Monday, November 09, 2009

Earth Liberation Front: Resistance ( or Obstinance)

The following is an excerpt from a recent interview (here on Eigene Weekly's Next Big Thing blog) of Craig Rosebraugh regarding Earth Liberation Front's magazine 'Resistance.'

"This movement realizes that when governments and politicians refuse to act to protect the planet, it is up to all of us to step in and protect our home. And the only logic way that this protection may occur is to understand the primary force driving environmental destruction. That force is economic; it is the financial incentive that corporations and governments have when they clear-cut old growth forests, when they pump out gas-guzzling vehicles, when they destroy mountain tops and communities for coal, when they lay gas and oil pipelines across landscapes and ecosystems, when they genetically alter the natural world, when they pump toxins into the air, into the water and soil. It is the profit motive that is driving environmental destruction. So it only makes logical sense to work to directly remove that profit motive from these entities so they either are persuaded to stop their harmful practices or go out of business."

This seems to really resonate some of the fallacious thinking that we have seen in print lately via the Michael Pollan's and the Brian Walsh's of the world. He is linking profits and biotechnology with environmental destruction. It is annoying that these same 'stories' continue to be told. They are like myths that it seems we must continue to debunk over and over again. Now that we have people in power willing to subordinate evidence to wider emotional appeal, ( like regs on antibiotic use in livestock, cap-and-trade, the recent bailout, the stimulus package) we have to be even more resilient.

Removing the profit motive is the very last thing that one would want to do if long term sustainability is the goal. It was largely the profit motive that led to the production of biotech crops, and adoption by farmers. Sure we are all motivated by things besides profit, but the market system helps to coordinate our decisions, so that our choices are compatible and resources are used efficiently in a world of scarcity. And guess what, as so much evidence has indicated, farming is more sustainable than ever! While the agriculture industry may be one of the best examples of how markets and profits can lead to sustainable outcomes, the basic principle holds true across all industries. I guess Mr. Rosebraugh has never heard of The Invisible Green Hand.'

Of course, considering ELF as the source, we would not expect their publications to be considerate of all of the evidence, it's not like they are TIME magazine or anything.

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