Luddite Eco-Imperialists Claim To Be Virtuous

Uber-organic campaign enshrines primitive agriculture and malnutrition as human rights.
Paul Driessen and David Wojick

AgroEcology
Luddite Eco-Imperialists Claim To Be Virtuous

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Not every poor person in impoverished places around the world aspires to the modern living standards they see and hear about: indoor plumbing, electricity for lights, a refrigerator and stove, a paucity of disease-carrying insects, top-notch schools and hospitals, their children living past age five. But many do.

Not every poor African, Asian or Latin American farmer wants to give up his backbreaking, dawn to dusk traditional agricultural practices, guiding his ox and plow, laying down meager supplies of manure to fertilize crops, surviving droughts, repeatedly hand spraying pesticides to battle ravenous insects – to reap harvests that often barely feed his family, much less leave produce to sell locally. But many do.

Unfortunately, they often face formidable foes; An absence of electricity, roads and other infrastructure, Corrupt, kleptocratic governments/ Nonexistent property rights and other collateral to secure loans, Powerful, well-financed eco-imperialists whose policies perpetuate poverty, malnutrition and disease.

Banks and other carbon colonialists glorify limited wind and solar energy for poor villages, while denying financial support for fossil fuel electricity generation. Anti-chemical fanatics promote bed nets and narrowly defined “integrated pest management,” but bitterly oppose chemical pesticides and the spatial repellant DDT to kill mosquitoes, keep them out of homes and prevent deadly malaria.

Radical organic food groups battle any use of genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide spraying by 75% or more. They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death.

Now poor country families face even harder struggles, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups once again proves the adage that power politics makes strange bedfellows.

Coalition members share a deep distaste for fossil fuels, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, corporations, capitalism, biotechnology, and virtually all aspects of modern agriculture.

Their growing social-political movement is called “AgroEcology.” While the concept is studiously vague, it essentially asserts that indigenous, traditional farmers must be shielded from market forces and modern technologies, so that they can continue using ancient, primitive, “culturally appropriate” methods.

AgroEcology is anti-GMO organic food activism on steroids. It rejects virtually everything that has enabled modern agriculture to feed billions more people from less and less acreage and, given the chance, could eliminate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. It is rabidly opposed to biotechnology, monoculture farming, non-organic fertilizers and chemical insecticides – and even despises mechanized equipment like tractors, and the hybrid seeds and other advances developed by Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution.

AgroEcology advocates tortured but clever concepts like “food sovereignty” and the “right to subsistence farming by indigenous people.” It promotes “indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices,” thus excluding the vast storehouse of non-indigenous learning, practices and technologies that were developed in recent centuries – and are readily available to anyone with access to a library or internet connection.

Or as they put it: “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies, rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” Food sovereignty also “focuses on production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems, avoid costly and toxic inputs, and improve the resiliency of local food systems in the face of climate change.” (The 2007 Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty. In Mali!)

Some adherents even seek the “re-peasantization” of Latin American society!

AgroEcology has the financial backing of far-left [and anti-gun] foundations like the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which collectively have committed more than $500 million to a raft of like-minded NGOs.

Its precepts and policies are approved and actively promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank and other UN agencies at their taxpayer-funded international conferences. These agencies are even beginning to demand adherence to über-organic practices as a condition for receiving taxpayer funding for agricultural development programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (But taxpayers and legislators who provide the funding have been permitted little substantive input on any of this.)

It’s all justified – and often accepted without question in government agencies and universities – by reference to the politically correct, virtue-signaling terminology of our era: sustainability, sustainable farming, dangerous man-made climate change, social justice, indigenous rights, self-determination.

Also typical, anyone opposing these ideologies, policies and demands is vilified as a “willful supporter” of violence against women, “land-grabbing” by multinational corporations, peasant farmer suicides, “mass expropriation and genocide” of indigenous people, and crimes against humanity.

Imagine how intolerant AgroEcology ideologues would react if a farmer wanted to assert his or her food sovereignty and self-determination – by planting hybrid corn, using modern synthetic fertilizers or (heaven forbid) planting Bt corn (maize), to get higher yields, spend less time in the field, spray fewer pesticides, or improve the family’s living standards by selling surplus crops. And yet many want to do exactly that.

“By planting the new Bt cotton on my six hectares [15 acres], I was able to build a house and give it a solar panel,” Bethuel Gumede told the late Roy Innis, then chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, during a trip to South Africa. “I also bought a TV and fridge. My wife can buy healthy food, and we can afford to send the kids to school. My life has changed completely.”

“I grow maize on a half hectare,” Elizabeth Ajele told him. “The old plants would be destroyed by insects, but not the new biotech plants. With the profits I get from the new Bt maize, I can grow onions, spinach and tomatoes, and sell them for extra money to buy fertilizer. We were struggling to keep hunger out of our house. Now the future looks good.”

Equally relevant, how can agricultural practices that barely sustained families and villages before the advent of modern agriculture possibly feed the world?

As Dr. Borlaug said in 2006: “Our planet has 6.5 billion people. If we use only organic fertilizers and methods on existing farmland, we can only feed 4 billion. I don’t see 2.5 billion people volunteering to disappear.”

AgroEcology promoters like Greenpeace, Food & Water Watch, Pesticide Action Network, Union of Concerned scientists and La Via Campesina (The Peasant Way) pay little attention to any of this. They’re too busy “saving people” from “dangerous” hybrid seeds, GMOs, agribusiness, farm machinery and chemicals. Not that any of them would ever want to toil on any of the primitive farms they extol.

Greenpeace frightens Africans by claiming “some researchers think DDT and DDE could be inhibiting lactation” in nursing mothers. So families are afraid to use DDT, and millions die from preventable malaria, while still more millions suffer permanent brain or liver damage from the disease. Would it also oppose cancer-curing chemotherapy because it causes hair loss and reduced resistance to infections?

Modern instruments can detect chemicals in mere parts per billion (the equivalent of a few seconds in 32 years) or even parts per trillion (a few seconds in 32,000 years). That’s hardly a threat to human health.

But Luddite eco-imperialists and über-organic food activists stridently oppose any man-made fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, while saying “natural” pesticides commonly used by organic farmers are safe. In reality, copper sulfate can kill humans in lower doses per kilogram of body weight than aspirin, and exposure to rotenone causes Parkinson's Disease-like symptoms in rats and can also kill humans.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, US and EU government agencies, and real human rights advocates should challenge and denounce AgroEcology agitators and their financial enablers for advancing fraudulent claims that perpetuate malnutrition, poverty and human rights abuses in the world’s poorest countries. They should also cut off funding to any government agencies that support AgroEcology nonsense.

 


Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

About Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of articles and books on energy, climate change, carbon dioxide and economic development.

David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science and logic in public policy.

  • 7
    Leave a Reply

    Please Login to comment
    5 Comment threads
    2 Thread replies
    0 Followers
     
    Most reacted comment
    Hottest comment thread
    6 Comment authors
    joefoamColonialgirldavid n samplesANGRY AMERICANHuapakechi Recent comment authors
      Subscribe  
    Notify of
    david n samples
    Guest
    david n samples

    both sides of this arguement are fanatics. while i am of a mind that cultures like the amish are on the right track they work their ass off while still using some modern methods. it would be to the benefit of all if the ultras would spend one year living and working in the cultures they so admire. anti modernists in subsistance societies and people like driessen on a monocrop superfarm. the family farm use to be the basis of our society and since that has been lost the fabric of our society has disolved.

    ANGRY AMERICAN
    Guest
    ANGRY AMERICAN

    To Driessen & Wojick YOU ARE BOUGHT & PAID FOR BY THE AGROBIZ / PHARMA / MEDICAL CABAL. You spew out alL the talking points from the cabal to justify your expertise. BULLSHIT AS USUAL. I GUESS MONEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR OWN FAMILIES – BECAUSE YOU ALL EAT THIS POISON TOO – UNLESS YOU ALL ONLY EAT REAL ORGANIC. MONSANTOs’ ROUNDUP IS A CARCINOGEN- GLYPHOSATE IS A CARCINOGEN – GOLDEN RICE needs ROUNDUP- GMO CORN & SOY needs GLYPHOSATE – A CARCINOGEN and is a TOXIN – by the World Health Org No matter how many bought &… Read more »

    Colonialgirl
    Guest
    Colonialgirl

    Gee, Thanks “angry american” for confirming that you are an idiot and have never ever lived on a farm and have NOT A CLUE about agriculture. Your indoctrination in idiocy is magnificent and shows that you spent far too much time on your phone playing games and twitting with other morons.
    I bet you have a diploma from your nursery school and a blue ribbon for trying but never succeeding at anything.
    Now BACK to your safe space, your porcelain drinking fountain needs the brown floaters cleaned out.

    Huapakechi
    Guest
    Huapakechi

    I don’t suppose these champions of sustenance farming and “natural” insecticides have spent any time living in the conditions they seek to impose on the farmers who seek to improve their lives? Anyone who has had malaria and still speaks out against DDT is obviously suffering from brain damage.
    The champions of luddite anti-science began with a fictional story by Rachael Carson (silent spring) and continued with “the population bomb” Prof Paul Ehrlich, who enjoys all the trappings of modern academic society without suffering any of the tribulations he seeks to inflict on the populations of the world at large.

    http://www.cfact.org/2013/08/11/ddt-ban-linked-to-population-control/

    joefoam
    Guest
    joefoam

    After decades of advancements in crop production reducing world hunger we now want to return to malnutrition and all the associated diseases. What is wrong with these people, do they not think anything through?

    Solarman
    Guest
    Solarman

    Many so called third World countries are “jumping” ahead of the so called “Industrialized Nations”. Africa in particular there are Entrepreneurs that are using a “pay-as-you-go” solar PV program that installs solar PV and battery back up on homes in villages and small towns with no utility electrical connections. A fee is placed on each month’s cell phone bill to pay for the system over time. It has been shown that doing this actually saves the homeowner money each month by NOT having to purchase candles and kerosene for light and cooking. Savings on fuels are put towards paying for… Read more »

    joefoam
    Guest
    joefoam

    Wait a second, they don’t have electricity for lights not fuel for cooking but they have cell phones. Just how do they charge the cellphone with no electricity available? I’m all for advancements in power generation, I was speaking towards the use of modern fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides to increase crop production. You have to wonder where peoples priorities lie if they are subsistence farmers with cell phones.