Bee Apocalypse Science Scandal? Did Scientists "Fix Evidence" To Ban Neonic Pesticides?


Bee Apocalypse

Yesterday, I got a beg letter from the Bee Action campaign by the Friends of the Earth that asserted:

You may have heard that diseases, pests, climate change have all been implicated in the global bee die off. But now, a growing body of science points to the world's most popular pesticides as key contributing factor.

Nionicotinoids—or neonics—are a powerful class of pesticides used on 140 crops.

The FOE is pushing for the adoption of the Save Our Pollinators Act that would ban neonics until the EPA evaluates…

…the published and peer-reviewed scientific evidence on whether the use or uses of such neonicotinoids cause unreasonable adverse effects on pollinators, including native bees, honey bees, birds, bats, and other species of beneficial insects…

Well, surely any proposed bans should be based on firm scientific findings. But what if the relevant "findings" have been with malice-aforethought manipulated by environmental lobbyists? Say it ain't so!

In today's Times (London) an article, "Scientists accused of plotting to get pesticides banned," reveals that four senior European scientists with links to prominent environmentalist organizations apparently hatched a plan to pollute the scientific literature with an article whose predetermined conclusions would damn the pesticides. According to a note* obtained by the Times, the four researchers carefully selected in advance the scientists who would do the "peer-review" in order to insure the publication of the cobbled together article. They further arranged to have a policy statement arguing for a Europe-wide ban on the pesticides published simultaneously.

From the Times:

Research blaming pesticides for the decline in honeybees has been called into question by a leaked note suggesting that scientists had decided in advance to seek evidence supporting a ban on the chemicals.

The private note records a discussion in 2010 between four scientists about how to persuade regulators to ban neonicotinoid pesticides. …

The leaked note says that the scientists agreed to select authors to produce four papers and co-ordinate their publication to "obtain the necessary policy change, to have these pesticides banned".

A paper by a "carefully selected first author" would set out the impact of the pesticides on insects and birds "as convincingly as possible". A second "policy forum" paper would draw on the first to call for a ban.

The note, which records that the meeting took place in Switzerland on June 14, 2010, says: "If we are successful in getting these two papers published, there will be enormous impact, and a campaign led by WWF etc. It will be much harder for politicians to ignore a research paper and a policy forum paper in [a major scientific journal]."

The scientists at the meeting included Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, chairman of the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, and Piet Wit, chairman of the ecosystems management commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an influential network of scientists and environmental groups.

For a superb round up of the science and, sadly, the politics regarding the effects of neonicotinoids on bees, see "Bee deaths and neonics," by Jon Entine who is the executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project.

For example, Entine's article reports:

Four Canadian scientists led by Cynthia D. Scott Dupree, an environmental biologist at the University of Guelph, undertook a large-scale study of honey bee exposure to one neonic, clothianidin, which is applied as a seed treatment. The study was centered in southern Ontario, which advocacy groups have contended has been particularly hard hit by neonic-related bee deaths.

Designed in cooperation with the US Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada, it was industry funded, but executed under Good Laboratory Practice Standards.

The scientists observed bees foraging heavily on the canola. As numerous other studies have suggested, they found, "Although various laboratory studies have reported sublethal effects in individual honey bees exposed to low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides, the results of the present study suggest that foraging on clothianidin seed-treated crops, under realistic conditions, poses low risk to honey bee colonies."

Assertions by entomologists that neonics play a limited role in bee health infuriates some environmentalists convinced this mystery is solved: Let's just ban neonics, they say, and move on.

It seems that the distinguished scientists mentioned in the Times are taking advice from the Queen in Alice In Wonderland:

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first — verdict afterwards.'

*NB: I don't have access to a copy of the note cited in the Times, so I would be really grateful if someone would send it along or give a me link to it so I can share it with readers.

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  1. Government funded study finds reason for Government to ban more shit. News at 11.

  2. Environmentalists using junk science and disregarding evidence that flies in the face of that? this feels all to familiar…. deja vu perhaps?

    1. Evidence that doesn’t agree with the narrative is pseudoscience!

  3. This demonstrates perfectly why the people who say that the only way that the global warming “consensus” could be incorrect is if there is a massive conspiracy are wrong. In reality, all it takes is a handful of bad actors. See also: the Lipid Hypothesis.

    1. But if we save just -half- a child, Jordan!

    2. “Straight AIDS Epidemic!”

      Not sure if that was due to a handful of bad actors but PC and UNAIDS seemed to do the trick, and exaggerate the HIV pandemic in Africa.

      1. “Straight AIDS Epidemic!”

        Christ, yes. As a child of the 80’s, I was assured that AIDS was likely to kill us all and everyone was equally at risk. Awesome for dating.

        1. welcome to my once teenage life.

    3. Also, see: Cyclimates, Alar, saccharin.

    4. See also: the Lipid Hypothesis.

      That’s an apt comparison, which had hitherto not occurred to my brain.

  4. When did “scientists” become a gigantic bag of a-holes? Was it the 14th for 15th century?

    1. Was it the 14th for 15th century?

      Personally, I peg it as being from the beginning but have the dates a bit later.

      Sometime in the 17th-18th centuries when it went from guessing at shit and getting some of it right sometimes of “Natural Philosophy” to the more modern methodically collecting knowledge of the one, true answer that is modern “Natural Science”.

      1. So scientists became assholes when they started backing up their theories with evidence?

        1. Assholes existed long before scientists.

          1. Which came first, the asshole or the vibrating egg?

            1. Wrong. Your mom.

              1. Yes, my mom did come first. And then she said you went soft and start crying like a little bitch who just got her first period.

                1. The odor and discharge your mother gives off when she comes would make anyone cry, NutraSweet. You of all people should know that, you’ve fucked her more times than I have. You must be immune because you came out of there.

                  1. I have never fucked my mother, motherfucker. She just not as tight as you used to be.

                    1. You two need to take your flirting to the next level and get a room already.

                    2. You two need to take your flirting to the next level and get a room already.

                      The only level left are inner circles.

                    3. WRONG. Remember what high school health class said, NutraSweet: if you sleep with someone, you’ve slept with everyone they’ve slept with. Except without the fun and orgasms and all that. So you have slept with your mother…through me.

                    4. Does it really count if all I’ve ever done is slap you unconscious with my dick and then fart in your open mouth?

                    5. Ah, the memories.

                      And yes. Yes it does.

                    6. I feel so juvenile for having laughed at this exchange…

        2. I’m confused about this argument as well. The basis of criticism against these scientists is that they didn’t follow the scientific method, thus they were not doing science. They drew up a conclusion before designing a hypothesis, and then designed an experiment in which the data could be pigeon-holed to fit with their predetermined conclusion. That’s the exact opposite of what scientists do.

          1. ^This is what scientists with integrity do. But you don’t get fame or grants by being wrong.

            Do you want those scientists to lose their grant money, become poor, get divorced and live in their cars, HM.

            Jesus, where’s your compassion?

            1. Do you want those scientists to lose their grant money, become poor, get divorced and live in their cars, HM.

              No. An old-fashioned hangin’ would suffice.

            2. You do get respect for admitting you’re wrong, though.

              This is somewhat OT, but I think it is an interesting story. A postdoc and his advisor thought they discovered the first extrasolar planet. They submitted a paper, prepared a press release, and were all set to make the official announcement at a large meeting. Just before that, they realized that a particular file in their analysis software hadn’t been updated. It had introduced a false signal related to the motion of the Earth. The big talk ended up being a retraction and detailed explanation of the mistake. It received a standing ovation. That one gives me the warm fuzzies.

              1. I also got a semi from reading that story.

                1. Somebody gave you a truck?

              2. I wound up delivering a similar talk as a postdoc at the Photobiology meeting in 1994. Between the time my boss submitted the conference abstract and when I got there, I did just one more control experiment that showed previous results to have been an artifact. In retrospect it was a very interesting artifact that seems to have revealed a catalytic effect of melanin (a possibility I raised then, but thought far fetched), but in any event the effect I was seeking to measure could not be shown because of it.

          2. Well, there are people who hold the professional title of scientist and there are people who use the scientific method. There is a lot of overlap there, and the term “scientist” applies to both in common usage.

            The original comment seems to have more of an issue with the idea that there is “one true answer”, but at least in the hard sciences, there is.

              1. I don’t find that embarrassing at all. QM effects are usually so far removed from human experience (not just typical, but possible) that finding a consistent interpretation is really hard, if not impossible.

                Oh, and to be nitpicky, there was nothing about cosmologists in that article 😉

                1. The author is a cosmologist. His blog isn’t bad if you ignore the fact that he’s a KosKid.

                2. Yeah, I don’t think it is terribly embarrassing. Interpretations of QM really aren’t within the realm of science (not yet, at least).
                  I’m Copenhagen man myself. I think that what really goes on at very small scales is very likely unknowable.

                  1. I would argue that we do know what happens at quantum scales, at least under the conditions we’ve explored so far. It’s all there in the equations and the behavior that has been observed in experiments.

                    We run into problems when we try to explain that using a language other than math.

                    1. I would put it a bit differently. We know how to predict the probability of making a particular observation. But that’s it.

                      I’m still working on actually understanding it, so maybe I will change my mind at some point. I’ve been doing an online course so I can learn the actual theory with the proper equations and everything (popular science accounts are kind of useless, especially when they avoid complex numbers). But I’m still just starting to get it. So perhaps I am missing something.

                      One thing that really influenced my thinking about it is something I heard Richard Feynman say in a lecture I watched. He basically said that all we ever observe is particles, never waves. You can talk about wave functions and interference, and you have to to make good predictions, but no one has ever seen a wave function. You just see one particle at a time with a detector.

                      One thing I am really wrestling with right now is whether you can think of the wave function as something physical at all, as they exist in a complex vector space.

                    2. I don’t think you are missing anything, I think you’re just getting into the philosophy of science. Nature doesn’t do calculus. But calculus describes how nature behaves. So maybe complex wave functions don’t exist, they’re just a useful description in a language that isn’t English. On the other hand, nature behaves exactly like a complex wave function, then is that enough to say that complex wave functions exist?

                      I don’t think these are scientific questions. They’re philosophical.

                      But regardless of where you come down, I think we can say that we do know how things behave on a quantum mechanical scale. That is probably better language to use than “how things work”.

                    3. That sounds about right. And if physicists who have spent their careers studying the stuff can’t agree on an interpretation, we certainly shouldn’t expect to here.

                3. QM effects are usually so far removed from human experience?! Ever heard of electronics?

              2. They all agree on the science, just not on the philosophical implications. QM works extremely well as a theory. It just doesn’t make any intuitive sense.

        3. So scientists became assholes when they started backing up their theories with evidence?

          You have evidence that the practice of backing theories with evidence didn’t exist before late 18th-Century Natural Science?

          As a libertarian are you asserting that the scientific method and peer-review is a greater arbiter of truth than the market?

          1. While we’re at it; How much data does one collect before a zero-knowledge protocol becomes a zero-knowledge proof?

          2. As a libertarian are you asserting that the scientific method and peer-review is a greater arbiter of truth than the market?

            That’s a false dilemma. Scholarship works best when it operates as a marketplace of ideas. What peer-review is, in effect, is one scholar submitting an intellectual “truth-product” to 4 or 5 potential “buyers”. If the scholar produced something of enough truth-value, then they reviewer figuratively “buys it” (note the common usage of the idiom). The tens-of-thousands of scholarly journals that exist serve as an arena for differing theories to compete. Like products, the theories with more value or utility for explanation will win out over less valuable ones.

            Of course by now you see the common thread running through both of which the economic free market and the scholarly marketplace of ideas are merely two facets of the same jewel, don’t you?

          3. Markets aren’t arbiters of truth. They are the aggregate effect of human interaction. That aggregate effect tends to be pretty good at conveying information about preferences and relative value. The scientific method is a procedure for inquiry. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

            As for the history of the scientific method, of course people tested their ideas before that. But as far as I know (and admittedly, I’m not a historian), when it came to trying to understand how or why things behaved they way they did in nature, the scientific method only became widely used in the 16th/17th centuries.

            Neither of those things has anything to do with why you think scientists became assholes when they started widely using the scientific method.

            1. when it came to trying to understand how or why things behaved they way they did in nature, the scientific method only became widely used in the 16th/17th centuries.

              I would go even further and say that the scientific method wasn’t “complete” until the late 19th-century/early 20th with the beginnings of null (or alternative)-hypothesis testing, (Fisher, by way of Pierce). Which is the error the scientists in the article committed, they refused to consider H0: There is no relationship between the use of nionicotinoids and bee mortality.

            2. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

              So, now, are you right and I’m comparing to incomparable things or is HM right, and they aren’t really two incomparable things, but the same thing in different iterations. How. to. decide…

              If my 18-mo.-old, devoid of any knowledge of the scientific method, can do it then anybody with post-secondary education ought to be able to dammit!

              1. HM can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he was focusing more on the peer review process.

                Also, what exactly is your point?

                1. Also, what exactly is your point?

                  Titles are often the hallmarks of assholes. When did titular scientists become assholes?

                  Backing up theories with evidence is a poor argument in favor of the shitty misfit title because there are plenty of scientist who produce nothing but theory and there are plenty of people who do plenty of superior observation and reasoning who don’t or “aren’t allowed” to hold the title of scientist.

                  I’m sure the term scientist originally made some distinction about being laborers of theory vs. laborer of practice or technique, but even that creates the asshole notion that some people do things without ever having a conscious thought and other people are meant only to think and never to act.

                  So, when did the scientists become assholes? Probably between the time Newton started formalizing what we know as modern science the early 17th Century and when some asshole got his Ph.D. in the late 18th Century. Prior to that, they were just asshole lawyers, inventors, discoverers, doctors, physicians, chemists, apothecaries, monks, friars, patent clerks or other people who otherwise “looked at stuff and figured things out”.

    2. Science didn’t really exist in the 14th or 15th centuries. Not what we mean by science, anyway.

      I think most scientists just want to do their thing and aren’t really assholes at a higher rate than people in general. The A-holes are the ones who get in the news and join obnoxious groups like CSPI.

      1. aren’t really assholes at a higher rate than people in general

        Not even physicists? 🙂

  5. Honeybees are a non-native invasive species in North America. I thought invasive species are bad.

    1. That’s always true unless it impedes your ability to ban shit you don’t like. Then, you know, make shit up.

      1. The young leaves of kudzu are edible.

        1. And Spanish moss faints into the arms of a cypress.

            1. Some people have used these to make homemade wine.


          1. young edible leaves
            fainting into strong arms
            bees and cypress blush

    2. But they’re European, and European invasions are always ok, like ABBA or Kraftwerk. Stop being such a prude.

      1. Take a chance on shutting up.

        1. You’ll meet your Waterloo

          1. Not until he becomes the dancing queen.

            1. If only his mother knew

          2. I can hear the distant drums.

        2. You shut up, Fernando!

      2. I for one love that the french kiss has invaded our culture.

      3. But they’re European, and European invasions are always ok, like ABBA or Kraftwerk. Stop being such a prude.

        *Anything* to displace the much more agressive and dangerous African variety!

        Bee gentrification now!

        1. Ladysmith Black Mambeezo?

    3. You know who else thought invasive species were bad?

      1. Anyone who’s ever dealt with kudzu.

        1. Anyone who’s ever dealt with kudzu.

          It really is not believable how fast that shit grows. I remember helping someone clear a roughly 20 square foot area; by the next week, you couldn’t tell.

          1. Flame and chlorine – render the ground unlivable by anything born of this earth.

            1. I think you actually have to go through that process 2 or 3 times to completely eradicate it.

              1. Sounds like bamboo.

                Too many people planted it in their back yards as an ornamental, only find out that they can never get rid of it, as it takes over everything.

                1. There are so many random patches of bamboo out in the rural parts of SC.

        2. If I was independently wealthy I would devote all my resources to finding a way to eradicate kudzu in North America. It depresses me.

          1. Or crossbreed it with marijuana.

            1. The country would literally be overrun by the legalization movement.

          2. Goats are a match for kudzu.

          3. I came up with this plan for kudzu eradication decades ago.

            For all of those non-violent crimes that we try to lock people away for at great expense, we put together a weekends and evening kudzu eradication gang.

            Get sentenced to 3 months for DUI? You could serve your time evenings and weekends on a kudzu removal team. And you have to bring your own bag lunch.

            We could add in things like sorting the garbage into recyclable and compost piles. And if we have enough scofflaws we could start working our way down through the landfill. Sorting decades old landfill garbage would be a pretty tough punishment.

            There are some invasive trees in Florida that are really tough to ferret out too.

            I think 80 hours of kudzu removal in rural alabama, consuming your every free moment for a month would be a more effective deterrent than a 3 month suspended sentence and 3 years of probation. And we wouldn’t lose productivity to incarceration – and even more beneficial would be the impact of people remaining employable – losing a year of work to prison kinda makes it tough to get a job.

        3. Kudzu stops erosion and fixes nitrogen in the soil. It never would’ve got so out of hand if the government hadn’t paid people to plant it.

        4. antisocial-ist|12.4.14 @ 1:29PM|#
          “Anyone who’s ever dealt with kudzu.”

          And Pampas Grass.

        1. +1 additional Pylons

        2. According to PETA, zerglings have feelings too.

          “So remember, while Zerglings are not real, there are many equally “strange” and exotic animals we share this planet with who deserve our empathy. Just because crocodiles and snakes look alien to us, that doesn’t make it OK to skin them alive for a handbag, shoes, or a belt.”

          Yeah, but last I checked crocodiles and snakes weren’t slaved to a hive mind who wants to devour all organic life in the galaxy.

          1. Did they release a new Starcraft recently? I want it!

    4. SF: Not to mention that bees are fructose addicts!

      1. Exactly. And the leading cause of bear obesity.

        1. Don’t even get me started on those bears, attacking hikers, stealing picnic baskets.

          1. If only park rangers had MRAPs.

          2. Where’s Ranger Smith when you need him?!?

            1. I blame the sequester.

      2. I knew it! The FUCKING BEES were causing gas prices to skyrocket all along!!!

        Well, at least this time it wasn’t Bush’s fault.

        Unless Bush farms bees.

    5. I thought…..

      There’s your problem right there.

      Why won’t you believe like your supposed to? It feels good to believe.

      1. Room 101 has a little something for everyone.

    6. You moron! Don’t you know that no flower was ever pollinated in North America before the Europeans arrived?

    7. Honey? Pshaw. I’m all the sweetness Americans need, I don’t have an expiration date and I’m as native as it gets.

      1. Do you contain botulism as well?

          1. That probably explains his smooth, line-free brow and droppy smile.

      2. Yeah, cloyingly so.

      3. He also crystallizes if you ignore him too long and you have to throw him into a microwave to get him moving again.

    8. There are honey bees native to every square inch of the earths land surface sans antarctica. The species we keep commercially here is native to europe, but there are native NA species, they just don’t make as much honey.

      Of course you would disparage anyone who manufactures yummy yummy sugars.

      1. I see that a shill for Big Honeybee showed up.

        1. I will personally execute anyone who posts the Blind Melon video. I’m just warning you all now.

          1. Oh-oh-oh

            1. “You mean my honey wand?”

              So that’s what kids are calling it these days?

          2. Wow. All I can say is your life is pretty plain.

        2. Without honey there would be no mead.

          The beez must be worshiped and tended to with utmost care.

          1. Kinnath speaks wise words. You should listen to him.

          2. Mmmmm….mead…

            Uh…what were we talking about?

          3. Mmmmm….mead…

            Uh…what were we talking about?

            1. Just started a batch flavored with Ashberries.

  6. What’s the death toll from banning ddt up to these days? Oh well, I’m sure all those Africans didn’t mind dying of malaria so one lying bitch and a bunch of rich American leftists could get a warm fuzzy.

  7. The bee population crashed due to varroa mites. Like the bird population that was devastated by west nile virus they will evolve, and are currently doing so, to be resistant.

    I used to keep bees and still feed the wild ones. I am looking out my window as I type at about 10k of them eating sugar and fruit juice from a plate I put out yesterday. It is fall and the poor critters are hungry.

    1. How big of a plate do you need to attract 10,000 bees? That’s an honest question.

      1. They’re an abnormally small species of bee known as the fruit fly.

        1. +1 destroyed keyboard.

          *note to self research coffee proof keyboards

    2. @ Suthenboy. I need to ask you this. Do you think there is any correlation between feeding bee’s a steady diet of HFC after most of the honey they need to winter over, and mite infestations ?

      I read a paper a while ago that suggested this and with great misfortune, do not know any bee keepers.

      Also kudo’s for leaving food out for them. =)

      1. * after removing

    3. In my experience they seem to be coming back pretty well. For a few years I noticed a distinct lack of honey bees. There were some, but few enough that I had pollination problems in my gardens. This past summer was a lot better.

      1. Something else to consider. I work in what you would call “Food Service”. I have worked in many operations. From Dunkin Doughnuts to midscale/upperscale restaurants.

        I have noticed in the past 10 years no yellow jacket wasps, and honey bees around the trash/recycling dumpsters. I’m not going to complain about that.

        Wasp’s, and bee’s both use things like soda, fruit, and rotting vegtables as food.

        I did some digging, and found that the town, and recycling companies use pesticides to treat their dumpsters. Like I said before. I’m not complaining about this.

        IMO the is a lot more to CCD than is being investigated. As several commenters have pointed out. Politics is really fucking over scientific inquiry.

  8. To what end? If it doesn’t address the real problem, then what is their point?

    For scientists they really are pretty stupid.

    1. To what end? If it doesn’t address the real problem, then what is their point?

      Teh Feelz.


    2. Social activists masquerading as scientists are NOT scientists.

    3. More serious response:

      The point is precisely to not address the “real problem.” I use the quotations because the “problem” often resides solely in the imagination.

      See, if they actually fixed something, they’d lose any excuse they have for power. Maintaining power is these peoples’ reason for existence; they place nothing above it.

      1. I still don’t get it. I guess they just think synthetic pesticides are bad, period and will use any argument to try to get rid of them. But still, why?

  9. At this point, there have been so many “scientists” who lie, so many “scientific” studies used to forward ideological agendas, that the whole process is getting polluted. You can’t trust anyone not to lie and falsify results in order to advance whatever they want to advance.

    Way to go, ideological scum. You’ve taken an imperfect but pretty great method that helped advance the human race massively, and you’re destroying it because you have zero integrity. Thanks a lot, and please go die in a fire. Really soon.

    1. ^This.

      I have been preaching this since the early 90’s when I first began to notice it.

      1. But the ends justify the means, bitch.

    2. It’s not just ideologic. It seems everybody has some reason or other to fudge. I lost my job in industry because I wouldn’t get with that program. My boss where I did a post-doc after that hasn’t done research in years now because she got caught up fighting a collaborator who was faking it. Dr. Science seems more & more like real life all the time.

      1. I lost my job in industry because I wouldn’t get with that program.

        It’s gotten much less appealing to many more people, especially since the funding to “delay getting a real job” and/or (finally) “cure cancer” is drawing down.

  10. Too bad none of these guys were from Italy. THOSE guys know how to deal with bad scientists.

  11. Why’s everyone looking at me?

    1. Because we want your data on the bees you’ve tagged!

      1. I think he just spray paints them on the sides of boxcars.

  12. the four researchers carefully selected in advance the scientists who would do the “peer-review”

    Which journal did they publish in? That is absolutely not supposed to happen. The entire peer-review process is supposed to be confidential unless the referee voluntary discloses their identity.

    1. That’s the point, dude. They are actively subverting the way the system is designed to prevent biases, in order to inject biases and slants. It’s completely destroying the integrity of the system.

      1. I know. And there ought to be consequences if this is substantiated. For starters, the editor(s) of that journal should be fired.

        1. The journal is “Toxicology”, published by Elsevier. The editors are H.W.J. Marquardt, affiliated with the department of Toxicology of Hamburg University’s Medical School and K.B. Wallace, affiliated with the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

          1. Thanks

    2. cough- cough. I am aware of a fairly major toxicology journal that is used regularly by certain product defense firms with personal connections to the editor. The peer review gets fast-tracked, and the required conflict of interest statements are apparently optional.

      You have to be VERY careful about which papers to trust in any scientific field that concern subjects with high and immediate financial stakes. If someone is looking at decay rates of axions or alkylation of sterically hindered vinyls, there’s not a lot of motivation to game the system. But, say, the carcinogenicity of an ingredient used in Otter Pops? Or other lawyer or activist-bait? Be very, very suspicious.

  13. Did Scientists “Fix Evidence” To Ban Neonic Pesticides?

    That’s called research, Ron.


  14. Would it really have been so difficult to use “Beepocalypse” like a serious journalist?

    1. This just in! The Ke$ha creature is still disgusting!…..ronts.html

      1. That’s a drag queen, right?

      2. Most kids fave movie is ‘Pretty Woman’ now what does that tell you about the youth of today. Glad I lived in an era where women wore skirts past the knee and underwear.


      3. Do her male backup dancers have to bathe in antiseptic after each show?

    1. It’s ok, Doctor Who will take the TARDIS back to that time and get to the bottom of who those people were, and why they were wearing ornamental collars.

      1. I’m betting it had to do with English speaking aliens in shitty make-up.

        1. Let’s not bring Star Trek into this, NutraSweet.

        2. I’ve been watching Dr Who since the latest reboot, and it’s actually got a budget now.

          1. And shitty, shitty writing.

            1. You think so? I like most of the Moffat episodes. Davies is pretty good too.

              1. I’ve watched it on and off because my brother’s a fan. There’s some pretty good episodes, like ‘Blink’ (the one with the stone angel things that can’t move if they’re being watched). But there’s a lot of really stupid episodes where the story goes off the rails or basically the entire universe is incoherent (I ripped on ‘Kill the Moon’ here a couple months back for constantly pulling excuses for things out of thin air). Some of the dialogue is really shitty too. I watched the season finale with my brother awhile back and when the world’s in crisis the Doctor makes some joke about not wanting to involve the Americans because ‘they just be flying around, bombing things’. Really? Do we really need snobby British foreign policy commentary coming out of the thousand year old alien?

                1. Also I haven’t seen any Torchwood but Children of Earth or whatever it’s called was great.

                2. (the one with the stone angel things that can’t move if they’re being watched)

                  The Weeping Angels are my favorite villain.

                  1. He screwed with them a bit later, though. The rules changed. Nonsensically.

                    1. And that’s what I’m talking about. Half the time they completely change the ‘in-universe rules’ for whatever they want to write about that week. Makes the whole thing a mess when you think about it. This year there was an episode where they went to the ‘end of the universe’. But I remember a couple years ago they did the exact same thing and it was completely different, stars were burning out and shit. But this new end of the universe still has stars. It hurts my brain.

                    2. I agree. I figure that they decided early on in the new series that continuity would be almost impossible with so much history behind them and just said “fuck it”.

                      Still find it enjoyable. No many shows out there where you can have no idea what’s going on next week (provided you change the channel before those god-awful mini plot synopsises of the next episode come on).

      2. Sounds like a job for the Magic School Bus.

    2. Up here along the B.C. coast there were numerous indigenous tribes (Haida and Tlingit mostly) that had a slave trade going as far as California. The descendants of slaves looked down upon well into the 20th century. I enjoy making people uncomfortable when they praise totem pole artwork by pointing how that’s its associated with slave labour.

      1. *The descendants of slaves were looked down upon

        1. wait, how did they capture so many Africans?

    3. And all the human sacrifice and stuff that people already know all about wasn’t enough evidence that the indigenous peoples of the new world were capable of being just as evil and fucked up as anyone else.

      1. Lies, lies, lies! They were noble savages, untouched by the evil of the modern world, living in harmony with nature and their fellow man! Damn Spanish ruined it all.

  15. I think this article contains a link to the meeting notes referenced by the Times:….._do-150299

  16. I don’t get it. If they already had it in mind to get neonicotinics off the market, it must be for some reason they don’t want to say.

  17. The leaked note is available at http://www.geneticliteracyproj…..t-pr-plan/ .



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