Be careful what you wish for: Indian Point nuke plant to close by 2021… or 2025

The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reached an agreement with the owners of the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plant to shut it down and its environmental critics are wetting their pants. The fight against the plant has been ongoing for years. This is one of those be careful what you wish for scenarios. Close it down and replace it with what? The article only mentions vague possibilities.

The prospects for replacing that power are so far unclear, but potential options include hydropower from Quebec and power from wind farms already operating across New York, according to the person.

Wind? At present wind provides a tiny 2.6% of all NY State power. Also, it would take 4,000 onshore wind turbines to power just NYC and that would take up about 40 square miles, or about half the size of Yellowstone. Then you have to run new transmission lines which will have an environmental impact.

The Quebec hydropower option called the Champlain Hudson Power Express  is an idea but that too is fraught with problems. The proposed transmission line from Quebec to NYC will run 333 miles, but cost is an issue and even the developers admit it will have to be subsidized by ratepayers since the cost of operating it will cost over $400 million/yr. This doesn’t even include the costs of construction. It cost the Port Authority $1 billion to run a seven-mile line from New Jersey to Manhattan.

New York City’s Department of Environmental Conservation, (DEC) did a study back in 2011 about the various impacts resulting from Indian Point’s closure. They found that the use of hydropower would result in an increase in carbon emissions of 15% statewide and of 5%-10% in NYC. And, the addition of thermal plants would be needed because even the Quebec hydropower wouldn’t be enough.

IPEC is able to provide approximately 2 GW of generation with no direct air emissions. Its retirement will cause a substantial increase in the air emissions from power plants. Our analysis indicates that both the City and State would see approximately a 15% increase in carbon emissions under most conventional replacement scenarios, with roughly a 7-8% increase in NOx emissions. NYC would see similar carbon emissions increases.

In addition:

The state market would see wholesale cost increases of approximately $1.5 billion per year, or roughly a 10% increase under most scenarios. NYC consumers would pay approximately $300 million per year more for wholesale energy, or approximately a 5-10% increase.

The report also predicted that citywide reliability problems beginning within a year of the second reactor’s expiration.

Then you have the taxes and employment. The plant pays $75 million in state and local taxes and employs 1,000 contractors and 1,100 salaried employees and is the region’s major employer

As a former protester in the 70s, I have come around and feel nuclear power should be a major part of the mix. And major climate scientists like the Big Daddy of climate change activists, James Hansen formerly of NASA, support nuke power. I think they should upgrade Indian Point to state of the art rather than shut it down.

And speaking of Hansen, here’s his response to Bernie Sanders’ desire to close Indian Point:

Now, Bernie Sanders says he wants to shut down the plant. If that happened, it would be replaced in substantial part by fracked natural gas that would create the equivalent carbon emissions of adding roughly 1.4 million new cars to the road… For the sake of future generations who could be harmed by irreversible climate change, I urge New Yorkers to reject this fear mongering and uphold science against ideology.

In a press conference called  [LIVE] Conférence presse de James Hansen à La Galerie by World Efficiency. in 2015, James Hansen, along with  Tom Wigley, Kerry Emanuel, and Ken Caldeira spoke and took questions on the issue of nuclear power. All agreed that nuclear should be part of the mix.

Here’s a small clip from the presser posted on the site Atomic Insights by Rod Adams who notes “None of them agreed that a energy system using 100% renewable energy is a valid objective.”

 

Emmanuel, interestingly enough is a Republican. Both he and his wife suffered a barrage of threats from climate deniers in 2012 when he appeared at a climate panel in New Hampshire. His offense? Saying Republicans should take their heads outta their asses regarding climate change. As he told the DESMOG blog back then

“I don’t like it when ideology trumps reason, and I see that the Republicans are guilty of that in spades at the moment… I’ve been toying with the idea of officially switching to independent status,” he adds.

Oh and this is curious. Two years ago, Cuomo fought to reopen an upstate coal-burning energy plant.

 

I’m pretty much done with the GMO fight

There’s a reason this blog has been quiet for a while. I just can’t do it anymore. The idiocy out there is unstoppable. There is a very sad strain of anti-science based on world views on the progressive side that is so ingrained that it is impossible to change.

It’s sad. A technology exists that can benefit the world and all these imbeciles can see is Monsanto.

It’s a campaign run by lefty, anti-science miscreants. “Oh, but I believe in climate change. That doesn’t make me anti-science.”

Yes it does, you fuckwit.

Science is not a democracy. You can’t pick and choose what science you want to believe. Science is based on facts, evidence and repeatability. That has been done with GMO technology.

Progressives are very regressive on this issue. They see it as corporate thing which is how the anti-science miscreants have hustled well-meaning progressives.

There is nothing honest about the anti-GMO groups. They are liars.

The FDA just approved the AquaBounty GMO salmon and already the Center for Food Safety has filed lawsuit that claims it hasn’t been tested. It’s been in the pipeline for 20 fuckin’ years. Hasn’t been tested in 20 years?

Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. Andrew Kimbrell is a menace. He is leading the charge. Fuck him and all those anti-GMO fuckwits.

Science is progress. It is what has cured common diseases by creating vaccines and therapies. It has helped us. Because some company uses the technology that makes it bad? That’s bullshit.

I have friends who wonder why this issue is so important to me. It’s important because these anti imbeciles can hinder a useful science, not just for food but for medicine. If they can successfully demonize it in food, it can hinder research into the areas.

And finally, I think I’m burying the lede here, they have tried to discredit honest public scientists by using FOIA. Fuck Gary Ruskin. He’s an ideological weasel. He has more in common with the right-wing than he does the honest left.

I’m fighting for a solid science and I am up against a heavily funded anti-science contingent and those groups are coming from the left, not the right.

I can’t fight against it anymore. I just can’t.

 

 


Folta, FOIA and USRTK in 200 words

Dr. Kevin Folta, non-GMO scientist does science outreach regarding the issue of GMOs. He speaks about the science of GMOs and how his audiences can better communicate that science.

Anti-GMO group, US Right to Know (USRTK) files FOIA request in search of collusion between Dr. Kevin Folta and Monsanto.

They find that Monsanto awarded University of Florida $25K to aid in Folta’s outreach. No money for his research, no salary given to him personally. Money used for travel expenses.

Anti-GMO crowd goes bat shit crazy, scream “Shill,” think they have uncovered the smoking gun. Folta is doing Monsanto’s dirty work. They see ginormous conspiracy.

Did Folta start delivering a different message after receiving the $25K? No. What Monsanto did was fund him to continue doing what he was already doing.

To the anti-GMO crowd, this is evil. The response has been death threats and harassment.

In the meantime, USRTK takes $114K from the anti-GMO activist group, the Organic Consumers Association to fund their work. They’re supposed to be the honest guys?

It is time for all science minded progressives to stand up and denounce the tactics of the anti-GMO movement.  This type of despicable behavior can’t be condoned.

We’re Pulling Out And Pushing Forward

This FOIA thing against public scientists by ostensibly left-wing groups is not only absurd, it reeks.

A segment of the progressive movement has become the Westboro Baptist version of the left and funded by anti-science crazy people.

The USTRK, led by asshole Gary Ruskin is funded by crazy people, the Organic Consumers Association who are also anti-vaccine.

The science folks are getting hit hard and are being defensive, so let me present this as way to encourage the scientists to pull out and move forward and fight these miscreants.

 

 

The Contrarian jerks his knee and regrets it

At first I was excited when I saw this. Cool, huh? Smart, sciency chicks.

superwomen

I immediately RSVP’d because some people I know, at least digitally, are on that list. Then I looked at where it was, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Even cooler. Free booze?

But something was nagging at me. I looked up the address so I could decide the best way to get there from Union Station in D.C. That’s when I noticed that “Eye Street” was in the belly of the corporate lobbying beast, K Street.

Now I’m starting to feel uneasy.  So, who is this Independent Woman’s Forum (IWF) sponsoring this science soiree?

Before I continue, have look at this Nation ad.

trotter

 

Yup. The IWF is a right-wing/libertarian lobbying group in D.C. They lobby for all the stuff I am against. Now my D.C trip is off.

What is the IWF all about? Let’s see…

  • The IWF has received funding from several groups tied to the Koch brothers have donated $844,115 to them between 1998 and 2012.
  • In 2007 Rush Limbaugh donated about $273,000 in 2007 and the group defended him against criticism for calling Sandra Fluke a slut.
  • In 2013 they opposed the Violence Against Women Act
  • They support republican Carly Fiorina for President.
  • Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer opposes raising the minimum wage
  • The oppose The Affordable Healthcare Act
  • Climate change deniers The global warming movement may be less a scientific endeavor and more a political game plan for the redistribution of wealth, higher taxation and government regulation, severe limits on oil and gas production, and restrictions on personal freedoms.”

Climate change deniers are hosting a meet and greet for science? No, thank you.

The IWF claims to be pro-women, but that is nonsense. The group grew out of the Women for Clarence Thomas. According to Slate

The Independent Women’s Forum was founded in 1992 out of a coalition of conservative women organized to support Clarence Thomas in the face of allegations that he sexually harassed Anita Hill. True to those roots, one of their primary functions since then has been to undermine efforts to end sexual abuse and violence against women.

I can’t pretend to know the political leanings of all the people I engage with regarding the issue of GMOS and other science based issues, but I find it disturbing that the liberal/left ones would hitch their wagons to this group.

Great, you agree on GMOs, but on nothing else?  Their agenda is anathema to progressives. Why be used as a tool to advance their agenda? It may be guilt by association, but it’s reality, nonetheless. If you get mixed up with people like this it will come back and bite you in the ass. I understand the old adage, sometimes you have to dance with the devil, but sometimes you don’t.

What is a major claim of the anti-GMO crowd? Corporate collusion. Some of the names on the flyer have already come under attack by the anti-GMO crowd. How can this help by attending a meet and greet by a pro-corporate, right-wing organization? I see them getting more shit after this.

I find this meet and greet a self-serving event benefitting the IWF’s agenda. They are using smart, well-meaning scientists and science writers to give them science cred.  It’s a hustle. With all due respect to  those involved, you’re being used willingly or unknowingly.

There are people I write about here whose agendas and politics I know and disagree with, but we agree on the GMO issue. And when I  do I quote them, I make it clear I disagree with them on a host of other issues.  We just happen to agree on one issue.

Yeah, I would hang out and have drinks with them. I would probably have drinks with members of the IWF, because they’re probably nice people and it would be an occasion where I could mix it up with the opposition, but on a personal level. I wouldn’t let their organizations sponsor a Contrarian meet and greet to pimp their agenda just because we agree on one issue. (Not that they ever would.)

So, I let myself down. I jumped into something I didn’t research because it initially because it fit my bill. My mistake. I know some might not like this post, but hey, that’s the way it goes. I make no apologies. You’re being used. And I call on all progressives to bow out of this event.

 

 

 

 

Gary Ruskin of USRTK channels Richard Nixon

” I mean, I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”–Richard Nixon 

In 1946, when Richard Nixon first ran for Congress he used smear tactics to insinuate his opponent Democrat Jerry Voorhis had Communist ties because he had once been endorsed by the pro-labor CIO-PAC.

In 1950 in his bid for the Senate, he again used the art of the smear against his opponent Helen Douglas trying to tie her to communism.

Nixon was a member of HUAC and later passed along files to McCarthy to aid in his witch hunt to root out Commies. Nixon advised McCarthy not to put exact numbers on the exact amount of commies in the Government saying,  “On the other hand, if you were to say that there were so many people whose records disclosed Communist-front affiliations and associations–this you can prove.”

Fast forward to 1971. That summer, the Nixon White House decided that Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers must be discredited. He exposed the truth about the Vietnam War. To that end, John Erlichman summoned “Bud” Egil Krogh and David Young to find information that could discredit Ellsberg.

In a piece written in the NY Times by Krogh in 2007 he writes

Mr. Hunt urged us to carry out a “covert operation” to get a “mother lode” of information about Mr. Ellsberg’s mental state, to discredit him, by breaking into the office of his psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis Fielding. Mr. Liddy told us the F.B.I. had frequently carried out such covert operations — a euphemism for burglaries — in national security investigations, that he had even done some himself.

Now we come to the present. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has now been in force for decades. Signed off on by a reluctant LBJ, FOIA was enacted so that American citizens could file requests to see what there government was up to.

Through the years, other states started enacting their own FOI laws, like Florida. In Florida, like many other states they don’t call in FOI, they call it sunshine laws

The Florida Sunshine Law, established in 1995, is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to the public records of government bodies in Florida.

Here is where we come to the heart of the matter.

The anti-GMO group US Right to Know (USRTK) headed by anti-corporate miscreant, Gary Ruskin has channeled Nixon, both early and Watergate era Nixon. While not engaging in criminality they have legally abused a law to discredit  those who they saw as the enemy. Why?

Ruskin and his group are vehemently anti-GMO. He and his cohort Stacy Malkin were the brains behind the California GMO labeling law.

They filed FOIA requests for thirteen public scientists. Their main target was Kevin Folta who for years has been doing outreach on the science of GMOS and how to talk about it.

Folta is their arch nemesis–their Dr. No. He is someone who is a smart science communicator and he talks about science, the kind of science, as it turns out, they don’t like. He is very effective in talking about the facts and science. Because of that he must be brought down and his reputation destroyed.

When Folta first got word that Ruskin had requested his emails he called him and said basically, “What do you want, I’ll send it to you?” Ruskin said NO, he wanted the emails.

Ruskin could have just requested funding sources. If he was really honestly interested, that’s all he needed.

Ruskin was looking to find emails that could be taken out of context to discredit Folta. It’s not about truth or transparency. It’s about destroying your perceived enemy.

Yes, Folta’s university, not Folta personally, got money–25 large to be exact, from Monsanto to help fund his public outreach. It wasn’t for his research, which is non-GMO, but to speak about GM science in which he is very well versed.

Basically, they gave him money to continue to do what he was already doing. But I do have to say this. Even though we only met once in person, and I do consider him a friend, I think he brought this on himself. He was being a little circumspect, if that’s the right word, in not disclosing the fact that his university was given money, but that it wasn’t used to fund his research. But that doesn’t negate the fact the accusations against him are unfounded.

He got money from Monsatan, so what? Focus on the science and not the funding. Since the antis don’t have the actual science on their side they have resorted to character assassination.

Gary Ruskin is not looking for transparency, he is looking to discredit scientists who disagree with his anti-science stance.

And what has been the result of this campaign for the truth and transparency? Harassment, death threats, intimidation and the posting online of personal family information including his address, by the anti-GMO contingent.

Will Ruskin step up and denounce this terrorist behavior or is this was he wanted all along? Did he know that by giving raw tainted meat to the starving mutts would create this onslaught of borderline criminality?

They’ve attacked a good man, a man who is trying to make a difference in this world, unlike the miscreants who are attacking him. This is the left we’re talking about, not the right. The supposed good guys. The anti-GMO movement has become Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh all rolled into one.

And now let’s move on to another scientist who is a Ruskin target, Dr. Michelle “Shelley” McGuire a researcher at Washington State University and expert in human milk and lactation.  She read a study commissioned by the anti-GMO group Moms Across America that claimed there were dangerous levels of glyphosate in breast milk. She decided to do a follow-up study and came to the opposite conclusion. She was upfront that she and her team worked with Monsanto, they reached out to the company, but she also noted that their results were sent to a third-party independent lab to confirm their findings.

You can read about it here. Nutritionist Michelle McGuire responds to attacks in wake of ‘glyphosate not in milk’ study

Enter Ruskin. He demanded her emails even though she, like Folta, offered to hand over any relevant funding data.

shelly

Ruskin is a thug. He doesn’t want transparency, he wants to silence and destroy those who have the actual evidence on their side. His group is the left version of the Climategate people, except worse.

If Ruskin has a counterpart in Nixon’s Plumbers, I guess it would be Bernard Barker, who was recruited by E. Howard Hunt to dig up dirt on Ellsberg. Huh, and I guess that makes Ronnie Cummins Maurice Stans, since the Organic Consumers Association is the biggest funder of USRTK

 

Has the Anti-GMO worm turned… more?

liar soxirpath

Back in April, I wrote in a post called Anti-GMO…crazier  than I thought

 The anti-GMO movement is in a bad place. While they still con people into buying their lies and nonsense, a subtle shift has occurred. Opinion is beginning to turn against them.

Mainstream media has been casting a much more skeptical eye and various lefty/green writers have either changed their minds or at least taking less strident anti stances and are willing to be a little more open-minded. It’s hard to say what has been causing the change in these writers. It could be they are starting to realize that scientists aren’t lying to them. It might be that the antis are. It just might be a combination of both.

Today two pieces were published that add to that worm turning. The first, Unhealthy Fixation by  on Slate is a long form, detailed look at the anti-GMO movement that pretty much, says the same thing I’ve been saying for some time: The anti-GMO movement is filled with nothing but frauds and liars.

Saletan nails it and hits it out of the park. I have to say that I think it is most in-depth and right-on-the money article I’ve ever read on the issue.

If you’re like me, you don’t really want to wade into this issue. It’s too big, technical, and confusing. But come with me, just this once. I want to take you backstage, behind those blanket assurances about the safety of genetic engineering. I want to take you down into the details of four GMO fights, because that’s where you’ll find truth. You’ll come to the last curtain, the one that hides the reality of the anti-GMO movement. And you’ll see what’s behind it.

What Saletan finds is what we’ve all known for some time. The anti-GMO movement is full of shit. Among the issues he tackles are the Golden Rice and rainbow papaya controversies and shows how the antis keep moving the goalposts when one of their lies get blown out of the water.

About the Golden Rice issue he writes

Potrykus and Conway wanted to try everything to alleviate vitamin A deficiency: diversification, fortification, supplementation, and Golden Rice. But the anti-GMO groups refused. They called Golden Rice a “Trojan horse” for genetic engineering. They doubled down on their double standards. They claimed that people in the afflicted countries wouldn’t eat yellow rice, yet somehow could be taught to grow unfamiliar vegetables. They portrayed Golden Rice as a financial scheme, but then—after Potrykus made clear that it would be given to poor farmers for free—objected that free distribution would lead to genetic contamination of local crops. Some anti-GMO groups said the rice should be abandoned because it was tied up in 70 patents. Others said the claim of 70 patents was a fiction devised by the project’s leaders to justify their collaboration with AstraZeneca, a global corporation.

I’ve never seen the duplicitous nature of the antis summed up so succinctly. I can’t praise Unhealthy Fixation enough.  It’s New Yorker sized in its length, but read it. It’s all on one page! It is also the perfect article to forward to your fence-sitting friends or ones who aren’t activists but have bought into their nonsense. If I do have a criticism it’s that I wish I had written it.

The second article is on a blog called The Mind Restrained called An appeal to food activists: You are aimed the wrong direction written by Flynn McEchron

I can get down with fighting the power.  Actually, I’ve spent a lot of time doing just that, and working to affect policy directly.  But GMO has become the unfortunate victim of anti corporate rhetoric, all the while lining the pockets of other corporations that have been decided the Good Guys.

While not as long or detailed as Saletans’s piece, he hits all the nails on their heads regarding the antis. McEhron, concentrates a little more on the corporate aspect of the issue. It hasn’t got as much traction as that other guy, what’s his name’s article, but it is just as valid and on the money

GMOs could help with the crippling Vitamin A deficiency being experienced by their young, who often go blind before puberty. GMOs are not dividing up the planet and its resources, banks and warlords are. GMO has become the unfortunate victim caught in the middle of So who has benefited from the hype of these sorts of issues overlapping?  The Organic industry.

Through social media campaigns, “GMO”, “Monsanto” and “EVIL” have become synonymous. It wasn’t very hard to take the Occupy energy (with all its anti bank, anti corporate jingoism) and let it seep over into the grocer battle that’s taking place in the United States.  Whole Foods is more profitable than 85% of US grocers, with the organic industry as a whole generating nearly 5 billion dollars a year.

For some time I thought I was out there alone, in the sense I wasn’t seeing liberal/left progressives calling out the bullshit of the antis. Read both pieces

What’s sad is I still am out there among some of my friends. They don’t want to hear it. They want to remain in the dogma of The Tribe.

Lying scumbags and dipshits: Frustration has its limits

bullshit meter

Recently, in a Facebook post, I exasperatingly wrote:

I don’t know if I can do it anymore. I can’t stand going to comment sections and seeing the same bullshit time and time again. I think it’s time to leave it to the pros. I have nothing but contempt and derision for the Hirschbergs, Robinsons and GMOFreeUSAs. They are nothing more than lying scumbags and those who parrot their bullshit are hopeless dipshits. I find it impossible to respond civilly anymore.

Ever since I returned to writing this blog I found myself less and less enthused at yelling about the bullshit propagated by anti-GMO movement. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole with idiots.

Some of the level-headed folks on the FB thread suggested the goal be should changing the views of the honestly misinformed or informing the undecided. That’s all well and good, it’s still a chore. You shouldn’t have to keep dispelling the same lies over and over again.

I use the word lying purposely. By this time, everyone should know that all of that bullshit has been discredited, over and over again, yet they still promulgate it. There is no excuse anymore. None, zilch, nada. Anti-GMO activists and groups have become the FOXNews of the left.

Back in 2012 I wrote:

Activists, on websites and in interviews always trot out the same discredited “facts” about the dangers of transgenic foods.  They point to non-peer reviewed, flawed, discredited, self published studies. This movement is the FOX News of the Left. They keep repeating discredited studies as if they are true. Jeffrey Smith and Ronnie Cummins are masters of that tactic. They’re the Hannity and Limbaugh of the anti-gmo crowd.

I would now add GMO Watch’s Claire Robinson to that list.

It pisses me off that these anti-GMO miscreants are spreading fear about a safe and useful technology that can be a tool in fighting world hunger and help fight disease. And make no mistake about it, demonizing the technology in food will also transfer in the public mind to medicine.

The anti loudmouths should be called out as liars in public. I’m not talking about the dipshits on the comment boards, but the snakeheads and representatives of the anti-GMO groups.

I was altered to a recent BBC Panorama episode about GMOs and they interview former EU science advisor Anne Glover. (NGOs like Greenpeace called for her dismissal.) She was very blunt in her assessment that the anti GMO movement makes stuff up. NGOs like Greenpeace called for her dismissal. The relevant part starts at about 24:30.

I had to remove myself from a Facebook GMO group because they had these stringent rules about civility. I submit that when someone is spreading dangerous lies, despite the medical and scientific evidence and consensus; and gets treated credibly in the media, they should be treated as the menaces they are. I hold no grievances against them. I know some members from other GMO groups. Rules are rules, even if they insist upon a Neville Chamberlain approach.

It’s this pantywaist approach of being civil that has allowed these miscreants, bordering on criminals, to gain traction and get their propaganda out.

Not only are they lying scumbags and dipshits, they are public menaces. These well-fed fucks actively deny those who are poor and starving in developing countries the chance to try this technology. On a recent podcast appearance on Talk Nerdy to Me, hosted by Cara Santa Maria, my fave science communicator. Kevin Folta,  quoted Hank Campbell of Science 2.0 as saying, “these people hate corporations more than they love people.”  (I still contend I said that first, but that’s a minor quibble. I could just think I did. But it’s such a good quote, I probably didn’t)

So what is one to do? One thing one could do is create a group called something like March Against Myths About Modification which works to dispel the nonsense spewed by these scientifically illiterate reprobates. Wait! Someone did.

Three genuinely smart, witty and decent people created that group in response to the recent March Against Monsanto.

They are, as taken from their site

Karl Haro von Mogel is a research geneticist based in Madison, Wisconsin, active science communicator and public speaker. He spends much of his free time helping people understand the complicated science of GMOs.

Kavin Senapathy is a freelance writer, science communicator, and mother of two young children based in Madison, Wisconsin. She promotes the idea that critical thinking is key in raising well-rounded children, and that embracing biotechnology is imperative in this objective

David Sutherland is a Chicago-based artist by profession, vegan & animal rights activist in his free time. As part of his early activism he contributed efforts to anti-GMO activism. With a discovered interest in science and critical thinking he had a change of heart and mind. Now he has a mission and passion to undo those wrongs by demystifying the issues surrounding GMOs and biotech.

I hate these people, because they rock and haven’t given in to cynicism, like this old and tired guy. They still have the ability to interact civilly with the dipshits and the insane. Although, Kavin got to encounter first hand the frustration the insane creates and how civility doesn’t work when dealing with them.

She had the misfortune of meeting, face-to-face Zen Hunnicut. the person I was yelled about on that FB group.

She then asked how much Monsanto or industry paid us to be there. This is when I started losing my cool. I retorted angrily, “How much are YOU getting paid to be here? How much is the organic industry paying you to be here?” She retorted that organic is how “God intended it.” When I explained that organic is a modern construct, she became even more angry.

I explained that I didn’t mean the organic shill accusation, and that I was simply pointing out that the shill gambit is meaningless and irrelevant. She again asked in an accusing tone, “You haven’t answered my question, if even one study shows risk, then why would you subject your children to that?” Karl jumped in to discuss scientific methods but she swiftly silenced him, “I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to her. You don’t have children. You don’t know what it’s like. You haven’t had a child come from your body.”

You gotta read the whole thing. It’s classic.  Science Drama at March Against Myths about Modification, and My Showdown with Zen Honeycutt

I only know them digitally, but they’re younger, smarter and prettier than me (if that’s possible) and still have that fire in their bellies. And they’re fun. You should visit their site and if you’re so inclined, start your own local chapter.

So, what do you do when you’re tired and frustrated? I think I’ve come up with a new angle. Forgot the average dipshits.  Go after the lying scumbags who run these anti groups. Take down the Smiths, the Cummins and Robinsons. Show others in public forums how these assholes are full of shit. Forget the dipshits that use them as sources.

Go after the elected officials who have sponsored or added their names to labeling laws in various states; the ones who use the miscreants like Smith as credible sources. Shame them on blogs, letters to the editors and anywhere else. If they’re one of your local or state representatives,  even better.

Of course, don’t go longshoreman on them like I would.  Be civil, be nice and let them know they are on the wrong side of history. But rest assured, if you do get a response,  it will be some smarmy form letter thanking you for your concern and agreeing to disagree.

If you get a response like that one, then go longshoreman. All bets are off when they remain willfully ignorant.  All civil bets are off.

From 2013:

Last year, I wrote the Connecticut legislature’s GMO Labeling Task Force suggesting they have an actual scientist testify as a counterbalance to Smith’s nonsense. From my email:

I just read that Jeffrey Smith, of the Institute of Responsible Technology will be speaking before your GMO Labeling Task Force on August 8th. I would recommend you rescind this offer as Mr. Smith is a self-styled expert on GMOs. He has no experience in science or agriculture. For some reason he is considered an expert by the media and others.

If this is not possible, I suggest you at least have actual scientists testify on this issue to counterbalance his nonsense.

I received a polite reply from Elaine O’Brien who wrote

“my intention is to gather as much information as possible. I understand that this is not a simple subject and I do not believe we should be rushing to label before we understand the issue”.

What bullshit. They didn’t have any scientists testify and not only that, a member of the legislature even coached an activist on her testimony. I didn’t follow up, which I regret.

In a guest post on Keith Kloor’s blog I wrote about a GMO panel discussion at NYU:

Taking my leave, I went in search of Kathleen Furey of GMO Free NY. I asked her why, in their events around the state they gave credibility to Jeffrey Smith by screening Genetic Roulette. She asked why they shouldn’t screen it. I said because Smith is “fraud and charlatan; a yogic flying dance teacher with no scientific or agricultural credentials.” (That’s my how to win friends and influence people style.)

She asked, “Who doesn’t think he is credible?”

“The scientific community,” I replied.

“Well, I can show you scientists who do find him credible,” she said.

Me: “Like who? Seralini?”

Her: “Oh, so you don’t find him credible?”

Not surprisingly, the conversation degenerated from there. But once more I missed another opportunity when during our exchange, Furey, in defense of Smith’s non-scientific credentials, told me that she wasn’t a politician but she was able to write legislation. I was so focused on her defense of Smith that I missed a shocking revelation.

In August of 2013, I attended a so-called NY State Assembly public hearing convened by Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored a bill that would require all foods sold in NY that contain genetically modified ingredients to carry a label. Probably the one that Furey said she crafted.

While grilling three upstate farmers she really went bullygirl actually disagreeing with the farmers about their experiences with gmos. She read otherwise, she claimed, dismissing their actual experience. One of the farmers, Beth Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm seemed to get the bulk of her bullying.

She accused the farmers of making disparaging remarks about consumers when they suggested labeling might confuse them in thinking there was something wrong with the product. She said that the reason to be against labeling is because they (the farmers) might be afraid of what we might find out.  She also said what they were saying was… “reprehensible is too strong of a word…objectionable”

Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. What an asshole. These weren’t industry bigwigs, they were upstate family farmers trying to explain why they used gmos; their own experiences.

Right now I think I need to pay attention to my state and miscreants like Furey and Rosenthal, the latter I probably agree with on most issues

Oh and don’t get me started on the Right-to-Know bullshit. The Right-to-Know doesn’t mean squat if you don’t understand what you know. Yeah, I’m looking at you Gary Hirschberg, you duplicitous, greedy fuck.

Curiously enough, I don’t feel better after letting it out. We’re at almost 2,000 words and I could go another 2,000 easy

Update: As I was editing this post, this came across my digital transom. Kudos, Kavin.

Organickers/Anti-GMO and pesticides: Fear vs. reality

One of the biggest whines of the Organickers and Antis, (besides take me to Portland)  is how GMO and conventional farming douses, drenches, drowns, their crops in pesticides. And like all their other imaginary facts, this one is imaginary as well; like the idea that organic farming uses no toxic pesticides

A recent post on the Genetic Literacy Project website by an actual real life farmer,  sets the record straight. He shows how they don’t drench or douse their crops in pesticides.

Does GMOFreeUSA actually think we load up big tankers of herbicide and drown our crops with the stuff? First, they don’t understand the meaning of the word drown; second, to really drench a crop we would have to use one of those big tanker airplanes they use to fight forest fires. The video in this link, for example, would qualify as a drenching, probably not a drowning. Sorry, that simply is not what we do on a modern farm.

In fact, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

You can read the post here: Myth: GM farmers “drown” crops in “dangerous” glyphosate. Fact: Farmers use eye droppers

Here’s the bottom line

So next time you’re at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks picking up an extra large of your favorite coffee, that’s approximately the amount of herbicide we spread on a football field sized area of a field.

And while we’re on the subject, I came across this website, thegreengok. It is a site written by Bill Chameides and a part of the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. 

He cites some interesting statistics regarding pesticide use in a post called Statistically Speaking: Lawns by the Numbers

If what he writes is correct, the Organickers and Antis should be going after their lawn owning neighbors and not farmers. What was one of his statistics?

Ratio of pesticide use per acre by the average homeowner versus the average farmer: 10 to 1

Ouch!

Here are some others

  • Percent that include possible carcinogens: 53%
  • Percent that pose a threat to the environment, including water supplies, aquatic organisms, and non-targeted insects: 100%

Another bit of pesticide nonsense is the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen.”  Here’s a great analysis by Steve Savage. How Wrong Is The Latest Dirty Dozen List?

I really wish my tribe would look at facts and evidence rather than nonsense. An even bigger wish, I wish my tribe would believe in science, not just the science which fits their worldview

Vermont inducted into the Scientifically Illiterate Hall of Shame plus more dumbass

Our latest inductee to the Scientifically Illiterate Hall of Shame is the Vermont legislature for their overwhelming vote to require labeling foods containing GMO “ingredients.”

In addition to that, two Vermont elected officials get the first Golden Scientific Dumbass Award for sponsoring  the law. The first award is shared and it goes to… State Senator David Zuckerman and State Representative Carolyn Partridge.

Why? Because they are in league with our favorite floater, Jeffrey Smith. I was alerted to a video by a friend on Twitter where Smith interviews, via Skype, his two buddies.

In the video, Smith tells Zuckerman that he “totally remembers” staying “on your living room floor” when he visited in 2003. He also mentions how he testified at an Agricultural Committee hearings on the issue.

Zuckerman also talks about going to an Agricultural summit and meeting with biotech lobbyists who “shook their heads” knowing they were “behind the eight ball from all three of our work” (sic) Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket.

And this Zuckerman douche smugly says that those who voted against the law felt the need to explain why they voted against it as if it was some negative thing… having to explain your reasoning.

The sad thing is I probably agree with Doucherman  Zuckerman and Partridge 99.9% on other issues. Still, if i had the time and wherewithal to go Vermont I would go there and kick that idiot in the nuts. Yeah, I’m mad. I’m mad because that ponytailed hippie is a member of the Progressive Party

I haven’t gotten through the 25+minutes of the video but I will post it here for you to judge for yourself.