Saturday, January 04, 2014

Kloor Meltdown Scheduled

In the NYTimes On Hawaii, a Lonely Quest for Facts About GMOs.

From the moment the bill to ban genetically engineered crops on the island of Hawaii was introduced in May 2013, it garnered more vocal support than any the County Council here had ever considered, even the perennially popular bids to decriminalize marijuana.

Public hearings were dominated by recitations of the ills often attributed to genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.’s: cancer in rats, a rise in childhood allergies, out-of-control superweeds, genetic contamination, overuse of pesticides, the disappearance of butterflies and bees.

Like some others on the nine-member Council, Greggor Ilagan was not even sure at the outset of the debate exactly what genetically modified organisms were: living things whose DNA has been altered, often with the addition of a gene from a distant species, to produce a desired trait. But he could see why almost all of his colleagues had been persuaded of the virtue of turning the island into what the bill’s proponents called a “G.M.O.-free oasis.”
And in more good news, we have from the soon to be retired Bob Tisdales byebye taking, a comment of interest from Donna Laframboise
…as all but a few best-selling writers know, it’s damn near impossible to support oneself on book sales.
This is, indeed, the sad state of affairs. The skeptic book-buying community is not as large as some of us suppose. It also appears to have been shrinking recently. More people are getting on with their lives, convinced by the hard work of people such as yourself that there’s no compelling reason for alarm.
Eli hopes for a soon end to the long con.


Hank Roberts said...

> long con

Someone ought to repeat that experiment:

"In 2007, I signed on to the email lists of several influential magazines on the right, among them Townhall, ... Newsmax ...; and Human Events .... ....

... the battery of promotional appeals that overran my email inbox [lets you see what the sellers] ... who rent them ... for potential customers [think of these people].

Who do they think they are? Apparently, they think they're gullible folks who will buy crap -- that's what's being advertised in those pages.

So-o-o -- if they know their audience, how could a climate change presentation be presented as an ad, in that environment? It'd have to be an 'elevator pitch' or a picture .... and it'd have to stand out by saying something useful.

I suggest: "ask your librarian about this."

Hmmmm, maybe they'd be customers for Eli's retirement venture iPaper, to make those of us among the unwashed and unanointed legitimate members of an organization that allows library access online to references ....

Brian said...

Donna - from your mouth to the FSM's noodly sounds receptacles.

John Mashey said...

For context, people might read Dunlap & Jacques paper Climate Change Denial Books and Conservative Think Tanks Exploring the Connection

The challenge is that one usually needs a thinktank to help out, (like they did with with Essex&McKitrick) or like CATO with Pat Michaels. I don't think Tisdale has gotten to that level.

carrot eater said...

Nice article on Hawaii, but it's sad when emotionalism trumps evidence.

Anonymous said...

Is this where I go to deny Sharknadoes?

EliRabett said...

Yeah. What is going to be interesting is the reaction this article will produce on the island.

What struck Eli was how mature Ilgan's approach to the issue was. Reminded the Bunny about Brian and fluoridation, elected officials, confronted with something that they need to learn about, well, learning.

Russell Seitz said...

It is natural for Hawaiian vegans to fear the arrival of Shmoo and Jeep hopping genes from the mainland.

It invites a GMO apocalypse in which infected soybeans drive themselves over the brink of the volcano in hope of apotheosis as tofuburgers.

EliRabett said...

Crikey Russell, nothing tastes better than Schmoon.

Hank Roberts said...

Well, it's a good thing citizens can inform themselves about these questions, even without an institutional library, at least with Scholar.

Science 3 January 2014:
Vol. 343 no. 6166 p. 14
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6166.14
News & Analysis
Scientific Publishing
Google Scholar Wins Raves—But Can It Be Trusted?

(it's paywalled, of course)

Russell Seitz said...

Bunnies with labs can get a taste of douceur de vivre by running Eli's favored tipple through an alembic to create the exquisite eau de vie called Schmoonshine.

French bunnies can invite truly awesome hangovers by joining in the destructive distillation of Jeeps on New Year's Eve.

Daniel Wirt said...

Shmoonshine and Jeepjerky haven't been available for years. They were among the 200 per day loss of species.

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here

Here's the thing about your analogy with flouridation, Eli. Probably more apt than you think.

One township DOES NOT flouridate the water. Why? Not because of brain damage scares, but that the water is so especially high quality that there is a higher risk of doing something wrong in the addition that will undo the quality. When the benefits are small, as it is with flouridation (its countervailing being that it costs 10p a year doing it for everyone, and if it's so cheap...), then there's not much to call one way or the other.

And with GMOs, they aren't needed.

Not one bit.

Food is available, what's not is distribution, and no genetic modification will make the food walk to the places it needs to go.

But GMOs bring massive risks that just aren't available in nature because of the way "we" farm. Monoculture.

A failed organism or invasive species will have to win the war from a few plants in nature and we can spot it well before it takes over a billion hectares.

Even cross-breeding would do a few hundred acres and ruin one farmer and a few people's heath before being spotted.

But GMOs are planted monoculture and do NOT have to compete and grow and take time to evince any problems with its unique genetics. It goes IMMEDIATELY to an infestation of biblical proportions.

Hell, we have huge problems with antibiotic loaded cattle leading to massive problems with antibac resistant bacteria and health problems in humans only now turning up, and how long have antibiotics been used in cattle to promote growth?

See also hormone treatments to cattle.

We don't NEED GMOs.

And any GMOs produced will be set to monoculture on such a massive scale that any problems found in the future will be catastrophic because of the size of production.

We don't need GMOs.

And we won't use them sensibly because this quarter's results matter, not the 50 year perspective.