Pesticides

Bee Apocalypse Science Scandal Update and An Apparent Threat of Legal Action

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Bee Apocalypse
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Earlier today, I put up a post—"Bee Apocalypse Science Scandal? Did Scientists 'Fix Evidence' To Ban Neonic Pesticides?" I cited an article in the Times about what is being alleged and asked if some one could supply me with a link to the actual document that outlines how the activist scientists supposedly orchestrated getting a predetermined conclusion that neonic pesticides are bad published in a prominent peer-reviewed journal.

As it happens, European risk communications specialist David Zaruk, who blogs as the Risk-Monger, has a nice analysis of what happened and he provides a link to the relevant confidential note. In his analysis, "IUCN's Anti-Neonic Pesticide Task Force: An exposé into activist science," Zaruk reports:

The Risk-Monger recently came across a strategy document carelessly left on-line by activist scientists that lies at the heart of the founding of the IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides. The Addendum to this document (see page 3) spells out a rather distasteful anti-neonicotinoid campaign strategy lacking in scientific integrity. The process has been tried and tested before by activists, but their behaviour has never been so clearly articulated in writing. I thought this document should be shared so we know the type of people are standing behind the "science" defending the bees.

How did this story unfold?

  • Under the auspices of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a group of activists map out a four-year campaign strategy to attack the pesticide industry and seek the banning of neonicotinoids.
  • The idea is to collect like-minded researchers, get funding to set up a task-force to attack neonics using the IUCN as a base with WWF (or some other NGO) doing the lobbying.
  • Once funding is in place for the campaign organisation, start the research, write a main high-impact report and get a few other articles published (find some big names to use).
  • On that basis, organise a broader campaign (with the support of several high-impact PR specialists) to promote their anti-neonic publication.
  • Brace for reactions and blowback from other scientists and industry.

One little issue to note: no credible scientist starts with a campaign strategy and then conjures up some evidence as an afterthought to fit his or her activist agenda. That is not science! It is lacking in integrity and detrimental to the reputation of researchers the world over, which this band of activists were quite happy to decimate for a chance to play politics.

They were also more successful than they would have ever have imagined, getting neonics banned in the EU 16 months ahead of their strategic plan.

Zaruk's exposé has evidently not been much appreciated by those criticized and apparently has provoked the threat of a lawsuit demanding an apology. The strange part is that the scientist who is threatening the lawsuit was apparently not mentioned by Zaruk. Very thin-skinned indeed.

Zaruk's entire analysis of the sorry episode is well worth your time.

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  1. “I never touched that sheep!”

    “I never mentioned anything about sheep.”

    “Oops, never mind.”

  2. SQUIRREL!

    *points*

  3. This reminds me of when you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and a friend has put up a vague, passive aggressive status…and someone comments along the lines of “stop talking about me.” Then the classic reply of “I wasn’t, but if the shoe fits” rears its head. And you can’t help but giggle.

    But instead of melodramatic, “he said, she said” nonsense (that usually has atrocious grammar), this involves flying critters with painful butt needles.

  4. Every single time these fucks get busted–this, Climategate, Journolist, you name it–the outright hands-rubbing scheming that these fucks engage in is practically cartoonish. It’s important that this shit be brought to light. These fucks are really like this, which I think a lot of average people just assumed couldn’t be true. They’re really plotting to deceive, lie, distort, and bias things in the most deceptive and deceitful manner possible. They haven’t the slightest integrity and these types of revelations prove how much that is so.

    I wouldn’t buy a used sofa from these fucks, let alone listen to them about anything important. There is nothing lower than a person without any integrity. Just look at Tulpa.

    1. When this shit first started happening (Climategate, etc.), and the collusion started coming to light, I thought, “This is comic-book villain bad. No way anyone is this brazen and stupid. It’s gotta be a clever set-up by their opponents.”

      Oh, how wrong I was. Morally and intellectually bankrupt to the core, they are.

      1. When I look back to years ago, it’s amazing how much I’ve gone from “oh come on, that would be absurd, no one would risk their entire reputation so stupidly, and for what?” to “I assume that they are lying and scheming the instant there is a political component to it whatsoever.” And guess what? The latter is proving to be right every fucking time.

        1. For a while, I figured it was rank incompetence and not malice that generated all these cartoonishly bad examples, a la Hanlon’s Razor.

          Then I began to think, “Why can’t it be both?”

      2. And yet we are the conspiracists and nutjobs for seeing what is in plain sight.

  5. Look, pesticides make me feel bad, and bees being dead makes me feel bad, so it’s obvious that pesticides are killing the bees. What is so hard to understand about this, you teabagging wingnuts?

    1. I recently had a long discussion with my starter in law and get husband about the minimum wage increase in Seattle. They, being economically illiterate and working near minimum wage, supported it. I patiently took them through labor supply and demand, the whole thing, until they accepted the premise that an increase in the cost of labor would drive a decrease in labor demanded and that it would instead drive more “evil” capital investment. Having agreed with me that this makes sense, that it works to harm poor people in the short run, her husband literally says, “But what about feelings? Everything isn’t so logical.” I was speechless.

      1. ‘Sister’ not starter. ‘her’ not get.Damn phones.

      2. Whoa. He really said that? That’s…scary.

        1. Look, stuff that that side of the brain thinks — the logical side — can’t be trusted as much as emotional reactions, because emotional reactions work well in dating, so why not apply that same technique to science?

          Welcome to evolutionary blowback.

          1. Had to happen sometime, amirite? Our prosperity has given the moronic and illogical among us a chance to gang up and steal from the non-losers. And man, are they taking the opportunity.

            1. ^This is a long-simmering problem and it’s only going to get worse as we need fewer and fewer ditch-diggers, burger flippers and order pickers.

        2. And now we have a goddam second socialist running for city council. Just when I finally settled somewhere..

          1. It’s inevitable. We’re having a bit of a boom (mostly construction), and that’s when the parasites crawl out of the woodwork. They see the prosperity and want to suck off the host.

            1. want to suck off the host

              JUST LIKE YOUR MOM

      3. How about:

        “Not having a job makes you feel worse than having a low paying job, you fucking idiot.”

        or

        “I feel like I just wasted way too much of my time. I welcome the robot overlords who will soon be doing your job, you fucking idiot.”

  6. I used to worry about evil geniuses trying to take over the world. Instead it’s evil idiots who think they’re geniuses.

    As a scientist by education and an engineer by profession, I want these people crucified in the public square.

    1. At least they’re idiots, and they’re proving that by being caught in record numbers. Just be glad they aren’t actual geniuses.

      1. We have been lucky so far that they have been idiots. I don’t want my future to depend on that luck continuing indefinitely.

    2. Re: kinnath,

      As a scientist by education and an engineer by profession, I want these people crucified in the public square.

      How about parading them through the streets with a clean-shaven head and wearing a dunce hat?

      That is, before crucifying them, of course.

  7. The idea is to collect like-minded researchers, get funding to set up a task-force to attack neonics using the IUCN as a base with WWF (or some other NGO) doing the lobbying.

    Of course, nothing to do with how Climatey Changey research is done…

    1. I always wondered where the World Wrestling Federation went off too.

      Glad to see they’re still busy.

  8. Read the apology.

    you were not involved, nor were you mentioned in the expos? I have written, nor have I insulted your employer

    I regret that you had inferred from my analysis of a document you were not involved in, that I was questioning your research.

    That entire continent is an insane thought-control shithole full of inbred, non-bathing socialists. Insult intended.

  9. I note the public apologies about the defamatory article from David Zaruk’s blog which is at the origin of your article

    David Zaruk has presented a very personal interpretation WHICH IS TOTALLY IN OPPOSITION TO THE FACTS. The flawed interpretation has been repeated by Ben Webster for the “Times” and here.

    I strongly suggest to the readers to take the information at the source, because all has been published with transparency: http://link.springer.com/artic…..014-3220-1

    The Task Force’s works have begun far before July 2010 and the document provided by David Zaruk is a draft in review mode.
    Our works have been published in 2014 with 8 peer-reviewed scientific papers in “Environmental Science and Pollution Research”, i.e. one year after the European ban independently supported by EFSA assessments.

    Who is writing the conclusions before collecting the true information?

    Clearly, we are not conducting our science in the same way some are making journalism…

    Dr Bonmatin JM

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