The Risk-Monger

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As the European Commission DG Santé will soon review their disastrous precautionary ban of neonicotinoid pesticides (what the NGOs and activist scientists conjured up a bee crisis for), I only have one message to the man tasked with this re-evaluation: Farmers matter!

Posted by David Zaruk

The IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides has been set up essentially as a political front group – they do not do any original research, are not transparent on their membership or amount of funding and was formed to do PR and political activism. Their activism is damaging the reputation of science. They need to understand that rules matter.

Posted by David Zaruk

Cancel Rio+20

The UN’s Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference is promising to be an entirely politicised, misguided event already hijacked by the eco-activists, certain to achieve nothing and cause great environmental destruction in the process. Cancel it!

Posted by David Zaruk

Climate Ninnies

The Risk-Monger relentlessly holds to the belief that people do things for good reason. When reasons are unclear, he either admits that he doesn’t understand or judges that people are not very rational. With those determined to implement costly measures to try to stop global warming, he is beginning to judge towards the latter. This… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

Can you be bought?

This is the first part of a summer series on ethics and environmentalism. In a lobbying course I have just finished, I posed the question to my students: Can you be bought? The answer was easy; the challenge was “How much?” The more disquieting question I then threw at them was: “Should you sell your… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The BBC website announced today (20 June 2011) a “shocking decline” in the state of the oceans. With lines like: “The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now” or that we are ‘heading for a sixth mass extinction event’, my eyebrows got raised by the source of the shock factor that… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

This month we learn that both Argentine and Chinese researchers have been able to modify genes so that a cow can produce human-like breast milk. As we begin to ponder the societal value of the mass production of more nutritious milk that is less toxic to humans (plus other options that could be “designed in”… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The Risk-Monger can now announce that the source of the E. coli outbreak is German pork. He has no evidence to support this claim, but he doesn’t need any. He has the precautionary principle and a nervous population. First it was Spanish cucumbers (and maybe tomatoes and lettuce). No evidence! Now we are told the… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

There is a new contagion spreading across Europe from Spain – not related to sovereign debt or tummy bugs, but rather, to the spread of hysteria about what we eat and feed our children. It is causing well-intentioned public officials to commit an outrageous sin: to start testing all types of food for E. coli.… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The participatory policy process is being clogged by environmental activists who would rather see states not function than be led by elites and experts who might make decisions. This neo-anarchism is becoming commonplace and we no longer believe that the policy-processors meeting in Brussels today will be able to achieve anything.

Posted by David Zaruk

European innovation gurus talk up targets for investments in research and technologies, but without serious changes in political and societal mindsets, we are simply building fast trains to run on slow tracks. A recent series of meetings with Taiwanese National Research Council experts has brought about much introspection.

Posted by David Zaruk

Do Facts Matter?

Ten years ago, the Risk Monger was one of many working on science communications, science, society and governance issues. He believed that facts mattered. Today he has lost his faith.

Posted by David Zaruk

After old people and poverty, the third biggest real risk to humans is policy-makers. Environmental-health policies decided under stakeholder pressure and without reliable scientific information costs thousands of lives every day.

Posted by David Zaruk

Real Risks #2: Poverty

Part 2 of a summer series on real risks. 24,000 children died today from poverty. That is a real risk we can do something about. Climate change is a potential risk we can’t do very much about. Guess where we chose to put our money? That’s right – pet food.

Posted by David Zaruk