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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Shortages in all but people

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:58 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:06 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:28 am 
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I think govt. should make a strict law as china(one child policy) which is designed to control population, there are several other factors which tend to limit population growth.More population in need of resources which are limited,so the growth of population need to be controlled to equal demand and supply.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:53 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 3:48 am 
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Vendana Shiva, wearing her beautiful sari, is interviewwd by George of CBC.

She has a background in quantum physics but gave up her career in favor of seed-saving and organic farming. Through her academic realizations in physics, that all things are interconnected (she studied non-locality in quantum theory), she came to see that the same is at work in both the natural and social worlds. While the Cartesian revolution in science, which is still the foundation of contemporary thought, is based on mechanistic reductionism, fragmentation, and atomization, she sees that this perspective is clearly not the world. The world is one of interconnection. Quantum theory recognized this 100 years ago and biology is giving that up in the name of genetic engineering. The current application is in favor of more fragmentation.

In 1987, she was invited to a conference on bio-technology where she was made aware of companies who wanted to "own everything, patent everything, and collect royalties on life." The same agri-chemical companies were also the same pharmaeutical co's and were now spreading into the seed industry.

She saw a situation where people were realizing that they were not been told the complete story - of how much bio-diversity can produce and can increase food security. "If we are going to save the planet and give people what they need, we must protect bio-diversity."

Since 1997, 1/4 million farmers in India have committed suicide. These suicides started in the cotton-belt where seed monopolies have been established.

76% of all commercial seeds are now in the hands of 10 companies while most of GM seed are in the hands of one company. While we could be eating 8,500 plant species .... crops have been reduced to a very few ... where royalties can be collected.

She calls it the "Second Coming of Columbus". Where the first colonization was about land and territory, this second colonization is about the reproductive capacity of every seed and plant and the ownership of life itself. At one time you could get a patent on a new invention, something you have created ..... now it seems you can get a patent on something you have not ..... plants which have always been and on which we and other species depend on. As Vendana points out, it is so easy to take away the humanity of the one who is being colonized.

Saving seeds was made to be a criminal activity, so she enthusiastically encouraged Indian farmers to save seeds ... and they did. Why? Because the cotton farmers who once paid 5 rupees for each cotton seed, seeds which could be saved and planted over and over again, were now buying the same seeds at each new planting season at a cost of 4000 rupees every year .... an 8000% jump. Pesticides are not supposed to be used, yet farmers were incurring a cost at a 13 fold increase for there Bt cotton.

In a consumer economy, the goods end up selling for cheap in grocery stores because of massive subsidies... "400 billion is what was given to agri-business by richer countries to make costly production cheap". The combination of so-called free trade, subsidies, monopolies and dumping, which is what industrial agriculture is all about, to create low costs on the shelves.

As for our run-away human population .... the population will increase when you create economic insecurity. When you take away land, you get familes who beget more children for security reasons. When you leave land in people's hands you get more stable populations.

With a population of 7 billion we need to be more prudent with our resources. It doesn't make sense to use 10 units to produce only 1 which is what the industrial food system produces. It is a violent system which denigrates the micro-organisms in soil, destroys 70% of species and denudes entire waterways for irrigation of animal crops (where what is left is pollluted water).

40% of greenhouse gases are coming from a "bad" food system that is not sustainable and unjust. Food has become a commodity rather than the nourishment it is. As a business model it cuts off the innate relationship that makes nature work and makes human society work.
We have a relationship with food and with animals. When a cow becones a milk or beef machine, we have cut off our relationship with it.

It is time that we adjust ourselves to a more "feminine" attitude. That of nurturing and caring and sharing. This feminine attitude is not one necessarily possessed by women, although women may be more naturally equipped in many ways, but as Vendana says, her grandfather was a great feminist. Without the qualities of the feminine, whether male or female, we are not going to survive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 3d9k23UyQQ


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:21 am 
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The "solution" to prevent the suicides would be to promote organic production of more diverse crops, which studies have shown would have average drops in production from 20% - 80%. Even a 20% drop would translate into more deaths that were saved. That would decrease the abundance of people in the equation.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:08 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:24 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:51 am 
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I was wrong, as 250,000 is a high number of suicides for farmers in India. To reach that total you have to include every suicide past 1997, which is five years before the Bt cotton was introduced. It seems there was some intentional misrepresentation by the anti-GM folks, which really makes me question everything else .... especially when I look into the larger picture.

http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/file ... p00808.pdf

http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v27/n ... 109-9.html

And a more casual informational package in the form of wiki sources:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmers%27 ... s_in_India

In 2006, the state of Maharashtra, with 4,453 farmers’ suicides accounted for over a quarter of the all-India total of 17,060, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). NCRB also stated that there were at least 16,196 farmers' suicides in India in 2008, bringing the total since 1997 to 199,132

<snip>

In the 1990s India woke up to a spate of farmers suicides. One of the major reporters of these suicides was the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu, P. Sainath. The first state where suicides were reported was Maharashtra. Soon newspapers began to report similar occurrences from Andhra Pradesh.[15] In the beginning it was believed that most of the suicides were happening among the cotton growers, especially those from Vidarbha.[16] A look at the figures given out by the State Crime Records Bureau, however, was sufficient to indicate that it was not just the cotton farmer but farmers as a professional category were suffering, irrespective of their holding size.[17] Moreover, it was not just the farmers from Vidarbha but all over Maharashtra who showed a significantly high suicide rate

<snip>

Causes

Research by various investigators like Raj Patel,[2] Nagraj,[18][19] Meeta and Rajivlochan,[21] identified a variety of causes. India was transforming rapidly into a primarily urban, industrial society with industry as its main source of income; the government and society had begun to be unconcerned about the condition of the countryside; moreover, a downturn in the urban economy was pushing a large number of distressed non-farmers to try their hand at cultivation; the farmer was also caught in a Scissors Crisis; in the absence of any responsible counselling either from the government or society there were many farmers who did not know how to survive in the changing economy. Such stresses pushed many into a corner where suicide became an option for them [22]


Research has also pointed to a certain types of technological change as having played an instrumental role in the problem. One study from the Punjab showed dramatic misuse of agricultural chemicals in farmer households in the absence of any guidance on how to correctly use these deadly chemicals and linked it to the rise in farm suicides wherever farm chemicals were in widespread use.[23] Important research in Andhra Pradesh showed the very rapid change in seed and pesticide products to have caused "deskilling" in the cotton sector.[24]

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:59 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:18 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:28 am 
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The same type of story, which sounds so horrible until the question is raised of how Bt cotton had such a huge negative impact 7 years before it was approved for use.

http://taketheflourback.org/resistance- ... the-world/

India

Bt cotton is the only GM crop approved in India. Bt cottonseeds are modified with the toxin Cry to control the bollworm pest. (3) Bollworm have developed resistance to Bt cotton, so a new version, ‘Bollgard II’, has been created, containing 2 additional toxic genes. As pests become more tolerant to insect-resistant GM crops, more toxins have to be developed, adding increasing amounts of toxins to the food supply.

Bt cotton has been linked to a wave of smallholder farmer suicides in India. Over the last 20 years, India’s agriculture has been opened up to the global market, increasing costs and trapping many farmers in debt. As agriculture in India has become more focused on producing cash crops, multinational corporations have increased their control. Big agribusinesses like Monsanto market expensive biotechnology as a solution to farmers struggling to compete in the global market.

Between 1995 and 2010, more than a quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide in India. Debt and poverty is driving many farmers to suicide, some of whom have swallowed the poisonous pesticides used to spray their Bt cotton crops. (4) The highest rates of suicide are in areas producing the most cotton. (5) Over 50,000 farmers took their own lives in Maharashtra between 1995 and 2010. Maharashtra was the richest state during that period. (6)

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