welcome to the fest
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

the Jesus Christ,That Ain't Right thread
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sinfest Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: the Jesus Christ,That Ain't Right thread Reply with quote

it's not, like, i'm surprised that Monsanto Runs the World, but still
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9551

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear, you are going to watch Food Inc. and hate the world.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why would i waste my time watching food inc -- i eat, and i plan on continuing to do so.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
E-boy



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 1552
Location: Virginia (Much barfiness)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good and bad of engineered seed as I see it.

I'm actually gonna start with the bad though:

Mono-culture agriculture is asking for trouble. To take an extreme example the bananas our parents enjoyed are extinct, wiped out by a blight because they were all effectively clones. The new variety we enjoy today is on it's way out for the same reason. Plants we grow for food like corn while not outright clones lack a significant amount of the genetic variation that would otherwise help make them resistant to blights and other unforeseen events.

You can't use seed seasonally as was traditionally done with cereal crops. The hybrid varieties and genetically modified crops sold by companies like Monsanto don't breed true. In a nutshell that just means if you use a portion of seed from your harvest to replant you will see a decline in output per acre. The desirable traits you bought the seed for aren't maintained for more than a single generation in the case of hybrids or the seeds are intentionally made not to breed true in the case of more directly genetically modified varieties.

Creating crops to be more resistant to herbicides encourages the heavier use of those herbicides rather than often less effective, but more environmentally friendly alternatives, like hand weeding, or planting more other types of plant with your crop that help crowd out and control undesirables. All those herbicides, and a monoculture crop can deny proper nutrition and health to the very insects we depend on, out of necessity, to pollinate those crops.

There's probably more to be said on the bad side, but lets look at the good side for a moment.


Genetically modified crops, for all the bad press are not of necessity evil perversions of nature IF (big if here) outside agencies are allowed access to these products to test their claims and verify safety. They will, in theory, allow for a second green revolution. One that is hoped to have the same effect on Africa as the first green revolution had in Asia.

Crops can be created that fair better in drought conditions, are salt tolerant (thus allowing use of land that before would not have been farmable), more nutritious (in the sense of being engineered to produce more protein or other desirable nutrients), and even in some cases to produce vaccines (although I am still a little leery of that particular claim).

The major potential issues I have with this go back to monoculture and price. If we can't make these crops affordable to small farms at prices they can bear in places like Africa then they won't do anything at all to help the problem. Monoculture issues are potentially a lot more hazardous in places where the survival margin is thin.

Of course none of this addresses the single biggest criticism I have of modern agriculture. It is simply unsustainable in it's current mode of operation. The United States Bread Basket is utterly dependent on petro-chemical fertilizers which are non-renewable resources, kill soil bacteria contributing to less nutritive crops and soil loss and pollute our waters. Most of our prime farm land is irrigated with fossil water from aquifers that take thousands of years to refill. So again, non-renewable.

To date Malthusian predictions of doom and gloom have been pushed back over and over with technological development. I don't think that can happen indefinitely. I think genetically modifying crops might be one of the key technologies to making agriculture more sustainable. Providing it's approached correctly.
_________________
"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid" ~ SGT John Stryker from "Sands of Iwo Jima".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
The Highlord



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 551

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think most fears of genetically modified crops are mostly the same sort of anti-intellectual haranguing that the left would traditionally jump on the right for, a yuppie stupidity that lives on today. Regardless, malnutrition is a reality that can be addressed (hopefully) by bigger, better, more tolerant yields, like in this new rice that's been released to Bangladesh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y42eWufLx5s

Edit: Nist? What the hell? That was a weird typo.
_________________
There is a luxury to self-reproach.


Last edited by The Highlord on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12249
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So basically what we need in order to make sure tweaked crops can make it to the places they're desperately needed is some kind of Open Source initiative.
Open Source fixes everything!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17275
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, it's pretty much what got us agriculture.

i'm not really fearful that genetic engineering will produce some sort of franken-crop, but i'm with eboy on the risks of monocultures, and the economic burden it places on the farmers in poor countries. genetically engineering crops to be more productive and/or handle more difficult growing areas is...well, it's what agriculture has been all about, actually. if we can do it faster and better, great. if the people who most need it can't afford it...not so great.
_________________
aka: neverscared!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
E-boy



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 1552
Location: Virginia (Much barfiness)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about the long post earlier. I got ambushed in a mail thread on Face Book by a kook who calls GM playing god. I informed her that people play god all the time and sometimes the results are quite good. Hell I'm alive today because of people playing god and inventing that special shot that keeps momma's from having immune responses to their babies sometimes. I don't think the kooky lady was terribly impressed by this argument.

So then I asked her if she advocated mass starvation and wide spread government destabilization in the third world. She told me my statistics were all made up. I gave up. Incidentally she's a big fan of Palin. Go figure.

When it comes stuff like this I guess I am the reductionist I am called. Although near as I can tell no one is a reductionist to the degree that that particular insult implies. Except maybe the person who came up with that epithet. I'm also a realist about our current circumstances and the need to address them. GM crops aren't the devil. They may be one of our saving graces in dodging another Malthusian bullet. At very least they are probably going to be a necessary bridge technology to getting agriculture into sustainability.
_________________
"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid" ~ SGT John Stryker from "Sands of Iwo Jima".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17275
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, the fact that she's a palin supporter should have told you all you need to know about her logical abilities.
_________________
aka: neverscared!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
E-boy



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 1552
Location: Virginia (Much barfiness)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LMAO! She told me to "TAKE BACK YOUR COUNTRY!!!!" I think she's been listening to to much Rush.
_________________
"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid" ~ SGT John Stryker from "Sands of Iwo Jima".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Doctor Device



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall that line appearing anywhere in 'Limelight' or 'Tom Sawyer'...

are you sure about her listening to Rush, Eboy?
_________________
-It is by Will Alone I Set my Mind in Motion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
E-boy



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 1552
Location: Virginia (Much barfiness)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LMAO! No she'd be cooler is she listened to THAT Rush. I was referring to Rush Limbaugh. Hence forth known as lying piece of **** to avoid confusion.
_________________
"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid" ~ SGT John Stryker from "Sands of Iwo Jima".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17275
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

but how will you then distinguish him from beck, o'reilly, hannity....

actually, i think they are probably all the same person. do you ever see them together?
_________________
aka: neverscared!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
The Highlord



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 551

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
do you ever see them together?

In my nightmares.
_________________
There is a luxury to self-reproach.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bad*lil*kitty



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 638
Location: body's in IL, heart's in NM

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The combination would be pretty hellacious.

As far as genetic modifications of crops go...I'm currently in a state that's famous for it...good ol DeKalb IL has been playing around with corn for ages and ages now.

I do think that there's merit to it. Some of the modifications that they've done to your standard ear of corn have made it possible to make higher quality ethanol fuels, and ethanol is a promising alternative fuel source...

I think it's like anything else, honestly, you just need to find a good balance and have checks in the system to make sure you're not creating some evil zombie corn that's going to kill everyone. Or y'know, just be ethical and use science wisely.

Either way, people that are alarmist about genetic modifications to crops bug the bejesus out of me.

I do appreciate nature and the simplicity of the things found there, as is, and their power to heal/nourish...but I can also see where science can lend a hand in certain situations.
_________________
*ahem*
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sinfest Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group