go to ....THE TERRIBLE TIME OF DAY an essay by Bill Mollison, 1981 (founder of the "Permaculture" movement)
Are we killing ourselves when we cut down our Forests?

Excerpt from ARK INSTITUTE by Geri Guidetti:

The Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Per
Pinstrup-Andersen, presented a paper entitled, "The Role of Research in the Outlook for World Hunger."

"Modern science offers humankind a powerful instrument to assure food security for all without degrading the environment," he began. Since the early 1960s, food availability per person has increased nearly 20 percent and 1.5 billion additional people are being fed in developing countries. Modern science has transformed agriculture by increasing crop yields, thus sparing millions of hectares of forest and marginal lands that would have been converted to farm lands in an attempt to produce more food.

Despite this successful application of science to the production of food he cites:

     Over 800 million people live in uncertainty of their next full meal. And 185 million preschool children
     suffer compromised mental and physical development because of malnutrition.·About 80 million people
     are expected to be added to the global population every year for the next 25 years. ·Global demand for
     grain is projected to increase 55 percent between 1990 and 2020; for livestock products, 75 percent;
     for roots and tubers, 50 percent.

As this year’s 80 million new mouths cry to be fed, it would be wise to learn something about raising our own food and even to become as food self-sufficient as possible. Pockets of food productivity tucked here and there among the world’s cities and suburbs will not only serve to feed when unexpected shortages or outright crop or delivery failures occur, but to teach our children and others how to feed themselves if the necessity arises. If nothing else, it serves to remind all of us that plentiful food is not a given... Geri Guidetti, The Ark Institute.
 

 
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    THE EARTH DISCUSSION GROUP I

(Your Comment goes here) 
 
12/31/1999
karma mechanic
the_foci@hotmail.com

subject: Envelope

 I once was a proponent of spending less time and energy on space travel and more on hungry people here.  'We' can do both, and must.  At one time, say around 1975, we may have had the chance to really reverse some of the effect that we were having on the environment and atmosphere that would be afflicting our lives detrimentally. That would have been cutting it close. Now I feel I have come to grips (better) with my idealism.


6/6/1998 
email:  purpleguns@yahoo.com 
Subject World needs us  

I think the world needs us, but not how we have been to the world. Our attitudes have to change in order to make it a pleasant place for all of us. People litter all the time saying that a few pieces of garbege just going around wont hert anyone. That is true, but since a lot of people think this, then a lot of people do this. Eventually it builds up to great depths. It is so easy to just recycle and to put things in the right places, but almost everyone is to lazy to do so. If you keep doing this, eventually we are all going to die because of litter. litter builds up and makes the air dirty, than plants and animals wont be able to breath and will die, which will leave us without any food to eat. We will starve to death. It is happening as you read this, so when you have something to throw away, please, put it in the right place. Kids do this all the time, but not there parents. The parents need to set a good example for us kids. thank you.    Sarah Klein age 12 


April 22, 1998 
 "Aquilino Mayo" <aquimayo@etheron.net> 
Subject: Poem: A Beating Heart 

Un corazón palpita. 
Si detengo la carrera y me calmo, noto como mi corazón late y como algo en mi fluye de vida y entusiasmo. 
Guardo silencio un instante y siento el corazón de un loro que vuela entre los árboles cerca de mi portal, y algo fluye en el cerro que lo hace 
verde y alto y callado. 
Un corazón late en el cantar de un pajaro, y en el salto de las ardillas, en las ramas de una Acacia que se extiende como abriendo sus brazos al 
cielo, y en la tierra que alimenta y sostiene las lombrices y los Crotos. 
Un corazón late de entusiasmo y vida en cada rincón del planeta. Esta Tierra viva y de vida. 
 
A beating heart. 
If I stop the run and calm down, I notice my beating heart and something of life and enthusiasm flowing. 
I keep silence for an instant and feel the heart of a parrot flying among the trees close to my porch, and something flow in the hill that makes it green and high and quiet. 
There is a beating heart on the song of a bird, on a jump of a squirrel, in the Acacia´s branches that spread like open arms to the sky, in the soil that feed and support earthworm and Crotos. 
A heart is beating enthusiasm and life on every single corner of the planet. 
In the living Earth of life.   Aquilino Mayo, 1998 


12/20/97  
subject: Whacko Environmentalists 

I occasionally listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio, and overhear others talking about environmentalists as if there were absolutely no basis for their concern. This floors me! If anyone were to read with an open mind the findings and data of experts on our dwindling water supplies, the percentages of oxygen in the air, and the staggering loss of top soil, there is no doubt that if we continue our present practices, we are in BIG trouble. In fact we already are. It is as if some persons get a sense of being intelligent by denying that there is any problem.    

I just read a statement by Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture. "Now all of this, including the energy problem, is what we have to tackle at once. It can be done. It is possible. It is possible to make restitution. We might as well be trying to do something about it as not. We will never get anywhere if we don't do anything. The great temptation, and one in which the academic takes total refuge, is to gather more evidence. I mean, do we need any more evidence? Or is it time to cease taking evidence and to start remedial action on the evidence already in? In 1950, it was time to start taking evidence and start remedial action. But the temptation is always to gather more evidence. Too many people waste their lives gathering evidence. Moreover, as we get more evidence, we see that things are worse than they had appeared to be."   

Unless someone proves me wrong, I'm going to assume based on what I already know, that we better quit spoiling our forest, our water, and our topsoil, now, as fast as we possibly can.  Jerry B. 


-Original Message-----

From: Organic Federation of Australia Inc [SMTP:ofa@netspace.net.au]
Sent: Monday, June 14, 1999 8:55 PM
To: ofa@netspace.net.au

Subject: [GE] QUOTES ON GE
QUOTES COLLECTED BY BERNARD CONLON NZ GE LIST

" My worry is that other advances in Science may result in other means of mass destruction maybe more readily available even than nuclear weapons. Genetic engineering is quite a possible area because of these dreadful developments that are taking place there" Joseph Rotblat a British Physicist who won the 1995 Noble Prize after years of battling against Nuclear Weapons.

Independent Feb'97
Agricultural biotechnology is "not a miracle technology. It's had lots of mistakes. It's an expensive technology that's problematic." She added that there are "alternatives to biotechnology for feeding the world and achieving a truly sustainable agriculture, which are worthy goals, but the hype of biotechnology is obscuring the path." Dr. Margaret Mellon, Director of Agriculture & Biotechnology for the Union of Concerned Scientists

"In an ecosystem, you can always intervene and change something in it, but there's no way of knowing what all the downstream effects will be or how it might affect the environment. We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another." Professor Richard Lewontin, Professor of Genetics, Harvard University

"The process of genetic engineering always involves the risk of altering the genetics and cellular functioning of a food organism in unanticipated ways. These unanticipated alterations can result in GE foods being allergenic, toxic, or reduced in nutritional value". Professor John Fagan, award-winning Geneticist, Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA.

 "At the moment, as is so often the case with technology, we seem to spend most of our time establishing what is technically possible, and then a little time trying to establish whether or not it is something we should be doing in the first place." HRH the Prince of Wales on genetically engineered food 19th September 1996 Royal support for genetic food withdrawal.

"We were the experts. We didn't have many of the answers ... Rather than explain that to a general public it was thought better to give the impression that we had everything under control, which we didn't and which we never have." Jim Hope, a scientist at the Neuropathogenics Unit, Edinburgh, on the earlier BSE crisis. 

"I see worries in the fact that we have the power to manipulate genes in ways that would be improbable or impossible through conventional evolution. We shouldn't be complacent in thinking that we can predict the results." Colin Blakemore, Waynflete professor of physiology at Oxford University and President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

 "The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don't think we fully understand the dimensions of what we're getting into." Professor Philip James (author of the "James" report on the structure and functions of the proposed UK Food Standards Agency to oversee national food safety standards), Director of the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, on genetically engineered food.

 "I've come to believe that the potential power of genetic engineering dwarfs that of nuclear power; society shouldn't be carried away with fantasies promised by biotechnology promoters." Professor Liebe Cavalieri, of Environmental Science at State University of New York at Purchase

Scientists at an American Association for the Advancement of Science forum in Washington, DC in May 1998 warned of the potential risks of agricultural genetic engineering. Allen Miller, a plant virologist at Iowa State University, points out that transgenic plants will contain the viral genes in all their cells all the time, increasing the risk of recombination. "It's really hard to predict what's going to happen if you have a million acres all expressing a viral gene," he says. New Scientist March 1998

"Essentially unlimited health risks. "The Industry has been allowed to get these products onto the market without providing evidence of safety - which they cannot provide. " Prof. Richard Lacey : Microbiologist Leeds University

"Over the last fifteen years, I and other scientists have put the FDA on notice about the potential dangers of genetically engineered foods. Instead of responsible regulation we have seen bureaucratic bungling and obfuscation that have left public health and the environment at risk." Dr. Philip Regal, Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota and an internationally recognised plant expert.

"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A's [Food and Drug Administration] job." Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications, in an interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine

 "Bacteria and Viruses have always formed a most effective biological underground. The Guerilla warfare through which they act on higher forms of life is only imperfectly understood. By adding to this arsenal freakish forms of life - prokaryotes propagating eukaryotic genes - weshall be throwing a veil of uncertainties over the life of coming generations. Have we the right to counteract, irreversibly, the evolutionary wisdom of millions of years, in order to satisfy the ambition and curiosity of a few scientists? This world is given to us on loan. We come and we go; and after a time we leave earth and air and water to others who come after us. My generation, or perhaps the one preceding mine, has been the first to engage, under the leadership of the exact sciences, in a destructive colonial warfare against nature. The future will curse us for it." End of his letter to: Science 192: 938 - 940. on "The dangers of Genetic meddling" Dr Erwin Chargaff

**************************************************

Scott Kinnear
Chairperson
Organic Federation of Australia
C/- 452 Lygon St
East Brunswick
Victoria 3057
Australia
Ph 61 3 9386 6600
Fax 61 3 9384 1322

 
 


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