Are They Crazy & Heartless?

Never mind that East Africa is reeling from drought and famine, if you’re with Greenpeace and you have an anti-GMO tic, this is what you worry about:

Olivia Langhof of Greenpeace Africa, based in Johannesburg, echoes the concerns of other critics in saying that even in the face of a dire need to feed human beings, GM is not an adequate answer. She says in addition to being unnecessary, it doesn’t address the underlying causes of the devastating humanitarian crisis.

‘What completely falls in the gap in the current discussion””because so many people are dying””is how we stop this [kind of drought] from happening again’, Langhof says. “˜No government in Africa should fall into the trap into the agri-busniess industry because that is really selling out their food security and farmers’.

First of all, good luck with stopping drought from happening in a drought-prone region (did she really mean that, or did the reporter misinterpret?). Secondly, is there no end to this madness?

H/T: Mark Lynas

15 Responses to “Are They Crazy & Heartless?”

  1. Tom Fuller says:

    Planck’s solution will prevail. Until then, people like Keith Kloor need to keep up the drumbeat on how batshit crazy these people are.

  2. BBD says:

    No, Keith, I very much doubt there is an end to the anti-GM lunacy and the anti-humanitarian behaviour of the greens. And it’s nothing new. Greenpeace and FOE have done this before, as Robert Paarlberg documents in Starved for Science.

  3. Stu says:

    As a card carrying (honestly former) Green, I happily denounce this nonsense.

  4. Mary says:


    I’ve said elsewhere that it really is going to take some wins in the public/academic GMO project areas before this subsides. Even then the whole discussion will be Monsantoed [the Godwin of these discussions], but the public will be able to say, “Yeah, but golden rice…. Bananas…” etc.

    Papaya isn’t cutting it for us.  

  5. Jarmo says:

    Crazy & Heartless?

    No, they just think they are going to save Mother Gaia from a greater evil. Never mind the collateral damage.

    Unfortunately this problem is not limited to the greens…..

  6. Tom Gray says:

    The above is a list from Wikipedia of worldwide famines. These were relatively common before the modern era and globalization. A connection to the world economy and access to world wide food resources has eleimated the threat of famine for most of the modern world. Texas is undergoing a severe drought but there is no threat of famine there .

    So the idea that the best way of preventing famine is to eliminate the causes of local drought etc does seem to be cast into doubt by this. Famines happened around the world and nothing that humanity can do will eliminate the possibility of local food production disruption

  7. Mary says:

    Unfortunately too many famines are caused by politics. It’s the humans that are the problem. And sometimes it’s not the capitalists.

    I’m currently reading Mao’s Great Famine (award winner for non-fiction recently). Idealism without actual foundations in reality turn out to be quite harmful. 

  8. Eli Rabett says:

    Oooo Hippy punching, can Eli play?
    [Only if I can play curmudgeon punching. So rather than leaving an inane comment, how about telling us what you think about GMO’s?//KK]

  9. Eli Rabett says:

    Which ones?  Be specific.

  10. Tom Fuller says:

    No, Keith, that would be telling.

    Lab meat, grey water and GMO veggies. Doesn’t sound very attractive.

    On the other hand, I think back to baloney sandwiches on white bread with ketchup for veg and Koolaid– and I feel better. 

  11. ob says:

    I don’t want to take sides, but do you imply that GMOs are the one (and only) solution to famine in Africa (and worldwide)?

  12. kdk33 says:

    “And sometimes it’s not the capitalists”

    That’s a relief. 

  13. Mary says:

    @ob: who said “the one (and only) solution to famine”? The only people I ever hear saying that are opposed to GMOs and attempting to polarize the debate by suggesting that.
    Here’s another take on it: why do you imply that you have the right to withhold technology from African farmers who want it? And which technologies are you going to let them use? Are you qualified to make that decision?

  14. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Keith on a completely unrelated note, why does the Rabett get to be the only one that gets inline comments from the almighty blog owner? I’m in the midst of writing out my bucket list and want to know if this is something I should include 😉

  15. Tom Gray says:

    ob wites


     I don’t want to take sides, but do you imply that GMOs are the one (and only) solution to famine in Africa (and worldwide)?  

    One of the primary aims of curretn foreign aid is to provde advice on the provision of good governance in an area.

    So to avoidfamine:

    a) good governance
    b) education and especially the education of women
    c) AIDS, river blindness and so prevention
    d) access to world markets 
    e) GMO and improved farming techniques
    f) …

    Any more?       

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