While the Gulf oil spill has dragged on I’ve been waiting for an old chestnut to be dusted off by the media. Now that the news is plastered with images of birds covered in oil it’s finally happened courtesy of the New York Times. We’re informed that the brown pelican – at one time near extinction – is now besieged once again.
Pelicans, Back From Brink of Extinction, Face Oil Threat
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF and LESLIE KAUFMAN
Published: June 4, 2010
FORT JACKSON, La. — For more than a decade, the hundreds of brown pelicans that nested among the mangrove shrubs on Queen Bess Island west of here were living proof that a species brought to the edge of extinction could come back and thrive.
The island was one of three sites in Louisiana where the large, long-billed birds were reintroduced after pesticides wiped them out in the state in the 1960s.
But on Thursday, 29 of the birds, their feathers so coated in thick brown sludge that their natural white and gray markings were totally obscured, were airlifted to a bird rehabilitation center in Fort Jackson, the latest victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Another dozen were taken to other rescue centers.
At the turn of the 20th century, observers estimated the brown pelican population in Louisiana at close to 50,000. But by 1961, no nesting pair could be spotted along the state’s entire coast, according to LaCoast, a Coast Guard Web site. Like another subspecies of the brown pelican found in California, the local birds had been hard hit by DDT and other pesticides, which acted to thin the shells of their eggs. The eggs were crushed when the adults sat on them. (DDT was banned in the United States in 1972.)
Leslie Kaufman is an environmental reporter – for the New York Times – so it’s no surprise she’s quick to draw the myth of DDT affecting brown pelican populations and thinning egg shells from her environmentalist’s bag of falsehoods. Vilification of DDT is the boggy sand foundation upon which the radical green house of cards is constructed. To admit otherwise would be rejecting the dogma of mankind’s original sin as written by Saint Rachel Carson.
Funny thing, radical Islam and radical environmentalism are pretty much the only two groups that embrace terrorism to advance their ideologies. Although the green crowd doesn’t actually go about beheading apostates, so they’ve got that going for them.
But the reality is that there is no scientific evidence of DDT thinning egg shells. There is no scientific evidence brown pelican populations were wiped out by DDT The myth of DDT may be the penultimate case of a post hoc fallacy. Luckily for America we succeeded in eradicating malaria and other vector borne diseases before DDT was arbitrarily banned by an EPA administrative judge.
Another funny thing is that a chemical whose patent holder was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine and is credited with saving upwards of 25 million lives could be transformed into an environmental boogie man solely through misinformation. What’s not funny is the 1.5 million very poor people who contract malaria every year because greenies would rather see dark-skinned humans in third world countries die than risk exposing Saint Carson to the ridicule and derision she so rightly deserves.
The NYT may have been the first but almost surely won’t be the last to trumpet the fraudulent DDT = dead pelicans story line. Fight the lie with the truth – Rachel Carson is in large part responsible for deaths of more people than Joseph Stalin. At least Stalin helped crush the Nazis.
Correction: DDT was banned not by a judge but by EPA head William Ruckelshaus – who did not attend a single day of the seven month hearing on its safety and did not even bother to read transcripts of the hearings.