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A Broken Record

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Jerry

June 2011, San Francisco, Climate Change

I am so tired of hearing it…another climate change record.  This time the world’s mountain glaciers lost more mass in 2010 than any other year on record.  Of course the truth is that 2010 was not really a “winning” year if you consider the air temperature above land around the world was only the second warmest on record.  2010 only took third place if you consider the average sea surface temperature of all the oceans of the world was only the third warmest on record or the third place taken in Arctic sea ice which took up only the third smallest surface area on record.  A boon to navigation since the area of ice was so small in September of 2010 that for the first time in modern history, both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open for navigation.  Given these facts 2010 was really only an “also ran” year.

Of course even these statistics are suspect given the report was issued by that bogus climate agency, the American Meteorology Society, in their Annual Bulletin, Vol. 92 and Issue 6 Supplement.  I mean how accurate can it be with so many science contributors from around the world…there can’t be much quality control with so many contributors!   This poor showing of 2010 in the “I can top that” sweepstakes must be the reason that for yet another year no major climate change legislation was passed by the Congress of the United States.  Also this probably was why there were no major international agreements on how to begin to address climate change.  We’re obviously waiting for a year that makes “firsts” in all categories.  Only then will we know something is really serious!

Background:  In Beyond Animal, Ego and Time in Chapter 11: Protect Life Imperative – Climate Change there is considerable discussion of global climate change as one of the four looming threats to life on our planet.

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An Australian Mom’s Intervention to Stop GM Wheat

Posted on 12 July 2011 by Jerry

July 21, 2011, San Francisco

A Greenpeace activist and mother, Heather McCabe, and her colleague took direct action to end an Australian government sponsored field trial of genetically modified wheat.  The two entered an experimental farm run by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and used brush cutters to destroy a crop of the experimental wheat.  “This GM wheat should never have left the lab,” said McCabe.  “I am sick of being treated like a dumb Mum who doesn’t understand the science.  As far as I am concerned, my family’s health is just too important.  GM wheat is not safe, and if the government can’t protect the safety of my family, then I will.”  This direct action by members of Greenpeace is the culmination of charges the government has quietly approved the first test of this genetically modified wheat fed to humans.

This follows an open letter to the Australian government challenging the safety of the proposed human trials of genetically modified wheat.  Signed by eight scientists and doctors from around the world, the letter challenges the experiment and cites research showing inadvertent and unpredictable health damaging effects which can result when these GM products are fed to animals and could be predicted when fed to humans.

It also follows the release of a Greenpeace report entitled Australia’s Wheat Scandal: The Biotech Takeover of Our Daily Bread.  The report shows that none of the other top five wheat producing countries in the world has approved testing of this GM wheat.  It details 29 specific instances of GM contamination in Australia and documents 169 breaches of security licenses issued by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.  The report also identifies conflicts of interest where two directors of Nufarm (Monsanto’s exclusive distributor of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready products in Australia) also served on the board of the CSIRO (governmental agency), during the period when field trials were approved for the GM wheat.

This report also cites articles in 2009 issues of Scientific American and Nature Biotechnology that discuss GM seed company contracts which prohibit independent researchers from access to the seed needed to conduct environmental and health research on these products.  Further the history of research in this area consistently shows conflicting results between research conducted by the biotechnology companies and those of independent researchers.


Background: In Beyond Animal, Ego and Time, Chapter 13, Protect Life Imperative – Synthetic Biology describes the science of genetic engineering and the rapid adoption of its technology in the U.S., its country of origin.  Further it describes the “genetic land rush” underway as companies stake their claims to own the genetics of life.

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