Glenn Reynolds, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt are prolific bloggers, posting several posts each day. With such frequent posting they don’t seem to have time to check to see if they stuff they link to is correct. They don’t accept the scientific consensus on AGW so they link to every thing that comes along about cold weather or global cooling — for example, the misrepresentation of Tapping’s views on the solar cycle got linked again and again and again and again.
Since I’ve been critical of Glenn Reynolds, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt it’s no surprise that all three linked to this post where JF Beck links to lot of his own posts, claims that I’ve made lots of errors and accuses me of lying. So Reynolds, Blair and Bolt linked to Beck, with Bolt declaring:
JF Beck does something very embarrassing to global warming alarmist Tim Lambert.
It is, of course, Reynolds, Blair and Bolt who should be embarrassed for linking to Beck’s post without bothering to check if any of it was true. And Beck’s claims fall apart under the slightest bit of examination.
Lambert says DDT was the WHO’s insecticide of choice up until 1994. The document he links to says 1984, not 1994. Is this a typo or did Lambert intentionally alter the date?
The document I linked to was written in 1994 and states:
the author considers that DDT should no longer be recommended as the insecticide of choice for malaria vector control.
I.e. the policy changed in 1994. This was explained to Beck by a commenter on his blog, but he continues to repeat it. This is typical of Beck’s claims. He gets it wrong. It is obvious that he is wrong. The nature of his error is carefully explained to him, but he won’t budge an inch and he repeats the false claim next chance he gets.
To get a feel for the process, let’s look at another of his self-links.
I had quoted Brent Herbert, who wrote:
One of the most common themes in the media stories you will read if you do a search for news articles on bed bugs is that we have bed bugs because DDT was banned, thus forcing us to use ‘weak chemicals’ against bed bugs. This is false. Bed bugs developed resistance to DDT in the 1940s and Rachel Carson did not write Silent Spring until the 1960s, and by this time DDT resistance among bed bugs was so widespread that DDT was no longer the chemical of choice for treating bed bugs.
In his self-link Beck responded with:
So, here we have a science blogger — contemptuous of the non-peer reviewed writings of RWDBs — getting his DDT information from an amateur entomologist posting to Indymedia. Herbert’s posting is crap and Lambert’s an idiot for linking to it.
And the reason Beck gave for claiming that Herbert’s posting was crap was that it just seemed wrong to him:
This pretty hard to believe. DDT wasn’t widely available to the public until after World War II, with the government’s house spraying program starting in July 1947. So, according to Herbert bed bugs showed signs of resistance within 2 1/2 years but other insecticides remained effective for the best part of half a century.
But I’d checked that Herbert’s statement was accurate, so I gave Beck a cite on the development of resistance by bedbugs in the 40s:
Johnson, M. S. and Hill, A. J. (1948). Partial resistance of a strain of bed bugs to DDT residuals. Med. News Letter., 12, 26-28
But a mere scientific journal didn’t isn’t going to persuade Beck:
If I understand the resistance mechanism correctly, bed bugs did not develop DDT resistance in the 1940s. Rather, some bed bugs were naturally DDT resistant (to some degree) at the time it was introduced. Thus, on face value, Herbert’s observation about 1940s DDT resistance is meaningless.
Commenter Mark explains it to Beck
Well, yes. I think that is, indeed, the way a resistant strain of bedbug would have spread so as to become the dominant strain of bedbug. That’s the way bacteria develop large populations that are resistance to antibiotics. So what?
So Beck just pretends that none of the discussion occured and goes back to the beginning:
Mr Lambert has linked to a very iffy source here; anyone care to state exactly which myths Indymedia poster Herbert debunks?
Well, this post is long enough, so I won’t bother with any more of Beck’s claims, but they are all like the ones above. Feel free to pull them apart in comments. I’ll leave you with this whopper from Beck:
Lambert insists that the word “toady” is abusive in order to justify removing a comment from his blog. Toady is another word for sycophant and is not abusive.
(Context is here.)
Update: Beck just will not admit that he got it wrong.