Tim Blair spreads fake quote

Tim Blair’s ability to detect fake
quotes

mysteriously deserts him when the fake quote supports his
anti-environmentalist agenda. After quoting the usual falsehoods
about how the ban on DDT killed 50 million. (It was only the
agricultural use that was banned, and far from costing lives, this
saved lives since it slows the evolution of resistance.) He has this:

The likely reason was spelled out with chilling clarity by Charles
Wurster of the Environmental Defence Fund in the USA in 1971 when it
was pointed out to him that DDT saved the lives of poor people in poor
countries. He said: ‘So what? People are the main cause of our
problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them
and this is as good a way as anything.’

Does that sound like Dr Wurster or Dr Evil? How gullible do you have
to be to find that quote plausible? Jim Norton has tracked down the
source
of the quote.
It seems that after one Victor Yannacone was fired by the EDF, he came
up with the claim that Wurster made the statement above at a press
conference. You would think that an outrageous statement like that
would have been reported by at least one reporter, but no, there is no
contemporary record of him saying it, just the unsupported statement
of a man with an axe to grind. Wurster denies Yannacone’s claim:

I wish to deny all of the statements of Mr, Yannacone. His remarks
about me, attributed to me, and about other trustees of EDF are purely
fantasy and bear no resemblance to the truth. It was in part because
Mr. Yannacone lost touch with reality that he was dismissed by EDF,
and his remarks of May 1970 indicate that his inability to separate
fact from fiction has accelerated.

Comments

  1. #1 Alan Schussman
    June 15, 2005

    On the subject of DDT rhetoric, Hudson Institute’s Herb London recently gave an interview in which he decries the “pernicious effect on civilization” of Silent Spring:

    “HERB LONDON: Well, I’ll tell you, because there I think there is an excellent case to be made against Rachel Carson. Rachel Carson’s book led to the net result that DDT could not be employed. There is very little evidence that DDT is harmful. In fact, it could be swallowed without having an adverse effect. And if you want to look at the rise of malaria in Africa and the millions of young children that die each year because of mosquito bites from a, a humanitarian standpoint, it seems to me that one of the things you’d want to do is introduce DDT into that continent. Now I don’t understand why people, including many people in this country, believe that DDT should be banned, largely based on the mystical science, and I say mystical, and I underscore that word, science of Rachel Carson.”

    Deltoid was the first thing I thought of upon hearing that interview.

  2. #2 Nell
    June 15, 2005

    What happened to the second comment that was posted here?

  3. #3 Dave Curry
    June 16, 2005

    When I read comments like this:

    “Tim Blair spreads fake quote”
    And this:

    “2 Responses to “Tim Blair spreads fake quote”

    Along with this:

    “How to get unscientific rubbish in the Age’s science section”

    It always resonates with comments like this:

    “Global Warming is advanced as fact even as the Population Bomb once was fact, though both are actually theories, with the latter lying in total discredit. Yet hundreds of millions, even billions of people routinely take these assertions as given”
    . http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/

    By the way Tim, you are old enough to remember the so-called population time bomb and how we were going to run out of oxygen because there were going to be so many people (code for the dark skinned sort). Did you believe in all those theories thrown around about the “population time bomb”? If you didn’t why didn’t you and if you did was it because of all the irrefutable proof, after all the UN was telling us how we were going to live on top of each other. Of course they had all the “facts” at the time as well. You are old enough to remember that little cob-fest called the club of Rome, Right? You recall any of this Tim, or are you suffering selective memory-loss?

    As it happens, we are actually on the cusp of a population implosion. This time it isn’t fiction like the population time- bomb. The reason why it isn’t fiction is that Countries like China (yes China) and India (yes this one as well, which you can Google as you seem so fond of doing) and Italy and Germany and France and Russia and the rest of Europe and the US (to a lesser degree) and Australia and most of Asia and South America and Canada Tim, even Africa and the rest of the bloody world, will suffer a population fall that could prove devastating. This time, Timmy boy, it isn’t fiction, simply because it is an easy actuarial calculation. If people are breeding less, it stands with logic there are going to be less kids. As a computer scientist I reckon you may be able to figure out the meaning of this or at least I hope so. What it means is that there are going to be about 40 million Italians in 35 years time. The same number of French and about the same British. Almost every country with the exception of the Muslim world are going to fall off the cliff as far as people go.

    Kids won’t know what it feels like to have Aunts or uncles, cousins, sisters or brothers. Chinese boys won’t know what loving a woman feels like because the one child policy fostered on them by smart pieces of shit like you told them their population was going to end the world.

    My suggestion, Tim, is that you ought to be focusing on teaching kids the rudimentary of computer science and lay off Global Warming. After all me along with all the other Australian taxpaying mugs are paying your teachers salary. By the way nice touch in changing the hour clock on your blog to US web time. Is that supposed to be cover up the fact you are trading insults on the web during “company time”?

  4. #4 Benno
    June 17, 2005

    I bet this post was a troll of your own just to catch trolls. So would that mean that a catch was flaming or trolling?

    Now there is a 21st century conundrum.

  5. #5 John Ray
    June 18, 2005

    “parisites” — a new word for Parisiennes?

    or just unscholarly spelling?

  6. #6 John Ray
    June 18, 2005

    The Wurster quote is “fake but accurate” — to use Leftist language.

    Is there any doubt of the misanthropy of Greenie population spokesmen?

    “People are pollution” was the ZPG slogan

  7. #7 Brian S.
    June 20, 2005

    Could it be that John Ray also spreads a fake quote? I’ve googled “people are pollution” and “zero population growth” and all I’ve found so far are a bunch of right-wing sites, with John Ray’s site at the top. Maybe I’ve missed something though – John, do you care to authenticate that slogan?

  8. #8 Ian Gould
    June 20, 2005

    Ooh – can I make up a “fake but accurate” quote for John Ray?

    “If the facts disagree with my prejudices so much the worse for the facts.”