Re: against everything?
Rich Molini (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed, 11 Feb 1998 21:41:55 +0000
I disagree with some of your ideas concerning ag disasters. The plow is
a useful tool. It is only when we plow the wrong slopes or mismanage
tilled acreage that it becomes a problem. But the land grants and
agribiz essentially told farmers in a de facto sense that we can help
you supply all the nutrients and kill the weeds so soil is really only
useful for holding the plant upright.What incentive is there to retain
soil if you don't put real effort into building soil and soil life? It'
a management problem not a tool problem.
Pest management management should be aimed at using a natural balance
to keep them from getting out of control , not from trying to completely
eradicate them and every other insect on the planet. It's all management
but the only thing farmers seem to manage these days is to lose money
from purchasing inputs and allowing everyone else to add the value to
I think we do understand genetic manipulation enough to know that it
will likely be catastrophic. Not because I distrust agribiz, but
because there are too many people engaged in creating gmos that have
not considered the consequences of some dangerous rogue organism.They
will have to create another magic bullet to try and correct their
misguidance. More profit after malpractice. Also , it's ludicrous to
compare traditional plant or animal breeding to GE. When is the last
time a pig bred with a plant to exchange DNA? We'll have mad cow in
Organic ag is a food movement. Folks want healthy nutritious food to
feed themselves and their families. I can't blame them. They need to
connect with the farmer who produces the food and understand that he
cares enough about food production to not engage in applying biocides
all over their doorsteps.
Raymond R. Weil wrote:
> Refreshing to hear a voice of reason (Hal's post) in this debate about the
> politics and science of new technologies. It is natural for many people to
> fear what they don't understand and to be mistrustful of institutions that
> have wrought damage in the past (and that care primarily about their profits
> is their nature). Still, a balanced, cautious, but forward-looking approach
> is what is needed.
> People have taken enormous chances in the past, some for good, some not so
> good. The issues have never been black and white, but turning back or even
> standing still has never been an option. To take the long view, consider the
> first people to decide to stir the soil before planting by inventing the
> common hoe, and later the plow. The latter has turned out to be one of the
> most disastrous "advances" in agricultural history, but we have only recently
> come to realize this. The harnessing of electricity for practical uses (light
> bulbs, radios, etc.) was greeted with much skepticism and fear by many. And
> surely, though its blessings have been mixed most people would not wish to
> "uninvent " it. What about the person or persons who first began to
> domesticate the wild dog or cattle, and progenitors of wheat, rice, and our
> other major "crops"? They unwittingly made major "unnatural" changes to these
> organisms. Indeed production of these plants has gotten out of hand and now
> dominates much of the earth.
> I believe the sustainable ag movement IS largely a political movement, because
> many of its concerns are basically social rather than purely technical or
> environment. This is nothing to be ashamed of, for the social agenda to
> empower small farmers, revitalize rural communities and enhance
> consumer-producers connections is part of the ecology of a sustainable
> agriculture, just as surely as are the minimizing of environmental damages,
> the production of nutritious, safe food, and the care of the land.
> All these issues are complex and little is clearly black or white. While we
> must keep our eyes on the goals of sustainable, eco-friendly, humanistic
> farming systems, we need to be open-mined and inclusive, recognizing that
> there will be many "right" approaches, and we will need the best tools offered
> by science, tradition and craft to meet the truly enormous challenges of
> earth-care and people-care that face agriculture in the coming centuries. To
> reject, out of hand, the potential contributions of the market place, the
> global economy, genetic advances (whether by traditional breeding or newer
> techniques), is to hobble our movement unnecessarily. On the other hand, even
> though nothing can be really "proved" to be safe, we will also have to
> vigorously and positively exert our influence on the democratic process as it
> shapes the regulator environment that is also needed to keep the market,
> technology, etc. from getting out of hand.
> The price of freedom (and sustainability) is eternal vigilance.
> Ray Weil
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