Environmental extremists took to the Seattle Times editorial pages today, hiding behind a business organization front group to advance Jay Inslee’s anti-carbon attack on the Washington State economy.
Of course, Inslee is trying to cloak his “green” agenda with a pro-economic development message, which makes today’s editorial endorsement from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) even more laughable.
That’s right, the “junk science” folks who tried to take down Washington State’s apple industry with the fraudulent Alar scare back in 1989 are back here standing proudly behind Inslee’s cap-and-tax scheme. Although, not so proudly that the NRDC would actually use its own name in the editorial.
Instead, the fear-mongering NRDC penned the editorial under the name of Ingrid Rasch, who is identified as the Pacific Northwest chapter director of the Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). It’s only after searching that group’s website that you find out that “E2 was founded in 2000 as an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council.”
It’s understandable why Inslee would not want the public support of the NRDC while he is trying to sell a skeptical legislature and public on the dubious merits of his tax-raising plans. After all, that extreme group was so discredited by its misleading attack on the apple industry that 60 Minutes – which worked with the NRDC’s public relations firm to portray the phony claims against Alar as serious science – was forced to issue an on-air retraction.
So, it comes as no surprise that the NRDC “scientists”, fronted by Ms. Rasch and E2 in the Times editorial, would depend on discredited science to advocate for Inslee’s job-killing proposals. Rasch, who suggests her background as an early human resources director for Microsoft qualifies her as an authority on economic and environmental policy, falls back on the Inslee claim that the oyster industry in Washington is being destroyed by global warming – a claim that even Inslee’s own Ecology Department was forced to admit was without any scientific merit.
But, lack of scientific merit is an NRDC specialty. Just ask the apple growers in Central Washington who lost millions thanks to the Alar scare. Or ask the legislator who represented that area in 1989, and saw first-hand the damage that fake science and a coordinated PR campaign could cause his constituents – that would be former State Representative Jay Inslee.
I have to laugh.Liberal commies at it again.Globil warming??? right just a bunch of B.S.to get more tax money to give to the envirolmentle folks so they can spread more lies.Truth be tols the oyster problem comes more from over harvesting and bad sepic systems including sewage treatment plants are the main cause.Oysters like it warm to reproduce.
Ah, the old “Alar Scare,” a brilliant piece of pro-corporate propaganda which still swindles the gullible. Our anonymous and hapless poster here at shiftwa.org has obviously swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. The Public Broadcasting System’s web site has a complete de-bunking of this non-story, courtesy of the Columbia Journalism Review’s recap in 1996(!). Let’s watch the Columbia Journalism Review dismantle the “Alar Scare,” point by point:
As conventional wisdom has it, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental group, manipulated CBS’s 60 Minutes into hyping a story on the dangers of Alar, a chemical sprayed on apples to regulate their growth and enhance their color. The February 1989 broadcast, largely based on the NRDC report “Intolerable Risk: Pesticides in Our Children’s Food,” told an audience of some 40 million that Alar was a dangerous carcinogen.
Yes, that certainly sounds like the claims made in this post. The trouble with these claims? Alar was, in fact, a dangerous carcinogen:
Moreover, studies and reviews completed after the CBS story aired – including one by [Alar’s manufacturer,] Uniroyal – confirmed the earlier ones the NRDC relied on, according to Jim Aidala, the EPA associate assistant administrator for pesticides. Alar, the trade name for daminozide, and its breakdown product during heating, UDMH, are animal and “probable human” carcinogens.
Apple growers from here in Washington state sued CBS. Their result?
Besides the scientific evidence, 60 Minutes has been repeatedly vindicated in the federal courts. On April 29,  the Supreme Court upheld without comment an appeals court decision dismissing a $250 million class-action suit filed in 1990 against 60 Minutes by a group of Washington state apple growers, alleging the show falsely disparaged their product (Auvil v. CBS “60 Minutes”). In October 1995, the appeals court had held that “the growers have failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to the falsity of the broadcast.” A year earlier the district court had dismissed the case for essentially the same reason.
What about all of our apple growers’ financial hardship? Why didn’t their local elected official, Jay Inslee, notice it?
The apple industry, meanwhile, rebounded quickly. In November 1990, The New York Times reported that “the industry overall has suffered little fallout.” And the president of the International Apple Institute told The Times that “the loss of Alar is not a major catastrophe for growers.”
Meanwhile, shiftwa.org seemed to take great offense that “NRDC would not use it’s own name in the editorial.” But shiftwa.org’s posts do not carry bylines; the “About” page here names no founder(s) or financial contributor(s), and identifies no authors. Perhaps we can learn why shiftwa.org refuses to practice what it preaches?
A real journalist, Joel Connelly, tells us about shiftwa.org:
The Sermo Digital team are also behind shiftwa.org, a new and intensely partisan Republican website…
And who is behind Sermo Digital?
Its principals include Josh Amato, former communications director for the state Republican Party, and Matthew Lundh, who was digital director in the McKenna for Governor campaign.
That last bit explains the “all Inslee, all the time” focus here. Inslee edged McKenna in 2012, continuing decades of Republican shut-out of that office; McKenna had been seen as the best chance yet to break that record of humiliating failure.