Continuing comedy/tragedy at Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts’ staunchly anti-global-warming-science blog.
Funny in the denial of the obvious, funny in the dance to get around the science, tragic in that anyone grants much credence to the denials of the obvious and science — Watts steams on.
Watts and his moderators haven’t completely blocked my comments, and I can sneak one in on occasion just slipping under their radar. We are all plagued by a recent spate of pro-DDT publicity, prompted by what I am not sure but encompassing a full-court press from anti-science moguls like Paul Driessen, pro-poison advocates, and a film by a crank (quack?) physician-to-the-stars who appears fearful of revealing his full name, Rutledge Taylor and “3 Billion and Counting.” (Taylor’s film is sort of the “Expelled!” of the Chronically Obsessed with Rachel Carson (COWRC) set, but without the charm and science of Ben Stein’s film, since the scientists refused to sit for an interview with Taylor.) (Taylor’s publicity refers to him as “Dr. Rutledge.” Perhaps he aspires to the heights of academic and science credence granted Dr. Phil.)
Watts gave his pedestal over to an engineer, Indur Goklany, for a diatribe against Bill Gates. In comments, I tried to insert some data into an increasingly shrill and increasingly error-prone howl against Gates. Of Gates I am no great fan (unfairly; I use Windows), but sometimes one needs to stand up for accuracy and fairness, just for the sake of accuracy and fairness.
Watts gave Goklany a platform to go after my two comments. I’m Watts’ target for the day.
Dancing on the edge of science is treacherous, as Watts and Goklany may have discovered. Goklany claims I make many errors in my comments, but he cites no evidence suggesting I err at all. I merely pointed to the decline in death totals from malaria, and to the real work of the Gates Foundation. Nothing in those comments has been tagged as incorrect.
In comments, however, truth breaks out. Franklin’s adage about truth winning in a fair fight holds true, especially on a topic like malaria and DDT, where Watts and Goklany together, even were they the acme of broadcast meteorology and dissident engineering, can’t snuff out factual comments fast enough to keep up the tirade. [You fellows there on the side: Stop your betting about whether Goklany is a creationist! Gambling is not allowed here, especially when the fix is in. He confesses he is “an engineer,” after all.]
I may err; but take a look, Dear Reader, and see if the contrived case against Rachel Carson and for poisoning Africa with DDT doesn’t take a few hits, especially in comments.
Sometime, perhaps this week, I hope to get a substantial comment about the flurry of crank science on DDT, and Rutledge Taylor’s contemptible falsehoods. But I am without time, and without computer most of the day.
Now, if only being Watts’ target would persuade his readers to actually come here to find the facts about DDT, it would be worth it.
Tim Lambert at Deltoid explains where Goklany runs off the rails of accurate information, and as usual, has more comments than we get in the Bathtub.