affiliated with The Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy. In their own words is “[t]he Annapolis Center is a national, non-profit educational organization that supports and promotes responsible energy, environmental, health and safety policy-making through the use of sound science. Founded by scientists, former policy-makers, and economists, The Center is committed to ensuring that public policy decisions are based on scientific facts and reasoning.”

However, between the years 1998 and 2005, The Annapolis Center received almost $700,000 from ExxonMobil. Further, “The Annapolis Center actively argues against the idea that global warming is the result of burning fossil fuels. They also advocate increased logging for better forest health and question rising mercury levels among other things. The Annapolis Center is funded primarily by the National Association of Manufacturers. The Center's founder and COO, Richard Seibert was a former National Association of Manufacturers Vice President.”

And what about Dr. Bate? Back in May of 2003, Dr. Bate gave a speech on behalf of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity (anything with “freedom” and “prosperity” in the title has to be a right-leaning organization). It was given to the Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum in the Cayman Islands, entitled: "Harmonisation of Taxes and Regulations: A European Initiative". In his speech, this proponent of DDT as a means of saving lives offers this little tidbit:

“The EU and its pressure group allies have worked at presenting fairness or egalitarian messages. You know the kind 'Its unfair that rich people can avoid tax'.

If we don't combat these messages more seriously, the world will be pushed by vested interests (primarily in Europe) towards a harmonised, homogenised global governance structure that will slow world growth to European proportions – something that the aspiring nations cannot afford (they desperately need to get out of poverty) and we shouldn't want.”

Doesn’t exactly sound like he was there for humanitarianism purposes, does it?

Finally, Ms. Makson quotes Dr. Amir Attaran, a distinguished scholar who had consulted for groups like the United Nations and Amnesty International. This guy has to be on the level… except that he is a board member of the group Africa Fighting Malaria, which is funded largely in part by the American Enterprise Institute.

And it wasn’t so very long ago that George Bush set up a new initiative to fight malaria.

This isn’t about global warming, or malaria killing African babies. It’s about capitalism and corporatism and global domination by all the republican cronies and their like. People like Ann Coulter couldn’t care less about the deaths of Africans much less whether polar bears are drowning in the Arctic or if the rain forests are totally obliterated. As long as the chemical companies can make lots of money selling DDT, land speculators can clear cut the Amazon without government interference or losing production hours to illness, and oil companies can continue to make huge profits, all is right with the world.

And who cares if a woman who died back in 1964 is vilified for wanting to save the environment? Ann Coulter has no problem calling people faggots or advocating the assassination of Supreme Court Justices, so what's the harm in a little white lie.

It's not like anyone is going to check her information.


At 3/07/2007 09:05:00 PM, Blogger betmo said...

good lord man- why do you put yourself through it? do you also rubberneck at accidents? :) the rethugs don't let fact get in the way of their fantasy. none of the rank and file research- hell they don't even blog. they leave that to the footballs and malkin- and then they all link to them like lemmings. i really wish bush or cheney would go over the cliff already for god's sake and put the rest of us out of our misery.

At 3/08/2007 11:30:00 AM, Blogger InternetJunkie said...

i really wish bush or cheney would go over the cliff already for god's sake and put the rest of us out of our misery.

Wouldn't that be sweet? Then we could it say that "it was God's will".

At 11/11/2008 04:14:00 PM, Anonymous Sadira said...

Good words.

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