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(44,228 posts)
Sat Jun 15, 2013, 10:43 AM Jun 2013

Environmentalists Must Face Down the Anti-Science in Their Own House


How can environmental groups and media outlets maintain that they are advocates of science, and not ideology, when they engage in the anti-science Luddism of GMO fearmongering? The potential of this anti-science behavior to poison their credibility on global climate change is real, as there is an obvious comparison between their flawed risk assessment on GM foods being compared to their legitimate risk assessments on issues of global climate change and pollution.

One of the major arguments of environmental groups on global warming is that there is overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. This consensus, which is represented by the IPCC and supported by the national academies and scientific societies of every country in the world, is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that human activities add enough of this heat-trapping gas to warm the planet. This is a valid argument. When one finds oneself on the opposite of the scientific consensus of such esteemed bodies as the NAS, the Royal Society, the IPCC, etc., you should be worried. If you don’t have an overwhelming level of evidence and a solid body of literature backing you up, you should consider a period of introspection and self-evaluation, because you might just be a crank or denialist. Most cranks don’t have this capability, instead they have conspiracy theories, and a set of ready-made logical fallacies to throw at their critics like “you’re just a shill for x”, where x is variably big pharma, monsanto, corporations in general, big government, grant money, environmental groups, the democratic party, the republican party, or whatever other bogeyman the crank hates. If they throw in a reference to how they’re just like Galileo, we’ll happily give them the crank stamp and call it a day.


And what exactly is the ideology that ties together Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Mike Shermer, Dave Gorski (who thinks the anti-vaxx comparison is more apt), Steve Novella, and Keith Kloor? Could it be skepticism? Respect for science? It sure isn’t politics (Shermer is even a libertarian – ewwwww). None of us works for any of these companies, or receives money from them (although I hear Keith is in bed with Monsanto these days). That won’t stop us all from being called a “shill” in every comment thread in which we express skepticism of the often outrageous, science-fiction claims of anti-GM advocates like Jeffrey Smith. So what’s this ideology that binds us all together on the ludicrous nature arguments made against GMO, other than a hatred of bullshit?

So Laskaway is partially correct, on one side we have groups with a specific and obvious bias with a high probability of ideology clouding their reason on science. On the other side we have the AAAS, the European Commission, the Royal Society, the National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine, and a diverse group of skeptic and science writers from Richard Dawkins to PZ Myers to Dave Gorski and Steve Novella. Feel free any time to take these two weak papers that show nothing, and wave it under our nose and call us the ideologues.

Good read.

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Environmentalists Must Face Down the Anti-Science in Their Own House (Original Post) SidDithers Jun 2013 OP
I am opposed to GMO crops because of the huge potential for genetic pollution and development of kestrel91316 Jun 2013 #1
The infallibility of consensus isn't a scientific argument whatchamacallit Jun 2013 #2
That you're opposed to science doesn't surprise me in the least...nt SidDithers Jun 2013 #4
Thanks for the reasoned, scientific assessment of my position lol whatchamacallit Jun 2013 #5
Let's talk about nuclear power... hunter Jun 2013 #3
When there is research on GMO foods that Monsanto DOESN'T Zoeisright Jun 2013 #6
Why do you hate science? whatchamacallit Jun 2013 #7
I have a bigger problem with Monsanto's business practices. That's why I oppose them. nt octoberlib Jun 2013 #8
Kick... SidDithers Jun 2013 #9
Big REC and KICK! n/t zappaman Jun 2013 #10


(51,666 posts)
1. I am opposed to GMO crops because of the huge potential for genetic pollution and development of
Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:12 AM
Jun 2013

resistant pathogens. I also don't want alien species' genes put into foods without labeling so that people who oppose the technology can avoid them (ie vegans wanting to avoid fish genes in their tomatoes or Jews wanting to avoid pig genes in their wheat or whatever abomination they come up with next week).

I am not afraid of GMOs for my sake - I am afraid of them for our ecosystems' sakes. That's not anti-science; that's just being reasonably cautious. Hell, I use genetically engineered vaccines in my patients and happen to think that particular use of the technology has been a huge WIN.

Just look at the contaminated wheat issue in WA. How are you going to put THAT genie back in the bottle? And how are you going to compensate the farmers whose wheat got contaminated when Monsanto comes after them with another of their famous lawsuits where they try to ruin the VICTIMS of their genetic pollution??


(15,558 posts)
2. The infallibility of consensus isn't a scientific argument
Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:40 AM
Jun 2013

it's defensive twaddle. Hey if you want to pack your kids with blunder drugs and frankenfood because... well... science and stuff, that's your business.


(15,558 posts)
5. Thanks for the reasoned, scientific assessment of my position lol
Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:21 PM
Jun 2013

Some pretty silly shit Sid, even for you.


(8,339 posts)
6. When there is research on GMO foods that Monsanto DOESN'T
Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:06 PM
Jun 2013

have control over, I'll believe it's safe. Until then, we only have Monsanto's limited research on the topic. They stopped their "studies" on safety after three months. There are NO long term studies on the safety of GMO foods. And I don't want to injest proteins that kill insects and plants, thank you very much. Did you know that anyone who buys Monsanto seed has to sign an agreement saying they will not conduct research on it?

Anyone who buys Monsanto's word on the safety of GMO food is a complete fool. The bias is Monsanto's.


(44,228 posts)
9. Kick...
Thu Jun 20, 2013, 07:51 AM
Jun 2013

Perfect example of this in this thread:

Using the ramblings of anti-vaccine, AIDS-denialist Gary Null is the perfect way to poison the credibility of those who have have real, measured concerns about GMOs.


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