Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Musings: Tail Chasing

White wisps wafting westerly stuck on Waialeale and began to accumulate when Koko and I went out walking in a gray pre-dawn already showing streaks of yellowish-orange around the eastern edges. The garbage truck had preceded us, leaving behind upended cans, bits of trash destined to become litter and a provocative — to Koko, at least — scent stream upon the street.

We were nearly back home when the sun rose, shooting shafts of sparkling pink light through the trees and reminding me of the good feeling I had swimming in the sunset shimmer last evening. I hold on to those moments, which carry me through the uglier ones, like watching, in my rear view mirror, the woman traveling behind me obliterate a hen and her tiny chicks and then drive right over a dead cat straddling the center line. I don’t suppose she would have noticed, in her obliviousness, the perfect V-shaped wake created by a gallinule paddling in the still, gold waters of the Kapahi reservoir.

I’ve been thinking lately of how we humans, in our obliviousness, have gotten in way over our heads, set in motion certain courses of actions that have gone terribly awry, like the offshore drilling scheme that has British Petroleum, which Democracy Now! has dubbed “Billionaire Polluter,” scrambling, thus far unsuccessfully, to figure out a way to stop the oil that’s gushing up from its destroyed Gulf well, including the use of oil-dispersing chemicals that could create their own serious environmental problems..

Meanwhile, new evidence is emerging of lax enforcement and questionably cozy relationships, which included sex and drugs, between the Minerals Management Service and the industry it is supposed to be regulating.

But there’s nothing new there. It’s the same relationship we see between the USDA and the chemical companies that manufacture the genetically modified crops that are now — surprise! not — giving rise to what the New York Times characterized as tenacious new superweeds:

To fight them, Mr. [Eddie] Anderson and farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

“We’re back to where we were 20 years ago,” said Mr. Anderson.

Ummm, except now we have all these “tenacious new superweeds.” Oops.

Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water.

“It is the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” said Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts.

But wait. Weren’t GMO crops billed as production boosters, harbingers of a new green revolution, wonder crops capable of cheaply feeding a hungry world?

Predictably, we’ve got Monsanto, creator of Roundup and the crops genetically modified to withstand its direct application, downplaying the situation:

Monsanto, which once argued that resistance would not become a major problem, now cautions against exaggerating its impact. “It’s a serious issue, but it’s manageable,” said Rick Cole, who manages weed resistance issues in the United States for the company.

Yes, just pour on more chemicals:

Monsanto argues that Roundup still controls hundreds of weeds. But the company is concerned enough about the problem that it is taking the extraordinary step of subsidizing cotton farmers’ purchases of competing herbicides to supplement Roundup.

And if need be, buy up the competing chemical companies so you can retain your lock on the market, sort of like how you’ve already bought up most all the seed companies.

Monsanto’s “solution” is not unlike BP’s plan to drill another well to cut off the gusher, or the EU's and IMF's plan to follow the U.S. model and "fix” Greece's economy by bailing out the banks that did the bad lending while squeezing the people a little bit tighter or Obama’s plan to bring peace to Afghanistan by killing more civilians and security to America through Predator drone strikes in Pakistan, which naturally encourage retaliation:

If we attack them, they will attack us. If we kill them, they will try to kill us. It’s not rocket science.

And so it goes as we keep chasing our tail, trying to fix the problems we’ve created and in the process, creating new problems that will require new “fixes” that aren’t.


Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, new evidence is emerging of lax enforcement and questionably cozy relationships, which included sex and drugs, between the Minerals Management Service and the industry it is supposed to be regulating."

-- that was better exposed during bush 2. hookers, coke, the whole deal. "regulatory capture by industry 101."


Anonymous said...

The development and use of antibiotics lead to strains of super resistant microbes. But that's not to say that antibiotics are a bad thing.

nowondertheyhateus said...

This video has been out for maybe a week but there╩╗s no mention or consideration for it in the higher echelon of greatness and fearless leaders that know what is good for the peons that they have to steal crumbs from in the form of taxes:

easy cheap safe way to clean up the oil spill with Hay.


Instead, what do they do? Inject chemicals into the ocean that dissolve the oil into little bubbles of fish food being injested by the TRULY great beings...marine life.

Anonymous said...

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won't be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down - Joni Mitchelle