Seeds of Science. GM is good.

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Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:50 am

https://books.google.co.nz/books/about/ ... sc=y&hl=en

Seeds of Science is a book by Mark Lynas. What makes this a bit different is that the author was one of the anti-GMO brigade in the mid to late 1990's. He went so far as to be part of eco-terrorist action in raiding genetically modified experimental crops and tearing them out of the ground. However, he has now publicly apologised for his actions. He now compares opposition to GMO crops to global warming deniers.

GM crops that are presently being prevented from use by the anti brigade include insect resistant maize in Africa which is also drought resistant, and GM banana and cassava, all of which would greatly increase food production in that part of the world, and go a long way to reducing hunger.

Well meaning but idiotic Europeans have influenced Africans to oppose these crops and thus cause great harm to millions of people.

GM foods have been around for 20 years and an estimated 3 trillion such meals have been eaten. To date, not a single bit of harm has been done because the food eaten was genetically modified. Yet there is still opposition by assorted well meaning morons. How do you stop the idiots ?

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Poodle » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:02 am

GM is OK in my book. Lots of UK kids have grown another foot thanks to the nutritional benefits.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by ElectricMonk » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:08 am

GM is a tool, and as such can be used for good and bad.
But it is intrinsically good to have more tools.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:25 am

Poodle wrote:GM is OK in my book. Lots of UK kids have grown another foot thanks to the nutritional benefits.
Do you mean what you typed, or did you mean: taller?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:27 am

ElectricMonk wrote:GM is a tool, and as such can be used for good and bad.
But it is intrinsically good to have more tools.
Not "if" those tools are unavoidably unsafe --- and we can spin it out from there.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by ElectricMonk » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:42 am

If something, even just in theory, cannot be handled in a way that leads to more good than bad it is not a tool.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:24 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:If something, even just in theory, cannot be handled in a way that leads to more good than bad it is not a tool.
Like gunpowder, atomic energy, electricity, etc.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:48 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:If something, even just in theory, cannot be handled in a way that leads to more good than bad it is not a tool.
Ha, ha....forced and tortured. Why are tools in your pantheon of apotheosis?

Let the dictionary be your guide: tool: The means whereby some act is accomplished ((and not to be missed: A person who is controlled by others and is used to perform unpleasant or dishonest tasks for someone else))
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:20 pm

Here is another example. Golden rice.

Golden rice is a faintly yellow coloured GM rice that contains extra genes to make it carry a small amount of provitamin A. Lack of vitamin A is a major problem in countries where poverty forces people to eat almost nothing but white rice. There are an estimated 500,000 children each year go blind because of this, and about 2 million people who die of ailments that are made worse by lack of vitamin A. You would think that golden rice would be accepted with alacrity.

However, several nut case organisations targeted golden rice as something to be opposed. Greenpeace foremost among them. They have stopped golden rice being introduced where it could save lives and prevent children going blind.

You would think there was no argument for this opposition that made sense. But what Greenpeace has argued is that golden rice is insufficient to do the job. The reasoning is as follows.
The W.H.O. recommends a minimum intake of 700 micrograms of vitam A per day. If the poor people replaced normal white rice with golden rice, it would on average, give them 350 micrograms per day, so it is useless.

The flaw in that argument is that you do not need 700 micrograms to stop blindness and death. Only 200 micrograms per day is enough to do that. So golden rice can stop 500,000 children each year going blind and save 2 million lives. Greenpeace, it can be argued, with its opposition to golden rice over the past 15 years, has caused millions of unnecessary cases of children going blind and adults dying.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:11 am

TJ: Greenpeace doesn't understand minimum levels to achieve different results?........ thats just dumb.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:53 am

Bobbo

Don't be naive.
There are lots of Greenpeace members who are well meaning, but gullible. However, the leadership is neither. They tell their lies with malicious forethought.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:56 am

Being all smart and stuff, why would the leadership of Greenpeace take such a position?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:01 am

Greenpeace is a political and economic body. The membership, who I think of as 'cannon fodder ', do not really know this. But the leadership are in it for power and money. The strength and success of Greenpeace depends on establishing major causes to induce people to donate money. If Greenpeace ever admit their causes are unworthy, the money flow will dry up and that would never do.

Bear in mind also that the leadership earn very large salaries. I read an account on that about 15 years ago, and those salaries then were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. What they are today, I do not know, but I bet they have grown.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:09 am

That doesn't explain anything. All groups are mostly cannon fodder. Kinda makes one want to be either a leader or not involved?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:32 am

It is always better to be the boss. Greenpeace is based on a kind of communist model. It is run by a central committee. The rank and file do not vote on who joins that committee, or on what issues they adopt, or really anything much at all. When a new committee member is needed, the remainder of the committee vote. No one else. This concentrates the power into the hands of a few.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:38 am

.....but.....but.....but WHY do they want kiddies in Africa to go blind?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:54 am

They don't.

What they want is causes and issues that will generate donor funding. They thought that opposing genetically modified organisms would do it, but time has proved that they are not a significant hazard after all. But Greenpeace cannot afford to admit being wrong. It might reduce confidence in their rightness and cut into the cash flow.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:23 am

Well thats sad, assuming you are correct, that the Greenpeace fodder doesn't think past the first premise of a continuing dialectic. Not thinking past the first premise is characteristic of many great harms. No balance. Fodder is like that, I think it is finding identity by clinging to a simple idea without inspection. A battle cry, a dog whistle, a mantra. Does fill a vacuum.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:43 pm

As you might guess, Bobbo, I have little respect for Greenpeace. They are an alarmist organisation, and have been caught in outright lies on a number of occasions.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:15 pm

What do you do with the "good" that they accomplish? Seems to me, you are failing to apportion your evaluation. No one is all good or all bad. Seems to me you should respect the good they do and support other similar partially performing groups that lobby for healthy third world GMO?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:04 pm

That is true, Bobbo. But how do you balance one against the other.? Personally, I oppose anyone and anything that promulgates bull-{!#%@}.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Gord » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:56 pm

Poodle wrote:GM is OK in my book. Lots of UK kids have grown another foot thanks to the nutritional benefits.
I don't know what is wrong with everyone else, but that was hilarious.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Gord » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:06 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:It is always better to be the boss. Greenpeace is based on a kind of communist model. It is run by a central committee. The rank and file do not vote on who joins that committee, or on what issues they adopt, or really anything much at all. When a new committee member is needed, the remainder of the committee vote. No one else. This concentrates the power into the hands of a few.
That's not communist, that's more like authoritarian.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:47 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:That is true, Bobbo. But how do you balance one against the other.? Personally, I oppose anyone and anything that promulgates bull-{!#%@}.
You either balance....or you flit about like a butterfly with no effectiveness at all....dare I say no moral BALANCE?

POINT IS: you do balance everything..... evidently mostly unconsciously in your case. If you want to say on balance Greenpeace does more harm than good....then, we just need to fund some other group to go out into the North Sea and risk their lives to stop undersea ice bound oil drilling.

What maniac is going to do THAT?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:49 pm

Here in NZ, Greenpeace is obsessed with opposing oil exploration. But humanity sadly still needs oil. The first priority should not be oil. It should be coal. NZ has lots of coal, mostly exported so that other nations can burn it and generate greenhouse gases. But Greenpeace does not oppose this industry. Duh !

Note that, per unit energy generated, burning coal generates twice as much greenhouse gas as burning hydrocarbons. So we need initially to replace coal with oil or gas to halve the amount of carbon released. That would reduce greenhouse gas production dramatically. This makes me very cynical about those organisations who are obsessed with opposing oil.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:03 pm

I specifically referenced the under sea drilling for oil in ice bound locations. The risks of pollution make such drilling MUCH WORSE....than the continuing harm of equal btu mining of coal.

Agree, or not?
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:01 pm

Lack of data, Bobbo.
So far, the assessment of such risk is speculative. I am aware of the theoretical increase in risk, but I am also aware that many extra precautions are taken. Without much more experience in actually doing it, your opinion remains mere opinion.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:23 pm

So Lance: you think the spoilage of huge pristine areas of the frozen North is worth the risk because "they haven't spoiled it yet" so all the blow outs in the Gulf don't count in your book?

...........why........that is just silly.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:01 am

No, Bobbo.

What is silly is preventing innovation because of hypothetical risks which probably will never happen.

With respect to under ice oil exploration, I do not have the facts I need to make any kind of assessment, and neither do you. Nor does Greenpeace, or if they do, they do not care. Their history of telling lies is such that I would not believe anything they said, anyway.

The biggest risk is the one we are 100% sure about. Greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal. We need to burn less coal, and if we have to burn more hydrocarbons to take up the slack, that is still less carbon emissions.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:13 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:No, Bobbo.

What is silly is preventing innovation because of hypothetical risks which probably will never happen.
Thats what they said about the Gulf Blowout. You really can't be more silly than you are being right now.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:16 am

I haven't read it:

New Zealand to ban new offshore oil drilling over climate change - BBC
www.bbc.com/news/business-43748552

3 days ago - New Zealand has said it will ban new permits for offshore oil exploration as it attempts to move towards a low-carbon future. The announcement has been lauded by climate groups but industry groups have vociferously opposed such a move. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would help "protect future ...
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:19 am

Yeah.
I do not approve.
As I pointed out, coal is the main problem. I consider the action in preventing oil exploration while exporting coal as hypocrisy.

We have got kinda sidetracked from GM, have we not ?

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:21 am

ahhhhhh..... its all about rejecting the cutting edge of science/tech for whatever reasons........they aren't all wrong.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by ElectricMonk » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 am

Exploitation isn't the same as innovation.
What scientific progress has been gained from, say, fracking or tar sand filtering?

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:01 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:Exploitation isn't the same as innovation.
What scientific progress has been gained from, say, fracking or tar sand filtering?
Causation is the other way around. Fracking and filtering has been gained from scientific progress. More progress like this, and oil drilling under sea ice is going to "kill us all."
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by ElectricMonk » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:15 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:Exploitation isn't the same as innovation.
What scientific progress has been gained from, say, fracking or tar sand filtering?
Causation is the other way around. Fracking and filtering has been gained from scientific progress. More progress like this, and oil drilling under sea ice is going to "kill us all."
Which is my point: if environmental organization try to block drilling in places with high risk to the environment, they aren't stopping progress, just commerce.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Ok....its a feed back relationship isn't it? What you learn from land drilling you apply to off shore drilling, from there to deep water, from there to seasonal ice? Each having its own challenges that are met by developing techknology.

Lance says there is no data. The data is even where it is easier to drill: there are CONSTANT SPILLS. the risk, the damage, the unknowns very much higher in the Arctic. With known unacceptable risks, technology should not be pursued for its own isolated worth.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:45 pm

To Electric Monk.

Re fracking.

Best thing ever so far, in terms of global warming. Fracking has opened up lots more oil for exploitation, which means less coal is burned. The USA has substantially reduced its carbon emissions due to fracking.

Bobbo

There is no data on the level of risk for under ice drilling, due to the massive extra precautions the oil companies are required to take. This has not been done before, and even if you do not change your mind on this kind of exploration, you should accept that we just do not know what the risk is when those extra precautions are in place.

Mind you, I do not believe that it will be needed. Fracking has opened up a lot of extra oil, and other techniques (like microwave heating of the water in oil) will open up a lot more still. A lot of people think that when an oil field is abandoned, it is all used up. Not so. Most is still there. Just not easily extracted. But new techniques permit a higher percentage of an oil field to be exploited.

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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: Bobbo

There is no data on the level of risk for under ice drilling, .
Of course there is. What else is every other oil spill that has ever been vouchsafed as not likely.

Stop being silly.
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Re: Seeds of Science. GM is good.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:11 pm

Anything new, Bobbo, is novel and requires a different assessment.

We simply do not know what the level of risk is. I do not think it matters, though. I doubt that any such exploration will happen. It would be expensive, politically unpopular and unnecessary.

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