Volatility

July 27, 2015

Climate Change Requires Change of Consciousness

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The specter of climate change hovers over all considerations. Industrial civilization has been founded upon the near-instantaneous release into the atmosphere of billions of years worth of compressed organic and solar energy. For comparison, ponder the difference between a billion years worth of rainfall upon a plain, versus this billion years of rain accumulating behind an unfathomable dam which then breaches and releases the entire flood in a moment. This depicts the radical global action of industrial capitalism upon humanity, the environment, and agriculture. Climate change is one of the most radical, if relatively gradual (from the human point of view; it’ll take centuries to draw its full conclusions, as opposed to the decades agricultural poisons are requiring), of these industrial effects. It’s inextricably bound up with industrial capitalism as such. This means it can never be “fixed” through the same industrial capitalist methods which are driving it.
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That’s part of why it’s so hard to find anyone who really cares about climate change. A litmus test for who seeks the real solution to climate change, as well as the real solution for the other crises plaguing humanity, comprises the following.
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1. The recognition that the crisis is endemic to industrial capitalism and will continue and intensify for as long as industrial capitalism is the economic and political mode of society.
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2. The will to fight the trend of the crisis by hindering industrial capitalism, hastening its downfall, overthrowing it.
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3. The strategic and tactical realization that industrial capitalism has committed itself completely to the corporation as its basic organizational form. This includes the corporate organizers of today’s political, religious*, scientific, academic, and journalistic paradigms.
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[*Today’s corporate religion – “Progress”, scientism, technocracy, globalization, belief in the reality of money, “wealth creation”, “jobs”, “growth”, “trade”, the moralization of debt, “contracts”, corporate personhood, intellectual property, austerity and its “there is no alternative”, and other pure fictions and malign distortions which corporate system indoctrination seeks to instill as verities.]
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4. Therefore, the strategic and tactical commitment to abolish corporations, as the great human necessity and mission of our time.
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In the case of climate change we can emphasize immediately that the main driver is corporate industrial agriculture, as by far the number one emitter of greenhouse gases and destroyer of carbon sinks. Therefore an overriding operational goal which can be accomplished prior to the complete abolition of corporations as such is the abolition of corporate agriculture, in particular the abolition of a particular technology to which corporate agriculture and capitalism as such has committed itself, GMOs.
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(There are many other reasons it’s imperative for humanity to abolish GMOs and transform our food production to agroecology on a Food Sovereignty basis. These include the escalating poisoning of our environment, soil, water, air, crops, food, and bodies; the fact that industrial agriculture must soon collapse and fail, dependent as it is upon fossil fuels, non-renewable fossil aquifer water, and industrial phosphorus, vulnerable as it is to soil collapse, the critical narrowing of its genetic basis and subsequent ever-heightened vulnerability to pests and disease and endemic crop weakness; the socioeconomic evils; and how industrial agriculture promises to bring the worst evils of famine and disease. GMOs do nothing but intensify and escalate all these pathologies, since they do nothing but intensify and escalate corporate industrial agriculture as such.)
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Therefore climate change cannot meaningfully be confronted other than through a total commitment against industrial capitalism and corporations across all economic sectors. This is why we need an anti-corporate abolition movement across the board. This is the firm demarcation line identifying the movement which will have a clear vision, a clear rationale, a clear philosophy, a clear operational goal, a clear target. Here’s where we can define ourselves and from there encompass all other factors which motivate people, because there are literally zero problems which aren’t either completely caused, or greatly aggravated, by corporate rule, and there are no “solutions” within corporatism which aren’t one form or another of collaboration and treason – selling out, ladder-pulling, or simply direct continuation of the status quo behind some technological or rhetorical facade. This has most recently and spectacularly been demonstrated by the neoliberal corporate con-men of Syriza.
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While researching my piece on climate change deniers I checked out what the classical “right wing” deniers, the likes of ALEC, the CEI, the Heartland Institute, the UK’s Scientific Alliance were saying. These days they tend to avoid direct denial, but instead focus on obfuscation and advocacy of counterproductive techno-pseudo-solutions like GMOs, fracking, “clean coal”, biofuels, and geoengineering. These are all standard elements of disaster capitalism, criminals using the crisis they themselves are causing in order to push even more destructive, yet profitable, gambits, fraudulently depicting them as “solutions”. Joe Romm has long called them climate policy “delayers”, because their goal is to indefinitely forestall real consciousness and real action through every kind of misdirection. Romm focused mostly on such corporate astroturfs as the pseudo-environmental Breakthrough Institute, whose real purpose is to shill for such destructive technologies as nukes, agrofuels, fracking, and GMOs. The likes of Discover Magazine fall into the same category.
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These all have in common that nowadays they usually dodge the question of whether climate change, anthropogenic or not, exists at all, in favor of touting scams for how, whatever the environmental problems are, we need more corporate domination, more capitalist technology, more corporate welfare, just stay the course, always nothing but more of the same. We find a basic affinity between these and the corporate “environmentalist” outfits as the Nature Conservancy, EDF, and NRDC, in both rhetoric and “solutions”. We see how corporate environmentalism provides the ideological bridge between ExxonMobil and the broad but shallow liberal consciousness of climate change which helps satisfy so many people that cap-and-trade and clean coal are systemic solutions, that CAFOs can be part of a constructive and ecologically sound society, along with individualist mannerisms like buying a fracking car or even changing one’s light bulbs. The end result? Shell moves on to ravaging the Arctic, now backed by a full liberal/conservative near-consensus.
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A malign ideological gambit currently being touted in the corporate media and among pseudo-radicals as well is the notion that humanity has entered a new “Anthropocene era”. Whether propagated under that term or some other, this is the Big Lie that humanity “naturally” seeks to transform the Earth to the fullest, most radical extent possible, as some sort of genetic imperative. It would follow that the ravages of fossil fuel-driven capitalism are not to blame for the great environmental and socioeconomic crises of our time, but rather are caused by a neo-Malthusian inner imperative or depravity. The point is also to rescue Malthusian notions from dystopic contexts and repackage them as neutral or even exalt them. This is also intended to bolster the prior lie that there’s no meaningful distinction between human action which is in harmony with the rest of nature, and human action which is destructive of nature and therefore of our own basis. We are inescapably part of nature and can never lift ourselves out of it by our hair, but the “anthropocene” lie is designed to validate the modern mindset of man being at war with nature, recasting this as itself just as “natural” as anything else. Pure destruction, homicide, and suicide are supposed to be seen as the same type of action as actions of love, healing, building, renewal. Here, as in so many other ways, we see the religious character of modern economic and scientistic ideology.
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The fact is that the totalitarian mindset is endemic only to modern industrial capitalism, and if it has any natural basis at all this is not in our normal nature but in our addiction to fossil fuels and the world-historical rush they gave us. Crises like climate change and the wholesale poisoning of humanity and the Earth are not “natural” ramifications of the human condition the way the anthropocene ideology would have it, but have a specific cause: fossil fueled industrial capitalism. Therefore they have a specific solution: Humanity must break corporate power.
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But in the hands of direct and indirect corporate flacks the “Anthropocene” notion will be used in a malign way. It’ll be used to say, “Capitalism isn’t worse or more destructive than any other form of civilization as such, assuming you find any of this bad at all. So there’s no need or call to fight capitalism. We’d have to want to devolve civilization as such. Since we’re not going to do that, we might as well do nothing and stay the course.” We can trace this basic mindset across the spectrum of advocacy groups and themes I briefly surveyed above. In truth humanity does not have to devolve anything or settle for less in the way of prosperity, comfort, health, and happiness. On the contrary, it’s the ever tightening death grip of the corporations which is strangling all of these and is clearly forcing us all toward the most desolate poverty, misery, sickness, starvation, and death.
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Indeed, the direct flacks and techno-fundamentalists now revel in humanity’s destructive and self-destructive power like Hitler watching spellbound as his planes bombed Warsaw. For them the Anthropocene and climate change are to be idols of religious worship. That’s why they’ve contracted their cult of GMOs and agricultural poisons – they revel in their power as Poisoners.
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So we have the de jure deniers and “Anthropocene” scammers who openly call for escalated destruction as the answer to destruction – “clean coal”, fracking, nukes, agrofuels, GMOs, geoengineering, and finally the elites leaving the planet completely once it’s no longer capable of sustaining life. We have the system environmentalists and corporate liberals whose ideology is basically the same, and even much of the rhetoric, with just a few minor variations. Thus for example cap-and-trade was always a de jure scam (fraudulent “offsets” as well as “safety valves” or “offramps”), as well as a stalking horse for further corporate welfare bonanzas for Wall Street, coal, nukes, and Big Ag via agrofuels and even GMOs. (Monsanto lobbied for its Roundup Ready system to qualify for Clean Development Mechanism credits.)
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We have a small group of writers and activists who correctly identify capitalism as such as the great driver of climate change. Now we must go one better – it’s corporations which are the actual form of globalized capitalism, so to fight and overthrow the latter we must tailor organization, strategy, and goals to destroy the former.
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I must keep on repeating my call for those who would not be slaves, those who desire freedom, prosperity, happiness, and human dignity, to develop the full movement consciousness and organize our lives according to it. As with GMO abolition, so with climate change we must recognize the inadequacy of the consumerist, individualist consciousness and the advocacy it inevitably extrudes. This is especially critical wherever this individualism sees itself as sufficient. An absolute minimum requirement for a sane, practical view of these struggles is the recognition that the corporations are totalitarian and will NEVER settle for one jot less than 100%. Therefore our one and only option is to reduce them to 0%. Given our current circumstance of mass stagnation and corruption, consumerist movements may sometimes be necessary starting points toward the real abolition struggles. But abolitionists can find such starting points only where these movements are on the vector toward the necessary anti-corporate goal. They must be seeking to delay, hinder, obstruct corporate power. But where we see alleged advocates of freedom, democracy, equality, social justice, human well-being, claiming that these ends can be served by enhancing corporate power, we can be sure that these are liars who in truth advocate nothing but corporate power.
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As in so many other contexts (regulators, system NGOs, academia, professionals, to name a few) the corporate “reformer” template applies:
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1. The corporate prerogative is normative. Under no circumstance must it ever be significantly circumscribed, let alone abolished.
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2. Given (1), a cadre may try to ameliorate the worst corporate “abuses”, or nab a few “bad apples”, or else may just pretend to be trying to do this. But under no circumstances shall they violate (1).
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3. The regulator, liberal NGO, etc. then puts its imprimatur on the “regulated” system, assures the people that things are under control, that the people can tend to their private individualist lives and leave public affairs to “authority”, to “the professionals”.
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Where it comes to almost all of the existing ways of talking, thinking, and allegedly doing about climate change, we have lame ameliorationists at best. But most of them are scammers.
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As for the pro-GMO activists and their supporters, they’re all climate change deniers, since they call for nothing but the radical escalation of what’s already the number one climate change driver, industrial agriculture. Whether they’re willful liars, cult fanatics, or just ignorant and stupid, makes no moral difference. Willful ignorance is as culpable as deliberate lies. They’re all climate criminals, in addition to their many other crimes against humanity and the Earth.
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The first great task toward a human renaissance must be to overcome the great lies which, along with brute force, are all the corporate system has. The pioneers of the new consciousness must devote ourselves to spreading the new idea, the new vision, enlisting all who we can for the duration of the stagnation time, undertaking whatever obstruction and wedge actions are possible during this time, the whole panorama of grassroots action Naomi Klein calls “Blockadia”, and building the new within the old. We must force into the public consciousness the alternative available for it to embrace at will, the knowledge of the truth that there is a much better road to all we want and need in order to make Earth a good place to live. This way is the only way, since this Earth is home, the only home we’ll ever have, whether we cherish it or let our house be burnt down, our fields salted, our wells poisoned.
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It’s true that there is no alternative, but in a sense directly antithetical to the lies of corporatism and austerity. We can take back and redeem our civilization and our world, we can successfully tackle all the problems we face, we can have all we need and all we want. But for any of this there can be no co-existence with the monsters which, by their innermost predetermined character, must destroy all. Humanity cannot coexist with the totalitarian corporations. No matter which problem you look at, environmental ones like climate change most of all, there can be no compromise with entities dedicated to complete destruction. Salvation can come only from the complete destruction of these complete destroyers.
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For humanity to have a future, consciousness of this great truth is a precondition. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, everything is not only possible but assured.

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April 19, 2015

Pro-GMO Activism and Climate Change Denial

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We who are rational skeptics where it comes to agricultural poisons are used to the ideology/religion propagated by pro-GM activists in the mainstream media. Much of this is made up of brazen falsifications, such as regarding the relationship between GMOs and pesticide use (they increase it), or GMOs and productivity (GMOs are less productive than organic or non-GM conventional production).
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One of the most blatant lies, and perhaps the most self-condemnatory of the alleged integrity of the media, is the notion that GMO criticism can be linked, conceptually or in practice, to climate change denial. This talking point was only recently invented by the GMO propaganda machine and has quickly been propagated through the corporate media. National Geographic has been a high-profile propagator (although the magazine blares on its cover that GMO skepticism is equivalent to climate change denial, the piece actually only touches on GMOs in passing, as if embarrassed at its own absurdity; clearly it dragged in GMOs in only the most tendentious, false-analogy way), while the Guardian recently handed its pages over to an op-ed written by industry publicists so they could repeat this fraudulent comparison. Industry flacks also parrot the phrase at every likely (or, in the case of the more stupid ones, not-so-likely) opportunity.
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We can start with the fact that whether or not climate change deniers are also GMO critics and vice versa is not some kind of speculative hypothetical. Rather, it’s an empirical question of fact or fiction which can easily be checked with a few minutes of online research. And in fact anyone who takes those few minutes finds that professional climate change deniers also support GMOs, and that many GMO supporters are also climate change deniers, while there are no visible GMO critics who are also climate change deniers.
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On the contrary, GM critics and food sovereignty advocates are the most assertive and fact-based in condemning industrial agriculture as the #1 driver of climate change and calling for decentralized food production on an agroecological basis as the only real solution, for climate change and for many other problems. Meanwhile the pro-GMO activists want only to double down on all the pathologies of industrial agriculture including its GHG emissions and destruction of carbon sinks.
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Never once have I seen a GMO supporter criticize an actual climate change denier. On the contrary, many of the most respected pro-GM figures led by Marc von Montagu and Ingo Potrykus explicitly endorsed one of the most inveterate and scabrous of climate change deniers, Patrick Moore. Click the link to see the long list of establishment scientists and other pro-GM figures formally declaring their solidarity with professional climate change denier Moore. This is symbolic of the essential affinity of pro-GMO activism and climate change denial.
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Contrary to the media construction, the rational and practical demarcation line is not “science” vs. “anti-science”, but the willingness to parrot corporate-decreed “science” vs. skepticism toward such a biased framework with such a record of lies. Criticism of such propaganda then concurs with the real science which invariably contradicts the corporate party line. Technicians and publicists paid by ExxonMobil are the same as technicians and publicists paid by Monsanto, just as independent researchers and analysts studying climate change are similar to independent researchers and analysts studying the effects of GMOs. The corporate operatives and flacks of the one are often the same as those of the other, as we see in such cases as the US’s ALEC, Heartland Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, or the UK’s Scientific Alliance, just to name a few of the corporatist propaganda outfits where I immediately found both climate change denial and pro-GMO lies. Owen Paterson, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg, Henry Miller, Dennis Avery, Martin Livermore, are high profile corporate activists who shill for GMOs and deny climate change. The three flacks who penned the Guardian piece were allowed by the paper to fraudulently depict themselves as neutral academics while failing to list their paid positions with the GMO cartel. One of them, Phillip Sharp, is himself employed by the climate-denying Koch Brothers. Climate change deniers and pro-GMO activists are corporate funded, while GMO skeptics and critics face a hard scrabble for support.
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In all this we see a typical example of the mainstream media’s bad faith and lack of integrity. Since everything I’ve written here is elementary fact checking which would take a reporter or editor just a few minutes, we can be sure that National Geographic, the Guardian, and the rest of the corporate media know the facts on the connection between climate change denial and support for GMOs but intentionally suppress these facts in favor of depicting the issue as a hypothetical.
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In fact, such obfuscation and deception is the only recourse of the GMO cartel and its media enablers, since all the logic and all the facts are against them. It’s conceptually clear and historically proven that on all such issues the corporations will always lie while dissidents and critics always turn out to be right. As for the deniers, we know who they are. At the moment they’re most shrill where we have them pinned to the wall, as they’re increasingly desperate in denying glyphosate causes cancer. These are the same historically who have systematically lied about cigarette smoking, asbestos, PCBs, dioxin, DDT, and who today deny climate change. They’re also the same, and often with the exact same corporations they lied for in the past, who today lie in support of GMOs.
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The various lines of propaganda interweaving GMOs and the climate change struggle are among the typical canned lies of the GMO cartel. In the real world, industrial agriculture is the worst driver of climate change. It’s the most profligate emitter of GHGs and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks. GMOs comprise the escalation of all the evils of corporate industrial agriculture including those driving climate change. In the real world, agroecology on a food sovereignty basis offers the only solution for climate change, in terms of both mitigation and adaptation.
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But for the corporate system, GMOs and corporate agriculture comprise one of the final possible “growth” opportunities amid an otherwise bleak picture of global market saturation and failing profits, since the finance scams currently propping up all corporate “profit” can’t be sustained much longer. In fact the vision of a genetically engineered blank slate cherished by the biotech corporations can’t be sustained either; for many reasons GMOs are both agronomic and economic failures, which is why they’re completely dependent on government subsidies and oligopoly muscle.
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That’s why the cartel and the media have been so prolific in the quantity and superficial diversity of their lies on behalf of this corporate project, however low the quality of these lies has always been. The “GMO criticism = climate change denial” lie is one of the most pathetic and self-debunking yet. They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

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April 1, 2015

“Science Issues” Are Political

Filed under: Climate Crisis, GMO Corporate State, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 9:07 am

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There’s been much hand-wringing about the benighted heathens discovered by the recent Pew survey which found often large discrepancies between the views of the general public and of “scientists”* where it comes to what it pleases Pew to call “science-related topics” like climate change and GMOs. Blast that confounded democracy thing!
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The fraud here is the claim that in formulating their publicly stated opinions, “scientists” have a motivation and mindset different from that of the general public. In fact, scientists think about political issues in exactly the same way everyone else thinks about them – politically. The fraud is to depict controversies like climate change or genetic engineering as “scientific” issues when they’re in fact predominantly political and economic issues. The notion that these are primarily “scientific” issues is an authoritarian fallacy meant to discourage democratic participation and give corporate propaganda a free hand. It’s an ideological attempt to deny that the people have intellectual standing to dispute corporate decrees, wherever these can be dressed up as “scientific”. Therefore, the discrepancies in the views of scientists vs. those of the general public** reflect the fact that scientists are more likely to politically support their corporate paymasters. Therefore they espouse the party line of corporate decreed “science”. (There’s also the fraternity solidarity element of STEM types agreeing that any significant corporate technological project is part of their version of Cosa Nostra, “Our Thing”. Thus they furiously try to enforce cadre discipline on the infrequent occasions a member of the fraternity deviates from the party line. But that’ll be a subject for future posts.)
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As I’ve been writing, the demarcation line on these issues, contrary to the lies of the corporate media, is never “science” vs. “anti-science”. It wouldn’t be, since these aren’t scientific controversies. The line is the willingness to fall into line with corporate-decreed “science” vs. a refusal to do so. With many such “scientific” political controversies the corporate/anti-corporate line is clear. Climate change is an outlier because here there’s powerful corporate sectors on both sides, and the influence of Wall Street and the biotech sector evidently outweighs that of Big Oil, though the media remains studiously polite to the latter as well.
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*Evidently each AAAS scientist was asked all the questions. Now my question is, how is it possible for one person to have scientific expertise across such a wide range of subjects – climatology, energy, toxicology, human medicine, agronomy, botany, biology, ecology, oceanography, space travel? My, these must be the most extraordinary polymath geniuses in all of history.
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Unless, of course, Pew and the AAAS are simply perpetrating the standard fraud of allowing each narrow specialist to impersonate an expert in all the other fields, and then calling each a “scientist” where it comes to those fields. The truth is that each member of the AAAS cadre is an alleged “scientist” only where it comes to his own specialty, but a member of the general public where it comes to the other subject fields. That’s according to their own credentialist ideology. The fact that our scientists are willing, knowing participants in this fraud says it all about their honesty and integrity.
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**What on earth is a “general public”, and how is it conceptually valid to separate one alleged element and compare it to the mushy aggregate? How does Pew assure us that this general public really constitutes a well-blended mix, the way their figures claim, as opposed to a large number of distinct elements? In other words, how do we know there’s such a thing as a general public from which an element called “scientists” can be qualitatively distinguished? This notion that scientists comprise some truly unique group, as opposed to being just another political/religious group which has far more in common with other political/religious groups than differences, is in fact a highly dubious and contested proposition in itself. But this purely ideological proposition is of course essential for scientism’s attempt to maintain social authority.

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March 14, 2015

Pro-GMO Activists, the Various Climate Change Lies, and the Mainstream Media

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*A few weeks back I mentioned US Right to Know’s Freedom of Information requests to several prominent pro-GMO activists ensconced in academia, in the course of citing these as typical examples of how the pro-GM activists consistently impersonate various kinds of scientists and other professionals even as they hypocritically insist that GM critics have no standing to opine unless they possess the right “credentials”. As I documented there, without exception all pro-GM activists stray far beyond the bounds of their own formal credentials, where they have any in the first place. (Many do not.)
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Since then USRTK has been attacked in academia and the corporate media by these same mercenary hacks, who exceed themselves in fraud and hypocrisy. One propaganda disseminator is the Gates Foundation-funded pro-Monsanto media center at Cornell University, which in Orwellian manner proclaimed its goal to “depolarize the GMO debate”. By this they mean they’re trying to restore the status quo ante where corporate ideology completely dominated all politics, economics, and science. The Cornell propagandists want a unipolar world. That’s what they mean by “depolarize”. Depolarize is also a synonym for depoliticize, meaning that democracy and politics as such should cease to exist wherever these interfere with the corporate imperative. This is in line with the movement toward a Corporate Constitution and Bill of Rights, which the TTIP and TPP seek to enshrine.
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Toward these goals Cornell, using Gates money, created a bogus position for corporate publicist Mark Lynas and other Monsanto and Gates-affiliated publicists. Similarly, the Guardian published an op-ed from three paid mercenaries while abetting them in suppressing their conflict of interest. The Guardian let them fraudulently depict themselves as being “neutral academics” while failing to list their paid positions with the GMO cartel. Most hilariously of all, they regurgitated the self-evident lie comparing GMO critics to climate change deniers even as at least one of the three, Philip Sharp, is himself a climate change denier employed by the Koch Brothers.
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As I developed in an earlier post, the real demarcation is being a corporate mercenary vs. being a critic of corporate-decreed “science”. It’s GMO advocacy and climate change denial which logically line up, and sure enough the ranks of pro-GMO activists include many professional climate change deniers: Patrick Moore, Owen Paterson, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg, just to name a few. By contrast, there are no climate change deniers among GMO critics. There you see the measure of the mainstream media’s integrity, that it keeps repeating the lie but never takes even five minutes to investigate whether real-life climate change deniers actually support or oppose GMOs.
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The fact that the likes of National Geographic, the Guardian, and many others intentionally refrain from this simple fact check is proof that they’re most interested in propagating this lie and want to suppress knowledge of the truth, which they know would be unfavorable to their agenda.
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Meanwhile the canned lie that GMO cultivation can help sequester carbon through chemical no-till, also more euphemistically called “conservation tillage”, is being completely debunked as the spread of Roundup-resistant weeds increasingly requires the most aggressive tillage to give farmers any hope of keeping their fields partially clear.
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The concept of chemical no-till as carbon sequestration tactic was bogus in principle, since the slathering of Roundup destroys the soil ecosystem which incorporates carbon as humus in the first place. The very term “sequestration” demonstrates the fundamental error of the approach: Nature doesn’t “sequester” anything, but actively incorporates it into a dynamic system. Poison-based agriculture, of which the Roundup Ready system is the ultimate example, automatically destroys the soil ecosystem and leaves sterile dirt which would be incapable of incorporating carbon. That’s why irrigation water has to be fortified with chemical additives to bind it to dirt molecules. That’s the only way to keep the water from running off the site immediately, eroding all the dirt with it. Sure enough, studies found that chemical no-till could at best “sequester” a small amount of carbon in the immediate topsoil where the biomass from the previous crop degrades, but does nothing to build organic matter deeper into the dirt, turning it into real soil. The whole concept of chemical no-till is incorrect. That’s to be expected, as it’s an extension of the absolutely erroneous NPK ideology, which is the source of all the agronomic and ecological pathologies in the first place.
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In this clash of lies we see how one lie, chemical no-till and GMOs as “climate friendly”, runs up against the planned obsolescence strategy of the GMO cartel. Although Monsanto would prefer that the Roundup Ready system remain in power indefinitely, this is more of a subjective preference which is counter to the overall dynamic of ever-accelerating obsolescence and turnover. This dynamic is best exemplified in Monsanto’s own publicly admitted plan for obsolescence and escalated stacking of Bt toxins, collecting an extra tax for each proprietary toxin of course. That Roundup Ready is set to be superseded by Dow’s 2,4-D based “Enlist” system and Monsanto’s own dicamba-based system embodies the real logic of the GMO concept and deployment.
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In the real world, industrial agriculture is the worst driver of climate change. It is the most profligate emitter of greenhouse gases and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks. GMOs comprise the escalation of all the pathologies of industrial agriculture including those affecting climate change.
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In the real world, agroecology offers the only solution for climate change, in terms of both mitigation and adaptation.
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More broadly – politically, economically, ecologically, and in the most stark terms of our being able to eat in the future – humanity’s great imperative is to abolish industrial agriculture and transform to agroecology on a food sovereignty basis. Nothing short of this will suffice physically, nor is anything short of this worthy of our great human endeavor.
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What are the mean little lies of hacks and scribblers compared to that?

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March 10, 2015

The Politics of Vaccination: Astroturfing in the Corporate Media

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Or as I should say, the evident attempt to rile up hatred against a small, relatively harmless dissident group to set them up as scapegoats for the vastly worse threats being forced upon us by corporate agriculture.
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Let me stress at the outset that this post is not about vaccination in itself. Vaccination makes sense in principle. But I begin by stressing that there are two separate questions here: Vaccine science in principle, and the safety of corporate-manufactured vaccines we actually have. In a typical authoritarian tactic those who criticize non-vaccinators always smear these two together and come up with the standard lie, “anti-vax = anti-science”. Now, maybe there are some non-vaccinators who reject vaccination as such, in principle. But everyone I’ve seen is mostly or completely motivated by skepticism toward the corporations who manufacture and advertise them. Obviously no rational person would take on faith the word of corrupt corporate and government scienticians, given their record to date systematically lying about cigarette smoking, asbestos, PCBs, dioxin, DDT, GMOs, and many other poisons, as well as denying climate change.
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[I’ll also stress, since industry propagandists and the corporate media try to confuse this fact, that the rational and empirically-proven common thread is that corporate “science” always lies, dissidents are usually right. To give a common example, in comparing climate change denial with criticism of genetic engineering, the correct conceptual division is not being “for” or “against” some vapid, abstract notion of “science”, though such gaseous conceptual shibboleths are standard with scientism ideology. The correct line which works in real life is the faith-based swallowing of corporate propaganda which calls itself “science”, vs. taking a critical view of this propaganda.
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Climate change denial is interesting in that some powerful corporate sectors like finance seek to profit off scams like carbon offsets or geoengineering and so “believe in” climate change, while others like Big Oil are fervent “deniers”. Monsanto and the GMO cartel play both sides of the fence. In reality no corporatist or technocrat cares one way or the other about climate change or its effects. They “believe” whatever it’s profitable to believe. So it’s not surprising that while so far as I’ve seen there are no GMO critics who also deny climate change, the ranks of the pro-GMO activists are littered with climate change deniers – Patrick Moore, Marc van Montague, Ingo Potrykus, Owen Paterson, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg, just to name a few. So much for the lies of “National Geographic” and others who are desperately trying to push the notion that opposing corporate “science” is the same thing as opposing science. The truth is the exact opposite. Indeed, to support GMOs is by definition to be an implicit climate change denier. This is because industrial agriculture, as the #1 emitter of greenhouse gases and the #1 destroyer of carbon sinks, is the worst sector driving climate change, while GMOs comprise nothing more or less than an escalation of industrial ag and an aggravation of all its pathologies.]
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In any discussion or debate I’d keep insisting on keeping the two separate questions, separate. That means, for non-vaccinators as well as for anyone who opposes irrational scientistic lynch mobs, focusing on how dubious corporate-controlled vaccination is. Of course I’m against the corporatism of vaccines, as I am against all corporatism.
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There’s incontrovertible evidence, provided by the corporations and the government themselves, that corporate vaccines are inferior and potentially dangerous, indeed likely to cause great harm. This is the fact that in the 1980s the government absolved the corporate manufacturers of liability for any harm caused by their products, no matter how negligent or structurally toxic the manufacturing process was.
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In the same way that the refusal of Monsanto or the US government to test GMOs for safety proves that they live in terror of what the results of such tests would be, so the government’s grant of immunity and setting up of a massive corporate welfare fund to force the taxpayers to pay off corporate liabilities for toxic products proves that the government believes the products are going to be ever more dangerous.
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Of course it’s obscene and irrational – if dispensing vaccines is too risky for corporate liability, isn’t it too risky in general? At the very least, if they won’t assume the risk, how can their profit be justified? In that case the government should take over the entire operation on a public non-profit basis. There we have proof of principle, of the overall bad faith of the system (how can it be rationally or morally coherent to absolve “capitalists” of risk and force that risk onto the taxpayers, but still allow those companies to collect profit?) and of the fact that the companies and the government believe the legal risk is extreme. They think it likely these vaccines will have dire side effects.
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And indeed, as we see with the sometimes lethal Gardisil vaccine (which the Texas state government mandated as a form of poll-tax-via-poison, like forcing people to buy and drink moonshine which blinds them) and the harmful effects of aluminum-based vaccines on people with weak immune systems, there’s specific affirmative evidence of harm.
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Unlike GMOs*, vaccines do make sense in principle. But what they could be in principle and what Big Drug corporations actually do in producing them are two completely separate things. The fact that the critics of vaccine dissent are incapable of making this distinction is one of the proofs that they’re motivated not by real concern for public health but by authoritarian cultism.
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[*Just two examples of how GMOs don’t make sense in principle: 1. Pleiotropy rules out the long-promised-never-delivered GMOs designed to produce better agronomic and product quality traits. Rendering crops poisonous is not an improvement, but literal poison plants (those which exude a systemic insecticide, those which systemically absorb herbicide, and usually both at the same time) are the only kinds genetic engineering can create. 2. GMOs cannot be capitalized, developed, produced, distributed other than through big corporations. Indeed GMOs were developed in the first place to intensify corporate control and domination. But corporate control is antithetical to productive, food-based, sustainable agriculture. By definition corporate agriculture, producing commodities and poison instead of food, with food then supposed to “trickle down” as a side effect, is incoherent, irrational, and an abdication. GMOs represent the extreme manifestation of corporate agriculture.]
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Now we reach the core question regarding those who pretend to support vaccination but should really be called “anti-anti-vaxxers”, since their actions prove they’re not really for anything, but instead are merely majoritarians attacking a small dissenting group. How is it possible to talk meaningfully about the alleged health risks from a relative handful of vaccine dissenters while the same fear-mongers do nothing to put a stop to the infinitely worse public health threat from antibiotic abuse in factory farms and antibiotic resistance markers in genetic engineering? This is, after all, a massive, systematic corporate campaign to destroy the effectiveness of antibiotics. Any adverse health effects of non-vaccination are utterly trivial compared to these and other massive corporate assaults on public health (pesticides, Fukushima’s fallout, just to name two more).
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Anyone who doesn’t spend significant time and energy calling for the abolition of antibiotic abuse has zero credibility if he claims to be concerned about the relatively infinitesimal risk of non-vaccination. The shrillness of the anti-anti-vaxxers juxtaposed with their resounding silence where it comes to antibiotic abuse adds up to proof that they’re lying when they claim to be worried about public health. Obviously their “concern” is for something other than public health. On the contrary, they’re authoritarian statists who are outraged by a form of civil disobedience they find particularly offensive as an affront to their statism and scientism. They should be systematically counterattacked as such, whatever one’s views on vaccination itself.
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So faced with anyone who claims to criticize non-vaccinators from the point of view of a concern for public health, I start with one question: What have you done to oppose subtherapeutic antibiotic abuse in factory farms and genetic engineering? Please direct me to where you’ve written about or taken action on this.
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A satisfactory answer to this is necessary to establish someone’s bona fides. Anyone who can’t do so is a fraud who’s really jumping in a typical way onto an anti-dissident bandwagon out of typically cowardly bullying authoritarian motives.
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In my analysis and criticism of corporate agriculture I’ve refused to argue substantively with pro-GMO activists and others who are clearly acting in bad faith and lying about their fundamental motivations. Instead I counterattack to demolish their lies and destroy their credibility. Where it comes to the vaccination lynch mob, dissenters and critics should always counterattack these bad faith liars the way I describe. The only way the people can win is if enough people are disciplined that way. The point is to reveal them as authoritarian liars and hypocrites who have zero credibility as they attack trivial or nonexistent “threats” while the vastly greater dangers go unchallenged. (Remember the crooks who wanted to ban a local seed library out of fears over “agri-terrorism”? Of course the supporters of centralized industrial ag are intentionally rendering America’s food supply vulnerable to terrorism, while decentralization is the only solution to this and every other problem.) I’d never allow an anti-anti-vaxxer to get away with ignoring CAFOs and antibiotic resistance markers in GMOs. I’d just hammer and hammer and hammer – “What are you doing for the struggle to abolish antibiotic abuse, an infinitely worse public health danger?” Until I got a satisfactory answer, I’d refuse to even discuss vaccination. In general, we should seize every opportunity to counterattack and direct attention to the lethal pandemics being prepared by corporate agriculture and by globalization in general.
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This takes us to what’s going on the corporate media lately, a top-down media-engineered campaign intended to demonize the trivial group of non-vaccinators. Given the growing evidence of the ongoing harms and great dangers of the corporate agricultural system, as well as how obviously destructive the rest of the corporate onslaught is becoming, the corporate media is increasingly desperate to trump up diversions and scapegoats. In the case of the lethal pandemics already being caused by globalization’s shantytowns and factory farms, and the far worse ones inevitably to come, the system’s goal is to provide scapegoats to divert public fears and anger, as well as to muster fascistic discipline among potential cadres along the lines of scientism, the only purely corporate ideology which can tap into ideological threads which aren’t 100% mercenary. Thus the most unreconstructed, brutal greed, powerlust, sadism, and hate try to make common cause with what’s left of the withering “Progress” ideology.
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Whatever the trivial effects of non-vaccination, if any, the great disease incubators of the planet are the factory farms and shantytowns created by globalization and by corporate agriculture in particular. No one who’s not fighting CAFOs, GMOs that use antibiotic resistance markers, and corporate agriculture in general has any standing to say a word about vaccination. Those who do so regardless are really lying when they claim to care about public health. They’re really motivated by authoritarianism.
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I’d call this a basic litmus test for authoritarianism and the very ability to conceive in non-corporatized terms: Having the right perspective on an ad hoc handful of non-vaccinators, vs. the massive, systematic campaign of the biggest, most powerful corporations and governments on earth to destroy antibiotics as a medically useful technology. I’d expect anyone who’s on the level to forget the non-vaxxers immediately and get after those corporations and government bureaucracies.
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The two necessary goals: Abolish factory farms, abolish GMOs. Nothing short of this can suffice, and nothing short of this can comprise a rationally or morally coherent position for anyone who claims to care about public health.
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November 29, 2014

Pro-GMO Activists Are Also Climate Change Deniers

Filed under: Climate Crisis, GMO Hoaxes, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 2:06 am

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Patrick Moore has generally been considered a bottom-feeding lowlife even among his fellow hacks and paid liars. For example, his 2013 attempt to get a pro-Monsanto demonstration going outside Greenpeace’s Toronto headquarters was a pathetic flop, without even a paid claque showing up.
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But at least some of his criminal colleagues may be warming to him, as they circulate an online petition to get him appointed as an “ambassador” to the EU’s Expo 2015. The list is headed up by two big names: Marc von Montagu, co-winner of the 2013 Monsanto Prize (AKA “World Food Prize”), and leading “golden rice” hack Ingo Potrykus.
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Potrykus may be an incompetent rice breeder, but he knows what he likes in climate change denial, Moore’s specialty: “Over the past 15 years, Mr. Moore has been involved in activities related to climate change and food shortage in general adopting an original, but not isolated, approach in the environmental movement: the systematic control of the scientifically proved data.” Montagu and the rest of the signees are equally clear in their endorsement of Moore’s “scientific” rejection of the climate change evidence and science. We’ve seen how the pro-GMO activists bring this same attitude toward science to their views of genetics, biology, ecology, and agriculture.
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Be sure to check out the extended list of climate change deniers, all or almost all STEM-credentialed. True, many of them seem unable to tell the difference between their first and last names, but the list is still a stark testimony to the character of today’s establishment scientism.
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I’m tempted to say that this petition is an excellent idea. What could be better than the pro-GMO activist movement proclaiming its formal endorsement of climate change denial before the world? It would certainly be more refreshing and clarifying than Monsanto’s concern-trolling with its “no-till” scam.
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(This post isn’t about climate change skepticism as such, which is a separate phenomenon. It’s about denial among scienticians. These are religious cultists who fraudulently claim the mantle of “science”, and most of whom have formal “credentials”, but whose ideology is really dictated by corporate executives. As we see here, these pseudo-scientific charlatans happily embrace climate change denial when that’s the marching orders they receive from their Big Ag masters. They really have no ideas, no principles, no knowledge, no method, no values, no human existence at all. They’re the lowest, most loathesome form of lying mercenary hack.)

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May 17, 2014

Make It Up on (Propaganda) Volume – The Golden Rice Hoax Marches On

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The hoax product “golden rice” continues to be touted through the corporate media and academia bullhorn. This is even though it doesn’t exist except in flawed experimental form while its own proprietor, the International Rice Research Institute, admits that even if it ever were perfected and available to the public, it may not actually work to reduce vitamin A deficiency. The PR campaign has an inverse ratio of noisy lies to real world achievement.
 
The media continues to spew the typical lies. The fact is that never once has anyone actually tried to deliver “golden rice” anywhere and been prevented from doing so by citizen action. That’s because the product doesn’t exist in deployable form. Researchers continue to struggle to breed an indica variety of the product. Any phony regulatory struggle hasn’t even begun yet, as the technical problems of the project remain insurmountable. Yet we keep being told by professional liars that the US government and the GMO cartel, the most powerful government and one of the most powerful corporate oligopoly sectors on earth, are being thwarted by “powerful forces”. When I ponder the flimsiness and sheer idiocy of the lies GMO proponents tell, I don’t know what’s greater, these people’s moral depravity or their intellectual stupidity.
 
Of course, citizens will indeed fight wherever we have to, as we do vs. every other predatory poison GMO.
 
The fact is that golden rice has never been anything more than a media hoax. Since all real-world GMOs are simply poison delivery systems (they either produce insecticide inside their own tissues, and/or can withstand having herbicide sprayed upon them, which then suffuses all their tissues), the core propgagnda gambit of the GMO cartel, that GMOs are necessary to “feed the world”, seems suspicious on its face. This has actually long since been proven to be false. Since corporate agriculture has been in control of global agriculture and food systems for over fifty years, and the world now produces enough food for 10 billion people, and yet of 7 billion alive now over 1 billion go hungry, it’s a proven fact that corporate agriculture cannot feed the world and does not want to. Which stands to reason, since corporate agriculture doesn’t produce food, it produces commodities.
 
When you think about it for a moment, and add the fact that GMOs do nothing but double down on every aspect of corporate industrial agriculture, it becomes obvious that “feed the world” is nothing more or less than a classical Big Lie.
 
That’s the huge hurdle the pro-GMO liars have to surmount in their propaganda. How to get people not to think! The “golden rice” hoax was concocted toward this goal. It’s said to be humanitarian, it’s about vitamins rather than poison, it piggybacks on the immiseration/helplessness theme of the Green Revolution and 80s-era celebrity philanthropy, it’s allegedly being offered to the disadvantaged “Third World” as charity.
 
These are all standard lies. What the global South needs is the revitalization and strengthening of its own agricultural systems in order to produce food for itself on its own land, rather than the accelerating destruction of its self-sustaining community agriculture in favor of corporate commodity plantations on stolen land.
 
The epidemic of vitamin A deficiency is a direct result of this destruction of sustainable agricultural communities. Throughout agricultural history people have grown a plethora of regionally-adapted nutrient-rich crops, including the root crops and leafy vegetables which are rich in vitamin A. But all this is lost to industrialized farmers who grow not food but export commodities, and the much vaster mass of ex-farmers driven off their land and into shantytowns. Those who are driven off their land lose all ability to provide any food for themselves and their people, while those who hang on as industrial farm laborers also lose their ability to grow nutritious food, since they now grow only commodities.
 
The epidemic of night blindness is a typical proof that those economically destroyed by commodification cannot use cash to buy what they need. Specifically, it’s one of many pieces of proof that corporate ag cannot “feed the world”. Since it was the corporate control of agriculture which generated the epidemic in the first place, why would any sane person trust them to provide the solution using their own methods? It’s self evidently a lie.
 
Meanwhile in the Philippines a government program of vitamin A supplementation has already temporarily treated the symptom, and vitamin A deficiency is no longer a major problem, or won’t be so long as this program exists. So why is such a golden rice propaganda offensive being undertaken there? Precisely because the corporate system seeks to eradicate the few effective government programs which still exist. The successful Philippine program is an ongoing affront to corporatism. The privatization of all “solutions” is of course a major goal in itself.
 
Of course supplementation is no real solution. The problem is the destruction of humanity’s organic presence on the land and the naturally nutritious diet which goes with this. The true solution is to transform our agriculture on an agroecological basis and our communities and economies on a food sovereignty basis. This is the only way forward, from the point of view of big problems like the unsustainability of industrial agriculture, the wholesale toxification of our natural environment, climate change, and escalating economic and political tyranny, all the way down to specific problems like vitamin A deficiency disease.
 
Meanwhile “golden rice”, if it worked, would be nothing but a glorified vitamin supplement. But this vitamin supplement would be the result of a properly configured “public-private partnership”, where the public pays all the costs and bears all the risks while the corporations glean all the profit. Although Syngenta claims to have “donated” its patents on golden rice, this only contemplates the product’s targeted humanitarian “demonstration” stage. If the product were ever truly commercialized, this commercialization would be on the standard proprietary basis. Even the IRRI explicitly reserves the right to take out patents. But the fact that Syngenta seeks to drum up such an altruistic propaganda nimbus is in itself a strong indication that the product is not expected to ever work in a practical way, but is intended to never be anything more than the sum of its hype.

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January 13, 2014

Climate Change, “Green Capitalism”, and Abolitionism

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It’s long been obvious to me that Western governments will never mitigate one iota of GHG emissions, nor will global corporatism as a whole. They’re going to burn every BTU worth of fossil fuel they can extract. That’s a done deal. Nor is anyone within the system interested in any kind of adaptation. For both mitigation and adaptation, all we have are scams. As with everything else, these are most pronounced in the agricultural sector.
 
That stands to reason. Taken as a whole industrial agriculture is the worst driver of climate change, since it’s the #1 GHG emitter and the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
That’s why the one and only answer, here as with every other issue, for both mitigation and adaptation, is to abolish corporate agriculture and transform to agroecology on a food sovereignty basis. This is what’s necessary, and only this will be sufficient. Strategy and tactics have to be geared to meet this objective, with no other prejudice. Everything else is a fraud. This piece gives a good overview of the “green capitalism” scam. It’s hard to believe anyone was ever naive enough to think capitalism, which must continue to expand, violate, and subjugate in order to exist, could ever be reconciled with environmentalism. On the contrary, all this was an earlier version of what with GMOs is called the “coexistence” scam.
 
The Truthout piece is good in skewering all these frauds. As for its prescriptions, it’s not wrong, but it’s still mired in the whole “socialism vs. capitalism” ideological morass, not to mention that it has a scarcity-based mentality and rhetoric. None of that’s going to fly. People are sick of obsolete ideology, and to tell people that we face scarcity is likely to make them more conservative. By “conservative” I’m referring to temperament and unwillingness to rock the boat. That’s why GMO labeling campaigns fail.
 
But the fact is that this is a world of abundance, and we can have broad-based, democratic abundance if we break the corporate stranglehold. I would like to recast all conceptions of scarcity, even the ones which are actually physically based, as political bottlenecks caused by corporatism. It’s certainly true that corporations directly cause or badly aggravate every problem humanity faces. Which leads to the political program: A movement dedicated to abolishing corporations and corporatism. It has a clear goal, rather than the intentional vagueness of past ideologies, and I think it offers lots of opportunities to drive political wedges, to slash through all the obsolete, by now tribal dichotomies which no longer reflect any kind of reality, but are on the contrary a misdirection and escape from reality – “left vs. right”, “liberal vs. conservative”, “Republican vs. Democrat”, etc.
 
As for the measly notion of carbon taxes, command-and-control, etc., there’s no chance of mustering anyone to fight for that. It’s too picayune a goal, and yet to win a such a temporary victory would take just as hard a fight as to wipe out the enemy once and for all. That goal’s not going to stir the soul, fire the imagination, set people in motion driven by an inner flame. But a movement which sets great goals could possibly do this.

 
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January 8, 2014

New York Times Compendium of Lies is a Prime Exercise in Streicherism

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The New York Times has always been one of the most ardently pro-GMO publications. This is part of the NYT’s role in setting the standard for the corporate media, where it comes to the major oligopoly sectors, the police state, the permanent war, and every other aspect of corporate tyranny.
 
This past Sunday’s NYT/Monsanto infomercial [1; I’m putting all the links at the bottom because there’s so many and the WordPress posting program has gone screwy, making insertion a difficult process] may be the single worst corporate media hack job I’ve ever seen, which is saying alot. It’s a kind of mainstream media coming-out party for every canned lie of commission and omission which has been worming its way from the Monsanto blogs to the mainstream. While pro-GMO puff pieces are nothing new in the NYT or the corporate media as a whole, I’m not aware of such a complete packaging of flat-out lies so prominently featured on the front page of the “paper of record”.
 
This record will be one for the New Nuremburg indictments, if humanity can ever see its way to victory over this most insidious and comprehensive evil it has ever confronted.
 
*The literary conceit of the piece is a standard of GMO propaganda – the former GMO opponent who has now seen the light. For years the PR machine has trotted out several such hacks, such as Patrick Moore who was allegedly an environmentalist back in the 60s. Starting a year ago the GM cartel launched a media offensive centered on Mark Lynas, a long-time ideological adventurer turned mercenary who poses as having been a “founder” of the anti-GMO movement, although he was never involved with any movement at all. In this piece the NYT hack presents a Hawaiian politician as the latest convert to the GMO gospel.
 
One wonders what, other than a payoff, could have changed his mind, since the piece presents zero evidence for why anyone should. On the contrary, it does nothing but spew premeditated lies.
 
*Without naming the Seralini study, probably because the scribbler doesn’t want people looking it up, the piece refers to it as having been “thoroughly debunked”. In truth, the Seralini study has withstood an unprecedented campaign of media lies, sophistries, and the personal slander of its authors, and its results stand as constituting the best study we have on the effects of GMOs and Roundup [2]. Check that link for a rundown on the study’s findings and how it was superior in every way to every Monsanto study which preceded it.
 
The journal, “Food and Chemical Toxicology”, retracted the study after coming under immense pressure from the cartel for over a year, including being forced to accept a Monsanto cadre onto its editorial board [3]. It was only then that Monsanto was able to work from within to cause the journal to retract the study. The retraction was done in defiance of Committee on Publication Ethics (of which FCT is a member) protocols. It was a blatant case of ideological censorship of science.
 
The NYT has now made its stand clearly on the side of ideology and censorship, and against science.
 
*This is confirmed in the very next paragraph, which repeats the debunked canned lie, that there’s a “scientific consensus” in support of GMO safety. This is self-evidently false [4], as is proven by the recent statement by the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), “There Is No Consensus on GMO Safety” [5], which has been signed by hundreds of scientists.
 
The NYT is aware of this statement, and is aware of the fact that there’s never been anything approaching such a “consensus”, but has chosen brazenly to repeat this canned lie.
 
There is in fact a consensus among independent scientists that GMOs are not known to be safe [6], that there are reasons for concern and substantial evidence to back up those concerns, and that long-term rigorous safety testing should be done prior to the commercialization of GMOs.
 
Meanwhile, no scientists support GMOs, only mercenary technicians paid by industry. The piece later offers examples of alleged “independent” support for GMOs, but its examples are all pillars of the system.
 
It starts with the standard NYT lie and political misdirection which tries to separate government from corporations and to oppose them to one another. But the corporate state is a monolith, and the job of government regulators is to support the corporate imperative while putting their fraudulent seal of “safety” approval upon its products. The same is true of the WHO (which adopted industry-written standards for allergenic testing of GMOs) and corporatized professional associations like the National Academy of Sciences. Meanwhile, when the leadership of the American Association for the Advancement of Science unilaterally issued a statement opposing GMO labeling, there was a veritable revolt among the rank and file publicly denouncing the statement and declaring that the leadership (including several industry-paid mercenaries) didn’t speak for them [7].
 
This is a common pattern. The FDA, the USDA, the UK Food Standards Agency, the AMA, the British Medical Association, the Royal Society of Canada, are just a few examples of government and professional groups where political appointees and corrupt mercenaries among the leadership promoted an anti-scientific pro-GMO line over the objections of large numbers of the working scientists among the rank and file.
 
(I remember how during the Bush years the NYT and others were sometimes willing to discuss this phenomenon where it came to environmental and other kinds of regulatory agencies. But even then it was verboten to investigate the anti-scientific rubber-stamp corruption and collaboration of regulatory agencies with the GMO cartel.) 
 
*Having opened up with those lies, the piece proceeds with the fraudulent trope that “scientists” are for GMOs, while consistently depicting anyone opposed to GMOs or corporate agriculture as such in an infantile, emotional way. This too turns the truth upside down, as it’s the GMO flacks who are consistently shrill and emotional in attacking anyone who questions GMOs in the most scabrous personal terms. This is because GMO proponents in fact have no good arguments or evidence on their side, and could never hope to win a rational debate. They have literally zero science in accord with their advocacy. On the contrary, from day one the GMO assault has relied on nothing but ideological dogma (“substantial equivalence”), junk science (one gene = one trait, to mention just one from the long list of pseudo-scientific lies), Big Lies (“feed the world”), fraudulent feeding tests (testing only industry parameters like quick weight gain, never safety issues, intentionally of too short a duration, using bogus reference groups to generate noise, etc.) corporate welfare, monopoly muscle, and thuggery.
 
*Speaking of Big Lies, the piece alludes to the Big Lie that GMOs are needed to Feed the World. “At stake is how to grow food most efficiently, at a time when a warming world and a growing population make that goal all the more urgent.”
 
Based on that, you might think there would follow a pro- and con- of corporate agriculture vs. agroecology. But no, the piece assumes corporate ag as normative throughout, and never subjects GMOs to a criticism nor even mentions the alternative.
 
For good reason – corporate ag and GMOs are already a proven failure, while the evidence is overwhelming that agroecology produces far more and better food than industrial ag [8], even now in the period of cheap fossil fuels. Since cheap fossil fuels, along with aquifer water and industrially mined phosphorus, are finite, industrial ag is unsustainable. Once one or more of these inputs upon which industrial ag is dependent becomes economically or physically impossible, industrial ag will become impossible.
 
Corporate agriculture, meanwhile, has already proven that it cannot [9] and does not want to “feed the world” [10]. Corporations have been fully in charge of globalized food production and distribution for over fifty years now. Right now the earth and farmers produce enough food for ten billion people, yet out of 6.5 billion on earth two billion suffer from hunger, malnutrition, or other diseases related to poor diets.
 
To any honest, rational person this proves that corporations cannot “feed the world”, and that we need a completely different mode of production and distribution. But physical production with agroecology or non-GMO conventional agriculture is not a problem. GMOs are completely unnecessary to increase production in the first place, and in the second place are actually agriculturally inferior and yield less than non-GM conventional equivalents [11].
 
Agroecology offers a vibrant and plentiful way forward for agriculture, democracy, and humanity. But it can’t be enclosed and dominated by corporatism [12]. That’s precisely why the NYT and the rest of the corporate media suppress knowledge about it. According to a new analysis of corporate media pro-GMO propaganda [13], the magisterial 2008 report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science, Technology, and Knowledge for Development (IAASTD) [14] which strongly finds for agroecology and against GMOs has never been mentioned in NYT “news” coverage. This constitutes a systematic suppression of the truth on the part of the NYT. The blackout continues in this hack piece.
 
*Several times the author and her fellow hacks she quotes in the piece try to draw a parallel between climate change denial and opposition to GMOs. But as always the truth is the opposite. It’s the proponents who are climate change deniers or derelicts, since industrial agriculture is the most egregious emitter of greenhouse gases and destroyer of carbon sinks. If we really care about climate change and really want to do something about it, our only option is to fight to abolish industrial ag and replace it with a complete transformation to agroecology on a food sovereignty basis, and along the way to do all we can to preserve the great variety of regionally/climatically adapted seed varieties which will be necessary for agriculture to adapt. There’s no other meaningful course of action. GMOs, of course, comprise a doubling down on industrial ag, and therefore on making the effects of climate change the worst they can possibly be. The GMO cartel is also explicit that its goal is to eradicate seed diversity and replace it with a globally standardized set of a handful of maladaptive, biologically denuded proprietary varieties geared to commodity monocropping, which are guaranteed to fail, and already are failing [15].
 
It’s the opposition to GMOs which is on the side of climate science, while the proponents are on the pro-corporate side of the deniers. But a far more perfect parallel is with the history of tobacco science and anti-science. Big Tobacco engaged in the exact same propaganda and obfuscation program, enlisted the same pseudo-scientific mercenaries, told the same kinds of lies, shouted down the science in the same way, got the same kind of support from regulators and media, and was able to continue perpetrating mass murder.
 
We GMO abolitionists are in the same scientific, moral, and historical position as the early activists of the anti-tobacco movement.
 
I’ll add that GMO proponents are evolution deniers, since it’s obvious from Evolution 101 that superweeds and superbugs will develop resistance to herbicides and endemic crop poisons. They’ve been doing so, and are doing so at an accelerating rate. GMOs also escalate the already dire crisis of microbial antibiotic resistance driven by promiscuous subtherapeutic use on factory farms. GMOs are engineered to include an antibiotic resistance marker (ARM) by which the cultured cells which took up the transgene are identified. (After the insertion, the whole batch is drenched with antibiotics, and only the cells which incorporated the transgene including the ARM aren’t killed.) So GMO DNA spreads antibiotic resistance throughout the microbial communities of the soil, our mouths, our digestive tracts. This is a pending public health catastrophe. While in a just universe only GMO and CAFO supporters would sicken and die from antibiotic resistant microbes, unfortunately human beings are also vulnerable. 
 
*The piece keeps engaging in standard NYT political misdirection, representing agricultural and food issues as “liberal vs. conservative” or “left vs. right”. In truth GMOs and the wholesale poisoning of our food may be the best example of the pure divide of humanity vs. corporatism which slices through all these obsolete identifiers. But a job of the corporate media is to try to keep people ignorant and pigeonholed into these hermetic, unreal categories.
 
The struggle is also that of science vs. anti-science. How does science work where it comes to a dubious technology like GMOs? It must begin with the precautionary principle. This means it must begin with some basic questions.
 
1. Do we need this? Agricultural science has already given a clear answer: No. Agroecology and non-GM conventional agriculture are both superior to GMOs in every way.
 
2. Are there alternatives? The science is clear: Yes. Again, agroecology and non-GM conventional agriculture are both superior to GMOs in every way where it comes to productivity. As for the distribution of food, we already know that corporate agriculture is a failure. So reason and the scientific mindset are clear that the distribution system has to be changed. We know that Food Sovereignty [16], food production and distribution based on economic and political democracy, distributes far more food on a fair basis to everyone. It’s a clear alternative to corporatism, and the only alternative to corporate tyranny and indenture.
 
3. Is it safe? Science says GMOs have to be subjected to mandatory rigorous long-term safety testing. The NYT piece quotes a hack who tells the lie that such testing has been done.
 
But the fact is that GMOs were first legalized under the “substantial equivalence” ideological dogma, over the vehement objections of FDA scientists who pointed out that it was a lie. But not only was no long-term safety testing EVER done or required by any government, but this dogma was invented to provide an ideological justification for why this testing allegedly wasn’t necessary.
 
The truth is the exact opposite. Science has decided strongly against GMOs.
 
-All independent studies, as well as most of the rigged industry tests, have found evidence of toxicity. Often they’ve found evidence that GMOs cause cancer as well.
 
-The hacks have no rebuttal, no facts, no arguments. They’ve never been able to do anything but try to shut down the science, from secrecy and censorship of their own results, to withholding research materials from independent researchers, to demonizing the independent science which is done.
 
-Meanwhile Monsanto implicitly concedes the validity of the Seralini study, the Puzstai study, and the rest of the many studies which found strong evidence of heath dangers, since it has always refused to spend the pennies it would cost to replicate those studies.
 
But that’s how science works. If you think a study was badly done, you redo it, correcting only the parts of the methodology you find faulty, and see if you get a different result. That’s all Seralini did – he redid Monsanto’s own studies, changing only their methodological frauds, but otherwise using the same kind of rat, the same sample sizes, etc.
 
The fact that Monsanto does not do the same is a concession on Monsanto’s part.
 
*The examples of “studies” which gave GMOs a green light are frauds. An EU “comprehensive review”, and a list of animal tests maintained by the cartel site “Biofortified” (the piece lies about its independence), are two of several reviews which merely list a bunch of rigged industry tests. There are no legitimate safety studies on these lists. They’re mostly feeding trials which were set up to measure only industry parameters (quick weight gain, conversion of macronutrients, and similar metrics which have zero to do with safety in the human diet), were too short to give a meaningful measure of human toxicity and other health effects (usually 90 days with rats, a duration calibrated to ensure chronic health effects wouldn’t become clear; that’s why tests of such duration are called “subchronic”), and were unscientifically designed to include bogus “reference” groups having nothing to do with the ostensible object of the study, but designed to generate noise and drown out signal.
 
Earth Open Source was able to identify only three safety tests in the entire report [17]. These were too short but at least measured some health parameters. These three all found evidence of toxicity and altered composition and were ambivalent in their conclusions.
 
Even in spite of all these intentional barriers, these industry tests nevertheless often found evidence of toxicity. The Seralini experiment was nothing more or less than a replication of several of the most prominent of these bogus tests which still found evidence of toxicity, changing only the duration (from the unscientific 90 days to the scientific 2 years) and measuring toxicity parameters so that these effects could be scientifically measured rather than merely noted as in the industry tests.
 
The funniest thing about the EU report is that even though it was designed to be pro-GMO, its result was so tepid that the hacks haven’t been inclined to cite the report itself, but instead always cite a press release written about it by the pro-GM UKFSA which depicts the report in much stronger terms than the what the report actually says. So their own propaganda report was too weak for them.
 
It’s no surprise. The most amazing thing about the pro-GM propaganda machine is that for all the money and power behind it, and for all the noise and emotionality it spews, its lies are so flimsy, its arguments so transparently false. 
 
*One interesting detail is the citation of an earlier (2012) hack piece at NPR [18]. Here we see an example of the “liberal media” equivalent of similar processes by which canned lies percolate up through the “right-wing” media [19]. The canned lies start with the cartel itself and its affiliated blogs and listservs like Biofortified and AgBioWorld. From there they worm their way along the media food chain, reach a place like NPR, Mother Jones [20], or the Huffington Post [21], and from there can leap to the NYT front page.
 
(But there’s plenty of cross-pollination between “liberal” and “conservative” media channels. See this Politico piece [22] for an example of how the pro-industry code word “patchwork” has migrated over the years from Frank Luntz memos to become a standard term of mainstream media reportage.)
 
*The piece regurgitates the always-confused lie about the ongoing India cotton farmer genocide. In this case the intrepid politician’s quote contradicts the scribbler’s paraphrase of a tendentious “Nature” article. The former blames the mass suicides on debt, while the latter claims farmers are more profitable than before. (Even the pro-GM Indian government is unable to keep that lie straight. [23]) If they’re more profitable, by which we’re supposed to understand they’re doing better financially, then how can they be driven by debt to suicide?
 
Meanwhile the quote is absurd. It’s the GMO treadmill which aggravated the pre-existing industrial ag indenture treadmill. GMOs escalated the existing pathology where farmers were induced by government lies and threats to incur debt to shackle themselves to expensive inputs. Once you’re in the trap, it’s almost impossible to get out, which is why over 300,000 have been driven by their despair to kill themselves, often by drinking their own pesticides, a death-by-poison symbolic of how Bt cotton doesn’t even work at the one and only thing it was supposed to do, kill insect pests and so obviate the need to purchase additional insecticides. This extra input the farmers were promised they’d never have to buy, along with the soaring price of GMO seeds and artificial irrigation the crops require but which the farmers weren’t originally told about, is what has driven the debt catastrophe and the suicide wave it’s provoked. This is why it’s not just a mass suicide but the genocide of an economically superflous group. Monsanto and the Indian government want to clear the land for large-scale industrial farms, Stalin-fashion.
 
But none of this will appear in the NYT, or even a hint of understanding what sharecropping is. That’s because here as everywhere else the NYT’s job is to suppress the truth and replace it with lies and a void of forgetting.
 
*The piece has a sequence where its bumbling politician protagonist, along with the reader, is tutored by a cadre from an unidentified “national agriculture research center”. This “tutorial” is really a compendium of elementary falsehoods about genetic engineering and contamination.
 
Later the scribbler sniffs at “Jeffrey Smith, a self-styled expert on GMOs with no scientific credentials”. The NYT hack does not explain exactly what credential a molecular biologist like Jon Suzuki (the aforementioned “tutor”) has to speak about agriculture, or a plant technician like Pam Ronald (the charlatan whose own studies are being retracted left and right for actual incompetence and misconduct [24]) has to speak about human toxicity and carcinogenicity. But this kind of double standard is the regular journalistic standard at the New York Times. Anyone who speaks for concentrated power is considered an expert by definition, while anyone who dissents from corporatism is considered an outlaw. Thus other NYT pieces have depicted John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Rajiv Shad, Michael Taylor, and other power cadres with zero technical credentials whatsoever as experts on GMOs.
 
*There’s plenty of other distortions and lies in the piece. This hatchet job on science, reason, morality, and simple truth and human decency is perhaps the worst which has ever appeared so prominently in the corporate media, which is saying alot.
 
I cited Julius Streicher in my title, not as just some off-the-cuff Nazi allusion, but to make a specific comparison. The Nuremburg tribunal held Streicher accountable for his journalistic activities on behalf of the Nazi conspiracy against the peace and to commit crimes against humanity [25]. Those are the two counts on which he was indicted. He was convicted of committing crimes against humanity and was hanged. If Goebbels had survived to be put on trial, he would’ve been convicted and hanged in the exact same way.
 
I point this out to place the kind of media propaganda campaign we’re seeing today on Monsanto’s behalf in historical and moral perspective. These are two perspectives almost always morbidly lacking in today’s thought and discourse. But if humanity wants to survive, we’d better start thinking and talking about them.
 
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December 19, 2013

Brazil: The Good News and Bad

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1. Brazil’s soy farmers have filed lawsuits against Monsanto seeking over 1.9 Brazilian real (over $1 billion). These suits are seeking to restitute the vast amount Monsanto has stolen from them in the form of its illegal tax on their production. This is the latest in a legal saga which has been going on for five years.
 
As things have been, Monsanto not only sells its Roundup Ready Intacta soybean seeds at an extortionate premium, but also forcibly demands a tax on the harvest at the processing point.
 
The basic timeline:
 
* In 2009, farmers from the core soy-growing province of Rio Grande do Sul filed their original suit.
 
* By June 2012 they had won a series of judgements in the federal and supreme courts over procedure and the jurisdictional extent of any eventual final judgement. These all involved typical legal maneuvering by Monsanto, trying to either get the case thrown out or limit the import of any judgement. But it lost across the board.
 
* In February 2013 the Brazilian supreme court affirmed the prior judgements. The situation is clear – if Monsanto loses at trial, it loses utterly, throughout Brazil, with no further procedural recourse.
 
* July 2013. The farmers’ union Famato, which has been coordinating the action, tried to sell out its constituents by making a deal with Monsanto. This deal, for a “rebate” on Monsanto’s new soybean line Roundup Ready Intacta 2 Pro (RR2P), would have gutted the lawsuit, forced farmers to sign away all their legal and constitutional rights, further subjected them to Monsanto’s indenture and control, and further shackled them to GM soy production, the very thing increasing numbers of farmers hope to escape.
 
* October 2013. A federal court invalidated the “deal” on the grounds that it’s a coercive contract. The court rules that Monsanto may not use its market position in such a predatory way as to force farmers to sign the contract as a condition of buying RR2P. It ruled that such a demand is abusive and may be illegal under consumer law.
 
Now the farmers are resuming their original suit.
 
The basic principles at stake here are:
 
A. The illegitimacy of Monsanto’s tax regime. We must be clear that corporate levies like this are TAXES. Big corporations are government entities.
 
B. Unlike in countries like the US where “intellectual property” doctrine is legally supreme, and unlike the trend around the world toward criminalizing all non-corporate seeds, Brazil has a relatively liberal seed system, which preserves age-old farmer and human rights. What Monsanto has been doing through its tax-extraction regime, and what it has now sought to do through its coercive contracts, is to crush Brazilian seed freedom through economic warfare.
 
C. This is a typical example of a corporation trying to use monopoly power to destroy a constitution, a rule of law, a traditional social system, and the rights of a particular group (farmers) and, by extension, of all people.
 
D. As the court found in October, this is an illegal contract, because it is being forced by an overwhelmingly strong power upon weaker participants who have no other option. Therefore, this is a rare example where a court is upholding the basic moral and legal principle that a contract can be valid only among equals. This is among the traditional basic principles of what a contract can be. To violate this principle renders a so-called “contract” an “unconscionable contract of adhesion”. In US law, such contracts used to prevail during the law-of-the-jungle time called the Lochner period. For much of the twentieth century these coercive contracts were somewhat curtailed (but never completely purged) by the federal courts.
 
But in 2011, in the AT&T vs. Concepcion decision, the US supreme court fully restored the law of the jungle. Today there’s no limit to what regulations the corporations can force upon us, as a condition of our signing “voluntary” contracts which aren’t voluntary at all. (Do you want to have telephone service? Then you have to sign the kind of contract that case involved. Of course you’re free to “choose” not to have a phone at all.)
 
In the Brazilian case we have a rare example of the court calling a spade a spade, and finding that where there’s no real choice, there can be no legitimate contract, no rule of law, only might-makes-right coercion.
 
Of course, this coercion will continue to be the norm for as long as corporations exist.
 
E. Famato’s action provides yet another cautionary tale about how we must never trust existing NGOs, unions, etc. Nothing short of dedicated abolitionist organizations shall suffice.
 
F. One of the most offensive parts of the Monsanto regime was how it would extort its tax from non-GM soy farmers whose product was found to have been contaminated by the GM trait. This contamination is rife and aggressive. We see here a prime example of how co-existence between GMOs and non-GM farming is impossible, how contamination is inevitable, and how Monsanto intentionally and systematically seeks to use this contamination as an aggressive weapon.
 
As with contractual doctrine, so here too we have a rare example where the courts seem to be correctly seeing this contamination as a trespass, and Monsanto’s demands upon the victim as comprising aggression and extortion. But the norm in places like the US and Canada is the opposite – Monsanto can aggressively trespass on your property and contaminate your crops, and then sue you for the contamination, for having “stolen” ITS “property”.
 
The Brazilian legal anomaly notwithstanding, we must take the overall case of Brazilian soy as another piece of proof: GMOs are environmentally and socioeconomically totalitarian. Humanity cannot coexist with them. We must abolish them completely.
 
2. In the second big piece of news from Brazil, the government’s Judicial Commission may imminently authorize legislation to legalize Terminator seeds. This would break a promise the Commission issued in October, at the same time that massive pressure from the people forced the Congress to backpedal on a bill it was proposing.
 
In October I wrote a post detailing the evils and threats of the Terminator technology, so I won’t detail these again here. To sum up, Terminator GMOs are destructive in all the same ways as regular GMOs, but potentially even worse.
 
I’ll add one point here. The Terminator propaganda in Brazil contains a heavy greenwashing element. The gang which has been taking the lead in lobbying for it wants to grow GM trees for various industrial purposes. Since trees are long-lived perennials, the contamination potential from the spread of GM tree pollen is tremendous. For this reason, even otherwise GM-friendly governments are often more leery of legalizing GM trees.
 
In response to this, industry is clamoring for the Terminator technology as something “eco-friendly”, since the sterile trees allegedly won’t be spreading their seeds and pollen.
 
We can reply that, as always with any GMO, there’s no need whatsoever for GM trees to be planted in the first place, or to exist at all. So the truly environmentally sound way to deal with them is to not allow them in the first place.
 
Secondly, these tree plantations will simply destroy and supplant yet more rain forest.
 
Whenever you hear any hack, whether it be from the cartels, or from an industrial farmer group, or from a corporate “environmental” front group like the WWF or TNC, claim that anything about GMOs and industrial agriculture can be environmentally sound, and especially that it’s “climate-friendly”, if you’re ever in any doubt, just remember the basic calculus – soy farming, industrial beef production, tree plantations, ethanol production, and any other aspect of corporate agriculture in South America, means ever more relentless and inexorable destruction of the rain forest.
 
Just one of the many ways in which industrial ag is by far the worst contributor to climate change and the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
3. I’ll close with a brief thought on the link between these two Brazilian threads. Monsanto’s goal is total domination, through total enclosure of the seed supply, and from there control over the entire agricultural and food systems. So far it’s been content to use the “intellectual property” regime to enforce its control of seeds.
 
But if there remain places like Brazil where Monsanto’s not able to enforce full domination through the legal system, it’ll then want to deploy the Terminator technology.
 
Of course, in the long run the GMO cartel will want to replace regular GMOs with the Terminator anyway, since for several reasons the Terminator can be more profitable. But as history has shown, and is showing today through the massive outcry and bottom-up pressure the Brazilian Commission’s proposed action has provoked, the Terminator is so politically inflammatory that the cartel has held back.
 
But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’ve chosen this particular time and place to seek a breach in the thirteen-year global moratorium on the Terminator. As we see here, if anywhere a legal system does recognize any value other than the corporate prerogative, the corporations will respond with whatever level and form of aggression they can.
 
It’s an example of what I mean when I say that corporations are totalitarian.
 
There can be no coexistence between humanity and GMOs. We must abolish them completely.

 
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