Furthering Hollywood’s latest identification of evil: Humans (“Noah” film review)

The Risk-Monger took his children to see Noah during the Easter break. Rather than celebrating a Biblical story, he found himself trying to explain why environmentalists were portrayed as good and those embracing technology and human endeavour suffered the wrath of God.

My advice to the crop protection industry

The Risk-Monger recently spoke at a crop protection industry conference on how to prepare data requirements for implementing the new pesticides legislation. I am not sure they liked my main point: that the data they will generate does not matter … at all. Still, they were polite.

What marathons teach us

Posted by The Risk Monger on 03/04/14
Tags: ,  

As marathon season gets started, the Risk-Monger ponders how those with passion can go the distance, and how business leaders that don’t seem to have the stamina continue to lose.

I Pollute

Posted by The Risk Monger on 18/03/14
Tags: , ,  

Imagine a religion that looks at the problems in the world and concludes that it is because others sin. “If only they could be more like me!” A faith without humility and mercy is hypocritical – a congregation of zealots. As environmentalists build their beliefs into their new temple, the eco-theologians need to remind their followers of the virtue of humility – that they are not without sin.

Sustainability Bias

We need a new term to be able to capture how people can be self-contradictory or outright hypocritical when pushing personal environmental decisions they have been told are sustainable. Like a symptom that finds a name (and then becomes a disease that can be treated), we can now begin to look at how we can treat sustainability bias.

IKEA’s unauthentic concept of sustainability

The Risk-Monger understands that IKEA is considered one of those sweet, well-loved retail chains that most consumers want to believe does good things. Unfortunately, if IKEA were to be looked at beyond their Allen key PR, their sustainability record would be rather sour. Why don’t we look?

The Need for an Academic Chair in Chemical Policy Management

Posted by The Risk Monger on 07/01/14

As issue managers in chemical companies lurch from one policy catastrophe to another, seeing public trust disintegrate and policies work against them, now is the time to do some basic thinking. What is needed are more philosophers and fewer lawyers

My dinner with Axel

Posted by The Risk Monger on 19/12/13
Tags: ,  

Last month the Risk-Monger was seated at a table with Axel Singhofen, the adviser on health and environment for the Greens in the European Parliament and former toxics campaigner for Greenpeace’s European Unit. Axel spent a good part of the evening telling those around the table his stories about how “industry” had been so wrong over the last decade.

2013 – A Dark Year for Science

In 2013, European science has been weakened by poor publication practices and the infiltration of politics within the production of data. From Séralini to Kortenkamp, activist researchers have used their white coats to whitewash evidence-based policymaking, diminishing the public perception of research. The Risk-Monger fears the politicisation of science will only get worse.

Who Made me Fat? The Usual Suspects

Posted by The Risk Monger on 03/12/13
Tags: ,  

We hear the warnings every day: Obesity rates exploding. Diabetes epidemic looming. Lifestyle and diet crisis will cut life expectancy rates. And of course: The fast food industry is making killer profits while killing us! Did the food industry make me fat?

Typhoon Haiyan – A Human Story

Typhoon Haiyan did not teach us a lesson on climate change, nor to respect the wrath of God. Rather, it showed us nature at its worst, and humanity at its best.

The Death of Dialogue

The Risk-Monger spoke at a stakeholder dialogue event organised by PlasticsEurope. Why is industry the only actor trying to engage and reach out to other stakeholders (in keeping with the European Commission’s ideal expressed in the 2001 White Paper on Governance)? Can you have a dialogue when activists are attacking your right to be a player in the process? In my enclosed speech base document, I told them that their public trust has been eroded because they are too nice and too tolerant towards the activist attacks.

Anti-Social Media

The Risk-Monger has seen a lot of narrow, myopic thinking finding reaffirmation on social media sites. As prejudiced thinking surrounds itself in silos that give comfort and support, dialogue and consensus-building suffers. In that spirit, the Risk-Monger has started micro-blogging on Facebook to further reinforce his bad ideas.

My Sperm is Fine – The Myth of Endocrine Disruption

A recent 16 year study taking 5000 samples of blood and sperm from young males entering the Danish military from two towns (using the best available analytical technology) found no decrease in sperm counts or evidence of endocrine disruption. The researchers chose not to publish their findings. Why not? That is a very good question.

It’s about Innovation – Deal with it! An open letter to Corporate Europe Observatory

Dear CEO, I am really ready to give up. I have written to you, and about you, many times hoping to get you to see things more objectively. I have even offered to come to your offices (at no charge) and explain to your staff what it is like to work in a company. I can only conclude that you are not interested in listening to anyone you might not agree with. Thus I have resorted to writing you this open letter.

The Nobel Prize for Agriculture. Is it OK to lie?

Posted by The Risk Monger on 09/10/13

It has become more common practice for environmental campaigners to “make things up” to increase public outrage and further their activism. The Risk-Monger suggests that there is something wrong with lying and that it is high time for activist NGO groups like CEO, Sum of Us or Greenpeace to consider enforcing internal ethical codes of good conduct.

CEO and Stéphane Horel: Opaque Transparency

While Corporate Europe Observatory has tried to enforce greater transparency on industry, they repeatedly don’t think that freelancers they contract to write articles for them need to follow the same rules. They have employed Stéphane Horel to find something evil that the chemical industry is doing. This is not journalism, it is not transparent, it is not ethical … and, from the evidence the EC has provided online, it is not worth their time and money.

Beeswax! Is Something Rotten in the State of SANCO?

Something went very wrong earlier this year with how DG SANCO pushed through a precautionary ban on neonicotinoid pesticides to “save the bees”, in a period of four months, without proper evidence, without consultation and without any attempt to manage potential risks. While the Risk-Monger expected an internal investigation into possible abuse of procedure within DG Sanco, nothing came about. So before his lectures start, he is doing one himself.

Greenpeace’s Colonialist Ambitions

Posted by The Risk Monger on 19/08/13
Tags: , , ,  

Whether it is from campaigns in the Philippines against Golden Rice as a solution for Vitamin A Deficiency, which kills hundreds of thousands of children per year, or spreading a culture of activist civil disobedience in non-Western societies, Greenpeace has been spending millions in developing countries to impress its anti-progress, anti-development message on locals a bit too busy for green idealism. This form of neo-colonialism is beginning to draw reactions.

Ex-Smokers are Vindictive

Posted by The Risk Monger on 31/07/13
Tags: , ,  

Ex-smokers have be busily spreading doubt about e-cigarettes. When will they stop their vindictiveness and let facts and science tell the story?

The Risk-Monger rss

David believes that hunger, AIDS and diseases like malaria are the real threats to humanity – not plastics, GMOs or pesticides. Sadly while these debates get sillier and more scarce resources get diverted into building green temples, more people die of real diseases. more.