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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Friday, December 7, 2007



By Dave Dietz: Submitted to Green Notes on 11/31/07

In the early 19th Century (1811, to be exact), Luddites (modern day eco extremists) tried to stop life progress by stopping labor and life saving change. Misguided Luddites tried to stop, to turn back the change now known as the Industrial Revolution. They failed and human lives and life quality advanced ...But today, again we face a popularly perceived movement that is, in fact, an anti-human, anti-human life quality advance protest simply clothed in a popular, important symbol of our time. In fact, honest headlines today should truthfully read:

... Eco leaders/extremist supporters unmasked ...And it's not a pretty picture!!

Certain environmental radicals will scream at and try to deny this truth. That's because the facts do and will honestly expose them as the human haters they are. Will they own up to this truth? Of course not. To do so would reveal not only their too true character but their phony motivations. So what are these motivations? They see humans as the antithesis of their imaginary, right place earth. They not only see any/all human life effort made or any/every human act or action taken to induce change for human life quality improvement as inimical, they actually attempt to delay, halt or reverse any such effort that is attempted.
As bad, the eco radicals actually do real harm to the environment. How are these anti-everything attitudes manifested?

Read on ...

Eco radicals have wrapped their anti-human modus operandi in layers of logical sounding statements which are, in reality, oxymoron's designed to hide the actual motivations, intentions and regulatory-practical human hindrances underhandedly undertaken by these sheep-clad carnivores.

Need an example?

Try the so-called "Precautionary Principle." The "precautionary principle" was developed at a conference of environmentalists and like-minded academics at the Wingspread Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin, in January, 1998. According to the Wingspread Declaration:
"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not established scientifically."

This principle captures much of the skepticism many environmentalists feel and have about the value and promise of technology. Environmentalists and like-minded skeptics see only technology's potential to cause a perceived, as against real, harm and do not, at all, balance a technology's actual benefits against this perception of harm or doom, be it imaginary or even possible. This extreme negativism, this rejection of change no matter the potential benefits of the change innovated, is a verbose restatement of Mother's child safety admonition of, "It's better to be safe than sorry." In other words, never risk making any change, no matter the potential benefits of such change. But, is such risk denial safe for human health or environment quality advance?

Perhaps not.

A critical flaw in the "safety first at any price" enviro argument is that obvious costs of such a policy are either ignored or not counted. The argumentative flaw is easy to see and simple to understand. It is that while the imagined but misperceived human health and environment harm risks might be reduced from doing nothing, by doing nothing real health and environment harms these policy changes might alleviate or correct continue and may worsen. Clearly, in other words, the imagined but unproven harms the eco radical critics of change fear are, to them, better than the reality (even if harmful or not as good as is possible) now and is also better than the life quality improvement that can be expected to be experienced from the change that is, by whatever method, purposefully delayed or denied. In short, unfounded fear and negative perception wins out over intended, needed change and truth.

Take the current controversy surrounding GM (Genetically Modified) foods.

GM, or derisively called "franken," foods are popularly imagined by critics to harmfully threaten natural food stuffs' genetic codes, potentially harm human nutrition and digestion and adversely affect all things from the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

But, again, this perception is belied by truth. And the truth does matter. As regards GM food development and widening use, in fact no human or environment ill effects or undue human health or environment harm have resulted from the development and increasing use of GM foods and materials. GM foods actually promise reductions in global hunger and malnutrition and a less chemical-dependant agriculture. Increased use of GM foods and materials further promises less land and water used for an ever better fed world, more targeted use of fewer pesticides, improved soil nutrition bases, increased distribution of essential foods which can be longer, more healthily stored and the aforementioned improved planetary bio-diversity.

In sum, the actual, proven benefits to human life and health and environment improvement are truly enormous, diversified and ubiquitous. Imagined perceptions of harm are completely belied the now well and conclusively proven real world truth/reality.

GM foods example conclusion statement/sentiment.

Why the radical eco actions are human harmful to humans and the environment. And, as you read the following, keep just one fact in mind. Agriculture today needs 65% of all fresh water with-drawls and consumes 80% of all fresh water used.

"By comparison with conventional crops, GM crops would, in fact, increase the quantity and nutritional quality of food supplies. Therefore, such crops would improve public health by reducing mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. In addition, cultivation of GM, rather than conventional, crops would, by increasing productivity, reduce the amount of land and water that would otherwise have to be diverted to humankind's needs. GM crops would also reduce the environmental damage from soil erosion and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Thus, GM crops would be more protective of habitat, biological diversity, water quality, and carbon stores and sinks than would conventional agriculture.

"Hence, a ban on GM crops--whether accomplished directly through the invocation of the precautionary principle or indirectly through application(s) of the Bio-safety Protocol--is likely to aggravate threats to bio-diversity and further increase the already considerable hurdles facing in situ conservation. Therefore, a ban would be counterproductive and contravene the spirit and letter of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The precautionary principle - properly applied, with a more comprehensive consideration of the public health and environmental consequences of a ban - argues instead for a sustained effort to research, develop and commercialize GM crops, provided reasonable caution is exercised during testing and commercialization of the crops.

"In this context, a "reasonable" precaution is one in which public health benefits are not negated by the harm incurred due to reductions (or delays) in enhancing the quantity or quality of food. The public health costs of any reductions (or delays), which would make food more costly and reduce broader access to higher quality food at least for a period, would be disproportionately borne by the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society. Also, the environmental gains flowing from a "reasonable" precaution should more than offset the environmental gains that would otherwise be obtained." (Indur M. Goklany, The Promise and Peril of Bioengineered Crops, The Improving State of the World 286-7)


Point - The eco-radicals were very deliberately loosey-goosey when they drafted their "precautionary principle" just so they could logically and within the "principle's" misguided intent always object to any and every proposed life change no matter the level/extent of the change's likely benefits to/for humans. Their "principle" is far worse than the Luddites sadly mistaken opposition to mechanized progress because it is deliberately, knowingly anti-human and anti-human life quality advance.
Another point.

At least when Congress asked FIFRA users to prove a negative, which we know is an impossibility, they intended a balancing act. Congress intended a risk-benefit analysis under FIFRA to thus permit the "safe" (a relative, ever subject to change word/term) pursuit of benefits with "reasonable," and in their judgment acceptable risk.

In establishing the "precautionary principle" the eco-extremists deliberately chose to eliminate any kind of balance or attempt to judge risk v. benefit. They chose, instead, to argue that any risk/harm, be it real or simply perceived or "dreamed up," was sufficient to delay or deny any human lifestyle change/advance. They will tolerate no human lifestyle change, no matter the risks it eliminates or the benefits it promises.

Each approach is argumentative and subject to endless interpretation. Congress, however, recognizes the potential human benefits of change. The eco-extremists not only try, with a perverse but well sounding logic, to delay/deny any/all change, they deliberately work to harm humans for their own satisfaction.

Mr. Dietz has a law degree from Willamette University and was the Executive Director of Oregonians for Food and Shelter (OFS) from its inception in 1980 until 1987.

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