Genetically modified crops failing worldwide

The Green Revolution — a misleading name applied by PR firms to the onset of globalized, chemical-intensive, industrial agriculture that is anything but friendly to the environment — is coming unraveled around the world, bringing devastation to farmers from the plains of China to the plains of America.

It was revealed last week that China is dealing with an explosive infestation of the formerly inconsequential mirid bug in its orchards and cotton fields. The bug’s population exploded as a result of widespread planting of cotton that had been genetically altered to be resistant to the bollworm, formerly cotton’s worst enemy. Cotton farmers stopped spraying insecticides, since their plants shrugged off the bollworms, and thus allowed other insects, especially the mirid bug, to multiply without interference.

According to a study published last week by Kongming Wu at the State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests in Beijing (reported by Reuters), the mirid bug is now laying waste to orchards and cotton fields in at least six provinces in Northern China, affecting 10 million farmers. Controlling one pest, as chemical companies boast frequently that they have discovered how to do, inevitably unleashes others in a cascade of unintended consequences. The lesson in this case, according to Wu, is that “We have to study the whole ecosystem.” Indeed.

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Why Mislead About Pentagon-NASA Connection?

I was a bit surprised to hear Obama last week promote the Mars missions with such vigor. His call for manned missions to the red planet won’t be cheap and you wonder how the nation can afford to pay for them. He intends to increase NASA funding by $6 billion over the next five years – one of the few budget increases in government discretionary funding.

Democracy Now did a short story on the Obama announcement and had Victoria Samson from the Secure World Foundation on to talk about it. Amy Goodman asked her about the military connection to NASA and she denied there was one. Anyone who follows the space program knows differently.

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An Inconvenient Fraud?

Al Gore and his pals in the science establishment want us to totally change our lives because of a theory that might not even be true. Have the sacred cows of global warming been gored beyond repair?

It was good to be Al Gore in the last part of the last decade. In the year 2000 he was the world’s biggest loser. By 2009 he was one of the world’s biggest winners after becoming the master of disaster. Flummoxed by his noninvention of the internet and his nonelection as president of the United States, Gore found a winning hand in predicting the end of the world. In the process, he received an Oscar for his film An Inconvenient Truth, the Nobel Peace Prize, and millions of dollars through his interests in companies that dealt in “carbon credits.” Gore became more of a “Comeback Kid” than Bill Clinton ever was. For most of 2009, it was still good to be King Al. But late in the year, Al Gore’s beloved internet betrayed him.

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Climate science is slowly being undermined by climate evangelism

Climate evangelism is an apt description of what the IPCC has been up to, for it has exaggerated some of the ramifications of climate change in order to make politicians take note. Murari Lal, the coordinating lead author of the section of the IPCC report that contained the Himalayan error, admitted that he and his colleagues knew that the dramatic glacier prediction was not based on any peer-reviewed science. Nonetheless, he explained, “we thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

The concrete action that they had in mind was getting governments to mandate drastic cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions. Activists have been pursuing this approach to tackling global warming without success for nearly 20 years, most recently at last December’s failed climate summit in Copenhagen. The problem is that it is too expensive a solution for politicians and the public to swallow easily – which is why many well-meaning climate scientists have apparently concluded that instead of relying on reasoned discussion, they might as well try to scare us witless.

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