Monday, November 23, 2015

University yoga class canceled because of ‘oppression, cultural genocide’

I for one am fed up with this cultural appropriation bullshit.  

Call the stretching exercises something else.  Like Stretching Exercises based on Yoga. 

I guess all the TaeKwondo, Karate and Kung-fu schools are going to have to close too.

No more studying languages other than your own or reading books, watching movies outside your own culture.  Better yet outside your own particular identity group classification.

Absolute conformity to your designated identity community is mandatory otherwise you could be labeled as having a psychiatric disorder called ODD (Opposition Defiant Disorder).

Wait I saw movies from this dystopian nightmare.  The series is called Divergent and is based on a young adult series by the same name.

Fuck me.  Being anti-authority/questioning authority/not being a good sheeple makes one mentally ill in the Brave New World Order.  Resisting the 24/7 programming is being ...  Well for want of a better term Divergent.

I should have known I was in deep shit some 20 years ago when I faced ostracism for resisting the ideology of the Transgender Borg Collective

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in a place where I was immersed in the history of the American Revolution I considered my rights and freedom to decide things for myself to be innate, as natural as a breath of mountain air.  I saw myself as an individual endowed with with basic rights including the ability think for myself.

Telling people they can't study things and learn for themselves about the world around them is the worst sort of totalitarianism.  It imposes ignorance and places that ignorance on a pedestal of correct thinking.

I don't give a shit if it is the right wing denying the importance to others of their particular holidays that come at the end of the year or denying sex education or denying climate change.  Fuck those who claim sacred status for yoga and other exercise techniques.  Fuck those who demand the world conform to their particular ideology. Fuck those who demand the world conform to their particular ideology. I don't give a shit if it is so called progressives demanding I believe their bullshit and accommodate their ultra sensitivities.

You can believe what ever the fuck you want.  But I will go to war to defend my right to believe something different if my learning and life experiences have taught me something different.

From The Washington Post:

November 23, 2015

In studios across the nation, as many as 20 million Americans practice yoga every day. Few worry that their downward dogs or warrior poses disrespect other cultures.

But yoga comes from India, once a British colony. And now, at one Canadian university, a yoga class designed to include disabled students has been canceled after concerns the practice was taken from a culture that “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” according to the group that once sponsored it.

In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Jennifer Scharf, who taught the class for up to 60 people at the University of Ottawa, said she was unhappy about the decision, but accepted it.

“This particular class was intro to beginners’ yoga because I’m very sensitive to this issue,” she said. “I would never want anyone to think I was making some sort of spiritual claim other than the pure joy of being human that belongs to everyone free of religion.”

The trouble began on Sept. 7. That’s when Scharf, who said she had taught a class since 2008 through the school’s Centre for Students with Disabilities — part of the university’s Student Federation — got an e-mail.

“I have unfortunate news,” the e-mail from a student representative of the center read. “Apparently our centre has chosen not to do yoga for programming this year. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns in regards to this and I am welcome to explain. Thank you so much for volunteering to do yoga over the past couple years. It has truly been wonderful and I hope to stay in touch in the future.” (Scharf provided the e-mail exchange to The Post, but removed the name of the representative so the person could not be identified, saying: “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.” A message sent to the representative’s e-mail address was not immediately returned.)

Scharf was sorry to hear of the cancellation — attributed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to the University of Ottawa Student Federation, which describes itself as the “instrument of political action” for the undergraduate population at the university.

“That’s disappointing news for sure, is there someone I can speak to about this?” she wrote. “Do you know why the decision was made? I don’t mind doing it for free so if money is a concern, that’s no problem.”

Money was not a concern, however. Culture was.

“I think that our centre agreed … that while yoga is a really great idea, accessible and great for students, that there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice,” the response read. “I have heard from a couple students and volunteers that feel uncomfortable with how we are doing yoga while we claim to be inclusive at the same time.”

Explaining that yoga has a fraught history, the representative continued.

“Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced and what practices from what cultures (which are often sacred spiritual practices) they are being taken from,” the e-mail read. “Many of these cultures are cultures that have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy, and we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves and while practicing yoga.”

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

De Blasio, Bratton On ISIS Threat

8 Things Later-in-Life Lesbians Want You To Know

From Huffington Post:

At an event earlier this year, I met two women who, as it turned out, were not only business partners but also life partners. They left their marriages and grown children in their 50s and have been together ever since. My curiosity piqued, I'm afraid I monopolized their time with my many questions. As someone who writes about midlife reinventions on my site, Next Act for Women, I am always on the lookout for women who have made major life changes, whether personal or professional, later in life. This certainly qualified.

As luck would have it, soon after, I received an unsolicited request from Lisa Ekus, who fell in love with another woman at 51 and wanted to share her story. It was kismet. After hearing more about Lisa's background, and talking to my sister, Kat, who also came out late, I felt there was a lot we "straight" people needed to learn. Starting with my most glaring misconception...


Most of the women I interviewed were adamant that they did not suddenly turn from straight to gay, but rather only awakened later in life to their attraction to women. They feel this attraction has always been there but had been previously inaccessible, for reasons individual to each situation.

Lisa Dordal, who came out after being married to a man for five years, explains, "I finally embraced the fact that I was a lesbian when I came out of the closet at age 30. I believe strongly that I was knit in the womb as a lesbian. In retrospect, the clues had been there all along. In high school and college, I wrote poems about girls and women I had crushes on and can also remember falling in love with my best friend at 14--as much as one can 'fall in love' at that age."

Candace Talmadge agrees: "It's a question of acknowledging that which is already within you and deciding to act on it instead of ignoring or burying it in the closet. I tried to act straight and dated men without any success. I could have continued on that unhappy road but I found a person who loves and respects me and has been my best friend since 1986, and my spouse since last year. She just happens to be female instead of male."

Dr. Lauren Costine, Psychologist, LGBTQ Activist, and author of Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong, shares her journey: "Once I had worked on my internalized LGBTQ phobias, I finally felt good enough about myself to be my authentic self. I stopped worrying about what anyone thought about my identity and who I loved and had sex with--especially my mother, who made it very clear she did not want me to be a lesbian. It was very hard on me for a long time because I did not want to disappoint her and I know her inability to love this part of me affected my ability to come out earlier in life. Unfortunately, she never accepted my lesbian identity but I finally moved past needing her approval and started living my life. And it's amazing! I love my life. I love being different and don't want to be like everyone else. Life was way harder when I was trying to be straight. Being an LGBTQ activist--trying to make the world a better place for LGBTQ folks--takes away any discomfort I may have being a sexual minority."

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Sanders speaks on democratic socialism

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans could exceed Aids toll in US

From The Guardian UK:
Alarming trend among less-educated 45- to 54-year-olds largely thought to be a result of more suicides and the misuse of drugs and alcohol

Monday 2 November 2015

A sharp rise in death rates among white middle-aged Americans has claimed nearly as many lives in the past 15 years as the spread of Aids in the US, researchers have said.

The alarming trend, overlooked until now, has hit less-educated 45- to 54-year-olds the hardest, with no other groups in the US as affected and no similar declines seen in other rich countries.
Though not fully understood, the increased deaths are largely thought to be a result of more suicides and the misuse of drugs and alcohol, driven by easier access to powerful prescription painkillers, cheaper high quality heroin and greater financial stresses.

The turnaround reverses decades of falling mortality rates achieved through better medical care and lifestyle choices that continue to improve public health in other groups in the US and in other nations around the world.

“This was absolutely a surprise to us. It knocked us off our chairs,” said Anne Case, an economics professor at Princeton University who worked on the study. Since discovering the trend, Case and her colleague Angus Deaton, also an economics professor at Princeton, have shared the findings with healthcare professionals. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t missing something,” Case said. “Everyone’s been stunned.”

The findings emerged from a review of national surveys in the US and six other rich industrialised countries, namely the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden and Canada.

They showed that from 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for US whites aged 45 to 54 fell by 2% a year, a figure very much in line with the celebrated improvements in health seen in the other countries.

But after 1998, the death rates of US whites began to buck the trend. While other countries saw their mortality rates continue to fall, they began to rise among middle-aged white non-Hispanic Americans by 0.5% a year. The effect was not confined to the 45- to 54-year-olds. In the 35- to 44-year-old bracket, the mortality rate stopped falling in 2000. For 55- to 59-year-olds, the fall slowed to 0.5% a year.

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Despair, American Style

From The New York Times:
Paul Krugman November 9, 2015

A couple of weeks ago President Obama mocked Republicans who are “down on America,” and reinforced his message by doing a pretty good Grumpy Cat impression. He had a point: With job growth at rates not seen since the 1990s, with the percentage of Americans covered by health insurance hitting record highs, the doom-and-gloom predictions of his political enemies look ever more at odds with reality.

Even more striking are the proximate causes of rising mortality. Basically, white Americans are, in increasing numbers, killing themselves, directly or indirectly. Suicide is way up, and so are deaths from drug poisoning and the chronic liver disease that excessive drinking can cause. We’ve seen this kind of thing in other times and places – for example, in the plunging life expectancy that afflicted Russia after the fall of Communism. But it’s a shock to see it, even in an attenuated form, in America.
Yet the Deaton-Case findings fit into a well-established pattern. There have been a number of studies showing that life expectancy for less-educated whites is falling across much of the nation. Rising suicides and overuse of opioids are known problems. And while popular culture may focus more on meth than on prescription painkillers or good old alcohol, it’s not really news that there’s a drug problem in the heartland.

But what’s causing this epidemic of self-destructive behavior?

If you believe the usual suspects on the right, it’s all the fault of liberals. Generous social programs, they insist, have created a culture of dependency and despair, while secular humanists have undermined traditional values. But (surprise!) this view is very much at odds with the evidence.

For one thing, rising mortality is a uniquely American phenomenon – yet America has both a much weaker welfare state and a much stronger role for traditional religion and values than any other advanced country. Sweden gives its poor far more aid than we do, and a majority of Swedish children are now born out of wedlock, yet Sweden’s middle-aged mortality rate is only half of white America’s.

You see a somewhat similar pattern across regions within the United States. Life expectancy is high and rising in the Northeast and California, where social benefits are highest and traditional values weakest. Meanwhile, low and stagnant or declining life expectancy is concentrated in the Bible Belt.
What about a materialist explanation? Is rising mortality a consequence of rising inequality and the hollowing out of the middle class?

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The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World

From Common Dreams:
In order to respond adequately, first we may need to mourn

by Per Espen Stoknes Thursday, May 14, 2015

Climate scientists overwhelmingly say that we will face unprecedented warming in the coming decades. Those same scientists, just like you or I, struggle with the emotions that are evoked by these facts and dire projections. My children—who are now 12 and 16—may live in a world warmer than at any time in the previous 3 million years, and may face challenges that we are only just beginning to contemplate, and in many ways may be deprived of the rich, diverse world we grew up in. How do we relate to – and live – with this sad knowledge?

Across different populations, psychological researchers have documented a long list of mental health consequences of climate change: trauma, shock, stress, anxiety, depression, complicated grief, strains on social relationships, substance abuse, sense of hopelessness, fatalism, resignation, loss of autonomy and sense of control, as well as a loss of personal and occupational identity.

This more-than-personal sadness is what I call the “Great Grief”—a feeling that rises in us as if from the Earth itself. Perhaps bears and dolphins, clear-cut forests, fouled rivers, and the acidifying, plastic-laden oceans bear grief inside them, too, just as we do. Every piece of climate news increasingly comes with a sense of dread: is it too late to turn around? The notion that our individual grief and emotional loss can actually be a reaction to the decline of our air, water, and ecology rarely appears in conversation or the media. It may crop up as fears about what kind of world our sons or daughters will face. But where do we bring it? Some bring it privately to a therapist. It is as if this topic is not supposed to be publicly discussed.

This Great Grief recently re-surfaced for me upon reading news about the corals on the brink of death due to warming oceans as well as overfishing of Patagonian toothfish in plastic laden oceans. Is this a surging wave of grief arriving from the deep seas, from the ruthlessness and sadness of the ongoing destruction? Or is it just a personal whim? As a psychologist I’ve learned not to scoff at such reactions, or movements in the soul, but to honor them.

A growing body of research has brought evidence from focus groups and interviews with people affected by droughts, floods, and coastal erosion. When elicited, participants express deep distress over losses that climate disruptions are bringing. It is also aggravated by what they perceive as inadequate and fragmented local, national and global responses. In a study by researcher  Susanne Moser on coastal communities, one typical participant reports: “And it really sets in, the reality of what we're trying to hold back here. And it does seem almost futile, with all the government agencies that get in the way, the sheer cost of doing something like that – it seems hopeless. And that's kind of depressing, because I love this area.” In another study by sociologist Kari Norgaard, one participant living by a river exclaims: “It’s like, you want to be a proud person and if you draw your identity from the river and when the river is degraded, that reflects on you.” Another informant experiencing extended drought explained to professor Glenn Albrecht’s team that even if “you’ve got a pool there – but you don’t really want to go outside, it’s really yucky outside, you don’t want to go out.”

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'Good' Jobs Aren't Coming Back

From The Atlantic:
In the last several years some American companies have moved their operations back to the states, but the resulting factory work isn't providing the prosperity and security that such work once did.

Alana Semuels

SPRING HILL, Tenn.—The hulking General Motors factory in this town south of Nashville undermines the complaints by politicians left and right that America doesn’t make things anymore.

A year ago, GM announced it was moving production of its best-selling vehicle, the Cadillac SRX, from Mexico to this plant in Tennessee. Today 3,000 people work on this 6.9 million square-foot campus, and more are being hired.

GM is one of the hundreds of companies, big and small, that have moved manufacturing back to the United States from overseas. Outsourcing decimated American manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s, erasing nearly six million jobs between 1989 and 2009.

But the number of manufacturing jobs has started to slowly grow again, and about 700,000 jobs have been added since 2010. “Onshoring,” as it’s called, is at this stage delivering just a trickle of new jobs, but states such as Tennessee are offering companies generous incentives to try and speed up the process, luring some big-name companies. Whirlpool in 2013 said it was moving production of commercial washing machines from Mexico to the U.S. The company that makes Otis elevators announced in 2012 that it would move production from Mexico to South Carolina. Caterpillar moved some heavy-equipment manufacturing back to the U.S.

But these are not your father’s manufacturing jobs. Many of the companies are locating their new plants in right-to-work states where it’s less likely their workers will join a union, and the prevailing wages are far lower.

In fact, nationally, the average wages of production and non-supervisory employees in manufacturing are lower than they were in 1985, when adjusted for inflation. In September, those employees made an average $8.63 an hour, in 1982 to 1984 dollars, while they made an average of $8.80 an hour in 1985, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

The Price of Modesty

From Huffington Post:

Rokhshana was 19-years-old when a gang of men in Afghanistan stoned her to death this week. The men who stoned her were enforcing Islamic law, otherwise known as Sharia. According to the governor of the province, Ghor, she lived in a Taliban-controlled village. Rokhshana was forced to marry someone she did not want and she fled with another man, hence the accusations of adultery that led to her sentencing and brutal execution.

Sharia codifies Islam's many rules and governs everything from how to worship daily to personal behavior, economic and legal transactions and the governance of a nation. However, it is most commonly used as a tool to rob women of their most basic rights, including sexual autonomy.
Before Rokhshana's tragic death, the world's attention was caught for a while by the plight of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death for adultery in Iran, a country governed by Sharia law. Sakineh was ultimately not executed after an international outcry in her defense.

Before that, the world knew of the plight of the girl from Qatif, in Saudi Arabia, who was gang-raped by seven men and sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison for being alone with a man who was not her relative (see this from Katie Couric's Notebook when she was at CBS).

The girl from Qatif was ultimately pardoned by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia under pressure from President Bush. Unfortunately, the pardoning did not mean that a precedent was set to quash the law in such cases; it was nothing more than a gesture of politeness to the US.

Sometimes a publicity campaign here in the West followed by strong diplomatic action can work to save the life of a victim. Thanks to pressure from Western governments, Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who was sentenced to death by the government of Sudan for apostasy and adultery, was able to get out of Sudan last year.

The problem is that so few cases make it to the headlines of the Western or even local media. What I find to be a double tragedy is that when the life of a woman is lost or threatened, we in the West condemn the act of cruelty but fail to take a stand against the principle upon which the punishment rests. It is like denouncing the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 while saying nothing about the South African government's doctrine of racial apartheid.

The only way to stop these ghastly punishments against women is to campaign forcefully against the principle of Sharia -- to stop the Islamist narrative that says Islamic law protects the modesty, honor and well-being of the family.

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Israeli academic shouted down in lecture at University of Minnesota

Shutting up Germaine Greer, shutting up Israeli academics, where does it all stop.  This way lies the path to tyranny.

From The Washington Post:

November 4, 2015

On Tuesday afternoon an Israeli academic was shouted down by two dozen protesters as he tried to begin a lecture before about 100 students and faculty at the University of Minnesota. The speaker was Moshe Halbertal, a professor at NYU Law School and a professor of Jewish thought and philosophy at Hebrew University. He was invited to deliver the Dewey Lecture in the Philosophy of Law, which is organized annually by the law school. That the freedom to present a lecture is threatened in this way at a public university is appalling, calling not only for punishment of violations but for a clear statement by university officials defending the free exchange of ideas.

The lecture, which I attended, was delayed half an hour as one by one the protesters stood up to shout denunciations of Israel and were escorted from the hall by university police. One young woman came screaming back into the lecture after having been ejected. Outside the hall, the protesters chanted so loudly that it was difficult to hear Halbertal, much less to concentrate on what he was saying, until 45 minutes after the lecture was to have begun.

The protests were apparently organized by a group calling itself the “Anti-War Committee,” which bragged on its Twitter feed about having disrupted the lecture and complained that the protesters’ “free speech” rights were violated when a few were arrested. It appears that no law students were involved, but many of the demonstrators were college-aged and the protest was endorsed by a group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a university group. According to its Facebook page, SJP “promotes justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people.”
The lecture was entitled, “Protecting Civilians: Moral Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare.” The talk did not directly address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though Halbertal drew in part on his experience helping to draft the Israeli army’s code of ethics. When he was finally able to speak, Halbertal argued that in fighting “asymmetric wars” (typically, wars between professional militaries and insurgencies or resistance movements) professional combatants should err on the side of protecting noncombatants from casualties, even when they thereby increase risks to themselves or to their cause.

It was a careful and nuanced presentation, one that was far more dovish and human-rights oriented than caricatures of Halbertal as a “war crimes apologist” by protesters suggested. But the protesters had no interest in hearing the lecture or in allowing the audience to hear it. Halbertal told me that in all of his lectures on the subject of warfare, including at Columbia University, this was the first time he had been subjected to a disruptive demonstration.

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GoFundMe Gone Wild

From The New York Times:
As someone with the keen observational skills of Mr. Magoo, it took me a long time to notice a problem social-media acquaintances had been talking about for months.

“I woke up to four new people today asking me for money on four different donation platforms,” one friend said. “One was my ex-babysitter announcing her wedding and where I could send cash. No invitation to the wedding. Just cash.”

“I’m a believer in giving to real charities: medical research, school drives, the Red Cross, et cetera,” said Heidi Knodle, owner of a picture framing store in San Francisco. “I’m tired of people asking for a vacation, funds for a wedding or their college tuition.”

The crime writer Mark Ebner, whose mailboxes has been increasingly filled with monetary requests, has a theory about it all. “I think online begging has become the new economy.”

I thought my friends were exaggerating. After all, a visit to GoFundMe or YouCaring yields site after site of worthy donation recipients. People whose homes were wiped out by natural disasters. People with diseases I’d never heard of, with no insurance and staggering medical expenses. Kids trying to pay for their parents’ funerals. Parents with seriously ill children wanting a trip to Disney World, and sick animals owned by people who couldn’t afford the vet bills.

One man had set up a fund for a friend who needed to take a couple of months off while his wife died of brain cancer.

But then, there were others. Many, many others. Education funds are great, but do I really want to pay for a friend to travel to Peru to become a shaman?

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A new species is evolving right before our eyes — an ultra-successful mix of wolves, coyotes and dogs

From Raw Story:

30 Oct 2015

A new species combining wolves, coyotes and dogs is evolving before scientists’ eyes in the eastern United States.

Wolves faced with a diminishing number of potential mates are lowering their standards and mating with other, similar species, reported The Economist.

The interbreeding began up to 200 years ago, as European settlers pushed into southern Ontario and cleared the animal’s habitat for farming and killed a large number of the wolves that lived there.

That also allowed coyotes to spread from the prairies, and the white farmers brought dogs into the region.

Over time, wolves began mating with their new, genetically similar neighbors.

The resulting offspring — which has been called the eastern coyote or, to some, the “coywolf” — now number in the millions, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

Interspecies-bred animals are typically less vigorous than their parents, The Economist reported — if the offspring survive at all.

That’s not the case at all with the wolf-coyote-dog hybrid, which has developed into a sum greater than the whole of its parts.

At about 55 pounds, the hybrid animal is about twice as heavy as a standard coyote, and its large jaws, faster legs and muscular body allow it to take down small deer and even hunt moose in packs, and the animal is skilled at hunting in both open terrain and dense woodland.

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What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters

From Grist:

About a third of the way through this series on GMOs, after a particularly angry conflagration broke out on Twitter, I asked my wife, Beth, if I could tell her what had happened. I was hoping to exorcise those digital voices from my head. Someone had probably accused me of crimes against humanity, shoddy journalism, and stealing teddy bears from children — I forget the details, thank goodness. But I remember Beth’s response.

“No offense,” she said, “but who cares?”

It’s a little awkward to admit this, after devoting so much time to this project, but I think Beth was right. The most astonishing thing about the vicious public brawl over GMOs is that the stakes are so low.

I know that to those embroiled in the controversy this will seem preposterous. Let me try to explain.
Let’s start off with a thought experiment: Imagine two alternate futures, one in which genetically modified food has been utterly banned, and another in which all resistance to genetic engineering has ceased. In other words, imagine what would happen if either side “won” the debate.

In the GMO-free future, farming still looks pretty much the same. Without insect-resistant crops, farmers spray more broad-spectrum insecticides, which do some collateral damage to surrounding food webs. Without herbicide-resistant crops, farmers spray less glyphosate, which slows the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds and perhaps leads to healthier soil biota. Farmers also till their fields more often, which kills soil biota, and releases a lot more greenhouse gases. The banning of GMOs hasn’t led to a transformation of agriculture because GM seed was never a linchpin supporting the conventional food system: Farmers could always do fine without it. Eaters no longer worry about the small potential threat of GMO health hazards, but they are subject to new risks: GMOs were neither the first, nor have they been the last, agricultural innovation, and each of these technologies comes with its own potential hazards. Plant scientists will have increased their use of mutagenesis and epigenetic manipulation, perhaps. We no longer have biotech patents, but we still have traditional seed-breeding patents. Life goes on.

In the other alternate future, where the pro-GMO side wins, we see less insecticide, more herbicide, and less tillage. In this world, with regulations lifted, a surge of small business and garage-biotechnologists got to work on creative solutions for the problems of agriculture. Perhaps these tinkerers would come up with some fresh ideas to usher out the era of petroleum-dependent food. But the odds are low, I think, that any of their inventions would prove transformative. Genetic engineering is just one tool in the tinkerer’s belt. Newer tools are already available, and scientists continue to make breakthroughs with traditional breeding. So in this future, a few more genetically engineered plants and animals get their chance to compete. Some make the world a little better, while others cause unexpected problems. But the science has moved beyond basic genetic engineering, and most of the risks and benefits of progress are coming from other technologies. Life goes on.

The point is that even if you win, the payoff is relatively small in the broad scheme of things. Really, why do so many people care?

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