A Midsummer Green Revolution Lament

Mother Earth by Jeness Cortez Perlmutter
A good summer solstice to you all.  The sun rose blood red over the La Plata mountains this morning, and the clouds above them were opaque with white smoke; the light in the reflected light in the West was something to behold, and somehow…suited my mood .  There must be a fire burning large enough to waft so much smoke into this valley, but all I could find were five fires burning in the Gila Mountains in SW New Mexico, so that may answer the question.

Now, the Green Revolution (some call it GR 2.0) lament.

A comment in a discussion I was having at another website on a post concerning property v. people (the Grenfell Tower incineration) began after I’d brought information that the US Constitution was written by property owners, and still reflects the original language on copyrights and intellectual property rights.  I’d voiced the opinion that given the US is said to have some of the strongest rights on the planet in that regard, the most deleterious example of that is being able to patent…seeds, plants, and other naturally occurring life forms.  Of course, I used genetically engineered food purveyors as the key capitalist culprits.

I’d indicated I had more information to share later, as my long comments always end up in the site’s software moderation limbo.  But before I could offer more, the commenter offered this, obviously obviating any need for…more.  (my bolds)

@WD

“The European countries that banned the growing of some GMO crops were allowed to do this over the objections of the EU with an opt-out clause. Even the scientific and agricultural centers in these countries stated there was no proven scientific or health reasons for the bans. The bans were political, economic and social posturing for local audiences.

The Europeans import 30 million tons of mostly GM corn and soy every year to feed their meat animals so they don’t seem too concerned about the possible harm from ingesting GMOs.

You or I may not like it but human civilization is moving onto the final stage of terraforming the earth into an agriculture planet where Monsanto and other GMO producers lead the way to total utilization of the available land. They will supply the consistency, and growing output needed to feed ten or more billion people.”

You may not be surprised that the images in my mind were desperately dark and blisteringly bleak as I imagined that future, although in what arc of time is up in the air.

The visions in my head…

Desolate, almost barren fields, as the GE crops require more and more applications of glysophate (Round-up), then the next-generation, 2,4-D, with components of agent orange in the deadly mix.

But adapt the plants and seeds always have, as even county extension agents in the corn belt would show with Bt corn (Bacillus thuringiensis biotoxin) as they’d tip over a corn plant and actually find the borers living in the roots of the plant.  Well, luckily, more Bt can always be sprayed on the corn plants with just the right amount of water…  Oh, and Monsanto generously injected more and better Bt in the next gen seeds to address the rootworn larvae, as they did with the anti-bollworm failed Bt cotton used in India to such horrific effects.  Aren’t they special?

The over-spray, of course, kills ‘non-target’ species as well, including habitat used by bees, butterflies, or “pollinator species”, wasps, spiders, ladybugs, aphid-eating spiders, thus…birds as well.

BigAg factory farming uses massive amounts of petro-chemical fertilizers as well, acting more like dope to the plants, rather than fertilizer/food, as I once heard it expressed.  And what happens to the water as far as toxic runoff and poisoning underground aquifers?  Both become…sick, as do the species that inhabit rivers, lakes, and seas, or at lease used to.

But seeds with Bt (causing bugs that eat it getting their stomachs to burst) added to their original DNA, also stays in the guts of humans and other critters who eat it, creating little pesticide factories within.  Now that plays havoc with the many strains of the beneficial intestinal flora, weakens intestinal lining, and often ends up causing any number of intestinal syndromes and food sensitivities.  But hey; given that almost all corn in the US is Bt, and that high-fructose corn syrup is in myriad foods, what’s not to like?  Demand is high, Wall Street loves it!  Does it kill Monarch butterflies and honey bees?  Nah; the USDA and in-house studies say ‘Nyet’.

Now Wikipedia says of neonics:

Neonicotinoids (sometimes shortened to neonics /ˈniːoʊnɪks/) are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. In the 1980s Shell and in the 1990s Bayer started work on their development.

As of 2013 neonicotinoids have been used In the U.S. on about 95 percent of corn and canola crops, the majority of cotton, sorghum, and sugar beets and about half of all soybeans. They have been used on the vast majority of fruit and vegetables, including apples, cherries, peaches, oranges, berries, leafy greens, tomatoes, and potatoes, to cereal grains, rice, nuts, and wine grapes.”

“In the late 1990s neonicotinoids came under increasing scrutiny over their environmental impact. Neonicotinoid use was linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations; however, the findings have been controversial. In 2013, the European Union and a few non EU countries restricted the use of certain neonicotinoids.”

It’s surreal reading the oh-blah-di, oh-blah, da section on Regulation, US, then skipping down to Toxicity.

But as to the images in my head around terraforming the earth into an agriculture planet where Monsanto and other GMO producers lead the way to total utilization of the available land…I also began to see below the surface of the dirt (can it be called ‘soil’ at this point?  And the images began cascading…

First off was the fact that these biotoxins (pesticides, herbicides) also kill all of the beneficial microbes in soil, negating the ordinary uptake into plants, leaving them less than nutritious, live food, more like dead zombies walking, leading to many people on the planet suffering from some degree of malnutrition.  As an aside, the Rockefeller Foundation and Bill Gates teamed up to bring ‘Golden Rice’ to the developing world, tweaked to provide bio-available Vitamin A (beta carotene) to aid people, especially children, at risk for  blindness and other disease.

But there was indeed plenty of pushback against the expensive seed, including the many opinions that:

“With what has been shown so far, 300 grams of golden rice can only provide at most 20% of an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement. A child would have a lower requirement of 450 µg retinol as against 500-600 µg retinol for adults But 300 g of rice a day is way too much for a child. In the Philippines, pre-school children consume less than 150 grams of rice a day. In principle then, golden rice will only supply a little over 10% of the daily vitamin A needed by pre-school children. And children are the target population in this case.” 

Other detractors noted that mono-cropping golden rice, or believing in its efficacy, also meant that other sources were being disregarded, such a yams, leafy veggies, etc.  So in response, ‘And the 2016 World Food Prize goes to … Biofortified Sweet Potatoes!, goldenrice.org  Really it’s a great site, self-congratulation and ‘STFU, Greenpeace’ articles alternating.

Tragically, the commenter is likely right about the coming full planet-factory farming terraforming GMO proponents and profiteers.  Unless, of course, we can stop them, a daunting task given that so many genetically modified seeds are already out in the world, and that Industry lobbyists spend a hella lot of bucks on their behalf, as well as helping to politicize science along the way (hello, FDA, EPA, and tra la la).

But seriously, how in hell would it be possible to ‘clean up’ any of those massive farms to ever be suitable again to organic family farms?  Comparative yields of sustainable organic farming are far higher that…the other ‘methods’, and most use far less water, which will be a huge issue in the future.

Where did ‘the family farm’ go?  Well, Farm Aid has been busy for 30 years now, and while I know the reasons were many, they still seem to be alive and kickin’, and now support GMO-free sustainable farming, bless their cotton pickin’ hearts.  In fact, a documentary called Homplace Under Fire premiered at Duke University on May 19, and was hosted by John Mellencamp.

About the Film

The Farm Crisis of the 1980s drove hundreds of thousands of family farmers into foreclosure. Yet, out of that crisis arose a legion of farm advocates who refused to stand idly by and watch their way of life be destroyed.

Ordinary Americans taught themselves extraordinary skills. As fellow farmers, farm wives, and rural leaders, they studied laws and regulations, started hotlines, answered farmers’ calls from their kitchen tables, counseled their neighbors, and went toe-to-toe with lenders – giving their all to keep their neighbors on the land.

Homeplace Under Fire celebrates these advocates and their remarkable work. Thousands of farmers are alive and on their land today because of them. As Willie Nelson has said, these advocates are the best of America.

My fave from those days: Mellencamp at Farm Aid 1985; it gives me the shivers; Larry Long’s poignant ‘Grandma’s Penny Sale’ (her farm gone to foreclosure auction)simply makes me weep.

Under the Café’ s GMO categories list on the right sidebar at the Café are about a dozen diaries; but the one that stood out to me was ‘Part II: Bayer/Monsanto Merger, Biopiracy, & Dastardly Lies of the ‘Green Revolution’.  Part I is linked.  I reckon ‘Bono, Obama and the G-8 Ally with Monsanto to Bio-Wreck African Agriculture’, as well.  Fuck them all. And I mean that in the kindest way possible, of course.

Mother Earth by Maya artis Paula Nicho Cumez

35 responses to “A Midsummer Green Revolution Lament

  1. I keep interjecting the missing ingredients, herbicides and pesticides, that somehow continually fail to get mentioned when discussions about the amount of CAFO generated liquid manure being pumped into the groundwater happen around here.

    CAFO owners/investors attempt to parse (shift blame) that a minute bit of our groundwater contamination has been found to be linked to human waste, but fail to mention the chemicals and also fail to mention that employee bathrooms at most of the CAFO operations are allowed to plumb employee bathroom facilities right into the cow manure storage lagoons.

    Side note OT: garden is greatly reduced due to necessary travel and the purpose behind that is showing extraordinary improvement. Locally, I’m going after anonymous private interest charity foundation grants funding programs for our public law enforcement, and evading county government supervision. Never a dull moment. Very busy. A wonderful summer for you and yours.

    • how great to see you, nonquixote! i really have meant to write and ask for news…great intentions are cold comfort, aren’t they?

      yep, factory farmers are full of shit, aren’t they? and i’d have to think that not all of those pesticides and herbicides go into the groundwater, but also enter riparian habitat as well, eh? dayum, you are a warrior in local issues; i doff my cap to you.

      pretty weird gardening this year here, especially due to the weather. weird freeze patterns also caused there to be not one piece of fruit on any of the fruit tees. and that’s completely dislocating and frustrating.

      i’d love to hear more about the -private’ faux-lanthropists funding the po-po, though. come back if you can, and love to your and your ‘purpose behind the travel’ if you can’t.

  2. “if the world is as bad as you say, how come more kids are getting fat? here & globally?” I had an m.d. say to me recently. proof the world is really getting better. was I double plus nonplussed or is this kind of crap just par for the gmo course? at the local in many ways very nice Korean grocery store, of my random sample of 10 or so *processed items packaged as authentic Korean “food,”* all of them had h.f. corn syrup in them. the aloe beverage, the green tea ice cream, the cookies & baked goods, etc. Big Ag does not allow other countries to resist its agricultural methods. boy howdee, do we need another argument for an international perspective in fighting against capitalism? Big Ag is global in its intents & effects.

    anyway, maybe a dim, dull, fast-fading hope, but some of this gmo stuff seems like it would just die off if left alone. stop cultivating it, stop spraying it.

    oh yeah, water wars. the local june 2017 issue of “blue ridge outdoors” mag, surely mostly about local ‘eco-tourism’ and funded by advertisers accordingly, has an article called “water wars: the fight for a shrinking river.” the mag is a big commercial for being an “outdoorsman”, but still.

    but if we all buy brita filters, the water will be ok, right? isn’t this the &*$&##* mentality in this country? the toxins in the water are not in the bottled water. know how I know? cuz Fiji & Perrier told me so. that’s what the bottle is for, silly.

    • i utterly agree on HF corn syrup and fatness, but in the end i also blame obesity on Bt corn killing beneficial gut bacteria as well, and disrupting other organs, resulting in bodies being able to breakdown and utilize protein. .

      ah, to make sure i hadn’t been off the mark, here’s a 2012 piece i found this first hit: ‘Obesity, Corn, GMOs‘, cornucopia. org (ha and lol)

      “The project did not just focus on weight gain but looked at the effects on organ changes too. Researchers found distinct changes to the intestines of animals fed GMOs compared to those fed non-GMOs. This confirms other studies done by US researchers. Significant changes occurred in the digestive systems of the test animals major organs including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, genitals and more. Krogdahl notes: ” The ones who had fed on GM corn were slightly larger, they ate slightly more, their intestines had a different micro-structure, they were less able to digest proteins, and there were some changes to their immune system.” This fact that ‘they were less able to digest proteins’ has huge implications in the biochemistry of amino acids necessary for all life processes. This not only may relate to a rise in obesity, but to increases in many modern diseases. These diseases include diabetes, digestive disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (ADD), autoimmune diseases, sexual dysfunction, sterility, asthma, COPD and many more. ”

      ‘anyway, maybe a dim, dull, fast-fading hope, but some of this gmo stuff seems like it would just die off if left alone. stop cultivating it, stop spraying it.’ from your mouth to the gods and goddesses ears, but how to cleanse the soil and water? time? i was thinking permaculture, of course, and using nitogen-fixing cover crops (vetch, etc.) and turning them in, but….yeah, time.

      yeppers on the water wars; they’ve begun in spades here among the colorado river compact state.

      i just grabbed a few tweeties from colin todhunter, and one you’ll be esp. interested to read, if you can handle the author. ;-)

      • thank you. job one is to get these mofo’s to stop. yeah, maybe the gmo’s don’t exactly have the half life of DU…a multi-generational wisdom & perspective is essential. capitalism can’t reproduce itself. to keep kicking a dead movie franchise, it is the zenomorph in Alien.

        I’ve mentioned here before the possibility that there may be a connection b/n the publication of Silent Spring & the rise of individualized health initiatives, like stop smoking campaigns. i’m not certain that’s the case w/ Carson’s book, but it is the general approach. a massive social problem, like increasing water toxicity, is bro’t to (some) people’s consciousness. this anxiety is then assuaged, or supposed to be, by the consumerist actions of individuals, buying bottled water, buying ever more elaborate filters for home use, etc. the proponents of these solutions have one goal: making money. no need for comment on the fact that the “solution” to the problem is, once again, to make the problem worse. how much more valuable is that water from melting icebergs if your tap water is full of sludge from hydrofracking?

        oh yeah, you know what else can be done to assuage consumer anxiety? besides manipulating people’s perceptions such that they think the problem is they are not being wise shoppers. how about make a big shiny regulatory agency to “oversee” the ecological destruction, make reports on it, have the parties fight over its funding, staffing, laws, etc. of course i’m referring to the EPA and the like. the liberal conscience balks at the notion that it’s all the individual’s fault, so make a cabinet level executive position to issue reports & make committees on the arsenic in the water or whatever. have a fight every couple of years about how awful the epa chair is, and boy, sounds like “progress,” don’t it?

        • dunno what the thanks are for, but i dunno what ‘endomorphs in alien’ means, even after bingling. never mind. but consumer ‘choices’ as substitutes for actual/factual dangers like massive threats to the environment and planetary ecology…yeah okay. cigarettes and cancer, maybe, too, but i’d have to remember the progression. i guess for one, iirc, some (studies?) indicated that smoking (the tars?) helped to help protect alveoli from radiation (background? i forget).

          then it was ‘second-hand smoke, no? which diseases were ‘related’ to being around…smokers. no causation, but ‘relatedness’ which weasel words come up a lot in scientific studies. no more smoking sections in restaurants, no more smoking on the street, no more smoking in cars w/ open windows if a child were on board.

          would tobacco be toxic were it not for the chemicals added to keep ciggies burning? or the filters made of…what, fiberglass? i just checked, and most are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic, ‘Macroporous phenol-formaldehyde resins and asbestos have also been used in cigarette filters’, and (natural news) glass wool as used in insulation. so…why not a nat sherman? just tobacco?

          but hell, i dunno, j.

          • oh, thanks for all the links. “a zenomorph may be involved,” says the nerdy naif in charge…”it’s a bug hunt man!” grunts the monosyllabic everymen marine. from the thinking man’s Michael Bay in J Cameron’s “Aliens.” just the like the rest of us, their vocab saves neither of them.

            the aetiology of disease is going to become ever more increasingly difficult to determine. it’s the shit in the atmosphere, man. was it the fukushima that got me, or the gmo’s? hard to say. the working conditions at Amazon? were they a factor?

            somebody said to me yesterday, “i can’t get my &$^%# diabetic kid to stop eating McDonald’s. wth am I supposed to do about Monsanto or Fukushima?” the only thing I could say was, “it’s all related.”

            and it is. the comfortable domesticity of suburbia in this country has some great features to it, esp. if you have some feng shui about you. (and can somehow manage that w/o killing yourself via work, a different subject.) taken these homeowners lots of work to build. getting them to see life outside of this suburban bubble may be impossible. every crisis is an excuse to wrap suburban domesticity more tightly around oneself.

            and they can’t be bothered to ask where the food is coming from. to see that it’s all related. all of it. us.

            • the louis proyect essay at CP whose tweet i’d embedded says much the same thing about how tough it is to single out ‘the culprit’ for disease acquisition, esp. cancer. i hadn’t checked many of the internal links in the ‘monsanto , we’re winning!’ piece, but aren’t lawsuits like that a bit like ‘our experts are better than yours, and we can pay more for our’ sorts of contests? and of course, the hearing judge matters a hella lot.

              yes, saying that it’s all related was a very good answer, but if i get your drift, it’s far easier for suburbanites to wrap themselves into those cocoons of relative safety (darkness, darkness), and not see, not inquire. but when one of those cocoons begins to show great numbers of cancer, birth defects, such as in silicon valley, etc., some of them may turn into activist butterflies.

              • is it the tobacco? or the formaldehyde & 700 other chemicals added in the tobacco???? are the kids obese, diabetic, etc., b/c of the xbox or the Bt corn in their corndogs? surely the devolving attention span of kids is all part of nature’s, you know, cycle? I sent him the link at cornucopia you posted earlier on gmo’s & diabetes, autism, etc. how come gmo food is both cheaper than organic but still so g.d. expensive? market forces.

                the fake “individualism” of the health as “healthy lifestyle choices” mantras, memes, and mentalities is hard to see beyond in a suburban bubble, as long the neighbor doesn’t create a ‘toxic airborne event’ with a septic tank exploding…FP, same thing: it’d all be all right if not for that awful Colonel Kim Jong Saddam Putin and the pathologies residing solely in his brain pan. you know, “evil.” motiveless malice.

                there’s no history, no material causes or factors why things happen. (like in the star wars universe.) “terrorism”, e.g., doesn’t occur in a material dialectic, a fight over *resources*. nope. chickens lay rotten eggs. that’s it.

                and smoking is bad. period. cuz the gov’t that pushed smoking/tobacco for 200 years around the globe and still does, suddenly saw the light. sure.

                • ha. all this reminded me of reading about a smartphone (oxymorn alert) that allows a ‘consumer’ to point the phone at a bar code, and i notes gmo or… not, or close to that. and ‘jason’ or whatever of subway ads, back in the day when i saw teevee. ‘i lost 87 lbs. of fat’ and it tuned out to be an epic scam, didn’t it? too lazy to bing it.

                  or if a suburban neighbor happens to be cookin’ meth, and the house explodes. speaking of which, loads of sites, including wsws, are covering the opioid epidemic to beat the band. ‘especially white people’ is one central meme. is that whole ‘nother distraction? i confess i kinda yawn at most of the shallowness of the exposés.

                  got it wrong, son. ter’ism happens cuz they hate our freedoms, end.of.story.

                  but yeah, shit.happens., life’s a beach, then ya die.

  3. jayzus.

    i sure do hope they’re composting the manure…

    ya have to register for one free hit on the link, but given the immensity of the subject…

    this un’s especially for you, j, even if you’re not exactly a Proyect fan

  4. Interesting (or not); but the planet grows more food than the planet’s population can eat.
    The problem?
    Lack of effective distribution.
    Hell, the planet could probably survive on just our waste of food stuffs…
    I’ve no doubt we’ll kill ourselves off in the not too distant future; by all the means available; primarily war and just plain stupidity; and Gaia will self purify and abide till its natural end…

    • it’s both a good and interesting point, v. whether most of the food is safe or nutritious is another matter, but still… at least in the US for decades, some weird program paid big ag farmers *not to grow* crops, esp. wheat, as i remember it. and bigAg has been massively subsidized in other ways, as well. didn’t herr T tweet months ago that that was about to come to a screeching halt? ;-)

      yes, think of the waste just in amerika. and how many municipalities passed laws against picking the bins outside grocery stores to grab the plethora of foods that were a day past their sell-by dates, or had other consumer turn-offs like dents or rumpled looks (veg), and so on?

      i used to be able to imagine gaia shrugging off all the nastiness that we’ve done to her, almost like a horse shuddering its skin to shrug off flies. but i confess, just now it’s hard for me to picture.

      i gave this diary to that fellah over yonder as a response to his most recent comment to me…the sounds of silence back to me. oh, well

      • Well, Ian’s place has been taken over by trolls; he won’t act!
        I’ve been there for years and it’s a horrible thing to witness.
        I yell, scream, and rail; to no effect.
        Is he (Ian) correct? I don’t know; maybe; time will tell…
        So, don’t hold out high expectations…

        • my take is that he invited the alt-righters himself w/ his many ‘this T speech ain’t crazy’ sorts of stuff. but then, i didn’t really read there until recently, iirc. not a fan, myownself, but i’ll keep the reasons to myself. but in any event, i don’t like personal attacks in any way, shape, or form. they’re all flame, no light, imo.

  5. pop. resistance sent this nation of change piece in their newsletter this a.m.:
    ‘‘4 signs we’re winning the battle against Monsanto’, It’s no wonder Monsanto can’t wait to hand over the keys to Bayer. Things are getting messy. For consumers and environmentalists, it’s a beautiful mess.

    lots of lawsuits against M claiming glyphosate caused their non-hodgkins lymphoma, epa will start testing the product again (oh, yes?), possible collusion between epa/M ‘safety reports’, etc. but what keeps slaying me is that complaints are coming in from farmers all ginned up cuz the merger of M and bayer will give the new co. such a huuuuge market share that: “the seeds and poisons will cost more!” gah. Good! but of course that’s not the real danger, is it? exponentially more lobbying power, more bucks to ‘buy’ science, tra la la.

    but i went and grabbed the ‘corporate crime watch’ page on bayer again. dated, but still. in the process of finding it again, i saw the boston globe reporting that bayer’s opening a new ‘life sciences center’ to do helpful things like tweak dna to cure cancers, etc. win hearts and minds like the gates foundation?

  6. commies & crapitalists on the enviro
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/22/pers-j22.html

    this is about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. of course they are right about so much in this article, but toward the end, as is their wont, they get vertiginous with possibility from when(ever) the working class takes over all the Amazon facilities. won’t any of them just need to be shut down? nope. all this amazon crap can now be made for working folks!

    reminds me of an article from back when, a reflection on pinkos strategizing vis a vis 3 mile island, when the earnest young leader rejected the notion of just shutting down (decommissioning) the reactors b/c when the Marxists takeover (lol), “we may need to run these reactors.” and he didn’t mean run them into the ground.

    another warning about fukushima at CP today. a bit rosy, 300 years, from cesium half-life is a bit rosy, cuz, uh, fukushima hasn’t stopped. in any case, if it were stopped tomorrow, japan (and more) would be a disaster for a minimum of 300 years. a cancer factory. (and in the pacific food chain, but lets’ stick to something the mind can grasp, japan.)

    anyway, i’m wondering about these Marxists and if they aren’t twins of their capitalist ancestors in their capacity to be bewitched & enchanted by the awesome industrial might of modernity. b/c of their materialism. b/c they both live in Weber’s “disenchanted world.” I’m not sure their philosophy would allow them to embrace the need to “decommission” most of industrial society. what do you want Jason? for us all to live like hobbits?

    • your final paragraph is sublime, jason sackville baggins! and yes, thanks for urging me/us to read it. in kinda/sorta fairness, he noted this:

      “Amazon’s vast data troves and its Echo device (logistics network) could be used to detect emergencies, disasters or areas of general social need. At the click of a button, workers could direct the distribution of medical equipment, building materials, clean water and food from all corners of the world. Thousands of schools, libraries, museums, hospitals, theaters, water treatment facilities and parks could be built. Geographic limitations would no longer determine the availability of resources or the cultural level of the inhabitants.” so maybe he reckons that someone might ‘appropriate’ the technology trove ahead of the marxist revolution?

      i ate your brief analogy of the pinko leader at 3 mile island w/ a spoon. in a similar way, i get a boot outta clicking into bobavakian.net (RevCom) to listen to his rants.

      oh, and i didn’t have the ♥ to click into the fukushima report this a.m.; thanks for hinting at what’s inside.

      • yes, the fukushima report is terrible, but not unfamiliar to us here in this briar pitch. I can’t bear (time- and other-wise) lots of stuff. oh look, another butterfly died, coughing up some gmo nectar.

        it’s hard not to get caught up in the giddy vision of the possibilities from the tech that “Amazon” (yeah, w/some inputs from Darpa & the like) has developed that’s on offer from the wsws gang in this article & others. given the ravages such tech has caused, maybe some caution is order, not just a celebratory vision w/no assessment, no grappling with the incalculable loss inflicted on the world by capitalism. how are people going to enjoy a life of simplicity, for generations to allow the earth to recover, w/o some drawing from the enormous well of the *non-materialistic* traditions that commies are typically so hostile too?

        kind of academic in that job one is stopping (mainly Uncle Sam’s) expenditures on weapons. cut that shit out & watch a thousand green revolutions bloom.

        • wait. this? ‘ how are people going to enjoy a life of simplicity, for generations to allow the earth to recover, w/o some drawing from the enormous well of the *non-materialistic* traditions that commies are typically so hostile to?’ do you mean that commies traditionally have been hostile to ‘non-materialsim’? i’d have thunk the opposite.

          and yet the military budget is higher and higher, and all of the off-budget expenditures hidden in other less obvious places equal almost as much as the public one (or did last time nick turse checked a few years ago.

          but speaking of ‘not bearing’, i issued an alert ahead of one AP story that i haven’t even finished myself that i added on a new diary. that was an awkward sentence, sorry.

          • part of your hardcore commie plot is godless, atheist, damnable materialism. who would believe capitalist b.s. about property rights unless the thunder-hurling Big Daddy Sky God droned on & on around the world about how great all the planetary despoliation & rapine is?

            but the technological lure & promise is very great. who wants to live in a world w/o ipods? it’s hard for us Usonians to imagine not running to red lobster or the like for their all-you-can-eat deep fried shrimp buffet (deep frying is the only way to get the taste of correxit out…). or running to Costco on a whim cuz i’m running out of gmo-modified diabetes/cancer agent known as honey nut cheerios?

            the glossy glitzy sparkly shiny fiberglass toxic neon digital garbage vs. sticking your fingers in the soil. I know which one I spend much of my time doing. I haven’t read lots or even any Marxist ecology/environmentalism except in a general sense, they share w/Hegel the belief (sic) that the goal, the telos, of evolution is the emergence of rationality & then humans’ use of that rationality to rationalize capitalist society, to create socialist material relations. to ask a question Foucault asked Chomsky once: if an action furthers class struggle, meaning it leads toward greater liberation, is it not also justice? I might be wrong, but classical Marxism tends toward answering Foucault’s question affirmatively *in relationship to the environment.* e.g., if mountain(top) removal furthers the liberation of the working class, adios mountain.

            I could be wrong and I doubt many Marxists today would be quite that crude. but the language of “living in harmony with nature,” to me, seems foreign to the ethos of Marxism.

            but i’m not an expert on anything. to quote a woody allen movie, I don’t even know how the toaster works.

            • ouch on the mountaintop removal as liberating, thus…okey dokey. i’d poked around a bit, and marxist ecology redirects to eco-socialism at the wiki, and it looks as though there are as many different definitions as there are writers, proponents, political parties, and ideologues (or not). but the short big on murray bookchin says: (of his ‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’):

              ‘It is one of Bookchin’s major works,[38] and its radical thesis provoked controversy for being utopian and messianic in its faith in the liberatory potential of technology.[39] Bookchin argues that post-industrial societies are also post-scarcity societies, and can thus imagine “the fulfillment of the social and cultural potentialities latent in a technology of abundance”.[39] The self-administration of society is now made possible by technological advancement and, when technology is used in an ecologically sensitive manner, the revolutionary potential of society will be much changed.’ (then)…’he later developed Communalism into a separate ideology which incorporates what he saw as the most beneficial elements of Anarchism, Marxism, syndicalism, and radical ecology.’

              but here’s a whole page of essays on Marxist Ecology at monthly review, if you care enough to dig in; i guess i don’t. ;-)

              • thanks. I was thinking, if liberating work, work in general, from warfare, via elimination of capitalism, if that possibility doesn’t fire one’s heart & imagination, just what is the point? maybe i’m being nitpicky & it might also be that I get most of my marx from Trostkyites. at wsws. and marx was of his age, when industrialization didn’t seem quite so bleakly destructive as now.

                but will we be at home in the world once the proletarian revolution occurs? will the animals, the bees, the seals, get to be at home in the world too? or will we humans still just be a very smart apex predator on the planet? will we accept that the world does not just exist for humans? I don’t know. hope we get the chance to find out. if cnn & the like get their way, we’ll be at war w/Russia. yesterday. I watched about 15 minutes of prime time cnn last night. the stupidity & hysteria & war-mongering…

                • do you mean ‘capitalism AS warfare’ (on the proles, esp.), then? after seeing your questions thru email, i pooped open the monthly review link, and swear to goddess, tried to read ‘Organisms and Objectifications, A Historical-Materialist Inquiry into the ‘Human and Animal’ Isn’t it ‘an historical’, talk about nitpicknig grammer police). but my eyes crossed early on, so…and all it seemed to be was why include “and” when humans are animals. then philosopher after philosopher, as though throwing in as much ‘thinking’ as he could would make it ‘academic’.

                  but really, that’s one of the things about dialectics: ‘it takes an intellectual of sorts to even grok it, as far as i’m concerned. and i really don’t admire the thought of being dikdated to, or led by, a post-revolutionary academic.

                  but watching at another website going on and on about armed revolution, it was hard not to ask, ‘now who is it who owns all the guns, and are willing to use them?’ disaffected T voters? oh, no, someone forestalled my question by saying he reckoned that ‘former miltary would know guerilla tactic’ or close. but srsly, as far as bloody revolution, my guess it would be the alt-rightists. sigh.

                  war w/ russia, not iran, on cnn? well, those folks, wolf blitzer, et.al, must be jiggy w/ joy that july 4th is almost upon us.

  7. Community garden fever has hit our small corner of the universe. Church congregations are starting them to fill up emptying food banks. Homeowners associations are starting them for residents to use instead of clearing wooded lawns.

    And what people begin to realize is that nursery stock and plants (but not necessarily annual seeds) shipped from out of state generally have systemically bred in (GMOs are only one of the ways) neonicotinoids. And sources within the state still have non-neonic plants available if you look for them.

    Lowes and Home Depot are facing consumer movements trying to get them to label neonic plants. Both promise various amounts of “in future” as to when they will start labeling.

    So there are a number of formerly complacent people all of a sudden learning about neonicotinoids at the moment they are concerned for their own or their neighbors’ food security.

    Interesting times. Heritage plants. Native plants. Those provide a bit of a hedge against the GMO onslaught. Local farmers markets get people shopping more from more marginal farmers who can’t afford high-tech, high-cost methods; some local farmers markets require only organic farms as well.

    As Amazon buys Whole Foods to lengthen the supply chains for groceries to anywhere in the world, more people move to local food (and local artisan beer, bread, and liquor). Even South Carolina, one of the pioneers in the 1890s of local liquor dispensary system (later called ABC stores) now has a low-cost distillery license that essentially does away with bootlegging by making it easy to operate under state license and taxes. Other Southern states (in the Bible belt) are following suit with artisanal booze.

    Meanwhile, Bayer Agrichemicals, BASF Agriculture Chemicals, and Novartis Agrichemicals all have facilities in Research Triangle Park, NC.

    And biologists and chemists who work for these places do a little two-step in the way they talk about their work and their attraction to being locovores. The worker bees are committed enough to their families and to honest science that at some point the worm turns or the agribusinesses start flying completely blind.

    • all good news. here’s to hoping the collective energy of lots of locals can break thru that big ag wall.

      • Here’s the technology of urban agriculture (focused on urban food deserts) that eventually allows scaling to entire populations and reconverting vacant lots. More small producers in cities and suburbs disconnect the 2000-mile supply chain that depends on fossil-fueled transportation. Loss of demand for big-ag eventually happens.

        Some commodities however are going to be difficult to break free: tea, coffee, spices, coconut oil, olive oil are the biggies given recent medical research.

        http://www.growingpower.org/

        • well, that movement is talking about ‘200 crops on 300 acres’ and proteins. (images were huge greenhouses, and yes, we’ve been hipped to ‘vertical growing’, as well.)

          given that amerikans eat/consume a ton of food a year on average. yes, most of it is processed food, which isn’t a bit surprising if working people need quick meals. they don’t have to be unhealthy, as w/ fantastic foods, etc. but once again, empty lots? one issue is whether the soil is too toxic or not, although some have ready fixes for that.

          but that page said ‘proteins’. hard for me to see that any significant amount of legumes, nuts, seeds, cereals (corn, wheat, barley, tra la la), yes, oil sources, could ever cover needs. now meats and dairy, okay, folks might be converted eventually to vegan diets, but that’s hard to imagine in anything close to the short run.

          these movements also fail to see climate variables and as for locavore-ish supply chains, rural v. urban/suburban/exurban differentials. in the mountain west, at least at altitude, the growing season like hours is about 90 days; zones 9, 10, 11 the south …dunno how they translate into growing seasons esp. w/ climate change. last ag census i could find easily was 2007, 922 million acres under cultivation.

          not to be excessively contrarian, but it seems a pie in the sky as the folks who used to get on my diaries at fdl and claim that ‘bicycles are the only answer!’ they could always answer any push-back about distances, disabilities, the aged, winter weather, families w/ chirren, hauling building supplies, furniture, tra la la.

          now your methodist friend hipping people to healthy plants, seeds, and filling food banks…that sort of information can spread, and that’s where the key value lies, imo. one on one, inch by inch…but you’re talking gardens, imo, not farming.

        • tough site to navigate, at least for me, but the protein is fish and cattle. dairy was the other category i’d forgotten; those products are massive in the ‘what USians eat’ graphics. baskets can be ordered and delivered, and yes, there are actual farms involved, not just urban lots, etc. but they seen to deliver by bus, if i understand it, but yes, it might be scalable to a certain extent as to feeding people part of what they need.

          • The locavore stuff is going to get tricky as spaces desertify and people move. And if Saudi Arabia goes up in flames from Junior Salman, those 2000-mile, 500-mile supply chains that supply the scenic corners of the world are endangered. The pressure will be on concentration to where there are reliable food supplies. And I don’t know that we have a good fix on that yet, but Milwaukee would be a good first try because of Will Allen’s decade of building infrastructure.

            This is a very complicated issue that, given the insanity of policy, could appear in the US very abruptly. Or we might be fine and wisdom prevails after the shock. Scalable across deserted real estate is definitely doable as long as you talk the care that Will Allen does to make sure that existing pollutants on the ground (lead paint is on concern) don’t make it into the food supply.

            • you’ve moved to a different ‘desertification’, not the traditional use of ‘food deserts’, as used to describe inner city difficulties in obtaining any good that isn’t a quick stop or MacDogfoodish fast, not cheap, food. (on edit) and no transportation save for shank’s pony to get to a grocery store. an analogy would be ‘banking deserts’ in which payday loans, etc., are the only sort of usurious ‘banking’ outlets available in what used to be known as ‘the ghetto’.

              but w/ your new definition re: saudi arabia blowing up, new chosen heir, tra la la, not sure quite what you mean, but i’ve gotta say that the graphic i used for the new open menu was from this tweet. i love synchronicity!

    • that is a cheerful report; thanks, amigo! how did they all get hipped to neonics? yes, we try to get as many veggie heirloom seeds as we can, but go w/ whatever flower seeds at times, swallowtail seeds, and they don’t say, really.

      cool on the local brewing, local distilling, even our town has a number of those. and the library started an heirloom seed swap, very nice. triangle park, oh, my. well, here’s hoping that the worker bees are that committed to hone science; the worm really needs to turn. and i ♥ the way you’ve expressed that.

      the cortez farmers’ market is largely organic, but the season here is so much shorter that yours. yours must be veritable cornucopias of fruits and veggies.

      on edit: i’m embarrassed that i’d forgotten to say what glorious form of social gospel ‘gardening to fill the empty food banks’ is. bless their hearts, an yours, i’d imagine.

      • How did they get hip to neonics? A lot of people bending the ears of a lot of other people and the bottom line: they kill insects that are integral parts of the ecology. Have you seen a dropoff in the suburban bird population? Fewer butterflies? Not to mention the European beehive collapse aggravated by neonic stress.

        The Methodist food bank garden is the project of an 82-year-old friend, who grew up in Alabama, studied and taught biology in public schools in Texas, California, and other places where here defense industry husband worked, and retired here to docent at the state botanical garden and volunteer at a local elementary school. It’s her heart in that one. And in showing elementary kids what roots look like and how to plant them so they have room to spread out.

  8. Sorry to be late with info on your smoke situation, wendye. It’s possibly from a substantial fire that started near Jemez Springs in the Jemez and has been proceeding northward. A rolling thunderstorm yesterday may have put it out if it didn’t cause more problems with frequent lightning strikes round about. It did mercifully cool our heatwave – a couple of days ago it was 104 in Albuquerque.

    It might be some consolation to your lament that Russia being the world’s largest country is non-GMO and pro-organic farming. We could all move there if they don’t take us over.

    I used to resist our rainy season being referred to as ‘the monsoon’, but yesterday’s storm was definitely oceanic so maybe we have an early start to what is indeed monsoon-like behavior, as the cloud cover is still with us. If it puts a brake on extreme temperature rise, I will take it.

    My fruit, some of it, did make it through the ups and downs of spring weather, but the apples have been steadily dropping off my one tree, sorry to say, and a butterfly is a rare sight for sure. Nicotinoids – how can agriculturalists sleep who are profiting from this systemic outrage? They have to know it is poison.

    • nice to hear you got thunderstorms, juliania. here…it’d dry dry dry, no rain in sight. but mr. wd discovered that 29,000 acres have been burning in multiple fires the gilas since june 10 (SW AZ), so that might be the smoke.

      not one piece of fruit here, sincerely odd-bodkins, but: the weather changes, hot, cold, hot, freezing. we do have some bees and a few smallish swallowtails, one garter snake (the findhorn folks call them ‘devas’).

      but i went and fetched some info i’d given the fellah over yonder:
      “from counterrcurrent news jan. 2017: ‘In Europe 28 countries have banned GM crops: The list of countries with some sort of ban on GM crops is as follows:
      Azerbaijan, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales.
      In the Americas 4 countries have bans in place: Belize, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
      There are also 4 countries in Asia who have banned GM crops: Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
      And two countries in Africa who have done the same are: Algeria and Madagascar.
      biotech crops are grown in 28 countries.”

      and it’s been awhile, but i did post the ‘ban the bomb‘ diary i’d kinda promised you…if i could remember. ;-)

      i’m out for the night, dream well if you’re able, all.

care to comment? (no registration required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s