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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Bill Gates splashes the cash once again...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18845282

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Not really an "environmental" subject except a similarity to the spread of the "green revolution" which led to overpopulation stimulus.
"We believe if we can get nitron fixing cereals we can deliver much higher yields to farmers in Africa and allow them to grow enough food for themselves."
That was the same faulty thinking that got them grossly overpopulated after WWII especially. Instead of more food lifting them out of near starvation poverty, they just bred more until they were again at near starvation poverty level, and close to crashing. I thought Gates was smarter. He would do better to give them massive education, teach them to compost and use solar cookers and power, promote women's rights, free sterilizations, vasectomies, and birth control, or just let them crash to at or below sustainable level, like they will anyway with more food.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Kids in Africa were using laptops from Gates as chalkboards because they had no power to charge the batteries. GM crops might boost yields of food crops but they will still be growing cotton and tobacco and drug-producing plants to make far more money to feed their own families while the country starves. The root of the problem is national debt developed to pay for peace via a well armed military. Bring peace and money will follow. bring money and food will follow. The greatest change in Africa and South Asia for starving communities is the trained rats sniffing out land mines so people can walk across fields for water and can eventually raise animals on the land to assure there are no more mines (boom!!! and time for steaks with shrapnel) and eventually growing crops again. Wells and water pipelines give people time to learn instead of walking miles and waiting in long lines just for their daily ration of water. More then half of the crops grown in Africa are not harvested due to vandalism (including by wildlife) so you can double crop yield with normal seeds and agricultural methods... just with better security and fencing. Watching shows about ancient structures, almost every one includes indicators of when to plant and harvest. Many new organizations are sending agricultural experts to these countries to find out what the best agricultural practices and crop choices are for the area with double digit multiplication of profits... but few farmers actually own their land and have any say. I have nothing against GM crops personally but it is like adding chrome details and a new paint job to a car with no engine... it still is not going to go anywhere no matter how good it looks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:40 am 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
Not really an "environmental" subject except a similarity to the spread of the "green revolution" which led to overpopulation stimulus.
"We believe if we can get nitron fixing cereals we can deliver much higher yields to farmers in Africa and allow them to grow enough food for themselves."
That was the same faulty thinking that got them grossly overpopulated after WWII especially. Instead of more food lifting them out of near starvation poverty, they just bred more until they were again at near starvation poverty level, and close to crashing. I thought Gates was smarter. He would do better to give them massive education, teach them to compost and use solar cookers and power, promote women's rights, free sterilizations, vasectomies, and birth control, or just let them crash to at or below sustainable level, like they will anyway with more food.


You paint yourself a caring person but you are more than happy to see may hundreds of millions starve because you have a little western guilt complex about being well off and you don't like poor people.

The present artificially high food prices due to bio-deisel are currently killing people faster than Hitler managed. When histories of this period are written by those African nations who are being lifted out of poverty by the appliance of their own hard work plus occaisional enlightened thinking from organisations such as the Gates foundation they will site groups such as Friends of the earth and individuals such as yourself as perpitrators of these deeds of uncaring murder. Expect those countries to be putting in charges of crimes against humanity to the world court in 20 years.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:48 am 
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Tim the Plumber wrote:
Expect those countries to be putting in charges of crimes against humanity to the world court in 20 years.


I'd expect far less of them in 20 years than I do now, assuming they still exist.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:59 pm 
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In the days of my youth I spent a year in Africa starting in Kenya where I worked on a ranch and then travelling overland all the way to Cape town.
First of all Africa easily has the potential to feed its own population given the basic tools which we use in the west by which I mean tractors seed planters etc. Their problems are as has been mentioned above related to political corruption, war and traditional cultural practices which are no longer appropriate.
In terms of over population despite a large increase during the 20th century (which by the way was due to better health care) the rate is now slowing partly due to things like AIDS and the wider availability of contraceptives.
I can not see GM crops making any useful contributions to food shortages in Africa until the other basic problems have been addressed.
Gm crops concern me not because of any perceived environmental problems but because of the legal complications that are introduced when companies own patent rights on the food we eat. I have a major problem with the idea that you can patent anything that is self replicating. It creates the impossible situation where the farmer becomes responsible for the plants or animals attempts to reproduce itself. A company is only going to create a Gm crop if it can make money out of it somehow and when we are talking about subsistence farmers that is not a good business model. So form my perspective Gm crops might be beneficial to Africans but only if the are freely available. In any event there are much more useful things Bill Gates could be doing with his money there.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:49 pm 
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warmair wrote:
In the days of my youth I spent a year in Africa starting in Kenya where I worked on a ranch and then travelling overland all the way to Cape town.
First of all Africa easily has the potential to feed its own population given the basic tools which we use in the west by which I mean tractors seed planters etc. Their problems are as has been mentioned above related to political corruption, war and traditional cultural practices which are no longer appropriate.
In terms of over population despite a large increase during the 20th century (which by the way was due to better health care) the rate is now slowing partly due to things like AIDS and the wider availability of contraceptives.
I can not see GM crops making any useful contributions to food shortages in Africa until the other basic problems have been addressed.
Gm crops concern me not because of any perceived environmental problems but because of the legal complications that are introduced when companies own patent rights on the food we eat. I have a major problem with the idea that you can patent anything that is self replicating. It creates the impossible situation where the farmer becomes responsible for the plants or animals attempts to reproduce itself. A company is only going to create a Gm crop if it can make money out of it somehow and when we are talking about subsistence farmers that is not a good business model. So form my perspective Gm crops might be beneficial to Africans but only if the are freely available. In any event there are much more useful things Bill Gates could be doing with his money there.


I agree. Both idealism and the lust for profit create a strange experimental concoction.
Read "Failure to Yield" from the Union of concerned Scientists.
http://www.grassrootsonline.org/sites/g ... -yield.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:36 am 
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-However, opponents of GM crops say results will not be achieved for decades at best, and global food shortages could be addressed now through improving distribution and cutting waste.

Pete Riley, campaign director of the group GM Freeze, said there was a realisation by many farmers across the world that "GM is failing to deliver".

While we ignore indegenious ways in favour of corporate plans

"If you look in America, yields haven't increased by any significant amount and often go down," he said.

He added: "Now we're seeing real, major problems for farmers in terms of weeds that are resistant to the herbicides which GM crops have been modified to tolerate.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:42 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
-However, opponents of GM crops say results will not be achieved for decades at best, and global food shortages could be addressed now through improving distribution and cutting waste.

Pete Riley, campaign director of the group GM Freeze, said there was a realisation by many farmers across the world that "GM is failing to deliver".

While we ignore indegenious ways in favour of corporate plans

"If you look in America, yields haven't increased by any significant amount and often go down," he said.

He added: "Now we're seeing real, major problems for farmers in terms of weeds that are resistant to the herbicides which GM crops have been modified to tolerate.


I do not see any benefit to African farmers using GM crops, such as Herbicide resistant variates, for the reasons you outline above. However the potential exists to improve the nutritional quality of various grains, for example golden rice which has been modified to produce vitamin A, but it use would have be free of any restrictions, otherwise it is not likely to benefit those who need it most.

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