More death from the left

One side effect of the environmentalists’s movements has been death, especially in the population of the poor and disadvantaged. Since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and the termination of the use of DDT to control vector born diseases, the health and welfare of the silent classes seem to be of little concern. This is generating some pushback. See Scientists Scorn Greenpeace’s Deadly GMO Scare Tactics

A group of 107 Nobel laureates signed onto a letter calling out the environmental group Greenpeace for its longstanding opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The letter pays particular attention to Golden Rice, a GMO that, the letter states, “has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has the greatest impact on the poorest people in Africa and Southeast Asia.”

And yet, and yet…Greenpeace doesn’t approve. Worse than that, the group’s eco-activists have actively mobilized against its cultivation in the developing world (where it’s needed most), spreading fear and misinformation that’s lead to incidences of targeted vandalism against Golden Rice field trials.
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The Nobel laureates’ letter concludes with a question: “How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a “crime against humanity”?” From where we’re sitting, consigning hundreds of thousands of poor children to blindness and contributing to millions of otherwise preventable deaths every year certainly seems to cross that line.

The issue is one of ‘responsible use’ but the debate is plagued by binary position of yes or no. Yes, Carson had a point but no, total banning of all pesticides was not the most effective choice. Tugging on heartstrings with scary anecdote and hyperbolic exaggeration is not a proper way to present a point of view either. 

You can take the Malthusian approach, figure that all resources are limited so the human population must be limited, too- by force if necessary. An alternative is  to look at history and see that human ingenuity tends to solve problems if allowed to do so and human population is self limiting when fears of starvation and impoverishment are reduced. 

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