Thursday, May 3, 2012

It can’t happen here: farming edition

Zombie at PJ Media (via David Thompson) has what must be the blogpost of the month, about some idiots “occupying” a research farm run by the University of California and turning it into… well, see for yourself. In order to ruin years of scientific research intended, as the university points out, to help feed the world’s poor and starving, they bought lots of seedlings from the local equivalent of Bunnings or Mitre 10 and planted some of them. And, bafflingly, a lemon tree seedling. As Zombie says, none of the occupiers will be around to care for the tree when it begins to fruit. These are not the gardeners of Eden.

Zombie provides loads of text – much of it informative, observational reporting; the rest is sarcastic, withering comment – and photos that truly do speak louder than words. He/she quotes the idiot occupants:
On Earth Day, the land was liberated; transformed into a living, breathing space for the community to know food and stories.
 This farm embodies what we envision as an alternative to the profit-drivern educational system. With bolt-cutters, shovels, Roto-tillers and thousands of plants: we reclaim our right to shape our communities, our universities + our minds + bodies.
To anyone who has a farm – hell, to anyone who has so much as a vegetable garden – this may look a bunch of self-regarding wankers who don’t really care about farming, plants or growing food. Meanwhile, via Mick Hartley in England:
Scientists working on a new generation of genetically modified crops have sent an open letter to anti-GM protesters pleading with them not to destroy “years of work” by attacking their research plots.
The activist group, Take the Flour Back, has pledged to carry out a “decontamination” at a test site in Hertfordshire, where agricultural researchers are growing the world’s first genetically modified wheat that can repel insect pests by emitting a repellent-smelling substance.
The idea behind this research is that it may reduce the need for pesticides. But Matt Thomson from Take the Flour Back replies:
“The concerns that we have are not addressed in this letter,” he said. “The way that Rothamsted have publicised this trial has been patronising. This wheat contains genes that are not naturally occurring.”
All these First World idealists think there is something wrong with trying to feed poor people in the Third World and reduce the use of pesticides which would be not only a good thing in itself but also makes life better and safer for poor farmers in the Third World.

Are there any people as witless as this in New Zealand? You betcha.  So here again, sarcastically as ever, are Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention:

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