A major Canadian logger appears to be using a pair of law suits to end the existence of Greenpeace and to stop or curtail pro-environmental activities by other organizations operating in North America, or perhaps, generally.

This activity is being carried out by Resolute Forest Products. This is a rapidly developing story. Aside from the usual sources of information, I had a long conversation with a representative of Greenpeace. I also refer you to this blog post.

Resolute Forest Products is one of North America’s largest converters of forest into pulp, ultimately to be used to make paper. They do other things as well. Back in 2010, Resolute Forest Products joined a group of 30 entities, including other forestry companies as well as environmental organizations such as Greenpeace. The group, called the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, intended to reduce negative impacts on the northern boreal forests caused by companies like Resolute.

Resolute, for its part, is said to have stonewalled movement in any positive direction, and eventually, Greenpeace Canada and others dropped out of the agreement. Greenpeace Canada then produced a report, in May 2013, outlining alleged deception by Resolute about the sustainability of their products. Generally, Greenpeace has been encouraging pulp customers to select producers that log sustainably, and that appears to annoy Resolute. That started a relatively complex back and forth between Resolute and Greenpeace, and other Canadian stakeholders, including a $7 million defamation suite by resolute against Greenpeace Canada as well as two of its staff members.

To get caught up on the environmental arguments concerns at hand, see Endangered Forests in the Balance: The impact of logging reaches new heights in the Montagnes Blanches Endangered Forest.

And now this ongoing battle is heating up again.

At present, there are two new significant suits by Resolute Forest Products, one against Greenpeace Canada, the other against Greenpeace International. The latter is said to have been filed in the US because the limitations on liability are much higher; Indeed, the Canadian suit is for millions, while the US based suit is for hundreds of millions. Along with these legal actions, Resolute is, again, directly attacking individuals and not just the company.

It is generally believed by observers that Resolute intends to use this legal action to end Greenpeace. Other environmental organizations are concerned that this type of suit may end their efforts as well.

Many will consider this a SLAPP suit. This is a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.” A SLAPP “… is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.*

The US based law suit uses RICO statute. RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and was created to allow prosecutors important tools to go after previously nearly untouchable organized crime entities. Apparently, legal experts view the RICO suit against Greenpeace International to be absurd and unwinnable. That is what would make it a SLAPP. All Resolute has to do is pour a few tens of millions into the effort, and Greenpeace will have to give in. Unless, of course, judges throw the suits out early enough.

In addition to going after Greenpeace, Resolute has named Stand.earth as an additional target in their RICO suit. (See this for a list of the many legal documents related to these suits). From Stand.earth:

Can a lumber company sue its grassroots public interest critics? While some courts say no, yesterday Resolute Forest Products filed a civil RICO lawsuit in United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Incredibly, the suit complains that Greenpeace and Stand (formerly ForestEthics) have acted as a “criminal enterprise” in their public interest advocacy to stop destructive logging and protect waterways, wildlife, and communities in the boreal forest of Canada.

Stand believes this suit is entirely without merit and is a clear attempt to silence its most powerful grassroots critics. In addition, CEO Richard Garneau has overseen multiple free speech lawsuits during his tenure against individuals and organizations, and led the company to five consecutive years of a slumping stock.

Pulp: The coal of the wood industry

Why is this happening? The most obvious reason is that Resolute is tired of having their lack of sustainable practice pointed out to them by organizations like Greenpeace. There may even be a cost to Resolute, in that customers are increasingly demanding that sustainable practices be followed by extractive industries such as logging. Indeed, I expect that one response to the Resolute legal action will be an effort to pressure book publishers to use paper made from sustainably produced pulp.

So there’s that, but there is probably more to it. Resolute is part of a rapidly declining industry: North American pulp. Resolute could scale down its overall expectations and become the sustainable pulp producer. Or, it could barrel into the future full speed ahead, using up whatever expanse of the northern forest it can lay it’s saws on before getting stopped. It seems to be doing the latter.

Over the last fifty years or so, the production of paper has gone up significantly (from tens of millions of tons in 1960 to over 350 millions of tons more recently). People will tell you that the internet killed off paper production, but that seems not quite true. Paper production does not increase each year as much as it formerly did, but it still increases.

But two other things have happened. For one, the amount of paper that is recycled has also gone up, but at a slightly slower rate than overall paper production. So, that shift from 10 to 350 million tons a year of paper, an increase of about 30 times, is actually an increase of about 10 or 15 times for the virgin pulp some paper is made out of. Related is the use of more wood waste to make pulp instead of virgin timber.

The other factor is the shift in pulp and paper production to places other than North America, so from a North American perspective, pulp looks a lot like coal: it is a dying business.

Putting all this together, and you can see that Greenpeace is really Resolute’s smaller problem. The bigger problem is a dramatic and ongoing decline in its own market.

I would have thought this would be the ideal time go go full on rogue sustainable, and be the one company that produces most of the sustainable pulp in a world where North Americans will tolerate nothing else. But apparently I do not work at Resolute, do I?

Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. #1 David Whitlock
    April 29, 2017

    I really don’t like the tactics that Greenpeace uses, and some of the battles that they wage do not help the environment.

    The Greenpeace stance against Golden Rice is unacceptable.

    I don’t know enough about the Resolute issue to know if Resolute is the bad actor that Greenpeace claims. I do know enough about Greenpeace to know that I cannot trust what Greenpeace says because Greenpeace often lies.

  2. #2 Wow
    April 29, 2017

    “The Greenpeace stance against Golden Rice is unacceptable.”

    Golden rice is a scam. It’s pure PR and fluff to get GMOs for agribusiness monopoly control accepted. There’s no need for it (there are better sources of the dietary vitamin elsewhere), and it’s not produced anyway, because there’s little to no money in it (if it’s priced to be profitable, it isn’t bought unless it’s by enforement of “ToS”.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    April 29, 2017

    David, I had a long talk with the Greenpeace people, and I read all the stuff (much more than I’m referring to above) and I’m convince that this is important, that the Resolute lawsuit is potentially very damaging, and that Greepeace is in the right wrt the forestry and pulp issue in Canada.

    As you know I don’t automatically go along with Greenpeace and I’ve criticized them before. I’m going with them on this, though.

  4. #4 MikeN
    April 29, 2017

    Greenpeace’s response in court was that our reports shouldn’t be read as statements of fact.

  5. #5 Wow
    April 29, 2017

    Who knows whether you’re even in the same universe as reality, “mike”.

  6. #6 dean
    April 29, 2017

    Resolute seems to have expanded the lawsuit into the United States because several of their moves in Canada were shot down.

    “They started to make false claims in 2013,” Richard Garneau, CEO of Resolute Forest Products, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They said the forest was being destroyed and the caribou being exterminated. They said we were abusing the First Nations people and making climate change worse. I said this was wrong and they were just lying to raise money.”

    But Canadian judges recently rejected an attempt by Resolute to expand a $7 million libel suit against the environmental organization Greenpeace, which began attacking the company in 2012.

    It also doesn’t seem that GreenPeace is the only organization saying these things about Resolute’s logging practices.

    https://www.nrdc.org/experts/anthony-swift/resolute-major-step-away-sustainable-forestry

    Greenpeace did say in its legal filings that its reports were opinion.

  7. #7 Phil Morgan
    April 29, 2017

    Greenpeace has become an eco-terrorist group that even its founder has disowned. See his comments about this group.
    He has videos on Y tube

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    April 29, 2017

    Phil, this is a fairly obnoxious comment but I’ll allow it just so I can say that Patrick Moore did not found Greenpeace.

  9. #9 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “Greenpeace has become an eco-terrorist group ”

    Phil has always been a vile and violent moron who hates anything that won’t make him money.

    Hey, this blank assertion stuff is EASY!

  10. #10 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    Oh, and as Greg says, he wasn’t the founder, he wasn’t even one of the founders, and even if he were, it wouldn’t make him right in his vitriol and water-pool-pissing. It’s a plain and unvarnished appeal to (false) authority.

  11. #11 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “Greenpeace did say in its legal filings that its reports were opinion.”

    Two things, then.
    1) Not all their reports, then, from the reading of the link,only their report on this company. No identification of scope from “mike”. So I’ll say so what? A report on what is available about Saddam’s regime would be opinion from me because I have only limited resource and no power to enforce fact finding. And where is “Dick” to proclaim that GP are allowed their opinion????

    2) “mike” should be easily able to remember this. In a court case, if it’s a statement of fact, it can be actionable as libel if wrong. Seems he wants to have GP wrong because they’re not talking factually, but Steyn et al to be talking factually because he could be right, even though it’s “valid opinion”.

    Unlike you, dean, he gave fuck all context. He seems to be on a contextless bender at the moment. Probably had his ass handed to him badly recently elsewhere and is trying to regain his ego by not losing an argument via the method of not making one, only doing so by implication.

  12. #12 mikeb
    April 30, 2017

    Greenpeace consists of Luddites. They destroy crops and harass scientists.

    Did they listen to the scientists’ plea?

    https://www.biofortified.org/2016/07/110-nobel-laureates-greenpeace-gmos/

  13. #13 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    And internet consists of idiot trolls, they pound out unthinking rightwingnutjob BS and harass as “leftist” and “luddite” anyone who doesn’t agree with their authority figures.

    Do they listen to themselves?

  14. #14 Stratos Tsompanellis
    Canada
    April 30, 2017

    Just think of this. If Greenpeace is silenced what happens next?

  15. #15 David Whitlock
    April 30, 2017

    Greg, I know you are a thoughtful person. I don’t doubt that this lawsuit will potentially kill Greenpeace.

    I know enough of the bad actions of Greenpeace that I am not sure that that the destruction of GP would be a bad thing.

    The thing is, the things that GP is accused of doing to Resolute were not really going to be effective at accomplishing improving the environment or improving adherence to responsible environmental stewardship, as far as I can tell right now. Getting reliable information on what happened is difficult. I will dig into this some more.

    The GP opposition to Golden Rice doesn’t have an environmental benefit. All it does is make Golden rice more difficult to commercialize and delay the time when it will reach the subsistence farmers who need it to prevent their children from going blind and dying due to vitamin A deficiency.

  16. #16 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “The GP opposition to Golden Rice doesn’t have an environmental benefit.”

    Ah, neither do cane toads.

    Or the Nile Perch.

    They also thought thalidomide was fine because it didn’t affect genetic factors or growth.

    All three fell down, however, because they were introduced massively into an ecosystem that wasn’t as simple as thought. There’s more to genetic damage than just the DNA strands. Signalling is quite important to get right…

    “All it does is make Golden rice more difficult to commercialize”

    Nope. Golden rice is just a fluff piece. Why do you think the biggest seller is RR crops, when it’s clearly worse than golden rice, and just as GMO’d?

    Because RR makes wads of cash for the manufacturer.

    “who need it to prevent their children from going blind and dying due to vitamin A deficiency”

    Please stop talking bullshit.

    Those people lived ages without going blind. There are better sources for vitamin A and its not that necessary either, if they were allowed to subsist on actual food instead of having to go for cash-crops that send them into import dependency for actual eating stuff.

    If you were so worried about the poor farmers and their problems, you’d be trying to get farming susbsidies removed entirely from the world stage.

    A bit like GP does.

    (PS the problem with GMO is like the one with nuke power: it’s not the tech that is bad, nor the actors bad, but that it’s too dangerous to be let run by the people we do it with and the culture of short-termism we have. Medical GMOs are much safer, if only because it’s so precious a commodity that it won’t be allowed to be contaminated (or therefore contaminate) any other organism in the environment. Not forgetting it won’t tie up actually eating with a monopoly practice)

  17. #17 MikeN
    April 30, 2017

    Wow, Dean was smart enough to see what I was doing and didn’t take the bait.

  18. #18 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    So what do you mean by that?

    You were deliberately trolling? In which case I read your asinine claims 100% accurately.

    And are you claiming to be posting here under multiple sockpuppet accounts? Or if not, what the fuck post are you talking about you dribbling moron?

    But I guess you just HAD to bite the lure. You cannot EVER accept that you’re being reamed a new one by someone on the internet and have to scramble for some new way to excuse the complete fuckup you’re making of your life. ANYTHING to make you feel like you’re not a loser.

  19. #19 David Whitlock
    April 30, 2017

    Wow, why don’t you educate yourself as to the facts about golden rice and vitamin A deficiency?

    http://www.goldenrice.org/Content3-Why/why1_vad.php

    Unconsidered first world opposition to GMOs hurts developing world agriculture and has exacerbated famines. Lots of fake news about GMOs.

    GP is now saying that their reports were “opinion” and “hyperbole”, aka “fake”. Which is GP admitting that their reports are unreliable and can’t be trusted to be factual.

    There are not a shortage of environmental problems that need to be dealt with. If GP is saying that it exaggerates and misrepresents the magnitude of the environmental problems it reports on, GP is telling people who care about the environment that they need to look elsewhere for factual information.

    I have been looking, trying to find what it was that Resolute was doing that was so egregious that GP tried to destroy them by driving away customers. So far, I can’t find reference to anything specific. It appears that the major disagreement is that Resolute switched to using a different sustainability certifying organization, SFI, who GP claims is “green washing” and not actually promoting sustainability.

    The SFI sustainability standards look pretty similar to the FSC standards.

    http://www.sfiprogram.org/

    A large difference is that FSC forbids inclusion of materials from forests where GMOs are planted, forests that are being converted to plantations or other uses.

    To me, this seems counterproductive. Sustainable forestry is eventually going to look like agriculture; where specific plants with specific properties (likely GMO) are grown at high yield in essentially monoculture. That heuristic (growing plants at high yield) results in the minimum of land used to grow the harvested plants, leaving the maximum land as wild land. Wildlife needs wild land. Any kind of disturbance to land makes it less suitable for wildlife habitat.

    There is now a GMO American Chestnut, which may allow the American Chestnut to recover. I can’t support any organization that would prevent that from happening.

  20. #20 dean
    April 30, 2017

    “Wow, Dean was smart enough to see what I was doing and didn’t take the bait.”

    Not sure what you’re talking about. All I see is the usual dishonesty from you.

  21. #21 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “Wow, why don’t you educate yourself as to the facts about golden rice and vitamin A deficiency? ”

    I did.

    You just read the PR puff pieces. Try some skepticism and investigation. Does wonders for finding out how much or how little you’re being played for a fool.

    Try learning something rather than find some palliative indoctrination and regurgitate it willy-nilly.

    For example, I note you ignored the semi-rhetorical question about why RR was worse than golden rice but is actually being sold and produced, if GP were so powerful and effective that they could stymie the massive agribusiness corporations in their goal to help the poor starving families.

    That is because you don’t want anyone to think about it. You are COMFORTABLE in your lies and you don’t want inconvenient truths or even inconvenient queries to blur your self-image of shining white knight.

    “To me, this seems counterproductive.”

    Yup, but the fact is that is merely how you see it. given that you’ve swallowed the PR of a fluff org website, your knowledge and vision are questionable to say the least.

    Those farmers survived 10,000 years without going blind on their diet. Funny how it requires a monopoly product to save their sight, eh?

    Then again, I see monopolisation of the basic necessities is counterproductive.

    And the release of millions of hectares of GMO product in one swell foop insanity. For all the GMO fluffer’s repeat of the “We’ve been genetically modifying for EVAH!”, we modified them in small areas where adaption of the ecosystem to the change was slow enough we could frequently stop the fuckup before it went too far (or died off because of the fuckup ruining food supplies). And at the very least, we’d know how it was working before it became widespread.

    Agribusiness won’t be profitable in the quarterly reports if we go that slowly.

    So they rush it out and puff it up.

    Because they don’t consider whether it’s going to be a problem, only whether it will be profitable. Working is their only option, nothing else considered. And if and when it goes titsup, they will be the last to be affected.

    Just like thalidomide.

  22. #22 David Whitlock
    April 30, 2017

    This article estimates that a couple hundred thousand child deaths could be prevented per year based on vitamin A.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673603138111

    GMOs have been fed to farm animals as pretty much their exclusive feed for the past couple of decades. There has already been multi-generational “research” showing no adverse effects of GMOs.

    Here is one of the largest studies ever done, and which shows no adverse results. It looks at the entire US population of farm animals, which have been eating mostly GMOs for the past number of years. It covers over 100,000,000,000 animals (100 billion).

    https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jas/articles/92/10/4255?highlight&search-result=1

    By every measure the animals appear to be healthier over time, as GMO content of their diet increases. I am not claiming that GMOs in the diet are responsible for the improved health, but there is no hint that GMOs are producing any ill effects.

    Genetic modification is a technique. Its use in food only remains controversial for those who do not understand the science.

  23. #23 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “Golden Rice was a promising idea backed by good intentions,” Stone said. “In contrast to anti-GMO activists, I argued that it deserved a chance to succeed. But if we are actually interested in the welfare of poor children — instead of just fighting over GMOs — then we have to make unbiased assessments of possible solutions. The simple fact is that after 24 years of research and breeding, Golden Rice is still years away from being ready for release.”

    https://source.wustl.edu/2016/06/genetically-modified-golden-rice-falls-short-lifesaving-promises/

    Just like with the nuke nuts, they blame the All Powerful Green Peace Beatnick Voting Bloc for the failures that are the result of the product not working as they heard from PR fluff pieces.

    It’s much easier to blame a group you were already predisposed to hate anyway, isn’t it, Dave.

  24. #24 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “Here is one of the largest studies ever done, and which shows no adverse results”

    Ah, and? Thalidomide showed no adverse results.

    Cane Toads were 100% viable and well integrated in their natural habitat, and the Nile Perch a wonderful part of a river infrastructure.

    Did you know your body produces cyanide? Apoptosis. When carefully administered, it’s fine. Dump it in the water supply and you’re asking for trouble.

    Again, you 100% ignored the semirhetorical query about why golden rice has been “beaten” by this powerful greenpeace, yet we still have france testing nuke designs, huntingdon still does animal testing, and monsato produce happily their roundup ready crops.

    Were greenpeace too tuckered out from crushing golden rice? Or is your tale a load of bollocks?

    The latter, patently.

  25. #25 Wow
    April 30, 2017

    “Genetic modification is a technique.”

    Yup.

    ” Its use in food only remains controversial for those who do not understand the science.”

    Nope.

    You don’t understand the science. You only comprehend the bits that you’ve been peddled.

    Try thinking.

  26. #26 Li D
    Australia
    April 30, 2017

    #6
    “Greenpeace did say in its legal filings that its reports were opinion.”
    Theres a basket of worms in that idea, larger than
    this particular case.

  27. #27 MikeN
    April 30, 2017

    “But I guess you just HAD to bite the lure. You cannot EVER accept that you’re being reamed a new one by someone on the internet and have to scramble for some new way to excuse the complete fuckup you’re making of your life. ANYTHING to make you feel like you’re not a loser.”

    Project much?

    Dean, #11-2, I was linking to Mann case. I am with GP here. Before I think Melania got to sue someone into silence.

  28. #28 Wow
    May 1, 2017

    “Project much?”

    Not really, nowhere near as much as you “mike”.

    Who was it who tried to cover their spotted ass by saying “Oh, you took the bait!”, hmmm? And STILL fuck all about where.

    Why?

    Because you done fucked it up, kid, and you’re ego is hurting like a shoveled pig so you squeal and squeal and squeal, hoping someone will take pity and not notice how you were the cause of your fuckup.

    Sad.

    “Dean, #11-2, I was linking to Mann case.”

    Nope, you weren’t. If you were you could explain how and where. Because “you took the bait” doesn’t mean fuck all to the Mann case, so it looks like another “SQUIRREL!!!!!” moment from you.

  29. #29 David Whitlock
    May 1, 2017

    I have been reading up on this case and am becoming more and more sympathetic to Resolute.

    Resolute still has 29 sites that are still FSC certified (I checked the FSC website today).

    From what I have read, it seems that FSC wants Resolute to have all of its sites certified by FSC, but some Resolute sites may not be eligible for FSC certification because they don’t meet FSC criteria for certification. What is Resolute supposed to do then? Not manage those sites?

    https://us.fsc.org/en-us/certification/controlled-wood

    There are legitimate sources of forest products that are not “natural forests”.

    “The five FSC controlled wood categories of unacceptable sources (referred to as controlled wood categories) are:
    1) Illegally harvested wood;
    2) Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights;
    3) Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities;
    4) Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use; and
    5) Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted”

    A “plantation” (a planting with few species all of the same age) is a forest, but is not a “natural forest”. Wood harvested from a plantation is not eligible to be FSC certified if the woodlot is going to be replanted as a plantation or if GMO trees are there, or are going to be planted there.

    FSC is saying is that it is better to sustainably harvest wood from “natural forests” (which does degrade those natural forests) and it is unacceptable to harvest wood from forests that are already degraded (which spares undegraded natural forests). To the extent that wood and wood products are substitutable, harvesting wood from degraded sites, reduces the demand for wood from undegraded sites; something I consider to be a good thing.

    The FSC approach makes no sense from an ecological point of view. The SFI approach makes much more sense, and has more flexibility; particularly for forest managers who don’t own the land that they are managing.

    Some are making a big deal about Resolute not following through on a commitment to increase the acreage under FSC certification. However the criteria for certification by FSC changed during that time frame, and may have become not achievable by Resolute (or made Resolute unable to meet its other commitments such as legacy pensions of forest workers).

    The lawsuit is about GP duplicitously trashing Resolute’s reputation with various customers; while Resolute is still certified by FSC.

  30. #30 MikeN
    May 1, 2017

    David, thanks for the details. I was confused by the attack on sustainability, since most paper companies replant when they cut down trees(making paper recycling not really saving trees). So sustainability doesn’t apply to companies that use their own private lands and replant when they cut down?

  31. #31 Wow
    May 1, 2017

    “I have been reading up on this case and am becoming more and more sympathetic to Resolute. ”

    Yeah, as long as they’re against the hippies, they must be good guys!

    “The lawsuit is about GP duplicitously trashing Resolute’s reputation with various customers;”

    It’s as valid to claim the lawsuit is a SLAPP to silence critics of a corrupt company.

  32. #32 Wow
    May 1, 2017

    I note you still avoided even appearing to read the query why golden rice seems, as you say it, to be held up by Greenpeace when RR crops have been going like billy-o.

  33. #33 Lionel A
    May 2, 2017

    since most paper companies replant when they cut down trees(making paper recycling not really saving trees).

    Think about that for a moment. This is resource extraction. Planting new trees alone does nothing for the soil structure and the disrupted ecology of that soil. As with any other industrial agricultural activity.

    Great care needs to be taken to not degrade the soil such that it is easily lost from erosion and flash flooding.

  34. #34 Lionel A
    May 2, 2017

    Golden Rice is an over-hyped Trojan-horse of a product that fails the smell test and can be positively dangerous.

    Why?

    Consumer resistance has special importance among the really poor people for whom Golden Rice actually might otherwise prove useful. That’s because when rice is poorly stored it can be infected with a yellow mould causing the deadly “yellow rice disease” (beriberi) if consumed.

    From: Don’t Eat the Yellow Rice: The Danger of Deploying Vitamin A Golden Rice

    More here

    and here.

  35. #35 Lionel A
    May 2, 2017

    True stories of GMO transgene contamination abound here is one such Unapproved Transgene Contaminates US Rice Supply

    One could could be forgiven for thinking that such contamination was deliberate or at least deliberately not prevented. Once Pandora’s Box is opened ……

    The reputation of some who have championed this business has been challenged: Can the Scientific Reputation of Pamela Ronald, Public Face of GMOs, Be Salvaged?

  36. #36 David Whitlock
    May 2, 2017

    I think the attacks on Resolute by GP can be thought of as extortion. GP didn’t like *everything* that Resolute was doing, so they tried to damage the reputation of Resolute with Resolute’s customers until Resolute did *everything* that GP wanted, including things that Resolute had never agreed to do.

    GW went so far as to lie about what Resolute was doing (which GP was forced to retract).

    GP’s main “defense” in the lawsuit seems to be that their false statements were “protected hyperbole”.

    In a scientific debate, if you start lying, you have lost and have shown yourself to be not interested in having a scientific debate. GP has shown itself to be not interested in having scientific debates.

    In my opinion, GP is hurting the environmental cause by lying about things. People who are lying in defense of GP are also hurting the environmental cause.

    One of the difficulties in following the FSC material is that it uses inconsistent definitions across the various documents and they are not put together in ways that are easy to follow.

    They use essentially the definition from the FAO.

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/X8498E/x8498e04.htm

    “Precautionary principle – This principle establishes that a lack of information does not justify the absence of management measures. On the contrary, management measures should be established in order to maintain the conservation of the resources. The assumptions and methods used for the determination of the scientific basis of the management should be presented.”

    Wow, what is the “scientific basis” for rejecting GMOs? The Precautionary Principle requires that the assumptions and methods should be presented.

    So what are they? Breathless comparisons to thalidomide are not a “scientific basis”.

  37. #37 Wow
    May 2, 2017

    “I think the attacks on Resolute by GP can be thought of as extortion.”

    I think that’s a load of horse shit.

    I think you’re paid to fluff up their resume.

    So who are you?

  38. #38 David Whitlock
    May 3, 2017

    Someone who is posting under my real name, and who has met and known Greg for a while. Someone who has worked in environmental fields my entire career, and is continuing to work on global warming mitigation in my spare time.

    Someone who doesn’t deliberately post false stuff.

    So who are you?

  39. #39 Wow
    May 3, 2017

    What does “under my real name” mean? How many David Whitlocks are there in the world? And why would it change what you say or whether it’s bullshit or not if you were called Nancy Tinkerbell?

    Nothing.

    Makes no fucking difference.

    It’s a fallacious argument to claim that because you use one set of consistent names when posting and I use a different set that this makes any difference to the validity of the claims.

    The only reason for not changing names is sockpuppetry, and this is not the case when you use the same pseudonym.

    You are someone who deliberately posts bollocks. I’m someone who doesn’t deliberately post false stuff.

    Who IS “David Whitlock”? It’s just a name. Like “Wow”. Just a name, a label identifying someone.

    The FACT that you’re having to pull this bullshit excuse for false authority for yourself is EVIDENCE you know you have fuck all to your arguments, having to grab for such thin straws.

  40. #40 Wow
    May 3, 2017

    Additionally, given the lack of refutation of the claim you’re a paid shill for the corporation, the case is proven and the point accepted.

  41. #41 Wow
    May 3, 2017

    “One of the difficulties in following the FSC material is that it uses inconsistent definitions ”

    So you’re saying “Well, yeah, they may have not obeyed the regulations, but that’s inevitable given how they are inconsistent or contradictory!”.

    So of GP said they didn’t obey the regulation because one definition they did not obey, but they insist that they obeyed but using a different definition, what exactly is the lie about?

    No, you hate Greenpeace because they don’t agree with you on something, so they MUST be nasty unpleasant liars!

    Yet when you’re faced with similar accusation, you go all butthurt and whiny. I guess it’s easier for cowards to attack a nebulous group, and harder to accept the tables being turned. Because when attacking a group, they can point to one member being “not as bad” or whatever to avoid having to defend the slur or attack someone who can fight back, without having to drop the pretense and the rhetoric.

  42. #42 David Whitlock
    May 4, 2017

    GP is accused of violating libel laws and conspiracy laws, not the “regulations” of FSC.

    I am getting “all butthurt and whiny”?

    I have nothing in this fight, except wanting what is best for the environment and wanting what that is to be determined by the best and most complete science available. I don’t think that is what GP is after. Resolute still has lots of its forests under FSC certificates and all of them are under SFI certificates.

    Why was GP using its resources to go after Resolute when Resolute was doing lots of “right things” when GP could have used its resources to go after illegal loggers who are not doing lots of “right things”?

    I have a hard time believing that GP resources would have a higher environmental return if spent going after Resolute than if spent going after less environmentally responsible forest products companies, or other less environmentally responsible industries. What “return” was GP trying to get, if not protection for the environment?

  43. #43 Wow
    May 4, 2017

    “GP is accused of violating libel laws and conspiracy laws, not the “regulations” of FSC. ”

    So you were excusing Greenpeace of violating the FSC rules in post #36 when you said

    “One of the difficulties in following the FSC material is that it uses inconsistent definitions ”

    ?

    So #36 was defending Greenpeace?!?!?!

    Or are you failing again?

    Or was that you posting something deliberately posting false stuff???

  44. #44 David Whitlock
    May 4, 2017

    GP was claiming Resolute was violating FSC rules.

    GP was faulting Resolute for not having FSC certification on everything it did. GP then said false stuff about what Resolute was doing and later retracted those false things.

    Are you actually trying to understand what happened?

  45. #45 Marco
    May 5, 2017

    “Additionally, given the lack of refutation of the claim you’re a paid shill for the corporation, the case is proven and the point accepted.”

    Wow, stop being an idiot. I know that’s hard for you, so maybe you should seek professional help.

  46. #46 MikeN
    May 5, 2017

    #44, David, no he isn’t. He picked a side and you are the other.

  47. #47 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “GP was claiming Resolute was violating FSC rules. ”

    But you just claimed:

    “GP is accused of violating libel laws and conspiracy laws, not the “regulations” of FSC. ”

    In response to me saying:

    “So you’re saying “Well, yeah, they may have not obeyed the regulations, but that’s inevitable given how they are inconsistent or contradictory!””

    So yet again we’re left with the idea that you’re deliberately posting bullshit.

    Or are a complete and utter moron.

    Having removed the idea that you were talking about Greenpeace when you said the regulations were hard.

    I think it’s a little from colum A and a little from column B. you hate Greenpeace for their overall stance on GMOs because you’ve swallowed the fluff from Monsato hook, line, sinker, trawler and fishing port, and you’re desperate to insist that they’re the bad guys here too.

  48. #48 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “Wow, stop being an idiot.”

    Never started, Marco.

    Where was your comment when Dai Dingbat here posted:

    “I think the attacks on Resolute by GP can be thought of as extortion.”

    Hmm?

    You should try being honest instead of two-faced. I know that’s hard for you, so maybe you should seek professional help. A psychiatrist may help you, or may just give up on you, but you can always hope, eh?

    I don’t care what hypocrites say about me because their motivations are not what the complaint is about but with who they have invested some emotional attachment to.

    Which is why “mike”‘s bollocks and false sympathy for Dingbats here is pointless. He’s not sympathising with Dai, but attacking me.

  49. #49 Jeff Harvey
    May 5, 2017

    Like it or not, Wow is totally correct. Golden rice was a PR stunt aimed to pave the way for GMOs to flood the markets of Asian countries. Most importantly, vitamin A deficiency isn’t the only major nutritional constraint facing the poor in the region. Why not spend the billions that went into R & D for Golden Rice on helping people in the region develop ecologically diverse sustainable agriculture? Why only rice? Sure, its a staple crop, but force-feeding the population rice will make them sick of the stuff; imagine during the potato blight in Ireland that gene jocks developed a GM potato resistant to the pathogen. Then they could ask the people to eat potatoes and nothing but. Of course Golden Rice was a PR stunt, much as the specter of world hunger is perpetually wheeled out by the ago-biotech chemical multinationals in order to sell their products.

    As for it being David’s ignoramus comment that it would be a good thing if Greenpeace folds, what can I say? What planet is David living on? What organizations will be next? This is clearly a SLAPP, aimed at eliminating all opposition to the rapaciously greedy behavior of multinationals.

    First things first. Let’s bring down the entire political system – corporate capitalist neoliberalism – that is is taking our planet into the abyss. The system is psychopathic in the extreme in that capitalism recognizes no limits. If we don’t find a way to rid ourselves of it then we don’t stand a chance. Let’s see that David Whitlock’s of this world stop trying to appease those with power and privilege while attempting to sound ‘rational’ doing it. The current predicament is dire. I make no ands, ifs or buts. I am a tenured Professor with almost 200 career publications and I have been battling the Lomborg’s of this world for the past 20 years. When I see people claiming that the destruction of environmental NGOs is a good thing, while the same people resolutely defend a system that is literally killing us, I respond.

  50. #50 Jeff Harvey
    May 5, 2017

    This article from Oxford university pretty well demolishes David’s argument. It seems that Resolute are abominable:

    https://mscbiodiversity.org/2016/11/23/can-one-bad-apple-rot-canadas-sustainable-forest-management-reputation/

    Good for Greenpeace. I am with them 100%.

  51. #51 Greg Laden
    May 5, 2017

    Jeff, the golden rice was introduced into areas where rice is the main crop. It has been the main crop for centuries. This is not a distinction between monoculture and diverse horticulture, but rather, replacing an existing crop with one that has an added advantage.

    I’ve got to say, the argument that “vit A deficiency isn’t the only problem” isn’t even close to an argument against addressing vit A deficiency. It almost feels like you are against GMOs generally and are being mean to golden rice.

  52. #52 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    well, it is. there’s a corporation patenting it. that’s a monopoly.

    And the point of “isn’t the only problem” is that without better options, vitamin A deficiency, which is still more plausibly solved by different plants: one of the reasons for their deficiency is that they’re mostly growing rice, and as a cash crop, that’s kinda necessary, even to the extent of having to play a monoculture, is hardly going to make them healthier. There’s a limit to the nutrition they get, full stop.

    Golden rice isn’t going to help anywhere near as much as letting them able to feel themselves without playing the international trade markets against government subsidised massive agribusiness. And thereby increase the variety of foods, as they used to be able to.

    And using different foods to balance the diet doesn’t come with any of the dubious leverage of patented genetic changes.

    Greenpeace have, it’s been said, and I have no particular beef accepting it as-is, overblown or made unsupported claims, but the thing is they were brought up on those failures and retracted them.

    And the scientists investigating these GMOs are mostly going to be thinking “This will really help”, but they’re hardly going to keep working if they thought it was just going to tie down poor farmers into monopoly rents, nor that their work was just PR fluff, and was never seriously intended by the corporation who directed them to be released as a genuine product. Some? Sure, some will be careless and just looking at the money. Most probably do the job because they want to make a beneficial change to the world.

    The corporation doesn’t have morality, though and doesn’t give a shit. And even when it temporarily does, executives change and therefore the business will change its attitude too.

    Because like any mob, the morality of a corporation is that of the most venal and least worried about others in the group. And just to fit in, the window of what is “normal” and “moderate” will change to skew.

    And anyone trying hard to “do right” will be outed by investors who are looking at decisions that could have cost profit they could extract and out them. Then when it’s a broken shell, move the money out on the uptick and leave the corpse to explode.

  53. #53 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “It almost feels like you are against GMOs generally and are being mean to golden rice.”

    So it ALMOST feels like that.

    What does it ACTUALLY feel like? Sure “to you” is a given. But if it’s almost that, what is it currently?

    Or was that an attempt to make a disparaging claim without actually having to make one that needs to be defended or argued on?

  54. #54 David Whitlock
    May 5, 2017

    There seems to be a turf-war between FSC and SFI over market share with GP taking the side of FSC and with companies like Resolute caught in between.

    I understand that some environmental groups want zero harvesting of forests. I am pretty sure that GP is in this category. A forest products company, that produces and sells forest products, and which requires steady cash flows to pay legacy pensions that it took on as a condition of coming out of bankruptcy (the position that Resolute is in) can’t transition to zero harvesting of forest products.

    Zero harvesting and sustainable harvesting are two different things. The Canadian government seems to think that SFI is a suitable 3rd party certification agency.

    http://www.sfmcanada.org/en/sustainable-forest-management/embracing-third-party-certification

    If SFI is not a suitable 3rd party certification agency, then get the laws changed to fix it.

    It looks like Resolute is actually going out of business. The box shows a loss in 2016.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/forests/boreal/Learn-about/Resolute-Forest-Products-is-destroying-endangered-forests/

    GP may succeed in driving Resolute out of business (which seems to be the GP goal). What happens then? Resolute’s customers are not going to stop using forest products, they will simply source them from somewhere else; from places with less strict sustainability standards than Canada (which are the highest in the world).

    The attitude of GP seems to parallel a lot of what was observed in the US election. Resolute is not “perfect”, therefor Resolute should be destroyed, even by lying about what Resolute is doing. If Resolute is destroyed, what will take its place? Who cares? Anyone who actually cares about the environment is who cares. GP does not seem to be among that group.

    I don’t know all the details of what is going on between Resolute and GP. I do know that GP cannot be trusted to be honest because I do know what their position is on Golden Rice, and that is not an intellectually honest position because I do know the science behind Golden Rice. GP has had plenty of opportunity to learn the science of Golden Rice and they have chosen not to. 121 Nobel Prize winners have endorsed Golden Rice and GP says what? They got the science wrong?

    GP has admitted that they lied about Resolute’s practices, and were forced to issue a retraction. A retraction which is very difficult to find and is not indexed or searchable on their website.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/Global/canada/pr/2013/02/Notice_of_correction_regarding_Resolute_Forest_Products_operations.pdf

    If GP was motivated to be a science-based environmental organization, they would actually be science based. GP is not science based.

  55. #55 David Whitlock
    May 5, 2017

    Wow, none of those “corporate rents” you rant about apply to Golden Rice for subsistence farmers. If you had read the information freely available on the Golden Rice website, you would know that.

    Do you want to have an honest conversation about it, or do you want to double-down on your lies while a couple hundred thousand children a year die from vitamin A deficiency?

  56. #56 Marco
    May 5, 2017

    “This article from Oxford university ”

    No, Jeff. It is an article from an MSc student on a blog that is attached to the University of Oxford, but not peer reviewed (well, her peers actually have an opportunity to comment, but they don’t).

    And be careful with your response. You will find that the article attacks RICO…with essentially the same arguments climate pseudoskeptics have used to attack RICO against FF companies!

    Also:
    “Why not spend the billions that went into R & D for Golden Rice…”
    First, why exaggerate by orders of magnitude?
    Second, I know Greenpeace has made the same argument, but as a scientist, which you are Jeff, you will know that this is a stupid argument. Research is often focused on specific issues, but the outcomes are often much broader applicable.

    For example, what practical use is there in studying the rings of Saturn? Oh my, there’s hardly anything between the rings of Saturn! Well, now we know, at the price of hundreds of millions. Just imagine if that were used to help the poor people with vitamin A deficiency instead! Of course that isn’t how it works, but it is what your argument boils down to. You can do better than that, Jeff.

  57. #57 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “It is an article from an MSc student on a blog that is attached to the University of Oxford,”

    So postgraduate. And from Oxford as claimed. Now, apart from playing the “he’s no authority” card, got anything against the content?

    Did you read the link I have given? You’ve written as if you read this shit, but you haven’t actually commented on it apart from this one here which completely dismisses it because of the lower standing of the person who wrote it.

    Kinda irrelevant.

    IS it your best shot?

    ‘cos if so, that’s so weak sauce it’s practically an admission of its validity.

  58. #58 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    ““Why not spend the billions that went into R & D for Golden Rice…”
    First, why exaggerate by orders of magnitude?”

    First, what do you think it cost?

    Remember, they amortize the cost of failures onto each product that passes, so it’s not just the cost of the direct R&D, but all the R&D.

    Second, so hundreds of millions is fine? Why?

    Why not give them foods that naturally have sufficient vitamin A and let them grow it? They used to.

    “For example, what practical use is there in studying the rings of Saturn?”

    Nobody is selling anyone trips to Saturn for a start.

    Nor have a monopoly on investigating Saturn.

    So, no.

  59. #59 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “Wow, none of those “corporate rents” you rant about”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Yeah, right. So your rants against anyone not totally gargling monsato cock should likewise be discarded as not 100% true for some random reason.

    ” apply to Golden Rice for subsistence farmers”

    Only as long as the deal is offered. And it is not binding in the least.

    So, nope here too.

  60. #60 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “The attitude of GP seems to parallel a lot of what was observed in the US election. ”

    Uh, there are two groups and they both disagree and have little common ground or desire for what the other offers or cares about?

    That’s about it, but it hardly makes for a point.

  61. #61 David Whitlock
    May 5, 2017

    Don’t you get tired of lying?

    Free access to those who need it.

    http://www.goldenrice.org/Content1-Who/who4_IP.php

    If your attitude on this thread is indicative of how GP interacts with the business community, it is no wonder that GP is thought of poorly. Try to do the right thing and get lied about.

    Have 121 Nobel Laureates been tricked into supporting Golden Rice? The Pope?

  62. #62 MikeN
    May 5, 2017

    >You will find that the article attacks RICO…with essentially the same arguments climate pseudoskeptics have used to attack RICO against FF companies!

    Yes, for good reason. RICO is one of the laws, like the Patriot Act going after strip clubs, being abused to attack people for which the law was not intended. The purpose was to go after mafia.

  63. #63 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “Don’t you get tired of lying? ”

    Do you still molest your little boy?

    “If your attitude on this thread is indicative of how GP interacts with the business community, ”

    Ah, right, so anyone you hate must ALSO be a member of Greenpeace, because your hate has to be right, even if you’re a moronic retard.

    Got it.

    PS No, I’m not a member of Greenpeace, I just see reality and don’t accept bullshit from anyone.

    PS what the fuck is it with that link? “Free access to anyone!”. What the hell does that have to do with “Do you ever get tired of lying”??? Do you ever get tired of your incredibly stupid bollocks? Or is this your best stuff we’re seeing?

  64. #64 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    “Have 121 Nobel Laureates been tricked into supporting Golden Rice?”

    Uhm, yes?

    Your argument ad populum is extremely obvious here, dai-dreams.

  65. #65 David Whitlock
    May 5, 2017

    Did you read the licensing agreement?

    Golden Rice can’t be used to exploit subsistence farmers.

  66. #66 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    A quick skim of your post there shows there’s fuck all to your post, only a repeat of the inference sans frontier.

    You also didn’t answer. Did you stop abusing your little boy or not? Or are we going to continue to pretend that leading questions aren’t stupid because you did it just recently?

    Deary me.

    No, golden rice can’t be used to exploit farmers because it isn’t ready to sell. And not because of Greenpeace, who 100% failed to get RR crops halted. It’s not working and it’s failing, trying to sell it is a PR stunt, no more and it’s all it ever was.

  67. #67 Wow
    May 5, 2017

    Oh, and talk to the subsistence farmers and ask them how well farming for their own use goes.

    Short version: it doesn’t.

    Because of western dumping rules letting them produce below-cost product on the world market.

  68. #68 Marco
    May 6, 2017

    MikeN, at times some organizations and companies behave in ways not quite unlike the mafia.

  69. #69 Marco
    May 6, 2017

    “Why not give them foods that naturally have sufficient vitamin A and let them grow it? They used to.”

    A lot has been tried already, and while it has had some successes, it also has seen subsequent failures. Sustainability of the various programs to get ore vitamin A into especially young children in the third world is poor. Money runs out, people go back to their old diets, they cannot afford some of the foods, etc. etc. etc. Golden rice could be a sustainable option in several regions of the world, as it is the main food source in those regions.

    Sure, it may in the end not work, but the millions spent on biofortifying other foodsources, campaigning to get diet diversification, handing out pills and other things containing vitamin A have not had a lasting success. Clearly an alternative option is required.

    And to make things worse, for you that is and already pointed out by David, there will not be increasing costs for the user. The licensing agreement for developing countries and subsistence farmers explicitly says that the golden rice seed can only cost as much as the seed without the trait. The farmer also owns the seed and can thus reuse year-after-year-after-year.

  70. #70 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “A lot has been tried already, and while it has had some successes, it also has seen subsequent failures”

    Really? That would be because they have to sell stuff.

    But let me know what the difference is between those attempts (unspecified as they are, but there’s probably something, what doesn’t matter to this point) and golden rice which has been attempted, seen no success, and failed? Because if those attempts were abandoned, why the hell are you still pushing golden rice?

    “Sure, it may in the end not work,”

    It already hasn’t.

    Moreover, it never even got to the stage to roll out, because the current license really just fucks over the farmers. Only if they eat it for themselves and don’t sell (or give? how about barter? What about extended family? etc etc etc…) anything could they do the work to grow their own version.

    And they’d better not be farming near anyone else who has or wants to sell some of their produce,either…

    Because the basic problem is that their produce has to be sold for cash on the world market where the first world subsidies their farming produce and therefore the third world can’t sell profitably.

    But they still have to buy the agriproducts to farm. After all,the 80s included a lot of “aid” from the WTO et al to modernise their farming to first world standards of fertilising and pesticide use to increase yields short term. Which tied them into needing first world products in the future to keep it going.

    The failure to solve this problem, a problem brought about by them having to run almost entirely cash crops for world trade and ignore dietary needs, is not fixed by selling them more dependency on the first world but by not dumping on the world market and fixing the fuckups we pushed on them in possibly well meaning thoughtless programs for the past 40 years.

    That, however, would cost profits in big business, and will not be allowed.

    And if the conscience needs to be assuaged, “it worked for us!” can be trotted out. Ignore that we were doing it on a stage very different.

  71. #71 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    The license says the cost can’t be higher.

    But then you don’t price the loss of rights. Or the requirement to license.

    Because quid-pro-quo is ignorable if you don’t like the accounting.

  72. #72 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Maybe I can put this in blunter terms.

    What statement I made is disproved by the license terms, and how does that license do it and where?

    Because I suspect you’re filling in meaning where you want and then arguing the blind strawman version and winning in your own mind here.

  73. #73 MikeN
    May 6, 2017

    Marco,
    A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering.

    Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:

    Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act);
    Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and many other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code (Title 18);
    Embezzlement of union funds;
    Bankruptcy fraud or securities fraud;
    Drug trafficking; long-term and elaborate drug networks can also be prosecuted using the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute;
    Criminal copyright infringement;
    Money laundering and related offenses;
    Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country (if the action was for financial gain);
    Acts of terrorism.

  74. #74 Jeff Harvey
    May 6, 2017

    Greg, I stand by my assertion. Golden rice was a PR stunt. To be honest, I think the ecological and environmental risks assocated with GM technology are probably minimal… but that in no way means that I do not have significant concerns over the technology. First of all, it falls well within the remit of eco-modernism, lulling us into believing that most threats to the environment can be solved with technology. That’s bull for starters. Second, I would have less reticence in my views if these technologies were being freely or at least cheaply shared with the poor countries in the south. But the corporations that invest billlions of dollars in this technology want their pound of flesh and they have no intention of using it for the benefits of humanity. The bottom line is what drives them. Moreover, I think that we all know by now that there has been a concerted effort for a small number of multinational corporations to take over the human food chain. They have tried it with water in the south, and I am afraid that as far as I am concerned its a terrifying development and should be resisted. There again, as I said above, the current rapaciously predatory form of capitalism, called neoliberalism, is driving the final nails into the coffin of mankind as far as I am concerned. I am far from being the only academic or scientist who believes this as well.

    Marco, the forest industry in Canada has an abominable environmental record. Resolute clearly is no exception. Corporations are not in the business of increasing the quality of lufe for people – they are in the business of raking in maximal profits and optimizing investors returns. If that means its cheaper to dump their toxic waste into rivers than to safely dispose of them, then this is exactky what they will do. Read Joel Bakan’s excellent ‘The Corporation’ and the real agendas become clear. Our capitalist system will precipitate our collapse if we don’t find some way to rein it in. I don’t mind if you call me an actvist as well as a scientist because I believe that we are in deep, deep trouble. As Clive Hamilton says in his new book, its shocking to me that, given the scale of the predicament we face, there is such indifference among politicians, the public and even many scientists. It appears that we have deluded ourselves into believing that the opposite of everything is true – a classic form of self hypnosis. This mania for hope, which expresses itself through technology and a blind faith in the market, is blinding us from reality. We do not possess and never will be able to develop technlogies that can replicate our ecological life support systems. It is the sprint of folly. Whst we urgently need are mass movements of dissent to counter the ecocidal political system that is, as I said, quite literally going to kill us. And once again, to come full circle, its this vain belief in technology and in the illusion of thr goodness of humanity, evidenced through golden rice, that is camouflaging the abyss into which we are descending with increasing speed.

  75. #75 Jeff Harvey
    May 6, 2017

    Greg, I stand by my assertion. In my opinion, gold rice was a PR stunt aimed to pave the way for a flood of GM crops into SE Asia. I will be honest and say tat I believe that the risks associated with GM crops are probably minimal – but that in no way means that i do not have significant concerns over the technology that are rarely addressed by scientists. First, of all, it falls well within the remit of eco-modernism, lulling us into believing that many of not most environmental threats can be solved by technology. Bjorn Lomborg, in his kindergarten-level mind set, would approve of this. Its utter bull, but given extra impetus by the slick PR and greenwashing campaigns orchestrated by the transnationals who have invested heavily in this area. Second, my concerns over the use and application of GM technology would be greatly reduced if they were being shared freely with the poor lands of the south – but therein lies thew rub. We are dealing with intellectual property of technology created and patented by corporations that have a legal obligation to their shareholders to maximise profit. They want their pound of flesh back and they do so in a number of selfish and sinister ways, with the well being of the population ranking near the bottom. They are driven by the bottom line, period. Moreover, I think that we should all know by now that there has been a concerted effort by a small number of chemical companies masquerading as seed/agriculture companies to take over the human food chain. Companies like Bechtel have tried it with water in the south, and its a terrifying development that should be strongly resisted. As I said above the current dominant nakedly predatory form of capitalism, called neoliberalism, recognises no limits to expansion and growth and is driving the final nails into the coffin of humanity. I am far from being the only academic or scientist who believes this.

    Marco, the logging industries in Canada and elsewhere around the world have an abominable environmental record. Once again, they sign up to the FSC as a form of greenwash to camouflage their abhorrent practices. Corporations are not in the business of increasing he quality of life for people. They are in the business of raking in maximal profits and in optimising investor’s returns. That means if its cheaper to risk being caught and fined by dumping your toxic sludge into a river than the more expensive option of dealing with it safely, then 9 times out of 10 the corporation will take the cheaper option. History is littered with examples. The worst thing is that they don’t apologise for it either – like true psychopaths that have no conscience they claim that its the way that they do business. Joel Bakan detailed this fact in his excellent book, ‘The Corporation’. In my opinion our capitalist system will implode and take much of humanity with it if we don’t find some may of reining it in. Call me an activist or a Cassandra whatever, but I believe that our species is in deep, deep trouble. Clive Hamilton says in his new book (a refrain he repeats from his 2010 book, ‘Requiem for a Species’) that it is shocking, given the serious nature of the predicament we face, how much indifference there is among the public, politicians and even many scientists. Look at recent election campaigns in the United States and Europe – climate change does not even get discussed. It appears the we have collectively deluded ourselves into believing that ‘the opposite of everything is true’ – a classic example of denial and self hypnosis. We live with a mania for hope which expresses itself through technology, eco-modernism, and blind faith in the market, which blinds us from the abyss looming in front of us. We do not possess and never will be able to create technologies that can replace our ecological life support systems, yet this mindless optimism persists. many believe that we are exempt from the laws of nature, a true sprint of folly. I honestly think that our only hope is to develop mass movements of dissent to counter a political system that it quite literally killing us in slow motion. Right now I have little hope, given the subservience of many to the Gods of technology and human wisdom and a belief that if we just stay the course that everything will turn out alright. It won’t I am afraid.

  76. #76 David Whitlock
    May 6, 2017

    Wow, what rights can a subsistence farmer growing Golden rice lose?

  77. #77 Jeff Harvey
    May 6, 2017

    “Have 121 Nobel Laureates been tricked into supporting Golden Rice?”

    Why not? A large number of Nobel Laureates – 72 – signed the now infamous Heidelberg Appeal during the 1992 Rio summit on biodiversity. That appeal was an attempt by forces on the political right to argue that ‘dark forces’ – meaning ‘greens’ and environmentalists I suppose, which must include me and many other ecologists – were allegedly hindering human progress. How are we doing that? By what they call ‘an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress, and impedes economic and social development’.

    This ‘irrational ideology’ would include anybody who dares argue that in ‘harnessing nature to support human needs’ perhaps we are taking too much from nature, and that the consequences, already borne out across the biosphere are manifested in fraying food webs and collapsing ecosystems.

    Philip Shabecoff, former NY Times environmental correspondent, wrote and outstanding rebuttal to the Heidelberg Appeal in his book, ‘Earth Rising’. But the bottom line is that just because a bunch of Nobel Laureates sign some petition defending GM technology, this does not validate it.

  78. #78 Marco
    May 6, 2017

    Wow, read up on the topic and ask yourself, while doing so, why people can actually even consider developing golden rice if other solutions are at least as good?
    It’s not that hard to understand if you actually research a topic. It would show you that various vitamin A supplementation attempts have been made, and they invariably fail because the money runs out (they often rely on external funding) and because the coverage is often poor in parts of a country, even in countries like Cambodia. Greenpeace has a solution, too: teach people to grow other vegetables and fruits that are more rich in vitamin A content. Sounds good, eh? Unfortunately, that’s yet another example that doesn’t work well in many of the countries where people suffer from vitamin A deficiency: telling people to alter their habits, replacing something they know how to grow with something uncertain. Greenpeace has more than enough money to start a program to show that it works…but won’t. It can’t get other NGOs to focus on this either…because the other NGOs know it doesn’t work.

    And then you spout off nonsense about the license, which allows national sales of the product produced, and does not require any payment for the license. It’s not the first time I catch you doing the *exact same thing* as climate pseudoskeptics: say incorrect stuff with absolute confidence!

  79. #79 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “I will be honest and say tat I believe that the risks associated with GM crops are probably minimal”

    However, it’s fucking with food. And using a system we barely understand. Now, fine when controlled, which is liable to be the case with medical GMO. They’ll be grown in controlled conditions, for the same reason you keep your pharmaceutical operations in a clean room and not out in the middle of a cow field.

    But the profit from agribusiness requires they roll it out to country-sized areas at one time.

    And if there’s some weird corner case, IT WILL BE FOUND. The one-in-a-million chance is practically guaranteed when you try 2 million times. Let alone a billion.

    And because of the wide monoculture, it will be too late to do anything about it.

    Rose tints are not an option here.

  80. #80 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “And then you spout off nonsense about the license,”

    Such as????

    Oh, I get it, I’m supposed to work out what you’re talking about while you sit back and bitch.

    Do some damn work.

  81. #81 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “Wow, read up on the topic and ask yourself, while doing so, why people can actually even consider developing golden rice if other solutions are at least as good?”

    I did.

    Why don’t you try it?

    M
    O
    N
    E
    Y.

    Moreover, try reading. IT WAS TRIED. It’s not working.

    Not Greenpeace.

  82. #82 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “which allows national sales of the product produced”

    National sales are allowed by low-income farmers (in this way urban needs are also covered)

    Low? “Nope, you are making money now, stop it”. And yeah, remember “cash crop… sold on the global market”.

    Commercial rights of improvements to the technology go to Syngenta,

    Allowed to keep their work? Hell no.

    No export allowed (except for research to other licensees)

    So, again, not allowed their own work.

    And please tell me where it says the license is a permanent grant?

  83. #83 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Dai, Jeff’s using his real name.

    So why aren’t you accepting his claims and evidence? Is it because using your real name is NOT proof of anything?

    Even the most “educated” person hold some really fucking stupid ideas sometimes. Stupid isn’t for most a full-time occupation, but a hobby or just a hazzard occasionally fallen into.

    Which is WHY “appeal to authority” is a fallacy.

  84. #84 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Oh, and something relevant, honest, about the legalese. Recently on the interwebs the case of Delta telling two passengers that the FAA rules meant that the child HAD to be held in the arms of the mother throughout the flight and threw them both off (and made the plane’s decision to not take off the passengers’ fault), were, in fact, lying about the law. Even the flight’s own rules advise otherwise.

    Now, despite this law being really clear, specific and blatantly other than what was claimed, and these people being lectured by a non-legal person and having the education to argue the whole thing, they were still punished for a law that did not exist, but was just claimed to exist, that they were falling afoul of.

    So how well do you think a third world subsistence farmer would manage with no access to any legal counsel do when faced with a corporate lawyer who claimed that their acts were against the license and illegal?

    And to contest it would not be summarily dismissed, they would have to raise money to hire someone to defend them. Money, being poor subsistence farmers (by legal requirement for the license to be applied), and in a country that probably doesn’t give free legal defence in these cases (though what country does?), they either prove they’re wealthy enough to not be allowed the license or can’t even argue innocence.

    Companies’ actions are excused with “they have a fiduciary duty” (wrong though that is: they have duties that come before that, and maximising profit is a long way down the list, unless it’s put specifically in the charter), but when this is used to claim that they are not to be trusted, the same defenders will ignore that fiduciary duty claim and ask that you think of their motivation other than cash.

    I do not blame them for wanting more money.

    I accept that this is what is rewarded in business. And then accept those consequences unflinchingly.

  85. #85 David Whitlock
    May 6, 2017

    Since you didn’t answer my question, I will ask it again.

    Wow, what rights can a subsistence farmer growing Golden rice lose?

  86. #86 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    The right to their own work. It’s in the license. I even quoted some of the bits restricting them to marco.

    Tell me, if there is no loss to farmers rights, why is there a license there at all? Just GPL it or even BSD it. No restriction on how much it can be sold for at all, then, but if someone wants to try to sell for 1000% profit someone will come along with 20% profit and take all the business.

    the work they produced goes to Sygentia, they get all improvements to the product. Did you even bother to read the license, or did you just read what you wanted to be there?

    Now, you’ve demanded I answer your question, where are the answers to mine? They’ve been begging an answer for some time now, but bugger all from you, only complaints, whines, accusations, slurs, insults and bitching about me doing all that all the while.

    So answer some of mine.

  87. #87 David Whitlock
    May 6, 2017

    Jeff Harvey,

    Is this the Heidelberg Appeal that you are talking about? I think you are reading things into it which I cannot find because they are not there.

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/archives/Heidelberg_Appeal.pdf

  88. #88 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Do I have to ask them again? Or is demanding answers a one-way thing for you?

    Hypocrite.

  89. #89 David Whitlock
    May 6, 2017

    What “right to what own work?

    Using and growing Golden Rice doesn’t cause them to lose any rights to anything.

    GPL and BSD are licenses.

    The BSD license allows the user to make improvements to the licensed material and then make those improvements proprietary. In contrast, the Golden Rice license requires improvements to be offered under the same humanitarian terms, so the Golden Rice license is less exclusive than a BSD license.

    In any case, the patent on Golden Rice expires in 2 years. Then it will be in the public domain and anyone can practice it.

  90. #90 MikeN
    May 6, 2017

    They don’t have the money for lawyers and have to be poor to get the license, but they are busy researching improvements to the rice?

  91. #91 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “What “right to what own work? ”

    I take it that all questions asked are rhetorical, then, dipstick. You know, instead of answering mine, you just go ask another. Therefore it really doesn’t make a difference if they are answered or not, despite your protestations.

    Fair enough.

    Oh, here’s a tip.

    Ask a farmer if they do any work.

    Check they don’t have a shotgun first.

  92. #92 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    “but they are busy researching improvements to the rice?”

    Did you not read the license either?

    What is being licensed. Not a bag full of seed. Breeding the seed trait up.

    Not forgetting planting, reaping, selling, replanting, etc.

    For all the whining about me not having read the license from marco, you two morons don’t seem to have bothered. And that’s not worried marco in the least…

  93. #93 MikeN
    May 6, 2017

    No surcharge may be charged for the technology (i.e. the seed may cost only as much as a seed without the trait)
    National sales are allowed by low-income farmers (in this way urban needs are also covered)
    Reusing the harvested grain as seed for the following season is allowed (the farmer is the owner of his seeds

    Regulatory imperative and national sovereignty, i.e. Golden Rice may not be released in a country lacking biosafety regulations, and the decision to adopt the technology is a national matter.

    No export allowed (except for research to other licensees): this is a humanitarian project, i.e. the seeds are meant to cover the daily requirements of the poor that are deficient in vitamin A.
    Improvements to licensed technology:

    Commercial rights of improvements to the technology go to Syngenta, but

    Humanitarian Use of such improvements is guaranteed under the same terms of the original agreement (in this way any improvements to the technology will serve the humanitarian purpose).

  94. #94 David Whitlock
    May 6, 2017

    Wow, are suggesting that the farmers could plant the rice, grow it, harvest it, and then some one from Big Corporate Golden Rice would come in and take the Golden Rice that the farmer just harvested?

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

  95. #95 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Ah, another rhetorical question.

    Go read the license.both of you.

  96. #96 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Ah, another rhetorical question, diddy.

    Go read the license. Mike has copied it and that was unnecessary, but he did it anyway, so read it there.

  97. #97 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Why is there a license if there’s no way to do anything against those who, in the opinion of the ones owning it, is breaking it?

  98. #98 David Whitlock
    May 6, 2017

    GPL is a license.

    Why do people who donate stuff to the public donate it under the GPL license?

    Because the license is a legal agreement that can’t be changed unilaterally. If you receive stuff under the GPL license, you can’t make it private or you have violated the license.

    People who receive Golden Rice can only sell it at the same price as non-Golden Rice. People selling Golden Rice can’t gouge poor people who need to buy rice.

  99. #99 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    So you’re saying they should have not bothered with their own license and used GPL?

    (see, once you open up the “shall I make up what you mean” canoworms, you’ll be eating them too)

    So the license as far as you can tell is meaningless. Therefore either they fucked up or you have it wrong.

    Pick one.

  100. #100 Wow
    May 6, 2017

    Oh, and GPL pre 3 you could patent the code and though the source is open, you get no license to write or run it because it’s patented.

  101. #101 Greg Laden
    May 6, 2017

    For the record, I think we should go back to the old model, with of course, some additions needed because of the current legal environment (such as protective patents).

    Fund major research institutions (competitively) to develop Frankenplants, er, I mean, excellent GMO projects and other improvements, that are then used by the farmers free.

  102. #102 Li D
    Australia
    May 6, 2017

    I admit to being utterly ignorant about most of this.
    I do have a query.
    Can a high vitamin A crop such as sweet potato be grown
    in soils and climates that rice also grows?
    Thankyou

  103. #103 Marco
    May 7, 2017

    Li D, the answer to that is yes. The weird thing is that it is a valued crop for impoverished families in the Philippines, because it is easier (cheaper) than rice. However, it appears it is still eaten too little.

  104. #104 Marco
    May 7, 2017

    Wow, allow me to point out one screamingly-obvious advantage of working with a license:
    in the absence of a license, someone else can take the product, make it better, license it himself…and make a shitload of money on it, pushing out the subsistence farmers who can only use the original product. With the license, any improvements by others go back to Syngenta and fall within the license, meaning anyone can use it again under the same rules as the old product!

    Also, some of your comments on GMOs apply equally well on *any other* method used to improve the quality of foodstuff. Whether you use GM or another method to introduce a certain property, the company doing this will want to make money out of it. Monocultures (not quite the right term, but let’s use it) are a potential danger in any approach to improve some quality of plants.

  105. #105 Li D
    Australia
    May 7, 2017

    #103 Thanks for reply.
    Theres something odd about all this.
    From Liebigs Law too commonsense too emergency
    lifesaving logistics.
    If ive got a broken arm, i dont say, rightio, the best solution
    now is to grow some cotton or flax , harvest it, make some twine,
    and weave it up into a suitable sling.
    Might have to do some further reading on the issue.

  106. #106 Li D
    Australia
    May 7, 2017

    Mmmm
    Iron deficiency is a related issue for uptake.
    Mmmmm

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_A_deficiency

  107. #107 Jeff Harvey
    May 7, 2017

    David, clearly you have reading problem. Sorry to know that. In the link you provided about the appalling Heidelberg Appeal, you somehow missed this:

    “We are, however, worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development. We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man’s first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse” .

    This ‘irrational ideology’ is environmentalism. And the argument that humanity progresses by ‘harnessing nature to its needs’ comes straight out of a corporate/exploitation handbook. As Philip Shabecoff explains in his book, we should by now realise that we are harnessing too much from nature, and the result is clearly evident in fraying food webs, fragmenting communities and collapsing ecosystems. The empirical literature is full of evidence if you bother to read, but methinks you don’t go anywhere close to this literature or understand it. I do. I work in the field.

    Its not surprising that those who pushed the Heidelberg Appeal were on the political right, and include some pretty appalling anti-environmewntal groups such as Wise Use. The 1992 summit on biodiversity in Rio ended up being more of an exercise in who has patent rights on biodiversity than in protecting it. The Heidelberg Appeal ended up morphing into two pretty vile organisations after the summit; one consisting of a few pseudo-scientists in The Netherlands using the same name but which folded after about 15 years, and another even worse one in Argentina under the handle, ‘Centre for the study of a scientific ecology’. The name is utterly hilarious as ecology IS a science. I know a lot about both of them, as I become one of there biggest nemeses. I debated one of the idiots who worked for the Heidelberg Appeal Netherlands at meeting of our Institute in 2002; the debate was on whether the loss of biodiversity should be considered worrisome for humanity. It was a no-brainer, and I wondered if anyone would actually argue that it is not a problem. Bjorn Lomborg was invited first, but since I had literally skewered him in a debate several months earlier, he was avoiding me like the plague (including a venue in Denmark where I was keynote speaker). But a schmuck was eventually found from the Heidelberg Appeal Netherlands to debate me and it ended up being a calamity. The dope knew absolutely nothing about biodiversity or its importance, and instead gave a jaw-droppingly bad lecture on dogma in ecology. Clearly this clown could not tell a mole cricket from a giraffe, and in the end during our ‘debate’ I asked why he associated himself with a group called Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow – CFACT – a blatantly anti-environmental group in the US to which Climate Depot’s Marc Morano is linked. he panicked and eventually fled the venue with his tail firmly between his legs. From that point on the right wing nitwits at Heidelberg Appeal Netherlands declared a kind of war on me which dod not bother me one bit. As I said, they eventually folded.

  108. #108 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “Wow, allow me to point out one screamingly-obvious advantage of working with a license:
    in the absence of a license, ”

    It does not pertain though, marco.since dai dingus here thinks that the license is meaningless since it contains no clauses for limits and has no method of enforcement.

    And screamingly obvious too is I’m not saying without license. BSD is still a license.

    Dai doesn’t like GP, therefore this is extortion. Simple as that. Me? I don’t like Tony Watts, but I won’t assume he’s running a kiddie porn ring based on nothing more than hints.

    I gave a link earlier. Go read it. follow it up.

    Golden rice was not stopped by GP. It just isn’t working. And it isn’t intended to work by the ago-business.Thad doesn’t mean they wanted it to faul, just that its production was not the goal.

  109. #109 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “Also, some of your comments on GMOs apply equally well on *any other* method used to improve the quality of foodstuff.”

    And if you go back and read, I show why these differences are moot in the case of traditional breeding sans massive agribusiness. As you admit, some don’t. There are differences.

    Accept it.

    “Monocultures (not quite the right term, but let’s use it)”

    If it isn’t, then it’s never the right term. There’s no plant monoculture if planting a million acres of the same plant at one time is not a monoculture.

    The danger of GMO monoculture like this is that by the time it’s possible to see the change in the food web and be worried, it’s too damn late.

    I do not expect GMOs to be tested for each and every combination of organism it will come in contact with. I realise it’s too damn big a test. But that is why this is unwise to release GMOs in agribusiness terms.

    I’ve said this all above. go read it again. You read enough to complain about me, but not enough to know when I’ve already dealt with your point.

    Go read it again. And this time, read it properly.

  110. #110 Jeff Harvey
    May 7, 2017

    It’s good to see Wow here balancing those who are wearing clearly heavily rose tinted glasses. Again, many farmers in Africa and in the south can barely afford a hoe. Yet we are expecting these countries to literally pay through the teeth for a technology that isn’t cheap. The Monsanto’s of this world don’t want rupees or dinars back for their investments. They want dollars – and lots of them. When I see these seeds falling under patent rights as intellectual property to me the gig is up. Moreover, farmers no longer have control over them – they are effectively renting germ lines. They end up being like workers on an auto assembly line. The comparison is appropriate.

    The other point is that there appears to be a disconnect between foreign policy agendas of our corporate elites and poverty. You can’t have it both ways. There’s ample evidence that corporations are plundering the mineral and resource wealth of countries in the south. Recent books like The Looting Machine, To Cook a Continent, and Looting Africa; the Economics of Exploitation make that abundantly clear. Thirty eight companies – all based in the G-7 – control the mineral wealth of the Congo. The country has an estimated 20 trillion dollars worth of mineral resources stored in the ground and yet it is perhaps the poorest country on Earth. The minerals are being stolen for the benefits of western investors, much as GMOs constitute another tool in the box of western corporate exploitation and domination. If our government/corporate planners are looting the wealth of the south for the benefit of elites in the north, since when have they suddenly developed a heart and wanted to help these unfortunate victims to feed themselves? The real problem is social injustice and inequity, but don’t expect to read that in our corporate media.

    And Wow is correct. there are environmental risks, but these are often buried in greenwash. One last point, rarely addressed, is genetic variation. Genetic variation is a pre-requisite to adaptation in the face of multiple biotic and abiotic stresses in the environment, and it s a real Achilles heel of the biotech industry. In a perfect world from their perspective, we would all wear the same clothes, listen to the same music and eat the same food. Catering to local demands is an unnecessary impediment to profit maximisation. In nature, local selection pressures often lead to highly diverse intraspecific genetic variation. By collecting their own seeds, farmers are inadvertently promoting this variation, which is of course lost when a single GMO variety floods the market. We still do not possess the tools to deal with newly emerging threats – plagues or pathogens – that will exploit single genotype GMOs in the field. I have spoken to a number of molecular biologists about this and they are always guardedly optimistic about the technology, but these scientists often do not have a clue about natural selection in the field and of constraints imposed by non-linear processes. Again, we should be doing everything we can to rein in our ecocidal political systems instead of thinking that we can forever develop technological fixes for every environmental problem that we cause.

  111. #111 Jeff Harvey
    May 7, 2017

    Wow, keep fighting. I am with you.

  112. #112 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “Fund major research institutions (competitively) to develop Frankenplants, er, I mean, excellent GMO projects and other improvements, that are then used by the farmers free.”

    If humanitarian is the aim and goal, then this is how you do it. Develop it and give it away.

    The pot stove was deliberately not patented so that its benefit could be had by anyone. Cuba is giving the cancer treatment to free to all citizens and at practically free to the rest of the world, ‘cos a cure you can’t afford is no cure.

    To me, right from the start, golden rice smelt bad. It seemed a rube goldberg idea to solve the problem, much like iron seeding to create algal blooms to take up CO2 or sulphates to block out the sun. When all that’s needed is to stop burning fossil fuels. But these “ideas” keep happening because

    a) they don’t have to stop “burning fossil fuels” and profiting
    b) they produce more profit themselves

  113. #113 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    Cheers, jeff. Though the license given in dave’s link shows that biodiversity for these people, as long as the license is available and they can get it, is thought of. They are to breed the strain themselves and develop their own golden rice variant.

    However, that gets back to the nonownership of a license in today’s business culture, as opposed to an actual fricking license where you get grants of more right. The results of that breeding are owned by patent to sygentia.

    The problem is the paradigm people work in shapes what normal seems like and they then reform the world to fit them being the good guys. If you watch “Yes Minister”, it’s referred to as “Going native”.

    The university are shoehorning the needs of a business into a nonbusiness mode and they hope like hell to get the right answer, and blind themselves to the fact that they don’t fit and the combination is fatally flawed, like roller skates for snails.

  114. #114 Li D
    Australia
    May 7, 2017

    #107
    ” I asked why he associated himself with a group called Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow – CFACT –”
    Hahahahahaha.
    I would have loved to see the look on his face.
    I wouldnt mind asking a few people exactly why they
    are on the Cornwall Declaration.

  115. #115 Li D
    Australia
    May 7, 2017

    #110 ” twenty trillion ”
    Faaaaark!!!!!!

  116. #116 David Whitlock
    May 7, 2017

    GPL is a license. GPL stands for General Public License.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License

    It is logically incoherent to say you don’t want any licenses, so use a GPL. GPL is a license.

  117. #117 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    And the GPL is a license. It’s called copyleft. Because it uses the copyright system to nullify the restrictions of copyright. It was written by Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen is the major force behind the updates to the license since then.

    It is most likely the reason why Linux overtook BSD in the UNIX clones because people could put their own effort into the group without being locked out of their own work, nor having to hand over control of their own work to others, retaining complete control of their own efforts.

    Richard made his money early on by selling EMACS, which was also available for free, because just because you give something away doesn’t mean you can’t be paid for it, all you have to do is provide reason for payments to be made, which RMS did.

    You can see all this in the FSF homepage “about” pages here:

    http://www.fsf.org

    It is bullshit and ridiculous prose to whine about it being a license when nobody is saying it’s not a license. However, you haven’t got a goddamned clue, you know what you feel and you feel what that is is known, when it’s just your asinine hatred driving you insane.

    That insanity makes you see things not there, hallucinations being a common effect of mental instability (either through drugs, brain damage or just psychosis), such as me saying I don’t want any licenses. Rather than the truth, that they should not use a license if they want it to be humanitarian.

    But, as with everything against GP, you only read what you want to be there, reality can go fudge itself.

  118. #118 Lionel A
    May 7, 2017

    Sorry to be late in picking up, I have been indisposed and now I see that many myths are being expounded about GMOs in general and Golden Rice in particular.

    As it happens I was at university in the mid to late 1980s (Maths/Science, computing and more) and one of the areas studied was the role of multinational (as then known) agribusiness corporations and the so called Green Revolution which disenfranchised the small farmers in third world countries at the gain not only of the multinationals but of their favoured local indigenous operatives.

    Greg @#51 wrote:

    This is not a distinction between monoculture and diverse horticulture, but rather, replacing an existing crop with one that has an added advantage.

    First off, horticulture is to do with gardening and not the larger scale production of crops which is agriculture.

    But I have a larger beef about Greg’s statement above and the response will also counter the message that David Whitlock keeps repeating:

    Golden Rice can’t be used to exploit subsistence farmers.

    That would be to ignore the fact that the roll out of Golden Rice across the globe, or even across Asia, would endanger the bank of seed varieties of this plant which has been steadily selected by farmers for around 12000 years with an estimated 140000 varieties.

    The following is from ‘Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation’ F. William Engdahl

    pp 161-162

    The choice of rice to begin the Rockefeller’s gene revolution was
    a careful one. As one researcher pointed out, rice is the staple food
    for more than 2.4 billion people. It had been domesticated and
    developed by local farmers over a period of at least 12,000 years, and
    has grown in a wide variety of different environments. 23

    Rice was synonymous with food security for most of Asia, where
    over 90% of the global rice harvest was produced, primarily by China
    and India, and where it made up 80% of people’s daily calories. Rice
    was also a staple in West Africa, the Caribbean and tropical regions
    of Latin America. Rice farmers had developed varieties of rice to

    withstand droughts, resist pests, and grow in every climate imagi-
    nable, all without the help of biotechnology. They had created an
    incredible biological diversity with over 140,000 varieties. 24

    The Rockefeller Foundation had its eyes on Asia’s rice bowl well
    before the 1984 IPRB project on rice. A prime target of the foun-
    dation’s Green Revolution had been Asian rice production. The
    Green Revolution process had significantly destroyed the rich rice
    diversity over a period of thirty years, with the so-called High-
    Yielding Varieties. This drew Asia’s peasantry into the vortex of the
    world trade system and the global market for fertilizer, high-yielding
    seeds, pesticides, mechanisation, irrigation, credit and marketing
    schemes packaged for them by Western agribusiness.

    The core driver of that earlier rice revolution had been the
    Philippines-based Rockefeller Foundation-created International
    Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It was not surprising then, that the
    IRRI, with a gene bank containing more than one-fifth of the
    world’s rice varieties, became the prime vehicle to proliferate the
    Rockefeller Foundation’s new gene revolution in rice. They banked
    every significant rice variety known.

    But there is more when considering the US occupation of Iraq in 2003.

    Seeds of Destruction pp 202-203

    Iraqi Seed Treasure Destroyed

    Iraq is historically part of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization,
    where for millennia the fertile valley between the Tigris and
    Euphrates rivers created ideal conditions for crop cultivation. Iraqi
    farmers have been in existence since approximately 8,000 B.C., and
    developed the rich seeds of almost every variety of wheat used in
    the world today. They did this through a system of saving a share
    of seeds and replanting them, developing new naturally resistant
    hybrid varieties through the new plantings.

    For years, the Iraqis held samples of such precious natural seed
    varieties in a national seed bank, located in Abu Ghraib, the city
    better known internationally as the site of a US military torture
    prison. Following the US occupation of Iraq and its various bomb-
    ing campaigns, the historic and invaluable seed bank in Abu Ghraib
    vanished, a further casualty of the Iraq war.

    However, Iraq’s previous Agriculture Ministry had taken the pre-
    caution to create a back-up seed storage bank in neighboring Syria,
    where the most important wheat seeds are still stored in an organ-
    ization known as the International Center for Agricultural Research
    in Dry Areas (ICARDA), based in Aleppo, Syria. With the loss of
    Abu Ghraib ’s seed bank, ICARDA, a part of the international
    Consultative Group on International Agritultural Research (CGIAR)
    network of seed banks, could have provided the Iraqis with seeds
    from its store had the CPA wanted to request such help. 5 It did not.
    Bremer’s advisers had different plans for Iraq’s food future.

    Iraqi agriculture was to be “modernized,” industrialized, and
    reoriented away from traditional family multi-crop farming into
    US-style agribusiness enterprises producing for the “world market.”
    Serving the food security needs of hungry Iraqis would be incidental
    to the plan.

    Under Bremer’s Order 81, if a large international corporation
    developed a seed variety resistant to a particular Iraqi pest, and an
    Iraqi farmer was growing another variety that did the same, it was
    illegal for the farmer to save his own seed. Instead, he is obliged to
    pay a royalty fee for using Monsanto’s GMO seed.

    In the late 1990’s, a US biotech company, SunGene, patented a
    sunflower variety with very high oleic acid content. It did not merely
    patent the genetic structure though. It patented the characteristic
    of high oleic content itself, claiming right to it. SunGene informed
    other sunflower breeders that should they develop a variety “high in
    oleic acid,” that it would be considered an infringement of the patent.

    “The granting of patents covering all genetically engineered
    varieties of a species . . . puts in the hands of a single inventor the
    possibility to control what we grow on our farms and in our gar-
    dens,” remarks Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin, Director General of the
    International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. “At the stroke of a
    pen, the research of countless farmers and scientists has potentially
    been negated in a single, legal act of economic highjack.” 6 Economic
    hijack was just what Bremer and Monsanto intended for Iraq under
    Order 81.

    Such total control on farmer seed varieties was possible under
    the new law on patent rights in Iraq. The CPA’s Order 81,…

    But on the wider issues of the history of GMOs there has been complicity and deception at every turn, by big agribusiness, governments and even scientific institutions such as the AAAS and the UK Royal Society (to its shame and against its stated principles).

    I was stunned to discover that such an intelligent and coherent thinker and speaker as Richard Dawkins sided with the GMO proponents. I have copies of all his books, have read them and indeed had many copies of ‘The Selfish Gene’ as copies walked away from home with children and their university friends. Anybody who has read Dawkins with understanding and also been engaged in software development would be aghast at his week analogy of GME with computer software modification.

    Genetic material does not work in the simplistic linear fashion in isolation when injected into other genetic material. Especially with some crude injection techniques akin to firing shotgun cartridges in through the valve ports of a reciprocating ICE in the expectation that the lead introduced would prevent knocking.

    Some of the issues with the methodology and politics of GM development are covered here:

    Steven Druker – Altered Genes Twisted Truth: Genetically Engineered Foods & Corrupted Government

  119. #119 David Whitlock
    May 7, 2017

    If you are going to take logically incoherent positions, don’t be surprised when people reject those positions as logically incoherent, and discount other things you say when what you say cannot be understood and when you are unwilling (or unable) to explain what you mean.

    I am an environmentalist. I am also a scientist, an engineer, a farmer (partial owner of the family farm) and a compassionate human being. I see no conflict between those things. I am very well aware of the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems. In my day job, I work with the human microbiome; an ecosystem and trying to understand what keeps it stable.

    Back to the OP, I don’t like greenwashing of forest products either.

    People use paper and other forest product. I presume that everyone else on this thread also uses forest products, wood and paper. I try to reduce my paper use as much as possible. I don’t print out papers to read, I read them electronically. I get electronic versions of books.

    So what is the path to sustainable production of wood and paper? Supposed that GP is successful in its attempt to destroy Resolute? What happens then? Do people magically stop using wood and paper? Or do they default to other sources? Do they default to illegally harvested wood and paper?

    Do forest products companies continue to try to work with environmentalists to reduce and mitigate the effects of harvesting forest products and make that sustainable? Or do they stop trying because groups like GP cannot be satisfied and won’t be satisfied until they drive all forest products companies out of business? The last ones to be driven out of business will be the ones that are most rapacious and spend the least trying to mitigate the effects of harvesting forest products.

    Instead of buying somewhat sustainable forest products out of Canada, they will buy forest products sourced out of Brazil. Which are now going to become even cheaper.

    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2988888/brazil_government_to_abandon_tribes_to_genocide_by_loggers_and_ranchers.html

  120. #120 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “If you are going to take logically incoherent positions”

    If ever I do, I’ll be sure to keep you in mind.

    “I see no conflict between those things.”

    Self deception is good, innit. Keep that epistemic bubble going, bud.

    Oh, by the way, when you make the unsupported claims of people being incoherent, it would be a good idea to refrain from doing so in the same post you complained about it.

    “So what is the path to sustainable production of wood and paper?”

    Ah, nonsequtur. And, again, the epistemic bubble. “Oh, yeah, this may be bad, but there’s no way to do it better!”.

    “Or do they stop trying because groups like GP cannot be satisfied ”

    No, they do what the can to avoid doing anything that costs money, and then run out the PR to credulous morons like yourself to cover the cracks.

    Fallacy of the excluded middle there from you, dai dickhead.

    “Instead of buying somewhat sustainable forest products out of Canada, they will buy forest products sourced out of Brazil. Which are now going to become even cheaper.”

    Aaaw. The same BS that pro-FF lobby run when it comes to making clean coal: if you make it more expensive, they’ll just buy it from GIYNYA!

  121. #121 David Whitlock
    May 7, 2017

    The OP is about sustainable forest products.

    Asking what is the path to sustainable forest product production is not a non sequitur. Saying Paths X, Y, Z, A, B, C, D are all bad, ok, what is a company that wants to “do the right thing” supposed to do?

    If you are saying there is no path to sustainable wood and paper, then Resolute has been sold a bill of goods and is being defrauded by those who are pushing it to do “sustainable forestry”.

    So which is it?

  122. #122 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    And your response to that is “Well, they’re not as bad as Brazil or China!”.

    Yeah, ever heard of “race-to-the-bottom”? How about “a fucking stupid argument”?

    See, if you now want to pretend that you haven’t been banging on and on about golden rice and greenpeace being extortionists, then your post is limited to application to “Resolute’s actions in forestry”.

    Which means your argument is “they may be doing bad things,but it’s not their fault, it’s Greenpeace for pointing it out!!!! They’re not as bad as china!!!!”.

    Oh, and still with the rhetorical questions?

  123. #123 Marco
    May 7, 2017

    “And if you go back and read, I show why these differences are moot in the case of traditional breeding sans massive agribusiness. As you admit, some don’t. There are differences.”

    Nope, you did not show this at all. You just made blanket assertions.

    Like this one in the same post:
    “The danger of GMO monoculture like this is that by the time it’s possible to see the change in the food web and be worried, it’s too damn late.
    I do not expect GMOs to be tested for each and every combination of organism it will come in contact with. I realise it’s too damn big a test. But that is why this is unwise to release GMOs in agribusiness terms.”

    You have *the exact same issue with non-GMO produce*! Worse, these are not tested *at all*, unlike GMOs.

  124. #124 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “Asking what is the path to sustainable forest product production is not a non sequitur. ”

    Yes it is when it comes to the actions taken against the environment. you don’t excuse it with the SQUIRREL!!! of “But the alternative is Brazil!”. The possibility of others being worse has bugger all to do with the actions of you.

    “How do we do sustainable paper?” is a nonsequitur to the claims you’re making that Greenpeace are in the wrong.

    So it is a nonsequtur to every claim you were making in that post. It had nothing to do with any of them. AT BEST it was admitting Greenpeace is right, but you don’t agree with the standard set.

  125. #125 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “Nope, you did not show this at all.”

    Yes I did.

    And the release of millions of hectares of GMO product in one swell foop insanity. For all the GMO fluffer’s repeat of the “We’ve been genetically modifying for EVAH!”, we modified them in small areas where adaption of the ecosystem to the change was slow enough we could frequently stop the fuckup before it went too far (or died off because of the fuckup ruining food supplies). And at the very least, we’d know how it was working before it became widespread.

    Agribusiness won’t be profitable in the quarterly reports if we go that slowly.

    So they rush it out and puff it up.

    Because they don’t consider whether it’s going to be a problem, only whether it will be profitable. Working is their only option, nothing else considered. And if and when it goes titsup, they will be the last to be affected.

    Just like thalidomide.

    Just because you’re an ignorant tosspot does not make reality change.

  126. #126 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    “You have *the exact same issue with non-GMO produce*! Worse, these are not tested *at all*, unlike GMOs.”

    Yes they are.

    You plant them. They compete. They merge as all life has done, and in a method that the ecosystem adapts, because unlike GMOs or mass introduction of invasive species (which, you know, Australia among others ban for a good damn reason, right?), it’s done small scale and inherently slowly.

    Dumbass.

  127. #127 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    OK, next time I won’t bother putting any effort into explaining, because it’s patent that it;s pointless, it won’t be read anyway and it’ll just annoy me that people are making claims without having read a goddamned thing.

    So don’t bloody complain I’ve not put any effort into explaining myself, because you’ve been the reason why I shouldn’t bother.

  128. #128 Lionel A
    May 7, 2017

    You have *the exact same issue with non-GMO produce*! Worse, these are not tested *at all*, unlike GMOs.

    That is nonsense.

    Humans have evolved by eating the foods that have become staples. Also humans have learned to avoid those plants which are toxic and don’t bother with time and effort wasting plants that require huge quantities consumed to extract the required nutrition. Now those two points are connected in that ‘the poison equals the dose’. If you need to eat more of something to stave off starvation then the toxins can build faster in the body to lethal levels or levels that may have debilitating effects.

    It has been shown that GM varieties may poses less protein than natural varieties weight for weight. Hence any ‘surprise’ toxins promoted in the GMO will build in the body faster especially as some have been shown to not be deactivated by cooking or digestion processes – which latter humans have not evolved to be able to cope with.

    It is well known that many animals can consume vegetation that is toxic to others, these animals having evolved over time to cope with digesting same.

    It is a shame that somebody like Dawkins, who has written so much about evolution, should not get this aspect of GMOs. Maybe he has convinced himself that the propaganda he has read is true. But then he did occupy that special chair at Oxford, maybe that had something to do with it.

    There are so many other points that could be amplified here.

  129. #129 Wow
    May 7, 2017

    Remember the appeal to authority? It’s not who says something, but what they have to support it that matters. Who said it is just a shortcut to save time and energy in finding out something that is almost certainly going to confirm your previous thought on what their evidence was.

    IOW it is helpful as a rule of thumb, but it always takes a back seat to the actual evidence or logic, if you are capable of handling it.

    And Dawkins is just as prone as any to blinding themselves because they have a mindset that frames things in certain ways. For example, he could be thinking of the INTENT of the research into GMOs, which is most frequently done by researchers who have a passion for the ability of the result to produce some benefit that they can point to and feel proud of.

    However, they’re not the only person involved in the process, and by a long long LOOOONG chalk not the ones making the big decisions. Hell, they frequently haven’t even made the decision themselves to do the work, but were assigned it or hired to do it by another, whose interest may or may not be similarly aligned.

    So, being part of the group, Dawkins sees the intent of GMOs by the researchers as what the result of it will be and just can’t see, or discounts as a “necessary downside”, the problems and issues.

    Even Hitler thought he was doing right by god, his country and his people. Even when complaining that killing all the jews would take longer than his lifetime to achieve and scar german people irredeemably to do so, so asked for the whole process of murder to be industrialised, both to minimise the impact on the humans doing it and to increase the speed at which his solution to the “problem” of other humans being alive could be achieved.

    Only psychopaths don’t care if they’re bad people, even to themselves. Sociopaths, if there could be discerned any difference, at least PRETEND to be good people, though they may know it’s just a way to keep doing what they desire to do.

    At least in the way I discern any demarcation between either group, though psychology no longer sees them as different.

  130. #130 David Whitlock
    May 7, 2017

    So I am asking, what does it take for someone to do the “right thing”?

  131. […] A little while back I posted this: Taking The Axe To The Environmental Movement: Resolute v. Greenpeace. […]