domingo, septiembre 21, 2014

Raj Patel: How to Be Curious About the Green Revolution

Social media is alive with folks’ thoughts on Michael Specter’s recent New Yorker piece. As the controversy fades, I worry that people will be left with three ideas.
  1. Vandana Shiva is unreliable therefore all critiques of GMOs are too.
  2. Farmer suicides aren’t about GMOs so we can stop worrying about them.
  3. The Green Revolution is worth repeating, because what we need to feed the world is yet another boost in food production.
All three of these ideas ought to be banished from your mind.
  1. Specter’s ad hominem isn’t a substitute for good argument.
  2. Farmer suicides are a serious problem, in India and elsewhere, and have much to do with farmer debt. If you’re interested, Stuffed and Starved has a whole chapter on how suicides from the US to the UK to India are linked, and have much to do with the modern food system. Louis Proyect’s piece at Counterpunch makes the argument about debt nicely. Specter himself has dismissed Proyect as “perfect for Marxists flattering frauds” (though it could also be that he’s dismissing Mark Bittman’s tweet about Proyect, thus inverting the designation of Marxist and fraud. Twitter is an engine of ambiguity).
Claim number 3 is the most pernicious. The idea that “the Green Revolution worked by increasing crop production to end hunger, and that we need to repeat it with GMOs” is, despite the last paragraph in Specter’s piece, one that suffuses his argument. Unsurprisingly,  the social media debate over GMOs turns on the idea that GMOs can feed the planet, and those who are suspicious of these crops are peddlers of famine and ignorance.

Etiquetas: , ,

0 Comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

Suscribirse a Comentarios de la entrada [Atom]

<< Página Principal