Trump, Putin and the alt-right – the GMO connection

As Donald Trump’s candidacy further collapses amidst new revelations of his sexual predator behaviour over the years, it seems as if the only remaining backers of his campaign are Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin and the US white supremacist alt-right. (Even Fox News is not so sure anymore.)

This strikes me as interesting, because these peculiar bedfellows have more in common than just a hatred of Hilary Clinton and the ‘facade’ of liberal democracy. Putin and the alt-right also promote conspiracy theories about GMOs.

I don’t mean to suggest that opposition to GMOs is a particularly important part of their shared ideology. But it does reveal some interesting things about the nature of that ideology: it is authoritarian, motivated by anti-western conspiracy theories, and largely belongs on the far right of the political spectrum.

I have suggested before that anti-GMO obsessiveness is primarily motivated by what social scientists call ‘conspiracist ideation‘. To be fully on board you need to believe that hundreds, maybe thousands, of scientists are complicit in a conspiracy to fake food and crop safety data at the behest of the Big M. (If you’re in the Hague, ask the various nutters at the current Monsanto kangaroo court about this and watch them squirm.) Therefore there is “no consensus” that ‘GMO’ techniques are safe.

The alt-right is also extremely sceptical about climate change, which Trump himself has suggested in a tweet is a plot by China to take over world markets. This figures: to deny global warming, you need to believe similarly that thousands of scientists are faking temperature and modelling data, perhaps at the behest of the UN and governments, rather than companies. Therefore there is “no consensus” that the world is warming, and humans are to blame.

Today the Washington Post reveals that America’s leading alt-right conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, has offered to pay anyone $1000 who can get TV airtime by crashing Hilary Clinton’s rally wearing a T-shirt saying Bill is a rapist. If you actually shout ‘Bill Clinton is a rapist’ on live TV Alex Jones will pay you $5000. According to Alex Jones, climate change is “a myth promoted by politicians to scare the public into accepting a vast expansion of government”.

There is no longer much doubt remaining that Putin’s Russian hackers are behind the latest Wikileaks email revelations, which Trump’s campaign believes is his last chance to turn the narrative around against Hillary by branding her as dishonest and self-interested. In the last presidential debate Trump denied that Putin is behind the hacks, but US intelligence agencies are clear about the evidence trail. Whether there is explicit collusion is not clear, but Wikileaks’ latest Russian hacks hit the media within hours of Trump’s disgusting 2005 sex tape.

It is clear why Putin backs Trump: he knows that a President Trump is guaranteed to undermine US democracy at home and America’s standing in the world, thereby – in Putin’s mind – diminishing the danger of democratic ‘regime change’ back at home in Moscow. Putin’s various propaganda media outfits never miss a chance to attack the West or liberal democracy in general, and promote any cause they can find that reduces public trust in democratic institutions.

The anti-GMO cause fits squarely into this box. I don’t suppose Putin himself has any understanding of or interest in the science. Instead, GMOs are another stick to beat America with and the West in general, just as is his alleged sponsorship of anti-fracking groups and far-right political parties in Europe. To a certain extent, today’s global ‘post-truth politics’ zeitgeist is Putin’s doing.

Rabid anti-GMO laws have been passed by Russia’s rubber-stamp parliament (which rather pathetically sent Putin hundreds of roses for his birthday the other day), including one that threatens that GMO importers or cultivators will be “punished as terrorists“. These have been held up as models by anti-GMO activists elsewhere, and cited as an example of a sensible government regulation. The reality is that they are a highly authoritarian propaganda measure.

Back in the US, Alex Jones and his alt-right Infowars channel is entirely on board, for largely the same reasons. GMOs are “humanity’s death sentence“, Jones claims. Various of his rants are available on YouTube if you care to search. Jones links GMOs with cancer and autism, and these memes can be surprisingly effective: in Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nigeria and many other places I’ve come across overt anti-GMO health scare conspiracy theories that either began on or have been amplified by Infowars.

I don’t know what degree of collusion, if any, there is between the alt-right, Russia and the more ‘mainstream’ anti-GMO scene. But this alliance of interests should surely give pause to people who believe they should oppose genetic engineering for socially progressive reasons, such as members of Green parties and environmental groups. Their opinions may well be held honestly, but they risk being manipulated and exploited by some very unsavoury interests indeed.

74 Comments

  1. Clyde Davies

    Benjamin Franklin once said that three people can keep a secret providing two or them are dead. The idea that thousands of scientists would keep a conspiracy of silence over, say GMOs or climate change, or even the Moon landings, as part of a covert agenda of deception, without at least *one* of them breaking ranks is risible rubbish.

    Reply
  2. Harry van Trotsenburg

    here you go wrong ; I’m not : ” authoritarian, motivated by anti-western conspiracy theories, and largely on the far right of the political spectrum.”

    In fact on the contrary.
    Furthermore ;
    I’m deeply worried about GMO ( this is also the case with “normal F1 hybrides”) food, because our body is often not able to comply with it.

    Through a lot of meditation my body and soul has become a lot more sensitive, I often experience within minutes after chewing an swallowing the food, that “things are wrong”with the food.

    Experiences I don’t have with Eco- or biological dynamic food.

    In fact it becomes difficult for me to eat outdoors …

    Reply
    1. Mary Mangan

      Yeah, I have heard of people who are super worried about the “purity” of things. Concerns about, what is it, the essence? There was a group on the right in Germany at one time that were fans of biodynamic agriculture.

      “God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.”

      You may want to look up the term “orthorexia nervosa”.

    2. Clyde Davies

      “In fact it becomes difficult for me to eat outdoors …”

      Bit buggered if you want to pursue a totally natural lifestyle then, aren’t you?

  3. Dick Newell

    Have not a large number of climate scientists broken ranks with the theory that human CO2 emissions will lead to catastrophic global warming?

    Reply
    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      No.

    2. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Dick Newell, you are absolutely right. The most respected scientists, including several Nobel Prizes are sceptical about the AGW hypothesis. There are several tens of thousands of them. They are called deniers comparing them to Holocaust deniers. A very dishonest trick on the part of AGW alarmists. Mark Lynas is dead wrong on the AGW issue, and extremely correct on the GMO issue, which makes me wonder how his mental and logic mechanisms work…

    3. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Dear Mark, I sincerely admire you on the GMO issue, and support you all the way. It disappoints me, however, your stance on climate change. I am a science journalist and have a strong background and knowledge in physics, chemistry, and other fields in science. I have studied many years the climate issue, including the ozone layer and CFCs scientific hoax, published about 1500 articles and two books on the subject, have been invited to lecture about it by the Spanish government in 2010, and I provide counseling to our national and provincial governments in Argentina. We might spend months discussing the AGW issue and I know you won’t change your mind. Only the next grand solar minimum around 2025 will show you that CO2 is not behind the changes in climate, nor in the warming of our atmosphere. But keep your excellent work on GMOs.

    4. Clyde Davies

      ” I have studied many years the climate issue, including the ozone layer and CFCs scientific hoax.”

      So you deny that the ozone hole over the Antarctic was caused by CFCs then? Despite the laboratory evidence supporting this theory? Alright, so what *did* cause it? And why is it now shrinking after CFCs were phased out?

    5. Eduardo Ferreyra

      The entire ozone hoax is built on the famous “Molina dimer”, the hypothesis that chlorine released from CFCs by UV radiation is destroying ozone molecules faster than it takes to replace them. Of course, this is sheer nonsense because stratospheric ozone is found between 16 km and 30 km altitude at a concentration of 0.000003% (three millionths percent) while O2 and N2 are 21% and 78%. UV-C radiation of wavelength shorter than 286 nanometers, dissociates O2 producing huge amounts of ozone at a much faster rate than chlorine can attack ozone molecules that are present in such an insignificant concentration.

      But the real hoax lies on Mario Molina`s “dimer theory”. Mario Molina devised and unbelievably complex chemical theory called “heterogeneous” or “dimer” chemistry (Molina and Molina, 1987). The theory requires very cold temperatures, below -78ºC, which occur in the Antarctic atmosphere only a few weeks of the year. It also requires the formation of polar stratospheric clouds, which are made up of nitric acid, instead of the water that makes up normal clouds. Finally, Molina’s new theory requires sunlight at just the right time.

      These conditions can occur in Antarctica only after three to four months of complete darkness enable the stratosphere to cool own to -78ºC. Then, at the very moment that spring returns and sunlight strikes Antarctica, at that moment, all conditions being right, the stratosphere being primed, the sunlight supposedly sets off a series of very complex reactions that break apart the molecules in which chlorine is bound, freeing individual chlorine atoms to wander about and destroy the ozone layer. Molina’s chemical formulas are as follows:

      (1) ClONO2 + HCl ice> Cl2 + HNO3
      (2) Cl2 + hv –> 2 Cl
      (3) Cl + O3 –> ClO + O2
      (4) ClO + ClO + M –> Cl2O2 + M
      (5) Cl2O2 + hv –> Cl + ClOO
      (6) ClOO + M –> Cl + O2 + M
      (M) is a “collisional chaperone” (a hard surface) for N2 and O2, as put by Molina.

      The net result of this series of complex chemical reactions is two ozone molecules (O3) will be turned into three oxygen molecules (O2). This is the heart of the explanation that CFCs are depleting ozone in Antarctica. The so-called “chloro-catalytic process” that has scared the hell out the common people.

      Please note that CFCs are not involved at all in Molina’s chemical reactions. The chlorine comes instead from two “reservoirs” ClONO2 and HCl, natural atmospheric compounds.

      Second, ice (a hard surface) is needed to begin the reaction, which is why the polar stratospheric clouds are required. The ice is found only when temperatures are colder than –78ºC and an altitude of between 12 and 20 km.

      Third, without sunlight (hv stands for a photon of UV radiation) this reaction could not occur. Let us concentrate on reaction (5). This crucial equation says that when a molecule Cl2O2(chlorine peroxide) is struck by UV radiation, it will break up into a Cl atom, which goes on to destroy ozone molecules, and ClOO.

      The ClOO (sometimes known as OClO) is then presumed to undergo a molecular collision against an ice crystal to give up molecular oxygen and a free chlorine atom. The crucial thing is: Given that the theoretical mechanism has never been definitely established in the laboratory, does the chemistry work like this in the stratosphere?

      No, it doesn’t. Read all about this on one of many articles I wrote about 10 years ago:

      http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ozo/vortex.html

    6. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Sunlight is another requisite element in Molina’s “dimer” chemistry. Sunlight is the “trigger” for the chemical reaction that destroy ozone molecules; this is why the ozone hole appears only at the beginning of the Antarctic spring, although the chlorine molecules have been there all throughout the winter darkness.

      Again, reality intrudes. The National and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on September 1990 that its polar satellites were detecting the development of the ozone hole A FULL MONTH BEFORE the appearance of sunlight. In other words, the hole is well developed before sunlight strikes Antarctica, exactly the OPPOSITE of what Molina heterogeneous chemistry theory claims. If chemical reactions are creating the hole, these reactions are occurring in the darkness, WHICH INVALIDATES THE THEORY. A theory that was given a Nobel Prize… So much for the knowledge and wisdom of Nobel commitees…

      Actually, once the Polar Vortex has been formed by hurricane winds of about 300-400 km/h no gases can enter the vortex and no gases can get out of the vortex. The hurricane winds make ozone molecules collide against each other reverting then to OXIGEN MOLECULES according to the known reaction: 2 O3  6 O2. As this occurs in darkness there is no ozone production by UV-C radiation —that comes into play about ONE MONTH LATER. That’s why ozone is destroyed: SELF DESTRUCTION, not chemical attacks.

    7. Clyde Davies

      “Dick Newell, you are absolutely right. The most respected scientists, including several Nobel Prizes are sceptical about the AGW hypothesis. There are several tens of thousands of them. ”

      No he isn’t. No they aren’t. And no there aren’t tens of thousands of them. And even if there were there are vastly more who *do* believe in AGW.

      If I can dispatch your arguments with three strokes of Hitchens’s Razor, I have to say it really doesn’t say much for you as a ‘scientific journalist’.

    8. Clyde Davies

      “Given that the theoretical mechanism has never been definitely established in the laboratory, does the chemistry work like this in the stratosphere?

      No, it doesn’t. Read all about this on one of many articles I wrote about 10 years ago.”

      No. I don’t think I’ll bother. Molina won a Nobel prize for his work. I’ve looked you up and your most solid claim to any expertise in this area appears to be a stint in journalism and PR. You’re down there with the Delingpoles of this world, from my perspective: I have a first degree and a PhD in Chemistry and over 20 years research experience.

      Any charlatan can publish any old rubbish they want on the ‘net, as you evidently have done. I prefer to read peer-reviewed articles and even then with a healthy dose of scepticism. When the evidence changes my mind changes. My idea of what constitutes evidence is rather more exacting than yours.

    9. Clyde Davies

      “Please note that CFCs are not involved at all in Molina’s chemical reactions. The chlorine comes instead from two “reservoirs” ClONO2 and HCl, natural atmospheric compounds.”

      This one comment betrays your profound level of scientific ignorance. HCl isn’t a reservoir. It’s an end product. A chemical dead end. If there’s still stuff in atmospheric reservoirs it’s because they are being topped up continuously.

      And what the hell do you think tops up the reservoirs? Pink unicorns? Virtually all natural chlorine on earth is bound up in ionic compounds. And virtually all of that is salt. If there’s a lot of chlorine in atmospheric reservoirs, it’s because *we* put it there.

      And guess how exactly we did *that*.

    10. Eduardo Ferreyra

      I won’t lose my time discussing with someone that knows doodle squat, zilch, nothing, nada, about atmospheric science. I sent you to an article that provides scientific information and evidence about the fraud committed by Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland and you gave the classical answer that you don’t lose your time reading non peer reviewed studies. It is the regular answer of all those who want to doge the debate because they have no serious and validated data. So, you have lost this short debate.

      BTW, There are several sources of natural chlorine, in million tons of annual output: Oceanic biota = 5.0 million tons; biomass burning = 8.4; Volcanoes = 36.0; and Oceans =600.0 millions tons. And when you compare those figures with the annual content of chlorine in CFCs in the 1980s = 0.0075 million or 7.5 thousand tons, people can see that there is not enough chlorine in CFCs to cause any effect on the ozone layer. There are several scientific peer reviewed studies out there for you to check. Make your homework and look for them.

      Furthermore, Freon-11 molecules were found at the highest altitude (29 km) at a concentration of 0.1 ppT (parts per trillion), while Freon-12 was found at 32 km at 10 parts per trillion. (check it in the peer reviewed study in Science: P. Fabian, R. Borders, S.A. Penkett, et al. 1981. “Halocarbons in the Stratosphere.” Nature, (Dec. 24), pp. 733-735. As UV-C radiation, the one with the needed energy to break the super strong bond of CFCs molecules is not found below 45 km altitude, there is no possibility that UV radiation can break CFCs molecules and let free a chlorine atom. that’s a fact. No one challenges that fact… only you.

      Goodbye sucker.

    11. Clyde Davies

      Ed, if you ever get around to writing some peer reviewed papers ofor your own, and running that gauntlet, I suggest you save your bluster for the referees. It’s your strongest asset

      Your just a tiresome little self opinionated dilettante with no track record and no qualifications. About as much credibility as The Man in the Pub.

      Why don’t you accuse Molina of fraud in a court of law and see how far that gets You? Until then, like they say, it’s all just piss and wind.

    12. Eduardo Ferreyra

      You are a fool, Clyde. Journalists don’t have to write papers for a referee to review. We publish the results of papers by scientists that had their research reviewed. That’s the job of journalism. If you don’t believe in that then you shouldn’t believe what Molina published. He didn’t publish it, of course, the manuscript was given by Nature and Science editor in chief to their clerks to made the typing and compose the article. Now go and get a life.
      Of course no one can sue Molina or any other scientist in a court because, according to the law, there is nothing wrong or unlawful in stating an opinion. Molina didn’t made his research and publication under an oath. it only compromised his scientific integrity. That’s why the absurd intention of those Attorney Generals to bring ExxonMobil to the court was a terrible flop. That was against the 1st amendment, it is all about free speech and writing without previous censorship. You don’t have the slightest idea about how the world functions.

    13. Clyde Davies

      “Journalists don’t have to write papers for a referee to review. We publish the results of papers by scientists that had their research reviewed. That’s the job of journalism. If you don’t believe in that then you shouldn’t believe what Molina published. ”

      You know, when somebody commits an offence of some kind, as you seem to be implying that Molina and countless other scientists have done, one expects a motive underlying it all. I have yet to hear a convincing reason *why* somebody would like to perpetrate such a hoax and why all these other supposedly fraudulent scientists haven’t had an attack of conscience, and broken ranks.

      “Now go and get a life.”

      Says the man who seems to spend most of his time indulging in paranoid right-wing conspiracy theories.

      “Of course no one can sue Molina or any other scientist in a court because, according to the law, there is nothing wrong or unlawful in stating an opinion. ”

      No, but he could sue you for libel if he felt he was being defamed. Well, he could in the UK, at least, where our libel laws are notoriously stringent. I’d like to see you defend your accusations of fraud and incompetence in such a situation. In fact, I’d greatly enjoy it.

      You talk a good game, as they say. Let someone who has actually ‘walked the walk’ – and got the letters before and after his name to show it – give you a lesson in how science *actually* works. There is such a thing as consensus, believe it or not, and you make your name in science by successfully challenging the consensus. This involves discovering something new and throwing your radical ideas to public – and often merciless – scrutiny. Then, if you’re successful, your new ideas take root and becomes the new consensus. Not instantly, because other scientists will be throwing everything they’ve got at it.

      So if you think the current consensuses on climate change and CFCs are misbegotten then you should try writing a few papers of your own and submitting them to peer review. Do what the rest of us are expected to do: Put up – or shut up.

      In the meantime we can come to an accommodation. I’ll go on reading my peer-reviewed papers (just like Mark does now) and you can go on *not* writing them. That would suit me fine, because right up to this exchange, I had never even heard of you, and I’d be very unlikely to hear of you again. Thank God.

    14. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Clyde, now you are preaching for the choir, because it is no to me who you are speaking to. You are doing it from the ivory tower of a self-righteousness so typical of left leaning liberals. It was you who brought the ideological subject into this presumed scientific debate in which, by the way, you have not provided any scientific fact, not a single scientific evidence, not a reference to peer reviewed studies as I did. You have given me just mere anecdotal opinions. Tabloid news clips.

      Mario Molina knows me perfectly well and he has kept his mouth shut about my criticism. He won’t ever sue me because he would need to prove in the court his “dimer theory” is right, and he knows it is not. why? Chemically is wrong. And the ozone hole begins to form one month earlier than his theory proposes. As Feymnanm famously said: “If observations don’t confirm your theory, your theory is wrong.”

      You are not dealing with an amaterur. I am included in the list of the 500 world’s most dangerous public personalities for the AGW hypothesis, according to the study published by the Proceeding of the AAAS (PNAS, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences), in a humble ranking of 430 behind my good friend, the also Argentinian climatologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, PhD, in the 129th place. The “study” was authored by a team formed by James W. Prall. (Computer engineer), Jacob Harold, (from William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, with clear political bias); William R.L. Anderegg, post graduate student in biology, and Stephen Schneider, from passed away from Stanford University and mentor of Mr. Anderegg.

      Expert credibility in climate change:
      http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.abstract

      Of course, you don’t know me because you live secluded in your own warmist world totally impervious to all dissenting views about anything you and others of your ilk believe. Keep living that way. You’ll never get to know the truth about anything. You are convinced that you already know anything you need to know. You are the Owner of Truth. Congrats. You may have your last word in this debate, if that suits you. I couldn’t care less about what you say. So talk to your friends in the choir, they might believe you. I wish you luck in your life.

    15. Harry van Trotsenburg

      I would like to say a view things :

      A With statistics you can prove A=B and A≠B.

      This depends on your theory!

      So let’s look at plain facts :

      1 Sea ice is diminishing as glaciers are…
      2 Sea water temperature is getting higher
      3 Seawater is acidifying
      4 Climate zone’s are shifting

      1+2+3+4 = Climate is changing.

      And this is due to the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere from roughly 300to 400 ppm;

      Already Tyndall in the 1860’s described and proved how the greenhouse effect worked ( see ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyndall )

      Already in the 1890’s Arrhenius could predict, after about a year work that when CO2 concentration would double a temperature rise of 4 to 6 degrees centigrade would occur.
      ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius )

      Meanwhile there is a solid body of knowledge to support this.

      The simple fact that some people are denying this is not relevant, for when we look around evidence is there..overwhelming…

      B The atmosphere is a little rotten on the blog

      It is not about changing information , listening to each other, trying to find truth( ….) not the truth ….

    16. Clyde Davies

      One little problem Eduardo with everything you say; where’s the data supporting your hypothesis? Until you come up with some compelling evidence, then it’s all just ‘arts faculty science’. And then there’s this little problem of ozone depletion steadily worsening throughout the 1990s “with peak ozone losses reaching 70% in Antarctica in Spring, 30% in the Arctic in Spring, 8% in Australia in summer, 10-15% in New Zealand in summer, and 3% globally year-round”. And the concomitant problem that now we’ve banned them, the trend is reversing. Funny, that, eh?

      I don’t actually care whether or not AGW or ozone depletion is *true*. What I do care about is that if it *is* true and the *consequences* are serious then we do something about it. We’ve done something about the latter, now it’s time we do something about the former. You may be utterly self-satisfied in your complacency about these issues, but just get out of *our* bloody way, there’s a good chap.

      And one final point before I sign off – Molina won’t engage you because he has more important things to do and, scientifically speaking, you’re pond life, despite your evident self-importance. I expect he’d rather engage somebody who is capable of understanding the issues and consequences, as opposed to the equivalent trying to hold a conversation with a brick wall.

      I’m off now. Enjoy your pond.

    17. Eduardo Ferreyra

      This comment is addressed to people that have been following this fruitless debate with a Stone Wall, aka Mr. Clyde Davies. Mr Davies claims there are not evidences proving the ozone theory is false or wrong. It is sad to see that Clyde has not made a research on the scientific literature on the subject. The evidence abounds aplenty. Of course there is not a single peer reviewed study claiming: “The Ozone Hole Theory is a Fraud”. As there is not a single study claiming: “The Ozone Hole Theory is Established Solid Science”. However, there are many peer reviewed studies that provides solid evidences against the Ozone Hole Theory, even coming from respected places as NASA, and other space agencies as the German Air Space agency with its Crista/Spas joint program with NASA and the University of Wuppertal..

      Clyde Davies says:

      “And then there’s this little problem of ozone depletion steadily worsening throughout the 1990s “with peak ozone losses reaching 70% in Antarctica in Spring, 30% in the Arctic in Spring, 8% in Australia in summer, 10-15% in New Zealand in summer, and 3% globally year-round”. And the concomitant problem that now we’ve banned them, the trend is reversing. Funny, that, eh?”

      Funny is that Clyde is wrong as usual, and tries to mislead other people. Check some sources:

      At AGU, NASA says CFC reduction is not shrinking the ozone hole – yet
      NASA Reveals New Results From Inside the Ozone Hole – Dec. 11, 2013
      NASA scientists have revealed the inner workings of the ozone hole that forms annually over Antarctica and found that declining chlorine in the stratosphere has not yet caused a recovery of the ozone hole.
      More than 20 years after the Montreal Protocol agreement limited human emissions of ozone-depleting substances, satellites have monitored the area of the annual ozone hole and watched it essentially stabilize, ceasing to grow substantially larger. However, two new studies show that signs of recovery are not yet present, and that temperature and winds are still driving any annual changes in ozone hole size.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/11/at-agu-nasa-says-cfc-reduction-is-not-shrinking-the-ozone-hole-yet/

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      CRISTA/SPAS
      NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1994-073B
      Description:
      The Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) was a joint scientific program between NASA and the DARA, the German Space Agency. The SPAS was developed by Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm (MBB) in Germany, and was employed as a reusable carrier for short-duration missions. The Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes (CRISTA)-SPAS was co-manifested with the third flight of the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS 3) on the Space Shuttle. CRISTA-SPAS was deployed from the Shuttle cargo bay using the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) and executed a series of pre-programmed mission objectives.
      http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1994-073B

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Did We Really Save The Ozone Layer?
      Another year has passed and that stubborn Ozone Hole over Antarctica refuses to go away. Data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that the Ozone Hole for the fall maximum season grew 22 percent from 2014 to 2015. World consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances has been reduced to zero over the last three decades, but the Ozone Hole is as large as ever. Did humans really save the ozone layer?
      http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/26/did-we-really-save-the-ozone-layer/

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      The use of “ozone depleting substances” is way down but ozone “hole” is pretty steady.
      https://junkscience.com/2015/10/hole-in-cfc-ozone-depletion-hypothesis-growing-larger/#more-201

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      New scientific evidence continues to demonstrate that the ozone depletion models -and the resulting ban on CFCs- are based on a Big Lie that the ozone depletion models -and the resulting ban on CFCs- are based on a Big Lie.
      http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ingles/Crista.html

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      “New study reveals gas that triggers ozone destruction; Climate models in error”
      “Our laboratory and modelling studies show that these gases are produced from the reaction of atmospheric ozone with iodide on the sea surface interfacial layer, at a rate which is highly significant for the chemistry of the marine atmosphere.
      “Our research reveals an important negative feedback for ozone – a sort of self-destruct mechanism. The more ozone there is, the more gaseous halogens are created which destroy it. The research also has implications for the way that radionuclides of iodine in seawater, released into the ocean mainly from nuclear reprocessing facilities, can be re-emitted into the atmosphere.”
      https://junkscience.com/2013/01/new-study-reveals-gas-that-triggers-ozone-destruction-climate-models-in-error/

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      The ozone layer is self-healing because as UV penetrates further into the atmosphere, it encounters more free oxygen (O2). By 15 km above the surface, over 95% of the UV has been expended in the creation of ozone. Measurements of ozone by the British Antarctic survey team determined levels were lower than measures taken in 1957.
      James Lovelock, the British scientist who proposed the Gaia hypothesis, warned against overreaction, but was ignored.
      The hysteria began with the environmentalist hypothesis that CFCs were destroying ozone in the stratosphere. Molina and Rowland, who later received a Nobel Prize for their work, published results of laboratory studies showing that CFCs destroy ozone. They didn’t simulate atmospheric conditions in the ozone layer, but that didn’t matter. Ideology took over, and they determined to prove rather than disprove the hypothesis as proper science requires.
      http://www.therebel.media/there_never_was_a_hole_in_the_ozone

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Enough for starting your journey towards the truth about the ozone hole hoax. Not you, Clyde. You are impervious to the truth.

    18. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Dear Harry von Trotsenburg. I am sorry I can’t embark in a debate with you about the AGW issue. Almost everything you said is a collection of well known fallacies, inaccuracies, flawed assumptions, and a general lack of knowledge about the science of climatology. It doesn’t mean you cannot learn, of course, but you’ll have to learn from the right people. I would reccomend the lecture given yesterday in London in the Royal Scociety by Lord Matthew (Matt) Ridley about why he doesn’t believe in the big hype promoted by alarmists. Warmist made all efforts possible trying to prevent Ridley to speak in such a serious place, to no avila… luckily.

      I know you won’t read his lecture because it frightens you to get many facts straight that could make you change your mind about AGW. In any case, it is the only thing I can do for you and I hope it will be useful for Mark Lynas too. Have a nice day,…

      http://rationaloptimist.com/blog/global-greening-versus-global-warming/

    19. Harry van Trotsenburg

      1 Global greening.
      Global greening didn’t,I repeat ; did not prevent the CO2 level to reach 400 ppm…..
      So while this is hope full, this “sink”is not enough?
      Or in the words of Dr Myneni : “There are no ‘up-sides’ to having too much CO2 in the air,” words Lord Ridley couldn’t understand….? Or didn’t he want to understand?

      2 “By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates.”
      It appears he was not wrong.
      This being true, he under estimated the consequences?

      3 What keeps science honest,
      what stops it from succumbing entirely to confirmation bias, is that it is decentralized, allowing one lab to challenge another.
      What is the relevance of Lord Ridley’s text, when he states ? : “

      I am not claiming that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas; it is.
      I am not saying that its concentration in the atmosphere is not increasing; it is.
      I am not saying the main cause of that increase is not the burning of fossil fuels; it is.
      I am not saying the climate does not change; it does.
      I am not saying that the atmosphere is not warmer today than it was 50 or 100 years ago; it is.
      And I am not saying that carbon dioxide emissions are not likely to have caused some (probably more than half) of the warming since 1950.
      I agree with the consensus on all these points.
      I am not in any sense a “denier”……I am a lukewarmer. “

      Now I’m Dutch, so I had to look up what lukewarm means ; it means not being cold nor warm…
      Is this positive, not being able to see what is at hand because you are a lukewarmer?

      Is it a tongue in cheek play when Lord Ridley states : “I am not disagreeing with the consensus on climate change.” to continue with “There is no consensus that climate change is going to be dangerous. Even the IPCC says there is a range of possible outcomes, from harmless to catastrophic.”

      That is correct it depends on what we, it depends on what humanity is going to do the coming decade.
      What makes Lord Ridley, play this role?
      Does he still has to sell his shares in Shell, Exxon or ….?

    20. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Harry van Trotsenburg, do you use frequently the “guilty by association” fallacy? Lord Ridley does not have connection with Big Oil.

      However, he owns a land where there is a coal quarry or mine, but not shares in the mining company. But it looks as he need not to worry because the mine will be depleted long before the use of coal could be banished in the UK or Germany, or elsewhere as the amount of coal burning plants are increasing and blooming as fast as mushrooms after a rain.

    21. Harry van Trotsenburg

      “do you use frequently the “guilty by association” fallacy?” : No

      “Lord Ridley does not have connection with Big Oil.” : Fine, still they will be very grateful to him.

      How about his fallacies, inaccuracies, flawed assumptions, and a general lack of knowledge about the science of climatology, induced by his being a lukewarmer.?

      What would be your answer to :
      when Lord Ridley states : “I am not disagreeing with the consensus on climate change.” to continue with “There is no consensus that climate change is going to be dangerous. Even the IPCC says there is a range of possible outcomes, from harmless to catastrophic.”

      That is correct it depends on what we, it depends on what humanity is going to do the coming decade.
      What makes Lord Ridley, play this role?

    22. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Harry, I don’t agree with Ridey in many aspects of is stance. He is a “lukewarmer” while I am a strong sceptic (or “denier” if you like) of almost everything related to AGW). There is only one consensus in climatology: “the climate changes constantly.” The human responsibility must be proved beyond doubt (not by means of 100% flawed computerized models) and by means of hard facts and non flawed observations. But there are so many doubts that the consensus is inexistent. Yes, I know there is 97% consensus among warmist scientists (what else?), as there is about 97% consensus among sceptic scientists the AGW is wrong.
      But you should know that in science there has never been a consensus. Only on physics, chemistry, some in biology, astronomy, geology, and other laws (as thermodynamics), but don’t hold your breath about consensus on “accepted” laws will be aeternal. Even Einstein’s theory as not yet become a law or there is absolute consensus. As he famously said: “They don’t need 100 scientists to prove me wrong… only one would be enough to refute my theory”.

    23. Harry van Trotsenburg

      So I stick to my conclusion :
      it depends on what humanity is going to do the coming decade.

    24. Scott

      Someone mentioned “greening” or more properly the CO2 fertilization stabilizing feedback. It is real, but not large enough. However, this leads to a solution that is parallel to Freeman Dyson’s geoengineering “solution” of just plant more trees. There are many reasons this won’t work, but the basic one is that planting trees increases stocks, but doesn’t stabilize fluxes. Using the bucket analogy, you have a created a bigger bucket, but still a bucket with no drain. It helps temporarily … until the new bigger bucket gets full. We call that Saturation. It’s a temporary fix that helps, but it is not a long term solution.

      However, maybe even accidently, Dyson might have stumbled onto something that can solve AGW to the benefit of all.

      Atmospheric CO2 level is the primary human impact we can change that directly influences energy flows. It comes down to the carbon cycle and the CO2 fertilization effect. Dyson is correct BTW that there is more carbon in the soil than in biomass and atmosphere combined. Also correct about the fertilization effect on plant growth. This is what is called a stabilizing feedback. The debunkers of Dyson are also correct about the increasing emissions from the labile fraction of soil carbon as temperature increases. Called a reinforcing feedback.

      Here is where it gets interesting. Dyson AND the vast majority of the Dyson debunking sources have focused on the wrong biome. It is NOT the forest plants that have the capability to mitigate AGW. It’s the grassland/savanna biome that actually can be a forcing for global cooling, and counter the current global warming trend.

      In a forest, the stabilizing feedbacks and the reinforcing feedbacks largely counter each other, and little is done long term to mitigate rising CO2 levels. Once you reach that saturation point you are done. You might even decrease albedo. But grasslands sequester carbon very differently than forests. Most grassland carbon is not sequestered in biomass, nor labile carbon in the top O horizon of the soil, but rather the newly discovered liquid carbon pathway. Grasslands also have higher albedo.

      Most terrestrial biosphere carbon storage is in grassland (mollic) soils. Where trees store most their products of photosynthesis in woody biomass, grasslands instead of producing a woody tree truck, secrete excess products of photosynthesis (exudates) to feed the soil food web, especially mycorrhizal fungi. Those fungi (AMF) in turn secrete a newly discovered compound called glomalin deep in the soil profile. Glomalin itself has a 1/2 life of 7–42 years if left undisturbed. The deepest deposits even longer with a 1/2 life of 300 years or more in the right conditions. Then when it does degrade a large % forms humic polymers that tightly bind to the soil mineral substrate and can last thousands of years undisturbed. Together they all form what is called a mollic epipedon. That’s your really good deep fertile soils of the world and they contain far more carbon, even in their highly degraded state currently, than all the terrestrial biomass and atmospheric CO2 put together. This LCP is what built those famously deep and fertile midwest soils.

      Even though wood is resistant to decay, the biomass of forests is still considered part of the active carbon cycle (labile carbon) That litter layer on the forest floor is relatively shallow, and most that decay ends up back in the atmosphere, unless locked in some kind of peat bog or permafrost. Tightly bound soil carbon in a mollic epipedon is considered differently than the labile carbon pool. It is the stable fraction of soil carbon, and grassland biomes pump 30% or more of their total products of photosynthesis into this liquid carbon pathway.

      The importance of this recent discovery of the Liquid Carbon Pathway (photosynthesis-root exudates-mycorrhizal fungi-glomalin-humic polymers-mollic epipedon) to climate science AND agriculture can not be stressed enough.

      Mollic Epipedon
      Soil Geography of the USA
      pp 29-46
      Date: 09 June 2014
      James G. Bockheim
      “The mollic epipedon is a key diagnostic epipedon in Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff 2010) and is recognized in many other soil classification schemes as black soil, Chernozems, chestnut soils, Brunizems, Phaeozems, and Kastanozems. The origin of the mollic epipedon is only partially understood; however, the relation between Mollisols and grassland or steppe has been recognized for more than a century (Shantz 1923). Soils containing a mollic epipedon are among the world’s most productive soils (Liu et al. 2012). The thickness and high soil organic carbon (SOC) contents of the mollic epipedon mean that these soils have sequestered large amounts of C over long periods of time. In agricultural areas, the SOC content has decreased somewhere between 30 and 50 % from soil erosion and increased decomposition and cropping (Mann 1985; Mikhailova et al. 2000; Liu et al. 2010; Fenton 2012; David et al. 2009). As a result some Mollisols no longer have a mollic epipedon (Veenstra and Burras 2002; Fenton 2012).”

      Glomalin: A soil protein important in soil sequestration
      Sara F. Wright, Matthias C. Rillig and Kristine A. Nichols
      USDA-SARE-SMSL
      “Elevated atmospheric C02 levels lead to greater fixation of carbon by plants and greater transfer
      of carbon to roots and soil. We are studying the amplification of a series of events that flow from
      increased inputs of carbon to plant roots and subsequently to sequestration of organic carbon in
      soil aggregates. Soil aggregates are groups of primary particles that adhere to each other more
      strongly than to surrounding soil particles. Plant roots provide carbon for growth and
      reproduction of a ubiquitous group of symbiotic fungi called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
      (AMF). A recent discovery shows that AMF produce copious amounts of an insoluble,
      hydrophobic, recalcitrant glycoprotein, named glomalin, which is important in stabilizing soil
      aggregates. Aggregates store and protect additional organic carbon until the aggregates break
      down. Thus, greater stability of aggregates leads to larger amounts of protected organic carbon in
      terrestrial ecosystems.”

      Glomalin Is Key To Locking Up Soil Carbon
      Science Daily
      July 2, 2008
      “On the surface of soil aggregates, glomalin forms a lattice-like waxy coating to keep water from flowing rapidly into the aggregate and washing away everything, including the carbon. As the builder of the formation “bag” for soil, glomalin is vital globally to soil building, productivity and sustainability, as well as to carbon storage.”

      Liquid carbon pathway unrecognised
      Christine Jones, Australian Farm Journal
      Edition 338, 3/07/2008
      “Under appropriate conditions, 30-40% of the carbon fixed in green leaves can be transferred to soil and
      rapidly humified, resulting in rates of soil carbon sequestration in the order of 5-20 tonnes of CO2 per
      hectare per year.”

      Cenozoic Expansion of Grasslands and Climatic Cooling
      Gregory J. Retallack
      Department of Geological Sciences,
      University of Oregon
      “Grasslands and their soils can be considered sinks for atmospheric CO2, CH4, and water vapor, and their
      Cenozoic evolution a contribution to long-term global climatic cooling.”

      So while specifically Dyson was wrong, he has identified in the most general terms the pathway forward. “Plants” is too general. Forests is categorically wrong, although we still need them for their rapid buffering capability on climate as well as many other important ecosystem services, not to mention lumber. But the forcing of CO2 mitigation long term comes from the grassland biome, now largely under agricultural management and that is plants after all. Dyson got the wrong plants and the wrong soils, but did hit on the right concept.

      The real question is can this mitigation strategy work within conservative ideals so that a political coalition between both liberals and conservatives can be made to devise a plan acceptable to both? It is pretty obvious that a carbon tax has and will continue to meet with opposition.

      I believe it is possible, yes. But certain areas will take dramatic change for that to happen. Most importantly energy and agriculture. Right now both those sectors have already overgrown what can be sustained. Quite predictable since they were never really sustainable since the industrial revolution anyway. Just took a while for people to realize it.

      For it to happen though, agriculture production models will need to be changed to regenerative systems, energy will need technological fixes like solar and nuclear etc. and overall since population has already exceeded environmental capacity, a large amount of ecosystem recovery projects will be needed as well. So yeah, reforesting can be a part where appropriate. All of these are possible, however I personally believe they are unlikely to happen on their own given social and institutional inertia.

      My focus is on agriculture. Having studied it quite intensely for years, I believe we currently have the ability to fix that one. Only a few minor gaps remain. I can only hope others committed to the other two big ones meet with similar success. But then comes the hard part, actually doing what we know how to do before these unsustainable systems currently in effect start failing world wide, collapsing even our ability to do what we know how to do! That’s the actual tricky part.

      For example, if agriculture fails before we fully institute regenerative models and the infrastructure changes needed, civilization collapses. Not much going to be done about it then. AGW will see to it that all three will fail if changes are not done soon enough. Once again with the potential to collapse civilization, or at least many nations including ours. Again making it near impossible to implement what we already know how to do.

      So how do we institute the changes needed in a free market economic base beneficial to mitigating AGW?

      The most important leg is agriculture. The answer may be more simple than you think. The rise of “king corn” can be seen as a direct result of a series of changes in agricultural policy instituted by Earl Lauer Butz, Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Most important to this policy change was the Buffer stock scheme (ever full granary) combined with urgings to farmers to “get big or get out”. (Which happened by the way. Now there is actually a crisis from too few family farmers, average age being 60.) That led to huge surpluses which we then were able to successfully use for many purposes, including major grain sales to Russia and China and many humanitarian aid projects.

      Something has changed though. Now China has opened up beef sales. This is a value added commodity over grain. It makes more sense to drop the buffer stock scheme on grain, and instead I propose a buffer stock scheme on grass fed beef instead. You can do this on the same amount of subsidies that we currently use for grain, and instead put them on restoring the great prairies/steppes/savannas of the world….raising beef. This would positively affect carbon sequestration, pesticide use, erosion, seasonal dead zones in our productive coastal waters, biodiversity, energy budget, economic growth, international trade balance, rural economic development, etc… AND if done properly, as many case studies at the USDA-SARE & USDA-NRCS clearly show, even increase total yields of food for humans.

      So to fully answer, instead of adding a carbon tax, one way to solve this is simply change what we subsidize. No need for new taxes. In agriculture instead of a buffer stock scheme on king corn, a buffer stock scheme on carbon being sequestered in soils. Just redirect the same amount of funds away from one to the other. Same goes for energy. Fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $493 billion in 2014, with subsidies to oil products representing over half of the total. Those subsidies were over four-times the value of subsidies to renewable energy. Simply redirect the subsidies for fossil fuels over to renewables. Doesn’t necessarily need to cost one penny more.

      The idea that we are still subsidizing AGW, while trying to find solutions to AGW is quite frankly ridiculous. Goes to the wise old saying, “A house divided against itself can not stand.”

      Now for some interesting general numbers. “Under appropriate conditions, 30-40% of the carbon fixed in green leaves can be transferred to soil and rapidly humified, resulting in rates of soil carbon sequestration in the order of 5-20 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year.”

      5-20 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year x 1.5 billion hectares = 7.5 – 30.0 billion tonnes of CO2 per year AND that’s just arable cropland, that doesn’t even include the ecosystem recovery projects that could be done on degraded desertified rangeland mentioned by Allan Savory in his famous TedTalk. That’s actually a larger area of land, but much more complicated to calculate. Because some rangeland is healthy and currently sequestering carbon in the LCP. A larger % is degraded by overgrazing and/or undergrazing, both causes of desertification and either nearly net zero flux, or actually a CO2 emissions source. Depending on the brittleness factor, they also each respond differently when properly managed. So it is difficult to quantify exactly how much more CO2 could be sequestered per year restoring these areas, but likely even more total (but less per hectare). China’s restoration project of the desertified Loess Plateau early results shows just how significant this can be. I will not do links because it puts my posts in moderation for ages, but try Googling these:

      Soil carbon sequestration potential for “Grain for Green” project in Loess Plateau, China

      Pasture Cropping: A Regenerative Solution from Down Under

      The System of Rice Intensification (SRI)…
      … is climate-smart rice production

      The next two have USDA case studies on file with the USDA, and instructional vids. I will post both.

      No-Till Case Study, Brown’s Ranch: Improving Soil Health Improves …

      Gabe Brown: Keys To Building a Healthy Soil

      and

      12 Aprils Grazing Dairy Manual

      Trantham’s Sustainable 12 Aprils Dairy Grazing Program: A Top Farm that Almost Went Under

      As you can see, more food per acre. Little to no cost. More profitable. Large enough. And most importantly, these solutions are all without even the need for GMO’s. They are irrelevant and superfluous to the debate. It is the industrial factory farming methodology that the GMOs were designed to prop up that is the entire problem. Not only is AGW real, it is also very solvable. But this obsession with GMOs in the debate from BOTH SIDES is nothing but a red herring.

    25. Clyde Davies

      ” Mr. Clyde Davies.”

      It’s DOCTOR Clyde Davies, B.Sc., Ph.D. to you, MISTER Ferrerya.

  4. Mary Mangan

    Well, in the US, there was big news when Jill Stein of our Green Party was cooing about her dinner with Putin. http://americablog.com/2016/08/jill-stein-moscow-criticized-us-human-rights-said-nothing-russian-human-rights.html I think Russia is playing both sides on this. Apparently one of Trump’s advisors was there as well (Manafort).

    But I’ve always found that the American far left’s ideas of purity and fundamentalism on an environmental front to be just around the corner from the right on this.

    Reply
    1. Clyde Davies

      But the American far left doesn’t have the same vice-like grip on the Democrats that the far right has on the Repubs. I personally abhor all extremism.

      I’m a pretty centrist chap by nature, despite tending to the left, and I prefer evidence based arguments above all others. As they say, facts have a liberal bias, so you’d hope that these arguments would sway the liberals far more than the conservatives.

  5. Chuck Niwrad

    I understand you are under no obligation to include all possible motivations for anti-GMO opinions in a single post, so let me offer this: Let’s not forget Hillary, who apparently changed her tune on labeling after speaking to Gary Hirshberg, anti-GMO advocate, provocateur and important bundler of cash for Hillary. Not Alex Jones-level stuff, just the same old, mundane practice of paying a politician to ignore evidence.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-10-12/wikileaks-emails-stonyfield-farms-gary-hirshberg-pushed-hillary-clinton-toward-bernie-sanders-gmo-stance

    Reply
  6. Bluebell

    Load of Rubbish, best you stick to the weather.

    Reply
    1. Clyde Davies

      Yet another characteristically insightful and considered comment from Bluebell.

  7. Clyde Davies

    Mark: any chance of you using some blogging software that would allow us to put some graphs or pictures in our comments? Even if that means a degree of pre-moderation? Because it would be a very good way of dispatching silly arguments (it worked for Brian Cox). Please?!

    Reply
    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Dunno. It’s WordPress. I can ask. I have ‘img’ tag above – don’t you?

    2. Clyde Davies

      I’ll give it a go

      On second thoughts, let’s stick to text.

    3. Clyde Davies

      (I tried to post a picture of Donald back there. It didn’t work 😉 )

  8. David

    Where the hell do you get Assange backing Trump from? Him highlighting Clinton’s shit is hardly the same as backing Trump. You invalidate your argument by using bullshit claims

    Reply
    1. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Maybe, but it has the same effect. In a highly polarized time, attacking Clinton can serve no other purpose than boosting Trump by distracting from his obvious failings as a candidate. Hence the NYT coverage – did you actually read the piece I linked before commenting?

    2. Clyde Davies

      I wrote Assange off as a self-publicising narcissist years ago, as well as a moral coward for hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy and not facing his accusers. He demands complete openness from others while trying to keep parts of his own life away from public scrutiny.

  9. Ek Chakkar

    Not all anti-GMO people are anti-science or conspiracy-theory oriented. People like me want to see a fairer economic system for poor farmers of world. In long term, not every small-scale farmer will move to city because so many cultures and politics are tied to rural populations. If such farmer comes into unsustainable debt because of weather conditions, then economic relief must be available. If debt is because of farmer’s incompetence, then less relief should be available, imho. If such relief is not available, then it will increase mistrust between poor and rich countries because of bank bail-outs in rich countries (last 20 years or so).

    You should consider adding commentary on economics of GMO seeds. At least reader can appreciate your opinions in larger context. World today has enough to feed at 1B people more than its total population. Problems are related to food waste after processing in rich countries and food rotting in poor countries due to bad infrastructure.

    If you cannot comment on this after knowing of sensitive economic and cultural concerns of poor countries, then you must be prepared for severe criticism from likes of me for not considering legitimate fears of GMO technologies mostly controlled by urbanised Westerners.

    Reply
    1. Mary Mangan

      So do you actually think that if we banned GMOs none of those things that concern you would exist? Really? Please describe how that would work.

      In other words, it’s fine to have other concerns–but to blame them on the wrong target does absolutely nothing to solve them. In fact, it harms your case because it sends people in the wrong direction, distracting them from real solutions.

    2. Ek Chakkar

      Thank you for reply, Mary Mangan. Problem with your statement is that it assumes too much about my stand. Your choice to do so. Let me clarify: your assumptions, in form of rhetorical questions, are utter rubbish.
      Why do you think that rational discussion about economics of promising new technology like GMO “sends people in the wrong direction, distracting them from real solutions”? When poor countries speak of concerns about affordability and potential debt cycles, does this mean it is taking away from real solutions? Face facts: world produces more than it can consume RIGHT NOW. Immediate concern is of learning to consume properly (rich countries) and distribute efficiently (poor countries). GMO technologies are very good for longer term if lesser number of farmers are working for fixed unit of population. GMO science does not need to play hero unnecessarily.
      You are naive to think that poor countries are going to let in GMOs that THEY perceive to cause future debt without big fight.
      Poor countries do not need lectures about real solutions on agriculture from rich countries. Not all cultures are like West, which can go from 80%+ to 10% agricultural workers in 100 years. Besides, on path to industrialisation, poor countries have to be careful not to repeat mistakes of 20th century Europe, USA and China, and kill tens of millions of people in war and cultural revolutions. They have existing severe social problems to address.
      Bigotry of rich people and rich countries is always predictable. Imho, they are scared to be left ignored or of becoming less relevant when poor people and poor countries become wealthy on their own terms.

    3. Mary Mangan

      Despite your voluminous padding, you answer still has nothing to do with GMOs. And aiming at them as a proxy for your other problems is still a bad idea.

    4. Ek Chakkar

      I see. Context is now “voluminous padding”. You are an impressive wordsmith. We can never have meaningful discussion if you cannot acknowledge legitimate concerns surrounding economics, rural cultures and GMOs. Imho, those who see GMOs as a stand-alone issue are limited in ability to contribute to solutions acceptable to all.

      Do not be so comfortable in a position so as not to accept even conciliatory words.

    5. Chuck Niwrad

      Ek- So you self identify as “anti-GMO,” which I take to mean that you do not distinguish among the many types of GMOs or would accept their production in any context. You are against the entire technology no matter the manner or form in which it is applied, is that correct?

      If yes, then what would be your reasons for criticizing or wanting to stop the work of someone like Dennis Gonsalves. Hawaiian papaya farmers certainly weren’t abused or taken advantage of when their industry was saved by GE tech. Was Greenpeace right in destroying experimental papaya plots in Thailand, thus denying farmers a disease resistant variety with no strings attached to commercial interests? Do you condone the lies regarding “genetic contamination” and the ridiculously false propaganda that GE papaya is destroying the Hawaiian papaya industry made up of small family farms?

      https://croplife.org/the-passion-behind-plant-science/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2409016/

    6. Ek Chakkar

      Thank you for reply, Chuck Niwrad.

      “You are against the entire technology no matter the manner or form in which it is applied, is that correct?”
      – No, it not correct. I am anti-GMO because much of the economics favours rich countries and it unnecessarily creates debt burdens that will compound existing social problems in poor countries. Incompetent farmers in poor countries deserve as much protection from failures of applying GMO-crop techniques as do incompetent bankers of rich countries.
      – Therefore, if economics of GMO favour small-scale farmers more than present situation, I am all for such technology being available as choice. After all, farmers are business-people; leave them to conduct business on fair terms.

      “If yes, then…”
      – Irrelevant, since I have clarified above.

      Let there be no misunderstanding: world does NOT have a food scarcity problem RIGHT NOW. It has overconsumption problem (rich countries) and bad distribution problem (poor countries). Priority is to fix those problems. GMO, therefore, can be relegated to discussion level for long-term planning.

    7. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Quote: “– Therefore, if economics of GMO favour small-scale farmers more than present situation, I am all for such technology being available as choice. After all, farmers are business-people; leave them to conduct business on fair terms.”

      Argentina could be rich country but it is not for many reasons, the main one is corruption by populist and socialist leaning governments. Our main asset is agriculture and about 95% of the activity is carried by small scale farmers. If there is a GMO variety available they use it because it has helped them to increase their yields enormously. Another favorable factor has been the increase in CO2 that has played a fertilizing role in crops. Argentina is a pro-GMO agriculture as it is Brazil, but our governments had imposed an almost confiscatory export tax on soybean, maize, wheat, cotton and on all meat exports that keeps the farmers fighting more against the government than against the weather.

      I belong to a large family of medium sized farmers that produce soybean, maize and sorghum, all of them GMO varieties, applying herbicides as recommended by the producer. In about 30 years of using GMO varieties, we have never had any health problems among our family, our workers, or in a 2000 meters away village of 10.000 people. None. However, green NGOs are constantly producing faked reports of any kind, warning against the use of glyphosate, as was the infamous “Dr. Carrasco study”. Dr. Carrasco injected Roundup directly inside frog embryos and reported birth malformations. When asked by a journalist what would have happened if he had injected Coca-Cola, he replied: “Exactly the same thing.” He said the truth, because anything injected into an embryo will cause malformations.

      Our national scientific body, the CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas), that was funding Dr. Carrasco’s study, came out firmly disavowing the results, calling the study a “scientific disgrace”. However, the green keep mentioning the study as a “scientific evidence of the dangers presented by glyphosate and GMO technologies”.

    8. Ek Chakkar

      Eduardo Ferreyra, thank you for sharing your story. GMO technology has clearly worked for you and for small-scale farmers in Argentina. As long as GMO technology has not resulted in crushing debt, no reason to stop using it if it is superior. From an outsider’s perspective, I see that debt has been a debilitating problem for Argentina. I cannot easily find breakdown of debt by economic sector, so it is difficult to know if small-scale farmers are unduly suffering from debt caused by investing in GMO technologies.

      Argentina’s problems with corruption are for its people to resolve with existing governance systems. But Argentina is not poor. With GDP/capita of US$13.6K in 2015, it is nearer to a middle-income country. And it has a long history of subsidising agriculture, a practice that can make its farmers’ exports unfairly competitive relative to poor countries’ farmer exports; issues with government restrictions on agricultural exports notwithstanding.

      “…but our governments had imposed an almost confiscatory export tax on soybean, maize, wheat, cotton and on all meat exports that keeps the farmers fighting more against the government than against the weather.”
      – To where do Argentinian farmers want to export? Rich countries where overconsumption is a problem? Or to poor countries where citizens will be unlikely able to afford non-subsidised prices?

      No matter which way you look at it, world has a problem with consuming and distributing food. The problem is economics and politics, and GMO technology is unnecessarily trying to be hero to poor countries.

      By citing your issues with Argentinian government’s restrictions on agricultural exports, you are proving my point. With GMO technology producing excess agricultural output, Argentina still has 32% of its people below poverty line and child nutrition is significant issue. Problem is not GMO technology; it is economics and politics.

    9. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Thanks for your comments, Ek Chakkar, but I can see you have not the correct data for my country. Our debt was not caused by investing in GMO technologies, but mostly by the corruption practiced by our prior government: According to audits emerging some months ago, the Kirchner’s administration did steal two GNP (gross national product) in the last 5 years. Our foreign debt is about $250 billion, and our main income comes from the soybean exports to China, either as grain for fodder or in the form of bad smelling and tasting cooking oil. But those exports were taxed at 45%, wheat and maize exports at 35% and meat was forbidden to export. We lost most of our traditional costumers, and our ranking as 2nd world meat exporter went down to the 11th place, behind Uruguay and Paraguay! The new government has just managed to regain its Hilton quota in the USA, but the cattle business is in pretty bad shape because the number of cattle heads decreased by about 40% in those 12 years we have been suffering the corruption of our previous government.

      We had good industrial exports to Brazil, our partner in Mercosur, but Brazil is presently in a terrible bad shape and our commerce has plummeted. Gold mining is done by the Canadian company Barrick Gold that that pays very low taxes and royalties. There is also lots of illegal mining that smuggles gold out of the country via Chile. The lack of control on all borders resulted in the flourishing of the drug dealers moving away from Colombia into Argentina and Bolivia, another country with a hard socialist/communist aboriginal government, whose president is a former union leader for the coca planters in the Chapare region, now a declared producer of coca leaves and cocaine.

      So GMO technologies don’t play any inconvenient role in our countries’ economy (the opposite is true) but the socialist idea of “redistributing other people’s money among the needed” (it means among the members of the gang in power that needs it to run their wealthy lives) until the other’s people money runs out (our simple taxpayer’s money). Then all our problems worsened: Taxation became the second highest in the world, the economy was paralyzed, the country lost credibility and we were out of the international markets and no one wanted to lend us a dime. Only Venezuela gave us a $20 billion loan –at 16% annual interest in dollars. And most of that money went to offshore accounts in Panama, Seychelles, Cayman Islands, and other fiscal paradises used by ministers and government members.

      Thank God that we are now slowly recapturing our lost markets, and GMO crops are our main way of bringing money to the country, although about 45% goes to the state treasure. I can assure you it is no fun to live in this type of country. It will take at least one, maybe two generations to retrieve older glories.

    10. Ek Chakkar

      Thank you for context, Eduardo Ferreyra. It really helps in developing realistic perspective for outsider.

      “Our debt was not caused by investing in GMO technologies, but mostly by the corruption practiced by our prior government…”
      – I did not imply that all or a large part of Argentinian debt was caused by GMO technologies. I will clarify again. Because debt breakdown is not easily available, one cannot determine how many small-scale farmers are in debt largely because of GMO technology. Reason why I focus on debt and small-scale farmers is because bankrupt small-scale farmers can end up migrating to urban areas, where they become default outsiders and can succumb to vices. Therefore, it is in interest of all to keep small-scale farmers in business; unfortunately, in short term, even incompetent ones.

      We agree on most points. As long as GMO technology has not resulted in crushing debt for vast majority of farmers, I would use GMO success in Argentina as example. Sorry for what socialists have done to your country. I see it as part of a pattern where one “ism” is placed against another “ism” by monied interests. Ordinary people (who are not innocent in any way) fight for scraps while rich get richer.

      I, too, am optimistic for future. Reasonable people will pave way for Argentina’s proper place in global agricultural trade. Similarly, they will agree that unfair trade systems have to be fixed so that promising technologies like GMO can benefit small-scale farmers world-over and rich corporations that develop them.

    11. Scott

      Ek Chakkar,
      You got that partly right when you said,”As long as GMO technology has not resulted in crushing debt for vast majority of farmers, I would use GMO success in Argentina as example. ”

      Problem is that’s the whole point. The GMO is just a red herring. What is happening in yours and other countries worldwide, is the same thing that started in the USA and spread throughout the world. The industrial ag system is specifically designed to family drive farmers off their land. It is very effective at its purpose. It drove US farmers off their land. It is now driving farmers off their land worldwide. The place where GMOs enters the equation is that GMOs were designed to prop up a failing industrial ag production model.

      GMOs are not causing the average age for farmers in US to be 60. GMOs are not causing farmer suicides in India. GMOs are not driving Mexican farmers off their land and flooding over the border as illegal immigrants. GMOs are not driving your country’s farmers into poverty in the cities. The industrial ag model of production is doing all that. GMOs are just a symbol of the latest expensive technology added to the industrial ag business and production model that is being used to keep the pressure up and continue the destructive march to our complete and total doom worldwide. It absolutely must be stopped before the whole planet’s biosphere collapses, but ironically GMOs actually have the highest potential at stopping it!

      It comes down to what the GMO was designed for. Right now the vast majority of GMOs are designed for the industrial production models causing all the problems. However, GE technology is just a tool. You could potentially put it to improving regenerative models of agricultural production just as easily.

    12. Ek Chakkar

      Thank you for such a logical comment, Scott. I think we are long-lost ideological brothers.

      To add to your salient points, I think world is urbanising too fast and it is creating unnecessary pressure on corporate people to increase profits at unsustainable rates. Already, we have overproduction in agriculture (food produced for 8.5B people versus 7.5B population). I suspect same is case for many other sectors of world economy.

      By pushing small-scale farmers off land, oligopolies are created which, in turn, fund politics. Then, people wonder why they are given choice of less corrupt and more corrupt politicians in elections. But oligopolies also allow for creation of scarcity.

      So, at heart of all these issues is a sense that industrial agricultural system is against common sense and human nature. It is inefficient and must be fixed (keep GMO technology). No one is enemy of another in food matters. To share food is most noble of acts.

    13. Eduardo Ferreyra

      Scott, you make a lot of claims that are merely personal opinions not supported by statistics, scientific facts or real world observations. George Orwell would be very pleased to see that his government officials characters in “1984” are finally reincarnated in you. our opinion in your long post about AGW was so hilarious that I didn’t care to even comment on it. So, according to your feverish imagination (speaking about conspiranoids) GMO were designed for erradicating farmers from their lands. Nice joke. Tell that again to the huge amount of farmers that have taken up agriculture in Argentina, Brazil, India, and hundred or other countries. They will really enjoy a good time laughing.

    14. Scott

      Ek Chakkar,
      I would say rather than “fix” it, it should be “replaced”. Building a better horse drawn buggy is not enough. No matter how much it is improved, it still has fundamental limitations that will never allow it to work no matter how much it is “fixed”. Ag is already approaching diminishing returns, and it will get worse. We have to abandon it altogether for the next step up in technology, worldwide regenerative ag.

      Just to give you an idea of what I mean, a big advancement to “fix” the industrial ag models of production is no till. Currently done with a herbicide GMO paired with the appropriate herbicide. It is an improvement over plowing a field, but no where near as beneficial as pasture cropping which is also no till, but without killing the pasture grasses. You harvest the wheat or barley and already is a permanent perennial pasture fully established as an understory that can be grazed. The resulting differences in soil health, biodiversity, soil building, water holding capacity, carbon sequestration, yields per acre, and profit to the farmer are profound.

    15. Ek Chakkar

      Scott,

      “Just to give you an idea of what I mean, a big advancement to “fix” the industrial ag models of production is no till.”
      – No-till farming is a good technique, I agree. What I observe is that it is disruptive to large corporations’ model for making money. They must have entrepreneurs in their ranks who can figure out how to make money by gradually switching to a clearly better technique.

      Reason for using word “fix” is because I do not consider corporation as enemy, nor do I consider it practical to dismantle institutions that employ scientists. As I see problem to be political and economic in nature, path of compromise demands “fix”. But I can be wrong. What is clear is that mindset of being big at cost of everything else must go.

    16. Scott

      Eduardo,
      First off try to get my position correct. Arguing with a strawman only makes you look foolish. Pretty clear too that you either failed to read my references in full, or failed to understand them.

      So where do I start? Lets start with conspiracy theories. There is no conspiracy. We are taking public policy. Nothing secret or behind closed doors. Stated and designed to do exactly what I described, drive small family farmers off their land. The policy changes were instituted during the Nixon administration under Agricultural Secretary Earl Butz. Not only that, but Butz campaigned tirelessly all around the country for YEARS telling all farmers “Get big or get out”. And his policies were specifically designed to force that very thing by destabilizing the small family farmer financially. Stated public policies that actually do what they claim they are trying to do may seem a bit strange to you. However, in this case they have done exactly what Butz said must happen, word for word. This is however, not a conspiracy. It is a well known FACT! Not even in dispute. Not only were the policies designed to drive those farmers off the land, it was done on purpose, and was supposed to be this big advancement in agriculture! Such a great thing we are doing by forcing family farmers out of business! This is no secret conspiracy when even on TV they advertise how awesome it is! So before you start sounding like an ignorant brainwashed fool, try at the VERY LEAST to wiki Earl Butz, and catch up a bit on your history.

      Now as for GMOs the vast majority are designed to fit the business and production models promoted by this change of policy, because the models are hugely destructive to the land and environment. The GMOs come in to make them less damaging. That is also well know and publically advertised everywhere you look. Even Mark Lynas has parroted it. “Look how great GMOs are? they are an improvement!” LOLZ Since when is less bad actually good?

    17. Scott

      Ek Chakkar,
      You are correct Ek. Corporations are not necessarily the “enemy” per se. In fact in Agriculture corporations are doing exactly what public policy urged them to do. They make their profits by playing “the game” better than anyone else. That really the whole point I have been trying to make. If your government policies are designed to subsidize and reguate for a certain thing to happen, then of course the corporations will be attempting to do that thing as efficiently as possible. That why we have such strange things happening in agriculture. For example. One USDA policy is to promote biofuels, specifically the production of corn made ethanol. So everything is set up to do that very thing as efficiently as possible. Not make ethanol mind you, but specifically corn ethanol. Turns out switchgrass ethanol is 5 times+ more efficient as corn ethanol in terms of both yields per acre and energy return on energy to produce. Yet because of the policies and subsidies, we make ethanol from corn. So the corporations are striving with all their effort to make corn ethanol as efficiently as possible. Maybe one day they will finally catch up to switchgrass, but if the same effort were put on switchgrass ethanol, it would also improve…to a far higher level than ever could corn ethanol.

      So you might ask, why? Simple really. Policies are not designed to actually “feed the world” or “reduce fossil fuel consumption” by the greatest amount. But rather to “use up” the most overproduction of corn. You were exactly correct to talk about economics of scarcity. With our huge glut of excess commodity grains, there was needed to find a way to use up that excess so that the commodity market price wouldn’t collapse. So from the public policy POV rather than actually try and produce ethanol as efficiently as possible, the subsidies and regulations are designed to use up or make scarce that corn excess. The same thing goes for animal husbandry too. It is easily possible to out produce a CAFO (confinement animal feeding operation) with a pasture based animal husbandry production model. But again, that’s not really the purpose of a CAFO. It is not designed to “feed the world” the most efficiently. Rather it is designed to “use up” that excess corn overproduction as efficiently as possible and still provide food in the end. Until people wrap their head around the real issues, there will never be the changes in public policy required to transition from agricultural economies of scarcity to regenerative economies of abundance.

    18. Ek Chakkar

      Scott, your example of switchgrass is symptom of current system in rich (industrialised) countries. When you have greater number of people addressing problem, resolution will be of many types and not just one central solution. More small-scale farmers are needed in heavily-urbanised countries so we may nurture greater diversity of approaches. Common sense tells me that 10% of working-age population being farmers is too low a proportion.

      I understand that many USA policies emerged from Dust Bowl experience of 1920s and 1930s, which in turn was result of short-sighted policies from late 19th century. If you look at geography of USA around 1800, it was covered with forests. But, by 1900, more than half of it disappeared due to industrialisation driven by logging. Point in bringing up such information is to show that policy-makers have been short-sighted for centuries. World-over, people must seek to elect/appoint policy-makers with understanding of past mistakes and wisdom to promote diversity of thought (including input from rich corporations).

      As for this GMO versus anti-GMO fight, it is manufactured in same vein as liberal versus conservative. It is fake. I hope that people like Mark Lynas can stop promoting hatred of other, just as I hope other would stop promoting hatred of likes of Mark Lynas.

      My last comment. You may have last word.

    19. Scott

      Ek Chakkar,
      Agree with you in principle, I was simply giving one example to show the point. Of course more eyes on the land with more brains committed to working out local solutions is a far more robust approach. I apologize if I made it seem like I was an all eggs in one basket kind of guy. Quite the contrary. I am just the opposite. But I do often use singular examples to illustrate general principles. And yes your example of forestry is quite to the point. You may not know however, that most those forests are back now though. The ecosystem that was destroyed and hasn’t been restored or replanted in the USA is the vast prairies. Prairies that built those fertile mollic soils to begin with. That’s the other side of this. We are losing 100 tons of soil for every 1 ton of food produced, and because we have destroyed completely the tall grass prairies, and highly degraded the shortgrass prairies to a tiny remnant, those soils are not being regenerated. It will end. The only question is whether or not we change our production models or if we simply keep with what we have now and they collapse.

      Thanks for the interesting thoughtful conversation.

    20. Chuck Niwrad

      The industrial ag system is specifically designed to drive family farmers off their land.

      By pushing small-scale farmers off land, oligopolies are created which, in turn, fund politics.

      What kind of keep-em-down-on-the-farm nonsense is this? Public policy that preserves small family farms serves no purpose other than to artifically maintain some romantic notion of what one thinks country life should look like. The goal should be to produce food as efficiently, cost effectively, and sustainably as possible, and if that can be done with fewer farmers, why is that not a good thing? The best thing we can do for developing nations is support the education of their people, not condemn them to what amounts to a life of subsistance farming. If a country’s political system will take over or otherwise monopolize large-scale production to enrich the corrupt and greedy, then that is what needs to be addressed, but one should not limit the ability of farmers to make sound, independent business decisions and pursue a better life for their families because of that.

      Seems to me that the model we should encourage is one where there are intensively and sustainably farmed agricultural zones that take full advantage of all technologies, economies of scale and well-developed infrastructure in order to minimize the amount of land devoted to agriculture and maximize undeveloped, natural habitat.

    21. Ek Chakkar

      “Public policy that preserves small family farms serves no purpose other than to artifically maintain some romantic notion of what one thinks country life should look like.”
      – This is crux of issue, now. You are advocating for particular type of public policy stand. Therefore, debate shifts from anti-science GMO people to old fight between large-scale and small-scale.

      “The goal should be to produce food as efficiently, cost effectively, and sustainably as possible, and if that can be done with fewer farmers, why is that not a good thing?”
      – I agree with goal. Current system in rich countries produces too much food. This is inefficient because it means capital was misallocated. With lesser capital, investors could have have higher returns. Clearly, you have not considered all aspects related to efficiency.
      – With current greenhouse technologies, what is need to burn down Amazon forest? After burning down forest, people like Chuck Niwrad will say that it is side effect of current system; too bad; let Nature to recover by using best technology for less land use. But loss of biodiversity built over tens of thousands of years is irreplacable. We are compromising quality of life for future generations.
      – Reason more farmers should be involved is because current technologies cannot account for nuanced changes in local growing conditions. From risk perspective, fewer minds on almost-unlimited local agricultural issues means an increased chance of full system collapsing.

      “The best thing we can do for developing nations is support the education of their people, not condemn them to what amounts to a life of subsistance farming.”
      – You do not reality on ground, then. Poor countries have well-developed local solutions to ensure small farmers can become rich without adopting expensive agricultural technologies developed in rich countries. Not every country wants level of urbanisation that Europe and North America have. Technology serves people, not other way round.
      – Smart people can see across centuries that current wave of agricultural industrialisation is only part of well-designed assault on ancient Asiatic systems, particularly Chinese and Subcontinental. I have plenty of verifiable evidence to back up this statement. However, this is not forum for lengthy discussion on such larger-context topic.
      – Saviour complex implicit in your statement is NOT appreciated.

      “Seems to me that the model we should encourage…. maximize undeveloped, natural habitat.”
      – Let us see rich countries do that first. Best quality about them is their ability to execute. Remember, North America was 75% virgin forest around 1700 and South America had 25% bigger Amazon rain forest than today.

      Chuck Niwrad, you are out of your depth on GMO topic as it relates to non-science issues. Please consider ground-reality politics and culture in addition to more measured consideration on economics (efficiency).

    22. Scott

      I think you missed something Chuck. The policies, which are well documented, specifically were designed to drive out small family farms by destabilizing them financially. This does not promote efficiency, just the opposite. You then said, ” Public policy that preserves small family farms serves no purpose other than to artificially maintain some romantic notion of what one thinks country life should look like. ” This also does not promote efficiency. Both types of government interference promotes inefficiency. Neither needs to happen. Both are bad. Before this market manipulation, there was a benefit for efficiency and both large and small farms that were efficient survived, and those that were not didn’t. After this change in policy, large farms that were poorly run, still survived due to subsidies, and small farms that were well run and very efficient still failed due to market manipulation. That’s the problem, not the strawman you made up out of thin air.

    23. Chuck Niwrad

      Poor countries have well-developed local solutions to ensure small farmers can become rich without adopting expensive agricultural technologies developed in rich countries.

      More paternal, anti-colonial paranoia nonsense. Why shouldn’t farmers be allowed to adopt solutions that maximize their net gain? You want to restrict opportunity because it would mean adopting technologies developed by rich countries? Are you going to decide who gets to adopt what technology? What if an expensive agricultural technology developed in a rich country is a game changer in terms of being sustainable and productive? Will you deny the adoption of that technology because it is not local?

    24. Harry van Trotsenburg

      “an expensive agricultural technology developed in a rich country”will most off the time also be ( to ?) expensive in a poor country?
      We all ready have this “game changer”.
      That is the biological dynamic- and the Ecological way of farming…you would call it Organic….

      Sir Albert Howard in his “An Agricultural Testament”and Lady E.B. Balfour in her “the Living soil and the Haughley Experiment”lead the way ?

    25. Ek Chakkar

      “More paternal, anti-colonial paranoia nonsense.”
      – So local solutions developed by poor countries are paternalistic because they exclude rich countries/corporations, is it? I would argue that fear is from rich countries because they may be excluded. Therefore, you are projecting that fear.
      – Saviour attitude was first displayed by you. Kindly put check on it.
      – Considering historical context is now called “paranoia”, is it? I suggest you consider economic history objectively because rational discussion demands it.
      – Paternalism, in context of our discussion, is rich country interfering in poor country’s self-made solution to agricultural issues just because it fears loss of influence in poor country’s future.

      “You want to restrict opportunity because it would mean adopting technologies developed by rich countries?”
      – I want no such thing. Farmers are businesspeople and very smart. Let them be given choice on fair terms. If technology developed in rich country has potential to put them in debt over course of several years, mechanism should be in place to protect farmers from bankruptcy, even if it is farmers’ fault from incompetence of applying technology.
      – Rich countries would do well to address inefficiency of overproduction that has arisen from application of GMO technologies.

      “Will you deny the adoption of that technology because it is not local?”
      – Who am I to deny! Farmers decide based on self-interest. I certainly favour local solution that causes less social upheaval.
      – Imho, you are apprehensive about fair debate of ideas on non-science-related issues of GMO.

      “What if an expensive agricultural technology developed in a rich country…”
      – Stop with hypotheticals. Already, current GMO technologies offer many benefits. Address non-science issues related to them.
      – Rich countries have history of suppressing superior technologies in pursuit of geopolitical ambitions. If you cannot find evidence, I will provide. It is sincere offer.

  10. Harry van Trotsenburg

    Perhaps I have to elaborate a little more on :

    ” With statistics you can prove A=B and A≠B.”

    This is true even on the same data.
    I studied politics, with a lot about statistics included.
    1 So we were learned, and I think a lot of scientist don’t know it, that you can check the strength of a correlation.
    But this strength doesn’t tell anything about the direction. This we have TO DECIDE ON, by out theory.
    2 On one set of data you can test more hypothesis, more theories. You can find correlations on all the hypothesis, you can find correlations on all theories you made, without knowing for sure which one is correct.

    Again this we have to decide on….

    Reply
  11. Samuel

    I don’t get the link between Assange and GMOs Mark…

    Sure he indirectly helps Puttin and Trumps’ agenda by releasing these e-mails and one could suspect him of being at least complacent of the timing he obtained these, or even complicit, but where do you get the idea that he’s in the anti-GMO conspiracy bandwagon?

    Reply
    1. Samuel

      Never mind my comment above: I was misdirected by the GLP’s reprint of your article which is titled : “What do Putin, Assange and the alt-right have in common? They hate GMOs”

      I know understand your mention of Assange (although I would not be as hard as you are in supposing he’s supporting Trump or Putin). That said, the nice thing you get from these leaked emails is that there is no evidence of Monsanto lobbying more Clinton but there is evidence of Organic anti-GMO’s doing it.

    2. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Yes, I don’t want to over-egg the case here. I don’t think Assange has said anything about GMOs, and Trump himself – so far as his campaign has commented – is pro-GMO as part of being pro-big ag in general. (GMO does not = big ag necessarily, but we’ll leave that for another day.) My point was to look at the political underpinnings of the more nationalistic and anti-American variants of the anti-GMO creed.

    3. Samuel

      The problem in your article stems from this sentence: “This strikes me as interesting, because these peculiar bedfellows have more in common than just a hatred of Hilary Clinton and the ‘facade’ of liberal democracy. They also detest GMOs.”

      By it you clearly imply that Assange detests GMOs since he is mentioned in the paragraph above who list the “bedfellows”. So this is where you have a fallacy, likely not intentional but clearly wrong so I would strongly suggest that you rephrase it so not to imply that Assange is anti-GMO (unless of course you have evidence).

      I was complaining to the GLP editors about their title regarding the aggregation of your blog post but they answered rightfully that if they are linking these three people together it’s because you do it yourself in your article.

    4. Mark Lynas (Post author)

      Yes, that was sloppy of me. Reworded. Thanks!

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