By April 23, 2012 7 Comments Read More →

Help rebut misleading and mean-spirited anti-biodiversity Forbes article

Portrait photo of Forbes blogger Larry Bell with a red WRONG stamp

Forbes blogger Larry Bell is wrong about the biodiversity crisis and wrong about global warming

I’ve used this blog as a forum to highlight authors who deny the biodiversity crisis as a scam or hoax. We now have another example, unfortunately featured on the widely-read business website Forbes. I posted a plea on our Biodiversity Professionals Linkedin Group for help rebutting the article. I reiterate that plea here.

Please help me take some action! Read the article and tell me in a few sentences why Larry Bell, a professor of space architecture at the University of Houston is wrong to write “If we don’t begin to curb carbon-fueled capitalism and transfer governance and unfair wealth to the U.N right away, many thousands of as-of-yet undetermined insects, microbes and other species are most surely doomed!” Incidentally, Dr Bell (not a biologist or climate change scientist) recently wrote a book titled Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax so you know where he’s coming from. I’ll gather the collected sentences and provide a point-by-point rebuttal to this global warming and biodiversity crisis denier.

Please can you help by providing your thoughts? You can let Larry Bell know what you think here in the comments section, or on our Linkedin Discussion. Either way, Dr. Bell has to know that he can’t just throw around labels such as “feverish global warming hype.” Dr. Bell gets more personal criticizing the likes of Edward O. Wilson, say that the species going extinct according to Wilson “primarily inhabited the computer hard drive that generated his theoretical model.” It’s time to let Bell and his ilk know that extinctions aren’t “theoretical.” Moreover, the readers of Forbes deserve better. Bell’s article sarcastically emphasizes the loss of micro-biodiversity, saying that the purported sacrifices needed to save biodiversity will benefit only insects and microbes such as Paramecium. And why the hell should we care about those, he implies. Such a mean-spirited and misleading article is not, I am sure, the quality of writing the editors of Forbes expect of their writers. Business leaders need to know that biodiversity conservation is good for business and saves money, and does not demand his fear-mongering exaggeration that we “curb carbon-fueled capitalism and transfer governance and unfair wealth to the U.N right away.”

So yes, please help me take action. Reply directly on the Forbes article, or comment here or on the Linkedin discussion, and I’ll collect together the responses from the biodiversity community and let Dr. Bell know what we think of his nasty, dangerous propaganda.

7 Comments on "Help rebut misleading and mean-spirited anti-biodiversity Forbes article"

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  1. John Brown says:

    Attack his (lack of) credentials on the topic. He’s an engineer – nothing wrong with that except for the fact that it makes his polemic little more than a rant that cherry picks facts and assembles them into an overall picture that is profoundly misleading.

    Between this and Robert Zubrin’s new book, I think a strong case can be made for disallowing engineers to write books or essays about topics involving any sort of social element. I am a supporter of the space program (and conservation, obviously), but what is it with the fact-free, mean-spirited rants coming from certain sectors of the space crowd lately (cf. the former astronaut letter last week demanding that NASA stop engaging in climate change discussions). Oy.

  2. Roger says:

    Good point John. If a conservation biologist wrote up the specifications for a new space station module, I’d be a bit nervous about taking up residence. Likewise, I don’t understand why anyone should take the opinion of a space architect engineer on the loss of Earth’s species.

  3. Louise says:

    A sad classic. Whenever the man behind something is a doctor, people believe in him no matter what subject he is a doctor in. It doesn’t even have to be a related subject (which is the case here).

  4. With the welcome increased awareness of the biodiversity crisis, I guess it was only a matter of time before the professional sceptics got busy to represent the interests of industry, as has been the case with the climate change issue for a while now. It’s important to rebut and challenge these jokers – thanks for making me aware of this article.

  5. R7 Rocket says:

    Likewise, I don’t understand why anyone should take the opinion of a space architect engineer on the loss of Earth’s species.

    Because a self-sufficient colony off-Earth would put an end to arguments about “humans needing wild biodiversity to survive”.

    Self-sufficient colony means… who cares about wild insects and microbes. I’ll take the opinions of space engineers over any eco-scientist.

  6. Roger says:

    R7 Rocket, you betray your nihilistic world view, devoid of compassion for other creatures’ right to exist for their own sake. Are we the Lords of the Earth with dominion to say which species should live or die? Or are we stewards, with an obligation to nurture and protect this fabulous complexity of being we call Life. And bear in mind that if you eat fruit, or have a working digestive system, you need insects and microbes.

    If you understand science, you will know that scientific disciplines are so specialized today, that it’s foolish for any scientist to claim expertise outside his or her specific field.

  7. Paul says:

    Mr. Belle sights references to every statement that he has made, something that few ever do. Given his extensive background in the Aerospace field Mr Bell has been able to associate with experts in the environmental field and he quotes the findings of those experts. Seems that his contacts and credentials put him in a very strong position to wite on the subject.

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