December 21, 2017

The Dicamba Crisis Part 2: GMO/Pesticides Vs. Evolution


The final step would be no plants and therefore no humans.

Part one, describing the crisis.
Contrary to modernist religion evolution does not “progress”, but barring extreme events it tends in a linear way toward greater diversity. It doesn’t make great leaps outside of its own limits and laws. This is why scientifically sound agriculture is based on soil-building, biodiversity, attracting beneficial insects and other organisms, and putting natural stress on pests. These are the basis of agroecology.
Poison-based agriculture comprises, in theory and practice, the radical repudiation of science and wisdom. Rejecting biodiversity in every way and exalting monculture, it is anti-evolutionary and counter-evolutionary. It seeks to break out of evolution and nature completely and replace these with a technological desert. We see this most clearly with the GMO campaign.
One of the core cult faiths of genetic engineering cultism is that the engineers can lift themselves and their product out of the framework of natural evolution, leap over all its processes and safeguards, and superimpose their own anti-evolved, non-contexted product over the entire globe in minimal time. The GMO ideology is based on a technological leaping-out of natural evolution, in the same way technocracy as an order of social engineering wants to leap out of human politics, indeed out of human nature as such. As we see with the unfolding dicamba crisis, the results are likely to be disastrous.
The networked organisms of the ecological system are always reacting to changes in their environment. Their organic reactions generally sum up to relative stability over evolutionary time, and this is part of the process of evolution. Where a change radically leaps over the dampening effect of evolutionary time including its many safeguards and diminishing feedback loops, especially where this radical change is combined with many other drivers of chaos and destruction, the network becomes overstressed as many component organisms find it difficult or impossible to adapt.
Naturally evolving organisms and the conventional crop breeding which necessarily is done within the framework of evolution must encounter the naturally evolved safeguards against mutation and ecological disruption. Changes need time and effort to run a gamut of naturally imposed challenges, or the challenges of breeder selection, to become established. Genetic engineering, on the contrary, aggressively seeks to override these safeguards and leap over these challenges. It seeks to deploy the infected genome in the environment over vast regions as fast as it can. This is such a difference of magnitude, speed, and geographical reach as to comprise a qualitative difference. It seeks to maximize mutations and chaotic effects in the environment, along with the great disruptions the impresarios deliberately premeditate.
Black Swan author Nassim Taleb co-authored a paper on the systemic risk of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering has zero in common with conventional breeding, physically or ecologically. The lies and denials of pro-GMO activists with regard to this fact demonstrate their general ignorance of evolution and flippant disregard for its implications. The most extreme manifestation of pro-GM evolution denial is this incapacity or refusal to recognize the great difference between adaptation to a wide range of natural environmental hurdles encountered over evolutionary time, as opposed to seeking to leap over all the hurdles in an instant, with the entire process from genetic extraction to insertion to breeding to distribution taking place in a totally artificial, hermetic, alien, non-contextual bubble, and from there to deploy a biological technology developed in this anti-environmental way all at once on a global basis in the real world. Under such circumstances a rational person would expect nothing but disaster.
No one even slightly familiar with ecology, biology, genetics, agronomy, or history could take this seriously for a moment. Any natural allele, mutation, horizontal genetic transfer, must run a long gauntlet of safeguards developed by evolution including the genome’s own repair mechanism, then the greater hurdles of the local environment, and must adapt and spread over millions of years. Farmer selection and conventional breeding have followed such a pattern for 10,000 years.
But the genetic engineering technique which has existed for just a few years now claims to supersede these thousands and millions of years. It claims to be able to leap over the evolutionary genetic hurdles using technology. This is impossible. Therefore the genetic engineering project implicitly seeks to maximize the harmful mutations, latent weaknesses, unfit traits, and hazards.
Similarly, genetic engineering and the political-economic GMO deployment system claim to be able to leap over the evolutionary environmental hurdles, as well as the geographic hurdles, using economic brute force. This means it wants to spread the infected, harmful genetic and biological material, and the agronomic and ecological destruction which follows from it, as globally as possible as fast as possible.
Genetic engineering ideology wants to leap over the entire evolutionary time and action during which all matters of fitness, quality, and toxicity are worked out by nature, or by human thought and labor in conjunction with nature. The hubris and contempt for science on display with these persons is staggering. Genetic engineering has nothing in common with conventional breeding. GMOs can be only a debilitating parasite free riding on conventional breeding and destroying its work.
Therefore with GMOs we have a phenomenon where politics and economics meld inextricably with ecology. Ecologists, and those whose science is sculpted by an ecological mindset, are the only scientists qualified to speak about GMOs. Beyond that this technology is fundamentally a political and economic phenomenon. GMOs as deployed in the real world, rather than in the depraved minds of their idolators, have very little to do with science. This renders it all the more ironic when the pro-GM activists go hysterically braying about how even the most modest questions or criticisms are “anti-science! anti-science!” We see the evolution denialism of the pro-GMO activists.
The pesticide model of agriculture is conjoined with the GMO ideology of technologically leaping out of natural evolution. Pesticides are dedicated to the scorched earth monoculture model of agriculture and the ideology which regards the natural world as something to be wiped out. Poisonism is a radical rejection of biodiversity in principle and practice and comprises the will to wipe out all life except that specially selected to be part of the technocratic socio-ecological engineering.
The primary privileged organisms in this anti-evolutionary order are the bacterium A. tumefaciens (used as the main insertion vector in genetic engineering, thus using the engineers for its own purposes) and the proprietary GM crops themselves, along with the corporate persons (dogmatically declared to be “real” life forms) and the few humans who are monetarily wealthy. Ironically, the other main group of life forms privileged under this system are the pests, weeds, and diseases whose eradication is the alleged reason for deploying pesticides in the first place.
Corporate industrial agriculture denies weed and pest resistance in principle, even as its monoculture provides the best terrain for these organisms to prosper. (It does the same for rats, now the subject of a pro-CRISPR propaganda campaign against “invasives”; more on how the corporate system deliberately privileges rats for its own purposes in an upcoming piece.) Where forced by reality to discuss resistance, the corporations and media blame farmers for sloppy pesticide application and thus pretend that proper application can forestall the development of resistance. But everyone knows the pesticide treadmill, the endless arms race between the escalation of poisons and the resistance the targets inevitably develop against these poisons, is an intrinsic element of the system. In fact this is deliberate planned obsolescence. Everyone knows that no poison works longer than a few years and then must be supplemented by additional, more destructive poisons. The entire model of agrochemicals and GMOs is based on this malevolent dynamic. Therefore weed and pest resistance is the phenomenon upon which they are completely dependent for their continued profit and power. By contrast, if farmers switched to agroecology and dealt with pests and weeds by balancing them out within the framework of evolution rather than a scorched earth arms race running directly counter to it, agriculture would be far more productive, constructive, efficient, and profitable for the actual growers, and it would be the end of the power of agribusiness.
We see the horror this prospect strikes in the minds not only of the corporate operatives and scientism cultists themselves, but of the entire governmental, scientific, academic, and media system. That’s why, in spite of some lip service here and there about mixed systems like integrated pest management (IPM), the only truly allowable response to the patent failure of each pesticide and pesticide/GMO system is to deploy even more and worse poisons. The deployment of the Xtend/dicamba system is in response to the collapse of the Roundup Ready system as glyphosate-resistant weeds make a mockery of even the most copious slatherings of the poison. Dicamba and 2,4-D (upon which Dow’s Enlist system is built) both, Monsanto and the USDA promised in the 1990s, would be rendered obsolete by the Roundup Ready system based on the allegedly less harmful glyphosate. All the weed scientists researching and publicizing the dicamba disaster nevertheless agree that the dicamba deployment is the necessary response to Roundup’s collapse, even as they acknowledge that dicamba inevitably will fail and, implicitly, that the herbicide-tolerance GMO model itself is a complete failure. Dicamba’s revival is just the latest proof. For the corporate-technocratic system the only allowed response to failure is to escalate on proven failure. Poison-based agriculture is the most clear and extreme example.
Sure enough, weed scientists already are touting the upcoming corporate poison escalations.

Scott talked about the HT3 soybean from Monsanto, a “triple stack” soybean that will tolerate three herbicide chemistries: glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. Glyphosate is known commercially as Roundup. Glufosinate is known as Liberty. Scott said these beans may be available as early as 2019, but likely in limited amounts.

“We observed very good pigweed control with these technologies”, he said.

Also on the horizon, possibly as early as 2018, are the Enlist soybeans. Scott said these beans are “only awaiting Chinese approval for their being legal to use in the U.S.”

Syngenta and Bayer are working on HPPD-tolerant soybeans, “which are further down the line.” The timeline for availability may be 2020 to 2023, Scott said, and the beans are likely to be stacked with other traits.

Still, the message was hopeful at a time when current weed management methods are dividing the farm community.

“This is the first time in a long time that I’ve heard the chemical companies say they’ve got some new tools in the pipeline,” he said.

And if these are commercialized, just as surely as glyphosate and dicamba before them these too inevitably will fail, causing even more extreme damage along the way. And so they ratchet from poison to poison, each allegedly representing the end of all other poisons.
This proves that the system’s mode of action systematically selects for weed resistance (just as the Bt refuge scam and the entire insecticide model select for insect resistance). This is the one and only point of contact between the poison system and evolution. The system denies evolution in principle and claims some magic combination of poisons will overcome it, even as in practice the system intentionally drives the evolution of resistance in order to sustain and increase its own political and economic power.
Therefore, just as monocultural cropping provides the optimal terrain for pests and weeds, the pesticide treadmill fosters their accelerated evolutionary resistance to poisons. In the same way dicamba, like all herbicides and like the entire industrial system based on CAFOs and the antibiotic resistance markers used in genetic engineering, drives the evolution of antibiotic resistant microbes. This too must be seen as an intended goal of the system, a way it manipulates evolution even while denying it. This affects most of all those people directly in contact with the herbicides – farmers, applicators, and in the case of dicamba’s atmospheric loading, all people who live in the dicamba zone. Herbicides decimate our microbiome, selectively sparing pathogens and boosting their resistance to antibiotics. The greater the drift effect, the greater the antibiotic resistance effect. Therefore the dicamba deployment, and the entire glyphosate/2,4-D/dicamba campaign, must be placed in the context of the systematic campaign of governments and corporations to wipe out antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. No one who understands and respects evolution could be in any doubt about this goal.
We understand the insanity of the dicamba GMO crisis. It builds on the failure of Roundup and of the pesticide model as such. It simultaneously denies evolution and drives a specially destructive mode of evolution. Herbicide tolerant GMOs systematically select for weed resistance. Sure enough, dicamba-resistant weeds already are on the rise. The greater the atmospheric loading of volatile dicamba vapor, the faster it’ll drive weed resistance along with every other ecological and health harm.
Dicamba’s inherent volatility renders it impossible to control even assuming the greatest care in spraying. Contrary to Monsanto’s lies, all dicamba is volatile including the name brand formulations of Monsanto and BASF. Indeed there’s evidence that dicamba’s volatility is essential to it having any proximate herbicidal effect on weeds in the first place. The more dicamba is sprayed under the warm, humid conditions which cause it to become volatile (i.e., the way it’s intended to be used with the Xtend system), the more the atmosphere in the dicamba zone will become suffused with dicamba vapor and the more completely it will settle over the entire countryside. Under those conditions it will become impossible for any other soybean variety, GM or non-GM, to exist. Farmers will be forced to purchase the few soybean varieties engineered with the Xtend trait. This is Monsanto’s deliberate campaign of biological extortion. (“Xtortion”, as many soybean farmers are calling it.)
Therefore Monsanto’s goal is to wipe out all non-Xtend soybeans and attain a monopoly. But that’s just the beginning. We also see the system’s implicit will to destroy vast swaths of vegetables, ornamentals, and trees. However senseless this might seem from the point of view of any textbook profit motive, it’s an expression of the fanatical monoculture mentality which wants to wipe out all natural plant growth and reduce all cultivation to corporate-controlled industrial monoculture.
What alternative intent can we infer from the system’s will to escalate the deployment in 2018 after 2017 already proved it so indiscriminately destructive? All USDA and Monsanto projections and proclamations continue to prove that their strict goal is to maximize dicamba’s use and destructiveness. If all goes according to corporate plan, by fall 2018’s seed increase 80% of the commercial soybean seed and 90% of the cotton will be engineered to maximize spraying of dicamba or 2,4-D. Monsanto’s rebate plan for 2018 is further proof that the goal is to attain a complete monopoly over soybean seed, and dicamba’s complete geographical and biological domination, as quickly as possible in order to forestall all social resistance and agronomic alternatives. Any advcacy of full speed ahead with business as usual proves the will to drive out all non-Xtend soybeans and from there all other broad-leaf plants, period. (Meanwhile 2,4-D threatens/promises to do the same for grasses.)
We see what an extreme renunciation of evolution’s process and diversity this campaign is. The ultimate monoculture goal is nothing less than to wipe out all biodiversity except for the pests themselves and replace it with a technocratic blank slate. The cultists and operatives first deny evolution in principle, then seek to wipe it out in practice. The goal is to use violence (technological and where necessary conventional) to force their nightmare vision of technocratic “progress” onto natural succession.
They cannot succeed because their program seeks to defy evolution. In spite of their pretensions to, as one of their leaders in the Bush administration said, “create our own reality”, they cannot do so. However grim things look right now, their anti-nature, anti-evolution program dooms them to destruction.
We mammals must wait it out, taking every opportunity to destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs.
Propagate the necessary new ideas.


  1. […]   Parts one and two.   The common contrast of “natural” and “unnatural” is not untrue but […]

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