Biotechnology

Neoluddites Launch Campaign Against Biotech Trees

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eucalyptus
Aborgen

Plantations of fast-growing trees occupying about 7 percent of the world's forest area could supply humanity with all the wood and paper products we need. In other words, shifting to aboreal agriculture would spare land for natural forests to grow where they would shelter biodiversity. Now some biotech companies have created a variety of eucalyptus that is genetically enhanced to resist frost-damage. They have applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking approval to grow them on plantations in southeastern United States. As I reported earlier:

Eucalyptus grows very fast and its wood is used to produce pulp and paper. It produces about 17 tons of wood per acre per year and is harvested after seven years. Natural hardwood forests produce about two tons of wood per year and are harvested after 40 years of growth. In addition, the biotech eucalyptus is engineered to produce no pollen or seeds so that it cannot escape into the wild.

Naturally, Neoluddite environmentalists are against it. From the STOP GE Trees campaign press release:

"We have tried to ban GE trees globally through various bodies of the United Nations, and now groups are coordinating internationally to stop any and all applications to legalize GE trees," stated Winfridus Overbeek, Brazil-based Coordinator of the World Rainforest Movement and Steering Committee member for the Campaign. "It's crucial that these potentially disastrous trees not be commercially released because the health and viability of entire forest ecosystems and the communities who depend on them will be at risk."

Yes, the health and viability of entire forests are at risk; not from planting biotech trees, but from this know-nothing anti-technology campaign.

Disclosure: One of the members of the STOP GE Trees neoluddite coalition, Global Justice Ecology Project, has already denounced me for my pro-biotech tree article, "Science, Not Mysticism, Will Save the American Chestnut."

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  1. I firmly believe that the stupid and the ignorant should be prohibited from voting. I don’t want any of these dumb fucks making choices about my future.

    1. Sure, but who do you trust with defining “stupid” and “ignorant”?

      1. Me, naturally. Didn’t you get the memo?

      2. On a candy wrapper a few years ago, there was a contest with special rules for Canadian players: the person who’s name was drawn would have to successfully answer a math question in order to claim the prize. Apparently SOME skill has to be involved.

        I don’t see why one 7th grade algebra or geometry question can’t be answered successfully before handing a person a ballot.

        Hell, I’d be fine with requiring the free-and-clear title to at least .1 acre of real estate as the minimum requirement.

        1. All I want is minimal evidence of critical thinking.

      3. You just put a minor obstacle course between the parking lot and the voting booths. If you can’t make it to the booth, you don’t get to vote.

        1. I walk around the course, it’s a lateral thinking exercise.

          1. That would be one way to “pass” the test wouldn’t it.

      4. I trust Mrs Mirriam Webster. She’s very old and wise.

    2. I think H&R is trying to kill me today, via aneyurism. BP 300/180 and rising… rising!

  2. But what effect do GE trees have on Global Warming?

  3. GE tress? Are these those artificial trees you can plug in?

    1. No, these are trees you plug your phone into to charge it.

      1. Ah, this explains how I get cell service in the middle of the woods off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thanks, GE!

  4. Winfridus Overbeek

    Stop making up names, Bailey.

    1. I want to wedgie that name so bad.

  5. Eucalyptus is also known for emitting flammable oils and exploding. Did they engineer that out of them, or are they going to accept that as part of doing business?

    1. We’ll use the oil to power our death-racers! win-win-WIN

    2. THEY ARE GOING TO USE THE LEAVES TO FEED AN ARMY OF GENETICALLY ENHANCED DROP BEARS!!!!!

      *tightens foil hat*

  6. Environmentalists don’t care if they actually help the environment. They just want the rest of us to suffer. They should be cheering this development – saving old-growth forests was one of the aims of conservationists from the beginning, but no.

    If technology lets us escape daily self-flagellation, then it’s bad. ORIGINAL SIN MOFOS!

    1. But, but we wanted to save the old growth forests naturally.

      By killing all the people.

    2. I don’t think that that is universally so. Many genuinely do care about the environment and don’t care if what they want requires more people suffering and dieing.

    3. It’s not their environmentalism that makes them counter productive, dumbfuck purveyors of unintended consequences. It’s their leftist method of non-thinking that does that. Environmentalism is a symptom of the disorder, not the source of it.

  7. Only GOD is properly licensed and accredited to make a tree.

    1. We don’t need no stinking BAAADGES!

  8. Also-

    PARTY OF SCIENCE!

  9. Now some biotech companies have created a variety of eucalyptus that is genetically enhanced to resist frost-damage. They have applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking approval to grow them on plantations in southeastern United States.

    And once they finish the frost-resistant koalas, we’ll be one step closer to making Australia obsolete for good.

    1. Sadly, the Drop Bears bud from natural growths on these trees and will appear first.

  10. Don’t worry Ron. They don’t really want to ban GM trees. Their real goal is to ban people.

    1. I think most people are starting to wake up to that.

  11. Now *that’s* a Disclosure! DENUNCIATIONS. Heavy, bro.

    I have read the denunciation, and i confess i am extremely disappointed.

    The excommunication starts and ends with some pretty teenage-level rhetorical devices =

    Opening:
    “Note: Talk about a lack of science..”

    ‘OMG?! What.An.Asshole?.Do You know what Chrissy said about Jenny?’

    Closing:
    “Science says this would be a very bad idea”

    ‘Uhm, cause like, my Dad? He’s a scientist. So, like, NO: You ARE fat’.

    In between it isn’t any better, really.

    Also: these organizations really seem to love “Global” “Justice” and “Project” in their names. Branding! its not just for corporations anymore.

    Their ‘mission statement’ actually reads a lot like a ‘corporate motivational speaking’ seminar

    “Maintain an uncompromising stance and keep the bar high.
    Make systemic connections through a holistic analysis.
    Build strong bonds of trust with Indigenous Peoples and their organizations.
    Be accountable to grassroots organizations and communities.
    Use direct action as a strategic tool.
    Be efficient and effective.
    Win.

  12. Global Justice Ecology Project

    Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) explores and exposes the intertwined root causes of social injustice, ecological destruction, and economic domination.

    There is a crucial and obvious need for a powerful global movement to tackle the climate crisis. But this movement will not be based on reform. Capitalism and the markets have led us to the brink of the abyss. They will not provide our parachute. The system cannot be reformed. It must be transformed.

    1. DONT BE RE-ACTIVE – BE PRO-ACTIVE

      DEVELOP SYNERGIES WITH THE BIOSPHERE TO HOLISTICALLY GENERATE SYSTEMIC SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

      For anti-capitalists, they really have a sales-centric mindset

      1. OHMIGOD SYNERGIES!!!!!

        It’s gonna’ be awesome! Because SYNERGIES!!!!!

    2. Because socialism is good for the environment.

      1. Mmmm, soot-filled skies of worker joy.

          1. Shouldn’t that be “-1 Aral Sea”?

              1. Pollution? You’re soaking in it.

                1. Ancient Modern Chinese secret.

    3. Capitalism and the markets have led us to the brink of the abyss.

      Kind of him to go about liveblogging this from the edge of the abyss on his tablet.

      It’s astonishing that these people are living in a world defined by the sudden explosion of capital that occurred only because of the emergence of liberal thought, yet they act as though the wealth we all enjoy just appeared from nowhere and for no particular reason.

      1. He’s had enough of these high living standards and long life spans!

      2. The wealth that is able to exist because of the success of freedom, is precisely what empowers the dumbest among us to to blog, podcast, lecture and publish the evils of freedom and coverts legions of slavers/voters to their ranks. It’s paradoxical.

        1. It’s paradoxical.

          And depressing.

    4. “Global Justice Ecology Project”

      Dedicated to starving black and brown people the world over!

  13. This article is a microcosm of why I hate environmentalists and by and large am always finding myself rooting against them. Maybe if they stopped complaining about this frivolous bullshit, that by and large would be a net benefit to all and displayed an ounce of empathy for human growth in development, I would listen to them on an issue or two. Instead I disregard everything they say as the mental masturbation’s of a granola eating pothead looking for chumps to open up their check book because to fight some faux scandal.

  14. They note that GM trees have 3 extremely negative characteristics

    – they can burn
    – they use water
    – they seem to grow and expand

    it is not clear that these are characteristics that make the GM trees different than “trees” or just things that these experts have discovered on ‘closer inspection’ that they decided to highlight.

    1. And why is using water a problem? I don’t imagine they are going to plant them in places without sufficient rainfall to support the trees.

  15. Let me see. Who is responsible for planting more trees? Westinghouse/Georgia Pacific or all of the “environmental” organization put together?

    1. Hey, no love for International Paper? They own the rest of the land that the federal government doesn’t own.

      1. I recently overheard in-laws discussing recycling. When they mentioned how they recycle paper, I said “Yeah, it isn’t like we can just grow more trees”.

        They looked at me as if I had suggested eating one of the children.

        1. I’ve had this same conversation. Somehow people think paper comes from trees that are just naturally growing out there in the wild, rather than grown as a crop.

        2. And paper recycling is probably the silliest and least efficient kind of recycling. It really doesn’t take significantly less energy or nasty chemicals than making new pulp from trees.

    2. This. You know who provides the most funding to ecological projects?

      Hunters and fishermen.

      1. But they don’t do it out of sacred love of Gaia.

        They do it to feed their lust for killing.

        1. Because results don’t matter. Only intentions.

  16. I was asked on the street by one of those clipboard wielding activists “if I knew what the most beautiful thing about a tree was.”

    A: “Of course, it’s what you can do with it after you cut it down.”

    the look of horror made me smile for a week.

    1. Next time, take a picture so we can enjoy the reaction too.

    2. What did they think it was?

      I think it depends a lot on the particular tree.

    3. That’s… *snif* That’s beautiful, man. 😀

  17. “Science says this would be a very bad idea”

    That’s what they told Columbus.

    1. +3 out of 5 Aztec scientist agee.

  18. Capitalism and the markets have led us to the brink of the abyss. They will not provide our parachute. The system cannot be reformed. It must be transformed.

    I must hear more. Send me your newsletter.

    1. The revolution is successful. But survival depends on drastic measures. Your continued existence represents a threat to the well-being of society. Your lives mean slow death to the more valued members of the colony. Therefore, I have no alternative but to sentence you to death.

      Your execution is so ordered, signed Kodos, Governor of Tarsus IV.

      1. Do I get to deflower an Ethical Suicide Parlor hostess first?

  19. Genetic engineering, robotics, and 3D printing are very exciting.

    1. Luddites are boring.

      1. That they are.

  20. Also, did someone already post a Rush reference?

    the inevitable should not be postponed

  21. My problem with most environmentalists is not their ostensible goal at all.

    Its that they apparently think that lies, distortions, misrepresentation, obfuscation, evasion, dissimulation, etc. are all perfectly kosher methods to further their cause.

    The most hilarious part about them, as noted above, is how much they seem to strive to become *exactly like the enemy they imagine they have*. They are more “corporate minded” than the most GloboEvilCorpConTech conceivable.

    They have zero concern with ‘truth’, and vastly prefer the expedience of disinformation campaigns and rhetorically papering over any relevant information.

    They are fundamentally anti-scientific and its not even clear their desired end-state of a GMO free planet would be any ‘environmentally’ better off for it. They dont seem to actually care. I’ve noted before – it really does appear at times that their actual goal is nothing to do with ‘the environment’ so much as building a long term edifice of control-systems over all kinds of private enterprise. The goal is END CAPITALISM. The ‘Environment’ simply seems a convenient flag to wave while pursuing this goal.

    1. It’s more than END CAPITALISM. It’s END FREEDOM.

      1. No deed is too terrible if it is done in the name of Goodness.

      2. You can have capitalism without freedom but you can’t have freedom without capitalism.

  22. This reminds me of a conversation I had with an enviro lefty neighbor, who hates all non-organic foods. I pointed out how much more efficient per hectare the modern farming methods are and how that means less deforestation. I also pointed out that while he and I could afford to shop at Whole Foods, there are a whole lot of people that can’t, and that a weeks worth of groceries at Whole Foods exceeds the per capita income of poor countries. It didn’t convert him, but these thoughts had never occurred to him. It was just modern industrial farms/gmos bad – organic subsistence farming good.

    1. I’ll never forget a magazine cover I saw at a Whole Foods-style store that had a picture of an obviously-upper-middle-class woman, covered in mud, proudly holding up a single red bell pepper with a look of triumphant accomplishment on her face.

      I thought to myself, “if that’s what it took for you to produce that one pepper, and your intent is to be self-reliant, you are going to die very soon.”

    2. I can’t stand the “organic” foods. They are wasteful and inefficient with zero gain in any metric beyond ‘feelz’ which I don’t feel. Ahy food place which waves the (woefully misleading) label around as a selling point drives away my dollars.

      PS all food save salt is ‘Organic’, which just pisses me off all the more when it’s applied to the “grown in shit using old pesticides” crops.

      1. I just don’t care at all. I’ll buy the best produce, however it was grown. I’ll buy stuff from some local organic farms because their produce is excellent. At the grocery store, it tends to be the same crap but more expensive.
        And I can see several reasons why a small farm might want to be organic.

  23. It’s more than END CAPITALISM. It’s END FREEDOM.

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

  24. Good website for libertarians interested in free market environmentalism.

  25. Neoluddite is a self-contained contradiction. There is nothing “Neo” about them, except they are unaware (thanks to the Malthusian-Luddite Indoctrination Centers, commonly referred to as “public schools”)that they are Luddites or even what the term means.

    1. I think neo-luddite is just fine. “Neo” doesn’t mean that there is anything new about the ideas.

  26. It just occurred to me what it is about “environmental” activists that I find so uniquely enraging and contemptible =

    – its the unique combination of *open, blatant dishonesty* and yet *preening moral superiority*

    they lie through their teeth, aggressively demonize anyone who dares point out their own mendaciousness…. and still insist that they are Moral Paragons in the Service of the Greater Good.

    I mean, the Mafia at least knows they’re getting away with murder. These folks act like they’re doing you a favor while they rape you.

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