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[Food Inc] Monsanto: Evil corporation, or the Evilest corporation?

135

Posts

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    In fact, most of the familiar candidates for alternative food would have trouble operating on the kind of scale necessary for a world of 6.7 billion people. Consider what it would take to make our farm system entirely organic. The only reason industrial organic agriculture can get away with replenishing its soils with manure or by planting nitrogen-fixing cover crops is that the industry is so tiny—making up less than 3 percent of the US food supply (and just 5.3 percent even in gung-ho green cultures like Austria's). If we wanted to rid the world of synthetic fertilizer use—and assuming dietary habits remain constant—the extra land we'd need for cover crops or forage (to feed the animals to make the manure) would more than double, possibly triple, the current area of farmland, according to Vaclav Smil, an environmental scientist at the University of Manitoba. Such an expansion, Smil notes, "would require complete elimination of all tropical rainforests, conversion of a large part of tropical and subtropical grasslands to cropland, and the return of a substantial share of the labor force to field farming—making this clearly only a theoretical notion."
    What's required when not assuming that? Because it's not like Americans need the amount of meat they're eating right now.

    Edit: Fuck you Thanatos.

    PSN: allenquid
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Having worked for Monsanto for over 2 years, and being a rather lib'ruhl envirotron, it is amazing to see how many other people with similar beliefs work there.

    I only met a few nutty people there, mostly from South County St. Louis, which is chockfull of McCain/Palin holdouts.

    I just think it's funny that you guys made Agent Orange back in the day, that's mostly where my thread title came from.

    Also, you have to admit the genetic patenting of seeds is bullshit when it comes to how agriculture works. You can't prevent seed cross-contamination. Farmers who don't buy your seeds still end up producing them whether they like it or not, and now they can't legally use or sell them.

    TiSBcast.com - Home of This is Serious Business, a weekly roundtable podcast involving media, beer, and general merriment.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Having worked for Monsanto for over 2 years, and being a rather lib'ruhl envirotron, it is amazing to see how many other people with similar beliefs work there.

    I only met a few nutty people there, mostly from South County St. Louis, which is chockfull of McCain/Palin holdouts.

    I just think it's funny that you guys made Agent Orange back in the day, that's mostly where my thread title came from.

    Also, you have to admit the genetic patenting of seeds is bullshit when it comes to how agriculture works. You can't prevent seed cross-contamination. Farmers who don't buy your seeds still end up producing them whether they like it or not, and now they can't legally use or sell them.

    I rather suspect - especially given the NYTimes article above - that while Monsanto is indeed pulling a lot of patent law bullshit, it has much less to do with agricultural devastation than corn-related policies.

    For which three hypotheses have been posted, actually: Iowa caucuses, regulatory capture, and Nixon-era mistakes.

    So... which one? (or: which one has most effect?)

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    zakkiel wrote: »
    In fact, most of the familiar candidates for alternative food would have trouble operating on the kind of scale necessary for a world of 6.7 billion people. Consider what it would take to make our farm system entirely organic. The only reason industrial organic agriculture can get away with replenishing its soils with manure or by planting nitrogen-fixing cover crops is that the industry is so tiny—making up less than 3 percent of the US food supply (and just 5.3 percent even in gung-ho green cultures like Austria's). If we wanted to rid the world of synthetic fertilizer use—and assuming dietary habits remain constant—the extra land we'd need for cover crops or forage (to feed the animals to make the manure) would more than double, possibly triple, the current area of farmland, according to Vaclav Smil, an environmental scientist at the University of Manitoba. Such an expansion, Smil notes, "would require complete elimination of all tropical rainforests, conversion of a large part of tropical and subtropical grasslands to cropland, and the return of a substantial share of the labor force to field farming—making this clearly only a theoretical notion."
    What's required when not assuming that? Because it's not like Americans need the amount of meat they're eating right now.

    Edit: Fuck you Thanatos.

    Isn't the analysis Zakkiel posted based on a global diet, not just American? I mean, American dietary distortion obviously plays a part, but have American corn subsidies distorted world dietary patterns too? O_o

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    What would have to happen for any of these problems to be fixed? How could corn subsidies be conceivably brought to an end? Is there any hope of this actually happening, or is it more likely that the food industry will carry on as it is now until a calamity strikes?

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What would have to happen for any of these problems to be fixed? How could corn subsidies be conceivably brought to an end? Is there any hope of this actually happening, or is it more likely that the food industry will carry on as it is now until a calamity strikes?

    Welcome to politics my friend. Nothing changes till the shit has already hit the fan.

  • LightRiderLightRider __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2009
    King Corn and End of the Line are good movies to watch if you want more of this type of movie.

  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    zakkiel wrote: »
    In fact, most of the familiar candidates for alternative food would have trouble operating on the kind of scale necessary for a world of 6.7 billion people. Consider what it would take to make our farm system entirely organic. The only reason industrial organic agriculture can get away with replenishing its soils with manure or by planting nitrogen-fixing cover crops is that the industry is so tiny—making up less than 3 percent of the US food supply (and just 5.3 percent even in gung-ho green cultures like Austria's). If we wanted to rid the world of synthetic fertilizer use—and assuming dietary habits remain constant—the extra land we'd need for cover crops or forage (to feed the animals to make the manure) would more than double, possibly triple, the current area of farmland, according to Vaclav Smil, an environmental scientist at the University of Manitoba. Such an expansion, Smil notes, "would require complete elimination of all tropical rainforests, conversion of a large part of tropical and subtropical grasslands to cropland, and the return of a substantial share of the labor force to field farming—making this clearly only a theoretical notion."
    What's required when not assuming that? Because it's not like Americans need the amount of meat they're eating right now.

    Edit: Fuck you Thanatos.

    The extra land is mostly required to produce cereals, not meat. Although Americans eat a tremendous amount of meat, most of the world does not. The extrapolation assumes global dietary habits remain constant. Unless you plan to put everyone on the diet of a twelfth-century Chinese peasant (far worse nutritionally than even our present much-decried eating habits) you are going to have to wipe out most of the terrestrial ecosystem to create the organic utopia.

    EDIT: Beat'd by Ronya.

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  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »

    Personally, I'd like the Earth my grandchildren and great-grandchildren live on to be better than this one, and food is the single largest environmentally-damaging industry on the planet, by leaps and bounds. And it's not that I don't want the third world to be successful; it's that I don't want the third world to be successful at the cost of the world.

    Then organic farming is definitely not the answer:
    In fact, most of the familiar candidates for alternative food would have trouble operating on the kind of scale necessary for a world of 6.7 billion people. Consider what it would take to make our farm system entirely organic. The only reason industrial organic agriculture can get away with replenishing its soils with manure or by planting nitrogen-fixing cover crops is that the industry is so tiny—making up less than 3 percent of the US food supply (and just 5.3 percent even in gung-ho green cultures like Austria's). If we wanted to rid the world of synthetic fertilizer use—and assuming dietary habits remain constant—the extra land we'd need for cover crops or forage (to feed the animals to make the manure) would more than double, possibly triple, the current area of farmland, according to Vaclav Smil, an environmental scientist at the University of Manitoba. Such an expansion, Smil notes, "would require complete elimination of all tropical rainforests, conversion of a large part of tropical and subtropical grasslands to cropland, and the return of a substantial share of the labor force to field farming—making this clearly only a theoretical notion."

    Meaning there's no solution. For every American who starts eating organic there is at least one Indian or Chinese person who switches to a meat based diet.
    Seems like this issue is the core of how Malthus works in the modern world. We already have too many people to feed ourselves in a sustainable way.
    I know that cynicism regarding this issue can be seen as trolling, but there's a two hundred year tradition of cynicism over this subject. At this time Humanity is genetically and culturally hardwired to reproduce as much as possible. The only way we can prevent people from dying is by steadily increasing the amount of food. Over the past thirty years the solution has been chemical fertilizers, industrial farming, monocultures and the like.
    I know that it's easy to blame the corporations for screwing us over, but they've actually been helping the world by pushing the corn price down through the advancements in fertilizer and the like. Megafarms didn't organize the spike in the price of staples that occurred in 2007; they're not that smart. It is simply impossible at this point to feed ten billion people with today's technology. Perhaps genetically modified food will save us, but otherwise we can't feed them.
    The only solution is to simply eat less meat, due to the inefficiency of the market. But meat itself is another instance of cultural hardwiring. People in the western world eat a meat based diet. It's considered a luxury, and as such many in the developing world are switching over to a meat based diet. If China or India clamp down on meat consumption people will wonder why the western world is allowed to meat; if any government in the west tries to clamp down on meat consumption they would be thrown out on their rears in seconds. Food will simply follow the curves of supply and demand until we reach an equilibrium point. The people who can't afford the equilibrium price die. If our current practices result in a reduction of available farmland, supply is reduced and more people die. The cultural and genetic forces pushing humanity in this direction are too strong to be resisted. We're fucked.
    Malthus' work is also the main reason that economics is known today as the dismal scientists, fyi.

  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Oh, and Thanatos, do you understand what would happen if we ended corn subsidies? America's GDP would collapse. Could you please think this through? If these farmers don't find corn profitable, what are they going to grow? They can't all grow pot in Northern California. We're going to have millions of people with no effective skills to work with in the modern world.
    Of course they wouldn't all go out of work. Corn prices woudl simply rise until farmers could make a living selling corn again. Only there would be fewer of them, and alot of people wouldn't be able to afford it (IE Ronya's point).
    I guess in the end what would happen is that the US would feel bad and start buying corn off the market to feed the starving. Demand would rise, the farmers would all go back to work, and we'd have the same situation again. I suppose that this is the best case scenario, seeing as it would prevent starvation and all.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.

    PSN: allenquid
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh, and Thanatos, do you understand what would happen if we ended corn subsidies? America's GDP would collapse. Could you please think this through? If these farmers don't find corn profitable, what are they going to grow? They can't all grow pot in Northern California. We're going to have millions of people with no effective skills to work with in the modern world.
    Of course they wouldn't all go out of work. Corn prices woudl simply rise until farmers could make a living selling corn again. Only there would be fewer of them, and alot of people wouldn't be able to afford it (IE Ronya's point).
    I guess in the end what would happen is that the US would feel bad and start buying corn off the market to feed the starving. Demand would rise, the farmers would all go back to work, and we'd have the same situation again. I suppose that this is the best case scenario, seeing as it would prevent starvation and all.

    Food Inc also addresses the unique, traditional American concept of the farmer. We still envision these farming families plowing and tilling and selling their goods, when in fact, the majority of "farming" is owned by like three gigantic agricorporations.

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  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh, and Thanatos, do you understand what would happen if we ended corn subsidies? America's GDP would collapse. Could you please think this through? If these farmers don't find corn profitable, what are they going to grow? They can't all grow pot in Northern California. We're going to have millions of people with no effective skills to work with in the modern world.
    Of course they wouldn't all go out of work. Corn prices woudl simply rise until farmers could make a living selling corn again. Only there would be fewer of them, and alot of people wouldn't be able to afford it (IE Ronya's point).
    I guess in the end what would happen is that the US would feel bad and start buying corn off the market to feed the starving. Demand would rise, the farmers would all go back to work, and we'd have the same situation again. I suppose that this is the best case scenario, seeing as it would prevent starvation and all.

    Food Inc also addresses the unique, traditional American concept of the farmer. We still envision these farming families plowing and tilling and selling their goods, when in fact, the majority of "farming" is owned by like three gigantic agricorporations.

    Most of whom readily shit on individual farmers, because they can. Farmers can't afford to lose their business, so they get to extort the farmers to do whatever they want them to do.

    A lot of the ethical consequences of the current way the business work doesn't have anything to do with the idea of producing enough food to feed people, so I don't know why that keeps getting brought up. A lot of it has to do with forcing these companies to work in an ethical manner. They need to clean up their operations and not function like Microsoft did in the 90's.

    TiSBcast.com - Home of This is Serious Business, a weekly roundtable podcast involving media, beer, and general merriment.
  • AstraphobiaAstraphobia Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Having worked for Monsanto for over 2 years, and being a rather lib'ruhl envirotron, it is amazing to see how many other people with similar beliefs work there.

    I only met a few nutty people there, mostly from South County St. Louis, which is chockfull of McCain/Palin holdouts.

    I just think it's funny that you guys made Agent Orange back in the day, that's mostly where my thread title came from.

    Also, you have to admit the genetic patenting of seeds is bullshit when it comes to how agriculture works. You can't prevent seed cross-contamination. Farmers who don't buy your seeds still end up producing them whether they like it or not, and now they can't legally use or sell them.

    "You Guys."

    I wasn't even born when they made it 40 odd years ago, so I don't entirely see how that's relevant. I don't work in GMO development. I won't defend the patenting of seeds or anything like that, it isn't even close to my department.

    There's a guy who sounds exactly like you who I work with. Did 2 years in the peace corp, grows his own food, brews his own beer/wine, rants and raves about the plight of the small farmer. Yet, works at Monsanto and generally does absolutely nothing but blather via his Facebook.

    You: GOD NEVERMIND, I'LL JUST CALL THE FUCKING WONDER TWINS MAYBE THEY CAN UNITE TO FORM A FUCKING CLUE FOR YOU
  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited June 2009
    shryke wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What would have to happen for any of these problems to be fixed? How could corn subsidies be conceivably brought to an end? Is there any hope of this actually happening, or is it more likely that the food industry will carry on as it is now until a calamity strikes?

    Welcome to politics my friend. Nothing changes till the shit has already hit the fan.

    Eh, this is what worries me. It really just like the economic crisis. Even though it's clear we're in an unsustainable bubble, nobody in charge wants to do much.

    Except if the current agricultural model collapses, I anticipate a lot of people getting sick or starving.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • bezerk bobbezerk bob Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    This topic touches on something which is a pet peeve of mine. So many of these problems are the result of overpopulation, fewer people need less total resources. Im not saying that we should cull the worlds population back to pre industrial levels and all go grow organic lentils in a mud hut. However if there are less people, particularly in the west where we are so resource hungry then there would be more resources to go around - food, potable water and arable land. Of course i could be completley wrong in which case please feel free to correct me.

    You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. -- Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Russell wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What would have to happen for any of these problems to be fixed? How could corn subsidies be conceivably brought to an end? Is there any hope of this actually happening, or is it more likely that the food industry will carry on as it is now until a calamity strikes?

    Welcome to politics my friend. Nothing changes till the shit has already hit the fan.

    Eh, this is what worries me. It really just like the economic crisis. Even though it's clear we're in an unsustainable bubble, nobody in charge wants to do much.

    Except if the current agricultural model collapses, I anticipate a lot of people getting sick or starving.

    I can't wait till we pollute the oceans so much the dead zones become huge and start fighting for supremacy with the plastic-sub-continents.

    Then we're REALLY fucked.

  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Bob:

    I think the overpopulation problem is exaggerated for the most part. Population growth in most 1st world countries is leveling off or declining. It's actually a big problem for much of Europe and Japan as their populations are aging too fast with not enough young people to work/pay taxes. In the developing world, China is often mentioned but their one child per couple rule has curbed the growth to near 1st world levels. Places like Sub-Saharan African countries will need a much better economic infrastructure to actually sustain their high population growth.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited June 2009
    shryke wrote: »
    Russell wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What would have to happen for any of these problems to be fixed? How could corn subsidies be conceivably brought to an end? Is there any hope of this actually happening, or is it more likely that the food industry will carry on as it is now until a calamity strikes?

    Welcome to politics my friend. Nothing changes till the shit has already hit the fan.

    Eh, this is what worries me. It really just like the economic crisis. Even though it's clear we're in an unsustainable bubble, nobody in charge wants to do much.

    Except if the current agricultural model collapses, I anticipate a lot of people getting sick or starving.

    I can't wait till we pollute the oceans so much the dead zones become huge and start fighting for supremacy with the plastic-sub-continents.

    Then we're REALLY fucked.

    WW3: Allies vs. the Axis of Plastic.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • bezerk bobbezerk bob Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Russell wrote: »
    Bob:

    I think the overpopulation problem is exaggerated for the most part. Population growth in most 1st world countries is leveling off or declining. It's actually a big problem for much of Europe and Japan as their populations are aging too fast with not enough young people to work/pay taxes. In the developing world, China is often mentioned but their one child per couple rule has curbed the growth to near 1st world levels. Places like Sub-Saharan African countries will need a much better economic infrastructure to actually sustain their high population growth.

    Oh i am with you in that its mostly exaggerated. But whenever i hear someone talking about sustainability i always hear alot about limiting our eneergy use, using public transport, eating less meat ect. All of those are great ideas by the way. However if we reduce the population, wouldnt that mean we could live more sustainably while being able to drive, or have a hot shower or a hunk of rare beef? I mean whats better - more people living efficently but crowded and on a vegan diet, or less people living better eating some red meat with a car and a house with a bit of land to walk around on?

    You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. -- Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Russell wrote: »

    Except if the current agricultural model collapses, I anticipate a lot of people getting sick or starving.

    If a recent article on BBC.com is to believed, 1/6 of the world's population is already starving.

    Even if nothing is done to prevent a massive collapse of the food industry, and even if even more people starve than already are, at least the people of future generations might learn from the mistakes of the past.

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  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Heartlash wrote: »
    Having worked for Monsanto for over 2 years, and being a rather lib'ruhl envirotron, it is amazing to see how many other people with similar beliefs work there.

    I only met a few nutty people there, mostly from South County St. Louis, which is chockfull of McCain/Palin holdouts.

    I just think it's funny that you guys made Agent Orange back in the day, that's mostly where my thread title came from.

    Also, you have to admit the genetic patenting of seeds is bullshit when it comes to how agriculture works. You can't prevent seed cross-contamination. Farmers who don't buy your seeds still end up producing them whether they like it or not, and now they can't legally use or sell them.

    "You Guys."

    I wasn't even born when they made it 40 odd years ago, so I don't entirely see how that's relevant. I don't work in GMO development. I won't defend the patenting of seeds or anything like that, it isn't even close to my department.

    There's a guy who sounds exactly like you who I work with. Did 2 years in the peace corp, grows his own food, brews his own beer/wine, rants and raves about the plight of the small farmer. Yet, works at Monsanto and generally does absolutely nothing but blather via his Facebook.

    I think you misunderstood my tone. When I said "funny" I meant literally funny in the context of the film. Food Inc. only refers to Monsanto in a segment where it discusses specifically the genetic patenting, but then throws in the fact that Monsanto also made Agent Orange to make them sound much more evil. My thread title is basically a joke about that.

    And in case you don't know, I'm a lot like Thanatos. I eat meat, and am definitely not a radical or a hippie. The film has made me look more into what I buy, though. And I'm now seeking out more locally produced stuff (which isn't too hard where I am).

    TiSBcast.com - Home of This is Serious Business, a weekly roundtable podcast involving media, beer, and general merriment.
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.

    Would it make a profit? Is the midwest good for those other crops?

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.

    Would it make a profit? Is the midwest good for those other crops?
    Corn isn't making a profit without massive subsidization. Meanwhile, yes, I'm pretty sure you can grow shit in the midwest beside corn.

    PSN: allenquid
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.

    Would it make a profit? Is the midwest good for those other crops?
    Corn isn't making a profit without massive subsidization. Meanwhile, yes, I'm pretty sure you can grow shit in the midwest beside corn.

    If they can't make a profit with other food, then they'll need subsidies. Essentially you're suggesting tthat the government spreads the subsidies around. That might work in weakening the monoculture, but it would be extraordinarily complicated in switching that out. Plus there would be the cries of 'socialism!' and 'the gub'ment shouldn't be telling me what to eat!' which are ridiculous but does make the plan politically impractical.

  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited June 2009
    bezerk bob wrote: »
    Russell wrote: »
    Bob:

    I think the overpopulation problem is exaggerated for the most part. Population growth in most 1st world countries is leveling off or declining. It's actually a big problem for much of Europe and Japan as their populations are aging too fast with not enough young people to work/pay taxes. In the developing world, China is often mentioned but their one child per couple rule has curbed the growth to near 1st world levels. Places like Sub-Saharan African countries will need a much better economic infrastructure to actually sustain their high population growth.

    Oh i am with you in that its mostly exaggerated. But whenever i hear someone talking about sustainability i always hear alot about limiting our eneergy use, using public transport, eating less meat ect. All of those are great ideas by the way. However if we reduce the population, wouldnt that mean we could live more sustainably while being able to drive, or have a hot shower or a hunk of rare beef? I mean whats better - more people living efficently but crowded and on a vegan diet, or less people living better eating some red meat with a car and a house with a bit of land to walk around on?

    Population reduction takes time and partly relies on government action.
    Lifestyle choices take less time. They are something you can do right now.

    And they don't have to be extreme.
    It's not necessary to live like a hippie on commune. It doesn't have to be about some abstract moral imperative. Some bike to work because they like the exercise or like the sights and sounds along the way. Some eat local/organic because they're foodies or they want to eat healthier.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2009
    why would non-corn crops require subsidies? you are assuming because corn producers can't make a profit then now then they couldn't ever make a profit with any crop?

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If they can't make a profit with other food, then they'll need subsidies. Essentially you're suggesting tthat the government spreads the subsidies around. That might work in weakening the monoculture, but it would be extraordinarily complicated in switching that out. Plus there would be the cries of 'socialism!' and 'the gub'ment shouldn't be telling me what to eat!' which are ridiculous but does make the plan politically impractical.
    Ridiculously complicated? How about anything better than the current shit fest?

    Meanwhile there would be fuck all cries about socialism unless the government giving massive amounts of money hand over fist to corn farmers has been conveniently separated from that definition. That's even assuming other crops need it, considering they're doing just fine against corn without near as much subsidization. Which isn't to say crops like sugar and wheat couldn't be doing significantly better.

    PSN: allenquid
  • bezerk bobbezerk bob Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Russell wrote: »
    bezerk bob wrote: »
    Russell wrote: »
    Bob:

    I think the overpopulation problem is exaggerated for the most part. Population growth in most 1st world countries is leveling off or declining. It's actually a big problem for much of Europe and Japan as their populations are aging too fast with not enough young people to work/pay taxes. In the developing world, China is often mentioned but their one child per couple rule has curbed the growth to near 1st world levels. Places like Sub-Saharan African countries will need a much better economic infrastructure to actually sustain their high population growth.

    Oh i am with you in that its mostly exaggerated. But whenever i hear someone talking about sustainability i always hear alot about limiting our eneergy use, using public transport, eating less meat ect. All of those are great ideas by the way. However if we reduce the population, wouldnt that mean we could live more sustainably while being able to drive, or have a hot shower or a hunk of rare beef? I mean whats better - more people living efficently but crowded and on a vegan diet, or less people living better eating some red meat with a car and a house with a bit of land to walk around on?

    Population reduction takes time and partly relies on government action.
    Lifestyle choices take less time. They are something you can do right now.

    And they don't have to be extreme.
    It's not necessary to live like a hippie on commune. It doesn't have to be about some abstract moral imperative. Some bike to work because they like the exercise or like the sights and sounds along the way. Some eat local/organic because they're foodies or they want to eat healthier.

    Would you agree that reducing the population over time throught the use of government incentives would be a good idea? I personally think it is, but im open to persuasion. However in Australia where i live the government actually gives you money if you have a child.

    You can claim the baby bonus each year until the child turns five. The baby bonus is paid whether or not you get any other family benefits and can be claimed even if you do not pay tax.

    Which i think is an extremley stupid idea.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with your second point. I walk to work and get down to the local markets whenever i can. Mind you this doesnt exactly make me a paragon of sustainability either.

    You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. -- Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Would you agree that reducing the population over time throught the use of government incentives would be a good idea? I personally think it is, but im open to persuasion. However in Australia where i live the government actually gives you money if you have a child.

    My biggest issue with this is you start selectively breeding your population for a lack of long term planning and lack of restraint.

    Trogg wrote: »
    Not as positive as AIDS and cancer, but positive nonetheless.
  • bezerk bobbezerk bob Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Would you agree that reducing the population over time throught the use of government incentives would be a good idea? I personally think it is, but im open to persuasion. However in Australia where i live the government actually gives you money if you have a child.

    My biggest issue with this is you start selectively breeding your population for a lack of long term planning and lack of restraint.

    Is this with regards to the baby bonus thing? or my hypothetical incentive not to have kids?

    You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. -- Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    bezerk bob wrote: »
    Would you agree that reducing the population over time throught the use of government incentives would be a good idea? I personally think it is, but im open to persuasion. However in Australia where i live the government actually gives you money if you have a child.

    You can claim the baby bonus each year until the child turns five. The baby bonus is paid whether or not you get any other family benefits and can be claimed even if you do not pay tax.

    Which i think is an extremley stupid idea.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with your second point. I walk to work and get down to the local markets whenever i can. Mind you this doesnt exactly make me a paragon of sustainability either.

    If this is anything like the U.S. (and it sounds exactly the same), it is a tax break so a family can be able to afford such niceties like diapers, formula (if need be), baby clothes, etc.

    Raising a kid is fucking expensive... the tax break for dependents helps. I understand that it does not help with overpopulation, but it isn't meant to.

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  • bezerk bobbezerk bob Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    bezerk bob wrote: »
    Would you agree that reducing the population over time throught the use of government incentives would be a good idea? I personally think it is, but im open to persuasion. However in Australia where i live the government actually gives you money if you have a child.

    You can claim the baby bonus each year until the child turns five. The baby bonus is paid whether or not you get any other family benefits and can be claimed even if you do not pay tax.

    Which i think is an extremley stupid idea.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with your second point. I walk to work and get down to the local markets whenever i can. Mind you this doesnt exactly make me a paragon of sustainability either.

    If this is anything like the U.S. (and it sounds exactly the same), it is a tax break so a family can be able to afford such niceties like diapers, formula (if need be), baby clothes, etc.

    Raising a kid is fucking expensive... the tax break for dependents helps. I understand that it does not help with overpopulation, but it isn't meant to.

    Reading the tax site i am fair certain that it is just a lump sum payment. Although it may soon be changed into fortnightly installments. So cash not vouchers.

    You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. -- Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • bezerk bobbezerk bob Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Im very sorry all this is off topic and i shouldnt be derailing the thread. Does anyone know how the U.S agricultural system compares to other first world/developed nations? specifically factory farming, steroids in animal food ect.

    You can only drink 30 or 40 glasses of beer a day, no matter how rich you are. -- Colonel Adolphus Busch
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    bezerk bob wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    If this is anything like the U.S. (and it sounds exactly the same), it is a tax break so a family can be able to afford such niceties like diapers, formula (if need be), baby clothes, etc.

    Raising a kid is fucking expensive... the tax break for dependents helps. I understand that it does not help with overpopulation, but it isn't meant to.

    Reading the tax site i am fair certain that it is just a lump sum payment. Although it may soon be changed into fortnightly installments. So cash not vouchers.

    Alright... is it income dependent, then? Or is it for everyone? It just seems odd is all.

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  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Nice day for a Waa WeddingRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2009
    It seems this movie came out June 12th, and yet I cannot find it showing anywhere in my area.

    Is a larger release expected soon?

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.
    Would it make a profit? Is the midwest good for those other crops?
    Midwestern soil isn't good for anything. It used to be incredibly fertile, and farmers used to know how to rotate crops in order to maintain a layer of topsoil, and they used to know how to use natural fertilizers in small amounts in order to supplement what was already there.

    Now, all they know how to do is replace what topsoil used to do with a shitload of fertilizer, which is necessary because corn is such a fertilizer-intensive product. It is fucking horrible for the soil, unlike any number of other crops they could be growing, but it's so easy to genetically engineer that it's what the food megacorps like to use. They in turn lobby the government to maintain the massive subsidies, create frankencows, frankenfish, frankenpigs, and frankenchickens that survive on it (instead of what they're supposed to eat), and saddle us with frankenfood that is fucking awful for us, but is incredibly calorie-dense, and doesn't fill us up.

    It's fucking terrible all around.

    And one of the two guys they were talking to in that interview with the filmmakers is Michael Pollan, who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is a fantastic fucking book if you want to understand this stuff.

  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.
    Would it make a profit? Is the midwest good for those other crops?
    Midwestern soil isn't good for anything. It used to be incredibly fertile, and farmers used to know how to rotate crops in order to maintain a layer of topsoil, and they used to know how to use natural fertilizers in small amounts in order to supplement what was already there.

    Now, all they know how to do is replace what topsoil used to do with a shitload of fertilizer, which is necessary because corn is such a fertilizer-intensive product. It is fucking horrible for the soil, unlike any number of other crops they could be growing, but it's so easy to genetically engineer that it's what the food megacorps like to use. They in turn lobby the government to maintain the massive subsidies, create frankencows, frankenfish, frankenpigs, and frankenchickens that survive on it (instead of what they're supposed to eat), and saddle us with frankenfood that is fucking awful for us, but is incredibly calorie-dense, and doesn't fill us up.

    It's fucking terrible all around.

    And one of the two guys they were talking to in that interview with the filmmakers is Michael Pollan, who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is a fantastic fucking book if you want to understand this stuff.
    My bullshit alarm is definitely going off on this rhapsodizing over the good old days when Midwestern farmers were one with nature and took care of the soil. See the Dust Bowl.

    Also, I would love to see your evidence that "frankenfoods" are awful for us.

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Or they could grow something besides corn.

    I hear you can do that.
    Would it make a profit? Is the midwest good for those other crops?
    Midwestern soil isn't good for anything. It used to be incredibly fertile, and farmers used to know how to rotate crops in order to maintain a layer of topsoil, and they used to know how to use natural fertilizers in small amounts in order to supplement what was already there.

    Now, all they know how to do is replace what topsoil used to do with a shitload of fertilizer, which is necessary because corn is such a fertilizer-intensive product. It is fucking horrible for the soil, unlike any number of other crops they could be growing, but it's so easy to genetically engineer that it's what the food megacorps like to use. They in turn lobby the government to maintain the massive subsidies, create frankencows, frankenfish, frankenpigs, and frankenchickens that survive on it (instead of what they're supposed to eat), and saddle us with frankenfood that is fucking awful for us, but is incredibly calorie-dense, and doesn't fill us up.

    It's fucking terrible all around.

    And one of the two guys they were talking to in that interview with the filmmakers is Michael Pollan, who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is a fantastic fucking book if you want to understand this stuff.
    My bullshit alarm is definitely going off on this rhapsodizing over the good old days when Midwestern farmers were one with nature and took care of the soil. See the Dust Bowl.

    Also, I would love to see your evidence that "frankenfoods" are awful for us.

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    trans-fat.jpg

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Is that even genetically engineered like that though? I was under the impression it just comes out of the plants that way.

    EDIT: Yeah it isn't. Trans-fats are a product of the hydrogenation process.

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