824: Clinton Cash

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 45m
May 12th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Duke Don Tomaso di Toronto, Black Knight Sir Jim Greene

Associate Executive Producers: Nick Kosterman, Sir Christopher Dolan, Chris Richardson

Cover Artist: Nick The Rat

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CDC - Concerns - Cancer, Simian Virus 40 (SV40), and Polio Vaccine Fact Sheet - Vaccine Safety
Tue, 10 May 2016 20:26
Public Health ActivitiesSV40 is a virus found in some species of monkey.SV40 was discovered in 1960. Soon afterward, the virus was found in polio vaccine.More than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine from 1955 to 1963 when a proportion of vaccine was contaminated with SV40; it has been estimated that 10''30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of vaccine.SV40 virus has been found in certain types of cancer in humans, but it has not been determined that SV40 causes these cancers.The majority of scientific evidence suggests that SV40-contaminated vaccine did not cause cancer; however, some research results are conflicting and more studies are needed.Polio vaccines being used today do not contain SV40. All of the current evidence indicates that polio vaccines have been free of SV40 since 1963.Additional FactsIn the 1950s, rhesus monkey kidney cells, which contain SV40 if the animal is infected, were used in preparing polio vaccines. Because SV40 was not discovered until 1960, no one was aware in the 1950s that polio vaccine could be contaminated.SV40 was found in the injected form of the polio vaccine (IPV), not the kind given by mouth (OPV).Not all doses of IPV were contaminated. It has been estimated that 10''30 million people actually received a vaccine that contained SV40.Some evidence suggests that receipt of SV40-contaminated polio vaccine may increase risk of cancer. However, the majority of studies done in the U.S. and Europe which compare persons who received SV40-contaminated polio vaccine with those who did not have shown no causal relationship between receipt of SV40-contaminated polio vaccine and cancer.More InformationFor in-depth information about SV40, polio vaccine, and cancer, see our frequently asked questions.National Immunization Hotline:English 1 (800) 232-2522Spanish 1 (800) 232-0233
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Imt/2012/04/16/50 Years After Silent Spring The Rehabilitation Of Ddt And The De Habilitation Of Rachel Carson - ThomasNet News
Mon, 09 May 2016 12:59
When I was a teenager, the grownups around me were in raptures over Rachel Carson's 1962 book,
-- a poetically written exposƒ(C) that raised fears about chemical pesticides, which were going to kill all the birds, and possibly us, too. I thought
was wonderful and demonstrated much that was wrong with the greedy, destructive industrialized system that the past few generations had built up in their mad fervor to conquer nature and make money. Never mind that I hadn't actually read the book. Given that history, I was surprised recently to learn that critics are blaming Carson for millions of malaria deaths, supposedly because she was responsible for using junk science to promote the banning of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), a marvelous substance that has never been proven harmful to humans. In the
Rachel Carson. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service[/caption Rachel Carson (1907-1964) worked for much of her life as a marine biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She was already known as a science writer when she published 1962's Silent Spring, in which she argued that the uncontrolled use of pesticides was harming and killing animals, birds, and humans. After reading some of the criticisms of Carson from recent years, I suspected that many of her detractors had never actually read the book they were condemning. I confess, I had never read Silent Spring myself until about six months ago, but I hate to comment on a book I've never read, so I decided it was time to find out what all the fuss was about. I can say now that Silent Spring truly is beautifully written. You can just thumb through and find at almost any point a passage such as this, in which Carson describes the effects of herbicide spraying:I know well a stretch of road where nature's own landscaping has provided a border of alder,viburnum, sweet fern, and juniper with seasonally changing accents of bright flowers, or of fruits hanging in jeweled clusters in the fall.The road had no heavy load of traffic to support; there were few sharp curves or intersections where brush could obstruct the driver's vision. But the sprayers took over and the miles along that road became something to be traversed quickly, a sight to be endured with one's mind closed to thoughts of the sterile and hideous world we are letting our technicians make. But here and there authority had somehow faltered and by an unaccountable oversight there were oases of beauty in the midst of austere and regimented control -- oases that made the desecration of the greater part of the road the more unbearable. In such places my spirit lifted to the sight of the drifts of white clover or the clouds of purple vetch with here and there the flaming cup of a wood lily.
Silent Springcontained extensive documentation of the damage of DDT and other pesticides to fish, birds, and other animals.
(Photo: DDT fogging, Australia, 1962. Credit: Ken Hodge
, CC BY 2.0
.)
The public received Carson's book enthusiastically. However, according to Zuoyue Wang, writing inScience Communication("Responding to Silent Spring: Scientists, Popular Science Communication, and Environmental Policy in the Kennedy Years," 1997), "The initial reception of the book by the scientific community, the chemical industry, and some agricultural officials in the Kennedy administration was not so positive..."In 1963, though, President John F. Kennedy's President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) released its Use of Pesticides report, which "was universally greeted as a vindication of Rachel Carson and became a harbinger to change in federal policy," Wang writes. "While recognizing the indispensable role of pesticides in modern agriculture, the PSAC report reaffirmed Carson's warnings about the harmful effects of persistent pesticide use and called for tighter government controls to protect the environment and human health."The U.S. Senate held hearings in response to the PSAC report. Wang writes:The ... hearings brought to light the division in the scientific community over the effects of pesticides and what to do about them. Although Carson and several other scientists gave strong support to the PSAC report, a number of agricultural scientists and public health officials disagreed with PSAC on the danger of pesticides and the desirability of the limitation of persistent pesticides. Emil M. Mrak, chancellor of the University of California at Davis and professor of food science, for example, said the PSAC statement that pesticides were "affecting biological systems in nature and may eventually affect human health" was "contrary to the present body of scientific knowledge."
Eventually, in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Richard Nixon banned the use of DDT in the U.S.However, as the quotations above from Thomas Sowell and the Competitive Enterprise Institute show, the controversy did not end with the 1963 PSAC report or the 1970 DDT ban.DDT Becomes Our Friend AgainAccording to the World Health Organization(WHO), in 2010 malaria caused about 216 million infections and 655,000 deaths, mostly among African children. The parasite that causes malaria is transmitted only through the bite of theAnophelesmosquito, so control of that pest is a key preventive measure. About the use of pesticides and DDT in particular, the WHO says:
Indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides is the most powerful way to rapidly reduce malaria transmission. Its full potential is realized when at least 80% of houses in targeted areas are sprayed. Indoor spraying is effective for 3-6 months, depending on the insecticide used and the type of surface on which it is sprayed. DDT can be effective for 9-12 months in some cases. Longer-lasting forms of IRS insecticides are under development.
In 2006, the WHO announced that, 30 years after indoor spraying of DDT was phased out, the organization was once again recommending its use in controlling malaria. In an announcementthat year, Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, the WHO's assistant director-general for HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, was quoted asserting:
The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.
The WHO announcement said that "Extensive research and testing has since demonstrated that well-managed indoor residual spraying programs using DDT pose no harm to wildlife or to humans."The President's Malaria Initiative(PMI), a component of the U.S. government's Global Health Initiative, is directed particularly at fighting malaria in Africa. The PMI web site calls indoor residential spraying
"a proven and highly effective malaria control measure" and says the WHO "has approved 12 insecticides it considers effective and safe for use in IRS, including DDT."
DDT: Safe Enough to Eat?In Michael Crichton's 2004 novelState of Fear, one of his characters says, "Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler ... It was so safe you could eat it."(Illustration: DDT molecule. Credit: Ben Mills.)In its position statement on malaria and DDT, the Sierra Club
says that it "strongly disagrees with the WHO's denial of the potential health and environmental risks of using DDT" and that the organization is "deeply concerned that WHO's new position statement on 'indoor residual spraying' increases the potential for widespread misuse and accidents due to the continued manufacture, storage and applications of DDT."The Sierra Club stresses that "many effective non-toxic and less toxic alternatives are available and affordable, such as cleaning mosquito breeding areas, use of treated nets and early malaria detection and treatment programs." For that reason, the group believes DDT should be used only as an "option of last resort" and "should only be used in accordance with limiting provisions agreed to by more than 150 nations in the Stockholm Convention."The Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty signed by 92 countries and the European Union designed to restrict and eventually eliminate the use of a number of chemical compounds, including DDT. The Convention restricts the use of DDT only to disease vector control, such as prevention by indoor residential spraying. In discussing the effects of DDT
, the Convention's web site states:
DDT continues to be applied against mosquitoes in several countries to control malaria. Its stability, its persistence (as much as 50% can remain in the soil 10-15 years after application), and its widespread use have meant that DDT residues can be found everywhere; residual DDT has even been detected in the Arctic.Perhaps the best known toxic effect of DDT is egg-shell thinning among birds, especially birds of prey. Its impact on bird populations led to bans in many countries during the 1970s. Although its use had been banned in many countries, it has been detected in food from all over the world. Although residues in domestic animals have declined steadily over the last two decades, food-borne DDT remains the greatest source of exposure for the general population. The short-term acute effects of DDT on humans are limited, but long-term exposures have been associated with chronic health effects. DDT has been detected in breast milk, raising serious concerns about infant health.
InSilent Spring, Rachel Carson's primary concern was the indiscriminate and unquestioning use of DDT and similar pesticides in agriculture. However, she also questioned DDT's value for malaria prevention, pointing to theAnopheles'development of resistance to the pesticide even back then. The widespread use of DDT in agriculture had thus made it less effective for disease prevention.In its position statement on IRS, the WHO acknowledges that resistance is still a problem in the efficacy of insecticides:
IRS will only be effective if the target vectors are susceptible to the insecticide in use. The development of resistance to insecticides constitutes a major threat to the chemical control of malaria vectors, as it compromises the insecticide's efficacy. In the past, countries deploying IRS have often been forced to switch to alternative and more expensive insecticides on account of the development of vector resistance. Outside Africa, the prevalence and distribution of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors have not, so far, been a major impediment to insecticide-based interventions, except in some areas of India, the Middle East and Central America.However, in Africa, the potential threat of resistance to public health insecticides appears to be significant... The selection of resistance in most malaria vectors is thought to be largely the result of past and present use of insecticides in agriculture. The precise operational implications of insecticide resistance are not yet fully understood.
The WHO calls for "a comprehensive assessment of resistance at the local level ... before planning any IRS programme, especially in West and Central Africa" and for "the careful monitoring of the susceptibility of malaria vectors to insecticides throughout the world, and the sound management of resistance."(Photo: Anopheles mosquito. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)So, is DDT safe for humans?When Rachel Carson wroteSilent Spring, DDT was suspected as a human carcinogen, but that hadn't been proven as yet. The chemical was suspected of causing other human harm as well. Carson wasn't primarily concerned with direct human health effects; her thesis was that DDT and similar pesticides were damaging to ecosystems and that the deterioration of ecosystems would be damaging to humans.Since then, however, a little more research has been done on DDT's effects on humans.For example, Dr. Barbara A. Cohn and colleagues published a study of blood samples taken from pregnant women in Oakland, Calif., from 1959 to 1967. Researchers more recently went back and tested the blood samples for DDT and its breakdown product DDE (Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene). Comparing the results with subsequent rates of breast cancer among those women, now in their 50s and 60s, the researchers found that "high levels of serum p,p'-DDT predicted a statistically significant 5-fold increased risk of breast cancer among women who were born after 1931." (See "DDT and Breast Cancer in Young Women: New Data on the Significance of Age at Exposure," Barbara A. Cohn et al,Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2007.)In 2008, a group of DDT experts met for an international conference on DDT and conducted a review of the scientific literature on the health risks of the pesticide. They published their results in a report, titled "The Pine River Statement: Human Health Consequences of DDT Use," in the September 2009 issue ofEnvironmental Health Perspectives. The group writes:
The recent literature shows a growing body of evidence that exposure to DDT and its breakdown product DDE may be associated with adverse health outcomes such as breast cancer, diabetes, decreased semen quality, spontaneous abortion, and impaired neuro-development in children.
The group expresses concern that relatively little research has been done on the effects of DDT in lands where the pesticide is being used extensively for indoor residential spraying:Few studies of health outcomes have been conducted in populations where indoor residual spraying with DDT is occurring. These populations likely have much higher exposures to DDT and may differ from those previously studied in ways that might affect susceptibility (e.g., genetics, diet, health status, and social class). Research is needed to determine the exposure and health risks associated with DDT used for indoor residual spraying in the relevant communities.
Recognizing the potential value of pesticides for malaria prevention, the group supports the cautious approach taken under the Stockholm Convention. In spite of her concerns that insecticides were being used indiscriminately and without adequate investigation into their effects, it's good to note that Rachel Carson was not essentially opposed to their use. On page 12 of Silent Spring she wrote,It is not my contention that chemical insecticides must never be used.
In 2005, Steve Milloy, at the timea Cato Institute scholar, was quoted saying:
It might be easy for some to dismiss the past 43 years of eco-hysteria over DDT with a simple "never mind," except for the blood of millions of people dripping from the hands of the WWF, Greenpeace, Rachel Carson, Environmental Defense Fund, and other junk science-fueled opponents of DDT.
When you consider the problem of insect resistance to pesticides, the potential danger to ecosystems and human health, and the effectiveness of the measured approach to DDT represented by IRS and the Stockholm convention, that kind of alarmist rhetoric sounds a bit over-the-top.
(Photo: Indoor DDT spraying, Italy, 1945. Credit: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine
, CC BY 2.0
.)
WHO | The use of DDT in malaria vector control. WHO position statement
Mon, 09 May 2016 12:47
Publication detailsNumber of pages: 9Publication date: 2011Languages: EnglishWHO reference number: WHO/HTM/GMP/2011
DownloadsOverviewThis position statement highlights WHO's commitment to achieve sustainable malaria control in the context of the Stockholm Convention. It was originally published in 2007 and subsequently revised in 2011.
Related documents
The DDT Insecticide Ban... What Was the Truth Behind it?
Mon, 09 May 2016 12:21
Deep throat and the 'political decision' to ban DDT(3rd edition - Feb 2016) by A.O. Kime for information on 'renting' this article, see Rent-a-Article
A highly effective chlorinated hydrocarbon (insecticide) developed during World War II, the usage of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) began in 1943 and became the most widely used pesticide on American farms until it was banned in 1972. Yet... it was safe-to-use, had a broad range of applications and was a proven savior for many crops.
While the banning process was a tumultuous affair lasting several years, having met stiff resistance from the farm sector, for decades the stated reason for its banning (danger to wildlife) has remained highly questionable. Many believed (scholars included) something phony was going on... but couldn't quite put their finger on it.
Well, as someone who once manufactured DDT, was once a licensed agricultural Pest Control Advisor and who was once a family farmer for 25 years (1973-1998), plus the fact I'm a perennial skeptic, perhaps this gives me some insight into the matter. While for several years resigned to the fact DDT was no longer available, I became interested in the mystery once again after I bought a magazine in the late 70s from a couple of hippies while awaiting a plane at LAX (airport).
The publication was called Fusion and, as the name implies, was a highly technical trade magazine produced by the Fusion Energy Foundation during the 1970-80's which contained reams of technical information about the attempts to fuse atoms for use in nuclear reactors. If successful, the heat generated from 'fusing' atoms would replace the current process of 'splitting' atoms (fission) to make steam. It was about America's version of the Russian-built Tokamak... but this magazine was forced to close in 1987 by the U.S. Department of Justice (illegally, as it turned out).
Curiously, and featured on a fairly regular basis, were extensive articles on the politics of agriculture. Amidst the technical jargon of nuclear physics which addressed the complex problems of trying to maintain a fusion process for more than a millisecond... would be a picture of a cotton farm. It wasn't long before I noticed Lyndon LaRouche (external website) was one of the writers, a brilliant man who understands agriculture's economic importance as few do. He knew, and correctly so, that agriculture is the lynchpin in America's economic system. As such, he also knew it was therefore subject to political manipulation. He ran for President of the United States several times (primaries) between 1976 and 1992 and was convicted a few years later on questionable fraud and tax conspiracy charges and received a 15 year prison term.
As to the circumstances surrounding the banning of DDT, the November 1980 issue of Fusion magazine (page 52) stated: "When U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief William Ruckelshaus was about to announce his decision to ban DDT in June 1972, he confided to a friend, "There is no scientific basis for banning this chemical --- this is a political decision."" The 'friend' was never identified however. In a commentary the magazine concluded (page 56): "The EPA and environmentalists must be held accountable for their crime: There was not a single human death from DDT usage; there have been untold thousands of deaths and millions of disease-stricken persons as a result of the DDT banning."
Fusion's most comprehensive article about DDT (a dozen or so pages) was in their June 1979 issue. The article stated that independent tests refuted nearly every single government claim as to the harmful effects to wildlife from exposure to DDT and addressed each claim. As evidence DDT wasn't harmful to wildlife, the article stated wildlife living downstream from DDT manufacturing plants actually thrived, their numbers increased. There wasn't any disagreement about any lethalness to humans however because the government never claimed there were any deaths, and there wasn't, not a single one. In summation the article concluded the 'political' reason for banning DDT was because it was 'saving too many third-world lives'... an utterly shocking observation.
Yet, it couldn't have been the reason because DDT continued to be manufactured in the U.S. until the early 80s... and is still in use in some 20 countries... so I was, for some time, baffled by that analysis. It didn't jive... the ban only applied to its usage in America, not its production. DDT is still being used around the world primarily for mosquito abatement (to combat malaria). So, if that observation is wrong, then there must be another reason which I'll soon address.
The pros and cons of DDTThere is only one 'negative' about DDT which the Fusion article didn't dispute... that it is persistent in the soil with a 'half-life' of about 75 years. The term 'half-life' is commonly used to describe the amount of time (in years) it takes for a particular chemical to breakdown naturally (by half). It is the only negative attribute which everyone seems to agree.
So, if no deaths can be attributed to DDT, is it dangerous to one's health? Well, in the late 1970's a University of Arizona professor purposely ate DDT everyday, he made it a part of his diet to publicly demonstrate it was harmless to humans. That story was not widely circulated at the time but known to everyone within the agricultural chemical industry which I once belonged. I'm unaware of the professor's whereabouts today but assuredly, I would venture, not ill from DDT.
During 1960-1961, I worked for a company which manufactured DDT and I personally operated the dust mill. Over a period of 2-3 months each year it ran almost everyday, sometimes 14-16 hours a day. I was either making a batch of any of several DDT formulations or else bagging and stacking it. It was not unusual we'd produce 20 tons daily and by the end of the day I was always covered with DDT dust, my clothes and hair white from it. We did, however, wear cartridge-type breathing masks.
Today, some 50 years later, I haven't yet had any health problems. My only hospitalization was briefly in 1961 when I was poisoned while manufacturing an organic phosphate (parathion) while employed by Arizona Agrochemical Corporation. For reasons soon explained, organic phosphates are extremely toxic (deadly) whereas DDT is a chlorinated hydrocarbon and effectively nontoxic to humans (high LD-50). Under an oxygen tent for two weeks, a fellow employee I was working with nearly died from this experience. Since I wasn't exposed to the extent he was, a bottle of atropine tablets was all I needed.
Considering the danger of organic phosphates, one should wonder why a safe-to-use insecticide such as DDT was banned. Should its persistence (75 year half-life) outweigh safety? Is it DDT's only downside? Or is it also harmful to birds, fish and other wildlife? While the environmentalists say so, curiously, I never heard of a study on the ill effects to hogs, dogs or horses (common farm animals). Was it because 30 years of farmer testimonials could say it wasn't dangerous? Avoid this fight and conduct a study on the less familiar (wildlife) with no testimonial history?
Why not chicken farms and fish hatcheries? Surely chicken farmers would be concerned about thin-shelled eggs... a contention of the study.
In preferring to always remain anonymous the credibility of the environmentalists should be in question... apparently having a pact with the news media never to name them. Furthermore, any chemical compound (artificial) can easily be proven to be an environmental hazard. Of these, plastic would seem to pose the greatest threat. But alas, the most dangerous are rarely banned first. The targets have always been the 'vulnerable'.
Follow the moneyTo whatever extent the claims are true, the piles of damming data only created an opportunity. I think the environmentalists just gave the powers-that-be, always beholden to the giant chemical companies, a great excuse. DDT was dirt-cheap while sales of the more expensive proprietary chemicals were slow... need I say more? Money is invariably the culprit... isn't it?
It's also doubtful William Ruckelshaus ever elaborated on the real reason behind the 'political decision' and Fusion magazine just guessed and got it wrong. Surely, any mention of the 'third world lives' was to throw Fusion off-track. After all, no official from the EPA would want to admit it was over money. So why admit to a 'political decision' in the first place without elaboration? Well, perhaps it is reminiscent of the hints dropped by 'deep throat' in the Watergate affair. It's a matter of reading between the lines.
The reason for the action taken by the federal government certainly wasn't over safety concerns either. As a result of the DDT banning, the only other real alternative (for farmers) were organic phosphates, which is, in essence, nerve gas. Yes, nerve gas, that which we fear terrorists may someday use. While organic phosphates were already commonly in use on many crops (vegetables primarily), no longer did farmers have an effective safe-to-handle insecticide at their disposal. To remove any doubt my comparison between organic phosphates and nerve gas, the antidote 'atropine' is the same.
While organic phosphates are extremely dangerous to handle, they're at least effective... able to clean up an insect-infested crop within minutes... much faster than DDT. The other benefit is that their 'half-life' can be measured in hours (not years) and most crops can be harvested in 2-3 days whereas harvest was not permitted for 1-2 weeks following a DDT application... often being too long for vegetables (perishables). If to bombard the insects with plastic bottles, plastic has a half-life of eons.
Up until the 1990s, while American farmers were being denied the use of DDT, America was importing vegetables from Mexico which still did. Not only did its banned usage put American farmers at a competitive disadvantage, with DDT being much cheaper, but it indicates there was little official concern over the residue of DDT in imported vegetables. In other words, as the professor tried to point out, there was no real or immediate danger. Whatever long-term dangers exist, they're surely less than plastic or that of pharmaceuticals. This is especially true in a society of casual pill-poppers.
While there were other insecticides on the market when they banned DDT, none but organic phosphates were very effective and therefore seldom used. Of those organic phosphates most effective (but most dangerous) were the products phosdrin and parathion. If exposed to the fumes for more than a few minutes or from direct contact without the means to wash it off, or without the antidote 'atropine', one would likely be dead within hours. There was a weaker formulation called malathion but it had limited demand for that very reason.
I had an interesting conversation with two soldiers on their way to the first Gulf War (1991). Then, of course, everyone was worried Saddam might unleash his chemical weapons against our troops. I told the soldiers that a nerve gas attack wouldn't be a big deal... that we farmers use nerve gas all the time. While I did tell them it was dangerous, I went on to explain that if precautions are taken such as wearing the right gear, they'd be alright. I've often wondered if they believed my comparisons.
DDT might have also saved our ravaged forests from the pine beetle, in many places already one-third destroyed. Nonetheless, environmentalists will still not budge on the issue of DDT. It would also be 'embarrassing' for the federal government to backpedal now, reverse policy.
Even though it has been estimated DDT saves 1,000,000 people a year as a result of its effectiveness on mosquitoes, as a result of the Stockholm Convention (treaty) in 2004, DDT is now considered one of the 'dirty dozen' Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which this treaty is trying to eliminate entirely. A matter of priorities? Maybe Fusion was right after all?
Memories and legends of DDTA few more tidbits about DDT lest someday forgotten. Besides the fact DDT was cheap to use, chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT etal) and organic phosphates worked well together. Insects can become resistant to any type of chemical so we would routinely alternate them. When they banned DDT, pest control advisors and farmers were forced to continually use organic phosphates and insect control became a real problem, often entire crops were lost. Nerve gas or not, the insects became resistant.
Gradually, although too late for some family farmers, replacement chemicals were being introduced. While generally they weren't very effective, they were better than nothing. It was a real challenge then, everything was tried and in every conceivable combination for about 10 years until the products improved. The first real breakthrough was 'bacillus thuringiensis', a bacteria that works very well on cabbage loopers, a non-selective insect (moth larva) and once a nightmare for lettuce growers.
Curiously too, lest someday forgotten... in my farming area (Kansas Settlement, Arizona), almost immediately after DDT was banned cotton yields began a rapid decline. Many farmers believed there was a connection but until this day, it has remained speculation. No longer were tales being told of 3-4 bales per acre and it wasn't long before a bale-and-a-half was considered a good yield. My first year farming was in 1973 and while I couldn't use DDT then, it was used on my fields the previous years. I had nearly two-and-a-half bales per acre that first year but in 1974 it began a rapid decline and quickly leveled off at 1-1/4 bales until 1983 (when I quit farming cotton). Was DDT residue in the soil a factor? I don't know for sure, but something caused these declines and it all happened just after DDT was banned. I don't think there was ever a study done on the physiological effects on cotton from DDT (specifically from residue in the soil). Who knows... maybe its physiological effects were doing more good than its bug-killing abilities. It's worth looking into.
Also, in the 1970s, there was a story circulating (unknown source) within the agricultural chemical industry that someone had discovered DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) existing naturally within the northern polar icecap. Sorry, I've haven't any further information for someone who might want to pursue this.
And, in February 2016 one reader stated this:
The World Health Organization did a study in the 60s of the health of people who had worked in a DDT plant for more than a few months. Maybe specifically the Montrose plant, I don't remember. The only thing that stood out was that none of those workers had ever gotten cancer! Unfortunately, it seems no one ever followed up on its possible use as a cancer treatment.
Also:About the time the EPA was holding hearings on DDT in the early 70s, my dad told me about an emergency room MD in San Francisco who injected DDT into prostitutes who had tried to kill themselves using drugs. It seems the DDT stimulated the liver to eliminate the drugs faster than usual. Saved several of them that way. Again, seems no one followed up on that, either.
America's worst enemy isn't Islam, ISIS, Iran or North Korea... so full of traitors and conspirators it is Congress See A.O. Kime's article about treasonFinally, due to my belief 'money' was the prime reason DDT was banned, it prompted a concern that cheap non-proprietary products will soon be marshaled-out by whatever means so that expensive, more profitable products can be sold. For example, currently under attack is penicillin. While there's likely other old-time medications (cheap) soon to disappear, aspirin may survive. Perhaps too the reason herbal remedies are pooh-poohed?
A.O. Kime
Last modified: 02/09/16
vanishing ddt page 2 '-- Environmental Health News
Mon, 09 May 2016 12:06
(Continued fromPage 1.)
Evolution of microbes?
Bay said perhaps there has been an ''evolution or adaptation of the microbes'' that break down DDT. Maybe something ''revved them up'' since 2004, after a decades-long lag, he said.
James Tiedje of Michigan State University said these types of chlorine-gobbling microbes ''can have logarithmic growth.'' The growth of their colonies starts out slowly, then reaches a point of exponential growth that transforms the entire environment.
''Some can grow up over night. There's a number of examples where microbes in nature grow up and increase their numbers substantially and increase their rate of dechlorination,'' said Tiedje, Distinguished Professor of microbiology and director of the university's Center for Microbial Ecology.
Changes in carbon, for one, can cause an explosion of growth because it provides more food. ''If more carbon is breaking down, especially when anaerobic, the microbes reach fatty acids and hydrogen and that's what the dechlorinators like,'' Tiedje said.
''DDTs don't break down that quickly. I don't see this as the bacteria all of a sudden eating up all this stuff. It's a bit of a mystery.'' -Steve Bay, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project There has been a major change in the conditions of that part of the ocean floor. Los Angeles County switched to full secondary sewage treatment in late 2002, which greatly reduced the volume of organic substances released into the ocean and increased the oxygen in the system. Tiedje, however, thought that might have the opposite effect, slowing the breakdown of the chlorinated chemicals.
Another possibility '' one that alarms some experts '' is that the chemicals diffused into the water so they are no longer on the ocean floor.
Gully of the county sanitation agency said that scenario is concerning because it means more fish in a wider area could be contaminated directly through the water, not just through the food web. Any cleanup would be virtually impossible. Water testing, however, has not detected any increase, he said.
Fish and birds are the real indicators
When the area's bottom-dwelling fish were last tested in 2004, they remained highly contaminated, ''and that's the part people shouldn't lose sight of," said Gold, who was executive director of the environmental group Heal the Bay before joining UCLA last year.
''Despite the dramatic drop in the sediment, we have not seen similar, commensurate drops in the fish. This recent result should lead to a much greater, more focused look at fish concentrations,'' Gold said.
Tiedje said the fish '' and consequently the eagles, seabirds and the rest of the food web '' may remain contaminated for a long time, since fish are ''good scavengers.''
''You have to have these sediments really cleaned up for it to have an effect on the fish,'' he said.
Huang said the EPA now plans to do more sediment testing this fall to see what's happened since 2009.
''We should go out and take another look because of the difference between 2009 and 2004,'' she said. One lingering question: If it was 14 tons in 2009, what is it now? ''We know it's declining. It is getting smaller. How much smaller I do not know,'' she said.
According to its 2000 plan, the EPA's goal for capping the site was to ''immediately bring'' average DDT concentrations to 78 parts per million, down from the 150 ppm found in 2004. But the average is now calculated at 58 ppm. For PCBs, the goal was to reduce it to 7 ppm and the new data show it is now only 0.23 ppm.
''You have to have these sediments really cleaned up for it to have an effect on the fish.'' - Jame Tiedje, Michigan State University"We've had concerns about capping it from day one,'' Gully said. ''The risks associated with putting a cap down are not insignificant. If it's not done well, it can make a bad situation way worse.''
Nevertheless, at EPA, ''capping is definitely still under consideration,'' Huang said. But she added that other options now must be considered since it is so much smaller. One idea is to find ways to enrich the microbes so they work even faster.
More paralysis by analysis?
Gold worries that the shrinking deposit will lead to more paralysis at EPA. ''The inaction of the last decade in a weird way is being rewarded,'' he said. ''But from my perspective, this project shouldn't end.''
Sherwood said all eyes will be on the next round of sampling to see if it confirms the huge drop in contamination.
"If it does, there'd be reason to celebrate," he said. "But I'm not popping open the champagne yet."
For another EHN story on contamination off Southern California's coast, click here.
We welcome your feedback. Contact Editor in Chief Marla Cone at mcone@ehn.org
The above work, by Environmental Health News, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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DDT Regulatory History: A Brief Survey (to 1975) | About EPA | US EPA
Mon, 09 May 2016 12:00
[EPA report, July 1975]
BackgroundDDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), for many years one of the most widely used pesticidal chemicals in the United States, was first synthesized in 1874. Its effectiveness as an insecticide, however, was only discovered in 1939. Shortly thereafter, particularly during World War II, the U.S. began producing large quantities of DDT for control of vector-borne diseases such as typhus and malaria abroad.
After 1945, agricultural and commercial usage of DDT became widespread in the U.S. The early popularity of DDT, a member of the chlorinated hydrocarbon group, was due to its reasonable cost, effectiveness, persistence, and versatility. During the 30 years prior to its cancellation, a total of approximately 1,350,000,000 pounds of DDT was used domestically.
After 1959, DDT usage in the U.S. declined greatly, dropping from a peak of approximately 80 million pounds in that year to just under 12 million pounds in the early 1970s. Of the quantity of the pesticide used in 1970-72, over 80 percent was applied to cotton crops, with the remainder being used predominantly on peanut and soybean crops. The decline in DDT usage was the result of (1) increased insect resistance; (2) the development of more effective alternative pesticides; (3) growing public concern over adverse environmental side effects; and (4) increasing government restrictions on DDT use.
In addition to domestic consumption, large quantities of DDT have been purchased by the Agency for International Development and the United Nations and exported for malaria control. DDT exports increased from 12 percent of the total production in 1950 to 67 percent in 1969. However, exports have shown a marked decrease in recent years dropping from approximately 70 million pounds in 1970 to 35 million in 1972.
Public ConcernCertain characteristics of DDT which contributed to the early popularity of the chemical, particularly its persistence, later became the basis for public concern over possible hazards involved in the pesticide's use. Although warnings against such hazards were voiced by scientists as early as the mid-1940s, it was the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring in 1962 that stimulated widespread public concern over use of the chemical. After Carson's alert to the public concerning the dangers of improper pesticide use and the need for better pesticide controls, it was only natural that DDT, as one of the most widely used pesticides of the time, should come under intensive investigation.
Throughout the last decade, proponents and opponents of DDT have faced one another in a growing series of confrontations. Proponents argue that DDT has a good human health record and that alternatives to DDT are more hazardous to the user and more costly. Opponents to DDT, admitting that there may be little evidence of direct harm to man, emphasize other hazards connected with its use. They argue that DDT is a persistent, toxic chemical which easily collects in the food chain posing a proven hazard to non-target organisms such as fish and wildlife and otherwise upsetting the natural ecological balance.
Both the pros and cons of DDT use were considered by four Government committees who issued the following reports: (1) may 1963, "Use of Pesticides," A Report of the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC); (2) November 1965, "Restoring the Quality of Our Environment," A Report of the Environmental Protection Panel, PSAC; (3) May 1969, Report of the Committee on Persistent Pesticides, Division of Biology and Agriculture, National Research Council, to the Agriculture Department; (4) December 1969, Mrak Commission Report. All four reports recommended an orderly phasing out of the pesticide over a limited period of time.
Public concern further manifested itself through the activities of various environmental organizations. Beginning in 1967, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Izaak Walton League and other environmental groups became increasingly active in initiating court proceedings leading to the restriction of DDT use at both local and Federal levels.
State Regulatory ActionsVarying restrictions were placed on DDT in different States.
DDT use was outlawed except under emergency conditions in Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, and Washington have all placed some limitation on the use of DDT.
Although the remaining States have provisions for the "restricted use" classification of pesticides, no specific mention is made of DDT.
Initial Federal Regulatory ActionsThe Federal Government has not been oblivious to the hazards of DDT use as is indicated by various Government studies and actions undertaken since the late 50s.
In 1957, as a matter of policy, the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), prohibited the spraying of DDT in specified protective strips around aquatic areas on lands under its jurisdiction.
In 1958, after having applied approximately 9-1/2 million pounds of the chemical in its Federal-State control programs since 1945, USDA began to phase out its use of DDT. They reduced spraying of DDT from 4.9 million acres in 1957 to just over 100,000 acres in 1967 and used persistent pesticides thereafter only in the absence of effective alternatives. The major uses of DDT by the Forest Service have been against the gypsy moth and the spruce budworm. The development of alternative pesticides such as Zectran, which was in operation in 1966, contributed to further reduction in DDT use by the Department.
In 1964, the Secretary of the Interior issued a directive stating that the use of chlorinated hydrocarbons on Interior lands should be avoided unless no other substitutes were available. This regulatory measure, as well as others which followed, was reaffirmed and extended in June 1970, when the Secretary issued an order banning use of 16 types of pesticides, including DDT, on any lands or in any programs managed by the Department's bureaus and agencies.
Between November 1967 and April 1969, USDA canceled DDT registrations for use against house flies and roaches, on foliage of more than 17 crops, in milk rooms, and on cabbage and lettuce.
In August 1969, DDT usage was sharply reduced in certain areas of USDA's cooperative Federal-State pest control programs following a review of these programs in relation to environmental contamination.
In November 1969, USDA initiated action to cancel all DDT registrations for use against pests of shade trees, aquatic areas, the house and garden and tobacco. USDA further announced its intention to discontinue all uses nonessential to human health and for which there were safe and effective substitutes.
In August 1970, in another major action, USDA canceled Federal registrations of DDT products used as follows: (1) on 50 food crops, beef cattle, goats, sheep, swine, seasoned lumber, finished wood products and buildings; (2) around commercial, institutional, and industrial establishments including all nonfood areas in food processing plants and restaurants, and (3) on flowers and ornamental turf areas.
EPA Regulatory ActionsOn December 2, 1970, major responsibility for Federal regulation of pesticides was transferred to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In January 1971, under a court order following a suit by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), EPA issued notices of intent to cancel all remaining Federal registrations of products containing DDT. The principal crops affected by this action were cotton, citrus, and certain vegetables.
In March 1971, EPA issued cancellation notices for all registrations of products containing TDE, a DDT metabolite. The EPA Administrator further announced that no suspension of the registration of DDT products was warranted because evidence of imminent hazard to the public welfare was lacking. (Suspension, in contrast to cancellation, is the more severe action taken against pesticide products under the law.) Because of the decision not to suspend, companies were able to continue marketing their products in interstate commerce pending the final resolution of the administrative cancellation process. After reconsideration of the March order, in light of a scientific advisory committee report, the Administrator later reaffirmed his refusal to suspend the DDT registrations. The report was requested by Montrose Chemical Corporation, sole remaining manufacturer of the basic DDT chemical.
In August 1971, upon the request of 31 DDT formulators, a hearing began on the cancellation of all remaining Federally registered uses of products containing DDT. When the hearing ended in March 1972, the transcripts of 9,312 pages contained testimony from 125 expert witnesses and over 300 documents. The principal parties to the hearings were various formulators of DDT products, USDA, the EDF, and EPA.
On June 14, 1972, the EPA Administrator announced the final cancellation of all remaining crop uses of DDT in the U.S. effective December 31, 1972. The order did not affect public health and quarantine uses, or exports of DDT. The Administrator based his decision on findings of persistence, transport, biomagnification, toxicological effects and on the absence of benefits of DDT in relation to the availability of effective and less environmentally harmful substitutes. The effective date of the prohibition was delayed for six months in order to permit an orderly transition to substitute pesticides. In conjunction with this transition, EPA and USDA jointly developed "Project Safeguard," a program of education in the use of highly toxic organophosphate substitutes for DDT.
Immediately following the DDT prohibition by EPA, the pesticides industry and EDF filed appeals contesting the June order with several U.S. courts. Industry filed suit to nullify the EPA ruling while EDF sought to extend the prohibition to those few uses not covered by the order. The appeals were consolidated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
On December 13, 1973, the Court ruled that there was "substantial evidence" in the record to support the EPA Administrator's ban on DDT.
Actions Taken Under the New Pesticide LawOn October 21, 1972, the Federal Environmental Pesticides Control Act, a far-reaching amendment to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) was enacted. These amendments provide EPA with more effective pesticide regulation mechanisms than were previously available under the FIFRA.
In April 1973, EPA, in accordance with authority granted by the amended law, required that all products containing DDT be registered with the Agency by June 10, 1973.
On April 27, 1973, EPA granted a request by the States of Washington and Idaho for a temporary registration of DDT for use against the pea leaf weevil. A similar application was approved on February 22, 1974, for use of DDT during the 1974 growing season. The chemical was registered for 90 days following a determination by EPA that control of the pea leaf weevil was an economic necessity and that DDT was the only practical and effective control agent available. The EPA order designated spray restrictions, monitoring guidelines, and research requirements for the control program. The order provided for further testing of three chemicals--methoxychlor, Imidan, and malathion ULV--which have shown some promise as alternatives to DDT. Other possible long-range alternatives to DDT were tested in 1974, as well.
On February 26, 1974, EPA granted a request by the Forest Service for use of DDT to combat the Douglas-fir tussock moth epidemic in the Northwest. Previous requests by the Forest Service had been denied on the grounds that the risks of DDT use were not outweighed by the benefits. A week long investigation in September 1973, a technical seminar on November 16, 1973, and a series of hearings in January 1974, aided EPA is reassessing the need for DDT. On the basis of information acquired during these sessions, the Administrator concluded that the potential for an economic emergency existed in 1974 and that no effective alternative to DDT was available. The control program was carried out under strict spraying restrictions and with a requirement that research programs evaluate alternatives to DDT, and monitoring activities be conducted by the Forest Service.
Use of a canceled pesticide is made possible by the recent amendments to FIFRA which permit EPA to exempt any Federal or State agency from any of the provisions of the Act if emergency conditions exist. All such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
On March 14, 1975, the Administrator denied the State of Louisiana a request for emergency use of 2.25 million pounds of DDT on 450,000 acres of cotton to control the tobacco budworm in 1975. This decision was affirmed by the Administrator on April 1, 1975, after reconsideration on the grounds of "no substantial new evidence which may materially affect the 1972 order with respect to the human cancer risk posed by DDT, the environmental hazards of DDT and the need to use DDT on cotton." (Federal Register, April 8, 1974, p. 15, 962).
Excerpt from DDT, A Review of Scientific and Economic Aspects of the Decision To Ban Its Use as a Pesticide, prepared for the Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives by EPA, July 1975, EPA-540/1-75-022
Zika Virus Death Toll Could be Reduced, Will Environmentalists Let It?
Mon, 09 May 2016 11:55
The world is facing a public-health emergency. According to the World Health Organization, the Zika virus, a horrific disease that causes malformation of infants, is now ''spreading explosively.'' If decisive action is not taken quickly, Zika will proliferate to every continent, become widely and deeply embedded in populations, and cause millions of babies to be born brain-damaged every year for generations to come.
'‹A cure for Zika is not known, and it could take decades to find one. But there is something that can be done now to stop the epidemic. Zika is spread by mosquitoes, which can be exterminated by pesticides. The most effective pesticide is DDT. If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.
Some history is in order. DDT was first employed by the U.S. Army to stop a typhus epidemic in Naples that had been created by the retreating Germans through their destruction of that city's sanitation system. Subsequently, Allied forces used it in all theaters to save millions of disease-ravaged victims of Axis tyranny, and after the war employed it to wipe out malaria in the American south, southern Europe, and much of south Asia and Latin America. The benefits of these campaigns were unprecedented. As the National Academy of Sciences put it in a 1970 report:
To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase of agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable.
The role of DDT in saving half a billion lives did not positively impress everyone, however. On the contrary, many environmentalist leaders were quite upset. As Alexander King, the co-founder of the Club of Rome, put it in 1990, ''my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.'' Of course, such reasoning would carry little appeal to the American public.
Much better ammunition was provided by Rachel Carson, who in her 1962 book,Silent Spring, made an eloquent case that DDT was endangering bird populations. This was false. In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents,DDT was helping bird numbersto grow significantly. No matter. Using Carson's book and even more wild writing byPopulation Bombauthor Paul Ehrlich (who ina 1969 Ramparts articlepredicted that pesticides would cause all life in the Earth's oceans to die by 1979), a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT.
'‹In 1971, the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency responded by holding seven months of investigative hearings on the subject, gathering testimony from 125 witnesses. At the end of this process, Judge Edmund Sweeney issued his verdict: ''The uses of DDT under the registration involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. . . . DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man.'' No matter. EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus (who would later go on to be a board member of the Draper Fund, a leading population-control group) chose to overrule Sweeney and ban the use of DDT in the United States. Subsequently, the U.S. Agency for International Development adopted regulations preventing it from funding international projects that used DDT. Together with similar decisions enacted in Europe, this effectively banned the use of DDT in many Third World countries. By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from these restrictions has exceeded 100 million people, with 3 million additional deaths added to the toll every year.By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from DDT restrictions has exceeded 100 million people.
So now the question is: Will the environmental bureaucrats continue to block the use of essential life-saving pesticides, and thereby cause an even worse global catastrophe that will go on for generations? The outlook isn't hopeful. As history shows, to the leaders the Green movement, black lives don't matter. They have chosen to allow millions of the world's poorest to continue to suffer and die from malaria, and they are doing everything they can to stop the elimination of vitamin-deficiency diseases by genetically enhanced foods. So long as Zika remains mostly limited to its current tropical haunts, the heartless hypocrites will doubtless maintain that while they too are deeply troubled by seeing babies born with missing brain parts, concerns over eggshell thickness must take priority. Like the revelers in Poe'sMasque of the Red Death, they will continue to party in their comfortable quarters, secure in the belief that plague outside the mansion walls will never come for them.
The fate of humanity should not be entrusted to such guardians.
'-- Dr. Robert Zubrin is the president ofPioneer Energyand the author ofEnergy Victory. The paperback edition of his latest book,Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, was recently published by Encounter Books.
Zika Exposes Environmentalists' Deliberate DDT Death Toll - Breitbart
Mon, 09 May 2016 11:52
Zika is spread primarily by mosquitoes, so killing the mosquitoes is the best way to keep the virus from spreading. The major outbreak areas in South America have long histories of struggling with mosquito control. One reason is their inability to obtain effective pesticides, principally the mosquito-killer DDT, due to environmentalists' fierce and utterly faked junk-science.
The DDT ban was the first epic victory of environmentalist junk science, so the Greens will never walk it back, no matter how many people sicken and die because of their ''triumph.''
With tens of millions of people already killed by malaria unnecessarily, a few thousand Zika victims will add little to the butcher's bill.
To this day, news organizations cite their DDT hoax as if it was true. But it wasn't '-- the pesticide caused none of the problems laid at its feet, including the infamous thinning of bird shells alleged by the 1962 book Silent Spring. This was known at the time, as reputable scientific research knocked down the anti-DDT allegations '... only to be overridden by political considerations.
Dr. Robert Zubrin, author of a recent book on junk science, succinctly summed up the DDT saga in a National Review article, calling for the return of the much-maligned, highly effective pesticide:
The role of DDT in saving half a billion lives did not positively impress everyone, however. On the contrary, many environmentalist leaders were quite upset. As Alexander King, the co-founder of the Club of Rome, put it in 1990, ''my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.'' Of course, such reasoning would carry little appeal to the American public.
Much better ammunition was provided by Rachel Carson, who in her 1962 book, Silent Spring, made an eloquent case that DDT was endangering bird populations. This was false. In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly. No matter. Using Carson's book and even more wild writing by Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich (who in a 1969 Ramparts article predicted that pesticides would cause all life in the Earth's oceans to die by 1979), a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT.
In 1971, the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency responded by holding seven months of investigative hearings on the subject, gathering testimony from 125 witnesses. At the end of this process, Judge Edmund Sweeney issued his verdict: ''The uses of DDT under the registration involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. . . . DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man.''
No matter. EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus (who would later go on to be a board member of the Draper Fund, a leading population-control group) chose to overrule Sweeney and ban the use of DDT in the United States. Subsequently, the U.S. Agency for International Development adopted regulations preventing it from funding international projects that used DDT.
Together with similar decisions enacted in Europe, this effectively banned the use of DDT in many Third World countries. By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from these restrictions has exceeded 100 million people, with 3 million additional deaths added to the toll every year.
The enthusiasm of people who thought the Earth was overpopulated for banning life-saving DDT really should have been a tip-off to the true agenda behind the ban. The population-bomb crowd definitely got what it wanted. Dr. Wenceslaus Kilama, chairman of the Malaria Foundation International, once compared the death toll from Africa's malaria epidemic to ''loading up seven Boeing 747 airliners each day, then deliberately crashing them into Mt. Kilimanjaro.''
Here we are again, with a disease much less deadly than malaria, but nevertheless of great concern to people around the world, and we're prevented from using our most effective weapons against the insects that spread it.
That's because the environmentalist movement would never recover its clout if its DDT victory is revealed as a contributor to the Zika disaster. That might cause people to look at the false ''settled history'' of the 1970s anti-DDT campaign. Too many of the methods used in other junk-science crusades were honed against DDT, and Silent Spring is too important as a cornerstone of environmentalist mythology.
''Will the environmental bureaucrats continue to block the use of essential life-saving pesticides, and thereby cause an even worse global catastrophe that will go on for generations?'' asks Dr. Zubrin, already knowing the answer.
The arguments against bringing DDT back to fight Zika instantly spin off into speculation and hypothesis. For example, Newsweek cites Joe Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association delivering the hardy perennial argument that DDT might not work as well today, because some strains of mosquitoes might have developed a resistance to it, or they might become resistant if we begin spraying them again. They might even develop improved resistance to other pesticides after exposure to DDT.
Those sound like hypotheses to be tested, not reasons to avoid trying everything we can. Words like ''might,'' ''could,'' ''may,'' and ''probably'' are peppered through every paragraph of the Newsweek anti-DDT story.
Conlon also sets up the classic false choice between bathing South America in billowing clouds of DDT, or pursuing more holistic solutions, such as a ''change in culture'' that would make residents of Zika outbreak areas more aggressive about eliminating pools of standing water, depriving mosquitoes of easy breeding grounds. That sounds like good advice, but why not use our most effective pesticides in a carefully controlled manner, to reduce the immediate threat while waiting for that ''change in culture'' to take hold?
Some postulate that the pesticides that are being used in places like Brazil are responsible for the birth defects blamed on the Zika virus. The more extreme versions of this theory posit that Zika is essentially a hoax concocted to hide the perfidy of spray-happy agricultural concerns in South America '-- the virus is real enough, but it doesn't cause any of the horrible secondary effects linked to it. If the pesticides currently used in the area are dangerous and ineffective, a dramatic change in strategy is worth considering.
As to the cause of those birth defects, the official position of the World Health Organization, according to its chief Margaret Chan, is that a WHO emergency committee agreed ''a causal relationship between the Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not scientifically proven.'' The number of severe Guillain-Barre syndrome reactions in Zika patients is also a matter of serious concern.
Given the lack of a vaccine for Zika, and the enduring uncertainty about its effects, fighting the mosquito carriers is a key part of any containment strategy. Such is the case in Florida, where a state of public health emergency has been declared in several counties.
Reuters notes that ''the types of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are common in Florida, where mosquito season is year-round, and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, including Houston.''
There are already signs of Florida mosquito control departments stepping up their efforts, with Hillsborough County ''paying workers overtime as it steps up spraying, mosquito monitoring, and misting in the area of the home of someone who had Zika.''
The Reuters piece mentions plans to educate people about the importance of removing standing-water mosquito breeding grounds '-- the ''change in culture'' recommended above for the outbreak areas '' while also expanding pesticide deployment. Northern states like Illinois and New York have a little respite from the Zika threat, due to the dormancy of mosquitoes in winter, but will soon have to think about intensifying their own control programs, especially if more Zika-infected travelers return home.
Interestingly, Reuters specifically mentions the ''decline in use of pesticides such as DDT,'' along with the increase in international travel, as factors behind notorious outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya, the West Nile virus, and our old nemesis malaria.
At the moment, America, Canada, and Europe are facing very small numbers of Zika patients, with the vast majority of the infections acquired during travel to the outbreak regions.
But South America is looking at up to four million cases this year, potentially translating to thousands of cases of microcephaly and neurological disorders. Effective vaccines are estimated to be at least three years away. The advice given to avoid Zika's effects consists of suggestions like ''don't get pregnant.''
An ounce of prevention will be worth many pounds of the cure that doesn't exist yet, and the only prevention available at the moment involves killing the mosquitoes, as effectively as possible.
Private Philanthropy Novartis
Mon, 09 May 2016 11:45
The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is busily flying around the world trying to get approval among G8 members for increased aid and debt cancellations in developing countries ahead of the Gleneagles Summit. Now is a good time to think again about whether the international group effort to help the poor and sick of the world really is the best model.
As Tony Blair also takes over the six month revolving Presidency of the EU, the twin aims for his watch are fighting climate change and making poverty history. But the Bjorn-Lomborg run Copenhagen Consensus classes Kyoto-type action as a 'bad project' in that it costs more than the good it does; and making poverty history (in six months?) only sounds convincing to aging rockstars and anti-Bush, anti-trade demonstrators.
However, good is being done. For those entrenched in the international aid paradigm, the realization that the delivery of medicines to the world's poor is carried out mostly by private corporations will be an unwelcome surprise. Novartis, the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical company, for example, has a long history of making its anti-malarial discoveries widely available on philanthropic grounds.
Back in the early 1940s, Paul Mueller, a chemist with Geigy (later Novartis) synthesized the insecticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). It quickly became a life-saver for millions from malaria, as well as yellow fever, dengue, typhus and leishmaniasis. DDT's record is well respected in professional circles, and has survived notoriety amongst environmentalists to remain a key weapon in the fight against malaria.
The less well known story, except to some legal and malaria historians, is that Geigy never fully enforced its patent for DDT since it saw the momentous life-saving potential for the chemical. Manufacturers were asked to pay only a nominal fee to produce insecticides that contained DDT. It was an act of generosity, and more remarkable when one considers the tremendous cost of the many years of development work by the company. Later, the fee was rarely even collected as DDT was produced in China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico and elsewhere.
DDT helped eradicate malaria from Italy, Greece, the United States, and at least a dozen other nations. The eradication of yellow fever and other notable successes in numerous countries also owe a lot to DDT. Novartis is not alone in making real improvements in the lives of people who can't afford their products. Merck has been donating Mectizan to treat river blindness for years; GlaxoSmithKline has granted a voluntary license agreement to Aspen Pharmaceutical of South Africa to produce its antiretroviral medicines at a very low royalty; Pfizer donates Diflucan all over Africa; and Bristol-Myers-Squibb's Secure the Future AIDS program is providing a model for best practice in the field. Anyone who cares to look at company websites will see details of many such charitable actions and media searches can quickly show the accuracy of their claims.
By contrast, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Roll Back Malaria campaign, which aimed at halving incidence of disease in 12 years is half way through its course and has actually seen an increased incidence of 10% or more. Similarly, its campaign to get three million people on HIV antiretrovirals (ARVs) by the end of 2005 looks to be falling short by about 75%.
The snappily-named 3 by 5 Campaign was always ambitious, especially since the WHO doesn't actually do health care itself. The campaign relied on other agencies and countries ramping up their efforts, with advice, encouragement, some funding and now it seems, hectoring, from the WHO.
South Africa, after some baffling prevarications on treatment for HIV/AIDS, now treats over 40,000 HIV patients, most in a responsible and sustainable manner, which is more than many other sub-Saharan countries can manage. However, it seems the World Health Organization was expecting more; hundreds of thousands more, in fact, by the end of the year. Not unreasonably, the country's health minister, Mrs. Tshabalala-Msimang, is protesting: ''It's not about chasing numbers, it's about the quality of health care we provide for our people,'' she said.
However, action by international agencies is very often about chasing numbers, such as targets set by politicians for political reasons; they bear little relation to what can be achieved or even what is most desirable. The main criterion is to get agreement so that the international bandwagon can roll on to the next junket.
An editorial in a recent issue of the medical journal, The Lancet, blamed lack of political will in South Africa, Nigeria and India for the inevitable failure of 3 by 5, since only 720,000 people were on ARVs in the developing world in December 2004, and roughly 8% of the 4 million Africans targeted were being treated.
I've recently been looking at the problems of HIV treatment in Africa and agree with The Lancet's assessment that: ''Without SA on board, with its '... leadership position within Africa, 3 by 5 is but a pipe dream,'' and that only SA has the necessary infrastructure to speed up provision of AIDS drugs. The plain truth is that the target was always a pipe dream: there simply isn't the infrastructure in place in most of Africa to treat that many people. Furthermore, the WHO cannot afford to provide South Africa with the funds to treat its arbitrary (it is certainly not science-based) target, so it has no right to feel aggrieved.
It's also breathtakingly condescending to blame 'lack of political will' for not fulfilling preposterous and even risky targets. I was in Lesotho''South Africa's incredibly poor neighbor''in March, when 2,000 people were receiving ARV treatment. Of these, perhaps 800 were on sustainable treatment, the rest on a far from ideal mix of single or dual therapy with frequent forced changes in drug regimens due to supply shortages (caused largely by poor local management rather than major procurement concerns). It takes specifically trained staff to deliver ARVs and, as in most of sub-Saharan Africa, they are thin on the ground in Lesotho. Against this background, the WHO set the target for this year at 28,000, which is absurd. I spoke with staff at an HIV clinic in the capital Maseru who were shocked by the target. They thought that if they had to treat patients with whatever drugs were in supply maybe 5,000 could be treated by the end of the year.
But there are other reasons, which I highlight in my paper, why the target of 3 by 5 won't be hit. For example, there were not 720,000 people on sustainable treatment at the end of 2004 as claimed by The Lancet. The WHO claimed 700,000, but it is a matter of public record that this number is inflated by around 10%.
Furthermore, partly for budgetary and partly for political reasons, the WHO shuns branded drugs in favor of generics. Some drugs which WHO fast-tracked for use in 3 by 5 were subsequently withdrawn because questions of bio-equivalence and safety could not be satisfactorily answered by the manufacturers. Worse still, the generic drugs have turned out to be more expensive than assumed by the WHO, so current budgets are too low to hit their targets even under the best of circumstances.
Meanwhile, Novartis''still working against malaria 50 years after DDT''developed Coartem, a drug combining Lumefantrine and artemisin (the key component of the dual therapy derived from the Chinese sweet wormwood plant). This ACT (artemisinin combination therapy) has already saved many lives in Southern Africa, and is the most effective new malaria drug in decades.
Thanks from the international health community were neither forthcoming nor expected. Instead, pressure groups and even the WHO, show an equivocal attitude to Coartem. They complain of shortages and seem willing to blame Novartis for the lack of production capacity, despite few aid agencies actually supporting production with purchase orders for Coartem (or any other ACTs, which are noticeably absent in large scale production).
The bad faith shown to industry by the WHO was continued in 2003 when it demanded an audit by accountants Deloitte and Touche of Novartis's production and delivery of Coartem. The audit found that the company was making a loss of 80 cents on each adult dose, and since they are now expected to sell over 100 million doses this year, that's a big loss (it's probable that the loss will be $40-60m, with economies of scale in production). Sadly, it's a typical example of why western companies don't get more involved in the diseases affecting poor countries. ''No wonder they're neglected diseases if companies put the effort in and get shit for it,'' said one western non-Novartis industry researcher who preferred to remain nameless.
While the WHO badgers poor countries to pull their socks up when they're already operating at their limit, less glamorous but more cost-effective interventions are being ignored in favor of what's fashionable with the international aid community. Shifting medical staff away from immunization, anti-malarial, child health and other programs to treat HIV patients would be a misallocation. Compared with other life-saving public health measures available, HIV treatment has a high cost and a poor relative outcome. It is far more cost-effective and perhaps beneficial to treat patients with HIV for TB, which is commonly co-prevalent, or the other opportunistic infections of immunodeficiency. If left to decide for themselves, the Departments of Health in many poor countries would be justified in not allowing the switch to ARV.
Health and wealth are intimately co-dependent, and while the man on the street may misunderstand and mistrust free trade, the professionals have no excuse not to recognize its value, especially to developing countries. It makes no sense that poor countries' exports are being blocked by first world protectionism or that donated drugs are being levied with import charges and taxes in the recipient countries. The international community does have a strong role to play, not only in removing such distortions, but in educating the public on the advantages of trade as the only truly sustainable way to make poverty history.
Roger Bate is a resident fellow at AEI.
This article was found online at:http://www.aei.org/publication/private-philanthropy/
DDT Ban Takes Effect | About EPA | US EPA
Mon, 09 May 2016 11:13
[EPA press release - December 31, 1972]
The general use of the pesticide DDT will no longer be legal in the United States after today, ending nearly three decades of application during which time the once-popular chemical was used to control insect pests on crop and forest lands, around homes and gardens, and for industrial and commercial purposes.
An end to the continued domestic usage of the pesticide was decreed on June 14, 1972, when William D. Ruckelshaus, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, issued an order finally cancelling nearly all remaining Federal registrations of DDT products. Public health, quarantine, and a few minor crop uses were excepted, as well as export of the material.
The effective date of the EPA June cancellation action was delayed until the end of this year to permit an orderly transition to substitute pesticides, including the joint development with the U.S. Department of Agriculture of a special program to instruct farmers on safe use of substitutes.
The cancellation decision culminated three years of intensive governmental inquiries into the uses of DDT. As a result of this examination, Ruckelshaus said he was convinced that the continued massive use of DDT posed unacceptable risks to the environment and potential harm to human health.
Major legal challenges to the EPA cancellation of DDT are now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. The courts have not ruled as yet in either of these suits brought by pesticide manufacturers.
DDT was developed as the first of the modern insecticides early in World War II. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations.
A persistent, broad-spectrum compound often termed the "miracle" pesticide, DDT came into wide agricultural and commercial usage in this country in the late 1940s. During the past 30 years, approximately 675,000 tons have been applied domestically. The peak year for use in the United States was 1959 when nearly 80 million pounds were applied. From that high point, usage declined steadily to about 13 million pounds in 1971, most of it applied to cotton.
The decline was attributed to a number of factors including increased insect resistance, development of more effective alternative pesticides, growing public and user concern over adverse environmental side effects--and governmental restriction on DDT use since 1969.
The Truth About DDT and Silent Spring - The New Atlantis
Mon, 09 May 2016 10:59
Editor's Note: The essay below is adapted from Robert Zubrin's Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, published in 2012 as part of our New Atlantis Books series.
Robert Zubrin
We have discovered many preventives against tropical diseases, and often against the onslaught of insects of all kinds, from lice to mosquitoes and back again. The excellent DDT powder which had been fully experimented with and found to yield astonishing results will henceforth be used on a great scale by the British forces in Burma and by the American and Australian forces in the Pacific and India in all theatres.'--Winston Churchill, September 24, 1944[1]
My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.'--Alexander King, cofounder of the Club of Rome, 1990[2]
In the last days of September 1943, as the U.S. Army advanced to the rescue of Italian partisans '-- some as young as nine '-- battling the Germans in the streets of Naples, the enraged Nazis, in a criminal act of revenge against their erstwhile allies, deployed sappers to systematically destroy the city's aqueducts, reservoirs, and sewer system. This done, the supermen, pausing only to burn irreplaceable libraries, including hundreds of thousands of volumes and artifacts at the University of Naples '-- where Thomas Aquinas once taught '-- showed their youthful Neapolitan opponents their backs, and on October 1, to the delirious cheers of the Naples populace, Allied forces entered the town in triumph.
But a city of over a million people had been left without sanitation, and within weeks, as the Germans had intended, epidemics broke out. By November, thousands of Neapolitans were infected with typhus, with one in four of those contracting it dying of the lice-transmitted disease.[3] The dead were so numerous that, as in the dark time of the Black Death, bodies were put out into the street by the hundreds to be hauled away by carts. Alarmed, General Eisenhower contacted Washington and made a desperate plea for help to contain the disaster.
Fortunately, the brass had a new secret weapon ready just in time to deal with the emergency. It was called DDT,[4] a pesticide of un­prece­dented effectiveness. First synthesized by a graduate student in 1874, DDT went unnoticed until its potential application as an insecticide was discovered by chemist Paul H. M¼ller while working for the Swiss company Geigy during the late 1930s. Acquainted with M¼ller's work, Victor Froelicher, Geigy's New York representative, disclosed it to the American military's Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) in October 1942. Examining M¼ller's data, the OSRD's experts immediately realized its importance. On Guadalcanal, and elsewhere in the South Pacific, the Marines were losing more men to malaria than they were to the Japanese, with the entire 1st Marine Division rendered unfit for combat by the insect-borne disease. Without delay, first Geigy's Cincinnati factory and then the giant DuPont chemical company were given contracts to produce the new pesticide in quantity.[5]
By January 1, 1944, the first shipments of what would eventually amount to sixty tons of DDT reached Italy. Stations were set up in the palazzos of Naples, and as the people walked by in lines, military police officers with spray guns dusted them with DDT. Other spray teams prowled the town, dusting public buildings and shelters. The effects were little short of miraculous. Within days, the city's vast population of typhus-transmitting lice was virtually exterminated; by month's end, the epidemic was over.[6]
The retreating Germans, however, did not give up so easily on the use of insects as vectors of death. As the Allied forces advanced north from Naples toward Rome, they neared the Pontine Marshes, which for thousands of years had been rendered nearly uninhabitable by their enormous infestation of virulently malarial mosquitoes. In his most noteworthy accomplishment before the war, Mussolini had drained these marshes, making them potentially suitable for human settlement. The Germans demolished Mussolini's dikes, quickly transforming the area back into the mosquito-infested malarial hellhole it had been for millennia. This promised to be very effective. In the brief Sicilian campaign of early summer 1943, malaria had struck 22,000 Allied troops '-- a greater casualty toll than that inflicted by the Axis forces themselves.[7] The malarial losses inflicted by the deadly Pontine Marshes were poised to be far worse.
But the Nazis had not reckoned on DDT. In coordination with their ground forces, the Americans deployed airborne crop dusters, as well as truck dusters and infantry DDT spray teams. Success was total. The Pontine mosquitoes were wiped out. With negligible losses to malaria, the GIs pushed on to Rome, liberating the Eternal City in the early morning of June 5.[8]
From now on, ''DDT marches with the troops,'' declared the Allied high command.[9] The order could not have come at a better time. As British and American forces advanced in Europe, they encountered millions of victims of Nazi oppression '-- civilians under occupation, slave laborers, prisoners of war, concentration camp inmates '-- dying in droves from insect-borne diseases. But with the armies of liberation came squads spraying DDT, and with it life for millions otherwise doomed to destruction. The same story was repeated in the Philippines, Burma, China, and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific theater. Never before in history had a single chemical saved so many lives in such a short amount of time.
A Civilian SuccessIn recognition for his role in this public health miracle, Paul M¼ller was given the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1948. Presenting the award, the Nobel Committee said: ''DDT has been used in large quantities in the evacuation of concentration camps, of prisoners and deportees. Without any doubt, the material has already preserved the life and health of hundreds of thousands.''[10]
With the coming of peace, DDT became available to civilian public health agencies around the world. They had good reason to put it to use immediately, since over 80 percent of all infectious diseases afflicting humans are carried by insects or other small arthropods.[11] These scourges, which have killed billions of people, include bubonic plague, yellow fever, typhus, dengue, Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, elephantiasis, trypanosomiasis, viral encephalitis, leishmaniasis, filariasis, and, most deadly of all, malaria. Insects have also caused or contributed to mass death by starvation or malnutrition, by consuming up to 40 percent of the food crop and destroying much of the livestock in many developing countries.
One of the first countries to benefit from the use of DDT for civilian purposes was the United States. In the years immediately preceding World War II, between one and six million Americans, mostly drawn from the rural South, contracted malaria annually. In 1946, the U.S. Public Health Service initiated a campaign to wipe out malaria through the application of DDT to the interior walls of homes. The results were dramatic. In the first half of 1952, there were only two confirmed cases of malaria contracted within the United States.[12]
Other countries were quick to take note of the American success, and those that could afford it swiftly put DDT into action. In Europe, malaria was virtually eradicated by the mid-1950s. South African cases of malaria quickly dropped by 80 percent; Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) reduced its malaria incidence from 2.8 million in 1946 to 17 in 1963; and India cut its malaria death rate almost to zero. In 1955, with financial backing from the United States, the U.N. World Health Organization launched a global campaign to use DDT to eradicate malaria. Implemented successfully across large areas of the developing world, this effort soon cut malaria rates in numerous countries in Latin America and Asia by 99 percent or better. Even for Africa, hope that the age-old scourge would be brought to an end appeared to be in sight.[13]
A Bestseller Begins a MovementBut events took another turn with the appearance of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. A former marine biologist and accomplished nature writer, Carson in 1958 contacted E. B. White, a contributor to The New Yorker, suggesting someone should write about DDT. White declined, but the magazine's editor, William Shawn, suggested that Carson herself write it. The ensuing articles, supplemented by additional material, became Silent Spring, for which Carson signed a contract with Houghton Mifflin in August 1958.[14]
Carson based her passionate argument against pesticides on the desire to protect wildlife. Using evocative language, Carson told a powerful fable of a town whose people had been poisoned, and whose spring had been silenced of birdsong, because all life had been extinguished by pesticides.[15]
Published in September 1962, Silent Spring was a phenomenal success. As a literary work, it was a masterpiece, and as such, received rave reviews everywhere. Deeply moved by Carson's poignant depiction of a lifeless future, millions of well-meaning people rallied to her banner. Virtually at a stroke, environmentalism grew from a narrow aristocratic cult into a crusading liberal mass movement.
While excellent literature, however, Silent Spring was very poor science. Carson claimed that DDT was threatening many avian species with imminent extinction. Her evidence for this, however, was anecdotal and unfounded. In fact, during the period of widespread DDT use preceding the publication of Silent Spring, bird populations in the United States increased significantly, probably as a result of the pesticide's suppression of their insect disease vectors and parasites. In her chapter ''Elixirs of Death,'' Carson wrote that synthetic insecticides can affect the human body in ''sinister and often deadly ways,'' so that cumulatively, the ''threat of chronic poisoning and degenerative changes of the liver and other organs is very real.'' In terms of DDT specifically, in her chapter on cancer she reported that one expert ''now gives DDT the definite rating of a 'chemical carcinogen.'''[16] These alarming assertions were false as well.[17] (Carson's claims about the supposed pernicious effects of DDT are examined more fully below.)
The Banning of DDTThe panic raised by Carson's book spread far beyond American borders. Responding to its warning, the governments of a number of developing countries called a halt to their DDT-based anti-malaria programs. The results were catastrophic. In Ceylon, for example, where, as noted, DDT use had cut malaria cases from millions per year in the 1940s down to just 17 by 1963, its banning in 1964 led to a resurgence of half a million victims per year by 1969.[18] In many other countries, the effects were even worse.
Attempting to head off a hysteria-induced global health disaster, in 1970 the National Academy of Sciences issued a report praising the beleaguered pesticide:
To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase in agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably, perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that, in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable. Abandonment of this valuable insecticide should be undertaken only at such time and in such places as it is evident that the prospective gain to humanity exceeds the consequent losses. At this writing, all available substitutes for DDT are both more expensive per crop-year and decidedly more hazardous.[19]
To some, however, five hundred million human lives were irrelevant. Disregarding the NAS findings, environmentalists continued to demand that DDT be banned. Responding to their pressure, in 1971 the newly-formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an investigation of the pesticide. Lasting seven months, the investigative hearings led by Judge Edmund Sweeney gathered testimony from 125 expert witnesses with 365 exhibits. The conclusion of the inquest, however, was exactly the opposite of what the environmentalists had hoped for. After assessing all the evidence, Judge Sweeney found: ''The uses of DDT under the registration involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife.... DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man.... DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man.''[20] Accordingly, Judge Sweeney ruled that DDT should remain available for use.
Unfortunately, however, the administrator of the EPA was William D. Ruckelshaus, who reportedly did not attend a single hour of the investigative hearings, and according to his chief of staff, did not even read Judge Sweeney's report.[21] Instead, he apparently chose to ignore the science: overruling Sweeney, in 1972 Ruckelshaus banned the use of DDT in the United States except under conditions of medical emergencies.[22]
Initially, the ban only affected the United States. But the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) soon adopted strict environmental regulations that effectively prohibited it from funding international projects that used DDT.[23] Around the globe, Third World governments were told that if they wanted USAID or other foreign aid money to play with, they needed to stop using the most effective weapon against malaria.[24] Given the corrupt nature of many of the recipient regimes, it is not surprising that many chose lucre over life. And even for those that did not, the halting of American DDT exports (since U.S. producers slowed and then stopped manufacturing it) made DDT much more expensive, and thus effectively unavailable for poor countries in desperate need of the substance.[25] As a result, insect-borne diseases returned to the tropics with a vengeance. By some estimates, the death toll in Africa alone from unnecessary malaria resulting from the restrictions on DDT has exceeded 100 million people.[26]
Debunking False Claims About DDTWhile critics of Silent Spring have tended to focus on the one-sidedness of Rachel Carson's case or on those of her claims that have not held up over time, the fraudulence of Silent Spring goes beyond mere cherry-picking or discredited data: Carson abused, twisted, and distorted many of the studies that she cited, in a brazen act of scientific dishonesty.[27] So the real tragic irony of the millions of deaths to malaria in the past several decades is that the three central anti-DDT claims made by Carson and other activists are all false. We shall examine each in turn.
Claim #1: DDT Causes Cancer in Humans. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the average American could be expected to ingest DDT in food and drink at levels of around 30 micrograms per day.[28] (Note: 1 gram = 1,000 milligrams = 1,000,000 micrograms.) Numerous studies of workers with intense exposure to DDT in the workplace, sometimes by factors of thousands more than the average dose '-- either in factories or in the field using DDT to combat malaria '-- have failed to show any ''convincing evidence of patterns of associations between DDT and cancer incidence or mortality,'' according to the World Health Organization.[29] The thousands of individuals in these studies were regularly exposed to hundreds or perhaps thousands of times the amount of DDT that the average American would have been exposed to, but cancer rates seem not to have been elevated.[30] A great many studies of specific cancers '-- breast cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, and more '-- over many decades have failed to show significant evidence of cancer as a result of exposure to DDT.[31]
There is scientific evidence that ingesting DDT or its byproduct DDE can cause mice to develop tumors, but only if they are fed at least ten times the amount per day (by body weight) that a person would normally expect to ingest.[32] Cancer studies of other mammals have been less conclusive.[33] In other studies of the effects of DDT on mammals, rats fed with large doses of the substance were found to have their reproductive lifespans increased by 65 percent (from 8.91 months to 14.55 months).[34] Heavily dosed dogs also experienced no ill effects, and in fact were found to be healthier than the control group, as DDT freed them of infestation by roundworms.[35]
Summarizing all of the relevant research, the U.S. government reported in 2002 that ''there is no clear evidence that exposure to DDT/DDE causes cancer in humans.''[36] That assessment is a vindication of the legal conclusion of Judge Edmund Sweeney's 1972 report on DDT for the EPA: ''DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man.''[37]
Claim #2: DDT Endangered U.S. Birds with Extinction. According to Rachel Carson, DDT was so harmful to birds that someday America's springs would be silent, as all the birds that might enliven them with song would be dead. Indeed, it was from this poignant image that she drew the title for her book.[38] As evidence for this claim, Carson maintained that since the introduction of DDT to the United States shortly after World War II, the nation's bird populations had fallen into rapid decline, with even the robin threatened with extinction.
Table 1. Audubon SocietyChristmas Bird Count: Counts per Observer1941 (2,331 observers) compared with 1960 (8,928 observers) Counts per Observer Species19411960Ratio1960/1941Eagle0.080.101.25Gull53.4072.001.33Raven0.290.301.03Crow79.5928.040.35Pheasant0.881.151.31Mourning dove2.832.210.75Swatlow3.188.172.57Grebe6.1527.144.41Pelican1.073.122.92Cormorant1.911.180.62Heron0.971.821.88Egret0.631.882.98Swan7.963.810.48Goose78.4378.040.99Duck916.81306.850.33Blackbird58.992,302.0139.02Grackle10.701,407.98131.59Cowbird17.17368.0921.44Chickadee9.156.260.68Titmouse2.162.050.95Nuthatch1.811.500.83Robin8.41104.0112.37English sparrow22.8040.191.76Bluebird1.600.770.48Starling90.88971.4510.69Total1,4805,8603.96An examination of actual data, however, thoroughly debunks Carson's claim. This can be seen in Table 1, which compares the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count data for 1941 (before DDT) to that of 1960 (the height of DDT, shortly before the publication of Silent Spring).[39]
It can be seen that far from declining, the number of birds encountered by each observer nearly quadrupled over the period in question. In the case of the robin, singled out by Carson as ''the tragic symbol of the fate of the birds,''[40] the population count increased twelvefold.
Many other studies show the same pattern of sharp increase of some bird populations during the DDT years. For example, a bird sanctuary that has been counting birds over Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania since the 1930s reported an increase in sightings of ospreys from less than 200 in 1945 to over 600 by 1970, and an increase in sightings of migrating raptors from 9,291 in 1946 to 29,765 in 1968.[41] The herring gull population on Tern Island, Massachusetts grew from 2,000 pairs in 1940 to 35,000 pairs in 1970 (at which point the Audubon Society displayed its concern for the birds' wellbeing by poisoning 30,000 of them, a procedure it said was ''kind of like weeding a garden'').[42] And the annual data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey from 1966 (the year the survey was launched, in response to the public fear Carson had created about the effects of DDT on birds) through the end of the 1970s shows no obvious pattern of overall increasing bird populations as would be expected to follow the 1972 banning of DDT if it were truly harming bird populations.[43]
Although many of Carson's key claims about how DDT affects the health of birds have been disproven in the years since her book was published, there is now evidence, both from field studies and laboratory experiments, that DDT does have an effect on birds that Carson did not know about when she wrote Silent Spring: it can cause many bird species to produce eggshells that are thinner and therefore more fragile. This effect has been linked to reduced populations of certain bird species, especially ''raptors, waterfowl, passerines, and nonpasserine ground birds.''[44]
Eggshell thinning is a potential problem, but it should not be overstated. The levels of DDT required for malaria control are much less than those required for crop dusting as practiced in the 1950s. Furthermore, the problem does not affect every bird species '-- indeed, for some species, there is reason to believe that DDT has an overall beneficial effect, by protecting them from the insect-borne diseases that are a primary cause of bird mortality. For example, some marsh bird populations grew so dramatically during the DDT years that they emerged from their marshes in millions to cause significant damage to crops in the American Midwest.[45] Ultimately, the effects of DDT on bird populations are not nearly as dire as Carson depicted '-- and offer no justification for the millions of human deaths caused by the unwarranted prohibition of DDT.
Claim #3: DDT Threatened the Life of the Oceans. The most egregious lie put forth by the anti-DDT crusaders was launched after Carson's death, by Charles Wurster, a cofounder of the Environmental Defense Fund. In a note published in Science magazine in 1968, Wurster claimed to have shown that the presence of 500 parts per billion (ppb) of DDT in seawater would stop photosynthesis by phytoplankton.[46] Since phytoplankton are the productive foundation that supports all higher marine organisms, their suppression by DDT seemed to threaten the very existence of all life in the ocean, and possibly on the planet.
This was truly an alarming result. However, the maximum solubility of DDT in seawater is only 1.2 ppb, nowhere near 500 ppb, so the scenario Wurster reported was physically impossible.[47] In fact, in order to get so much DDT to dissolve, Wurster had been forced to use not seawater, but a saltwater/alcohol mixture as the medium for his experiment. It is hardly surprising that marine algae stopped functioning when thrown into such stuff. In contrast, other scientists found no harm or loss of activity of the same species of marine algae that Wurster used when immersed in actual seawater saturated to the limit with DDT.[48]
The Wurster experiment was thus meaningless as science. But as a propaganda tool for those seeking to ban the life-saving chemical, it was quite useful. In 1969, Paul Ehrlich, otherwise famous as the author of the antihumanist bible The Population Bomb, set alarm bells ringing everywhere with a screed entitled ''Eco-Catastrophe!'' in Ramparts magazine.[49] Reporting the history of the world as seen with undisputable authority from the standpoint of the future, Ehrlich wrote:
The end of the ocean came late in the summer of 1979, and it came even more rapidly than the biologists had expected. There had been signs for more than a decade, commencing with the discovery in 1968 that DDT slows down photosynthesis in marine plant life. It was announced in a short paper in the technical journal, Science, but to ecologists it smacked of doomsday. They knew that all life in the sea depends on photosynthesis, the chemical process by which green plants bind the sun's energy and make it available to living things. And they knew that DDT and similar chlorinated hydrocarbons had polluted the entire surface of the earth, including the sea.
For the record, 1979 has come and gone, and life in the world's oceans has continued to flourish gloriously. But, as a result of the mendacity and actions of Carson, Ruckelshaus, Wurster, Ehrlich, and their allies, DDT has been banned, and hundreds of millions of people who might have lived to enjoy those oceans, to sail on them, fish in them, surf in them, or swim in them, to play on their beaches or write poems about their sunsets, are dead.
Notes
[1] Winston Churchill, radio broadcast, September 28, 1944, quoted in T. F. West and G. A. Campbell, DDT: The Synthetic Insecticide (London: Chapman and Hall, 1946), 11.[4] DDT stands for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.[5] Darwin Stapleton, ''The Short-Lived Miracle of DDT,'' American Heritage Invention and Technology Magazine 15, no. 3 (2000): 34''41.[6] Stapleton, ''The Short-Lived Miracle of DDT''; Atkinson, The Day of Battle, 448.[7] Atkinson, The Day of Battle, 146.[9] Stapleton, ''The Short Lived Miracle of DDT.''[15] Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1962; New York: Mariner Books 40th Anniversary Edition, 2002), 1''3. Citations are to the Mariner edition.[16] Carson, Silent Spring, 16, 22, 225.[18] Attaran et al., ''Balancing Risks on the Backs of the Poor,'' 729.[21] Bate, ''The Rise, Fall, Rise, and Imminent Fall of DDT,'' 4.[22] Edwards, ''DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud,'' 86; Environmental Protection Agency, William Ruckelshaus, ''Environmental Protection Agency: Consolidated DDT Hearings, Opinion and Order of the Administrator,'' Federal Register 37, no. 131, July 7, 1972: 13369''13376. As it happened, in August 1970, while Ruckelshaus was still assistant attorney general, he had stated in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that ''DDT is not endangering the Public Health. To the contrary, DDT is an indispensable weapon in the arsenal of substances used to protect human health and has an amazing and exemplary record of safe use.... DDT, when properly used at recommended concentrations, does not cause a toxic response in man or other mammals and is not harmful.'' Brief for the Respondents, William D. Ruckelshaus and Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. Ruckelshaus, No 23813 (D.C. App filed August 31, 1970).[23] USAID's environmental procedures are laid out in USAID, ''Agency Environ­mental Procedures,'' 22 CFR 216, October 9, 1980. In a statement on the USAID website, undated but apparently from the last decade, the agency takes great pains to explain that it has no regulation formally forbidding funding of DDT projects in other countries '-- but not once does it explicitly mention any DDT projects that it has funded since the 1970s. See USAID, ''USAID Support for Malaria Control in Countries Using DDT.'' An apparently more recent USAID statement, also undated, does acknowledge a new interest in funding projects that use DDT on a small scale and indoors only. See USAID, ''USAID and Malaria.''[24] See, for example, the 1986 statement by Secretary of State George Schultz: ''The U.S. cannot, repeat cannot ... participate in programs using any of the following: (1) lindane, (2) BHC, (3) DDT, or (4) dieldrin.'' Edwards, ''DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud,'' 87. As recently as 2004, one USAID official admitted that the reason her agency ''doesn't finance DDT is that doing so would require a battle for public opinion. 'You'd have to explain to everybody why this is really O.K. and safe every time you do it,' she said.'' In short, public perception has been allowed to trump scientific fact in the debate over this life-saving chemical. Tina Rosenberg, ''What the World Needs Now Is DDT,'' New York Times Magazine, April 11, 2004, 41.[26] In Africa alone, numerous studies suggest a figure of one million malaria deaths per year since the 1960s. See Robert W. Snow and Judy A. Omumbo, ''Malaria,'' in Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa, D. T. Jamison et al., eds. (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2006). Other estimates are higher; one World Health Organization researcher estimated in the 1990s that there were ''1.5 to 2.7 million deaths'' from malaria per year in Africa. Thomas C. Nchinda, ''Malaria: A Reemerging Disease,'' Emerging Infectious Diseases 4, no. 3 (1998). Although malaria deaths have begun to decline in recent years '-- see the World Health Organization's annual World Malaria Report for estimates '-- the total global death toll from malaria since the publication of Silent Spring is probably between 60 and 150 million.[27]Charles T. Rubin, The Green Crusade (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1994), 38''44. Rubin, unlike other critics of Silent Spring, closely compares some of Carson's claims to the original studies she cites as sources for her information. He finds a pattern in which she misrepresents the studies or takes claims out of context so as to make ''the harm of pesticides seem greater, more certain, or more unprecedented than the original source indicates.'' Ibid., 39''40.[28] R. E. Duggan and P. E. Corneliussen, ''Dietary Intake of Pesticide Chemicals in the United States (III), June 1969-April 1970,'' Pesticides Monitoring Journal 5, no. 4 (1972): 331''341. This comprehensive multi-year study, conducted by scientists working for the Food and Drug Administration, was cited by EPA reports well into the 1970s. My figure of 30 micrograms per day is an extrapolation from their data, assuming an average weight of around 68 kg (150 pounds) and working from the fact that the study assumed a diet ''almost twice the 'average' intake of the 'average' individual.''[30] D. Ditraglia et al., ''Mortality Study of Workers Employed at Organochlorine Pesticide Manufacturing Plants,'' Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 7, no. 4 (1981): 140''146; Wong et al., ''Mortality of Workers Potentially Exposed to Organic and Inorganic Brominated Chemicals, DBCP, TRIS, PBB, and DDT,'' British Journal of Industrial Medicine 41, no. 1 (1984): 15''24; H. Austin et al., ''A Prospective Follow-Up Study of Cancer Mortality in Relation to Serum DDT,'' American Journal of Public Health 79, no. 1 (1989): 43''46; Cocco et al., ''Proportional Mortality of Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) Workers: A Preliminary Report,'' Archives of Environmental Health 52, no. 4 (1997): 299''303; P. Cocco et al., ''Cancer Mortality and Environmental Exposure to DDE in the United States,'' Environmental Health Perspectives 108, no. 1 (2000): 1''4; Cocco et al., ''Cancer Mortality Among Men Occupationally Exposed to Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane,'' Cancer Research 65, no. 20 (2005): 9588''9594; Purdue et al., ''Occupational Exposure to Organochlorine Insecticide and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study,'' International Journal of Cancer 120, no. 3 (2007): 642''649.[31] World Health Organization, DDT in Indoor Residual Spraying, 71''83. There is, however, some evidence that exposure to DDT before puberty may be linked to breast cancer later in life; see ibid., 71''75.[36] ATSDR, ''Toxicological Profile for DDT, DDE, and DDD,'' 2002, 25.[37] Sweeney, ''Hearing Examiner's Recommended Findings, Conclusions, and Orders,'' 93.[38] Carson, Silent Spring, 103''127.[39] National Audubon Society, 1942, The 42nd Christmas Bird Count, Audubon Magazine; National Audubon Society, 1961, The 61st Christmas Bird Count, Audubon Field Notes 15, no. 2. The Audubon Society keeps its data freely available online at http://birds.audubon.org/historical-results.[40] Carson, Silent Spring, 104.[41] J. W. Taylor, ''Summaries of Hawk Mountain Migrations of Raptors: 1934''1970,'' Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Newsletters, quoted in Edwards, ''DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud,'' 84.[42] F. Graham, Audubon Magazine, January 1985, 17; Edwards, ''DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud,'' 84.[44] ATSDR, ''Toxicological Profile for DDT, DDE, and DDD,'' 134, D24''D26.[47] DDT can be dissolved in seawater at concentrations higher than 1.2 ppb if the water contains other components, and of course DDT that is not dissolved can still be carried in suspension. But even so, Wurster was unable to find any examples in nature of water with DDT levels at 500 ppb, even though he took samples from locations that had very recently been treated with DDT, and the highest concentrations he found were short-lived and very localized '-- hardly sufficient to pose a serious threat to the world's oceans. Wurster, ''DDT Reduces Photosynthesis by Marine Phytoplankton,'' 1475.[48] Thomas H. Jukes, ''Silent Spring and the Betrayal of Environmentalism,'' 21st Century Science and Technology 7, no. 3 (Fall 1994).Robert Zubrin, "The Truth About DDT and Silent Spring," TheNewAtlantis.com, September 27, 2012.
DDT - A Brief History and Status | Ingredients Used in Pesticide Products | US EPA
Mon, 09 May 2016 10:54
Development of DDTDDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations. It also was effective for insect control in crop and livestock production, institutions, homes, and gardens. DDT's quick success as a pesticide and broad use in the United States and other countries led to the development of resistance by many insect pest species.
Regulation Due to Health and Environmental EffectsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal agency with responsibility for regulating pesticides before the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, began regulatory actions in the late 1950s and 1960s to prohibit many of DDT's uses because of mounting evidence of the pesticide's declining benefits and environmental and toxicological effects. The publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring stimulated widespread public concern over the dangers of improper pesticide use and the need for better pesticide controls.
In 1972, EPA issued a cancellation order for DDT based on its adverse environmental effects, such as those to wildlife, as well as its potential human health risks. Since then, studies have continued, and a relationship between DDT exposure and reproductive effects in humans is suspected, based on studies in animals. In addition, some animals exposed to DDT in studies developed liver tumors. As a result, today, DDT is classified as a probable human carcinogen by U.S. and international authorities.
DDT is:
known to be very persistent in the environment,will accumulate in fatty tissues, andcan travel long distances in the upper atmosphere.After the use of DDT was discontinued in the United States, its concentration in the environment and animals has decreased, but because of its persistence, residues of concern from historical use still remain.
Current StatusSince 1996, EPA has been participating in international negotiations to control the use of DDT and other persistent organic pollutants used around the world. Under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, countries joined together and negotiated a treaty to enact global bans or restrictions on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), a group that includes DDT. This treaty is known as the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The Convention includes a limited exemption for the use of DDT to control mosquitoes that transmit the microbe that causes malaria - a disease that still kills millions of people worldwide.
In September 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared its support for the indoor use of DDT in African countries where malaria remains a major health problem, citing that benefits of the pesticide outweigh the health and environmental risks. The WHO position is consistent with the Stockholm Convention on POPs, which bans DDT for all uses except for malaria control.
DDT is one of 12 pesticides recommended by the WHO for indoor residual spray programs. It is up to individual countries to decide whether or not to use DDT. EPA works with other agencies and countries to advise them on how DDT programs are developed and monitored, with the goal that DDT be used only within the context of programs referred to as Integrated Vector Management. Exit IVM is a decison-making process for use of resources to yield the best possible results in vector control, and that it be kept out of agricultural sectors.
Additional information on DDT:Top of Page
DDT - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 09 May 2016 10:45
DDTNamesIUPAC name1,1'-(2,2,2-trichloroethane-1,1-diyl)bis(4-chlorobenzene)
Identifiers50-29-3 YChEBICHEBI:16130 YChEMBLChEMBL416898 NChemSpider2928 YJmol 3D modelInteractive imageKEGGD07367 YPubChem3036UNIICIW5S16655 YInChI=1/C14H9Cl5/c15-11-5-1-9(2-6-11)13(14(17,18)19)10-3-7-12(16)8-4-10/h1-8,13H
Key: YVGGHNCTFXOJCH-UHFFFAOYAJ
Clc1ccc(cc1)C(c2ccc(Cl)cc2)C(Cl)(Cl)Cl
PropertiesC14H9Cl5Molar mass354.48 g·mol''1Density0.99 g/cm3[1]Melting point108.5 °C (227.3 °F; 381.6 K)Boiling point260 °C (500 °F; 533 K) (decomposes)1 μg·''1 (20 °C)[2]HazardsMain hazardsToxic, dangerous to the environment, carcinogenicTNR-phrasesR25R40R48/25R50/53S-phrases(S1/2)S22S36/37S45S60S61NFPA 704Flash point72''77 °C; 162''171 °F; 345''350 K [5]Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):113''450 mg/kg (rat, oral)[3] 250 mg/kg (rabbit, oral)135 mg/kg (mouse, oral)150 mg/kg (guinea pig, oral)[4]US health exposure limits (NIOSH):[6]TWA 1 mg/m3 [skin]Ca TWA 0.5 mg/m3500 mg/m3Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).N verify (what is YN ?)Infobox referencesDDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is a colorless, crystalline, tasteless and almost odorless organochloride known for its insecticidal properties and environmental impacts. DDT has been formulated in multiple forms, including solutions in xylene or petroleumdistillates, emulsifiableconcentrates, water-wettable powders, granules, aerosols, smoke candles and charges for vaporizers and lotions.[7][8]
First synthesized in 1874, DDT's insecticidal action was discovered by the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann M¼ller in 1939. It was used in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. After the war, DDT was also used as an agricultural insecticide and its production and use duly increased.[9] M¼ller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods" in 1948.[10]
In 1962, Rachel Carson published the book Silent Spring. It cataloged the environmental impacts of widespread DDT spraying in the United States and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of potentially dangerous chemicals into the environment without understanding their effects on the environment or human health. The book claimed that DDT and other pesticides had been shown to cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was a seminal event for the environmental movement and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led, in 1972, to a ban on its agricultural use in the United States.[11] A worldwide ban on agricultural use was formalized under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, but its limited and still-controversial use in disease vectorcontrol continues,[12][13] because of its effectiveness in reducing malarial infections, balanced by environmental and other health concerns.
Along with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the United States ban on DDT is cited by scientists as a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle (the national bird of the United States) and the peregrine falcon from near-extinction in the contiguous United States.[14][15]
Contents
Properties and chemistryEditDDT is similar in structure to the insecticide methoxychlor and the acaricidedicofol. It is highly hydrophobic and nearly insoluble in water but has good solubility in most organicsolvents, fats and oils. DDT does not occur naturally. It is produced by the reaction of chloral (CCl3CHO) with chlorobenzene (C6H5Cl) in the presence of a sulfuric acidcatalyst. DDT has been marketed under trade names including Anofex, Cezarex, Chlorophenothane, Clofenotane, Dicophane, Dinocide, Gesarol, Guesapon, Guesarol, Gyron, Ixodex, Neocid, Neocidol and Zerdane.[9]
Isomers and related compoundsEditCommercial DDT is a mixture of several closely''related compounds. The major component (77%) is the p,p'isomer (pictured above). The o,p' isomer (pictured to the right) is also present in significant amounts (15%). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) make up the balance. DDE and DDD are the major metabolites and environmental breakdown products.[9] The term "total DDT" is often used to refer to the sum of all DDT related compounds (p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, DDE, and DDD) in a sample.
Production and useEditFrom 1950 to 1980, DDT was extensively used in agriculture '-- more than 40,000 tonnes each year worldwide[16] '-- and it has been estimated that a total of 1.8 million tonnes have been produced globally since the 1940s.[1] In the United States, it was manufactured by some 15 companies, including Monsanto,[17]Ciba,[18]Montrose Chemical Company, Pennwalt[19] and Velsicol Chemical Corporation.[20] Production peaked in 1963 at 82,000 tonnes per year.[9] More than 600,000 tonnes (1.35 billion pounds) were applied in the US before the 1972 ban. Usage peaked in 1959 at about 36,000 tonnes.[21]
In 2009, 3,314 tonnes were produced for malaria control and visceral leishmaniasis. India is the only country still manufacturing DDT and is the largest consumer.[22] China ceased production in 2007.[23]
Mechanism of insecticide actionEditIn insects it opens sodium ion channels in neurons, causing them to fire spontaneously, which leads to spasms and eventual death. Insects with certain mutations in their sodium channel gene are resistant to DDT and similar insecticides. DDT resistance is also conferred by up-regulation of genes expressing cytochrome P450 in some insect species,[24] as greater quantities of some enzymes of this group accelerate the toxin's metabolism into inactive metabolites.
DDT was first synthesized in 1874 by Othmar Zeidler under the supervision of Adolf von Baeyer.[25][26] It was further described in 1929 in a dissertation by W. Bausch and in two subsequent publications in 1930.[27][28] The insecticide properties of "multiple chlorinated aliphatic or fat-aromatic alcohols with at least one trichloromethane group" were described in a patent in 1934 by Wolfgang von Leuthold.[29] DDT's insecticidal properties were not, however, discovered until 1939 by the Swiss scientist Paul Hermann M¼ller, who was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his efforts.[10]
Use in the 1940s and 1950sEditDDT is the best-known of several chlorine-containing pesticides used in the 1940s and 1950s. With pyrethrum in short supply, DDT was used extensively during World War II by the Allies to control the insect vectors of typhus '' nearly eliminating the disease in many parts of Europe. In the South Pacific, it was sprayed aerially for malaria and dengue fever control with spectacular effects. While DDT's chemical and insecticidal properties were important factors in these victories, advances in application equipment coupled with competent organization and sufficient manpower were also crucial to the success of these programs.[30]
In 1945, DDT was made available to farmers as an agricultural insecticide[9] and played a role in the final elimination of malaria in Europe and North America.[12][31][32]
In 1955, the World Health Organization commenced a program to eradicate malaria in countries with low to moderate transmission rates worldwide, relying largely on DDT for mosquito control and rapid diagnosis and treatment to reduce transmission.[33] The program eliminated the disease in "Taiwan, much of the Caribbean, the Balkans, parts of northern Africa, the northern region of Australia, and a large swath of the South Pacific"[34] and dramatically reduced mortality in Sri Lanka and India.[35]
However, failure to sustain the program, increasing mosquito tolerance to DDT, and increasing parasite tolerance led to a resurgence. In many areas early successes partially or completely reversed, and in some cases rates of transmission increased.[36] The program succeeded in eliminating malaria only in areas with "high socio-economic status, well-organized healthcare systems, and relatively less intensive or seasonal malaria transmission".[37]
DDT was less effective in tropical regions due to the continuous life cycle of mosquitoes and poor infrastructure. It was not applied at all in sub-Saharan Africa due to these perceived difficulties. Mortality rates in that area never declined to the same dramatic extent, and now constitute the bulk of malarial deaths worldwide, especially following the disease's resurgence as a result of resistance to drug treatments and the spread of the deadly malarial variant caused by Plasmodium falciparum.[citation needed]
Eradication was abandoned in 1969 and attention instead focused on controlling and treating the disease. Spraying programs (especially using DDT) were curtailed due to concerns over safety and environmental effects, as well as problems in administrative, managerial and financial implementation.[36] Efforts shifted from spraying to the use of bednets impregnated with insecticides and other interventions.[37][38]
United States banEditAs early as the 1940s, US scientists began expressing concern over possible hazards associated with DDT, and in the 1950s the government began tightening regulations governing its use.[21] These events received little attention. In 1957 the New York Times reported an unsuccessful struggle to restrict DDT use in Nassau County, New York, that the issue came to the attention of the popular naturalist-author, Rachel Carson. William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker, urged her to write a piece on the subject, which developed into her 1962 book Silent Spring. The book argued that pesticides, including DDT, were poisoning both wildlife and the environment and were endangering human health.[11]Silent Spring was a best seller, and public reaction to it launched the modern environmental movement in the United States. The year after it appeared, President John F. Kennedy ordered his Science Advisory Committee to investigate Carson's claims. The committee's report "add[ed] up to a fairly thorough-going vindication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring thesis," in the words of the journal Science,[39] and recommended a phaseout of "persistent toxic pesticides".[40] DDT became a prime target of the growing anti-chemical and anti-pesticide movements, and in 1967 a group of scientists and lawyers founded the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) with the specific goal of enacting a ban on DDT. Victor Yannacone, Charles Wurster, Art Cooley and others in the group had all witnessed bird kills or declines in bird populations and suspected that DDT was the cause. In their campaign against the chemical, EDF petitioned the government for a ban and filed lawsuits.[41] Around this time, toxicologistDavid Peakall was measuring DDE levels in the eggs of peregrine falcons and California condors and finding that increased levels corresponded with thinner shells.
In response to an EDF suit, the U.S. District Court of Appeals in 1971 ordered the EPA to begin the de-registration procedure for DDT. After an initial six-month review process, William Ruckelshaus, the Agency's first Administrator rejected an immediate suspension of DDT's registration, citing studies from the EPA's internal staff stating that DDT was not an imminent danger.[21] However, these findings were criticized, as they were performed mostly by economic entomologists inherited from the United States Department of Agriculture, who many environmentalists felt were biased towards agribusiness and understated concerns about human health and wildlife. The decision thus created controversy.[30]
The EPA held seven months of hearings in 1971''1972, with scientists giving evidence for and against DDT. In the summer of 1972, Ruckelshaus announced the cancellation of most uses of DDT '' exempting public health uses under some conditions.[21] Immediately after the announcement, both EDF and the DDT manufacturers filed suit against EPA. Industry sought to overturn the ban, while EDF wanted a comprehensive ban. The cases were consolidated, and in 1973 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the EPA had acted properly in banning DDT.[21]
In the same time frame, EPA drafted the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) of 1972, also known as the "Ocean Dumping Act." These regulations banned ocean dumping, except as permitted by EPA under Section 102 of the MPRSA. One permit issued by the EPA in November 1973 allowed for the disposal of 208,500 waste barrels, of which 55,000 barrels contained chlorinated hydrocarbons. The chlorinated hydrocarbons may be surplus DDT after it was banned by the EPA five months prior on December 31, 1972.
Some uses of DDT continued under the public health exemption. For example, in June 1979, the California Department of Health Services was permitted to use DDT to suppress flea vectors of bubonic plague.[42] DDT continued to be produced in the United States for foreign markets until 1985, when over 300 tons were exported.[1]
Restrictions on usageEditIn the 1970s and 1980s, agricultural use was banned in most developed countries, beginning with Hungary in 1968[43] followed by Norway and Sweden in 1970, Germany and the US in 1972, but not in the United Kingdom until 1984. By 1991 total bans, including for disease control, were in place in at least 26 countries; for example Cuba in 1970, Singapore in 1984, Chile in 1985 and the Republic of Korea in 1986.[44]
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which took effect in 2004, outlawed several persistent organic pollutants, and restricted DDT use to vector control. The Convention was ratified by more than 170 countries. Recognizing that total elimination in many malaria-prone countries is currently unfeasible absent affordable/effective alternatives. The convention exempts public health use within World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines from the ban.[45] Resolution 60.18 of the World Health Assembly commits WHO to the Stockholm Convention's aim of reducing and ultimately eliminating DDT.[46] Malaria Foundation International states, "The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations. For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before."[47]
Despite the worldwide ban, agricultural use continued in India,[48] North Korea, and possibly elsewhere as of 2008.[22]
Today, about 3,000 to 4,000 tons of DDT are produced each year for disease vector control.[23] DDT is applied to the inside walls of homes to kill or repel mosquitoes. This intervention, called indoor residual spraying (IRS), greatly reduces environmental damage. It also reduces the incidence of DDT resistance.[49] For comparison, treating 40 hectares (99 acres) of cotton during a typical U.S. growing season requires the same amount of chemical as roughly 1,700 homes.[50]
DDT is a persistent organic pollutant that is readily adsorbed to soils and sediments, which can act both as sinks and as long-term sources of exposure affecting organisms.[7] Depending on conditions, its soil half life can range from 22 days to 30 years. Routes of loss and degradation include runoff, volatilization, photolysis and aerobic and anaerobicbiodegradation. Due to hydrophobic properties, in aquatic ecosystems DDT and its metabolites are absorbed by aquatic organisms and adsorbed on suspended particles, leaving little DDT dissolved in the water. Its breakdown products and metabolites, DDE and DDD, are also persistent and have similar chemical and physical properties.[1] DDT and its breakdown products are transported from warmer areas to the Arctic by the phenomenon of global distillation, where they then accumulate in the region's food web.[51]
Because of its lipophilic properties, DDT can bioaccumulate, especially in predatory birds.[52] DDT, DDE and DDD magnify through the food chain, with apex predators such as raptor birds concentrating more chemicals than other animals in the same environment. They are stored mainly in body fat. DDT and DDE are resistant to metabolism; in humans, their half-lives are 6 and up to 10 years, respectively. In the United States, these chemicals were detected in almost all human blood samples tested by the Centers for Disease Control in 2005, though their levels have sharply declined since most uses were banned.[53] Estimated dietary intake has declined,[53] although FDA food tests commonly detect it.[54]
Marine macroalgae (seaweed) help reduce soil toxicity by up to 80% within six weeks.[55]
Effects on wildlife and eggshell thinningEditDDT is toxic to a wide range of living organisms, including marine animals such as crayfish, daphnids, sea shrimp and many species of fish. DDE caused eggshell thinning and population declines in multiple North American and European bird of prey species.[56] Eggshell thinning lowers the reproductive success rate of certain bird species by causing egg breakage and embryo deaths. DDE-related eggshell thinning is considered a major reason for the decline of the bald eagle,[14]brown pelican,[57]peregrine falcon and osprey.[1] However, birds vary in their sensitivity to these chemicals.[7]Birds of prey, waterfowl and song birds are more susceptible than chickens and related species. DDE appears to be more potent than DDT.[1] Even in 2010, California condors that feed on sea lions at Big Sur that in turn feed in the Palos Verdes Shelf area of the Montrose ChemicalSuperfund site exhibited continued thin-shell problems. Scientists with the Ventana Wildlife Society and others study and remediate the condors' problems.[58]
The biological thinning mechanism is not entirely understood, but strong evidence indictates that p,p'-DDE inhibits calcium ATPase in the membrane of the shell gland and reduces the transport of calcium carbonate from blood into the eggshell gland. This results in a dose-dependent thickness reduction.[1][59][60][61] Other evidence indicates that o,p'-DDT disrupts female reproductive tract development, later impairing eggshell quality.[62] Multiple mechanisms may be at work, or different mechanisms may operate in different species.[1] Some studies show that although DDE levels have fallen dramatically, eggshell thickness remains 10''12 percent thinner than before DDT was first used.[63]
DDT is an endocrine disruptor.[64][65] It is considered likely to be a human carcinogen although the majority of studies suggest it is not directly genotoxic.[66][67][68]DDE acts as a weak androgen receptorantagonist, but not as an estrogen.[69] p,p'-DDT, DDT's main component, has little or no androgenic or estrogenic activity.[70] The minor component o,p'-DDT has weak estrogenic activity.
Acute toxicityEditDDT is classified as "moderately toxic" by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP)[71] and "moderately hazardous" by WHO, based on the rat oral LD50 of 113 mg/kg.[72] DDT has on rare occasions been administered orally as a treatment for barbiturate poisoning.[73]
Chronic toxicityEditDDT and DDE, like other organochlorines, have been shown to have xenoestrogenic activity, meaning they are chemically similar enough to estrogens to trigger hormonal responses in animals. This endocrine disrupting activity has been observed in mice and rat toxicological studies. Epidemiological evidence indicates that these effects may be occurring in humans as a result of DDT exposure. EPA states that DDT exposure damages the reproductive system and reduces reproductive success. These effects may cause developmental and reproductive toxicity:
A review article in The Lancet states, "research has shown that exposure to DDT at amounts that would be needed in malaria control might cause preterm birth and early weaning ... toxicological evidence shows endocrine-disrupting properties; human data also indicate possible disruption in semen quality, menstruation, gestational length, and duration of lactation."[38]Other studies document decreases in semen quality among men with high exposures (generally from IRS).[74]Studies generally find that high blood DDT or DDE levels do not increase time to pregnancy (TTP.)[medical citation needed] Some evidence indicates that the daughters of highly exposed women may have more increased TTP.[medical citation needed]DDT is associated with early pregnancy loss, a type of miscarriage.[75] A prospective cohort study of Chinese textile workers found "a positive, monotonic, exposure-response association between preconception serum total DDT and the risk of subsequent early pregnancy losses."[medical citation needed] The median serum DDE level of study group was lower than that typically observed in women living in homes sprayed with DDT.[medical citation needed]A Japanese study of congenital hypothyroidism concluded that in utero DDT exposure may affect thyroidhormone levels and "play an important role in the incidence and/or causation of cretinism."[medical citation needed] Other studies found that DDT or DDE interfere with proper thyroid function in pregnancy and childhood.[76][77]Exposure to DDT can cause shorter menstrual cycles.[75]CarcinogenicityEditIn 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, "Overall, in spite of some positive associations for some cancers within certain subgroups of people, there is no clear evidence that exposure to DDT/DDE causes cancer in humans."[1] The NTP classifies it as "reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen," the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as "probably carcinogenic to humans",[78] and the EPA classifies DDT, DDE and DDD as class B2 "probable" carcinogens. These evaluations are based mainly on animal studies.[1][38]
A 2005 Lancet review stated that occupational DDT exposure was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk in 2 case control studies, but another study showed no DDE dose-effect association. Results regarding a possible association with liver cancer and biliary tract cancer are conflicting: workers who did not have direct occupational DDT contact showed increased risk. White men had an increased risk, but not white women or black men. Results about an association with multiple myeloma, prostate and testicular cancer, endometrial cancer and colorectal cancer have been inconclusive or generally do not support an association.[38]
A 2009 review, whose co-authors included persons engaged in DDT-related litigation, reached broadly similar conclusions, with an equivocal association with testicular cancer. Case''control studies did not support an association with leukemia or lymphoma.[53]
Breast cancerEditThe question of whether DDT or DDE are risk factors in breast cancer has not been conclusively answered. Several meta analyses of observational studies have concluded that there is no overall relationship between DDT exposure and breast cancer risk.[79][80] The United States Institute of Medicine reviewed data on the association of breast cancer with DDT exposure in 2012 and concluded that a causative relationship could neither be proven nor disproven.[81]
A 2007 case control study using archived blood samples found that breast cancer risk was increased 5-fold among women who were born prior to 1931 and who had high serum DDT levels in 1963. Reasoning that DDT use became widespread in 1945 and peaked around 1950, they concluded that the ages of 14-20 were a critical period in which DDT exposure leads to increased risk. This study, which suggests a connection between DDT exposure and breast cancer that would not be picked up by most studies, has received variable commentary in third party reviews. One review suggested that "previous studies that measured exposure in older women may have missed the critical period."[53][82] A second review suggested a cautious approach to the interpretation of these results given methodological weaknesses in the study design.[83] The National Toxicology Program notes that while the majority of studies have not found a relationship between DDT exposure and breast cancer that positive associations have been seen in a "few studies among women with higher levels of exposure and among certain subgroups of women"[84]
A 2015 case control study identified a link (odds ratio 3.4) between in-utero exposure (as estimated from archived maternal blood samples) and breast cancer diagnosis in daughters. The findings "support classification of DDT as an endocrine disruptor, a predictor of breast cancer, and a marker of high risk".[85]
Malaria remains the primary public health challenge in many countries. 2008 WHO estimates were 243 million cases and 863,000 deaths. About 89% of these deaths occur in Africa, mostly to children under age 5.[86] DDT is one of many tools to fight the disease. Its use in this context has been called everything from a "miracle weapon [that is] like Kryptonite to the mosquitoes,"[87] to "toxic colonialism".[88]
Before DDT, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds by drainage or poisoning with Paris green or pyrethrum was sometimes successful. In parts of the world with rising living standards, the elimination of malaria was often a collateral benefit of the introduction of window screens and improved sanitation.[34] A variety of usually simultaneous interventions represents best practice. These include antimalarial drugs to prevent or treat infection; improvements in public health infrastructure to diagnose, sequester and treat infected individuals; bednets and other methods intended to keep mosquitoes from biting humans; and vector control strategies[86] such as larvaciding with insecticides, ecological controls such as draining mosquito breeding grounds or introducing fish to eat larvae and indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides, possibly including DDT. IRS involves the treatment of interior walls and ceilings with insecticides. It is particularly effective against mosquitoes, since many species rest on an indoor wall before or after feeding. DDT is one of 12 WHO''approved IRS insecticides.
WHO's anti-malaria campaign of the 1950s and 1960s relied heavily on DDT and the results were promising, though temporary in developing countries. Experts tie malarial resurgence to multiple factors, including poor leadership, management and funding of malaria control programs; poverty; civil unrest; and increased irrigation. The evolution of resistance to first-generation drugs (e.g. chloroquine) and to insecticides exacerbated the situation.[22][89] Resistance was largely fueled by unrestricted agricultural use. Resistance and the harm both to humans and the environment led many governments to curtail DDT use in vector control and agriculture.[36] In 2006 WHO reversed a longstanding policy against DDT by recommending that it be used as an indoor pesticide in regions where malaria is a major problem.[90]
Once the mainstay of anti-malaria campaigns, as of 2008 only 12 countries used DDT, including India and some southern African states,[86] though the number was expected to rise.[22]
Initial effectivenessEditWhen it was introduced in World War II, DDT was effective in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality.[30] 's anti-malaria campaign, which consisted mostly of spraying DDT and rapid treatment and diagnosis to break the transmission cycle, was initially successful as well. For example, in Sri Lanka, the program reduced cases from about one million per year before spraying to just 18 in 1963[91][92] and 29 in 1964. Thereafter the program was halted to save money and malaria rebounded to 600,000 cases in 1968 and the first quarter of 1969. The country resumed DDT vector control but the mosquitoes had evolved resistance in the interim, presumably because of continued agricultural use. The program switched to malathion, but despite initial successes, malaria continued its resurgence into the 1980s.[35][93]
DDT remains on WHO's list of insecticides recommended for IRS. After the appointment of Arata Kochi as head of its anti-malaria division, WHO's policy shifted from recommending IRS only in areas of seasonal or episodic transmission of malaria, to advocating it in areas of continuous, intense transmission.[94] WHO reaffirmed its commitment to phasing out DDT, aiming "to achieve a 30% cut in the application of DDT world-wide by 2014 and its total phase-out by the early 2020s if not sooner" while simultaneously combating malaria. WHO plans to implement alternatives to DDT to achieve this goal.[95]
South Africa continues to use DDT under WHO guidelines. In 1996, the country switched to alternative insecticides and malaria incidence increased dramatically. Returning to DDT and introducing new drugs brought malaria back under control.[96] Malaria cases increased in South America after countries in that continent stopped using DDT. Research data showed a strong negative relationship between DDT residual house sprayings and malaria. In a research from 1993 to 1995, Ecuador increased its use of DDT and achieved a 61% reduction in malaria rates, while each of the other countries that gradually decreased its DDT use had large increases.[50][97][98]
Mosquito resistanceEditIn some areas resistance reduced DDT's effectiveness. WHO guidelines require that absence of resistance must be confirmed before using the chemical.[99] Resistance is largely due to agricultural use, in much greater quantities than required for disease prevention.
Resistance was noted early in spray campaigns. Paul Russell, former head of the Allied Anti-Malaria campaign, observed in 1956 that "resistance has appeared after six or seven years."[34] Resistance has been detected in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey and Central America and it has largely been replaced by organophosphate or carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion or bendiocarb.[100]
In many parts of India, DDT is ineffective.[101] Agricultural uses were banned in 1989 and its anti-malarial use has been declining. Urban use ended.[102] DDT is still manufactured and used.[103] One study concluded that "DDT is still a viable insecticide in indoor residual spraying owing to its effectivity in well supervised spray operation and high excito-repellency factor."[104]
Studies of malaria-vector mosquitoes in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa found susceptibility to 4% DDT (WHO's susceptibility standard), in 63% of the samples, compared to the average of 86.5% in the same species caught in the open. The authors concluded that "Finding DDT resistance in the vector An. arabiensis, close to the area where we previously reported pyrethroid-resistance in the vector An. funestus Giles, indicates an urgent need to develop a strategy of insecticide resistance management for the malaria control programmes of southern Africa."[105]
DDT can still be effective against resistant mosquitoes[106] and the avoidance of DDT-sprayed walls by mosquitoes is an additional benefit of the chemical.[104] For example, a 2007 study reported that resistant mosquitoes avoided treated huts. The researchers argued that DDT was the best pesticide for use in IRS (even though it did not afford the most protection from mosquitoes out of the three test chemicals) because the others pesticides worked primarily by killing or irritating mosquitoes '' encouraging the development of resistance.[106] Others argue that the avoidance behavior slows eradication.[107] Unlike other insecticides such as pyrethroids, DDT requires long exposure to accumulate a lethal dose; however its irritant property shortens contact periods. "For these reasons, when comparisons have been made, better malaria control has generally been achieved with pyrethroids than with DDT."[100] In India outdoor sleeping and night duties are common, implying that "the excito-repellent effect of DDT, often reported useful in other countries, actually promotes outdoor transmission."[108] Genomic studies in the model genetic organism Drosophila melanogaster revealed that high level DDT resistance is polygenic, involving multiple resistance mechanisms.[109]
Residents' concernsEditIRS is effective if at least 80% of homes and barns in a residential area are sprayed.[99] Lower coverage rates can jeopardize program effectiveness. Many residents resist DDT spraying, objecting to the lingering smell, stains on walls, and the potential exacerbation of problems with other insect pests.[100][107][110]Pyrethroid insecticides (e.g. deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) can overcome some of these issues, increasing participation.[100]
Human exposureEditA 1994 study found that South Africans living in sprayed homes have levels that are several orders of magnitude greater than others.[53]Breast milk from South African mothers contains high levels of DDT and DDE.[53] It is unclear to what extent these levels arise from home spraying vs food residues. Evidence indicates that these levels are associated with infant neurological abnormalities.[100]
Most studies of DDT's human health effects have been conducted in developed countries where DDT is not used and exposure is relatively low.[38][53][111]
Illegal diversion to agriculture is also a concern as it is difficult to prevent and its subsequent use on crops is uncontrolled. For example, DDT use is widespread in Indian agriculture,[112] particularly mango production[113] and is reportedly used by librarians to protect books.[114] Other examples include Ethiopia, where DDT intended for malaria control is reportedly used in coffee production,[115] and Ghana where it is used for fishing."[116][117] The residues in crops at levels unacceptable for export have been an important factor in bans in several tropical countries.[100] Adding to this problem is a lack of skilled personnel and management.[107]
Criticism of restrictions on DDT useEditCritics argue that limitations on DDT use for public health purposes have caused unnecessary morbidity and mortality from vector-borne diseases, with some claims of malaria deaths ranging as high as the hundreds of thousands[118] and millions.[119] Robert Gwadz of the US National Institutes of Health said in 2007, "The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children."[120] These arguments were rejected as "outrageous" by former WHO scientist Socrates Litsios. May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist, says, "to blame environmentalists who oppose DDT for more deaths than Hitler is worse than irresponsible."[87] Investigative journalist Adam Sarvana and others characterize this notion as a "myth" promoted principally by Roger Bate of the pro-DDT advocacy group Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM).[121][122]
Criticisms of a DDT "ban" often specifically reference the 1972 United States ban (with the erroneous implication that this constituted a worldwide ban and prohibited use of DDT in vector control). Reference is often made to Silent Spring, even though Carson never pushed for a DDT ban. John Quiggin and Tim Lambert wrote, "the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted."[123]
It has been alleged that donor governments and agencies refused to fund DDT spraying, or made aid contingent upon not using DDT. According to a report in the British Medical Journal, use of DDT in Mozambique "was stopped several decades ago, because 80% of the country's health budget came from donor funds, and donors refused to allow the use of DDT."[124] Roger Bate asserted, "many countries have been coming under pressure from international health and environment agencies to give up DDT or face losing aid grants: Belize and Bolivia are on record admitting they gave in to pressure on this issue from [USAID]."[125]
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the focus of much criticism. While the agency now funds DDT use in some African countries,[126] in the past it did not. When John Stossel accused USAID of not funding DDT because it wasn't "politically correct," Anne Peterson, the agency's assistant administrator for global health, replied that "I believe that the strategies we are using are as effective as spraying with DDT ... So, politically correct or not, I am very confident that what we are doing is the right strategy."[127] USAID's Kent R. Hill stated that the agency had been misrepresented: "USAID strongly supports spraying as a preventative measure for malaria and will support the use of DDT when it is scientifically sound and warranted."[128] The Agency's website states that "USAID has never had a 'policy' as such either 'for' or 'against' DDT for IRS (Indoor residual spraying). The real change in the past two years [2006/07] was a new interest and emphasis on IRS in general '' with DDT or any other insecticide '' as an effective malaria prevention strategy in tropical Africa."[126] The agency claimed that in many cases alternative malaria control measures were more cost-effective than DDT spraying.[129]
AlternativesEditInsecticidesEditOrganophosphate and carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion and bendiocarb, respectively, are more expensive than DDT per kilogram and are applied at roughly the same dosage. Pyrethroids such as deltamethrin are also more expensive than DDT, but are applied more sparingly (0.02''0.3 g/m2 vs 1''2 g/m2), so the net cost per house is about the same.[37]
Non-chemical vector controlEditBefore DDT, malaria was successfully eliminated or curtailed in several tropical areas by removing or poisoning mosquito breeding grounds and larva habitats, for example by eliminating standing water. These methods have seen little application in Africa for more than half a century.[130] According to CDC, such methods are not practical in Africa because "Anopheles gambiae, one of the primary vectors of malaria in Africa, breeds in numerous small pools of water that form due to rainfall ... It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when and where the breeding sites will form, and to find and treat them before the adults emerge."[131]
The relative effectiveness of IRS versus other malaria control techniques (e.g. bednets or prompt access to anti-malarial drugs) varies and is dependent on local conditions.[37]
A WHO study released in January 2008 found that mass distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and artemisinin''based drugs cut malaria deaths in half in malaria-burdened Rwanda and Ethiopia. IRS with DDT did not play an important role in mortality reduction in these countries.[132][133]
Vietnam has enjoyed declining malaria cases and a 97% mortality reduction after switching in 1991 from a poorly funded DDT-based campaign to a program based on prompt treatment, bednets and pyrethroid group insecticides.[134]
In Mexico, effective and affordable chemical and non-chemical strategies were so successful that the Mexican DDT manufacturing plant ceased production due to lack of demand.[135]
A review of fourteen studies in sub-Saharan Africa, covering insecticide-treated nets, residual spraying, chemoprophylaxis for children, chemoprophylaxis or intermittent treatment for pregnant women, a hypothetical vaccine and changing front''line drug treatment, found decision making limited by the lack of information on the costs and effects of many interventions, the small number of cost-effectiveness analyses, the lack of evidence on the costs and effects of packages of measures and the problems in generalizing or comparing studies that relate to specific settings and use different methodologies and outcome measures. The two cost-effectiveness estimates of DDT residual spraying examined were not found to provide an accurate estimate of the cost-effectiveness of DDT spraying; the resulting estimates may not be good predictors of cost-effectiveness in current programs.[136]
However, a study in Thailand found the cost per malaria case prevented of DDT spraying (US$1.87) to be 21% greater than the cost per case prevented of lambda-cyhalothrin''treated nets (US$1.54),[137] casting some doubt on the assumption that DDT was the most cost-effective measure. The director of Mexico's malaria control program found similar results, declaring that it was 25% cheaper for Mexico to spray a house with synthetic pyrethroids than with DDT.[135] However, another study in South Africa found generally lower costs for DDT spraying than for impregnated nets.[138]
A more comprehensive approach to measuring cost-effectiveness or efficacy of malarial control would not only measure the cost in dollars, as well as the number of people saved, but would also consider ecological damage and negative human health impacts. One preliminary study found that it is likely that the detriment to human health approaches or exceeds the beneficial reductions in malarial cases, except perhaps in epidemics. It is similar to the earlier study regarding estimated theoretical infant mortality caused by DDT and subject to the criticism also mentioned earlier.[139]
A study in the Solomon Islands found that "although impregnated bed nets cannot entirely replace DDT spraying without substantial increase in incidence, their use permits reduced DDT spraying."[140]
A comparison of four successful programs against malaria in Brazil, India, Eritrea and Vietnam does not endorse any single strategy but instead states, "Common success factors included conducive country conditions, a targeted technical approach using a package of effective tools, data-driven decision-making, active leadership at all levels of government, involvement of communities, decentralized implementation and control of finances, skilled technical and managerial capacity at national and sub-national levels, hands-on technical and programmatic support from partner agencies, and sufficient and flexible financing."[141]
DDT resistant mosquitoes have generally proved susceptible to pyrethroids. Thus far, pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles has not been a major problem.[100]
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ISBN 978-1-4299-5327-6. ^Malaria: A Disease Close to Eradication Grows, Aided by Political Tumult in Sri Lanka, Donald G. McNeil Jr, The New York Times, December 27, 2010.^Karunaweera ND, Galappaththy GN, Wirth DF (2014). "On the road to eliminate malaria in Sri Lanka: lessons from history, challenges, gaps in knowledge and research needs". Malaria Journal13: 59. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-59. PMC 3943480. PMID 24548783. ^WHO |WHO gives indoor use of DDT a clean bill of health for controlling malaria^"WHO - Countries move toward more sustainable ways to roll back malaria". ^Yamey G (May 2004). "Roll Back Malaria: a failing global health campaign". BMJ328 (7448): 1086''7. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7448.1086. PMC 406307. PMID 15130956. ^Griffing SM, Gamboa D, Udhayakumar V (2013). "The history of 20th century malaria control in Peru". Malaria Journal12: 303. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-303. PMC 3766208. PMID 24001096. ^Curtis CF (December 2002). "Should the use of DDT be revived for malaria vector control?". Biom(C)dica22 (4): 455''61. PMID 12596442. ^ abIndoor Residual Spraying: Use of Indoor Residual Spraying for Scaling Up Global Malaria Control and Elimination. World Health Organization, 2006.^ abcdefgC.F. Curtis, Control of Malaria Vectors in Africa and Asia^Sharma VP (September 1999). "Current scenario of malaria in India". Parassitologia41 (1-3): 349''53. PMID 10697882. ^Agarwal R (May 2001). "No Future in DDT: A case study of India". Pesticide Safety News. ^Fisher A, Walker M, Powell P. "DDT and DDE: Sources of Exposure and How to Avoid Them"(PDF). Retrieved December 2, 2010. ^ abSharma SN, Shukla RP, Raghavendra K, Subbarao SK (June 2005). "Impact of DDT spraying on malaria transmission in Bareilly District, Uttar Pradesh, India". Journal of Vector Borne Diseases42 (2): 54''60. PMID 16161701. ^Hargreaves K, Hunt RH, Brooke BD, Mthembu J, Weeto MM, Awolola TS, Coetzee M (December 2003). "Anopheles arabiensis and An. quadriannulatus resistance to DDT in South Africa". Medical and Veterinary Entomology17 (4): 417''22. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2915.2003.00460.x. PMID 14651656. ^ abGrieco JP, Achee NL, Chareonviriyaphap T, Suwonkerd W, Chauhan K, Sardelis MR, Roberts DR (2007). Krishna S, ed. "A new classification system for the actions of IRS chemicals traditionally used for malaria control". PLOS ONE2 (8): e716. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000716. PMC 1934935. PMID 17684562. ^ abcMabaso ML, Sharp B, Lengeler C (August 2004). "Historical review of malarial control in southern African with emphasis on the use of indoor residual house-spraying". Tropical Medicine & International Health9 (8): 846''56. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01263.x. PMID 15303988. ^Sharma VP (December 2003). "DDT: The fallen angel"(PDF). Current Science85 (11): 1532''7. ^Pedra JH, McIntyre LM, Scharf ME, Pittendrigh BR (May 2004). "Genome-wide transcription profile of field- and laboratory-selected dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)-resistant Drosophila". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America101 (18): 7034''9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0400580101. PMC 406461. PMID 15118106. ^In Malaria War, South Africa Turns To Pesticide Long Banned in the West, Roger Thurow, Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2001^Science Daily (May 9, 2009). "Unprecedented Use Of DDT Concerns Experts". ScienceDaily.com. Retrieved May 30, 2009. ^Jayashree J (10 June 2009). "Pesticide level in veggies, fruits rises". Economic Times. Retrieved June 10, 2009. ^Sanjana (June 13, 2009). "A Whole Fruit". Tehelka Magazine6 (23). ^Chakravartty A (8 June 2009). "State public libraries gasp for breath". Indian Express. Retrieved June 8, 2009. ^Katima J (June 2009). "African NGOs outline commitment to malaria control without DDT"(PDF). Pesticides News (84): 5. ^Ghana News Agency (November 17, 2009). "Ministry moves to check unorthodox fishing methods". Ghana News Agency. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2009. ^Appiah S (27 April 2010). "Northern fisherfolks complain of committee's harassment". Joy Online. Retrieved April 27, 2010. ^Kristof ND (March 12, 2005). "I Have a Nightmare". New York Times. Section A, Page 15 , Column 1. ^Souder, William (September 4, 2012). "Rachel Carson Didn't Kill Millions of Africans". Slate. Retrieved September 5, 2012. ^Finkel, Michael (July 2007). "Malaria". National Geographic. ^Sarvana A (May 28, 2009). "Bate and Switch: How a free-market magician manipulated two decades of environmental science". Natural Resources New Service. Retrieved June 2, 2009. ^Gutstein D (2009). Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda is Hijacking Democracy. ISBN 978-1-55470-191-9. . Relevant excerpt at Gutstein D (January 22, 2010). "Inside the DDT Propaganda Machine". The Tyee. Retrieved January 22, 2010. ^Quiggin J, Lambert T (May 2008). "Rehabilitating Carson". Prospect. ^Sidley P (March 2000). "Malaria epidemic expected in Mozambique". BMJ320 (7236): 669. doi:10.1136/bmj.320.7236.669. PMC 1117705. PMID 10710569. ^Bate R (May 14, 2001). "A Case of the DDTs: The war against the war against malaria". National ReviewLIII (9). Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. ^ ab"USAID Health: Infectious Diseases, Malaria, Technical Areas, Prevention and Control, Indoor Residual Spraying". USAID. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2008. ^Stossel J (November 16, 2007). "Excerpt: 'Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity'". ABC News. Retrieved October 14, 2008. ^Hill, Kent R. (2005). "USAID isn't against using DDT in worldwide malaria battle". Archived from the original on March 31, 2006. Retrieved April 3, 2006. ^"USAID Health: Infectious Diseases, Malaria, News, Africa Malaria Day, USAID Support for Malaria Control in Countries Using DDT". 2005. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2006. ^Killeen GF, Fillinger U, Kiche I, Gouagna LC, Knols BG (October 2002). "Eradication of Anopheles gambiae from Brazil: lessons for malaria control in Africa?". The Lancet. Infectious Diseases2 (10): 618''27. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(02)00397-3. PMID 12383612. ^"CDC '-- Malaria '-- Malaria Worldwide '-- How Can Malaria Cases and Deaths Be Reduced? '-- Larval Control and Other Vector Control Interventions". ^Impact of long-lasting insecticidal-treated nets (LLINs) and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) measured using surveillance data in four African countries. World Health Organization, January 31, 2008.^Malaria deaths halved in Rwanda and Ethiopia Better drugs, mosquito nets are the crucial tools, David Brown (Washington Post), SF Chronicle, A-February 12, 1, 2008.^World Health Organization, "A story to be shared: The successful fight against malaria in Vietnam," November 6, 2000.Archived February 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.^ ab"DDT & Malaria"(PDF). Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2009. ^Goodman CA, Mills AJ (December 1999). "The evidence base on the cost-effectiveness of malaria control measures in Africa"(PDF). Health Policy and Planning14 (4): 301''12. doi:10.1093/heapol/14.4.301. PMID 10787646. ^Kamolratanakul P, Butraporn P, Prasittisuk M, Prasittisuk C, Indaratna K (October 2001). "Cost-effectiveness and sustainability of lambdacyhalothrin-treated mosquito nets in comparison to DDT spraying for malaria control in western Thailand". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene65 (4): 279''84. PMID 11693869. ^Goodman CA, Mnzava AE, Dlamini SS, Sharp BL, Mthembu DJ, Gumede JK (April 2001). "Comparison of the cost and cost-effectiveness of insecticide-treated bednets and residual house-spraying in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa". Tropical Medicine & International Health6 (4): 280''95. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3156.2001.00700.x. PMID 11348519. ^Corin SE, Weaver SA (2005). "A risk analysis model with an ecological perspective on DDT and malaria control in South Africa"(PDF). Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health4 (4): 21''32. ^Over M, Bakote'e B, Velayudhan R, Wilikai P, Graves PM (August 2004). "Impregnated nets or DDT residual spraying? Field effectiveness of malaria prevention techniques in solomon islands, 1993''1999". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene71 (2 Suppl): 214''23. PMID 15331840. ^Barat LM (January 2006). "Four malaria success stories: how malaria burden was successfully reduced in Brazil, Eritrea, India, and Vietnam". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene74 (1): 12''6. PMID 16407339. David Kinkela. DDT and the American Century: Global Health, Environmental Politics, and the Pesticide That Changed the World (University of North Carolina Press, 2011).ChemistryToxicityPolitics and DDTMalaria and DDT
Silent Spring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mon, 09 May 2016 10:44
Silent Spring is a 1962 environmental science book by Rachel Carson.[1] The book documented the detrimental effects on the environment'--particularly on birds'--of the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims unquestioningly.
In the late 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to the American public. Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, but it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses,[2] and inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.[3][4]
In 1996, a follow-up book, Beyond Silent Spring, co-written by H.F. van Emden and David Peakall, was published.[5][6] In 2006, Silent Spring was named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time by the editors of Discover Magazine.[7]
Contents
In the mid-1940s, Carson became concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides, many of which had been developed through the military funding of science after World War II. The United States Department of Agriculture's 1957 fire ant eradication program, which involved aerial spraying of DDT and other pesticides mixed with fuel oil and included the spraying of private land, prompted Carson to devote her research, and her next book, to pesticides and environmental poisons.[8][9] Landowners in Long Island filed a suit to have the spraying stopped, and many in affected regions followed the case closely.[3] Though the suit was lost, the Supreme Court granted petitioners the right to gain injunctions against potential environmental damage in the future, laying the basis for later environmental actions.[3][10][11]
The impetus for Silent Spring was a letter written in January 1958 by Carson's friend, Olga Owens Huckins, to The Boston Herald, describing the death of birds around her property resulting from the aerial spraying of DDT to kill mosquitoes, a copy of which Huckins sent to Carson.[12][13][13] Carson later wrote that this letter prompted her to study the environmental problems caused by chemical pesticides.[14][15]
The Washington, D.C. chapter of the Audubon Society actively opposed chemical spraying programs and recruited Carson to help publicize the U.S. government's spraying practices and related research.[16] Carson began the four-year project of Silent Spring by gathering examples of environmental damage attributed to DDT. She tried to enlist essayist E. B. White and a number of journalists and scientists to her cause. By 1958, Carson had arranged a book deal, with plans to co-write with Newsweek science journalist Edwin Diamond. However, when The New Yorker commissioned a long and well-paid article on the topic from Carson, she began considering writing more than the introduction and conclusion as planned; soon it became a solo project. Diamond would later write one of the harshest critiques of Silent Spring.[17]
As her research progressed, Carson found a sizable community of scientists who were documenting the physiological and environmental effects of pesticides.[3] She took advantage of her personal connections with many government scientists, who supplied her with confidential information on the subject. From reading the scientific literature and interviewing scientists, Carson found two scientific camps; those who dismissed the possible danger of pesticide spraying barring conclusive proof and those who were open to the possibility of harm and were willing to consider alternative methods, such as biological pest control.[18]
By 1959, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service responded to the criticism by Carson and others with a public service film, Fire Ants on Trial; Carson called it "flagrant propaganda" that ignored the dangers that spraying pesticides posed to humans and wildlife. That spring, Carson wrote a letter, published in The Washington Post, that attributed the recent decline in bird populations'--in her words, the "silencing of birds"'--to pesticide overuse.[19] The same year, the 1957, 1958, and 1959 crops of U.S. cranberries were found to contain high levels of the herbicide aminotriazole and the sale of all cranberry products was halted. Carson attended the ensuing FDA hearings on revising pesticide regulations; she was discouraged by the aggressive tactics of the chemical industry representatives, which included expert testimony that was firmly contradicted by the bulk of the scientific literature she had been studying. She also wondered about the possible "financial inducements behind certain pesticide programs".[20]
Research at the Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health brought Carson into contact with medical researchers investigating the gamut of cancer-causing chemicals. Of particular significance was the work of National Cancer Institute researcher and founding director of the environmental cancer section Wilhelm Hueper, who classified many pesticides as carcinogens. Carson and her research assistant Jeanne Davis, with the help of NIH librarian Dorothy Algire, found evidence to support the pesticide-cancer connection; to Carson the evidence for the toxicity of a wide array of synthetic pesticides was clear-cut, though such conclusions were very controversial beyond the small community of scientists studying pesticide carcinogenesis.[21]
By 1960, Carson had sufficient research material and the writing was progressing rapidly. She had investigated hundreds of individual incidents of pesticide exposure and the resulting human sickness and ecological damage. In January 1960, she suffered an illness which kept her bedridden for weeks, delaying the book. As she was nearing full recovery in March, she discovered cysts in her left breast, requiring a mastectomy. By December that year, Carson discovered that she had breast cancer, which had metastasized.[22] Her research was also delayed by revision work for a new edition of The Sea Around Us, and by a collaborative photo essay with Erich Hartmann.[23] Most of the research and writing was done by the fall of 1960, except for a discussion of recent research on biological controls and investigations of some new pesticides. However, further health troubles delayed the final revisions in 1961 and early 1962.[24]
Its title was inspired by a poem by John Keats, "La Belle Dame sans Merci", which contained the lines "The sedge is wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing."[25] "Silent Spring" was initially suggested as a title for the chapter on birds. By August 1961, Carson agreed to the suggestion of her literary agent Marie Rodell: Silent Spring would be a metaphorical title for the entire book'--suggesting a bleak future for the whole natural world'--rather than a literal chapter title about the absence of birdsong.[26] With Carson's approval, editor Paul Brooks at Houghton Mifflin arranged for illustrations by Louis and Lois Darling, who also designed the cover. The final writing was the first chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow", which was intended to provide a gentle introduction to a serious topic. By mid-1962, Brooks and Carson had largely finished the editing and were planning to promote the book by sending the manuscript to select individuals for final suggestions.[27] In Silent Spring, Carson relied on evidence from two New York state organic farmers, Marjorie Spock and Mary Richards, and that of biodynamic farming advocate Ehrenfried Pfeiffer in developing her case against DDT.[3]
The overriding theme of Silent Spring is the powerful'--and often negative'--effect humans have on the natural world.[28] Carson's main argument is that pesticides have detrimental effects on the environment; she says these are more properly termed "biocides" because their effects are rarely limited to the target pests. DDT is a prime example, but other synthetic pesticides'--many of which are subject to bioaccumulation'--are scrutinized. Carson accuses the chemical industry of intentionally spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. Most of the book is devoted to pesticides' effects on natural ecosystems, but four chapters detail cases of human pesticide poisoning, cancer, and other illnesses attributed to pesticides.[29] About DDT and cancer, Carson says only:
In laboratory tests on animal subjects, DDT has produced suspicious liver tumors. Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to classify them, but felt there was some "justification for considering them low grade hepatic cell carcinomas." Dr. Hueper [author of Occupational Tumors and Allied Diseases] now gives DDT the definite rating of a "chemical carcinogen."[30]
Carson predicts increased consequences in the future, especially since targeted pests may develop resistance to pesticides and weakened ecosystems fall prey to unanticipated invasive species. The book closes with a call for a biotic approach to pest control as an alternative to chemical pesticides.[31]
Carson never called for an outright ban on DDT. She said in Silent Spring that even if DDT and other insecticides had no environmental side effects, their indiscriminate overuse was counterproductive because it would create insect resistance to pesticides, making them useless in eliminating the target insect populations:
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. Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting.[32]
Carson also said that "Malaria programmes are threatened by resistance among mosquitoes",[33] and quoted the advice given by the director of Holland's Plant Protection Service: "Practical advice should be 'Spray as little as you possibly can' rather than 'Spray to the limit of your capacity' ... Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible."[34]
Promotion and receptionEditCarson and the others involved with publication of Silent Spring expected fierce criticism and were concerned about the possibility of being sued for libel. Carson was undergoing radiation therapy for her cancer and expected to have little energy to defend her work and respond to critics. In preparation for the anticipated attacks, Carson and her agent attempted to amass prominent supporters before the book's release.[35]
Most of the book's scientific chapters were reviewed by scientists with relevant expertise, among whom Carson found strong support. Carson attended the White House Conference on Conservation in May 1962; Houghton Mifflin distributed proof copies of Silent Spring to many of the delegates and promoted the upcoming serialization in The New Yorker. Carson also sent a proof copy to Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas, a long-time environmental advocate who had argued against the court's rejection of the Long Island pesticide spraying case and had provided Carson with some of the material included in her chapter on herbicides.[36]
Though Silent Spring had generated a fairly high level of interest based on pre-publication promotion, this became more intense with its serialization, which began in the June 16, 1962, issue. This brought the book to the attention of the chemical industry and its lobbyists, as well as the American public. Around that time, Carson learned that Silent Spring had been selected as the Book-of-the-Month for October; she said this would "carry it to farms and hamlets all over that country that don't know what a bookstore looks like'--much less The New Yorker."[37] Other publicity included a positive editorial in The New York Times and excerpts of the serialized version were published in Audubon Magazine. There was another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded. The story of the birth defect-causing drug thalidomide had broken just before the book's publication, inviting comparisons between Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Food and Drug Administration reviewer who had blocked the drug's sale in the United States.[38]
In the weeks before the September 27, 1962, publication, there was strong opposition to Silent Spring from the chemical industry. DuPont, a major manufacturer of DDT and 2,4-D, and Velsicol Chemical Company, the only manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlor, were among the first to respond. DuPont compiled an extensive report on the book's press coverage and estimated impact on public opinion. Velsicol threatened legal action against Houghton Mifflin, and The New Yorker and Audubon Magazine unless their planned Silent Spring features were canceled. Chemical industry representatives and lobbyists lodged a range of non-specific complaints, some anonymously. Chemical companies and associated organizations produced brochures and articles promoting and defending pesticide use. However, Carson's and the publishers' lawyers were confident in the vetting process Silent Spring had undergone. The magazine and book publications proceeded as planned, as did the large Book-of-the-Month printing, which included a pamphlet by William O. Douglas endorsing the book.[40]
American Cyanamid biochemist Robert White-Stevens and former Cyanamid chemist Thomas Jukes were among the most aggressive critics, especially of Carson's analysis of DDT.[41] According to White-Stevens, "If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth".[1] Others attacked Carson's personal character and scientific credentials, her training being in marine biology rather than biochemistry. White-Stevens called her "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature",[42] while former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson in a letter to former President Dwight D. Eisenhower reportedly said that because she was unmarried despite being physically attractive, she was "probably a Communist".[43]
Many critics repeatedly said Carson was calling for the elimination of all pesticides, but she had made it clear she was not advocating this but was instead encouraging responsible and carefully managed use with an awareness of the chemicals' impact on ecosystems.[44] She concludes her section on DDT in Silent Spring with advice for spraying as little as possible to limit the development of resistance.[45]Mark Hamilton Lytle writes, Carson "quite self-consciously decided to write a book calling into question the paradigm of scientific progress that defined postwar American culture".[28]
The academic community'--including prominent defenders such as H. J. Muller, Loren Eiseley, Clarence Cottam and Frank Egler'--mostly backed the book's scientific claims and public opinion backed Carson's text. The chemical industry campaign was counterproductive because the controversy increased public awareness of the potential dangers of pesticides. Pesticide use became a major public issue after a CBS Reports television special, "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson", which was broadcast on April 3, 1963. The program included segments of Carson reading from Silent Spring and interviews with other experts, mostly critics including White-Stevens. According to biographer Linda Lear, "in juxtaposition to the wild-eyed, loud-voiced Dr. Robert White-Stevens in white lab coat, Carson appeared anything but the hysterical alarmist that her critics contended".[46] Reactions from the estimated audience of ten to fifteen million were overwhelmingly positive and the program spurred a congressional review of pesticide hazards and the public release of a pesticide report by the President's Science Advisory Committee.[47] Within a year of publication, attacks on the book and on Carson had lost momentum.[48][49]
In one of her last public appearances, Carson testified before President John F. Kennedy's Science Advisory Committee, which issued its report on May 15, 1963, largely backing Carson's scientific claims.[50] Following the report's release, Carson also testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee to make policy recommendations. Though Carson received hundreds of other speaking invitations, she was unable to accept most of them because her health was steadily declining, with only brief periods of remission. She spoke as much as she could, and appeared on The Today Show and gave speeches at several dinners held in her honor. In late 1963, she received a flurry of awards and honors: the Audubon Medal from the National Audubon Society, the Cullum Geographical Medal from the American Geographical Society, and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[51]
Other countries and languagesEditThe book has been translated into German (under the title: Der stumme Fr¼hling), with the first German edition appearing in 1963, followed by a number of later editions.[52]
It was translated into French (as Le printemps silencieux), with the first French edition also appearing in 1963.[53]
In 1965 Silent Spring had been published in Russian (under the title БезмоÐ>>вная весна).[54]
The book's Italian title is Primavera silenziosa.;[55] and the Spanish title is Primavera silenciosa.[56]
Grassroots environmentalism and the EPAEditCarson's work had a powerful impact on the environmental movement. Silent Spring became a rallying point for the new social movement in the 1960s. According to environmental engineer and Carson scholar H. Patricia Hynes, "Silent Spring altered the balance of power in the world. No one since would be able to sell pollution as the necessary underside of progress so easily or uncritically."[57] Carson's work and the activism it inspired are partly responsible for the deep ecology movement and the strength of the grassroots environmental movement since the 1960s. It was also influential on the rise of ecofeminism and on many feminist scientists.[58] Carson's most direct legacy in the environmental movement was the campaign to ban the use of DDT in the United States, and related efforts to ban or limit its use throughout the world. The 1967 formation of the Environmental Defense Fund was the first major milestone in the campaign against DDT. The organization brought lawsuits against the government to "establish a citizen's right to a clean environment", and the arguments against DDT largely mirrored Carson's. By 1972, the Environmental Defense Fund and other activist groups had succeeded in securing a phase-out of DDT use in the United States, except in emergency cases.[59]
The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency by the Nixon Administration in 1970 addressed another concern that Carson had written about. Until then, the USDA was responsible both for regulating pesticides and promoting the concerns of the agriculture industry; Carson saw this as a conflict of interest, since the agency was not responsible for effects on wildlife or other environmental concerns beyond farm policy. Fifteen years after its creation, one journalist described the EPA as "the extended shadow of Silent Spring". Much of the agency's early work, such as enforcement of the 1972 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, was directly related to Carson's work.[60] Contrary to the position of the pesticide industry, the DDT phase-out action taken by the EPA (led by William Ruckelhaus) implied that there was no way to adequately regulate DDT use. Ruckelhaus' conclusion was that DDT could not be used safely.[61] History professor Gary Kroll wrote, "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring played a large role in articulating ecology as a 'subversive subject''--as a perspective that cuts against the grain of materialism, scientism, and the technologically engineered control of nature."[62]
In the 1980s, the policies of the Reagan Administration emphasized economic growth and removed many of the environmental policies adopted in response to Carson's work.[63] however the ban on aid and funding for countries that used DDT remained in place as shown by the 1986 statement by Secretary of State George Schultz: ''The U.S. cannot, repeat cannot ... participate in any programs using any of the following: (1) lindane, (2) BHC, (3) DDT, or (4) dieldrin.''[64]
Former Vice President of the United States and environmentalist Al Gore wrote an introduction to the 1992 edition of Silent Spring. He wrote: "Silent Spring had a profound impact ... Indeed, Rachel Carson was one of the reasons that I became so conscious of the environment and so involved with environmental issues ... [she] has had as much or more effect on me than any, and perhaps than all of them together."[1]
Criticisms of environmentalism and DDT restrictionsEditCarson and the environmental movement were'--and continue to be'--criticized by some who argue that restrictions on the use of pesticides'--specifically DDT'--have caused tens of millions of needless deaths and hampered agriculture, and implicitly that Carson was responsible for inciting such restrictions.[65][66][67] These arguments have been dismissed as "outrageous" by former WHO scientist Socrates Litsios. May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist, says, "to blame environmentalists who oppose DDT for more deaths than Hitler is worse than irresponsible."[68] Investigative journalist Adam Sarvana and others characterize this notion as a "myth" promoted principally by Roger Bate of the pro-DDT advocacy group Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM).[69][70]
In the 2000s, criticism of the bans of DDT that her work prompted intensified.[71][72] In 2009, the libertarian think tankCompetitive Enterprise Institute set up a website saying, "Millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson."[72][73] A 2012 review article in Nature by Rob Dunn[74] commemorating the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring prompted a response in a letter written by Anthony Trewavas and co-signed by 10 others, including Christopher Leaver, Bruce Ames, Richard Tren and Peter Lachmann, who quote estimates of 60 to 80 million deaths "as a result of misguided fears based on poorly understood evidence".[75]
Biographer Hamilton Lytle believes these estimates are unrealistic, even if Carson can be "blamed" for worldwide DDT policies.[76]John Quiggin and Tim Lambert wrote, "the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted". DDT was never banned for anti-malarial use, and its ban for agricultural use in the United States in 1972 did not apply outside the U.S. nor to anti-malaria spraying.[77][78] The international treaty that banned most uses of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides'--the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants'--included an exemption for the use of DDT for malaria control until affordable substitutes could be found.[71] Mass outdoor spraying of DDT was abandoned in poor countries subject to malaria, such as Sri Lanka, in the 1970s and 1980s; this was not because of government prohibitions but because the DDT had lost its ability to kill the mosquitoes.[71] Because of insects' very short breeding cycle and large number of offspring, the most resistant insects survive and pass on their genetic traits to their offspring, which replace the pesticide-slain insects relatively rapidly. Agricultural spraying of pesticides produces pesticide resistance in seven to ten years.[79]
Some experts have said that restrictions placed on the agricultural use of DDT have increased its effectiveness for malaria control. According to pro-DDT advocate Amir Attaran, the result of the 2004 Stockholm Convention banning DDT's use in agriculture "is arguably better than the status quo ... For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before."[80]
LegacyEditSilent Spring has been featured in many lists of the best nonfiction books of the twentieth century. It was fifth in the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Nonfiction and number 78 in the National Review's 100 best non-fiction books of the 20th century.[81] In 2006, Silent Spring was named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time by the editors of Discover Magazine.[82]
In 1996, a follow-up book, Beyond Silent Spring, co-written by H.F. van Emden and David Peakall, was published.[83][84]
In 2011, the American composer Steven Stucky wrote the eponymously titled symphonic poemSilent Spring to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the book's publication. The piece was given its world premiere in Pittsburgh on February 17, 2012, with the conductorManfred Honeck leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.[85][86][87]
Naturalist Sir David Attenborough has stated that Silent Spring was probably the book that had changed the scientific world the most, after the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.[88]
^ abcMcLaughlin, Dorothy. "Fooling with Nature: Silent Spring Revisited". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved August 24, 2010. ^"DDT". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007. ^ abcdePaull, John (2013) "The Rachel Carson Letters and the Making of Silent Spring", Sage Open, 3(July):1-12.^Josie Glausiusz. (2007), Better Planet: Can A Maligned Pesticide Save Lives? Discover Magazine. Page 34.^Peakall, David B.; Van Emden, Helmut Fritz, ed. (1996). Beyond silent spring: integrated pest management and chemical safety. London: Chapman & Hall. ISBN 0-412-72810-9. ^Richards H (September 1999). "Beyond Silent Spring: Integrated Pest Management and Chemical Safety. Edited by H.F. van Emden and D.B. Peakall". Integrated Pest Management Reviews4 (3): 269''270. doi:10.1023/A:1009686508200. ^"25 Greatest Science Books of All Time". Discover Magazine. December 2006. ^Lear 1997, Ch. 14^Murphy 2005, Ch. 1^"Obituary of Marjorie Spock". Ellsworthmaine.com. January 30, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2009. ^Greene, Jennifer (February 2008). "Obituary for Marjorie Spock"(PDF). Newsletter of the Portland Branch of Anthroposophical Society in Portland, Oregon4.2: 7. Archived from the original(PDF) on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015. ^Matthiessen, Peter (2007). Courage for the Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson. Mariner Books. p. 135. ISBN 0-618-87276-0. ^ abHimaras, Eleni (May 26, 2007). "Rachel's Legacy '' Rachel Carson's groundbreaking 'Silent Spring'". The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA). ^Wishart, Adam (2007). One in Three: A Son's Journey Into the History and Science of Cancer. New York, NY: Grove Press. p. 82. ISBN 0-8021-1840-2. ^Hynes, H. Patricia (September 10, 1992). "PERSPECTIVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT Unfinished Business: 'Silent Spring' On the 30th anniversary of Rachel Carson's indictment of DDT, pesticides still threaten human life". Los Angeles Times. p. 7 (Metro Section). ^Lear 1997, pp. 312''7^Lear 1997, pp. 317''327^Lear 1997, pp. 327''336^Lear 1997, pp. 342''6^Lear 1997, pp. 358''361^Lear 1997, pp. 355''8^Lear 1997, pp. 360''8^Lear 1997, pp. 372''3^Lear 1997, pp. 376''7^Coates, Peter A. (October 2005). "The Strange Stillness of the Past: Toward an Environmental History of Sound and Noise". Environmental History10 (4). Retrieved November 4, 2007. ^Lear 1997, pp. 375, 377''8, 386''7, 389^Lear 1997, pp. 390''7^ abLytle 2007, pp. 166''7^Lytle 2007, pp. 166''172^Carson 1962, pp. 225^Lytle 2007, pp. 169, 173^Carson 1962, pp. 266^Carson 1962, pp. 267^Carson 1962, pp. 275^Lear 1997, pp. 397''400^Lear 1997, pp. 375, 377, 400''7. Douglas's dissenting opinion on the rejection of the case, Robert Cushman Murphy et al., v. Butler et al., from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, is from March 28, 1960.^Lear 1997, pp. 407''8. Quotation (p. 408) from a June 13, 1962 letter from Carson to Dorothy Freeman.^Lear 1997, pp. 409''413^Lear 1997, pp. 416, 419^Lear 1997, pp. 412''420^Lear 1997, pp. 433''4^Quoted in Lear 1997, p. 434^Lear 1997, pp. 429''430 Benson's supposed comments were widely repeated at the time, but have not been directly confirmed.^Murphy 2005, pp. 9^Carson, Silent Spring, 275^Lear 1997, pp. 437''449; quotation from 449.^Lear 1997, pp. 449''450^The Time 100: Scientists and Thinkers, accessed September 23, 2007^Lear 1997, p. 461^2003 National Women's History Month Honorees: Rachel Carson at the Wayback Machine (archived December 8, 2005). Retrieved September 23, 2007.^Lear 1997, pp. 451''461, 469''473^1963: Bertelsmann Verlagsgruppe, with an afterword written by Theo L¶bsack. 2nd ed. in 1964: Biederstein Verlag ; 3rd ed. 1965: B¼chergilde Gutenberg. 1968: first paperback edition (dtv).^Plon ed.^КаÑсон, РахиÐ>>ь (1965). БезмоÐ>>вная весна : ÐеÑ. с анÐ"Ð>>. [Silent Spring] (in Russian). Ð'осква: ПÑоÐ"Ñесс. ^Feltrinelli, 2 edizione, YYYY^Editorial Cr­tica, 2010, ISBN 978-8498920918^Hynes 1989, p. 3^Hynes 1989, pp. 8''9^Hynes 1989, pp. 46''7^Hynes 1989, pp. 47''8, 148''163^George M. Woodwell, Broken Eggshells, Science 84, November.^Gary Kroll, "Rachel Carson-Silent Spring: A Brief History of Ecology as a Subversive Subject". Onlineethics.org: National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved November 4, 2007.^Lytle 2007, pp. 217''220; Jeffrey K. Stine, "Natural Resources and Environmental Policy" in The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and Its Legacies, edited by W. Elliott Browlee and Hugh Davis Graham. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7006-1268-8^"The Truth About DDT and Silent Spring". The New Atlantis. Retrieved 2016-01-31. ^Lytle 2007, p. 217^Baum, Rudy M. (June 4, 2007). "Rachel Carson". Chemical and Engineering News (American Chemical Society) 85 (23): 5. ^Examples of recent criticism include:(a) Rich Karlgaard, "But Her Heart Was Good", Forbes.com, May 18, 2007. Accessed September 23, 2007.(b) Keith Lockitch, "Rachel Carson's Genocide", Capitalism Magazine, May 23, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007(c) Paul Driessen, "Forty Years of Perverse 'Responsibility,'", The Washington Times, April 29, 2007. Accessed May 30, 2007.(d) Iain Murray, "Silent Alarmism: A Centennial We Could Do Without", National Review, May 31, 2007. Accessed May 31, 2007.^Weir, Kirsten (June 29, 2007). "Rachel Carson's birthday bashing". Salon.com. Retrieved July 1, 2007. ^Sarvana, Adam (May 28, 2009). "Bate and Switch: How a free-market magician manipulated two decades of environmental science". Natural Resources New Service. Retrieved June 2, 2009. ^Gutstein, Donald (November 24, 2009). Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy. Key Porter Books. ISBN 978-1-55470-191-9. . Relevant excerpt at Gutstein, Donald (January 22, 2010). "Inside the DDT Propaganda Machine". The Tyee. Retrieved January 22, 2010. ^ abcJohn Quiggin, Tim Lambert (24 May 2008). "Rehabilitating Carson". Prospect (146). ^ abErik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p.217^Souder, William (Sep 4, 2012). "Rachel Carson Didn't Kill Millions of Africans". Slate. Retrieved March 30, 2014. ^Dunn R (2012). "In retrospect: Silent Spring". Nature485 (7400): 578''579. doi:10.1038/485578a. ^Trewavas, T., Leaver, C., Ames, B., Lachmann, P., Tren, R., Meiners, R., Miller, H.I.; et al. (2012). "Environment: Carson no 'beacon of reason' on DDT". Nature486 (7404): 473. doi:10.1038/486473a. ^Lytle 2007, pp. 220''8^"Malaria Prevention and Control". East African Community Health. ^Erik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p.226^Erik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p.223-4^Malaria Foundation International. Retrieved March 15, 2006.^"The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century". National Review. Retrieved January 19, 2016.^"25 Greatest Science Books of All Time". Discover Magazine. December 2006. ^Peakall, David B.; Van Emden, Helmut Fritz, ed. (1996). Beyond silent spring: integrated pest management and chemical safety. London: Chapman & Hall. ISBN 0-412-72810-9. ^Richards H (September 1999). "Beyond Silent Spring: Integrated Pest Management and Chemical Safety. Edited by H.F. van Emden and D.B. Peakall". Integrated Pest Management Reviews4 (3): 269''270. doi:10.1023/A:1009686508200. ^Druckenbrod, Andrew (February 18, 2012). "PSO takes hard look at turmoil, both environmental and human". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 11, 2015. ^Kanny, Mark (February 18, 2012). "Offerings of 'Silent Spring,' venerated material excel". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved May 11, 2015. ^Kozinn, Allan (February 27, 2012). "Capping Off Prokofiev With 'New York, New York'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2015. ^Thomsen, Simon (2014-01-09). "Sir David Attenborough Did A Reddit Q&A: Worst Thing He's Seen? Chimps Killing Monkeys". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2016-03-01. Carson, Rachel (1962). Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin Company. Carson, Rachel (2002) [1st. Pub. Houghton Mifflin, 1962]. Silent Spring. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-24906-0. Silent Spring initially appeared serialized in three parts in the June 16, June 23, and June 30, 1962 issues of The New Yorker magazineGraham, Frank (1970) [1st. Pub. Houghton Mifflin, 1970]. Since Silent Spring. Fawcett. ISBN 0-449-23141-0. Hynes, H. Patricia (1989). The Recurring Silent Spring. Athene series. New York: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-037117-5. Lytle, Mark Hamilton (2007). The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517246-9. Lear, Linda (1997). Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-3428-5. Murphy, Priscilla Coit (2005). What A Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-476-6. Litmans, Brian; Miller, Jeff (2004). Silent Spring Revisited: Pesticide Use And Endangered Species. Diane Publishing Co. ISBN 0-7567-4439-3. United States Environmental Protection Agency"What is DDT?". Retrieved April 26, 2006'DDT Chemical Backgrounder', National Safety Council at the Wayback Machine (archived December 26, 2005). Retrieved May 30, 2005Report on Carcinogens, 12th Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program (June 10, 2011)Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik M. (2010). Merchants of Doubt. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-59691-610-4. American Chemical Society, Silent Spring Revisited, 1986: ISBN 0-317-59798-1, 1987: ISBN 0-8412-0981-2The New York TimesJuly 22, 1962 report of chemical industry's campaign against the 16, 23, 30 June 1962 serial in The New YorkerNew York Times book review September 23, 1962Graham, Frank Jr.;Since Silent Spring:rebuttal to the attack by chemical-agribusiness companies;Audubon MagazineDoyle, Jack ''Power in the Pen'': Silent Spring: 1962 (Publishing, Politics, Ecology) pophistorydig.comNatural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): The Story of Silent Spring '' NRDCPhotos of the first edition of Silent SpringSilent Spring, A Visual History curated by the Michigan State University MuseumRachel Carson's Silent Spring Turns 50 - Elizabeth Grossman - The AtlanticGriswold, Eliza; How Silent Spring Ignited the Environmental MovementThe New York Times September 21, 2012The Rachel Carson Council
Drugmakers Scramble to Find Zika Vaccine - WSJ
Tue, 10 May 2016 14:42
International health officials vowed after West Africa's Ebola crisis to be better armed for the next epidemic with vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests.
Now the next one'--Zika'--is here and in an echo of Ebola, researchers are scrambling to develop medical tools to fight the virus. About 15 companies are working on Zika vaccines, most in the initial stages, according to the World Health Organization.
Among the more advanced are...
Zika vaccine efficacy trials could start in 2017 | Science | AAAS
Tue, 10 May 2016 14:37
Pregnant women who are infected with Zika virus can give birth to malformed children.
In the most optimistic scenario, a Zika vaccine could prove its worth by the start of 2018, Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland, said today.
NIAID plans to begin tests of a vaccine made in its labs in September in 80 people, said Fauci, who spoke at a press conference held at a meeting on Zika virus risk communication challenges in Washington, D.C. If the vaccine proves safe and capable of stimulating relevant immune responses, he said NIAID plans in the first quarter of 2017 to launch what he called a phase 2b study ''in a country that has a very high rate of infection.'' That study would enroll thousands of volunteers. ''If in the early part of 2017 we still have major outbreaks in South America and in the Caribbean, we may show that it's effective or not within a year,'' Fauci said.
Several factors will determine how long it takes a trial to determine a vaccine's worth, he cautioned. One is how well the vaccine works: It's easy to see a difference between vaccinated people and unvaccinated controls if a candidate product is 100% safe and effective'--which rarely is the case.
A second critical factor is how rapidly Zika virus is spreading in the communities taking part in the studies; a higher incidence makes it easier to collect more data quickly. But incidence, in turn, can be affected by the degree of immunity that a population naturally has acquired before the trial starts; specifically, the virus will spread more slowly in populations that have already been exposed to it and developed effective immune responses.
Fauci noted that at the time NIAID set out to do Ebola vaccine efficacy trials in West Africa in 2015, there was a steep drop off in new infections, making it more difficult to run effective trials. ''If that happens when Zika vaccine efficacy trials start,'' he said, ''it may take 3 years to show whether it works or not.'' But the massive Zika pandemic now underway, unlike the Ebola epidemic, is not expected to disappear from Latin America and the Caribbean any time soon.
Sylvain Aldighieri of the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C.'--which cosponsored the conference with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'--said that, to date, the Zika pandemic has affected 37 countries and territories. ''We think that about 500 million people in the Americas are at risk to be infected by the Zika virus,'' Aldighieri said.
Zika triggers no detectable symptoms in roughly 80% of the people it infects, but rarely causes serious harm. ''That's one of the real issues we have with communications,'' Fauci said. ''How do you communicate the danger and the threat of a disease that's fundamentally, historically mild?''
But there is at least one real threat, ''which has thrust it upon the attention and concern of the entire world,'' Fauci said: If the virus infects pregnant women, their babies can be born with small heads, called microcephaly, and other abnormalities.
Fauci stressed that ''we don't know exactly what the percent is'' of Zika-infected women who will give birth to babies with related problems. One small study suggested it may be as high as 29%, but another study that used a very different methodology found it was only 1%.
To get more reliable numbers, NIAID, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Brazilian researchers are planning to collaborate on a study that hopes to follow thousands of pregnant women in Zika-infected countries. ''We don't know beyond microcephaly what the long-range effects are on babies who might look like they were born normal but might have defects that are more subtle'--hearing, vision, intellectual and others,'' Fauci added. ''Although we know a lot about Zika, literally every week that goes by we learn more and more.''
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Caliphate!
Sadiq Khan: There are too many white men on Transport for London - Westminster
Tue, 10 May 2016 11:09
London's transport authority is far too dominated by white men, Labour's mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan said today.
There are currently 13 white men on the Transport for London board and just three women. Khan said he would ensure the board better reflected the "diversity" of Londoners if he becomes mayor.
"I will reshape TfL's board," he said during a speech in Brixton this morning.
"It needs to better reflect London's diversity in the interest of Londoners. Did you know there are 16 people on the board of TfL?
"Thirteen of them are white men. Thirteen. Think about it . It only has three women on it. That's less than one in five. "
He suggested the needs of women and ethnic minorities were being neglected as a result.
"Women face specific challenges on our transport network that are not currently being addressed. I was appalled about the recent decision by British transport police to scrap the sexual violence unit. Reports of sexual offences on the London Underground almost tripled over the past five years. As mayor I will take these problems seriously."
Khan today continued to face questions over his policy of freezing transport fares. TfL estimate the policy will cost £1.9 billion over the next five years, when compared to their current business plan which assumes year-on-year fares increases.
Khan has repeatedly rejected TfL's business case assumptions. However, he came under pressure today after it was revealed his own claims about Zac Goldsmith's fares policy is based on the same business plan.
Khan has posted billboards claiming that Goldsmith would raise fares by 17% over the next four years, despite the fact that Goldsmith has not yet made any announcement about raising fares
When asked for the source of the 17% claim, Khan told Politics.co.uk that it was based on accepting the same fare rise and interest rate assumptions contained in the TfL business case which he has previously rejected.
Asked whether he now accepted those assumptions, he replied:
"I don't. He does. So you can't have it both ways. On the one hand you can't attack me because my plans are different to the business plan, because you're accepting the business plan, but then not accept the business plan. So he's accepted all of the business plan in relationship to investment and infrastructure, he's using the business plan to attack me. In which case you've got to accept the figures and those figures are 17% increases in fares over the next four years and he's not denied it."
Khan denied that he was also trying to "have it both ways" by using the business case against Goldsmith and instead called on the Tory candidate to answer whether he accepted TfL's fare rise assumptions
"He's the only mainstream mayoral candidate, and this is the fifth election so far, who has not explained his fares policy going into the election and hopefully your fantastic journalism will get it out of him."
Goldsmith today released his transport manifesto. There are no specific pledges on fare levels within it. However he does promise that he will use new revenues from using underground tunnels to host broadband cables, in order to "bear down on fares".
Politics.co.uk have asked Goldsmith's campaign to comment on Khan's claims that the Tory candidate will raise fares by 17%. We have not yet received a response.
British buses to feature Syria aid campaign with the line Subhan Allah | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 10 May 2016 11:36
Buses across the country are to carry a slogan praising Allah '' just months after cinemas banned an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer.
Hundreds of buses will carry posters bearing the words 'Subhan Allah', which means 'Glory be to God' in Arabic, for an ad campaign paid for by the charity Islamic Relief.
The posters will appear in London, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham and Bradford, which have large Muslim communities.
Islamic Relief, Britain's biggest Muslim charity, came up with the advertisements with the line 'Subhan Allah' - meaning 'Glory be to God' (pictured)
It has been timed to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan in June, when Muslims traditionally fast and give to charity.
But last night, Christian groups asked why the Islamic adverts had been approved when a one-minute film by the Church of England was banned by Britain's biggest cinema chains at Christmas.
Odeon, Cineworld and Vue refused to show an advert featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the public reciting the Lord's Prayer. They banned the advertisement '' which was due to be screened before the new Star Wars film in December '' fearing it could offend movie-goers.
Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, said he hoped the Allah advert 'signals the beginning of a new era of greater expressions of the Christian faith, which seems to have become persona non grata'.
He added: 'People were surprised by the cinema advertising agenda to ban the Lord's Prayer '' something we all grew up with.
'Audiences are capable of hearing expressions of Christian faith without running away screaming in horror.'
England cricketer Moeen Ali is supporting the advertising campaign
Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: 'If other religions are allowed to put their religious banners up, then so should Christians.'
Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, said the decision to allow the Allah advert whilst banning Christian ones highlighted the power of political correctness.
She added: 'Britain is a Christian country and we Christians need to find our voice.
'If we are allowing these adverts for Islam, then we need to give the Christians far more freedom to express themselves.'
Islamic Relief said the posters would help to raise funds for victims of war and disasters in countries such as Syria, and portray Islam in a positive light.
Director Imran Madden said: 'There is a lot of negativity around Muslims. We want to change the perception of Islam. The campaign is about breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions.'
The slogans are most likely to resonate in London where about half of Britain's estimated three million Muslims live.
Labour's Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver, was elected as London Mayor on Thursday - the first person to hold the position and be a Muslim.
Mr Khan is now responsible for managing London's transport infrastructure.
Transport for London (TfL) can ban adverts on the buses it runs if it is linked to a 'political party or political cause'. However, there are no rules against religious advertising.
Back in 2012, then London mayor Boris Johnson intervened after adverts by a Christian charity linked to homophobia wanted to start a campaign on buses.
England cricketer Moeen Ali is supporting the initiative. He wants the adverts to encourage debate and increase understanding.
The adverts will start running in the capital from May 23.
Islamic Relief has helped more than 100 million people across the world since it was established in Birmingham in 1984.
More than £140 million has been sent in aid to Syria - supporting around 6.5 million people.
The charity works with 33 countries and supports people of all faiths and backgrounds.
Sadiq Khan goes to war on Donald Trump: Mayor accuses billionaire of fuelling extremism | Mayor | News | London Evening Standard
Tue, 10 May 2016 20:22
Sadiq Khan launched a furious attack on Donald Trump today and accused the ''ignorant'' billionaire of fuelling extremism with his anti-Muslim comments.
The new Mayor of London used his emphatic victory to deliver a powerful public rebuke to the New York Republican vying to become US president.
He said Trump was making both Britain and America ''less safe'' and playing ''into the hands of the extremists''.
The clash was sparked when Mr Trump declared he may make London's new Mayor an ''exception'' to his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States.
'Exemption': Donald Trump was slapped down by Mr Khan
Mr Khan replied with a brutal slap-down that carried all the weight of his mandate from Londoners.
The Mayor told the Evening Standard: ''Donald Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe - it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists.
Donald Trump's most controversial comments
''This isn't just about me - it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world.
''Donald Trump and those around him think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam - London has proved him wrong."
Trump thinks western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam - London has proved him wrong
Despite outrage at his stance, which he adopted following last year's Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, Mr Trump has refused to soften it.
Giving his first reaction to the election of a Muslim as leader of the world's greatest city, the tycoon said: ''There will always be exceptions.''
On the London elections results, he said: ''I was happy to see that,'' adding: ''I think it's a very good thing'...you lead by example, always lead by example. If he does a good job and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.''
Labour MPs condemned Trump's overnight comments as ''offensive posturing'' and ''frankly ridiculous''.
Tulip Siddiq, the MP for Hampstead & Kilburn, said ''Donald Trump's proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims from the United States has proven to be as farcical in practice, as it is dangerous in the message it sends out.
''The election of Sadiq Khan was a very British triumph over the kind of hate Trump espouses. The indiscriminate way in which Trump demonises Muslims is as offensive as it is ludicrous.''
The Muslim MP added: ''He better start preparing to make further exceptions, as he will soon realise Britain has more than one senior Muslim politician.''
Former mayoral candidate David Lammy raged: ''Donald Trump's offensive posturing is an embarrassment to a great nation.
''London is a global city and I'm sure that Sadiq will be engaging with US Mayors.
''The politics of division and prejudice didn't work here in London and it would be a tragedy if Trump's particularly toxic brand of politics won out in America later this year.''
Explainer: What are Sadiq Khan's plans for London?
Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central & Acton, scorned: ''Donald Trump saying he is prepared to make an 'exception' for the mayor of the greatest city on earth just shows how frankly ridiculous as well as divisive, ill-thought through and unworkable this man's policies are.''
Soon after his victory, Mr Khan indicated he planned to travel to the United States to see first hand some of the programmes that US mayors were implementing in cities like New York and Chicago.
But he told Time magazine: ''If Donald Trump becomes the president I'll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can't engage with American mayors and swap ideas.''
Responding to Trump's latest comments, senior Tory AM Andrew Boff said: ''The threat to world peace of a Trump victory makes a US tour by the Mayor superfluous. He should be here building bomb shelters.''
Green Assembly member Sian Berry, who stood against Mr Khan for the mayoralty, added: ''I hope our new Mayor would not think of visiting America, even as an exception, under conditions where anyone was banned by reason of their faith alone.
''Donald Trump has really crossed the line with this proposal, and with his refusal to recognise how wrong and appalling it is.
''His racist and xenophobic campaign should suffer the same fate as others. Londoners and Americans alike are not the kind of people to accept racism and discrimination.''
Depression Jobs
Uber's data could be a treasure trove for cities. But they're wasting the chance to get it. - The Washington Post
Mon, 09 May 2016 14:17
The District of Columbia passed new legislation this week legalizing services like UberX and Lyft that allow non-professional drivers with their own personal cars to compete with traditional taxis. In a sign that Uber got pretty much what it wanted out of the city, the company then held a press call Wednesday afternoon to celebrate.
"I think you're seeing some momentum here," said David Plouffe, Uber's brand new senior vice president of policy and strategy, citing the District's legislation as a model for the rest of the country. "Maybe even Uber-mentum, if you want to be cute."
The city's new law, opposed by the taxi industry, requires Uber and its competitors to register with the D.C. Taxicab Commission and provide $1 million primary insurance coverage to drivers from the moment they accept a ride to the time they drop off a passenger. Drivers will also have to go through criminal background checks, and their cars annual inspections.
Uber no longer disputes any of these requirements '-- insurance, background checks, vehicle safety '-- as anti-innovation or unnecessary. But the District did fail to get out of Uber one thing that the company is still reluctant to give: access to its data.
Such data could be tremendously valuable to local governments, but one city after the next has been leaving it on the table. Uber amasses vast amounts of information on when and where it collects passengers and where it takes them. Anonymized versions of this data '-- designed to protect the privacy of individual drivers and riders '-- would help cities verify that Uber drivers aren't discriminating against certain neighborhoods or disabled passengers, that Uber is actually weeding out drivers who do, that the company is truly serving the public in exchange for the public's confidence in it.
This is precisely the kind of data cities already demand of taxicabs, and if we had it for UberX and Lyft, too, it would be a lot easier to ensure consumer protection.
This stuff would also be a boon for transportation planners, who spend a lot of time (and money) trying to understand the travel patterns of residents that are already passively captured by transportation apps. Uber is building a sophisticated picture of how people move around many cities '-- where the demand is, where people want to go, when those trips take place down to the minute. This larger picture will ultimately help Uber build its new, more complex carpooling tool. But it could also help cities plan infrastructure, manage traffic flow, and understand commuters better.
Add to all of this some anonymized payment data, and the public would have a much better idea of what kind of jobs Uber is really creating, and how it's adjusting "surge" prices during events like emergencies.
Right now, the data we do get typically comes from Uber's own occasional in-house analyses. Consumers and public officials should be skeptical of these numbers, not because Uber is a particularly dishonest company, but because selective data-sharing can never be truly transparent.
David Alpert, editor of the blog Greater Greater Washington, made a great case for all of this in the Post last month, as Washington was still considering its regulation. When the United States deregulated the airline industry in the late 1970s, it required of private airlines something very similar to what cities should require of these ground-transportation companies today:
The federal government stopped prescribing airlines' exact routes and fares but, in addition to continuing to ensure safety, it collected data from the airlines about their routes, schedules, fares, how full the planes are, on-time performance and much more. Government officials now crunch these numbers and, more important, so do travel journalists, bloggers, watchdogs and advocates. If an airline starts doing shady things, people will know.
Cities have one golden chance to ask for this data, to set up a permanent structure where companies like Uber would hand it over regularly. That's when local governments have the most leverage over Uber '-- when they're deciding whether and how to legalize it. The ask must be specific, and spelled out in the regulation itself: Perhaps cities require anonymized origin-destination and time data for every trip (taken or canceled), without information on the rider or passenger, down to some larger geography like Census blocks that would preserve consumer privacy. Aggregated data about neighborhoods instead of trips wouldn't be truly transparent. And vague statutory requirements for "data sharing" will only allow these companies to shrug off the specifics later.
Uber will resist this idea, because its data is its most prized possession. As a quasi-transportation company, it doesn't actually own any cars, or infrastructure, or engineering plans, or vehicle technology. But what it does have that's made it a multi-billion-dollar company is this very fine-grained information about riders and drivers, and the systems to leverage it. Uber considers this data proprietary and private. And it's true that some of it is.
"I don't think there are many people out there who want it spread over the Internet what time they were picked up or where," Plouffe says.
He cites the embarrassing scenario where New York City recently released taxicab usage data under a Freedom of Information request without properly anonymizing it first. As a result, you may have read about the private transportation habits of Bradley Cooper and Ashlee Simpson.
For all its sophistication, though, Uber ought to be able to figure out how to give cities the data they need while stripping out personally identifiable information. Plouffe recognizes the public value of Uber's data. The company worked with the city of New York last week to identify the Uber driver who unknowingly drove across town a passenger coming down with Ebola.
"If that person had been in a taxicab, and paid with cash, and had no receipt," Plouffe says, "there would have been a citywide manhunt for cab drivers described by physical characteristics of that driver."
Because Uber keeps a data trail of every trip, it could immediately identify the driver. It was an "interesting moment," Plouffe adds, when it became clear that Uber has this other value (the company did not give city officials the names of other passengers who'd been in the same Uber car, he said, since health officials said that wasn't necessary).
The greatest public value in the company's data, though, won't simply come from complying with authorities in an emergency, but from revealing how well it serves the public every day. If cities don't demand this now, they will eventually wind up with a growing transportation sector on which the public depends, but that operates entirely out of public view.
'‹How Uber Profits Even While Its Drivers Aren't Earning Money | Motherboard
Mon, 09 May 2016 14:11
"If I'm doing something useful for the company, I should be paid for that time,'' Mark says to me as he drives me over the Brooklyn Bridge. ''That's what work is, right?''
It seems like a simple enough principle. And yet when it comes to the nature of work in the digital platform economy, getting paid for that time is anything but a simple proposition.
Mark has a special appreciation for what constitutes value to a corporation. In a city where most Uber and taxi drivers are recent immigrants, he's an anomaly, a former Wall Street banker who was laid off in the recession and has turned to Uber for part-time work. (Mark and other Uber drivers I spoke to for this story, both in person and online, have requested that their real names not be used out of fear of reprisal from Uber or other employers.)
The usefulness Mark refers to is the data he generates for Uber'--not when he has a fare, but when he is waiting to be summoned and isn't making any money. Uber drivers call that time without fares ''dead miles.'' Drivers may spend that time roaming around waiting for their next request from the Uber app. Or they may drive from a low-density area where they dropped off their last passenger back to a high-density area where they are more likely to find a new passenger.
While those dead miles are unpaid, the data Mark generates during that time is immensely valuable to Uber. Interviews and research conducted last year by my colleague Alex Rosenblat at Data & Society Research Institute and Luke Stark of New York University, illustrated how Uber collects data from drivers even during their unpaid time.
''Uber drivers continue to generate useful data for Uber even when they are not carrying a fare,'' they write, ''because they relay data back to the central platform from which inferences can be drawn about traffic patterns, and which feed into supply and demand algorithmic analyses."
That dataset feeds into the company's algorithms for understanding traffic patterns and driver safety, for instance, as well as for estimating'--and manipulating'--supply and demand through surge pricing and other techniques, including what some have described as ''phantom cabs''. The data that Mark and other drivers produce is also an invaluable business asset, helping Uber develop new partnerships with both municipalities and other corporations, and for maintaining its competitiveness.
"They not only direct every aspect of a driver's workday, they also profit off the entire day through data collection."Amid a growing recognition that data is an essential component of running a technology business, some drivers and labor advocates are considering drivers' dead miles as unseen labor, and are wondering if Uber's data collection constitutes a new kind of wage theft.
''Uber is the closest thing to an employer we've ever seen in this industry,'' said Bhairavi Desai, founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. ''They not only direct every aspect of a driver's workday, they also profit off the entire day through data collection, not just the 'sale of a product.'''
Unlike Facebook and Google, which trade users' data in exchange for their free services, riders and drivers may be thought of as more traditional customers and employees, paying and receiving a monetary fee for a service. Drivers pay a hefty cut for the ability to accept rides, between a 20-30 percent fee to Uber. But, like Uber's users, its drivers are also creating unseen value outside of those transactions.
The data e-hail platforms collect from drivers. Graphic by Motherboard
"Uber sees its drivers the same way as it sees cars or roads or passengers or anything: as a source of potential value to be extracted,'' said Douglas Rushkoff, professor of media theory and digital economics at Queens College. ''Asking whether drivers should get compensated for the data they create when they're 'off duty' is certainly a valid question."
Uber is not the only on-demand service to gather data about its contractors even during ''dead miles'': Lyft also routinely collects data from its drivers even when they're not engaged in a fare. But questions about Uber's collection of driver data coincide with growing disputes over the nature of piecemeal work on its platform: as observers raise concerns about the company's size and competitive advantages over its rivals, it has also become the focal point of legal challenges from workers in the so-called "sharing" or "on-demand" economy.
Amid privacy and security lapses, drivers have also complained that Uber has not done enough to protect the data it collects about them. And in a grim turn, some Uber drivers note, the data they generate may be used to eventually supplant them. Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick has made it clear that the future of the company is to replace drivers with a fleet of self-driving cars.
Dead Miles, But Data-Rich
On online forums for Uber drivers, many message threads are devoted to how to minimize dead miles. According to the nearly two dozen drivers I interviewed in New York City and around the country, dead miles take up somewhere between a third and half of the time that they are working. ''Working'' here meaning in their car, with the Uber app open. For some drivers, like Arjun, an Indian immigrant who drives for Uber 10 to 12 hours every day of the week, dead miles can take up most of his work day.
''If I'm driving for 12 hours in a day, I can spend maybe 7 hours without a passenger,'' he says. The 12 hours does not include his commute into New York City from New Jersey.
For other drivers, dead miles could be as low as 10 percent of their time. But only if they work selectively at the most high-demand hours of the week: rush hours and weekend nights. In general, drivers who use Uber as a source of supplementary income (for instance, students or retirees) were more selective about when they drove and had fewer dead miles. But drivers who rely on Uber to pay their full cost of living tend to work more hours but with more down time between fares, in a cycle of diminishing returns. Some have questioned whether Uber drivers are making minimum wage after accounting for gas, insurance, and depreciation of their car. (On Monday, hundreds of drivers protested recent fare cuts in New York City outside the company's local office.)
Drivers worry that data mined during dead miles may be resulting in yet more dead miles.Uber declined to share its data on driver dead miles with Motherboard, but said that it is devoting resources to reducing them for drivers.
''When drivers log into Uber, they want to spend as much time as possible earning money and transporting riders,'' an Uber spokesperson told Motherboard. ''We're constantly looking at ways we can use technology to decrease down time between trips. For example, we recently added a feature so that drivers can accept a new ride request even before they've ended their current one.''
One easy way for Uber and Lyft to reduce drivers' down time between trips, some drivers argue, would be to limit the number of cars on the road in over-crowded markets. Uber has explicitly rejected such limits, claiming that restricting Ubers would have an impact on local job creation.
''Gathering data especially during dead miles also explains Uber's vitriolic opposition to capping their number of vehicles,'' said Desai of the taxi workers' alliance, referring to an unsuccessful proposal put forward by City Hall last year. ''It's not just that they simply don't care drivers are burning fuel empty, it's that they are still benefiting from it.''
The fact that Uber collects data from drivers that it can turn into profits wouldn't be an issue if Uber drivers were considered employees, rather than ''independent contractors'' or freelancers. In addition to getting benefits and certain legal protections, as employees, Uber drivers would earn an hourly wage. So their time driving dead miles would be compensated. But the company has gone to great lengths to avoid having its drivers legally classified as employees. In California, where it is based, the company is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit that seeks to have drivers reclassified as employees.
Uber drivers at a protest in New York this week over the company's decision to lower prices. Image: Evan Rodgers/Motherboard
Much of Uber's argument for classifying drivers as independent contractors rests on the notion that it is a technology company focused on ''ride-sharing'' and not a taxi company. Uber's legal team first outlined this identity in a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission in 2012: ''Uber is a technology company that licenses the Uber App to transportation service providers. The transportation service providers pay a fee to Uber to use its software technology; the passenger of the transportation service provider pays the transportation service provider for transportation services received.'' As Uber's Kalanick explains, ''Uber is a technology platform that connects riders and drivers.''
That innocuous sentence has enormous ramifications for how Uber is regulated. It means that Uber drivers are considered independent contractors who simply utilize the Uber platform to conduct their business. And it means that Uber doesn't need to abide by the regulations that would otherwise apply to a taxi company.
This self-identity'--a tech company'--also suggests the particular value of data to Uber: its product isn't rides per se but the software that is built upon data from its riders and drivers. On its hiring page this week, Uber lists dozens of open positions in its ''Advanced Technology Center'' and seeks dozens more engineers and scientists for its data science team.
The Internal Value of Data
Uber extracts value from the wealth of data that it collects from drivers and passengers in a number of ways. Most directly tied into its core transit product is Uber's routing algorithm, which identifies patterns in traffic to find the most efficient route for a vehicle to take and to determine a driver's estimated time of arrival. Related to that are algorithms that decide which driver to send a pickup request to, knowing where other drivers are now, and where future passengers are likely to be. Supplied with enough data, the routing algorithm can make basic inferences about traffic, like which roads are best at which times of day.
''If Uber is going to be true to its model and say 'we are a technology company,' then their business model needs to reflect that,'' says Spencer, a former Uber driver who quit when the company cut rates in his local market last spring. He's now studying to become a data scientist. ''And if they're going to be collecting information on how drivers are getting around while they don't have a paying customer, then any data the company receives from an independent contractor should be compensated.''
"Uber lives or dies by data. Their ability to increase profits is all dependent on that."Spencer used to drive for Uber on weekend nights and evenings, when he could earn a good amount of money quickly and without much dead time'--drunk twenty-somethings are an Uber driver's bread and butter. But with the rate cut, he decided that it wasn't worth it for him anymore. ''I realized I was basically trading equity in my car for cash now,'' he says. His rare combination of familiarity with big data companies and time working as an Uber driver gives him unique insight into Uber's practices.
''Uber lives or dies by data,'' he says. ''Their overall mission and their sustainability is completely dependent on how good their data is. The more data they can collect, the more information they can derive from patterns and behaviors. Their ability to increase profits is all dependent on that.''
The more data the algorithms have to work with, the more accurate they get. These algorithms are essential to Uber's business and help to ensure Uber's competitive advantage in its own marketplace against rivals like Lyft and Sidecar, the latter of which recently folded partly, its co-founder said, under pressure from Uber.
Surge Pricing And Data Sharing
Drivers' data also helps Uber determine surge pricing, a feature that has drawn particular scrutiny from riders and drivers alike. Although the company claims that surge pricing is just a reflection of supply in demand, research by some of my colleagues at Data & Society suggests that the surge is not straightforward: Uber creates the mirage of a marketplace that obscures how its algorithms manipulate supply and demand. Some drivers understand this intuitively.
''There are times when I'm going to a surge area and the surge just stops,'' Mark tells me, as we wind through lower Manhattan where he used to work. ''I feel like they just say that to get you there, expecting it to get busy.''
By knowing where drivers are and where they're needed, Uber can use surge pricing to encourage drivers to head to those hotspots, in theory reducing wait times for passengers as well as dead miles for drivers. But the result can be an influx of more cars than are needed, resulting in even more dead miles for drivers. Rather than reducing dead miles, drivers worry that the surge system may be adding more.
Experienced Uber drivers tell me they don't believe that heading to surge zones is worth it. ''I've been in surge areas just sitting there without getting any passengers,'' Mark says.
Other drivers said they felt taken advantage of by surge pricing and confused by it. On message boards, frustration with surge pricing has even lead to a mantra that veteran drivers try to instill in new drivers: ''Don't chase the surge.''
''The surge pricing doesn't make sense to me,'' says Arjun. ''Sometimes I see a surge but I don't get paid for the surge price.'' One explanation: drivers may respond to Uber's prompts to head to high-surge areas but then get requests from passengers nearby who are by that point outside of surge zones or in lower-surge zones.
In their research, Rosenblat and Stark also identified a phenomenon some have called ''phantom cabs,'' in which the app misrepresents the location of cars on its map to its users. (Uber has denied its app does this).
Rosenblat and Stark say that phenomena like this points to a deeper concern. ''Uber's digitally and algorithmically mediated system of flexible employment builds new forms of surveillance and control into the experience of using the system," they write, "which result in asymmetries around information and power for workers."
Data from drivers' phones can also be a valuable asset in Uber's effort to maintain influence over its drivers and dominance in the ridesharing market. By knowing a driver's location at all times, even when that driver is not carrying a passenger or using the app, Uber can also make inferences about that driver's behavior, allowing it to discern, for example, if a driver is working for a competing service.
''I am concerned that Uber could be tracking my Lyft ride activity and could use that to discriminate against me when it comes to doling out ride requests,'' says Brendon, who drives for both Uber and Lyft. ''I don't want Uber'--or Lyft, for that matter'--knowing what other activities I'm using my car for, whether it be another ride service or personal use.''
Last week Uber announced an ongoing pilot program in which it is monitoring gyrometer and GPS data in drivers' phones for signs of reckless driving and to verify customer complaints.
''If a rider complains that a driver accelerated too fast and broke too hard, we can review that trip using data,'' Joe Sullivan, Uber's chief security officer, wrote in a blog post. ''If the feedback is accurate, then we can get in touch with the driver. And if it's not, we could use the information to make sure a driver's rating isn't affected.''
Data hasn't just improved Uber's core product: the company has also used data to establish lucrative partnerships with its partners and, through selective releases, to build relationships with regulators in new markets.
Last year, amid a push for stricter regulations on Uber's operations in Boston, the company pledged to turn over its quarterly trip data to the city, helping to secure its ability to operate in a metropolitan area with over four and a half million potential customers. Uber also offered up some of its trip data in New York City, where it was facing scrutiny over its traffic impacts, and has made a general offer of data sharing to any municipality. Data caches like these may help planners improve city planning and reduce traffic; Time.comimagined ''how Uber could help end traffic jams.''
Otherwise, the company has been protective of its data, even as it has raised concerns about how it uses it and how well it secures it. In 2014, reports emerged that employees were using a ''God Mode'' feature to track individual users. Last year, after the company changed its privacy rules to collect more user data, including even when customers weren't using the app, the Electronic Privacy Information Center warned the changes were unfair, deceptive and posed a ''direct risk'' of consumer harm.
Security lapses have also raised concerns about the way Uber stores its mountains of personal information. A glitch last year exposed the personal data of hundreds of drivers, and in 2014 a lapse leaked the names and license numbers of 50,000 drivers. In January, New York state ordered the company to pay a $20,000 settlement for taking too long to notify drivers about the larger breach. The company has responded by recruiting more talented engineers, to boost a team that includes Sullivan, formerly chief of security at Facebook, and noted car hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek.
Image: Marco Valtas / Flickr
What's Data Creation Worth To Drivers?
While most drivers I spoke with believed they deserved to be compensated for the data they generate, not all did. When I explained the ways Uber uses the data it collects even while it's between fares, Marwan, who immigrated from Yemen 25 years ago, just shrugged. ''The guy who came up with Uber is very smart, isn't he?''
Some drivers also didn't see much of a distinction between Uber's data mining and the kind that goes on every day on the web.
''If we're going to scrutinize the fact that they're potentially learning from the paths we take'--consumers and drivers alike'--we need to scrutinize the industry writ large''''Just about everything we do today is tracked by some entity for data purposes, so I'm not sure if Uber should be singled out for compensation,'' says Brendon.
As users of free internet services, we produce valuable data all the time: Facebook and Google are two of the most obvious examples. If you're not paying for the product, the saying goes, then you are the product.
Gilad Lotan, chief data scientist at Betaworks, sees Uber's use of data along the lines of that of Netflix or Amazon, which provide paid services while learning from data in aggregate.
''Should we consider drivers any differently?'' he asks. ''If we're going to scrutinize the fact that they're potentially learning from the paths we take'--consumers and drivers alike'--we need to scrutinize the industry writ large: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and many more companies building services based off of aggregate data.''
Uber's collection of aggregate data has an endgame, and drivers aren't a part of it. In the future, one of the services Uber intends to offer is self-driving taxis. CEO Kalanick has made that goal explicit. ''When there's no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle,'' he told a conference in 2014. In May, Uber poached most of Carnegie Mellon's robotics department to work on developing autonomous vehicles for the company. Kalanick has no qualms about the fact that his company's fleet of drivers will eventually be replaced by self-driving cars, saying he would just tell them that ''this is the way of the world and the world isn't always great.''
To have a functioning fleet of optimized self-driving taxis'--and compete with potential competitors like Google'--Uber needs a massive amount of data. It needs to know the best routes to take all the time, every time, in every condition. By producing this data, Uber drivers may be creating the conditions for their own demise. ''People who rely on Uber as their primary source of income are eventually going to be obsolete because of autonomous cars,'' says Spencer.
Until then, drivers will continue to generate valuable data for Uber, even when they're not making money. That kind of data collection has become critical to the business of virtually all technology companies, as essential to their growth as the ads they sell and the rides they arrange. The experiences of Uber drivers makes this relationship with data more physical, if no less complicated: Data doesn't materialize out of nowhere'--it's made by people simply driving around, trying to earn a living.
Jay is a freelance journalist covering the intersection of technology and politics. He is currently journalist-in-residence at Data & Society Research Institute. Follow him at @jcassano.
Austin residents the latest victim of the Uber (ridesharing) regulation saga - The American Genius
Wed, 11 May 2016 13:28
Uber, Lyft suspend operations in Austin after Prop 1 failsThis weekend marked an important moment in the ongoing saga between ridesharing and city regulation, right here in The American Genius' backyard of Austin, TX. It's a familiar story in the ongoing discussion of the place of ride-sharing in cities across the world.
Frankly, the outcome isn't exactly positive. However, we can still learn from this instance and find ways to press on to a better tomorrow.
Here's the gist of what just went downCity Council passed an ordinance requiring Uber and Lyft to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for all drivers. In response, a pro-ridesharing political activist group successfully petitioned for Austin to vote on Proposition 1. This proposed addendum to the ordinances would allow Uber and Lyft to run their background checks through their current third-party partners. Both companies claim their background checks are comprehensive as is, allowing them to safely employ enough drivers to best serve Austin's market.
This weekend, the city voted against Proposition 1, 56 to 42. And on Monday, keeping good on previous promises, Uber and Lyft pulled their business from Austin. Now, about 10,000 drivers are out of work. Residents and tourists lost a transportation option sorely needed in a congested city with few efficient transportation alternatives.
So, how do we end up in a situation where Austin residents drew such a short straw?
A city campaigning for safety overextends their reachWhile the City of Austin championed the need for safety when it came to ridesharing, opponents found plenty of flaws within that message.
There's the issue of how much safer a fingerprint background check can be. Almost a third of Austin taxi and chauffeur drivers who tried to sign up for Uber failed their background check. That shouldn't be possible, right?
What about the safety concerns of drunk driving? In Austin, such incidences dropped by 12 percent in the time since Uber and Lyft entered the market.
Finally, ask any Austin resident, and they will tell you that public transit still has a long way to go to serve the city's needs. Our single rail line mostly runs on commuter hours, and it only serves a few northern neighborhoods. Anybody south of downtown must use the bus, and their frequent stops make it very difficult to get anywhere quickly. Unlike a city like New York or Chicago, ride sharing in Austin is a near-essential alternative.
But the root issue with the city's focus on safety is that plenty of residents don't agree with it. While a 56-to-44 defeat is politically decisive, it still shows a large consumer base who accepts the Uber and Lyft model for what it is. At the end of the day, those who don't like it still had the option of taking cabs or using a ridesharing service that does comply with more extensive background checks.
Instead of leaving that choice up to the consumer, the government decided to homogenize the services in the name of controlling the ''safety'' of the process.
Companies campaigning for consumer choice don't seem concerned about their customersUber (and to a lesser extent, Lyft), found business success and controversy by upending traditional regulations to reach markets hungry for their service. Austin was no different. However, that attitude now looks more self-interested than anything else.
In the Prop 1 election, these companies bankrolled 8.6 million dollars in campaign spending, the most ever spent on a city political campaign. People rightfully point out Uber could have covered the regulation costs at a fraction of their campaign spending. Furthermore, while, both companies quickly pointed out the cost to taxpayers of the fingerprint background checks, their political maneuvering brought on this special election that cost taxpayers $650,000, according to the Statesman.
Taking all of this in a context where ridesharing companies are fighting similar regulations in other major cities, and you can see a picture of a company trying to use Austin as an example.
Frankly, after all the other strong-arming, it's hard not to see their decision to leave town as another bullying tactic, one that signals their belief in their way or the highway.
That also makes it feel plausible that those who voted against Prop 1 may have taken more issue with Uber's tactics than the issue of safety itself. For these voters, a vote of ''no'' is about standing up to the bully, regardless of the underlying issue.
The solution: Be the bigger personConsider the following sentiment by Joshua Baer, over on AustinStartups.com:
'' I've seen a number of people on social media attacking the Mayor or individual council members and I really discourage that. I know you're angry '-- but let's focus on the issues and not question other people's intentions.''
While the city council's campaigning created its own brand of animosity, we can't let those emotions cloud the discussion going forward. We must be a positive yet assertive voice for what we as consumers will and will not tolerate. That goes for both government regulation and corporate behavior.
To do any of that, we must start by being present in the process. Turnout for this measure was 17 percent of registered voters. Even worse is how Uber's target audience, the young adults aged 23-35, likely turned out even worse.
So, call your representative. Get registered to vote; the issue may come up again in state legislation. Join some activist groups. Or learn more about public service through running for a position or participating in a forum like Leadership Austin (thanks to Joshua for these suggestions).
While you're at it, support the ridesharing companies that still run in town. If the market and free choice should dictate what consumers want, show the city and these other companies what kind of business you want to support.
When we are proactive consumers and proactive participants in government, we can help craft the kind of progressive change where we, the citizens, come out on top.
#Prop1
Ottomania
Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks limitless power - FT.com
Thu, 12 May 2016 05:13
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Elections 2016
This "Bernie Sanders Glowsticks" Meme Was Made by Someone Who Wants to Kill You
Tue, 10 May 2016 13:50
Someone wants Bernie Sanders supporters to feel the burn '-- in their skin, filling their nostrils and in their lungs, even to the point of death.
A short infographic pulled straight from the Anarchist Cookbook called "How to make Bernie Sander's Glowsticks!" [sic] found its way to in the past 48 hours.
Ostensibly, it's a guide to making small, blue glow sticks. It's even stamped with a fake "Bernie Sanders approves!" message at the bottom.
Source: DeviantArtThese instructions do not tell you how to make glow sticks. These are instructions for how to make a deadly chlorine bomb.
"Signal boost," one Tumblr user posted, warning others from taking the meme seriously. "Don't do this. It seems like it was made by someone to encourage people to hurt/kill themselves."
Source: mjsheartisstillbeating/TumblrHere's what would actually happen if you made them. The instructions require you to mix a swimming-pool-chlorinating tablet with isopropyl alcohol, then shake the ingredients together inside of a closed bottle. The chemical reaction rapidly generates enough chlorine gas to cause a pressurized explosion in the bottle, releasing the gas into the air.
If the lungs are exposed to enough chlorine gas, it begins to attack the respiratory system and can cause the lungs to fill with fluid until the victim asphyxiates.
The dangerous meme gives instructions for a 2-liter bomb. Take a look at this clip to see what a 3-liter chlorine bomb can do:
Source: YouTubeIt's unclear where the meme originated, but it's already made its way to forums like /r/KillThoseWhoDisagree and /r/EnoughSandersSpam.
Media Silent as Bernie Sanders Packs California Stadium Beyond Capacity (PHOTOS)
Tue, 10 May 2016 14:00
Despite the mainstream media's repeated assertions that the Bernie Sanders movement is now a thing of the past, enthusiasm from his base only seems to be growing, based on the overwhelming number of people who flocked to his rally in Sacramento this Monday night.
Supporters lined up for over four hours to see Senator Sanders outside Bonney Field '-- some of them even longer. The following video by Our Voice Media shows the massive scope of the line, as the videographers take several minutes to drive from one end of the line to the other.
Somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 people were estimated to have been packed inside the stadium, with more than 10,000 more continuing to wait outside.
The hashtag #BernieInSacramento quickly exploded onto the top trends on Twitter, and yet the mainstream media once again chose to ignore the massive influx of support and unprecedented turnout. The only outlet that covered the rally was local Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA-3.
Below is the only picture attached to the article, obviously taken before the rally as people were still entering the field:
Compare the above photo to these photos during the actual rally taken by supporters and uploaded to social media:
Of course, Bernie supporters are growing used to operating in a total media blackout. Spirits at the rally remained high, however, as attendees cheerfully destroyed the white male ''Bernie Bro'' stereotype by flooding social media with pictures of Bernie supporters of every race, gender, and age displaying their patriotism together.
''You got to fight to the end,'' said Kathy Dennis, a member of the National Nurses Union, one of the largest and most passionate groups supporting Bernie Sanders. ''And Bernie's creating a bigger movement than just a nomination for the presidency. People are becoming active '-- feeling like maybe they can change the political climate of this country.''
The media's strategy of ignoring the Sanders movement until it goes away is clearly failing miserably. Enthusiasm for Sanders was expected to dwindle as his prospects for the nomination became less encouraging, yet people are still showing up for Bernie by the tens of thousands wherever he goes.
Regardless of whether he secures the Democratic nomination, he has unquestionably sparked the passion of millions of Americans who will no longer give up on their values just because the two party system forces them to.
No matter the outcome, America will likely be feeling the Bern for years to come.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW
Libyan Oil, Gold, and Qaddafi: The Strange Email Sidney Blumenthal Sent Hillary Clinton In 2011 | VICE News
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:44
Two weeks after France began bombing Libya, in March, 2011, Hillary Clinton's old friend and advisor Sidney Blumenthal passed her an intelligence memo that supposedly revealed France's true '-- and quite unflattering'-- motivations for toppling Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. While France's then-President Nicolas Sarkozy publicly said he wished to free the Libyan people from tyranny, Blumenthal's memo argues that he was driven by a cocktail of less lofty incentives, including a desire for Libyan oil, and a fear that Qaddafi secretly planned to use his vast supply of gold to displace France's primacy in the region.
Libya watchers aren't so sure that Blumenthal was passing the US Secretary Of State solid intelligence. "For me, it's not credible," former French diplomat and Libya expert Patrick Haimzadeh told VICE News when asked about the Blumenthal memo. Haimzadeh worked at the French embassy in Tripoli from 2001 to 2004, and wrote the 2011 study In the Heart of Qaddafi's Libya. "In 2011, everyone was saying anything and everything about Libya," Haimzadeh said. "But in fact, no one really knew what was going on. At the time, the French intelligence services and the CIA were in the dark. For example, the French services said the war would last three days '-- in reality, it took eight months."
It appears that Clinton's office too was awash in Libya rumors. Nearly a third of all the emails she received on the security and political situation in Libya during her tenure as Secretary of State came from Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton associate who was not formally employed by the State Department. He was on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation, bringing in $10,000 a month as a consultant, while pursuing his own business interests in Libya. Blumenthal's emails to Clinton now have been made public in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by VICE News.
Clinton's correspondence reveals that Blumenthal regularly sent her intelligence-cable-style updates on Libya that cited anonymous sources who claimed to be close to the country's political elites.
These briefs were prepared by Blumenthal's business partner and former CIA operative Tyler Drumheller, a consultant with plans to take advantage of economic opportunities in a post-war Libya. Both Drumheller and Blumenthal worked with a Libyan company called Osprey, a start-up that hoped to profit off medical and military contracts in the chaos after the war.
Though those contracts may have eventually needed the approval of Clinton's State Department, Blumenthal has repeatedly denied he intended to use his connections to the Secretary of State to further his business interests. Since Libya fractured after the NATO-led intervention in 2011, the lucrative business opportunities didn't materialize, and Osprey never really got off the ground.
Much of the intelligence Blumenthal fed to Clinton was quite odd. One email suggested that Libyan elites wanted warm relations with Israel, another that European spy agencies were encouraging tribal leaders to declare a semi-autonomous tribal zone in the east of the country. The nuggets of information were always attributed to unnamed sources, and "knowledgeable individuals." Still, Clinton regularly forwarded these emails to her staff to ask for their take.
The most recent batch of Clinton emails reveals perhaps the most bizarre morsel of Blumenthal-baked intelligence to date. An April 2, 2011 memo titled "France's client/Q's gold" quotes "knowledgeable individuals" with insider information about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's motivation for bombing Libya. The military campaign, the anonymous sources say, was designed to quash plans by Gaddafi to use $7 billion in secret gold and silver to prop up a new African currency. The French worried the move would undercut the currency guaranteed by the French treasury, known as CFA franc, that's widely used in West Africa and acts as a strong link between France and many of its former African colonies. After French intelligence officials got wind of this secret plan, the Blumenthal memo reports, Sarkozy freaked out: "This was one of the factors that influenced [his] decision to commit France to the attack on Libya."
The idea France sought to undermine Libya's plan to start a new currency has long been a trope on conspiracy theory websites '-- a particularly engaging version can be found on ufo-blogger.com.
It was, however, well known in Libya watcher circles that Gaddafi had some designs to start his own monetary system. "Qaddafi had plans to establish a Pan-African currency. But in my opinion, that is not what triggered the decision to intervene in Libya," explained Haimzadeh. "Sarkozy decided to intervene as early as February 21," long before Gaddafi's plans became known. For Haimzadeh, the timeline just doesn't add up.
Though Blumenthal was not an employee of the State Department at the time he passed along the gold conspiracy, Hillary Clinton clearly took his views seriously, and sometimes even encouraged aides to put the information to use.
On Aug. 27, 2012, for instance, Blumenthal's intelligence claimed that a new Libyan president would "seek a discreet relationship with Israel." Then, Clinton forwarded on the e-mail to her top policy aide Jacob Sullivan with a note attached: "If true, this is encouraging. Should consider passing to Israelis." Other intelligence dispatches were met with more skepticism, with Clinton aides suggesting that not all the information was credible.
Though it's unclear what Clinton's staff thought of the Blumenthal memo, it attributes less than flattering motives to the French President's decision to intervene in Libya.
In the spring of 2011, Sarkozy took the lead among European nations in pushing for an air campaign against Qaddafi. As protests against the regime began to devolve into a bloody civil war, Sarkozy sent the famous French intellectual, Bernard Henri-Levy '-- who, the Blumenthal memo says, was considered in Libya a "self-promoter" and a "semi-useful, semi-joke figure" '-- to meet with rebels in the National Transition Council (NTC).
Shorter after, Sarkozy invited Council leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil to the Elysee Palace, recognized the NTC '-- which the Blumenthal memo refers to as "France's client" '-- as the country's official government, and began pressuring other NATO countries to take military action in Libya.
Just two weeks before Blumenthal sent the Gaddafi-gold memo, Clinton met with Sarkozy in France, where the president pressed her to back an air campaign in Libya. At the time, in justifying his enthusiasm for military intervention, Sarkozy said publicly that France had "decided to assume its role before history" to ward off a "killing spree." The French military, he said, was determined to defend any Libyans who wanted "liberate themselves from servitude."
The Blumenthal memo tells a very different story. Aside from fears over the new Libyan-backed African currency, Blumenthal's sources reported to Clinton that Sarkozy was motivated by four primary concerns: Libyan oil, an opportunity to increase French influence in Northern Africa, a global stage for the French military to strut its stuff, and Sarkozy's desire to improve his domestic standing.
It's true that in the spring of 2011, Sarkozy was headed into an election the following year with almost 70 percent of French citizens expressing disapproval of his job performance. Some saw Sarkozy's decision to intervene as a desperate move to recover from these record popularity lows. Statistics published by pollster TNS Sofres in February 2011 showed that 66 percentof the population supported France's intervention in Libya.
Coincidentally, the French president was seriously tainted by a formerly cozy relationship with Libya's dictator.
Qaddafi traveled to France in December 2007, immediately after Sarkozy's first election as president, for a controversial five-day visit aimed at brokering a $200 million arms deal. Sarkozy proved solicitous to the Libyan dictator: he allowed him to hunt in the Rambouillet forest, once the hunting preserve of French kings, and to take a private tour of the Louvre museum with his female bodyguards. Qaddafi also requested, and got, permission to pitch a heated Bedouin tent in the gardens of the H´tel de Marigny, which is used as a residence for state visitors. (To be fair, he was allowed the same privilege during a visit to Italy.)
According to French daily Le Monde, Sarkozy allegedly said, in private, that he could no longer bear the sight of the Libyan dictator, after Gaddafi commented on the "oppression" of women in France and urged young people in the suburbs to "rise up."
Sarkozy's relationship with Gaddafi took another odd turn when allegations surfaced that the Libyan leader had helped fund the president's 2007 electoral campaign. In 2012, French investigative news site Mediapart published an official document dating back to 2006 detailing plans for the dictator to bankroll Sarkozy's campaign to the tune of 50 million euros. The document '-- which was disputed by Sarkozy '-- surfaced among the archives of the demolished Qaddafi regime, and has been backed up by several former regime insiders.
Fabrice Arfi, a French investigative journalist at Mediapart who helped uncover the alleged links between Qaddafi and Sarkozy, is skeptical that the the Blumenthal memo captures France's true motivations for war in Libya. "At first glance, this hypothesis [that France's intervention was motivated by Gaddafi's plans for a Pan-African currency] seems far-fetched," he told VICE News by phone. "Personally, I don't have any elements that accredit this theory, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is false."
The Blumenthal intelligence does, however show that American policy makers weren't sure what motivated France's Libya adventure. "Even in the upper reaches of American intelligence, Sarkozy's arguments to justify this war are not taken seriously," Arfi explained. "Even among his allies, no one seems to believe France's version of the Libya intervention."
There's also plenty of circumstantial evidence to back up the connection between France's eagerness to see Qaddafi go, and its oil interests. In 2011, French lefitst daily Lib(C)ration, not sympathetic to the center-right Sarkozy, published a letter from Libya's rebel-backed National Transitional Council, promising to reserve 35 percent of the country's crude oil to France in return for its "total and permanent support."
That letter was later bolstered by another, and previously released, Blumenthal memo, which informed Clinton that French intelligence services met with NTC figures in the early days of the uprising to solidify French primacy in the post-Qaddafi oil sector.
The memo, dated March 22, 2011 and titled "How the French created the National Libyan Council, ou l'argent parle,'" French for "money talks," warned Clinton that the French intelligence service DGSE "began a series of secret meetings" with prominent Libyan opposition figures, and passed them "money and guidance." These French spies, "speaking under orders from [Sarkozy] promised that as soon as the [council] was organized France would recognize [it] as the new government of Libya."
Blumenthal's intelligence did indicate that Sarkozy expected monetary gain in exchange for his early support of the rebels. "In return for their assistance'... the DGSE officers indicated that they expected the new government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya."
For his part, Sarkozy has denied France was motivated by oil interest. Indeed, in Libya's post-Gaddafi political scene, France has not been able to profit from its oil sector. According to Reuters, the French oil company Total was producing 55,000 barrels of crude oil per day in Libya prior to the conflict. In a 2013 report on its activities, Total said its production in the country had climbed back to pre-2011 levels by 2012, but that production had stalled in 2013, following the blocking of pipelines as a result of political and social unrest. Ultimately it was Chinese and Russian companies that won the bulk of Libya's oil contracts.
And if Sarkozy thought an overseas war would bolster his domestic appeal, he turned out to be wrong on that score as well. Even though the intervention in Libya proved popular, the president's approval rating continued to dip, hitting yet another all-time low in May 2011. The following year, he lost his re-election bid to Fran§ois Hollande.
Sarah Fran§oise and Pierre Longeray contributed reporting.
CYBER!
Hardcore porn shown on hacked billboard in Malm¶ - The Local
Mon, 09 May 2016 17:04
The electronic billboard was outside the central station in Malm¶. Photo: Sanyam Bahga/Flickr
A woman was left in shock after hardcore porn footage appeared on a digital information board in central Malm¶.
The graphic footage appeared on a street sign near the bus stop at Malm¶'s central station on Sunday afternoon.
"There was a group of guys standing there watching and I asked them if it had been going on for a while. They said it had."
She added that she missed her bus, meaning she was left at the bus stop for 15 minutes as the pornography continued.
Footage of the sign posted on Aftonbladet shows passersby walking past as the porn plays at the bus stop.
Global Agencies, the company that runs the sign on behalf of Malm¶ Stad, said they'd launched an investigation.
"The system should be secure and right now we can't answer how someone managed to hack it," Roger Starck told the paper.
"I'm incredibly angry about this all, it should never have been able to happen."
"Someone has decided to mess around, and they've succeeded."
In May last year, Sweden's public broadcaster SVT also had an unfortunate gaffe concerning hardcore footage after it accidentally sent an SMS to 60 children which included a link to a pornographic site.
The channel later apologized.
My Swedish Career
Jonathan with his family in Stockholm. Photo: Malin M¶rner
Jonathan Boutin moved to Sweden at the age of 20 and, after moving across the country and working in a variety of jobs, he's still here a decade later.
Latif's case struck a chord with Swedes, with a petition called 'Let Syed Latif stay in Sweden' attracting more than 3,200 signatures. Photo: Robert Bratt/TT
Efforts to save a Bangladeshi man from deportation, after a Malm¶ migration court ruled that he was not allowed a work permit '' because he landed his job in Sweden via LinkedIn '' have failed.
The FBI Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny Wiretapping Your Amazon Echo
Thu, 12 May 2016 05:11
An Amazon Echo, which the FBI can neither confirm nor deny has ever been hacked during an investigation (Gizmodo)Back in March, I filed a Freedom of Information request with the FBI asking if the agency had ever wiretapped an Amazon Echo. This week I got a response: ''We can neither confirm nor deny...''
We live in a world awash in microphones. They're in our smartphones, they're in our computers, and they're in our TVs. We used to expect that they were only listening when we asked them to listen. But increasingly we've invited our internet-connected gadgets to be ''always listening.'' There's no better example of this than the Amazon Echo.
In many ways the Echo is a law enforcement dream. Imagine if you could go back in time and tell police that one day people would willingly put microphones in their own homes that, with a little hacking, could be heard from anywhere in the world 24/7. First, you'd need to explain what hacking was, but then they'd be like, ''Nah bruh, yer pullin' my leg.'' Or whatever the 1970s version of that was'--don't ask me I was born in the 80s.
Years ago agencies like the FBI would need to wiretap a phone conversation or place bugs inside homes, practices that can be cost prohibitive and labor intensive. Today, you just need some software to tap into a device's microphone. And if that device is ''always listening'' for a command, all the better for someone who wants to hear what's going on.
In 2016, creepy perverts are hacking computer cameras and baby monitors all the time just to get their sick little rocks off. And we know that the NSA can still wiretap your phone even when it's not turned on. So why wouldn't law enforcement agencies or intelligence agencies hack your Echo (presumably with a court order) to catch the baddies?
Alexa, tell the Feds where the bodies are buried.
The letter I received in response to my FOIA request to the FBI about the Amazon Echo (2016)Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog
PGP Fingerprint: 0074 467E 1339 F416 DA8C 6CFA 0ABD A808 C05C D4A6|PGP Key
EuroLand
Here's How to Watch the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest | TIME
Wed, 11 May 2016 12:35
Beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. EST, the finals of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will air on both Viacom's Logo Network and LogoTV.com, marking the competition's first-ever live broadcast in the United States.
Now in its 61st year, the ''biggest, boldest, campiest music competition on Earth'' is being held in the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, where performers from 42 countries will come together to compete for the contest's top spot and the right for their home country to host next year's event. Pop star Justin Timberlake will sing during the finale in a non-competitive performance of his new song ''Can't Stop the Feeling.''
Read More:Eurovision Song Contest's Final to Be Broadcast in U.S. for First Time
And don't worry, for those without cable '-- or those looking to watch Tuesday and Thursday's semifinal rounds '-- the contest's live shows are also being streamed worldwide on Eurovision.tv.
NA-Tech News
Spotify must now break its 'everything free' rule - but at what cost? - Music Business Worldwide
Tue, 10 May 2016 13:57
Each week, The MBW Review gives our take on some of the biggest news stories of the previous seven days. This week, we discuss reaction to Radiohead's decision to place their album on Apple Music and TIDAL '' but blackball Spotify. The MBW Review is supported by FUGA. (The views in these articles are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by our supporter.)
''As musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing'... all these f*ckers get in the way'... We don't need you'... so f*ck off.''
Thom Yorke there, being typically timid and retiring about the virtues of Daniel Ek's service back in 2013.
It's easy to forget that Yorke's anti-Spotify crusade, abetted by producer Nigel Godrich, was far more pointed and sustained than one show-stealing comment about trumping cadavers.
The Radiohead frontman was deeply angry with Spotify; in particular, angry with a platform handing major labels millions of dollars a day '' plus significant equity stakes '' while songwriters counted their shrapnel.
Whispers suggest Yorke's attitude to Spotify has mellowed since these diatribes, and that Radiohead's decision to provide the service with two tracks from their new album, A Moon Shaped Pool, indicates at least a partial reconciliation.
Radiohead put their own flag in the ground over music's value back in 2007, of course, launching a controversial 'pay what you want' experiment with In Rainbows.
To a degree, fans are now once again being asked to 'pay what you want' for a new Radiohead album '' so long as, in streaming's case, it's more than $9.99 a month.
In isolation, A Moon Shaped Pool's exclusive arrival on Apple Music and TIDAL '' and Radiohead's decision to blackball Spotify '' won't be a giant concern to Daniel Ek.
As we reported on Sunday, Radiohead were the 199th most popular act on Spotify when the new album arrived, and have since risen to 196th.
Compare the group's 4.7m monthly listeners to Drake, with his 31.6m, and their limited reach on Ek's platform becomes clear.
Yet Radiohead certainly haven't helped Spotify's exclusivity problem: something which this year alone is mushrooming to epidemic proportions.
If you don't believe this is an increasingly serious shortcoming for the Swedish service, consider the fact that four out of the Top 5 albums in the UK right now aren't on its platform.
Remember that the IFPI reckons 68m people are paying for an audio music subscription service today '' which leaves a cool 3.3bn internet-connected individuals around the world who ain't.
Let's introduce one of them to Spotify.
It's amazing. It can play any track you like from pretty much any artist in history '' seconds after you think of it.
So far, so magical. Fingers hover over the credit card.
''Okay, great! Do they have Beyonce's new album?''
Erm.
''Taylor Swift's?''
Double erm.
''Drake's?''
Erm.
''Adele's?''
Erm.
''Gregory Porter's?''
Erm.
''Any Prince?''
Erm.
''Jay Z?''
Some. We have some Jay Z.
''How much does this cost again?''
Add to that pile the staunch hold-outs (Neil Young, Garth Brooks), the commercially-induced holdouts (Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Rihanna, Drake & Future) and the paid-for windowers (Coldplay, Gwen Stefani,The 1975, Radiohead), and you begin to see the harm caused to Spotify's reputation by the current exclusivity bonanza.
It will only get worse.
People like their favourite streaming service. They love their favourite artist.
Some of the names above have pecuniary loyalties which block any discussion with Spotify. (Clue: They're often wear Beats headphones in their videos.)
Yet others, and Radiohead seem to be a prime example of this, simply want to know that if people are devouring their new material, the principle of them paying something for the privilege is upheld. (In bygone years, Adele was believed to be a member of this club.)
Daniel Ek has long refused to buckle on his rule that all material on Spotify must be available on the service's ad-funded tier.
As he said in response to Taylor Swift's removal of her catalogue in 2014: ''Here's the overwhelming, undeniable, inescapable bottom line: the vast majority of music listening is unpaid.
''If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place.''
The thing is, two years on, this decision is no longer in Ek's hands.
Artists, and Apple, are increasingly making it for him.
One label boss told me last week that there is a now groundswell of industry support for Spotify to announce a simple change: all new albums windowed for two weeks on premium.
It's a blunt solution to the problem, but as they put it: ''It would make most of this headache just'... go away.''
Bear in mind that Spotify is currently in licensing re-negotiations with the world's biggest music rights-holders '' itself an ever-moving, nuanced debate about paid vs. free.
MBW understands that, following rumours about Ek wavering on free-only last year, it is considered an internal likelihood at Spotify that the firm will begin experimenting with premium windowing in the coming months.
(It actually already did, once '' on a Muse single quietly locked to Premium for a limited period last year. But expect something bigger, and more obvious, soon.)
The consequences of this decision '' not to mention the mechanics '' will be tricky.
How will Spotify pick those records allowed to be premium-only?
If a mandatory premium-freemium rule is eventually cemented, what will it mean for those artists who value exposure over direct commerce?
One of Spotify's great assets (and a useful self-perpetuating marketing tool) is the fact that new music drives so much sharing/playlist activity. Will this be unnaturally curbed?
What about albums, like The Lumineers' latest, whose chart success relied to a large degree on Spotify?
There are also other, bigger considerations in play.
Although Spotify trialling premium-only releases will give it some respite from 2016's value-seeking artist deserters, it won't hit '' as Irving Azoff phrases it '' the ''root of the problem''.
YouTube, protected by safe harbor laws, continues to host much of the material currently missing on Spotify, and faces no legal comeuppance if it is doing so illegitimately.
In turn, that greatly strengthens Spotify's argument for universal free availability of music on its service.
Which, in turn, greatly strengthens Apple's argument for three-month free trials '' which, sources tell MBW, certain major labels wanted to pin back to single-month free trials this year.
Everyone is pointing at the next person in the chain as a convenient excuse for platform-boosting price erosion.
B'...b'...but look at them!
You only have to glance at Warner Music Group's recent filing with the US Copyright Office to see how disconcertingly obdurate this value-killing syndicate has become '' and why.
After Warner's first licensing deal with YouTube expired in 2008, the major couldn't agree terms with the video giant '' and so promptly decided to remove its catalogue from the platform.
Or tried to, anyway.
Between 2008 and 2009, Warner estimates it spent $2m on ''largely unsuccessful'' attempts to block/remove its copyright content on YouTube.
This experience led it to conclude: ''It is impossible for a copyright owner to withdraw its works from a major service relying on the safe harbors.''
Even when combined with Warner's own internal infringement hunters, YouTube's Content ID was ''woefully insufficient'' for the task, according to the major.
Although WMG now admits that it ''put on a brave face at the time'', it says it was essentially given no choice but to license with terms it found ethically and monetarily repulsive.
WMG eventually inked a deal with YouTube in September 2009 '' an agreement it now admits was scarcely better than the offer it rejected in 2008 for ''failing to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists''.
AKA: They shafted us, and we had to pretend to like it.
Think back to the number of people currently connected to the internet not paying for streaming music services: 3.3bn.
To put it another way, of all the internet users in the world, 98% are not currently streaming music subscribers.
It is slightly deflating to watch the current drive for streaming exclusives, then '' both accepted by labels and peddled by TIDAL and Apple '' for the plain fact it seems pretty crushingly unambitious.
These deals, predominantly, are about fighting for the 2%.
If it wants to reach a decent chunk of the 98% in a unified and compelling manner, the music business needs to get its house in order.
While YouTube can continue to run amok with unlicensed content and face no repercussions, Spotify's reluctance to push any music to premium-only is entirely understandable.
Yet while Spotify appears to give away music '' music into which artists and labels have invested so much '' it's also entirely understandable why Radiohead and others are repelled by the concept, straight into the arms of Apple and TIDAL.
What a mess.
The coming months, especially regarding YouTube's ongoing contribution towards the ecosystem of the music business, could not be more crucial.
He's rightly been lambasted and teased for his petty ''last fart of a dying corpse'' remark about Spotify in 2013.
But when Thom Yorke summed up his feelings about streaming in general during the same interview, he said:
''It's all about how we change the way we listen to music'... and a lot of it could be really fucking bad.''
Sorry to say, he got that last bit spot on.
The MBW Review is supported by FUGA, the high-end technology partner for content owners and distributors. FUGA is the number one choice for some of the largest labels, management companies and distributors worldwide. With a broad array of services, its adaptable and flexible platform has been built, in conjunction with leading music partners, to provide seamless integration and meet rapidly evolving industry requirements. Learn more at www.fuga.comMusic Business Worldwide
Shut Up Slave!
Trigger Warnings for Oxford Law Students 'Distressed' by Crime
Tue, 10 May 2016 11:40
By Kieran Corcoran|9:56 am, May 9, 2016
Oxford students studying criminal law have been told they can duck of lectures if they find the crimes they cover upsetting.
Aspiring barristers at the prestigious school now have the option of skipping teaching on ''potentially distressing'' acts if they do not feel up to it.
Lecturers have been told to start providing trigger warnings at the start of potentially upsetting segments so that students can leave.
The regime raises the bizarre prospect that the university could begin producing prosecutors and defense lawyers unable to face certain types of wrongdoing.
Students speaking about the new regime to the Mail on Sunday said academics are now careful to give warning before they discuss rape and sexual assault '' even though the crimes are a compulsory area of study.
MORE: Bloomberg Slams Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces
It is unclear how the students are expected to fare in the gauntlet of exams which round off an Oxford education if they are allowed to avoid the teaching.
Criminal law is a compulsory element of Oxford's law course. Official faculty guidance describes the module as ''essential'' to any legal education, and even refers to the course material as ''colorful''.
Homicide and sex offences are a substantial and unavoidable part of the criminal law module, which nobody can graduate without passing.
MORE: 'Triggering; Event at UMass Causes Triggering
The new rules were branded ridiculous by academics at Oxford, including one law professor who told the Mail: ''If you're going to study law, you have to deal with things that are difficult.''
Oxford lawyers routinely go on to hold some of the most senior positions in public life.
Alumni include members of the UK, US, Canadian and Australian supreme courts, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Malcolm Turnbull, the current prime minister of Australia.
An Oxford spokesman told Heat Street: ''The University aims to encourage independent and critical thinking and does not, as a rule, seek to protect students from ideas or material they may find uncomfortable.
''However, there may be occasions when an individual lecturer feels it is appropriate to advise students of potentially distressing subject matter.
It denied having a ''formal policy'' on trigger warnings.
Agenda 2030
Exploiting Global Warming for Geo-Politics '' Consortiumnews
Wed, 11 May 2016 23:26
Exclusive: When a severe drought hit Syria a decade ago, the U.S. government chose not to help but rather exploit the environmental crisis to force a ''regime change,'' a decision that contributed to a humanitarian crisis, writes Jonathan Marshall.
By Jonathan Marshall
For Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, the only thing to fear about climate change is fear itself. As he declared in a 2014 tweet, ''This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop.'' Perhaps taking his words to heart, the four major U.S. TV networks cut their already minimal coverage of climate issues to a combined total of just two-and-a-half hours for all of 2015.
So it should come as little surprise that few media bothered to cover a frightening new report this month by Germany's prestigious Max Planck Institute, which concluded that searing temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could render much of the region uninhabitable by the end of this century and create a ''climate exodus'' that dwarfs today's mass migration of refugees from the area.
Syrian women and children refugees at Budapest railway station. (Photo from Wikipedia)
But we don't have to wait decades to see the explosive impact of climate change on the Middle East. For the past decade, scientists, humanitarian workers and U.S. diplomats have watched as devastating heat and drought disrupted Syria, causing hunger, unemployment, internal migration and civil unrest.
Aggravated by government mistakes and foreign intervention, those ills helped trigger the tragic violence that has killed nearly half a million Syrians and displaced more than half its population.
As a study published last year by the National Academy of Sciences declared, ''Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria . . . the drought had a catalytic effect, contributing to political unrest.''
Thanks to documents released by Wikileaks, we know that none of this came as any surprise to Washington.
In August 2006, the U.S. embassy in Damascus reported that Syria faced a ''water crunch'' that could ''balloon into a crisis in the medium to long term.'' Although Damascus had ''initiated steps to transition Syria's agricultural sector to modern, more water-efficient, irrigation techniques,'' the report warned that ''the country's emerging water crisis carries the potential for severe economic volatility and even socio-political unrest.''
Instead of helping the country overcome this looming crisis, however, the embassy began drafting recommendations for ways to destabilize Syria's government '-- ranging from fomenting sectarian disputes to fanning rumors of coup plots within the country's security services. By 2009, predictions of a crisis had come true.
''A combination of low rainfall and serious sand storms have all but wiped out the (wheat) crop in Syria's three eastern provinces,'' the embassy reported. It also cited estimates that ''up to 120 villages in eastern Syria had been 'abandoned' due to 'climate change''' and that more than a quarter million desperate people had left the region in search of food and jobs.
The business publication Trade Arabiacalled it ''one of Syria's largest internal migrations since France and Britain carved the country out of the Ottoman Empire in 1920.''
Feeding Dissent
One of the prime destinations for Syria's dispossessed families was the hard-hit town of Dara'a, near the Jordanian border. It would become the epicenter of Syria's 2011 unrest. The Syrian government admitted that the scope of the disaster far exceeded its capacity to respond. It appealed to the UN for aid '-- hoping that Washington would reconsider its refusal to contribute humanitarian assistance.
The embassy recommended offering some aid in light of the growing crisis: ''While it is unlikely that Syrians will stave, we agree with UN interlocutors that the ongoing migration from the rural east to Syria's western corridor, and the accompanying social and economic dislocation, could trigger a humanitarian crisis.''
President Barack Obama at the White House with National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Samantha Power (right), his U.N. ambassador. (Photo credit: Pete Souza)
By January 2010, the embassy was citing estimates by the UN World Food Program that 1.3 million Syrians had been affected by the drought and 800,000 were ''in dire need of assistance.'' UN experts begged the United States to contribute aid to prevent a worsening disaster. But American supporters of regime change argued for continuing to withhold aid.
Andrew Tabler of the neo-conservative Washington Institute for Near East Policy crowed in early 2010 that U.S. economic sanctions had ''badly hit the Assad regime,'' making it harder to trade with Syria than with Iran.
''The regime's economic woes only made sanctions more effective,'' he observed. Oil production had ''plunged 30 percent'' over the past five years, Syria's manufacturing sector was shrinking fast, and, not least, ''a massive . . . drought devastated Syrian agriculture.''
''That's why President Obama may be tempted to ease Syria's pain,'' Tabler observed. ''He shouldn't.''
The Obama administration earmarked no aid for Syria that year, as the country remained in crisis.
In October 2010, just half a year before anti-regime demonstrations erupted in the crowded town of Dara'a, the New York Timesreported from Syria that ''after four consecutive years of drought, this heartland of the Fertile Crescent . . . appears to be turning barren, climate scientists say. Ancient irrigation systems have collapsed, underground water sources have run dry and hundreds of villages have been abandoned as farmlands turn to cracked desert and grazing animals die off. Sandstorms have become far more common, and vast tent cities of dispossessed farmers and their families have risen up around the larger towns and cities of Syria.''
The story added, ''The four-year drought in Syria has pushed two million to three million people into extreme poverty, according to a survey completed here this month by the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food . . . Herders in the country's northeast have lost 85 percent of their livestock, and at least 1.3 million people have been affected, he reported.''
The paper called the crisis ''a rising security concern'' for the government, especially ''because it is taking place in the area where its restive Kurdish minority is centered.''
The story legitimately blamed poor government planning and misguided irrigation investments for compounding the problem. But Syria had no monopoly on inept water management, as drought-stricken California amply proves. Such criticisms also give too little weight to the regime's substantive (and sometimes unpopular) reforms, including reduced fuel and food subsidies, a law to restrict groundwater depletion from the digging of new wells, and promotion of drip irrigation.
Stolen Water
Many critics also ignored the fact that Syria was losing precious water as Turkey diverted flows from the Euphrates River. And Syria had never recovered from its loss of water from the Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee after Israel occupied those lands in 1967.
In any case, few governments could have coped with what one expert called ''the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago.''
A general view showing damages after what activists said was an airstrike with explosive barrels from forces loyal to President al-Assad in Al-Shaar area in Aleppo
Compounding the drought and the effects of internal migration was the enormous economic and social stress caused by the more than 1.2 million Iraqi refugees who sought safe haven in Syria after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
As last year's study published by the National Academy of Sciences observed, ''The population shock to Syria's urban areas further increased the strain on its resources. The rapidly growing urban peripheries of Syria, marked by illegal settlements, overcrowding, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and crime, were neglected by the Assad government and became the heart of the developing unrest.''
The escalation from unrest to all-out war doubtless owed more to politics than climate change. But Syria's social and government institutions, weakened by years of national hardship and privation, were by 2011 easy targets for foreign powers and domestic extremists bent on toppling the Assad regime.
The current crisis may be only a taste of what's to come as rising temperatures and dwindling water supplies make life even more desperate in the region. The implications are serious not only for the Middle East and North Africa, but for Europe, which already faces extreme political pressure from the influx of migrants and refugees.
As Secretary of State John Kerry said last year, ''You think migration is a challenge to Europe today because of extremism, wait until you see what happens when there's an absence of water, an absence of food, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival.''
The Obama administration's attention to climate change as a strategic, economic and humanitarian issue stands in sharp and welcome relief to Republican Party denialism. But its worthy efforts to coordinate an international response to global warming are not enough.
Washington must also stand ready to help even inept or unfriendly governments '-- like Assad's in Syria '-- cope with the immense social and economic stresses that millions of their citizens are today suffering as the planet warms. As Syria's tragedy illustrates, taking advantage of regimes weakened by environmental catastrophes to coerce political changes is a recipe for humanitarian disaster and endless violence.
Jonathan Marshall is author or co-author of five books on international affairs, including The Lebanese Connection: Corruption, Civil War and the International Drug Traffic (Stanford University Press, 2012). Some of his previous articles for Consortiumnews were ''Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions''; ''Neocons Want Regime Change in Iran''; ''Saudi Cash Wins France's Favor''; ''The Saudis' Hurt Feelings''; ''Saudi Arabia's Nuclear Bluster''; ''The US Hand in the Syrian Mess''; and''Hidden Origins of Syria's Civil War.'' ]
Strongly increasing heat extremes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 21st century | SpringerLink
Wed, 11 May 2016 23:26
The ensemble results of CMIP5 climate models that applied the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios have been used to investigate climate change and temperature extremes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Uncertainty evaluation of climate projections indicates good model agreement for temperature but much less for precipitation. Results imply that climate warming in the MENA is strongest in summer while elsewhere it is typically stronger in winter. The summertime warming extends the thermal low at the surface from South Asia across the Middle East over North Africa, as the hot desert climate intensifies and becomes more extreme. Observations and model calculations of the recent past consistently show increasing heat extremes, which are projected to accelerate in future. The number of warm days and nights may increase sharply. On average in the MENA, the maximum temperature during the hottest days in the recent past was about 43 °C, which could increase to about 46 °C by the middle of the century and reach almost 50 °C by the end of the century, the latter according to the RCP8.5 (business-as-usual) scenario. This will have important consequences for human health and society.
The online version of this article (doi:10.'‹1007/'‹s10584-016-1665-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
1 IntroductionEven if climate change in the 21st century will be limited to a global mean temperature increase of 2 °C relative to pre-industrial times, warming over land is typically stronger than over the oceans and extreme temperatures in many regions can increase well beyond 2 °C (Seneviratne et al. 2016). The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to be strongly affected by climate warming, enhancing the already hot and dry environmental conditions (Sanchez et al. 2004; Fang et al. 2008; Giorgi and Lionello 2008; –nol and Semazzi 2009; Lelieveld et al. 2012; Almazroui 2013: –nol et al. 2014; Basha et al. 2015; Ozturk et al. 2015). Assessments of past climate trends in the MENA often suffered from restricted availability of meteorological data sets, and hence are associated with low confidence (IPCC 2013). Several international workshops have been organized to help improve data access, ensure data quality and analyze climate indices (Zhang et al. 2005; Donat et al. 2014).
Based on the available data significant upward temperature trends since the 1970s have been derived for parts of the MENA and Mediterranean Europe (AlSarmi and Washington 2011; Almazroui et al. 2012; Tanarhte et al. 2012; Zarenistanak et al. 2014), accompanied by an increasing number of warm days and high temperature extremes (Kuglitsch et al. 2010; Marofi et al. 2010; Efthymiadis et al. 2011; Donat et al. 2014; Simolo et al. 2014; Tanarhte et al. 2015). While rainfall trends in Mediterranean Europe are significant and predominantly negative, in the MENA they are generally not significant, partly related to the difficulty of establishing representative precipitation measurement networks in this arid region (Xoplaki et al. 2004; Hoerling et al. 2012; Tanarhte et al. 2012; Norrant-Romand and Douguedroit 2014; Ziv et al. 2014).
Analysis of long-term temperature data suggests that since the 1970s the frequency of heat extremes has increased in the MENA (Tanarhte et al. 2015). Based on health statistics and meteorological data LubczyÅska et al. (2015) identified a clear relationship between high temperatures and cardiovascular mortality by cerebrovascular disease, ischemic and other heart diseases, consistent with similar investigations in other regions (Basu and Samet 2002; Gosling et al. 2009). Heat extremes are recognized as the major weather-related cause of premature mortality (McMichael et al. 2006; Kovats and Hajat 2008; Gosling et al. 2009; Peterson et al. 2013), hence their increase in the MENA is of great concern (Lelieveld et al. 2014; Zittis et al. 2015). Heat stress can also cause substantial loss of labor productivity (Dunne et al. 2013; Zander et al. 2015). Further, it is argued that climate change induced weather extremes can impact human security and migration (Barnett and Adger 2007; Piguet et al. 2010; IPCC 2014). Thus heat stress has direct health consequences, while social, economic and political contexts are also important. Both perspectives are relevant for the MENA.
One of the difficulties in the assessment of temperature related climate impacts is the definition of hot weather extremes. Therefore, it is recommended to apply a range of climate indices such as heat wave frequency and warm spell duration (WMO 2009). Zittis et al. (2015) showed that the probability density distributions of daytime maximum temperatures in the warm temperate climate regime north of the Mediterranean are typically wider than in the arid areas to the south. In the latter case the extreme values are comparatively close to the median and mean of the maximum temperature distribution, so that even a moderate rate of warming can lead to the exceeding of heat wave thresholds.
Motivated by the demand for information about regional climate trends, we present projected changes in summertime hot weather conditions in the MENA during the 21st century based on the ensemble output of climate models that participated in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, CMIP5 (Taylor et al. 2012; Sillmann et al. 2013a, 2013b). We evaluate CMIP5 model uncertainties for the MENA by comparing with observations, and also based on the robustness metric (Knutti and Sedlacek 2012), and show that the models consistently project strong temperature changes whereas precipitation projections are much less consistent. This rationalizes the present focus on temperature extremes, whereas for precipitation higher resolution regional downscaling will be more appropriate. For the latter we refer to the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment framework for the region, MENA-CORDEX (Giorgi et al. 2009; Zittis et al. 2014a; Almazroui 2015).
2 MENA descriptionThe definition of the MENA, applied here, encompasses the larger region between Morocco and Iran, including all Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries, sometimes indicated as Greater Middle East (http://'‹en.'‹wikipedia.'‹org/'‹wiki/'‹MENA). The 29 countries included are Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauretania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara and Yemen, with a current population of about 550 million people. While focusing on these countries, we will likewise present climate model output for the MENA-CORDEX area, which includes part of Central Africa, also addressed within Africa-CORDEX (http://'‹www.'‹cordex.'‹org).
Notice that the domain of Africa-CORDEX does not fully cover the Anatolian Peninsula and the Middle East. Because the climate of Central Africa deviates strongly from that in the MENA, being humid '' monsoonal rather than hot and arid, respectively, these results are not analyzed in the present context. To evaluate the CMIP5 model data for the MENA we define four subregions that are climatically coherent (Fig. 1, top panel), based on the K¶ppen-Geiger climate type classification (Kottek et al. 2006). Geographical coordinates of the subregions are the following. A: 9.25 W-12.0E, 30.0''39.0 N; B: 12.0''34.0E, 25.0''33.0 N; C: 25.5''46.5E, 33.0''41.0 N; D: 34.0''60.0E, 18.0''33.0 N. In Section 4 we compare the CMIP5 model output with temperature observations in these subregions. The Supplementary Information includes a K¶ppen-Geiger analysis of the CMIP5 calculations for recent, mid- and end-century conditions in the MENA, showing that the main climate types are not expected to change much in the 21st century, i.e., remaining hot and arid (Figure S1).Fig. 1CMIP5 multi-model mean monthly temperature for four MENA subregions compared to observations during the reference period 1986''2005 collected in the CRU and UDEL datasets. Model standard deviations and mean correlation coefficients between model and measurement data are indicated
3 Data and methodsFrom the CMIP5 output we applied results from an ensemble of 26 models that have been interpolated to a common spatial resolution of 2.5 degrees, about 280 km at the equator (Table S1) (Taylor et al. 2012; Sillmann et al. 2013a, 2013b). Here we use CMIP5 model results for two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, adopted by the IPCC for its fifth Assessment Report (IPCC 2013). Greenhouse gas emissions according to RCP4.5 are assumed to peak around 2040 and then decline, while in RCP8.5 emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century and hence represent a business-as-usual scenario. Following IPCC (2013) we compare the mid-century period 2046''2065 and the end-century period 2081''2100 with the recent period 1986''2005, the latter used as reference.
We evaluate the CMIP5 model results for the reference period, based on observations compiled in the gridded datasets of the Climate Research Unit (CRU, version 3.22) (Mitchell and Jones 2005) and the University of Delaware (UDEL, version 3.01) (Willmott and Matsuura 1995), also used and inter-compared by Tanarhte et al. (2012). To characterize changes in temperature conditions and hot weather extremes, we follow the procedure of Sillmann et al. (2013a, 2013b) by applying the climate indices defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (Klein Tank et al. 2009; Zhang et al. 2011) to the MENA, i.e., over the area of the 29 countries listed in Section 2, as well as the subregions defined in Fig. 1. The indices are calculated for the RCP4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, and are available from the ETCCDI archive at http://'‹www.'‹cccma.'‹ec.'‹gc.'‹ca/'‹data/'‹climdex/'‹index.'‹shtml. The CMIP5 model output is compared with historical observations in the period 1950''2010 from the HadEX2 data set of the UK Met Office Hadley Centre. Monthly and annual indices, based on selected high-quality station observations in 14 MENA countries, have been obtained from http://'‹www.'‹climdex.'‹org/'‹index.'‹html (Donat et al. 2013, 2014).
To test the level of consistency of the climate model projections we performed robustness calculations as proposed by Knutti and Sedlacek (2012); see also Proestos et al. (2015). The projection maps of near-surface (2-m) temperature and precipitation for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios are overlaid by stippling and cross-hatching to indicate robustness R, based on the signal-variability ratio and the probability skill score, adopted from weather forecasting applications (Weigel et al. 2007). The signal-variability ratio is calculated from the CMIP5 model spread and the projected change in a particular parameter such as temperature or precipitation. R = 1 '' X1/X2, in which X1 is the integral of the squared area between cumulative density functions of individual and multi-model mean projections, and X2 the integral of the squared area between cumulative density functions of the multi-model projection and the historical reference period. A value of R = 1 indicates absolute model agreement.
4 CMIP5 model resultsFigure 1 shows a comparison between observations and CMIP5 model output of the ensemble mean monthly temperature, including the standard deviation of all model results. The spatial correlation between CMIP5 and observations is high, especially with the CRU dataset. In all four regions the agreement between model and observations is very good for the summer months (June''August), being the focus of the present work. For the winter, typically October to February, differences can be up to several degrees. In regions B and D the CMIP5 ensemble mean appears to be cold-biased and in region C warm-biased during these months.
Figure 2 presents the projected changes in near-surface temperature, including R, for the mid- and end-century periods and the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios. The interested reader is referred to Figure S2 for the accompanying results for precipitation. We present projections for winter, i.e., the wet season (December, January, February '' DJF) and summer, i.e., the dry season (June, July, August '' JJA). While our focus is on the summer, we also present results for the winter to emphasize the seasonal differences in warming trends. This illustrates that the rate of warming is much higher in summer. Please notice the temperature scale differences between the two scenarios. Figure 2 shows that the level of robustness is high, especially for the summer warming, and is highest for the end-of-century projections, in particular for the RCP8.5 scenario, indicating overall agreement among the models. The robustness for precipitation projections, on the other hand, is generally much lower (Figure S2).Fig. 2Multi-model mean and robustness (dots R '‰¥ 0.85, and cross-hatching 0.5 '‰¤ R
Top Scientist Resigns Admitting Global Warming Is A Big Scam | Your News Wire
Thu, 12 May 2016 12:35
Top US scientist Hal Lewis resigned from his post at the University of California after admitting that global warming was a big scam, in a shocking resignation letter.
From the Telegraph
The following is a letter to the American Physical Society released to the public by Professor Emeritus of physics Hal Lewis of the University of California at Santa Barbara
Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal LewisFrom: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa BarbaraTo: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society6 October 2010
Dear Curt:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).
Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence '' it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'ªtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it'...
I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people's motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don't think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club.
Latest posts by Sean Adl-Tabatabai (see all)
Panama Papers
You can now search the Panama Papers '' the secret accounts of the global rich '' yourself - The Washington Post
Mon, 09 May 2016 19:05
Some of the information from the Panama Papers, a vast trove of more than 11 million leaked documents that have cast a light into the shadowy world of offshore finance, is now available to the public for the first time. The Washington Post is joining a group of global media organizations in publishing a searchable database of more than 300,000 opaque offshore entities.
The documents come from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm with offices around the world. An anonymous source gave the documents to German newspaper S¼eddeustche Zeitung, which then recruited the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to help lead a global investigation into the material.
[Panama Papers include dozens of Americans tied to financial frauds]
Over the past month, media organizations around the globe have published articles with information drawn from the papers. The findings have uncovered the offshore holdings of 12 world leaders, more than 128 other politicians, and dozens of tax evaders, drug traffickers, money launderers and other criminals. The revelations have sparked protests, triggered arrests and led to high-profile resignations, including the prime minister of Iceland.
The searchable database below includes nearly 214,000 entities from the Panama Papers spanning 40 years, from 1977 through 2015. Where available, the database reveals the names of the real owners -- called the "beneficial owners" -- of offshore companies, trusts and foundations. This information is usually kept hidden from the public by the anonymity that offshore structures provide.
The database also includes information on the intermediaries, such as banks and law firms, that were typically the point of contact between Mossack Fonseca and the real owners of offshore companies. The data shows registered addresses for companies and the connections between corporate entities, owners and intermediaries, and allows you to filter by country or jurisdiction.
The database also includes information on more than 100,000 additional offshore entities, which were revealed in another leak of offshore documents covered by ICIJ in 2013.
This searchable database actually contains just a fraction of the material in the Panama Papers; it excludes the company emails, financial transactions, scanned passports, and other raw documents that make up the bulk of the leak. Not every owner of a company in the Panama Papers appears in the public database, ICIJ says, since some of that information is contained only in Mossack Fonseca's emails and internal documents and cannot be systematically extracted.
ICIJ says it is publishing the database in the public interest. The anonymous leaker who first gave the documents to journalists also described the leak as an effort to fight against inequality and injustice in a manifesto issued last week, which argued that shell companies are used to carry out a wide array of serious crimes.
Find something worth digging into? You can email The Washington Post with tips by clicking on the blue envelope icon that appears at the top of this article. You can also download the full dataset here.
See also:
U.S. tightens checks on anonymous companies following Panama Papers release
How the U.S. became one of the world's biggest tax havens
For U.S. tax cheats, Panama Papers reveal a perilous new world
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Ana Swanson is a reporter for Wonkblog specializing in business, economics, data visualization and China.
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LGBBTQQIAAP
DE-TRANSITION-Caitlyn Jenner May Go Back To Being A Man, Claims Biographer: Shocking Reasons For The Decision
Thu, 12 May 2016 12:35
Ian Halperin, author of a new biography about the Kardashian-Jenner family, recently sat down with The Wrap and revealed to them, among other things, that Caitlyn Jenner has been miserable as a woman for the past few months and is seriously reconsidering undergoing a reversal of the sex change operation and gender reassignment she had done in 2015. Caitlyn has not confirmed the news herself, but Jenner's alleged reasons for wanting her male identity back are shocking to say the least.
[DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS AN AGGREGATION OF RECENT MEDIA REPORTS AND HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED BY CAITLYN JENNER HERSELF]
''Caitlyn has made whispers of 'sex change regret,' hinting she might go back to being Bruce Jenner,'' Halperin stated.
Halperin said that several of his sources had told him Caitlyn has had to go through a lot more pushback than she had imagined after going through with the major change, and he continued that one contact close to Caitlyn had been particularly clear.
''It hasn't been easy for Caitlyn, it's been very hard,'' the source said, according to Halperin.
''She's thrilled she has raised awareness about how transgender people have long been discriminated against but I think there's a chance she'll de-transition in the next couple years. I don't think it would surprise anybody in her inner circle. It has been much harder than she anticipated. My heart goes out to her and I know her true friends will be there to support her on whatever path she chooses.''
Caitlyn Jenner and a few of her possible ''insiders'' at the TIME Gala on April 26, 2016. [Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time]Jenner's recent actions would not lead one to think she wants to distance herself from her female identity, as The Blaze reports, with her recent and very controversial decision to appear nearly nude on the cover of Sports Illustrated.What is even more shocking than Jenner's second thoughts, though, are the reasons she may want to leave her femininity in the dust.
The first reason, revealed by Halperin himself, is that Jenner is still attracted to women. It seemed that Caitlyn was no longer attracted to females when she was ignoring her ex-wife's attempts to have her attend religious therapy meant to ''realign'' her sexual orientation before she underwent the sex change. But, Halperin says he learned from Caitlyn's friends, Jenner's desires for romance with females keeps creeping back.
''She's still into women and wants to meet the right one,'' Halperin remembers one of them telling him.
The second supposed reason, reported by ENStars, is that Caitlyn feels the novelty of her transition has worn off and that it is no longer ''exciting.'' Besides that, she is no longer being widely trumpeted as an inspirational figure; now, most people simply accept her as a woman and carry on with their business.
''The offers have stopped coming in,'' a Jenner insider told the site.
''She feels like her 15 minutes of fame have finally come to an end!''
The idea that Caitlyn Jenner may have only tried on her sex change as a novelty to reap media attention and endorsement deals is pretty disgusting, and it is bound to be extremely offensive to Jenner if it is not accurate. So keep in mind that the idea, like the rest of Halperin's allegations about Jenner's sexuality, should be taken with a grain of salt and regarded cautiously until they have actually been confirmed by Jenner herself.
After all, they could be the result of Halperin trying to pull a disgusting publicity stunt of his own to attract attention for and raise sales of his new Jenner-centric biography.
This is not the first time there have been whispers of Caitlyn Jenner being unhappy with her newfound womanhood. Back in December, Star magazine reported that ''Caitlyn Wants to be Bruce Again!'' The article, which was extremely disrespectful of transgender people and the decision made by some to undergo a sex change, was quickly debunked and sources such as Gossip Cop pointed out how low of Star magazine it was to publish such a radical claim without doing their research. The article has since been taken offline.
So, again, this article is only reporting what was recently alleged in the news. Caitlyn Jenner's supposed male withdrawal is NOT confirmed.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-Gizmodo Editor Discusses Facebook's Censorship of Trending Conservative-Leaning Stories - YouTube
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:49
VIDEO-Sid Blumenthal: 'I'm very confident' there aren't any more Clinton email bombshells coming - YouTube
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:44
VIDEO-'Clinton Cash' doc set to stir up controversy as it debuts at Cannes | MSNBC
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:38
CANNES, France '-- A massive police force will be guarding the Cannes Film Festival this year. But the only scuffle on the horizon may come in response to the right-wing producers of a devastating new documentary about Bill and Hillary Clinton's alleged influence peddling and favor-trading. That film, ''Clinton Cash,'' screens here May 16 and opens in the U.S. on July 24 '-- just before the Democratic National Convention.
The allegations are as brazen as they are controversial: What other film at Cannes would come up with a plot that involves Russian President Vladimir Putin wrangling a deal with the alleged help of both Clintons, a Canadian billionaire, Kazakhstan mining officials and the Russian atomic energy agency '-- all of which resulted in Putin gaining control of 20 percent of all the uranium in the U.S.?
RELATED: Latest anti-Clinton book promises to be most 'fantastic' yet
MSNBC got an exclusive first look at ''Clinton Cash,'' the flashy, hour-long film version of conservative author Peter Schweizer's surprise 2015 bestseller, which The New York Times called the ''the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle.'' The Washington Post said that ''on any fair reading, the pattern of behavior that Schweizer has charged is corruption.'' Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta denounced the book as a bunch of ''outlandish claims'' with ''zero evidence.''
The film portrays the Clintons as a greedy tag team who used the family's controversial Clinton Foundation and her position as secretary of state to help billionaires make shady deals around the world with corrupt dictators, all while enriching themselves to the tune of millions.
The movie alleges that Bill Clinton cut a wide swathe through some of the most impoverished and corrupt areas of the world '-- the South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, India and Haiti among others '-- riding in on private jets with billionaires who called themselves philanthropists but were actually bent on plundering the countries and lining their own pockets.
In return, billionaire pals like Frank Giustra and Gilbert Chagoury, or high-tech companies like Swedish telecom giant Ericsson or Indian nuclear energy officials '-- to name just a few mentioned in the film '-- hired Clinton to speak at often $750,000 a pop, according to ''Clinton Cash.'' When a favor was needed at the higher levels of the Obama administration to facilitate some of the deals, Hillary Clinton was only willing to sign off on them, the movie reports.
As a film, it powerfully connects the dots '-- whether you believe them or not '-- in a narrative that lacks the wonkiness of the book, which bore a full title of ''The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.''
It packs the kind of Trump-esque mainstream punch that may have the presumptive GOP nominee salivating. He recently declared, ''We'll whip out that book because that book will become very pertinent.''
RELATED: Clinton Foundation: 'We made mistakes'
The hour-long documentary is intercut with ''Homeland''-style clips of the Clintons juxtaposed against shots of blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, villainous dictators and private jets, all set to sinister music.
Produced by Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, with Schweizer as the film's talking head, the documentary might be easy to dismiss as just another example of the ''vast right-wing conspiracy'' the former secretary of state referenced so many years ago.
But what complicates matters for Hillary Clinton's campaign is that the book resulted in a series of investigations last year into Schweizer's allegations by mainstream media organizations from The New York Times and CNN to The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, many of which did not dispute his findings '-- and in some cases gathered more material that the producers used in the film. More recently, some information uncovered in the Panama Papers has echoed some of Schweitzer's allegations in the movie and book.
Andrea Mitchell Reports, 5/1/15, 12:43 PM ET
'Clinton Cash' author responds to criticism Peter Schweizer, author of ''Clinton Cash,'' joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the details outlined in his book that have raised questions on just how much influence major donors to the Clinton Foundation have over Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
The Clinton campaign loudly denounced the book as a ''smear project'' last year and Schweizer's publisher, the Murdoch-owned Harper Collins, had to make some corrections to the Kindle version. But the changes, in the end, involved seven or eight inaccuracies, some of which were fairly minor in the context of the larger allegations, Politico reported. Neither the Clinton campaign nor the Clinton Foundation responded to calls and emails requesting comment about the film Tuesday.
One of the most damning follow-ups to Schweizer's most startling accusation '-- that Vladimir Putin wound up controlling 20 percent of American uranium after a complex series of deals involving cash flowing to the Clinton Foundation and the help of Secretary of State Clinton '-- was printed in The New York Times.
Like Schweizer, the Times found no hard evidence in the form of an email or any document proving a quid pro quo between the Clintons, Clinton Foundation donors or Russian officials. (Schweizer has maintained that it's next to impossible to find a smoking gun but said there is a troubling ''pattern of behavior'' that merits a closer examination.)
But the Times concluded that the deal that brought Putin closer to his goal of controlling all of the world's uranium supply is an ''untold story '... that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.''
''Other news outlets built on what I uncovered and some of that is in the film,'' Schweizer, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, told NBC News Tuesday. ''To me the key message is that while U.S. politics has long been thought to be a dirty game, it was always played by Americans. What the Clinton Foundation has done is open an avenue by which foreign investors can influence a chief U.S. diplomat. The film may spell all this out to people in a way the book did not and it may reach a whole new audience.''
VIDEO-Sidney Blumenthal Defends Clinton Over Foundation and State Dept. Activities - YouTube
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:31
VIDEO-Oops: Sid Blumenthal calls FBI Clinton email probe an 'investigation' instead of 'security review' - YouTube
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:28
VIDEO-State Department says 'glitch' responsible for missing moment on Iran talks | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 12 May 2016 13:18
The State Department is blaming the curious disappearance of unhelpful footage from an old press briefing on a 'glitch' today as the fallout continues from a profile that suggested the administration duped the press and its allies into backing the Iran nuclear deal.
Yesterday Fox News reporter James Rosen discovered that a portion of his 2013 exchange with then-State Department spokeswoman, now White House Communications Director, Jen Psaki was missing from the video archive.
As the briefing video approached the section where Psaki essentially admitted to Rosen that the administration had engaged in 'secret negotiations' with Iran, contradicting a previous claim that it had not, a white flash appeared, as if the tape had been edited, and it skipped ahead.
Rosen noted the oddity yesterday evening as he reported on the new drama surrounding the nuclear accord and said State could not explain the cut.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
The State Department is blaming the curious disappearance of unhelpful footage from an old press briefing on a 'glitch' today as the fallout continues from a profile that suggested the administration duped the press and its allies into backing the Iran nuclear deal
Today a spokeswoman for the diplomatic arm of the government brushed off the notion that it was a conspiracy, arguing that the video clip was available elsewhere and the discussion was included in the transcript posted to State's website.
'There was a glitch in the State Department video. When Fox flagged it for us, we actually replaced it,' State's Elizabeth Trudeau said.
Indeed, as of this afternoon, State's website included a new copy of the Dec. 2, 2013 briefing that contains the section in question.
In it, Rosen confronts Psaki with a charge made by her predecessor, Victoria Nuland, that the United States was not meeting with Iran one-on-one, outside of the international P5+1 group, to discuss its nuclear program.
Nuland told him earlier that year, 'We would be prepared to talk to Iran bilaterally. But with regard to the kind of thing that you're talking about on a government-to-government level, no.'
By the time of the December briefing, rumors were swirling that senior officials from both governments had been meeting in secret. Psaki wouldn't confirm those reports. But she also suggested they were accurate.
'Is it the policy of the State Department, where the preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned, to lie in order to achieve that goal?' Rosen asked her.
Psaki told him, 'James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.'
Trudeau swatted down a reporter today who said her excuse - the disappearing video footage was the result of a 'glitch - 'seems awfully strange and coincidental.'
'The transcript was always up,' she retorted, 'and the video existed on other channels.'
She told him, 'We're looking into it. Genuinely, we think it was a glitch.'
Other videos in the archive have not been affected 'to our knowledge,' Trudeau said.
'We were unaware of it, and as soon as we found out about it, we made sure it was whole.'
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
The kerfuffle arose from a report Rosen was filing for Fox on the The New York Times Magazine profile of Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.
The article asserts that Rhodes and the administration misconstrued the timeline for talks with Iran to make the resulting deal more palatable to Congress and the public.
'The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented '' that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country '' was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal,' the Times piece claims
In fact, it says, 'the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012.'
That was months before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other so-called moderates came into power with the blessing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
'The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration,' said writer David Samuels.
The Obama administration has had its hands full over the past week whacking down various statements by Rhodes in the article and resulting accusations.
Yesterday, another Fox News reporter, Kevin Corke, asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 'Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?'
Earnest could be heard telling him in the briefing room, 'No, Kevin.'
The utterance is depicted in the White House's video version of the briefing but was not included in the transcript it makes available after each discussion with reporters.
AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL: The kerfuffle arose from a report James Rosen was filing for Fox News on the unflattering New York Times Magazine profile of Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes
It ignores Earnest's initial response and jumps straight to his follow-up statement.
'Kevin, I think the facts of this agreement and the benefits of this agreement make clear that the national security of the United States of America has been enhanced, and Iran's effort to acquire a nuclear weapon has been set back,' he said.
Earnest went on to tout the merits of the deal, as perceived by the administration, also telling Corke, 'I recognize that there is an attempt by those who either lied or got it wrong to try to relitigate this fight.
'But the fact of the matter is, when you take a look at the concrete results of this agreement, Iran is not able to obtain a nuclear weapon; we can verify that their nuclear program is only focused on peaceful purposes; and we have succeeded in making the United States safer, in make Israel safer, and making our partners in the region safer because Iran is not able to obtain a nuclear weapon.'
Afterward Corke asked him if he maybe 'misspoke' at the beginning.
'I said, can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration ever lied publicly about any aspect of the deal.'
To that, the president's spokesman said, 'There is no evidence that that ever occurred. And what I would encourage you and other critics of the deal to do is to look at the facts and to look at the results. We can verify them now, and the facts are clear.'
Asked today about the omission and whether its absence from the transcript was perhaps a reflection of a change in his position, Earnest told a reporter from another news outlet, 'No, if I had changed my answer you'd know about it.'
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this.soundsCollection.every(function(e){return e.isPlayable()})}},{urnPrefix:"soundcloud:playlists",onCleanup:function(e){e.soundsCollection.each(function(e){e.playlist=null,e.release()}),e.soundsCollection.off(),delete e.soundsCollection,s.onCleanup(e)},resolve:function(e,t,n){return a._resolve(this,[e,"sets",t,n],function(n){var r=n.get("user");return r&&n.get("permalink")===t&&r.permalink===e})}})}), define("layouts/blocked-listen.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){return this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{},'\n'})}), define("layouts/blocked-listen.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".l-blockedListen{background-color:#f2f2f2}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked",["require","exports","module","lib/view","views/listen/blocked.css","views/listen/blocked.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/view"),i=n.exports=r.extend({css:e("views/listen/blocked.css"),template:e("views/listen/blocked.tmpl"),className:"blockedTrack"})}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel",["require","exports","module","underscore","$","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","config","lib/futures","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/play-manager","router","models/sound","views/sound/sound","lib/helpers/style-helper","lib/view","lib/window-events","views/listen/listen-carousel.css","views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function b(e){var t=e?"on":"off";v[t]("resize:debounced",P,this),f[t]("change:currentSound",w,this)}function w(e){e.isGoingForward&&e.prev?E.call(this,e.current.resource_id,!0):e.isGoingForward===!1&&E.call(this,e.current.resource_id),T(this,e.current)}function E(e,t){var n=t?0:3,r=t?2:0,i=t?C:N;this.animationPromise=this.animationPromise.then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;var n=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);return x.call(this,e,r),t?k.call(this,[n[1],n[2]],"left"):k.call(this,[n[0],n[1]],"right")}.bind(this)).then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;i(this.getElement("wrapper")[0],A.call(this));var e=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);e[n].parentNode.removeChild(e[n]),L([e[1],e[2]])}.bind(this))}function S(e){var t="sound_"+e,n=this.subviews[t];return n||(n=new h({resource_id:e}),this.addSubview(n.render(),t)),n}function x(e,t){var n=S.call(this,e),r=this.$("."+this.itemClassName)[t];r&&(r.innerHTML="",r.appendChild(n.el))}function T(e,t){var n=l.getRoute("listen",t);n?o.get("router").navigate(n,{trigger:!1,replace:!0}):t.once("change:permalink",function(){!e.disposed&&f.getCurrentSound()===t&&T(e,t)})}function N(e,t){e.insertBefore(t,e.firstChild)}function C(e,t){e.appendChild(t)}function k(e,t){t=t==="left"?-this._carouselWidth:this._carouselWidth;var n="transform: translate3d("+t+"px , 0, 0);";return e.forEach(function(e){e.className+=" g-transition-translate",p(e,n)}),u.delay(m)}function L(e){var t="transform: none;";e.forEach(function(e){i(e).removeClass("g-transition-translate"),p(e,t)})}function A(){var e=document.createElement("div");return e.className=this.itemClassName,O.call(this,e,this._carouselWidth),e}function O(e,t){e.style.width=t+"px"}function M(e){this.elWidth=this.el.offsetWidth,this.$el.find(".listenCarousel__itemWrapper").each(function(t){O(t,e)})}function _(e){var t=this.getElement("wrapper")[0],n=-1*e;p(t,"transform: translate("+n+"px, 0)"),t.style.width=3*e+"px"}function D(){return this._carouselWidth=this.el.offsetWidth,this._carouselWidth}function P(){var e=D.call(this);_.call(this,e),M.call(this,e)}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("$"),s=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),o=e("config"),u=e("lib/futures"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),f=e("lib/play-manager"),l=e("router"),c=e("models/sound"),h=e("views/sound/sound"),p=e("lib/helpers/style-helper"),d=e("lib/view"),v=e("lib/window-events"),m=250,g,y=n.exports=d.extend(s,a,{css:e("views/listen/listen-carousel.css"),template:e("views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"),className:"listenCarousel",itemClassName:"listenCarousel__itemWrapper",element2selector:{wrapper:".listenCarousel__wrapper"},states:{transitionTranslate:function(e){this.getElement("wrapper")[e?"addClass":"removeClass"]("g-transition-translate")}},ModelClass:c,getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},cursor:-1,animationPromise:null,setup:function(){this.animationPromise=u.resolve(),this.$el.one("pointerdown",g.bind(this)),b.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){b.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){this.whenInserted().done(function(){P.call(this),x.call(this,this.model.resource_id,1)}.bind(this))},teardown:function(){clearTimeout(this._fetchNeighborSoundsId)}});g=r.once(function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&!e.isPlaying()&&this.playAudible(e,{userInitiated:!0})})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/play-manager","lib/view","views/sound/sound-controls.css","views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function l(e){this.getState("disabled")||s[e==="prev"?"playPrev":"playNext"]({userInitiated:!0})}function c(){this.getState("disabled")||s.toggleCurrent({userInitiated:!0})}function h(){var e=s.getCurrentSound(),t=!!e&&!!e.isLoading(),n=!s.hasCurrentSound(),r=n||!s.hasPrevSound(),i=n||!s.hasNextSound(),o=n||e.isBlocked();this.toggleState("loading",t).toggleState("prevDisabled",r).toggleState("nextDisabled",i).toggleState("playDisabled",o).toggleState("disabled",n)}function p(){this.toggleState("paused",!0).toggleState("playing",!1),h.call(this)}function d(){this.toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1),h.call(this)}function v(){this.toggleState("initializing",!0),this.addDeferred(r.delay(function(){this.toggleState("initializing",!1),this.toggleState("initialized",!0)}.bind(this),u))}function m(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!0)}function g(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!1)}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/play-manager"),o=e("lib/view"),u=2e3,a=250,f=n.exports=o.extend({css:e("views/sound/sound-controls.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"),className:"soundControls sc-selection-disabled",tagName:"section",events:{"click 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define("views/listen/blocked.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".blockedTrack__sound{width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:100%;position:relative}.blockedTrack__soundInner{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;left:0;right:0}.blockedTrack__suggestions{background-color:#fff}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime","views/sound/sound","views/listen/blocked-suggestions"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o,u=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/sound/sound",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+'
\n\n'+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/listen/blocked-suggestions",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t.options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+"\n
\n",s})}), define("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/mixin","lib/play-manager","lib/url"],function(e,t,n){function f(e){var t=e?"on":"off";i[t]("audio:play",l,this)[t]("audio:pause",c,this)}function l(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function c(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function h(e){this.toggleState("playing",p.call(this,e))}function p(e){return e=e||o.getCurrentSound(),!!(e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.getQueueSource().getSounds().indexOf(e)>-1)}function d(e){var t=e.data,n=t.audible,r=this.getQueueSource();return r&&o.indexOfSoundInSource(n.getCurrentSound(),r)>-1}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/mixin"),o=e("lib/play-manager"),u=e("lib/url"),a=n.exports=new s({defaults:{getQueueSource:function(){return this.collection||this.model},getRestoreUrl:function(){return u.currentPath()}},applyTo:function(e){e.bubbleEvents=r.extend(e.bubbleEvents||{},{requestPlayContext:"onRequestPlayContext"})},onRequestPlayContext:function(e){d.call(this,e)&&(e.stopPropagation(),r.extend(e.data,{source:this.getQueueSource(),restoreUrl:this.getRestoreUrl()}))},before:{setup:function(){f.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){f.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource(),t=0;e&&o.setInitialSource(e,t,this.getRestoreUrl()),h.call(this)},teardown:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&o.unsetInitialSource(e)}}})}), define("views/sound/sound",["require","exports","module","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","lib/helpers/count-helper","lib/helpers/client-environment-helper","lib/event-bus","vendor/experiments/experiments","lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader","lib/views/fullscreen-overlay","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/helpers/image-helper","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content","lib/lingua","lib/native-links","lib/play-manager","models/sound","lib/views/mixins/swipeable","lib/tracking/tracking-bus","lib/view","views/sound/sound.css","views/sound/sound.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function E(){this.model.get("playable")||this.getElement("info").addClass("disabled"),this.toggleState("blocked",this.model.isBlocked())}function S(){y.action("navigate","user")}function x(){this.toggleAudible(this.model,{userInitiated:!0,context:this.getContextData()})}function T(e){e.originalEvent.stopPropagation()}function N(e){y.action("submit","like"),d.useDeeplinks()&&(this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal||this.addSubview(new f({style:"dark",showHeader:!0,closeBehavior:"background",trackingIdentifier:"get_the_app::like",Subview:h}),"likeAppUpsellModal"),this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal.open())}function C(){this.toggleState("paused",!0),this.toggleState("playing",!1)}function k(){this.toggleState("paused",!1),this.toggleState("playing",!0)}function L(){this.getState("paused")||(this._wasPaused=this.getState("paused"),this.toggleState("paused",!0))}function A(){this.toggleState("paused",this._wasPaused)}var r=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),i=e("lib/helpers/count-helper"),s=e("lib/helpers/client-environment-helper").device,o=e("lib/event-bus"),u=e("vendor/experiments/experiments"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader"),f=e("lib/views/fullscreen-overlay"),l=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),c=e("lib/helpers/image-helper"),h=e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content"),p=e("lib/lingua"),d=e("lib/native-links"),v=e("lib/play-manager"),m=e("models/sound"),g=e("lib/views/mixins/swipeable"),y=e("lib/tracking/tracking-bus"),b=e("lib/view"),w=n.exports=b.extend(a,r,l,g,{swipeableSelector:".sound__artwork",ModelClass:m,css:e("views/sound/sound.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound.tmpl"),className:"sound g-box-full",element2selector:{info:".sound__info",artwork:".sound__artworkImage"},requiredAttributes:["user","title"],events:{"click .sound__artwork":x,"click .sound__info":S,"click .sound__likes":N,"pointerdown .sound__artwork":T,"pointerdown .sound__likes":T},bubbleEvents:{scrubStart:L,scrubEnd:A},states:{"show-likes":"show-likes"},_wasPaused:!1,setup:function(){this.el.className+=" "+s.brand,this.listenTo(o,"audio:pause",C).listenTo(o,"audio:play",k).model.on("change:playable",this.rerender,this),this.toggleState("show-likes",u.get("mweb_listening","like_button_upsell")==="enabled")},getTemplateData:function(e){return this.getState("show-likes")&&(e.likes_count_info={count:i.render(e.likes_count,{useSIUnits:!0}),fullMessage:p.tp("1 Like","%d Likes",e.likes_count,null,{comment:"How many times the track was Liked"})}),e.isBlocked=this.model.isBlocked(),e},dispose:function(){this.stopListening().model.off("change:playable",this.rerender,this)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=c.urlFrom(this.model.toJSON(),500),t=this.getElement("artwork")[0];c.fadeInBackground(e,t),E.call(this),this.model.playlist&&v.backfillHistoryFromPlaylist(this.model,this.model.playlist)},getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},onSwipeLeft:function(){v.playNext({userInitiated:!0})},onSwipeRight:function(){v.playPrev({userInitiated:!0})}})}), define("lib/helpers/style-helper",["require","exports","module"],function(e,t,n){function o(e,t,n){return e.style[t]=n,!0}function u(e){return e in document.documentElement.style}var r={transform:["webkit"]},i=Object.keys(r),s=n.exports=function(e,t){t=t.replace(";","");var n=t.split(":"),s=n[0],a=n[1],f=!1;return u(s)&&(f=o(e,s,a)),!f&&i.indexOf(s)>-1&&(f=r[s].some(function(t){var n="-"+t+"-"+s;if(u(n))return o(e,n,a)})),f}}), define("lib/window-events",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","lib/backbone","lib/support"],function(e,t,n){function l(e,t){var n=t+"d",r=e==="resize"?c(n):f.trigger.bind(f,e+":"+n);return i[t](r,a)}function c(e){var t=window.innerWidth,n=window.innerHeight,r=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:x:"+e),i=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:y:"+e),s=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:"+e);return function(e){var o=window.innerWidth,u=window.innerHeight;o!==t&&r(e),u!==n&&i(e),s(e),n=u,t=o}}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("lib/backbone"),o=e("lib/support"),u=o.orientationChange?"orientationchange":"resize",a=200,f=n.exports=i.extend({},s.Events);r(window).on(u,l("resize","debounce")).on(u,l("resize","throttle")).on("scroll",l("scroll","debounce")).on("scroll",l("scroll","throttle"))}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".listenCarousel{position:relative;width:100%;height:100%;overflow:hidden}.listenCarousel__wrapper{height:100%}.listenCarousel__itemWrapper{float:left;height:100%}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){return this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{},'\n'})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".soundControls{height:80px;position:absolute;top:50%;left:0;right:0;margin-top:-40px;-webkit-transform:translate3d(0,0,0);pointer-events:none}.soundControls__control{background-position:0 0;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:100% auto;position:absolute;pointer-events:auto}.soundControls__prev,.soundControls__next{background-image:url(https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/player/skip_button-e03e9a61.png);width:28px;height:19px;top:30px;opacity:0;-webkit-transition:opacity 2s cubic-bezier(1,.01,.81,1);transition:opacity 2s cubic-bezier(1,.01,.81,1)}.soundControls__prev{left:17px}.soundControls__next{right:17px;-webkit-transform:scaleX(-1);-ms-transform:scaleX(-1);transform:scaleX(-1)}.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__playPause,.soundControls.playing .soundControls__playPause:active,.soundControls.loading .soundControls__playPause:active{background-color:rgba(0,0,0,.5)}.soundControls.playing .soundControls__playPause,.soundControls.loading .soundControls__playPause{background-position:0 0}.soundControls__prev:active,.soundControls__next:active{background-position:0 -19px}.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__next,.soundControls.nextDisabled .soundControls__next,.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__prev,.soundControls.prevDisabled .soundControls__prev,.soundControls.playDisabled .soundControls__playPause{display:none}.initialized .soundControls__playPause{opacity:0}.initializing .soundControls__next,.initializing .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__next,.paused .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__playPause{opacity:1}.paused .soundControls__next,.paused .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__playPause{-webkit-transition:none;transition:none}.soundControls.scrubbing{display:none}")),data=null}), define("views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Previous track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on prev button"},data:i})},data:i}))+'\n'+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Play or pause track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on play/pause button"},data:i})},data:i}))+'\n'+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Next track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on next button"},data:i})},data:i}))+"\n",s})}), define("views/listen/blocked-suggestions",["require","exports","module","lib/helpers/charts-helper","collections/chart-tracks","collections/related-sounds","models/sound","lib/view","views/listen/blocked-suggestions.css","views/listen/blocked-suggestions.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function c(){return this.relatedSounds.isFullyPopulated()||h.call(this)}function h(){return this.relatedSounds.length>=f}var r=e("lib/helpers/charts-helper"),i=e("collections/chart-tracks"),s=e("collections/related-sounds"),o=e("models/sound"),u=e("lib/view"),a="top",f=3,l=n.exports=u.extend({css:e("views/listen/blocked-suggestions.css"),template:e("views/listen/blocked-suggestions.tmpl"),className:"blockedSuggestions",ModelClass:o,requiredAttributes:["genre"],setup:function(e){this.relatedSounds=new s(null,{resource_id:e.resource_id,resource_type:e.resource_type}),this.setupCollectionListeners(this.relatedSounds)},dispose:function(){this.teardownCollectionListeners(this.relatedSounds),this.relatedSounds.release()},hasData:function(){return u.prototype.hasData.apply(this,arguments)&&c.call(this)},getTemplateData:function(e){var t=e.useFallback=!h.call(this),n=this.options.resource_id,o=r.userGenreToChartGenre(e.genre).id;return t?(e.tagline=r.taglines(a,o).short,e.getSuggestionsCollection=function(){return new i(null,{genre:o,chartKind:a})}):e.getSuggestionsCollection=function(){return new s(null,{resource_id:n})},e},fetchData:function(){return c.call(this)?u.prototype.fetchData.apply(this,arguments):this.relatedSounds.bulkFetch(f)}})}), define("lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader",["require","exports","module","lib/views/loading","lib/mixin"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/views/loading"),i=e("lib/mixin"),s=n.exports=new i({override:{LoadingView:r,loadingViewArgs:function(){return{size:"fullscreen"}}}})}), define("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content",["require","exports","module","lib/helpers/client-environment-helper","lib/lingua","lib/native-links","lib/view","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.tmpl","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.css"],function(e,t,n){function a(e){this.bubble("closeButton:click")}function f(e){e.stopPropagation()}var r=e("lib/helpers/client-environment-helper").device,i=e("lib/lingua"),s=e("lib/native-links"),o=e("lib/view"),u=n.exports=o.extend({template:e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.tmpl"),css:e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.css"),className:"likeAppUpsellContent g-align-vertical",events:{"click .likeAppUpsellContent__closeButton":a,click:f},setup:function(e){this.el.className+=" "+r.brand},getTemplateData:function(e){var t=r.iOS?i.t("Get our iPhone app to save this track to your likes, create playlists and more."):i.t("Get our Android app to save this track to your likes, create playlists and more.");return{upsellIcon:"https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/interstitial/like-upsell/heart-android-280d5bc8.png",upsellHeader:i.t("Try our app.It's even better"),upsellContent:t,getLikeUpsellDeepLink:s.getLikeCountDeepLink}}})}), define("lib/views/mixins/swipeable",["require","exports","module","lib/mixin"],function(e,t,n){function s(e){var 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define("lib/views/sounds-list",["require","exports","module","lib/views/list","views/sound/sound-badge"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/views/list"),i=e("views/sound/sound-badge"),s=n.exports=r.extend({Subview:i,defaults:{maxDisplay:3,getCollection:null},className:"g-list",itemClassName:"g-list-item",setup:function(e){this.collection=e.getCollection()}})}), define("views/banner/banner.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".banner.disabled{display:none}.banner{position:absolute;left:0;width:100%;height:36px;line-height:36px;background:#000;background:rgba(0,0,0,.8);color:#e5e5e5;text-align:center;font-size:13px}")),data=null}), define("views/sound/waveform-canvas",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/views/canvas-view","vendor/color/color","config","models/sound","lib/store","lib/support"],function(e,t,n){function 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r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/model"),o=n.exports=s.extend({url:null,lastFetchTime:1,initialize:function(e){e=e||{},this.id||(e.id=this.id=this.cid,o.instances.set(this.id,this)),this.fatal=!!e.fatal,s.prototype.initialize.apply(this,arguments)}},{raise:function(e,t){var n=new o(e);n.release(),t=t||{};if(t.hard)throw n;i.trigger("exception",n)},ajaxFatal:function(e){return function(t,n){n!=="abort"&&o.raise(r.extend(e,{xhr:t,fatal:!0}))}},ajaxNonFatal:function(e){return function(t,n){n!=="abort"&&o.raise({message:e,xhr:t,fatal:!1})}}})}), define("models/playlist",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","models/audible-interface","lib/backbone","lib/event-bus","lib/model","models/sound","lib/errors/unauthorized-viewer","models/user","lib/mixins/urn"],function(e,t,n){function v(e,t){var n=e[t?"on":"off"].bind(e);n("play",m,this),n("pause",g,this),n("finish",y,this),n("time",b,this),n("seeked",w,this)}function 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r.isPlaying()&&r.pause(),s.splice(i,1),n.remove(r),e.set("tracks",s),r.playlist=null,r.release(),!0}return!1}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("models/audible-interface"),o=e("lib/backbone"),u=e("lib/event-bus"),a=e("lib/model"),f=e("models/sound"),l=e("lib/errors/unauthorized-viewer"),c=e("models/user"),h=e("lib/mixins/urn"),p;p=o.Collection.extend({model:f,fetch:function(){return this.playlist.fetch.apply(this.playlist,arguments)},initialize:function(e,t){this.playlist=t.playlist},hasDataForView:function(){return!!this.playlist.attributes.tracks},isFullyPopulated:function(){return!0},_usageCount:function(){return 1},hold:r.noop,release:r.noop});var d=n.exports=s.extend(h,{resource_type:"playlist",urnPrefix:"soundcloud:playlists",submodelMap:{tracks:f,user:c},soundsCollection:null,currentSoundCursor:0,_isPlayActionQueued:!1,_internalNavigation:!1,setup:function(){s.prototype.setup.apply(this,arguments);var e=this,t=this.soundsCollection=new p(null,{playlist:e});t.on("error",function(t,n){n instanceof l&&x(e,t.id)})},baseUrl:function(){return this.getEndpointUrl("playlist",{id:this.id})},parse:function(e){return e=a.prototype.parse.apply(this,arguments),e.secret_token&&e.tracks&&e.tracks.forEach(function(t){t.sharing!=="public"&&(t.secret_token=e.secret_token)}),e.sharing==="private"&&(e.track_count=Math.max(e.track_count,e.tracks.length)),e},createSubmodel:function(e,t){t==="tracks"?S.call(this):a.prototype.createSubmodel.apply(this,arguments)},findSound:function(e){return this.findSoundById(e.id)},containsSound:function(e){return!!this.findSoundById(e)},findSoundById:function(e){return this.soundsCollection.get(e)},getSounds:function(){return this.soundsCollection.models},getNumSounds:function(){return this.soundsCollection.length},getSoundIndex:function(e){return this.soundsCollection.indexOf(e)},getPrevSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.currentSoundCursor-1)},getCurrentSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.currentSoundCursor)},getNextSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.currentSoundCursor+1)},getFirstSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(0)},getLastSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.soundsCollection.length-1)},play:function(e){this.soundsCollection.length?(this._internalNavigation=!1,this.getCurrentSound().audio.play(e)):this.lastFetchTime||(this._isPlayActionQueued=!0,this.fetch().done(function(){this._isPlayActionQueued&&(this._isPlayActionQueued=!1,this.play(e))}.bind(this)))},pause:function(e){this._isPlayActionQueued=!1,this.soundsCollection&&this.soundsCollection.length&&(this._internalNavigation=!1,this.getCurrentSound().audio.pause(e))},rewind:function(){this.currentSoundCursor=0},setCurrentSound:function(e){this.currentSoundCursor=this.getSoundIndex(e)},isPlaying:function(){return this.soundsCollection.some(function(e){return e.isPlaying()})},isPlayable:function(){return this.soundsCollection.every(function(e){return e.isPlayable()})}},{urnPrefix:"soundcloud:playlists",onCleanup:function(e){e.soundsCollection.each(function(e){e.playlist=null,e.release()}),e.soundsCollection.off(),delete e.soundsCollection,s.onCleanup(e)},resolve:function(e,t,n){return a._resolve(this,[e,"sets",t,n],function(n){var r=n.get("user");return r&&n.get("permalink")===t&&r.permalink===e})}})}), define("layouts/blocked-listen.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){return this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{},'\n'})}), define("layouts/blocked-listen.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".l-blockedListen{background-color:#f2f2f2}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked",["require","exports","module","lib/view","views/listen/blocked.css","views/listen/blocked.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/view"),i=n.exports=r.extend({css:e("views/listen/blocked.css"),template:e("views/listen/blocked.tmpl"),className:"blockedTrack"})}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel",["require","exports","module","underscore","$","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","config","lib/futures","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/play-manager","router","models/sound","views/sound/sound","lib/helpers/style-helper","lib/view","lib/window-events","views/listen/listen-carousel.css","views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function b(e){var t=e?"on":"off";v[t]("resize:debounced",P,this),f[t]("change:currentSound",w,this)}function w(e){e.isGoingForward&&e.prev?E.call(this,e.current.resource_id,!0):e.isGoingForward===!1&&E.call(this,e.current.resource_id),T(this,e.current)}function E(e,t){var n=t?0:3,r=t?2:0,i=t?C:N;this.animationPromise=this.animationPromise.then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;var n=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);return x.call(this,e,r),t?k.call(this,[n[1],n[2]],"left"):k.call(this,[n[0],n[1]],"right")}.bind(this)).then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;i(this.getElement("wrapper")[0],A.call(this));var e=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);e[n].parentNode.removeChild(e[n]),L([e[1],e[2]])}.bind(this))}function S(e){var t="sound_"+e,n=this.subviews[t];return n||(n=new h({resource_id:e}),this.addSubview(n.render(),t)),n}function x(e,t){var n=S.call(this,e),r=this.$("."+this.itemClassName)[t];r&&(r.innerHTML="",r.appendChild(n.el))}function T(e,t){var n=l.getRoute("listen",t);n?o.get("router").navigate(n,{trigger:!1,replace:!0}):t.once("change:permalink",function(){!e.disposed&&f.getCurrentSound()===t&&T(e,t)})}function N(e,t){e.insertBefore(t,e.firstChild)}function C(e,t){e.appendChild(t)}function k(e,t){t=t==="left"?-this._carouselWidth:this._carouselWidth;var n="transform: translate3d("+t+"px , 0, 0);";return e.forEach(function(e){e.className+=" g-transition-translate",p(e,n)}),u.delay(m)}function L(e){var t="transform: none;";e.forEach(function(e){i(e).removeClass("g-transition-translate"),p(e,t)})}function A(){var e=document.createElement("div");return e.className=this.itemClassName,O.call(this,e,this._carouselWidth),e}function O(e,t){e.style.width=t+"px"}function M(e){this.elWidth=this.el.offsetWidth,this.$el.find(".listenCarousel__itemWrapper").each(function(t){O(t,e)})}function _(e){var t=this.getElement("wrapper")[0],n=-1*e;p(t,"transform: translate("+n+"px, 0)"),t.style.width=3*e+"px"}function D(){return this._carouselWidth=this.el.offsetWidth,this._carouselWidth}function P(){var e=D.call(this);_.call(this,e),M.call(this,e)}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("$"),s=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),o=e("config"),u=e("lib/futures"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),f=e("lib/play-manager"),l=e("router"),c=e("models/sound"),h=e("views/sound/sound"),p=e("lib/helpers/style-helper"),d=e("lib/view"),v=e("lib/window-events"),m=250,g,y=n.exports=d.extend(s,a,{css:e("views/listen/listen-carousel.css"),template:e("views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"),className:"listenCarousel",itemClassName:"listenCarousel__itemWrapper",element2selector:{wrapper:".listenCarousel__wrapper"},states:{transitionTranslate:function(e){this.getElement("wrapper")[e?"addClass":"removeClass"]("g-transition-translate")}},ModelClass:c,getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},cursor:-1,animationPromise:null,setup:function(){this.animationPromise=u.resolve(),this.$el.one("pointerdown",g.bind(this)),b.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){b.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){this.whenInserted().done(function(){P.call(this),x.call(this,this.model.resource_id,1)}.bind(this))},teardown:function(){clearTimeout(this._fetchNeighborSoundsId)}});g=r.once(function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&!e.isPlaying()&&this.playAudible(e,{userInitiated:!0})})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/play-manager","lib/view","views/sound/sound-controls.css","views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function l(e){this.getState("disabled")||s[e==="prev"?"playPrev":"playNext"]({userInitiated:!0})}function c(){this.getState("disabled")||s.toggleCurrent({userInitiated:!0})}function h(){var e=s.getCurrentSound(),t=!!e&&!!e.isLoading(),n=!s.hasCurrentSound(),r=n||!s.hasPrevSound(),i=n||!s.hasNextSound(),o=n||e.isBlocked();this.toggleState("loading",t).toggleState("prevDisabled",r).toggleState("nextDisabled",i).toggleState("playDisabled",o).toggleState("disabled",n)}function p(){this.toggleState("paused",!0).toggleState("playing",!1),h.call(this)}function d(){this.toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1),h.call(this)}function v(){this.toggleState("initializing",!0),this.addDeferred(r.delay(function(){this.toggleState("initializing",!1),this.toggleState("initialized",!0)}.bind(this),u))}function m(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!0)}function g(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!1)}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/play-manager"),o=e("lib/view"),u=2e3,a=250,f=n.exports=o.extend({css:e("views/sound/sound-controls.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"),className:"soundControls sc-selection-disabled",tagName:"section",events:{"click .soundControls__prev":"onClickPrev","click .soundControls__next":"onClickNext","click .soundControls__playPause":c},states:{loading:"loading",playing:"playing",paused:"paused",playDisabled:"playDisabled",prevDisabled:"prevDisabled",nextDisabled:"nextDisabled",disabled:"disabled",initializing:"initializing",initialized:"initialized"},setup:function(){this.listenTo(i,"audio:play",d).listenTo(i,"audio:pause",p).listenTo(i,"scrub:start",m).listenTo(i,"scrub:end",g).listenToOnce(i,"audio:play",v)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=s.getCurrentSound();e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.toggleState("initialized",!0).toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1)},dispose:function(){this.stopListening()},onClickNext:r.debounce(function(){l.call(this,"next")},a,!0),onClickPrev:r.debounce(function(){l.call(this,"prev")},a,!0)})}), define("views/listen/blocked.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".blockedTrack__sound{width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:100%;position:relative}.blockedTrack__soundInner{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;left:0;right:0}.blockedTrack__suggestions{background-color:#fff}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime","views/sound/sound","views/listen/blocked-suggestions"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o,u=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/sound/sound",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+'
\n\n'+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/listen/blocked-suggestions",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t.options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+"\n
\n",s})}), define("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/mixin","lib/play-manager","lib/url"],function(e,t,n){function f(e){var t=e?"on":"off";i[t]("audio:play",l,this)[t]("audio:pause",c,this)}function l(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function c(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function h(e){this.toggleState("playing",p.call(this,e))}function p(e){return e=e||o.getCurrentSound(),!!(e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.getQueueSource().getSounds().indexOf(e)>-1)}function d(e){var t=e.data,n=t.audible,r=this.getQueueSource();return r&&o.indexOfSoundInSource(n.getCurrentSound(),r)>-1}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/mixin"),o=e("lib/play-manager"),u=e("lib/url"),a=n.exports=new s({defaults:{getQueueSource:function(){return this.collection||this.model},getRestoreUrl:function(){return u.currentPath()}},applyTo:function(e){e.bubbleEvents=r.extend(e.bubbleEvents||{},{requestPlayContext:"onRequestPlayContext"})},onRequestPlayContext:function(e){d.call(this,e)&&(e.stopPropagation(),r.extend(e.data,{source:this.getQueueSource(),restoreUrl:this.getRestoreUrl()}))},before:{setup:function(){f.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){f.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource(),t=0;e&&o.setInitialSource(e,t,this.getRestoreUrl()),h.call(this)},teardown:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&o.unsetInitialSource(e)}}})}), define("views/sound/sound",["require","exports","module","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","lib/helpers/count-helper","lib/helpers/client-environment-helper","lib/event-bus","vendor/experiments/experiments","lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader","lib/views/fullscreen-overlay","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/helpers/image-helper","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content","lib/lingua","lib/native-links","lib/play-manager","models/sound","lib/views/mixins/swipeable","lib/tracking/tracking-bus","lib/view","views/sound/sound.css","views/sound/sound.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function E(){this.model.get("playable")||this.getElement("info").addClass("disabled"),this.toggleState("blocked",this.model.isBlocked())}function S(){y.action("navigate","user")}function x(){this.toggleAudible(this.model,{userInitiated:!0,context:this.getContextData()})}function T(e){e.originalEvent.stopPropagation()}function N(e){y.action("submit","like"),d.useDeeplinks()&&(this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal||this.addSubview(new f({style:"dark",showHeader:!0,closeBehavior:"background",trackingIdentifier:"get_the_app::like",Subview:h}),"likeAppUpsellModal"),this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal.open())}function C(){this.toggleState("paused",!0),this.toggleState("playing",!1)}function k(){this.toggleState("paused",!1),this.toggleState("playing",!0)}function L(){this.getState("paused")||(this._wasPaused=this.getState("paused"),this.toggleState("paused",!0))}function A(){this.toggleState("paused",this._wasPaused)}var r=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),i=e("lib/helpers/count-helper"),s=e("lib/helpers/client-environment-helper").device,o=e("lib/event-bus"),u=e("vendor/experiments/experiments"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader"),f=e("lib/views/fullscreen-overlay"),l=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),c=e("lib/helpers/image-helper"),h=e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content"),p=e("lib/lingua"),d=e("lib/native-links"),v=e("lib/play-manager"),m=e("models/sound"),g=e("lib/views/mixins/swipeable"),y=e("lib/tracking/tracking-bus"),b=e("lib/view"),w=n.exports=b.extend(a,r,l,g,{swipeableSelector:".sound__artwork",ModelClass:m,css:e("views/sound/sound.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound.tmpl"),className:"sound g-box-full",element2selector:{info:".sound__info",artwork:".sound__artworkImage"},requiredAttributes:["user","title"],events:{"click .sound__artwork":x,"click .sound__info":S,"click .sound__likes":N,"pointerdown .sound__artwork":T,"pointerdown .sound__likes":T},bubbleEvents:{scrubStart:L,scrubEnd:A},states:{"show-likes":"show-likes"},_wasPaused:!1,setup:function(){this.el.className+=" "+s.brand,this.listenTo(o,"audio:pause",C).listenTo(o,"audio:play",k).model.on("change:playable",this.rerender,this),this.toggleState("show-likes",u.get("mweb_listening","like_button_upsell")==="enabled")},getTemplateData:function(e){return this.getState("show-likes")&&(e.likes_count_info={count:i.render(e.likes_count,{useSIUnits:!0}),fullMessage:p.tp("1 Like","%d Likes",e.likes_count,null,{comment:"How many times the track was Liked"})}),e.isBlocked=this.model.isBlocked(),e},dispose:function(){this.stopListening().model.off("change:playable",this.rerender,this)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=c.urlFrom(this.model.toJSON(),500),t=this.getElement("artwork")[0];c.fadeInBackground(e,t),E.call(this),this.model.playlist&&v.backfillHistoryFromPlaylist(this.model,this.model.playlist)},getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},onSwipeLeft:function(){v.playNext({userInitiated:!0})},onSwipeRight:function(){v.playPrev({userInitiated:!0})}})}), define("lib/helpers/style-helper",["require","exports","module"],function(e,t,n){function o(e,t,n){return e.style[t]=n,!0}function u(e){return e in document.documentElement.style}var r={transform:["webkit"]},i=Object.keys(r),s=n.exports=function(e,t){t=t.replace(";","");var n=t.split(":"),s=n[0],a=n[1],f=!1;return u(s)&&(f=o(e,s,a)),!f&&i.indexOf(s)>-1&&(f=r[s].some(function(t){var n="-"+t+"-"+s;if(u(n))return o(e,n,a)})),f}}), define("lib/window-events",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","lib/backbone","lib/support"],function(e,t,n){function l(e,t){var n=t+"d",r=e==="resize"?c(n):f.trigger.bind(f,e+":"+n);return i[t](r,a)}function c(e){var t=window.innerWidth,n=window.innerHeight,r=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:x:"+e),i=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:y:"+e),s=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:"+e);return function(e){var o=window.innerWidth,u=window.innerHeight;o!==t&&r(e),u!==n&&i(e),s(e),n=u,t=o}}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("lib/backbone"),o=e("lib/support"),u=o.orientationChange?"orientationchange":"resize",a=200,f=n.exports=i.extend({},s.Events);r(window).on(u,l("resize","debounce")).on(u,l("resize","throttle")).on("scroll",l("scroll","debounce")).on("scroll",l("scroll","throttle"))}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".listenCarousel{position:relative;width:100%;height:100%;overflow:hidden}.listenCarousel__wrapper{height:100%}.listenCarousel__itemWrapper{float:left;height:100%}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){return this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{},'\n'})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".soundControls{height:80px;position:absolute;top:50%;left:0;right:0;margin-top:-40px;-webkit-transform:translate3d(0,0,0);pointer-events:none}.soundControls__control{background-position:0 0;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:100% auto;position:absolute;pointer-events:auto}.soundControls__prev,.soundControls__next{background-image:url(https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/player/skip_button-e03e9a61.png);width:28px;height:19px;top:30px;opacity:0;-webkit-transition:opacity 2s cubic-bezier(1,.01,.81,1);transition:opacity 2s cubic-bezier(1,.01,.81,1)}.soundControls__prev{left:17px}.soundControls__next{right:17px;-webkit-transform:scaleX(-1);-ms-transform:scaleX(-1);transform:scaleX(-1)}.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__playPause,.soundControls.playing .soundControls__playPause:active,.soundControls.loading .soundControls__playPause:active{background-color:rgba(0,0,0,.5)}.soundControls.playing .soundControls__playPause,.soundControls.loading .soundControls__playPause{background-position:0 0}.soundControls__prev:active,.soundControls__next:active{background-position:0 -19px}.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__next,.soundControls.nextDisabled .soundControls__next,.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__prev,.soundControls.prevDisabled .soundControls__prev,.soundControls.playDisabled .soundControls__playPause{display:none}.initialized .soundControls__playPause{opacity:0}.initializing .soundControls__next,.initializing .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__next,.paused .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__playPause{opacity:1}.paused .soundControls__next,.paused .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__playPause{-webkit-transition:none;transition:none}.soundControls.scrubbing{display:none}")),data=null}), define("views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Previous track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on prev button"},data:i})},data:i}))+'\n'+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Play or pause track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on play/pause button"},data:i})},data:i}))+'\n'+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Next track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on next button"},data:i})},data:i}))+"\n",s})}), define("views/listen/blocked-suggestions",["require","exports","module","lib/helpers/charts-helper","collections/chart-tracks","collections/related-sounds","models/sound","lib/view","views/listen/blocked-suggestions.css","views/listen/blocked-suggestions.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function c(){return 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define("views/sound/sound.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime","views/banner/banner","views/sound/waveform"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){function l(e,t){var r="";return r+=''+u(n.$t.call(e,"Not available inyour country",{hash:{},data:t}))+"
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e&&a(u(e))||a("all-music")},taglines:function(e,t){var n=o.genreLabel(t),r=o.getGenre(t),s=r.category,u=r.content,a=[s,e,u].join("-");switch(a){case"all-trending-music":return{"short":i.t("New & hot tracks"),"long":i.t("Up-and-coming tracks on SoundCloud")};case"all-trending-audio":return{"short":i.t("New & hot audio"),"long":i.t("Up-and-coming audio on SoundCloud")};case"all-top-music":return{"short":i.t("Top 50 tracks"),"long":i.t("The most played tracks on SoundCloud this week")};case"all-top-audio":return{"short":i.t("Top 50 audio"),"long":i.t("The most played audio on SoundCloud this week")};case"music-trending-music":return{"short":i.t("New & hot in [[[genreLabel]]]",{genreLabel:n},{comment:"New & hot music tracks in (a genre)"}),"long":i.t("Up-and-coming tracks in [[[genreLabel]]] on SoundCloud",{genreLabel:n})};case"music-top-music":return{"short":i.t("Top 50 in [[[genreLabel]]]",{genreLabel:n},{comment:"Top 50 music tracks in (a genre)"}),"long":i.t("The most played tracks in 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.likeAppUpsellContent__messageHeader{margin-top:24px;font-size:16;color:#333}.likeAppUpsellContent.android .likeAppUpsellContent__messageContent{margin-top:20px;font-size:14;color:#999}.likeAppUpsellContent.android .appButtons{margin-top:32px}.likeAppUpsellContent__closeButton{position:absolute;top:13px;right:11px;border:0;overflow:hidden;background-color:transparent;width:11px;height:11px}.likeAppUpsellContent__closeButton:before{width:11px;height:11px;background:url(https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/interstitial/dialog_close-a797f6bf.png);background-size:11px 11px;float:left;content:''}")),data=null}), define("views/banner/banner",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/view","views/banner/banner.css"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/view"),s=n.exports=i.extend({className:"banner 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e=this.subviews.waveformCanvasUnplayed.elWidth;this.model.seek(this.model.duration()*(this._currentSeek/e)),this._isScrubbing=!1,this.subviews.timeIndicator.toggleScrubbing(!1),this.toggleState("scrubbing",!1)}function m(e){p.call(this,e.data.delta)}var r=e("views/sound/waveform-canvas").Events,i=e("lib/math"),s=e("models/sound"),o=e("lib/helpers/style-helper"),u=e("lib/view"),a=n.exports=u.extend({template:e("views/sound/waveform.tmpl"),css:e("views/sound/waveform.css"),className:"waveform sc-selection-disabled g-opacity-transition",ModelClass:s,element2selector:{waveformPlayed:".waveform__waveformCanvasPlayed > canvas",waveformUnplayed:".waveform__waveformCanvasUnplayed > 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VIDEO-State Dept.: Missing Video Potentially Showing Iran Deal Deception Was a 'Glitch' - YouTube
Thu, 12 May 2016 04:34
VIDEO-Jeff Daniels: Trump's Hat Should Say 'Make America White Again,' Sanders Has 'Great Ideas' | MRCTV
Thu, 12 May 2016 04:01
The world through Hollywood's prism? Donald Trump is fueled by racism, Bernie Sanders is driven by idealism and Hillary Clinton is the competent one who will keep us safe.
''Look at anything Trump's done. It plays into hatred,'' actor Jeff Daniels charged on Monday's edition of Bloomberg's With All Due Respect, before sneering: ''The hat should say, 'Make America White Again.'''
As for the far-left socialist Sanders, Daniels trumpeted how ''I love Bernie. I love the ideas he's got,'' citing his ''ideals, let's just make the world a great place'' with ''free health care and free college.'' Alas, standing in the way of those ''great ideas'' is the fact ''that thing called 'Congress' is a problem.''
>> This video clipped to illustrate a post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog
VIDEO-Networks Censor Latest Hillary Scandal Bombshell: Missing E-Mails | MRCTV
Thu, 12 May 2016 03:54
[See NewsBusters for more.] All three networks on Tuesday morning censored the bombshell news that all the e-mails from Hillary Clinton's top IT staffer, the man who set up her private server, are missing. This is despite a combined eight hours of air time on ABC's Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC's Today. Instead of covering this important development, these same programs devoted eight minutes and 38 seconds to a new anti-aging gel. Not exactly the most pressing story. On Fox News, Monday, Megyn Kelly broke the story: ''A new bombshell in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal. The State Department now says they can't find any of the e-mails from the Clinton staffer responsible for setting up the infamous private server.'' Judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano marveled ''Now we find out tonight that the most significant of her staffers...they can't find his e-mails.''
VIDEO-Irony: Nets Shocked by Accusations of Liberal Bias...at Facebook | MRCTV
Thu, 12 May 2016 03:32
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows expressed shock and dismay at allegations that Facebook censored conservative political news from its supposed trending news feed. At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: ''Censored by Facebook? The popular social network being accused of routinely suppressing conservative stories from its trending feed. The claim coming from former workers.''
In the report that followed minutes later, fill-in co-host Natalie Morales worried: ''Well, now to this troubling accusation leveled against Facebook that's getting a lot of attention this morning.'' She noted that social media company was ''scrambling to respond to surprising accusations of political bias.''
VIDEO-Mystery solved: State Department blames 'glitch' for missing footage from press briefing '' twitchy.com
Wed, 11 May 2016 21:50
As Twitchy reported Monday night, Fox News reporter James Rosen claimed on air that a question he raised in 2013 to then-State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki regarding the Iran deal talks had been excised from the department's video archives.
While Planned Parenthood hired its own choice of forensic examiner to perform a frame-by-frame analysis of a series of ''heavily edited'' undercover sting videos, the edit in the video Rosen aired was hardly subtle, with a bright white flash appearing where his question and Psaki's incriminating answer should have appeared. Check it out below:
The State Department has looked into the issue and today, Elizabeth Trudeau explained to reporters that the missing footage was the result of a ''glitch.''
The Washington Examiner's Pete Kasperowicz reports:
''When Fox flagged it for us, we actually replaced it'' with video from another source, [Trudeau] said.
When pressed, Trudeau said State wasn't aware of any other videos that might have been subject to similar glitches, but said officials are looking more closely at it.
''We're looking into it, genuinely, we think it was a glitch,'' she said.
But those answers may not satisfy skeptics of the Iran nuclear deal, some of whom suspect that the video was edited on purpose to remove Psaki's comments that indicate the administration may have lied about when the Iran talks began.
So, the surgical removal of the one question that seemingly proved the Obama administration lied about when talks began with Iranian leaders regarding their nuclear program '-- a topic that just happens to have been in the news lately following a New York Times interview with Ben Rhodes '-- was the result of a glitch.
You might remember when French President Francois Hollande's audio suddenly cut out as he mouthed the words, ''Islamist terrorism'' during a meeting with President Obama. That too was attributed to a ''technical issue with the audio,'' which was magically restored after the Media Research Center publicized the apparent edit.
VIDEO-Charlie Rose and President's Speechwriters Laugh About ObamaCare Lie
Wed, 11 May 2016 21:15
If you are one of the millions of people who lost their health insurance under ObamaCare, the President's lie ''If you like your health care plan, you can keep it'' probably still stings. But to CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose and the Obama speechwriters he invited on his PBS show, it's now a hilarious laugh line.
On Monday's edition of PBS's Charlie Rose show the host invited on former Obama speechwriters David Litt, Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett to wax fondly about Obama's ''great'' communication skills when it came to delivering both serious speeches and funny lines. When Lovett, now a writer in Hollywood, told Rose he was most proud of the ''serious speeches'' on the economy and health care, Favreau jokingly jabbed that Lovett was responsible for the now infamous lie about keeping your health insurance plan. Rose and the entire panel cracked up at the line.
The following exchange was aired on the May 9 edition of PBS's Charlie Rose show:
CHARLIE ROSE: My point is do you have equal impact on serious speeches? Because it's about style, use of language, etcetera?
JON LOVETT, FORMER OBAMA SPEECH WRITER: I really like, I was very '-- the joke speeches is the most fun part of this. But the things I'm the most proud of were the most serious speeches, I think. Health care, economic speeches.
JON FAVREAU, FORMER OBAMA SPEECH WRITER: Lovett wrote the line about ''If you like your insurance, you can keep it.''
LOVETT: How dare you!
[laughter]
LOVETT: And you know what? It's still true! No.
VIDEO-Ridesharing will continue in Austin without Uber and Lyft | KXAN.com
Wed, 11 May 2016 21:08
Related CoverageAUSTIN (KXAN) '' Uber and Lyft threatened to leave Austin if Proposition One failed and the fingerprint regulations became the law of the city. Voters rejected the plans backed by Uber and Lyft by more than a ten points at the polls. A $8.6 million campaign couldn't convince people in Austin that TNCs should go without fingerprint background checks.
Uber and Lyft both are set to suspend their operations early Monday morning.
But ride sharing continues in Austin. While Uber and Lyft are set to leave, ''Get Me'' continues to operate its headquarters in Austin. While bickering between city hall, Uber, and Lyft dragged on from month to month, Get Me had the same position '' they will operate in Austin no matter what happened on May 7. They always planned to work with the city and operate under any regulations passed through city hall.
''Since the beginning we have never flip-flopped on our stance. We have a business that we're running and expanding very rapidly,'' said the Chief Experience Office Jonathan Laramy, ''I applaud the city, the city council, the mayor and everyone involved in saying you know what, let's let the citizens decide.''
Get Me calls their drivers ''go-getters''. They offer on-demand rides and on-demand deliveries. A few months ago they had 500 drivers. Sunday Laramy told KXAN they're expected to have around 4,500 drivers after an onslaught of drivers in the last 48 hours.
Laramy says they're working together with the city of Austin and other TNCs like Ztrip and Wingz to continue ridesharing in Austin.
''Unfortunately for everyone who woke up today they're left with carnage and questions of what's going to happen next. Get Me never wanted that. We just wanted to sit down at the table,'' said Laramy who still would like to see Uber and Lyft operate in Austin.
''This isn't about GetMe coming in as a rescue or whatever. This is about other TNCs, it's about the city, it's about other cities, it's about the citizens, it's about the on-demand drivers and we are there to support,'' said Laramy.
Voters rejected Proposition One Saturday 56 percent to 44 percent. More than 80,000 people voted.
This is not Uber and Lyft's first political battle in Texas. The ridesharing companies left San Antonio for several months last year after the city council passed fingerprint background checks. They came back months later after the city's fingerprinting became optional.
Uber is also looking to leave Houston over the same issue. Lyft suspended operations there back in 2014. Uber and Lyft stopped working in Corpus Christi just two months ago as well'... also because of fingerprinting.
Uber also left Galveston and Midland earlier this year over other issues. Lyft does not operate in either city.
This was the most expensive election in Austin history and ranks up there as one of the top in any city election in recent history. Uber and Lyft supporters spent $8.6 million dollars to eventually lose the election. That shattered the record held by Austin Mayor Steve Adler. He spent $1.2 million on his successful 2014 run.
For those outside of Austin city limits, you can catch an Uber ride to the airport. However, you will not be able to take an Uber from the airport due to the fact that it is located in city limits.
Get Me plans on expanding to more cities across Texas and the country.
VIDEO-Psaki Lied video edited-Ace of Spades HQ
Wed, 11 May 2016 14:53
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VIDEO-Trump has to be the next president. American history dictates it - video | Opinion | The Guardian
Wed, 11 May 2016 13:26
Every bold advancement of progress in the United States is met by a racist backlash, says Steven Thrasher. So, he argues, it would make complete sense if Donald Trump became the next president. Until 2043, when America is mostly non-white, true political revolution will not come
VIDEO-Viacom CBS Boss Sumner Redstone Sex Orgy Voicemail Recordings | Radar Online
Tue, 10 May 2016 20:18
**WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT**
Is 92-year-old Sumner Redstone secretly Hollywood's biggest sex freak? RadarOnline.com has obtained shockingly graphic recordings of the former Viacom and CBS honcho detailing his love for kinky sex, including orgies with men and women, voyeurism, oral sex and so much more.
On one recording obtained by Radar, Redstone can be heard addressing a female lover in a voicemail, talking about how he's arranged to have another woman and a man join them for a sexual tryst.
''Bob's never done a threesome with two men. He's done it with three women. So he's a little bit nervous but he's gonna come cuz I want him to,'' Redstone tells the woman, before he explains what to expect next.
PHOTOS: Sony Hack Exposes These 11 Stars' Secret Aliases
''So what will probably happen will probably really excite you. I'll f**k her and she'll suck Bob off and he'll f**k her and she'll suck me off,'' maps out Redstone.
But the now 92-year-old media mogul isn't done with his sex plans just yet. Radar has removed the voice of the woman.
''Before that, I'll make her jerk off in front of Bob because she's very hot when she jerks off,'' he explains. ''She's better than what you do. She takes a long time and she moans.''
PHOTOS: The 30 Most Shocking Revelations Of The Sony Leak
In another call, Redstone lets the woman know in the voicemail that it's her ''hot lover'' calling and proceeds to launch into a raunchy story about watching a guy have sex with a producer while Redstone directed her on what to do before he had sex with the woman himself.
He then asks the woman if she will participate in a steamy session, too.
''You don't have to,'' he reassures, ''but the idea of having everything, men and women at the same time. that's what you told me you wanted so let me know. I'll see you at the rager!''
PHOTOS: What Were They Thinking?! Tom Cruise As Steve Jobs, Angelina Jolie On The Prairie & Other Bizarre Casting Ideas Of The Sony Email Leak
Redstone then leaves two more messages for the woman, increasingly concerned that she won't participate. He even gives her an out.
''Hi honey,'' he says in one message. '''l've been thinking about it and I don't think you're ready so I'll get another woman'...Based on our conversation I had to push you too hard. I don't want to do that. So you won't be involved'...''
Despite his resignation, the next day Redstone again tries to get the woman interested in a sexual rendezvous.
PHOTOS: 20 Stars Who Look Plastic Fantastic!
''Of course I love you. I wanna f**k your ass off,'' he gushes. ''You know what? I can arrange for you to participate on Friday. I think you want it. I know you're shy but you said you want it'...Sucking [another male partner] off. It would get me very happy if you did it. Then we're gonna have a real future of sex. So let me know on my cellphone if that's ok and I'll arrange to have you picked up.''
The insatiable Redstone then continues his dirty talk in yet another message he left the woman not quite 24 hours later.
''Hope you don't mind my language but I'm craving that hot c**t of yours. The way I like to suck it and the way I like to f**k it,'' he says. ''Lemme ask you a question. I know you say you're not ready for a threesome with a man'...but what about a woman? I think you told me you did threesomes with women.''
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''Let me know if you want, I can put you in a threesome with a beautiful woman,'' promises Redstone.
It's unclear if the woman and Redstone ever took their phone conversations to the next level. But Redstone's worsening health has currently made it physically improbable that he can still participate in sexual activities.
As Radar reported, the uncovering of the sordid tapes comes as the geriatric former media mogul is caught up in a fight over who can determine how his health needs are met '-- and who will control his nearly $40 billion fortune. Manuela Herzer, his former live-in girlfriend, had claimed she was unduly thrown out of his home and removed from his health directive. The lawsuit is expected to be dismissed today.
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The ailing Redstone's formerly estranged daughter ShariRedstone, recently has assumed a larger role in his life. Shari and Viacom Executive Chairman Philippe Daumanare currently at war over the mogul's $37.1 billion in media assets.
A rep for Redstone did not reply to Radar's repeated request for comment.
Story developing.
VIDEO-Bill Gates Prediction: 33 Million To Die In Global Pandemic | Truth And Action
Tue, 10 May 2016 20:15
Gates' sudden and peculiar obsession with hypothetical scenarios that could potentially kill hundreds of millions of people around the world in less than a year is deeply concerning, not just because such scenarios are possible, but because Gates has both the funding and the power to turn possible into probable. Consider the following statements Gates has made over the years to suggest that reducing the world's population is one of his personal goals:
''The world today has 6.8 billion people. That's heading up to about 9 billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent,'' Gates said at a 2010 TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference talk in Long Beach, California.
''The benefits [of vaccines] are there in terms of reducing sickness, reducing population growth,'' stated Gates during a 2011 interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Gates also denounced the scientifically proven vaccine-autism link during this cringeworthy interview. ''It really allows society a chance to take care of itself,'' he added about using vaccines to reduce population numbers.
''The magic tool of health intervention is the vaccine, because they can be made very inexpensively,'' stated Gates, also in 2011, during an interview in which both he and his wife once again hawked vaccines as a way to reduce the world's population.
''There is no such thing as a healthy, high population growth country,'' stated Gates during a keynote address at the mHealth Summit, an annual gathering supposedly focused on improving healthcare through mobile technology. ''If you're healthy, you're low population growth,'' he added.
VIDEO-Siri-creator shows off first public demo of Viv, 'the intelligent interface for everything' | TechCrunch
Tue, 10 May 2016 14:50
Privacy International files judicial review to UK's ability to hack devices en masse
Voice-controlled assistance is seeing another evolution as it looks to prove its worth as the next shift in human-computer interaction.
Today, onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, Siri creator Dag Kittlaus showed off the first public demo of Viv, an AI virtual system that aims to be ''the intelligent interface for everything.''
In a live presentation that mentioned the word ''paradigm'' at least a dozen times, Kittlaus talked a bit about the next wave of computer interaction methods and how Viv would come to ''breathe life into the inanimate objects of our life through conversation.''
The live demo went off without any major glitches despite the laser-focused specificity of the queries all uttered onstage in front of an audience of hundreds.
Kittlaus began with a broad and oft-uttered question regarding what the weather was like today, but then quickly evolved his demands of Viv into ludicrously complex pointed inquiries.
''Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden gate bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow?'' Kittlaus asked onstage.
Apple Music Adds A Student Discount | Crunch Report
Watch More EpisodesViv was ready with an answer that time and to each of the bizarrely specific questions that would follow.
What stands as one of the clear strengths and differentiating factors of Viv as a platform is the open-armed welcoming of third-party integrations into the virtual assistant fray. Kittlaus called on Viv to pay a buddy $20 and all that followed was a tap of the pay button through a Venmo integration and, all of a sudden, his friend had been paid.
Indeed, Kittlaus specified that ''perfecting the third-party ecosystem'' will be critical to the soul of their mission. Kittlaus said that Viv would one day become a ''primary source'' for users.
A clear strength of the Viv platform was the ''stackability'' of inquiries. As opposed to short-term-memoried platforms like Siri, Viv was able to embrace follow-up questions without stuttering or gasping for context that was just said seconds before.
In an interview onstage with TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino, Viv CEO Dag Kittlaus discussed what differentiated this assistant from the dozens of others.
Kittlaus detailed the real secret sauce of Viv was something called ''dynamic program generation,'' which allows the AI-powered assistant to understand intent and generate a program itself to best answer the query.
''Instead of having to write every code instructed, you're really just describing what you want it to do,'' said Kittlaus. ''The whole idea of Viv is that developers can go in and build any experience that they want.''
Throughout the demo, mental comparisons to Siri were inevitable. What was initially hailed as a massive advance has grown a bit more maligned in recent years as complaints have piled on that Siri's accuracy isn't good enough to be relied on.
All of this is particularly interesting because Kittlaus co-founded Siri in 2007 after spinning the underlying technologies out of the Stanford Research Institute. He initially saw a future for Siri that looked quite similar to what he has envisioned for Viv. Though his company supported nearly 45 services when it first launched, Siri soon found a home on just iOS devices after Apple purchased the company for $200 million in 2010.
Viv has grown relatively stealthily over the past four years. The company raised $12.5 million from Iconiq Capital last year, a company that Forbes reported is backed by names like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman and others.
Kittlaus mostly deflected on the company's rumored acquisition bids from Facebook and Google as reported by the Washington Post. In response to an inquiry onstage about the identity of the potential suitors, Kittlaus responded, ''Yeah you've heard about them, you can read about it probably.''
Maybe Viv knows.
Kittlaus didn't offer a ton of specifics on when people could expect to be asking Viv about the weather after 5pm near the Golden Gate Bridge, but he did specify that early integrations would be coming ''later this year.''
VIDEO AUDIO-Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Bashes Trump In Expletive-Filled Rant - BuzzFeed News
Tue, 10 May 2016 11:49
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Former Mexican President Vicente Fox had harsh words for Donald Trump in a podcast set to be posted on Tuesday. Fox, in an expletive-filled rant, compared the presumptive Republican nominee to past Latin American strongmen and reiterated his belief Trump would lead to a war with Mexico.
''Wake up Americans, he's a false prophet,'' said Fox in an iTunes preview of the Kick Ass Politics interview to be posted on Tuesday. ''Think about it, analyze what he's proposing. Count the amount of lies he says in every speech, everyday he lies and lies with figures because his sole interest is to do personal business. To get greedy, to get more money. To put the Trump name everyday in the world.
''I don't like him, I don't like him,'' added Fox.
The former Mexican president said Trump was like past Latin American strongmen, and would destroy the U.S. economy.
''This is a smart guy who takes advantage of that, the Hugo Chavezs, the Evo Morales, the, so many populists and demagogues that we had in Latin America. The Perons, Evita,'' said Fox. ''That destroy economies, but people believe in him because they tell them, 'look, I'm gonna get you this job. I'm gonna increase your income. I'm gonna solve your problems.' And Trump is crazy, he can not solve all the problems of all these people. He's crazy.''
''I'm not gonna pay for that fucking wall and please don't take out the fucking full word,'' he said. ''He's crazy. He is crazy.''
Fox has previously said Trump's plan to seize remittances being sent to Mexico to pay for his wall was ''robbery.''
''He is ugly America,'' Fox continued, arguing Trump's policies could lead to war. ''He is the hated gringo because he's attacking all of us. He's offending all of us.''
Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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VIDEO-Jon Stewart is back with some strong words for "man-baby" Donald Trump - Vox
Tue, 10 May 2016 11:04
Donald Trump's rise in the Republican Party seemed like the perfect fodder for former Daily Show host Jon Stewart. But Stewart, who retired last year from the show, has for the most part remained silent about the billionaire's rise in presidential politics.
Until now.
"I'm not a constitutional scholar, so I can't necessarily say, but are you eligible to run if you are a man-baby or a baby-man? I don't know," Stewart said at anevent hosted by the University of Chicago's Institute of Politicson Monday. "But he is a man-baby. He has the physical countenance of a man and a baby's temperament and hands."
Stewart went on, calling Trump "an unrepentant, narcissistic asshole." (The comments start at around 8:05 in the video above.)
"He is a man-baby. He has the physical countenance of a man and a baby's temperament and hands."
Stewart argued that Trump's criticism that America is now weak and sensitive due to political correctness is ridiculous, considering Trump has proven to be so thin-skinned himself.
"Donald Trump couldn't handle us [The Daily Show] making a joke about him," Stewart said. "Graydon Carter did a joke about Donald Trump's hands 25 years ago. He's still not fucking over it." He added, "The idea being that, Muslims, hey man, all he's saying is they're evil and shouldn't be allowed in this country '-- he's just telling it like it is. But god forbid you say happy holidays in December; it's fucking war. So who is it who's exactly sensitive here?"
As Politico reported, Stewart also mocked Trump's campaign slogan: "When was America great? What is this time that he speaks of? '81 to '82? Like what are we talking about? And who took your country away from you?"
Stewart, however, didn't have very nice words for Hillary Clinton, saying she's "a very bright woman without the courage of her convictions, because I'm not even sure what they are." He clarified, though, that he prefers Clinton to Trump.
But that came with a very big caveat: "At this point, I would vote for Mr. T over Donald Trump."
Watch: Donald Trump's rise is a scary moment in America
VIDEO-What Happened when MS Welfare Recipients Had to Work?
Mon, 09 May 2016 23:32
Steven CrowderTuesday April 5 2016
So this happened. Mississippi passed a law that says welfare recipients need to find a job or volunteer in order to receive benefits. What happened next will SHOCK AND AMAZE YOU OMG OMG OMG!! Except, the opposite of that'...
azfamily.com 3TV | Phoenix Breaking News, Weather, Sport
Fayard said even though the work is hard, he doesn't mind putting in long hours in order to keep his benefits.
''I'm not as much focused on consequences of a politician's decision or a policy change,'' said Fayard. ''I'm more focused on my reality and my stance right now, and I'm actually just trying to get by day to day.''
Other volunteers also started in hopes of keeping their benefits, while at the same time enjoying having a job to do.
''Really, it's more of a job opportunity to help you get out into the job world, and being up here helps you out a lot,'' said volunteer Sharon House.
''As tough as it may be, if I've got to do it, I can't let anything stop me or get in my way. I have goals, I have dreams, it's life,'' said Percy.
Wait, so instead of complaining about mean politicians or crying racism'... they just went out to get a job? Furthermore, they are happier about getting a job, or volunteering, or otherwise working?
So it turns out, work is actually good for people. It seems that if you elevate people and exalt them to where you want them to be, many will rise to the occasion. Sometimes people who may even surprise you. Sometimes people who may even surprise themselves. The great thing about this story is that you see two undeniable tenets of Conservatism at play.
Never underestimate the power of self-preservation. If someone needs to work in order to eat, they will work.Human beings were designed to be purposeful, and are happier and more fulfilled when living that way. Sure, not working would be easier, and that's why most people would take the option when afforded to them. But time and time again, we see that it doesn't make human beings happier.But, what about all of that ''systemic racism'' talk? You know, the leftist arguments that forcing someone to work for welfare is demeaning and cruel, what about all of that?
Oh. Oh it was just another crock of festering horse feces, designed to buy more votes from non-contributing zeroes? Well, I guess that makes sense.
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VIDEO-LiveLeak.com - AC-130U Spooky | AC-130W Stinger II
Mon, 09 May 2016 23:21
Footage of AC-130U (0:00 - 2:10) mark; AC-130W (2:10 - 5:00) mark. Includes KC-135 refueling.
Differences of AC-130U and AC-130W:
AC-130U:
Mission: The AC-130U ''Spooky'' gunships' primary missions are close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense.
Air interdiction missions are conducted against preplanned targets or targets of opportunity and include strike coordination, reconnaissance, and armed overwatch mission sets.
Features: This heavily armed aircraft incorporate side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation, and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The sensor suite consists of a multispectral television sensors, high definition infrared sensors, and radar.
These sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets anytime, anywhere. The AC-130U employs synthetic aperture strike radar for long-range and adverse weather target detection and identification. The AC-130's navigational devices include inertial navigation systems and global positioning systems. The AC-130U's capability to track and engage two targets simultaneously with different levels of ordnance is an invaluable asset to Special Operations Forces on the ground.
AC-130W:
Mission: The AC-130W Stinger II primary missions are close air support and air interdiction. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense. Air interdiction missions are conducted against preplanned targets or targets of opportunity and include strike coordination and reconnaissance.
Features: The aircraft is a highly modified C-130H featuring improved navigation, threat detection, countermeasures, and communication suites. All AC-130W aircraft are modified with a precision strike package to perform the gunship mission. Modifications to the AC-130W include a mission management console, communications suite, two electro-optical/infrared sensors, fire control equipment, precision guided munitions delivery capability; and one side-firing, trainable 30mm gun with tracer-less ammunition and associated munitions storage system.
The mission management system will fuse sensor, communication, environment, order of battle and threat information into a common operating picture. The AC-130W Stinger II Precision Strike Package modification provides ground forces an expeditionary, persistent direct fires platform that delivers precision low-yield munitions, ideally suited for close air support and urban operations.
Footage credit:
1st Combat Camera Squadron.3rd Combat Camera Squadron.SSgt Thomas Smith;SrA Jacob Albers.
Date taken: 05.4.2016. Press Released: 05.8.2016.
Participants:
4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
16th Special Operations Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.,
KC-135 Stratotanker from McGee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee.
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VIDEO-Obama's Critique of Sanders
Mon, 09 May 2016 19:14
President Obama's commencement speech today at Howard University firmly and repeatedly challenged the central message of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. (C-Span link offers video and full text.)
The president was not attacking Sanders' ideology of fairness. But he was clearly separating himself from Sanders' dogmatic insistence on revolutionary transformation.
If you want to make life fair, then you have to start with the world as it is.
The balance between idealism and pragmatism was clearly at the forefront of the president's mind.
Democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100% right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right and you still have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral security, but you will not get what you want.
This is one reason there has been somewhat of a class divide between Bernie and Hillary supporters. The ''moral security'' Obama refers to is an emotional and intellectual luxury if it doesn't contribute to substantive change.
I've heard Bernie supporters say their movement should be the left-wing equivalent of the Tea Party '-- a curious sentiment, considering how much karma the GOP is currently paying off thanks to years of the Tea Party's impassioned ''moral security.''
All too often, righteous passion leads to angry cynicism, because progress never matches one's righteous vision. Here, the president parrots Bernie's language directly:
If you do not get what you want long enough, you will eventually think the whole system is rigged. That will lead to more cynicism, not participation '-- and less participation and a downward spiral of more injustice, anger and despair. And that has never been a source of progress. That is how we cheat ourselves of progress.
The president is tapping into one of Hillary's main responses to Bernie. It's not enough to provide critiques of ''the rigged system,'' you need a strategy to actually get things done.
We need, said the president, ''Not just awareness, but action.''
You have to go through life with more than just passion for change. You need a strategy. I will repeat that. You have to have a strategy. Not just awareness but action. Not just hashtags but votes. You see, change requires more than talking, it requires a program and organizing.
But, the president reminds the young graduates, shifting from righteous idealism to pragmatic action requires patience '-- as well as an acceptance of incrementalism.
To shape our collective future [we need to] bend it in the direction of justice, freedom and equality.
The word ''bend,'' as in MLK's famous line, is a reference to reality-based incrementalism. ''The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.''
Inherent in the concept of incrementalism is the concept of compromise. The guiding light is not whether you've righteously denounced ''the whole rigged system.'' It's whether you've made the system better.
You know what? I will take better every time. I always tell my staff, better is good because you can consolidate your gains and then you move on to the next fight from a stronger position.
Allies who strategically push you to go further can help consolidate gains; on the other hand, critics who do nothing but gripe about you ''selling out'' only weaken your position.
Those who pile on to popular cynical narratives effectively handicap our agents of change. Cynicism only breeds more cynicism '-- which undermines progress, leading to further cynicism.
And people wonder, how come Obama has not got this or that done? In 2014, only two out of five Americans turned out [to vote]. You do not think that made the difference in terms of the Congress I have got to deal with? You do not think that made a difference? What would have happened if you turned out at 50%, 60%,70% all across this country? People try to make this political thing really complicated. Oh, what kind of reforms do we need and how do we have to do that? You know what? Just vote. It is math. If you had more votes than the other guy, you get to do what you want. It is not that complicated.
When we righteously insist that ''the system'' is totally fucked up (rather than needing repairs, as per usual), we are not only doing the Right's political bidding, we are succumbing to a ''catastrophizing'' mindset. There's always work to be done, but'...
I tell you this because it is important to note progress. I tell you this not to lull you into complacency but to spur you into action. Because there is still so much more work to do, so many more miles to travel.
Pointing out things that have gotten better doesn't always come naturally to Democrats. But failing to do so (and succumbing to a catastrophizing mindset) is a political failure.
America is a better place today than it was when I graduated from college. Let me repeat. America is by almost every measure better. It is also better than when I took office. That is a different story. ['...] I wanted to start by opening your eyes to the moment you are in. If you had to choose one moment in history in which you could be born and you did not know ahead of time who you were going to be, what nationality, or gender, what race '-- whether you would be rich, poor, gay or straight, what faith you would be born into '-- you would not choose 100 years ago. You would not choose the 1950s, the 1960s, or the 1970s. You would choose right now. [...] As complicated and sometimes impractical as the challenges may seem, the truth is that your generation is better positioned than any before you to meet those challenges, to flip the script.
From the beginning, President Obama has been knocked for his associations, and his willingness to listen to others. From the Right, it was Reverend Wright '-- or shaking hands with Raul Castro. From the Left, it was Wall Street, or his military advisers.
This is one of the things I find most troubling about Bernie: his pointed disdain for the idea of caring what ''the bad guys'' have to say. His willingness to dismiss members of the franchise with whom he disagrees is a sure sign that his presidency would likely be one of high righteousness, low effectiveness.
Change requires more than just speaking out. It requires listening as well. In particular, it requires listening to those with whom you disagree. And being prepared to compromise.
When I was a state senator, I led Illinois' first racial profiling law and one of the first laws in the nation requiring the videotaping of confessions in capital cases. We were successful because early on I engaged with law enforcement. I did not say to them, you guys are so racist, you need to do something. And because we took the time to listen, we crafted legislation that was good for the police because it improved the trust and cooperation of the community, and it was good for the community who were less likely to be treated unfairly. And, I can say this unequivocally, without at least the acceptance of the police organization in Illinois, I could never have gotten those bills passed. Very simple. They would have blocked them.
Reminds me of his approach to dismantling ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'' Righteous liberals taunted him viciously for not going faster, or going alone, or for caring what the generals thought. Thank goodness he had the wisdom and patience to see the value of obtaining buy-in from the military. Now, instead of a fragile executive order, we have settled, permanent statutory change '-- for the better. It took time and effort, but that is what is known as ''the penalty of democracy.''
The point is you need allies in a democracy. That is just the way it is. It can be frustrating and it can be slow. But history teaches us that the alternative to democracy is always worse.
Yes, that even means caring what a Kissinger has to say. (And no, Hillary did not call Kissinger her mentor; she merely said she would listen to him.)
In short, says our president, there's certainly a place for blazing rhetoric, but it needs to be balanced with pragmatic, messy, imperfect action.
We remember Dr. King's soaring oratory. The power of his letter from a Birmingham jail. The march he led. But he also sat down with President Johnson in the Oval Office to try to get the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act passed. And those two bills were not perfect, just like the Emancipation Proclamation was a war document as much as it was some call for freedom. Those milestones of progress were not perfect, and they do not make up for centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, or eliminate racism or provide 40 acres and a mule. But they made things better.
VIDEO-Donald Trump on the debt: "You never have to default because you print the money'' - Vox
Mon, 09 May 2016 15:51
In a phone interview with CNN Monday morning, Donald Trump said something startling: The US, he insisted, will never have to default on its debts, because it can always print more money:
This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money. I hate to tell you. So there's never a default.
Trump was responding to a question from CNN's Chris Cuomo following comments he made last week suggesting that he'd ask American bondholders to take a haircut '-- accept less than they are owed '-- if the government debt problem ever got out of control.
That first comment understandably terrified a lot of people in the financial press. The entire world financial system is predicated on the notion that US debt is the safest investment there is. If the US started threatening to not pay back its debts in full (to partially default, essentially) its borrowing costs would skyrocket, and so too would interest rates on everything else: corporate debt, mortgages, credit cards, etc.
Such a haircut would, as Vox's Matt Yglesias explained, cause a financial crisis, and, worse, be totally unnecessary. While countries in the EU that don't control their own currencies can, theoretically, be forced to default, countries like the US that do control their own currencies always have another option: They can pay off the debt by printing more dollars. This might lead to undesirable levels of inflation, but that's probably better than a full-on financial catastrophe.
Trump's latest comments suggest that he grasps this notion. In doing so, he's echoing a heterodox left-wing economics movement that's gotten some buy-in from Bernie Sanders as well: modern monetary theory.
The left-wing economics movement that Trump is adoptingMMT emphasizes the fact that countries that print their own money can never really "run out of money." They can just print more. The reason we have taxes, then, is not to pay for stuff, but to keep people using the government's preferred currency rather than, say, Bitcoin. In some rare cases, consumer demand gets too high, so sellers raise prices and inflation ensues. Then, you need to raise taxes to cool the economy down. But the theory holds that this eventuality is pretty rare. James Galbraith, a MMT-influenced economist at the University of Texas at Austin, once told me that the last time it happened was in World War I.
The main takeaway from this is that you really don't need to balance the budget over any time horizon, and attempts to do so will hurt the economy. That's what Stephanie Kelton, a MMTer at University of Missouri''Kansas City and a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, argues happened after the Clinton surpluses of the late 1990s/early 2000s. Any dollar of government surplus must show up as private debt, she reasons. And the private sectors just can't run up debt like that indefinitely. "Eventually, something will give," Kelton once wrote to Business Insider. "And when it does, the private sector will retrench, the economy will contract, and the government's budget will move back into deficit."
This is very much a minority view in economics '-- even among liberals. Paul Krugman, for example, has argued that MMT gets this all wrong. You still need people to buy government bonds, and if the interest rates on those get too high, then paying for it all might be hard to do without triggering runaway inflation. "Once we're no longer in a liquidity trap, running large deficits without access to bond markets is a recipe for very high inflation, perhaps even hyperinflation," Krugman writes. Joe Gagnon, an economist at the Peterson Institute, also notes that Australia and Canada ran surpluses for years without suffering economically as a consequence. (You can see MMT responses to these points here and here.)
Why MMT is so attractive to TrumpIf you want to learn more about MMT, I wrote a long profile of the movement back in 2012 that explains the basics. Before recently, mainstream economists and policymakers could comfortably ignore the movement. Galbraith told me that when, on a panel for an April 2000 event at the White House, he argued that the US's new budget surplus would harm the economy, the hundreds of economists in attendance laughed in his face.
That's all changed. The financial crisis created a huge appetite for new economic thinking, and MMT helped meet it. It gained new legitimacy through Sanders's adoption of Kelton as a senior adviser, first in the Senate and then on the campaign trail, and now it's made its way into Trump's rhetoric.
It makes sense, in a way. Trump is promising $9.5 trillion in new tax cuts '-- $11.2 trillion if you include interest payments. The anti-debt Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) estimates that his combined proposals would increase the debt by $12 to 15 trillion by 2026.
One way to get around these numbers is to tweak your proposals until they no longer cost as much, or find unrelated spending cuts and tax hikes that lower their cost. But with numbers this high, that's not really an option. So insisting instead that dramatically increasing the debt just isn't a problem '-- as implied by MMT '-- is a very attractive option for someone in Trump's position.
This is why Donald Trump can't win a general election
VIDEO AUDIO-WHO Backs Use of DDT Against Malaria : NPR
Mon, 09 May 2016 12:40
In a 1963 broadcast, biologist Rachel Carson talks about the dangers of DDT.The World Health Organization today announced a major policy change. It's actively backing the controversial pesticide DDT as a way to control malaria. Malaria kills about 1 million people a year, mainly children, and mainly in Africa, despite a decades-long effort to eradicate it.
The WHO previously approved DDT for dealing with malaria, but didn't actively support it. While DDT repels or kills mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite, it doesn't get much good press. In 1962, environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote a book, Silent Spring, about how it persists in the environment and affects not just insects but the whole food chain.
As activist Malvina Reynolds once sang, "It kills the bugs in the apple tree, I eat the pie and it's killing me. DDT on my brain, on my brain."
In the early 1960s, several developing countries had nearly wiped out malaria. After they stopped using DDT, malaria came raging back and other control methods have had only modest success.
Which is why Arata Kochi, head of the WHO's antimalaria campaign, has made the move to bring back DDT. His major effort at a news conference Friday in Washington, D.C., was not so much to announce the change, but to deflect potential opposition from environmental groups.
"We are asking these environmental groups to join the fight to save the lives of babies in Africa," Kochi said. "This is our call to them."
A number of major environmental groups support the limited use of DDT, such as spraying only inside of houses and huts once or twice a year. That type of use is supported by the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense, which was originally founded by scientists concerned about DDT. The limited application is also part of President Bush's new malaria initiative.
But some environmental groups say spraying DDT will be harmful. Jay Feldman, executive director of a group called Beyond Pesticides, says using it is a war plan without an exit strategy.
"WHO holds a lot of clout in the world health community and the fact that they're now changing policy and advocating use of DDT will have dramatic impact," Feldman says. "They announced today that they expect 85 percent receptivity, that is knocking on people's doors and convincing them '-- that's their language '-- to use DDT."
Looking at the medical literature, he predicts harmful effects.
"This is a chemical that has been studied and evaluated," Feldman says, "and over the years has been found to cause cancer, endocrine disruption, adversely affect the immune system and is very problematic from the standpoint that it is persistent." DDT collects "in fatty tissue and in the environment," he adds, and can also be passed on in breast milk.
But supporters of the new policy discount those studies and point to others showing it's safe. Richard Tren, member of a group called Africa Fighting Malaria, says that while there may be lab studies showing DDT could potentially cause cancer, no large studies show an actual increase in cancer in people.
Some opponents say DDT will be diverted to more direct and more harmful agricultural use. Tren has watched indoor-spraying campaigns in Zambia.
"You're not seeing leakage into the environment," Tren says. "You're not seeing leakage into agriculture. What you are seeing are sharp dramatic reductions in malaria deaths and disease."
The field of malaria control has historically been dogged by problems with resistance. Each time scientists find a way to fight the parasite, the parasite finds a way to fight back. It has become resistant to most treatments, for example. And some mosquitoes have already adapted to tolerate DDT. The WHO's Kochi says resistance can be limited if DDT is used carefully, and only where it's likely to be effective.
VIDEO-Brexit Could Put Peace In Europe At Risk - PM
Mon, 09 May 2016 03:34
David Cameron is evoking the risk of war in a warning about the dangers of leaving the European Union.
The Prime Minister will say peace in Europe cannot be guaranteed and it is in the UK's interest to be able to influence what happens to our neighbours.
But soon after Mr Cameron delivers a key speech marking an upturn in campaigning, Boris Johnson will deliver his own address making the "cosmopolitan case for Brexit".
He will then head out on a campaign battle bus tour across the country as both sides continue trying to persuade the public ahead of a 23 June referendum.
Mr Cameron will say: "For good or ill, we have written Europe's history just as Europe has helped to write ours."
Play video "Top Tories Clash Over Single Market"Video:Top Tories Clash Over Single Market"The moments of which we are rightly most proud in our national story include pivotal moments in European history. Blenheim. Trafalgar. Waterloo.
"Our country's heroism in the Great War. And most of all, our lone stand in 1940...
"The European Union has helped reconcile countries which were at each others' throats for decades.
"Britain has a fundamental national interest in maintaining common purpose in Europe to avoid future conflict between European countries.
"And that requires British leadership, and for Britain to remain a member. The truth is this: what happens in our neighbourhood matters to Britain.
Play video "Leaving The EU: What Stays The Same"Video:Leaving The EU: What Stays The Same"That was true in 1914, in 1940 and in 1989. Or, you could add 1588, 1704 and 1815. It is just as true in 2016.
"Either we influence Europe, or it influences us. And if things go wrong in Europe, let's not pretend we can be immune from the consequences."
Ahead of his speech, the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign group released a video featuring World War Two veterans calling on people to vote 'remain'.
Mr Cameron is expected to use WW2 leader Winston Churchill to boost his argument - even though the wartime PM has been used by the Leave campaign.
Mr Cameron will say: "In the post-war period he argued passionately for Western Europe to come together, to promote free trade, and to build institutions which would endure so that our continent would never again see such bloodshed."
Play video "UK In EU: Key Issues From Campaigns"Video:UK In EU: Key Issues From CampaignsHis speech comes as the head of influential think tank Chatham House, Robin Niblett, says Brexit would lose the country influence and "weaken its sovereign power" outside the EU.
On Sunday, Brexit campaigner Michael Gove and pro-EU George Osborne traded blows over the prospect of Britain leaving the single market with Mr Gove saying it would increase the rate of growth and the Chancellor describing it as "catastrophic" for jobs and incomes.
A Vote Leave spokesman, responding to Mr Cameron's comments, said: "Claims that leaving the EU and taking back control would somehow lead to war smack of desperation from a campaign failing to make the case for the EU and our continued payment of £350m to Brussels every week.
"The PM's words are deeply ironic given the EU's own border agency says the EU's borderless policy is making the whole of Europe less safe. The safe option is to vote Leave."

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