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August 4, 2015

There Is No Science of Big Agriculture

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There is no valid science underlying Big Agriculture’s practices, just empiricism. While propped up by cheap, plentiful fossil fuels and aquifer water, along with massive government subsidies, Big Ag has been successful at concentrating power and wealth, maximizing poison usage for profit and for poison’s own sake, building a modern commodified agricultural input sector (aka agribusiness), and attaining three desirable (from the corporate point of view) socioeconomic outcomes: dispossessing and disenfranchising vast numbers of people by driving them off the land, rendering this mass available as inexpensive industrial labor, providing cheap calories for this proletariat.
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Although the second is no longer a goal, the first and third (nowadays as cheap calories for cheap consumerism) continue in full force.
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Therefore the empiricism has been successful, but the science is 100% against the basic ideas and practices.
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1. Industrial agriculture is based on a completely false and anti-scientific view of nature. It comprehends nature as a machine with discrete, interchangeable, mass-producible parts. This comes from 19th century agricultural dogma which decreed that all plant growth and health is based on three nutrients: Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K). The dogma holds that only these three important nutrients are necessary and sufficient for plant growth. This led to what organic agriculture pioneer Albert Howard called “the NPK mentality”, which would reduce all natural processes to simple manipulations of a few variables, preferably supplied synthetically and from off the farm. Once you’ve simplified everything that way, and done so in a way which recognizes only a few readily industrialized factors as meaningful, your path is open to organize everything according to the rhythms of industrialization, mechanization, corporate organization, and power and wealth accumulation.
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The NPK mentality was the perfect ideology to complement the rising industrialization of agriculture and its increasing control by big corporations and governments. Who cares that food production and distribution was always naturally locally and regionally based? Since agriculture is nothing but the measured application of three nutrients and some water, it’s best to put it under the control of centralized power hierarchies who can deliver these few inputs most prodigiously and efficiently.
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We find the same crackpot view of nature in Big Ag’s concept of the soil. The NPK ideology considers the soil to be an inert medium, there just to hold the roots in place. This is completely false. On the contrary, the soil comprises a rich ecosystem of microbes, annelids (like earthworms), and other organisms. These engage in an incredibly complex interaction among themselves and with a vast array of soil nutrients, far beyond the big three of industrial dogma, to create the organic basis of plant growth. Plants depend upon this soil ecology for their nutrition, for water (an organically healthy soil retains moisture far better than the sterile soils of monoculture), for the physical integrity of their roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits. Plant health starts from soil health (and of course seed health), and plant resistance to pests and disease depends upon the basic health of the plant and the soil.
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To sum up:
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Ideologically, NPK is the specifically agricultural version of scientific mechanism/reductionism, whose entire record proves its great limitations for real-world explanation and prescription, as well its psychopathy: It started with the dogma that animals are mere machines which feel no pain. From day one this was intended to justify cruelty to people as well as animals.
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Factually, NPK has long since been debunked as junk science. Plants require a far greater array of nutrients than the big three of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. And far from being an inert medium, soil is a critical ecosystem, both for agriculture and for the environment in general.
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Another reductive notion related to the NPK ideology is a distorted version of germ theory which claims that a germ comes along and “causes” a disease. This too is crackpot science. Organic terrain theory has proven the opposite. In most cases, for there to be a significant incidence of a disease, the pathogen must first find the right habitat (the “terrain”) where it can thrive, and then it must find an already weak target. This is the usual scenario where an epidemic breaks out. In agriculture, pest or disease outbreaks are usually from a combination of three factors: A degraded habitat provides the right terrain for a pathogen to proliferate, and unhealthy crops provide a good target for this pathogen. Of course to acknowledge the real science here would deprive industrial agriculture of another pillar of its fraudulent ideology and “science”.
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2. The Poisoner ideology exalts poison for its own sake and sees it as the only way to deal with agricultural pests or any other problem with living things. For corporate and industrial agriculture ideologues, this appetite for poison has calcified into a mental constriction unable even to think in a broader, let alone new, way. Then there’s the veritably religious cult of poison worship among scienticians and the militarist technology and mindset brought to agriculture. The same engineers who worked on poison gas weapons, insecticides and herbicides for the military now brought the technology, the mindset, the terminology to civilian life. It’s not much of a stretch since with poison-based agriculture the practitioners focus not on growing crops by balancing an ecosystem, but on growing them by killing an enemy. Big Ag ideology is a propaganda-driven extension of the history of poison-based agriculture as war technology refurbished for civilian use.
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Genetic engineering and the poisoner ideology are especially narrow, myopic, fraudulent, and destructive manifestations of the reductionist mechanist ideology. These will get their own separate posts.
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A typical example I’ll briefly discuss here is the growing evidence that pesticide synergy, especially the combined effect of the “active ingredient” with so-called “inert ingredients” such as surfactants and adjuvants, is far more toxic than the action of the so-called active ingredient by itself. But one of the standard methodological and regulatory frauds of the corporate science paradigm is to test and regulate only the ivory tower version of the poison which is never deployed in real life, while the far more toxic real-world commercial formulations are never tested by the establishment or regulated. That’s why the system invented the propaganda categories “active ingredient” and “inert ingredient”. These terms have no scientific meaning and do not mean the “inert” ingredients are non-toxic or even less toxic than the “active” component. On the contrary, the whole purpose of the inert ingredients is to render the active ingredient more toxic, and many such as POEA in Roundup are highly toxic in their own right.
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This dogma, that it’s meaningful to study an isolated ingredient and declare this to be sufficient for the combined product which will be deployed in reality, is a typical anti-scientific feature of corporate so-called “science”. The same dynamic applies to the combined effects of many poisons (i.e. multiple “active” ingredients at work); regulators never set upper limits to the combined poisons to be inflicted upon food or water, only each poison by itself. Same for the combined effects of “stacked” multiple-transgene GMOs, and any other synergy. It’s corporate science dogma that a stack or any other combination equals exactly the sum of its parts, nothing more and nothing less. Big Ag corporate science imposes its flat earth dogma across the board. Each individual part is to be considered only by itself and never in conjunction with any other part, no matter how promiscuously these parts are combined in real life.
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3. Big Ag “science” fetishizes industrial monoculture cropping as a kind of orderly, rational system. But much like with fascist mass rallies, in spite of the surface regimentation and “orderliness” monoculture does not mean law and order. On the contrary it means intellectual and agronomic/environmental chaos. Superficially orderly, monoculture is feverish with latent chaos. It’s really a great disorder, the ultimate form of decadence. Monoculture farming wipes out functional, balanced ecosystems and replaces them with a void which then is filled by vermin and disease, which then can only be fought off with an ever-escalating onslaught of poisons. Agriculture can never be removed from ecology. It can exist only as part of an ecological balance, or else it can eradicate this balance and open the void to be filled by pathogens and pests. This is true for all of industrial agriculture. Factory farms comprise the most extreme embodiment, but a monocrop field is the same incubator of biological and environmental pathology. It’s the same on the socioeconomic level, as corporate industrial agriculture wipes out human communities and generates, on one side shantytowns and on the other a small class of super-rich psychopaths and parasites with their pathological support structure. So socially as well monoculture destroys human balance and breeds pathology.
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Contrary to the junk science of Big Ag ideology, real science proves that where it comes to both insects and weeds, greater biodiversity and diversity of organic practice = fewer and more tractable pests. Few gambits in the history of science and technology have so quickly been so thoroughly disproven in principle and practice as have been the two GMO genres, insect resistance and herbicide tolerance. What keeps them in the field is nothing but brute economic and political force and a psychotic religion of poison. But the science has spoken as definitively on this as it ever has on anything – the concept is wrong, the practice doomed.
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Big Ag science’s denial of the evolution of insects and weeds in the face of poison pressure is of course a manifestation of evolution denial as such. We see how readily the ideology disposes of one of the iconic concepts of modern science the moment this concept becomes inconvenient for the corporate propaganda line. Lots more to come on corporate science’s evolution denialism in the GE “science” post.
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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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So monoculture generates, in the short run the void to be filled by pathogens and poison, in the longer run chaos and destruction. It’s the agricultural manifestation of the lawlessness and chaos of corporate rule in general. “The policeman is there to preserve disorder.”
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4. Productionism is the crackpot obsession with “yield” as such, with no concern for how efficiently the calories yielded are used. Only a lunatic would look at how CAFO meat production takes 10 calories of grain* and turns it into for 1 calorie of food for people and call this efficient, rational, or sane. Grain-for-CAFO feed is second only to the GMO regime as an example of how the Big Ag system is set up through government policy and subsidies to promote production for profitable commodification, while food means absolutely nothing in itself**. The agrofuel rathole, as well as the fact that the system wastes up to one third of the food produced, also demonstrate how the yield-based system is not concerned with producing food at all or whether human beings have access to what food is produced. Nothing but profit and power matter, while food is expected to trickle down as an afterthought.
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Here the establishment science directly prostitutes itself by parroting the productionist lies in general (that producing mass calories of field crops has anything to do with food for human beings), as well as through such de jure direct lies as that acre for acre industrial agriculture produces more food than decentralized polyculture agroecology, or that GMOs out-produce either organic production or non-GM conventional. Here the alleged “science” doesn’t even have a false theory, but simply tells direct political lies.
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Each of these concepts/practices is 100% dependent upon cheap fossil fuels, cheap fossil water, cheaply mined phosphorus.
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Each is unsustainable in its own right even given infinite energy.
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Scientism/technocracy ideology exalts sterility, hermetic artificiality, total control, and extreme monocultural conformity as normative, desirable, and as the way nature and scientific truth realistically work. This is the basis of the reductive, mechanist ideology of science which has prevailed since Descartes. But all this is nothing but religious fantasy and falsehood.
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I stress that the whole notion that science is the study of things which can be removed from the general context and studied in hermetic isolation is precisely among the propositions we deny. On the contrary, we insist that science can provide meaningful and worthwhile results only when it’s practiced with an eye to the entire dynamic framework. So it’s in the nature of things that our discussion of science from here on will frequently shift to its interactions with other disciplines and areas of life. While scientific experimentation often artificially isolates certain variables, the findings then must be adapted back to the context of life in order to have validity and meaning. Only this comprehensive discussion can render science anything more than what’s at best sterile scholasticism, and often something far worse.
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Science condemns the industrial agricultural experiment as having failed at everything it ever promised it would do. All it accomplished was to use to use the temporary fossil fuel surplus to produce more gross calories. But it’s been an absolute failure in terms of ending hunger, food’s denuded nutritional value, food toxification, the destruction of the environment including greenhouse gas emissions – the industrial agriculture sector is by far the worst greenhouse gas emitter and worst destroyer of carbon sinks – and the destruction of economies, polities, and communities. Food corporatism and its “Green Revolution” promised to solve all these problems, all of which corporate industrial agriculture generated or exacerbated in the first place. By any scientific standard it’s a proven failure. To wish to continue the experiment is proof that the experimenters were lying about their proclaimed goals all along. Persistence Proves Intent. We know these facts: Corporate rule is purely wasteful and destructive, does nothing for humanity, and accomplishes nothing but to enable a small group of criminals to further concentrate wealth and power and exercise domination. In the end power and domination are their only goals and their only reasons for being.
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*Each of those ten calories requiring many more caloric equivalents of fuel and other inputs, as globalized commodity grain production is extremely inefficient and irrational in itself even before it reaches the factory farm.
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**That’s also how it’s possible for governments, corporations, academia, and media to turn food into poison, or support this poison system, with a clear conscience. In their minds they’ve completely jettisoned any connection of agricultural commodification with food for human beings. It’s very similar to how the Nazi system of assembly line mass murder removed the moral implication from view for most participants. Today, although we don’t (yet) have gas chambers, we do have the hideous assembly line animal cruelty of CAFOs, and the mass dispossession and immiseration of hundreds of millions of people driven off the land and into shantytowns, which are veritable economic concentration camps. The Big Ag system does what it can to render these monumental and ongoing mass crimes invisible to most participants. What little vestige of conscience is left for any of this is met with the “Feed the World” Big Lie, a lie as depraved as that which was posted at the entrance to Auschwitz.
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August 1, 2015

The DARK Act and Going Forward, Labeling and Beyond

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A few more thoughts on labeling and the DARK Act.
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1. I oppose the DARK Act because it’s an intensified centralizing preemptionist legal assault on democracy and community rights. Not just state-level labeling but any kind of lower-level bans on pesticides and/or GMOs as well as initiatives supporting food sovereignty and community food would be outlawed. While in theory this could help hasten a motion toward the civil disobedience/extralegal mindset, in practice this isn’t happening much so far.

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2. As for the effect on labeling in itself, this isn’t as important since the labeling-as-panacea mindset is something we need to get beyond anyway. If anything, I think the idea of labeling as something martyred to corporate power is more useful than the thing itself could ever be.

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3. We already know from examples like that of Scott Faber and Just Label It that labeling advocacy is compatible with a basically pro-Monsanto position. Indeed, labeling advocates used to point to how in Europe Monsanto made a virtue of necessity and pretended to embrace labeling. Of course Monsanto didn’t mean it, but the point is that although Monsanto doesn’t want labeling, it can coexist with it if necessary. Now that kind of “coexistence” is further disproof of the notion that labeling can enable a peaceful coexistence between GMOs and any kind of healthful, democratic food and agriculture.

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The fact that labeling advocates have always touted how their proposed policy can coexist with Monsanto also puts in perspective any claim they ever had that Labeling = Anti-GMO.

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4. I’ve already written many times about why labeling is physically and politically insufficient. Also, non-GMO labeling deals with only one kind of agricultural poison, but lets through many others. The rise of a non-GMO testing and certification sector generates yet another group with a vested interest in the continuation of the GMO regime. Here I’ll make one more point about the politics of it. To whatever extent people are supposed to see labeling as sufficient, and therefore the fight for it as sufficient, it can only function to misdirect energy and passion and delay the abolitionist consciousness and movement. We can be sure that wherever labeling is actually enacted, the party line from both the mainstream system and from professionalized labeling advocates will be, “Now we have to give the labeling system time to work. For now go about your business and stop worrying about it.” This is meant to buy time for Monsanto, and we don’t have time, perhaps many years, to waste.

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5. On the other hand, many people fear and loathe GMOs and other agricultural poisons and want to get rid of them, and turn to labeling because that’s the only action they see being touted. They turn to it because they haven’t yet been able to see an alternative.

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6. So where we talk about labeling, and where we support and get involved with labeling campaigns, and where we oppose measures like the DARK Act on behalf of the idea of labeling, our goal has to be to encourage the latter mindset and oppose and discredit the former. The goal is to use the idea of labeling, and the example of its suppression by Monsanto’s system, to move the discussion and consciousness along the vector from “better consumerism” and “coexistence” to abolitionism.

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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 21, 2015

Glyphosate and Its Advocates Are Cancer

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Since the 1980s we’ve been gathering the evidence that glyphosate, AKA Roundup and other commercial formulations, causes cancer. From the start Monsanto and the US EPA were aware, based on toxic and pre-cancerous kidney effects which manifested in studies commissioned by Monsanto itself, that glyphosate was a likely cancer agent. EPA collaborated with Monsanto in keeping the study data secret, thus inaugurating for glyphosate the currently dominant paradigm of “science” as subject to corporate secrecy and information control.
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Since then laboratory researchers, epidemiologists, and health statisticians have gathered the evidence that glyphosate causes lymphoma and cancers of the brain, breast, prostate, and testicles. Even as the science has developed the links between these cancers and glyphosate, we’ve seen surges in their incidence, just as we’d expect during the period of the great surge of Roundup use as a result of the deployment of Roundup Ready GMOs. We reached a milestone with the official acknowledgement of the UN World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
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Contrary to the Monsanto lies which smeared the IARC as having conducted a cursory review, the IARC has been monitoring the science for many years. In April 2014, nearly a year prior to the 2015 declaration, the IARC published a study reviewing thirty years of scientific evidence linking many agricultural poisons including glyphosate and 2,4-D to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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Today we have the latest study confirming that glyphosate causes cancer. This comes out of Argentina where the truth about glyphosate has long been manifest. Nowhere on earth has glyphosate wrought such health devastation among a populace of innocent bystanders as in the “soy republic” of Argentina and neighboring countries. Here entire landscapes have become sacrifice zones to industrial soy being grown for biodiesel and CAFO feed (NOT for food for people; see below on the “feed the world” Big Lie). Just part of the health carnage has been the doubling, quadrupling, and quintupling of cancer rates and cancer mortality in regions dominated by glyphosate-based soy agriculture.
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What’s significant about the World Health Organization’s finding that glyphosate is a probable cancer agent isn’t that it tells us anything new, but that it’s a major break in the system’s propaganda front. This is why Monsanto and its flacks have reacted so hysterically.
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(Although the WHO as a whole has been consistently pro-Monsanto, the IARC is out of step with the dominant corporate/reductionist ideological framework, instead emphasizing environmental factors in cancer causation.
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Emphasis is placed on elucidating the role of environmental and lifestyle risk factors and studying their interplay with genetic background in population-based studies and appropriate experimental models. This emphasis reflects the understanding that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.

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The proposition that cancer is preventable runs directly counter to the dominant “science” ideology which views cancer as arising from genetic determinism and the acceptable response to be massively expensive and interventionist cures supervised by Big Drug and other corporate sectors. This ideology is driven by the need of the poison-peddling corporations to obscure and deny the fact that profitable products like glyphosate are in fact major cancer drivers. The corporate flacks are abetted by scientism’s religious zealots who refuse to hear any evil spoken of their technological rabbits’ feet.)
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Since the WHO has historically been pro-GMO and pro-poison, the Poisoners have been able to react only awkwardly, absurdly calling for the WHO to “take back” what it said, or inventing such anti-science talking points as that the WHO’s finding applies only to extremely high concentrations. This is contradicted by the evidence the IARC cites, and in general isn’t supported by any rational or scientific proposition or evidence.
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Similarly, pro-poison government regulators have scrambled to limit the damage. We can take Health Canada’s quickly-cobbled-together position as a textbook exercise in the regulator scam. Health Canada says it’ll jigger the labels on Roundup and other glyphosate formulations in order to lessen the probability of poison drift beyond the spray zone and the exposure of farm workers. As I’ve previously described it:
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1. The corporate project is normative and must go on regardless of how worthless, expensive, and destructive it is. Under no circumstances shall the government do anything which would significantly hinder, let alone block, the corporate imperative. Nowhere is this more obviously true than in the case of GMOs, a completely failed, worthless, and destructive product which humanity never wanted, for which no natural market ever existed, which could never have endured even a modestly objective regulatory process, and which has always been 100% dependent on government regulator forbearance and support, corporate welfare, and monopoly muscle.
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In today’s case, Health Canada takes it for granted that overall sales of the #1 herbicide must not be hindered even though it’s a human carcinogen.
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2. Given the parameters of (1), the regulator may try to ameliorate the worst “abuses”, or may just pretend to do so, or may not even pretend. For years Western regulators haven’t cared even to pretend there should be any limit to glyphosate’s license to assault our health. But as we see here, the WHO’s breaking ranks has forced Health Canada into the position of running interference and issuing a sham limitation. Health Canada doesn’t want to thwart Monsanto’s domination or profit, but it feels under enough pressure that it’s introducing an anodyne “reform” which it won’t enforce. (This label change will have added bonus of putting another legal barrier between Monsanto and liability, since it’ll be easier to claim farmers violated the directions on the the label. As we’ve seen, the few exceptions to the united front of regulators and media blacking out any acknowledgement of the failures and harms of GMOs is in cases like the rise of superweeds and superbugs where the system can scapegoat the farmers.)
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3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the sham policy. It assures the public that the product is safe and that oversight is in the good hands of a vigilant government alert to the public interest, and so the people should go back to sleep, get on with their private lives, not worry our little heads about anything to do with public affairs including the safety of system agriculture and food.
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Here we see the political, or I should say the generally anti-political and elitist, manifestation of corporate ideology. In cases having to do with agriculture and food we see with special clarity how this anti-political ideology dovetails with the dominant “scientific” framework of recent decades, which can be summed up as “science is whatever the corporations decree it to be”. Through conventional corruption and systemic capture of universities, professional organizations, and government bodies, and of course through near-complete control of career paths, the corporations have procured a comprehensive level of discipline and coordination among the STEM fraternity in a short period of time. Today the vast majority of STEM types agree that science is whatever the corporate publicity divisions say it is, and they formulate their scientific and political opinions and proceed about their day-to-day work accordingly.
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That’s why the response among them to the WHO’s indiscipline has been such a combination of confusion, panic, furious rejection, and improvised lies. Monsanto having failed to get the WHO to immediately reverse itself, the Poisoners are starting to settle on the combination lie of “glyphosate is basically safe, and the WHO’s finding applies only to extreme circumstances, if that, but there’s no alternative to GMOs and these poisons since these are needed to feed the world”. Scientific American offers a typical example.
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We see how determined these fanatics are to continue to poison us. As their scrambling to defend Roundup proves, they have not even a shred of human decency and literally no thought process beyond the monomania of poison – the crop genomes, the plant tissues, the soil, the food, the water, the air, the ecology, the bodies of animals and people, all must be poisoned to the maximum extent possible. That’s why they react with such lies and hatred to the evidence and prescriptions of ecological science and the science and practice of agroecology. We have the corporations whose profits and power, whose literal existence, is completely dependent on the poison paradigm; we have the governments who also look to such corporate paradigms as guarantors of their own power and control; and we have the ideological and religious fanatics, the scientism cultists and general authoritarian followers who are psychologically invested in technophilia, the war of man vs. nature, the worship of power, and the ardent desire to construct a malign new religion out of all this filth, to replace the older religion where they can no longer find any kind of validation.
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All this would be contemptible enough if it existed only in these people’s minds. But right now they have the power, and they’re using it to force these poisons upon us and the environment. They’re literally giving us cancer, and will continue to do so until humanity stops them once and for all.
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I’ll be dealing more with the “feed the world” Big Lie. For now it’ll suffice to say that this is in fact a pure lie. The world already produces far more than enough food for everyone who is alive now or ever will be alive according to the highest UN projections of future population. Yet even though the world now produces enough food for 10 billion people, of the 7 billion alive today 1 billion suffer from hunger, while at least another 2 billion suffer from diet-related diseases. All of this is 100% the result of a malevolent distribution system, and nothing can ever change until this system is radically changed. Until then it won’t matter if there’s enough food for fifty billion people: hunger will only continue to spread. GMOs and poison-based agriculture represent the escalation of this malign, hunger-causing and malnutrition-causing system. These are not and cannot represent any alternative to it, as they’re physically based in industrial agriculture and politically and economically based in corporate profit-seeking. I’ll add that they’re also completely based in the corporate scientism ideology/religion, of which they’re not just a product but a religious ritual and icon.
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So in all these ways – agronomic, economic, political, scientific/religious – humanity and the Earth cannot coexist with the regime of poison-based agriculture or with the Poisoner movement which exalts it. These people, their ideas, their practices, are totalitarian and viciously destructive. They are cancer. We must put a stop to them once and for all.

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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 14, 2015

Would You Call This Science or a Cult?

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From here, good job by Rachel Parent.
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The first question I had for the Health Canada officials was if they did any of their own safety studies on GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Dr. Yan confirmed they did not, and went on to say, “We review the data that is given to us by the company. It’s up to them to demonstrate the safety.”

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The entire debate about whether GMO regulation has anything to do with science comes to an end right there. According to their own words, they accept the information given them by companies who are proven liars with regard to this exact kind of situation where billions in profits are at stake. So the regulatory process has zero grounding in science or rationality as such, but is based on the cult faith that a confirmed liar is now telling the truth.
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Perhaps the real question is whether, to the extent that these regulators aren’t straight-up corrupted liars, they’re expressing some kind of cult faith in corporate rule as such. And we can ask the same of people in general who want to believe the corporations directly, or at least believe them where the faith is mediated through the government regulators.
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The Health Canada cadre gives us another clue:
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I wanted to know if the studies given to Health Canada for safety assessments were peer-reviewed. No surprise, the answer was no. Dr. Yan advised that “Some of the data is actually proprietary data. They invest millions of dollars to develop their crop, so they’re not going to divulge it to anyone else to test the product.”

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As I’ve said, according to the self-image of Science itself there can be no such thing as secret science. By definition all data, to count as scientific, must be public so it can be assessed by the scientific fraternity. (According to democracy it must also be accessible and assessable by the people, and in addition various branches of the humanities would also claim a right to assess it.) Where practicing scientists are willing to recognize a secrecy regime we’re dealing with either a totally new paradigm of scientific practice which directly contradicts even the extant propaganda of science, or else with corruption and cowardice to such an extreme that we can only conclude that science as such has completely abdicated and been replaced by purely instrumental mercenary engineering.
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Either way, when a regulator can claim that not only are the people as well as scientists in general not to be allowed to see the evidence, but that he himself will perform his duties and give a judgement based on this secrecy, in camera like some hooded judge, and then expects the people to accept this judgement as authoritative and scientific, again we’re clearly dealing with a proclamation of cult faith and a demand that the people bow down and submit to such faith.
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(The TTIP and TPP intend to further enshrine such faith, by explicitly declaring, as a matter of public policy, that where it comes to corporate propaganda sheets derived from secret science or any other alleged secret evidence, “the tribunal shall assume to be true the claimant’s [i.e. the corporation’s] factual allegations in support of any claim in the notice of arbitration”. As we’ve seen, this is already in effect how government regulators act.)
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Indeed, as we see with the ongoing cults of the two corporate “political” parties here in the US, and things aren’t much different in Canada, there’s still a widespread appetite for such cultist “authority”. That’s why the Canadian regulators feel so confident about telling direct lies about the nature of the problem and the scope of their policy authority.
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After my meeting with the Health Minister in November, 2014, I was under the impression that labelling GMOs was up to the scientists at Health Canada, but unfortunately when I asked them about it, I was told that it’s not a health and safety issue; therefore it is not within their mandate.

So I asked, if it’s not up to Health Canada, and it’s not up to the Health Minister, then whose responsibility is it? Dr. Yan said “Non health and safety labelling is really under the jurisdiction of the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).”….

This is the statement that [Health Minister] Ambrose made during an interview with Global News last year: “If we had the evidence that this was unhealthy, Health Canada would act and impose mandatory labels. That’s our job, to keep Canadians safe and healthy. But right now there is no scientific evidence that conclusively says that in any way genetically modified foods are unhealthy for Canadians.”

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In other words, in circular fashion they’ll refuse to seek and find the evidence on health and safety, then base the dogma “it’s not a health and safety issue” upon this refusal. “We found no evidence. Of course we never looked, which is the best way to find nothing!” We’re Through the Looking Glass indeed. And then, since there’s no evidence, which proves there’s no problem, there’s then no mandate to require labeling.
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Again, none of this can be explained or justified according to any recognizable scientific or rational standard. This is either a fundamentalist religion of faith in corporate rule, or else straight criminality. Or a combination.
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This is constantly being expressed in many propaganda and policy formulations which are self-evidently absurd to anyone outside the cult, such as:
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*A crop which produces its own insecticidal poison in every cell is “substantially equivalent” to one which does not.
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*A crop which through its intended use has its tissues suffused with herbicidal poison is substantially equivalent to one which hasn’t been suffused with poison.
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*None of these poisons are “food additives” which need to be studied, tested, and regulated as such.
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*A chemical which is lethally poisonous to one kind of organism is unlikely to be poisonous to other organisms. This is the bedrock proposition of the Poisoner ideology. To anyone who has even elementary reasoning capacities or simple common sense, this is self-evidently stupid and insane, and at the very least would need to be rigorously proven before policy based upon it could rationally be deployed. Yet as unproven dogma this is one of the bedrock principles of today’s scientific establishment, which can also be called corporate science. Most STEM credential-holders at least claim to believe this dogma and to agree that it has to be accepted on faith, to the point that they regard any demand for proof as some kind of lese majeste, an affront to their god-given legitimacy. (I’ll be writing more about how the proxxer mob scene is an applied example of this authoritarian cultism.)
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Once again we can see how we’re dealing with something straddling the line of a dogmatic authoritarian ideology and a veritably religious cult. In either case it has zero to do with science or reason, and indeed aggressively abrogates all the alleged principles of both.
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Unfortunately, the record of labeling initiatives in the US proves that so far there’s a significant number of people who ratify the secrecy regime, who evidently don’t want to know any information at all. This implicit ratification of “secret science” on the part of people who, unlike the revolving door regulators, can’t possibly benefit from it, and can only be hurt, seems to demand a religious/ideological analysis. Obviously many people still have faith in corporate rule, either directly in the corporations or indirectly through the government. One question is why anyone who’s not being paid to believe any of this would want to do so. Another question, the primary question of our time, is how to counteract this malign cult by demolishing its legitimacy and authority and destroying its faith.

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April 9, 2015

Scientism and the Secret “Science” on Roundup

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Three Chinese citizens are suing the government trying to force it to disclose the secret information it has on Roundup and the process by which it approved Roundup. We see how the Chinese government is at one with those of the US and EU in wanting to help Monsanto and other corporations keep the actual evidence about the severely toxic and cancer-causing effects of chemicals like Roundup secret from the people. What’s more, these corporations and governments evidently hold to an entirely new concept and paradigm of “science” under which the alleged scientific evidence is to be kept secret from the people, and research materials themselves made available to researchers only under corporate supervision. Instead, government and media elites are to publicly release whatever information the corporations see fit to publicize, this is to be christened as “science”, and the people are supposed to believe it on faith. This is a significant departure from previous scientific practice and in direct contradiction of the self-image and propaganda of today’s capital-S “Science” (i.e. scientism). Yet evidently the mainstream of the STEM and academic establishment supports this new concept and practice of secret alleged science. Therefore, today’s scientific establishment is nothing more or less than an authoritarian cult.
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The fact is that by definition there cannot be secret scientific evidence. By definition evidence has to be publicized, so we can assume that the secrecy is in fact a cover-up. We must assume that whatever evidence does exist condemns glyphosate (and GMOs) as harmful to health and the environment, which is the reason why corporations and governments want to keep this evidence secret. Meanwhile the public assurances that agricultural poisons are safe, indeed that the system ever tested them for safety at all, are nothing but propaganda and lies, and “our” regulators and media are part of this conscious, willful campaign of deceit. No rational model of science or democracy can come to any other conclusion.

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April 8, 2015

Scientism’s Equivalent of “Alien Abductions”

Filed under: Corporatism, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: — Russ @ 1:32 pm

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It’s not unlikely the universe is full of life. But there’s no reason to think humanity is going to “discover” it anytime soon, if ever. (The emotional dream of doing so is exactly that – a kind of religious faith. See the Zaitsev quote here for the “Good News”.) This “scientific” prediction, i.e. media stunt, is just the typical tabloidism of scientism PR and corporate welfare advocacy.
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My prediction is that eventually they will make some kind of observation which some of them will claim is proof of extraterrestrial life. (This has been attempted before, but they couldn’t make it stick.) Other scientists, probably a minority at first, will correctly refute this hoax but be temporarily shouted down by the establishment and the mainstream media. The same kind of thing is already happening everywhere in science and scholarship, as corporate-decreed “science” has become Science As Such, while real science has abdicated for the time being. Whatever way humanity will get it back won’t be from within the establishment.

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April 3, 2015

GMO News Report April 3rd, 2015

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*The EPA is unlikely to change its pro-poison course of action on account of the WHO’s recent admission of what everyone has long known, that Roundup/glyphosate causes cancer. But it is being forced to change its official policy by a far more implacable foe, the 32 species of Roundup resistant superweeds triumphally marching across the American heartland. According to Reuters the EPA will be formally requiring farmers to adhere to a stewardship program when they purchase Roundup. This theoretical stewardship will be similar to that the EPA is already imposing on the new Agent Orange corn and soy types being released in 2015.
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This EPA stewardship requirement is likely to be a scam of the same character as the agency’s “refuge” requirements for Bt-expressing crops. The refuges are set at too small a percentage and aren’t enforced, and are therefore widely flouted, even at those inadequate acreages. But the idea of the refuges lets the EPA pretend to have a policy in place to prevent the development of Bt-resistant superbugs, and when these superbugs inevitably evolve, it gives Monsanto and the government a convenient way to scapegoat the farmers for not honoring a policy which was never intended to be honored. Similarly, Monsanto and the corporate media scapegoat farmers for using “too much Roundup”, which is an absurd lie. Farmers have never used a drop more of Roundup than the amount urged upon them by Monsanto and the USDA.
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This ability to scapegoat farmers is one of the reasons superweeds and superbugs are allowed to be acknowledged in the media discourse instead of being directly lied about the way pesticide use (GMOs really increase it) or yields (GMOs yield less than non-GM) are.
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*Field trials are set to begin in Maharashtra state in India, where in 2014 the government broke earlier promises and issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for the open-air trials. Monsanto, its Indian partner Mahyco, BASF, and others plan to test types of GM corn, cotton, chickpeas, and rice.
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*Remember the Friedman Unit? Charles Margulis of the Centre for Environmental Health has put together a timeline documenting the similar golden rice unit. He rightly calls it an example of vaporware. I’ve long been calling golden rice a myth and boondoggle and a hoax.
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*Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has filed a petition with the USDA calling upon it to end its harassment of staff researchers who perform science which may or does lead to results contrary to corporate interests and lies. The PEER brief cites the effects of glyphosate and neonicotinoids as areas where honest research is especially subject to persecution. The USDA denies the charge and claims its existing complaint and review procedure is adequate, though the numbers it gives are self-refuting. According to Reuters, “An agency spokesman confirmed that from May 2013 through April 2014 eight complaints were filed. Five of those were deemed worthy of investigation and one was deemed to have merit, the agency spokesman said.”
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Given how hostile the USDA environment is for whistleblowers, and how thankless their task, this is one of those contexts where my default is to assume that someone who files a complaint is telling the truth. So the fact that only one complaint “was deemed to have merit” is strong evidence for PEER’s point, that the USDA’s existing system is a sham. Meanwhile the fact that only eight complaints were filed in the first place is eloquent testimony to a climate of fear and self-censorship, and of the overall self-conformity.
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*As the EU’s new “subsidiarity” policy on GMO approvals and opt-out bans goes into effect, pro-GMO activists continue with their bureaucratic shenanigans. That’s the basic purpose of the policy – to provide a propaganda fig leaf while EFSA approvals are “streamlined” and a legalistic catch-22 is set up against any long-term abolition policy. Meanwhile IFOAM has again denounced “co-existence” as a scam and called for EU member state bans on GM cultivation as the only rational policy. This is of course the truth. Note the huge difference from the US, where even county-level bans are widely considered to be “radical” even among GMO critics. Yes, we American abolitionists have a tough row to hoe.
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*A Monsanto cadre speaking to an audience mostly of agricultural students confessed that Monsanto maintains “an entire department” dedicated to lies and smearing the science which continually piles up against Monsanto’s products. Author Stephanie Hampton of the Benton County Community Rights Coalition calls it Monsanto’s “Discredit Bureau”.
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This incident again confirms that Monsanto continues its pattern of systematically lying about the many severe harms caused by its products. One of the most extreme examples of today’s depravity is the way so many people refuse to believe that corporations like Monsanto or Dow will always lie about the safety of their products, whenever they consider this necessary to hang onto “even one dollar of profit”, as a secret internal memo cried out in the course of Monsanto’s decades-long suppression of data about the hideously toxic effects of PCBs on human beings. Monsanto and its supporters today continue this infinitely vile crime against humanity.

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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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