Anthropogenic driven climate change is a fact. As the climate changes, the poorest of humanity will suffer the greatest. The most ardent climate activists tell us this is settled science. So settled that to question these conclusions puts you in a league with people who deny the Jewish Holocaust ever happened. It is science!
Well, there is another issue around which there is even more scientific consensus. Megan Molteni, writing for UnDark:
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 88 percent of scientists believe these foods are safe to eat. Only 37 percent of the general public agrees. Republicans and Democrats are just as likely to be opposed to transgenic foods, as are people across different age groups. So why is it that we trust the National Academy of Sciences and the WHO when they say climate change is likely caused by humans, but not when they say these foods are safe?
Molteni highlights the recent development of goats modified to include an antimicrobial enzyme that helps human’s fight off bacterial cells that cause diarrhea and other infections. The milk from these goats aid children in fighting off these diseases.
According to the World Health Organization, 525,000 children under five died last year from diarrheal diseases, mostly in poor communities in developing nations where waterborne diseases are rampant and vaccines and antibiotic treatments are difficult to acquire and distribute.
The modified goats could reduce the suffering, even death, of millions of children. They were developed by a public university and have had nearly two nearly decades of testing and review. The goats could be distributed via whatever strategy seems most effective, even free. There is no sinister corporate entity lurking in the shadows. So why are the goats not in use?
First, regulation. Clearly GMOs must be evaluated and regulated but the present regulatory system is such a mishmash of regulation and entities that it is very costly and time-consuming to get approval. Consequently, the process is skewed toward large corporate entities who can work the system, provoking many anti-GMOers to make the regulatory process even more of a barrier.
Second, anti-GMOers have organized to oppose all GMO usage in developing nations, at times pitting well-funded European and American activists against poor agricultural workers who could benefit greatly from the technology.
But as scientists will tell you, “GMO” tells you zero about the merits of any particular product. What tells you about the merits is looking at the actual merits of the product!
Last month, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report assessing all the science available on genetically engineered crops. It concluded that we shouldn’t be making generalizations about GMOs, but rather asking if a particular crop or GE product makes the world a better place or a more dangerous one, on a case-by-case basis. This was not exactly what people wanted to hear, the authors wrote: “We received impassioned requests to give the public a simple, general, authoritative answer about GE crops. Given the complexity of GE issues, we did not see that as appropriate.”
The goats are not the only product caught up in this controversy. The linked article suggests others. In addition to nutrition and health, GMOs also have a role to play in adapting to warmer temperatures, with crops that grow more food with less water and fewer nutrients, for example.
… improving food security and public health without harming the environment will require the concerted use of many methods, from traditional breeding to organic farming. Genetic modification can’t hold back rising sea levels or fill aquifers drained by years of drought. But there are important contributions to be made with problems that have been unsolvable by other means, the researchers say — if only regulations would allow it.
Climate activists routinely moralize about people who will not get on board with their initiatives, saying deniers are accountable for countless lives that will one day be diminished, even lost, due to our inaction on climate change. The poorest folks will suffer most. This is their scientific conclusion. Yet when the same scientific community says GMO technology is safe, with the potential to save millions of lives in the here and now, while enhancing the welfare of countless others, the activists rise up in opposition to the technology. What this tells me is that while there are some people who are genuinely knowledgeable about the science of climate change and are alarmed about the consequences, the concern by multitudes is less about science and far more to do with subjective narratives with which science (happily for them) agrees. When the “naturalist” narrative is not supported, they disregard science instead of modifying their narrative.
I’d invite to read all of Molteni’s article, Spilled Milk. In the meantime, my climate activist friends, unless you are willing to give full-throated support of GMOs here and now, do not let me ever again here you decry the “anti-science” climate deniers. You are no different. Subjective considerations drive you every bit as much as climate deniers. Right here and right now, people are suffering and dying because of your “anti-science” behavior.