Re: SOC/BIO: Anti-GM Activists at ICAG Conference in Minneapolis

Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 16:36:17 MDT

In a message dated 7/23/00 12:54:17 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> > [Spike wrote] 5) Therefore, GM is green.
> Spike is correct. Nanotech even more so.

Definitely right -- something Chris Peterson and I talked about together on a
panel at Extro3.

> Of course convincing
> people of that is the interesting problem. I always wonder what
> the greens say when you say: "Let me get this straight -- do you want
> to return the the planet to a wild state where dog-eat-dog is the
> dominant condition, i.e. where carnivores are ripping out the throats
> or entrails of their prey, allowing them to die relatively unpleasantly?"

As a matter of fact, the mainstream-to-radical environmentalist posture is
just this. And I'm afraid that convincing this segment of opinion that
GM/Nano is good for the environment is a completely lost cause. The bedrock
of ideology in this camp is strongly and romantically anti-technology and
anti-progressive. Any good can only be done from the opposite end of the
spectrum of opinion at this point.
> Techno-man has done a majority of species a favor by eliminating
> other predators and confining his predation to a limited set of
> animals which, *in theory*, are sacrificed with a minimal amount
> of suffering (though I'd *definately* prefer that all meat be
> grown in a vat).

That's not right at all. Large prey animals have suffered a lot because
we've wiped out the top predators and enriched the prey animals' food base.
There are waaaay more deer and waterfowl in the US, for instance, now than
there were 100 years ago and their populations tend to go through wild
up-and-down swings as a result, in the down part of which, many starve in
ways that wouldn't happen with a richer predator population. Worse than
that, prey-animal population booms cause destruction in delicate biomes: The
current goose boom is ruining big stretches of the Canadian tundra. We need
to do a much better job of managing the ecosystems we've disrupted by
eliminating predators and enriching the environment.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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