SocraticGadfly: Green New Deal vs Green New Deal Part 4: Agricultural technology as part of the solution

May 10, 2019

Green New Deal vs Green New Deal Part 4:
Agricultural technology as part of the solution

This is something I have not discussed in Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of comparing the Green New Deal of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a few other venturesome Democrats to the 2016 Green Party proposal.

Now, I'm on longstanding record as rejecting the idea of "salvific technologism," as I call it in a blog tag. In other words, I do not believe that Silicon Valley, or other technology, is guaranteed to save us from our big problems.

At the same time, I'm not a Luddite, either. Nor am I a conspiracy monger or similar over agricultural technology.

I'm talking above all about GMOs, along with CRISPR and other things.

And here? Today's Green Party is behind the curve and remains behind the curve. Modern agricultural technology indeed has a role to play in a Green New Deal that wants to reduce agriculture's share of contributing to greenhouse gases in particular and environmental degradation in general. I don't know what AOC thinks, and given that she's been a hypocrite on hamburgers, I really don't care what she thinks out loud anyway.

But, on this one,, specifically on GMOs I almost certainly disagree with many members of the Green Party. And I also disagree with the official stance of the Green Party. We do NOT need a moratorium on GMOs. And, should the party try something pre-emptive here, we certainly don't need one on CRISPR technology. The SPUSA is OK with GMOs, as long as they're labeled.

Your snooty French bread: Full of GMOs by some definitions
That said, per Grist, just what is a GMO, if do want to label them, let alone indefinitely ban them? (Let's be honest, that's what the GP's moratorium aims for.) Depending on how you define what a GMO is, especially for lower-case greenies who want their baguettes, they're already eating GMOs.

And, it's easy to demonize Monsanto if you have an advance mindset of wanting to demonize it, whether on GMOs or on glyphosphate.

Bananas: More radioactivity than
a basement full of radon, plus chemicals!
This is the same Grist that, a number of years ago, wrote the excellent series "Panic free GMOs." Per my take at the time, it says that 2/3 of Greenie-type fears of, or even just concerns about, GMOs are totally unfounded. Another 1/4 of the concerns, per Grist, are legitimate mild to slight concerns. One-twelvth and no more rise to the modest/moderate level and none go higher than that. I basically refuse to talk to Greenie types who haven't read the Grist series, and I block on social media those who say they have and claim Grist is on the take or something. Grist allowed multiple comments and even did some follow-up pieces in the series about them, among other things. NOT on the take and NOT closed-minded.

On the other hands, both parties are Luddites on opposing antimicrobial irradiation of food. Beyond just being Luddites, they ignore, in fearing "chemicals!", that bananas are naturally radioactive. And loaded with "chemicals"!

Also depending on what definition of "GMO" you use, Greens who eat Rio Star / Ruby Star grapefruit and drink modern beer with modern beer barley are being hypocrites because these are mutagenic plants — genes modified by .... wait for it, wait for it ...


Are there concerns we should have about "Big Ag" as an industrial sector? Yes, and they should be just as real and accurately informed as concerns about "Big Pharma." We don't need fear-mongering about GMOs any more than about vaccines.

No comments: