Friday, May 30, 2014
NOTE: These seventeen essays were reproduced from my now defunct former blog, Random Notes, as they are going to be cited in an upcoming essay. For the most part they deal with three subjects, "common sense" and pragmatism, organics and GMO foods, and the belief in the inherent purity and superiority of all things "primitive". A few are on other topics, but I think those three cover most of them.
I happened to be thinking about so-called organic farming today when I was struck, as I usually am, by the absurdity of it all.
Rather than go on at great length, let me give you just one example. If I spray a pyrtethrin around my fields to control insects, it is clearly not organic farming. However, if I find a plant which contains "natural" pyrethrins in it, I can grind it up and spray the dust around to control bugs and still call my farm "organic". Why?
Now some are going to say the synthetic chemical is more dangerous than the one found in plants. However, even if I spray EXACTLY THE SAME CHEMICAL as found in the plant, it is still not considered "organic", only if i use the plant instead of a synthetic chemical.
The problem here is that organic advocates engage in magical thinking. They think even if it is the same molecule, if it comes form plants or animals it is "good" and if it is synthesized it is "bad". Ammonia from urine is good, ammonia from synthesis is bad. Yet, to the plants, to the land, to everything on earth except the thought processes of organic advocates, they are identical."Natural" and "synthetic" are not attributes of the chemicals, you cannot look at ammonia and tell its origin.
Of course, this is just one problem, there are many more. From the reduced yields to the reappearance of plant diseases once thought conquered to the shorter shelf life due to spoilage, there are many reasons to oppose the silly organic movement, but time and space are short here. Perhaps later I will return to the topic, but for now, I will simply refer you to my post "The Lie of Environmentalism",because, with its emphasis on primitive methods and the outcome of reduced yields, organic farming is part and parcel of the anti-technology and ultimately anti-man environmental movement. And just like that movement it has, sadly, found wide spread acceptance. It is time we took a second look.
I know some buy into the belief that organic produce is healthier without buying into the alrger anti-technology and anti-man agenda, however by believing the small lie they inadvertently support the larger one. We did not get to a population of 6 billion by ignoring technology. Once we agree to give up technology, the maximum population we can support goes down drastically. So even if you just demand "organic, non-GMO" food because you want to avoid any risk, you are actually giving tacit support to the population reduction movement among environmentalists, whether you believe you are doing so or not.
Originally posted in Random Notes on 2008/08/23.