Beneath the thin veneer of concern about all life on Earth, it would appear that many of those who claim to care for the environment actually do more harm than good.
Many of the Green Zealots also have little regard for humans. Millions of lives could be saved if activist groups, such as Greenpeace and GE-Free New Zealand, did not oppose the genetically modified strain of rice known as “Golden Rice.”
Scientists have produced “Golden Rice” to address Vitamin A deficiency and related deaths so common amongst the poor in developing countries. These are people who cannot afford to eat a varied and balanced diet that would give them the essential nutrients they need.
The distribution and consumption of “Golden Rice” would address the Vitamin A deficiency problem and save countless lives. Unfortunately there are those who actively oppose and prevent this.
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GREEN ZEALOTS, GOLDEN RICE AND THE PREVENTABLE DEATHS OF BABIES AND CHILDREN
Dr. John Happs
Every responsible person should care about the environment. To prevent pollution on land, sea and air is to exercise commonsense and good stewardship of the planet. We all want to avoid the wanton destruction of ecosystems in all parts of the planet but, whatever we do to protect the environment and however much we legislate and spend to ensure that protection is enforced, it is never enough for those prophets of doom, the Green Zealots even though their prophesies always fail to materialize.
Every prediction about environmental disasters, especially those made on the first Earth Day (1970) and paraded by an alarmist media, has proven to be spectacularly wrong.
Harvard biologist Dr. George Wald told us that civilization would end within 15 or 30 years; Dr. Paul Ehrlich, from Stanford University, told us that 100 to 200 million people per year would be starving to death during the next ten years; Dr. Peter Gunter from North Texas University said that by the year 2000 the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America and Australia, would be in famine.
There has been no global warming over the last 20 years, sea level rise has not inundated cities or Pacific/Indian Ocean islands; ice-sheets are not collapsing; glaciers are not disappearing; deserts are not expanding; there is no increase in extreme weather; vegetation belts are increasing, we are not running out of food and there is no evidence of mass extinctions.
Even when each of the Green Zealot’s predictions come to nothing, they merely dream up a new dire prediction or move the date of doom along their continually evolving time-line. It appears that Green Zealots only have a nodding acquaintance with the truth and empirical evidence is something they assiduously avoid.
We have conquered numerous diseases and improved the living standard of so many. Countries such as China and India are lifting millions of their people out of poverty, providing them with more food and access to inexpensive energy. There is no doubt that people are living longer and healthier lives, much to the chagrin of the Green Zealots.
Beneath the thin veneer of concern about all life on Earth, it would appear that many of those who claim to care for the environment, care little for humanity and actually do more environmental harm than good. They pressure governments to introduce inefficient, unreliable wind and solar schemes that force up the cost of electricity, resulting in large numbers of cold-related deaths when people cannot afford the high cost of heating their homes. The same inefficient, unreliable wind and solar schemes kill birds and bats by the million. Green Zealots encourage the clear-felling of forests to grow biofuels rather than food and they demand further destruction of forests to produce wood pellets for power stations.
It appears that Green Zealots don’t care much for humans. They maliciously promote the nonsense that things have never been worse for the planet and we are all doomed unless we take seriously their view that humans are a blight on the planet and that the population needs to be dramatically reduced – if not eliminated altogether.
Only fanatics would place a natural world without people above the well-being of human beings but apparently that is what many of the Green Zealots want. Environmentalism has become a cult or a false religion that appears to demand human sacrifice and it has many disciples.
Ingrid Newkirk, from the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made her position clear about the relative worth of humans compared with other animals:
“Mankind is a cancer; we’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth.” “If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”
The French philosopher Pascal Bruckner has written: Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings and The Tyranny of Guilt in which he promotes the idea that the planet would be so much improved if only Homo sapiens suddenly went extinct.
John Davis, Editor of the journal Earth First, spells out his feelings towards humanity:
“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
As does David Brower, Co-founder of the Sierra Club:
“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
“All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
Prince Philip, patron of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) would seek the elimination of many:
“If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
Presumably he would want a suitable vaccine to protect the Royal Family.
John Davis, Editor of the journal Earth First was blunt about the value he places on humans:
“The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
Susan Blakemore, a UK Guardian newspaper science reporter also hopes for widespread deaths:
“For the planet’s sake, I hope we have bird flu or some other thing that will reduce the population, because otherwise we’re doomed.”
The French explorer Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) offered a more rapid solution, fortunately without providing details about his proposed methodology:
“In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 per day.”
Dr. Paul Ehrlich suggested one novel approach:
“The addition of a temporary sterilant to staple food, or to the water supply with limited distribution of antidote chemicals, perhaps by lottery.”
There is no better example of the Green Zealot’s hatred of mankind than the attack on “Golden Rice” a genetically modified rice developed in 1992 by Dr. Ingo Potrykus from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics university in Zurich, Switzerland.
Teaming with Dr. Peter Beyer from the University of Freiburg in Germany, the two scientists collaborated over 8 years to address the Vitamin A deficiency and inevitable death so common amongst poor people in developing countries who cannot afford to eat a varied and balanced diet.
Humanitarians Potrykus and Beyer licensed their intellectual property on “Golden Rice” to the company Syngenta on the condition that it would be made available to farmers in the developing world at no cost.
Millions of people are usually dependent on rice as their main food source, with little variation in their diet. The result being Vitamin A deficiency that especially affects pregnant women and children.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that around 250 million people in developing countries (including 40% of children) suffer from Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and that VAD is the main cause of childhood blindness affecting up to half a million children each year. Half of those cases lead to death within 12 months of those children going blind.
Dr. Ingo Potrykus appeared on the front cover of Time Magazine in 2000:
Millions could be saved if activist groups, such as Greenpeace and GE-Free New Zealand, did not oppose the genetically modified strain of rice known as “Golden Rice.” The distribution and consumption of “Golden Rice” would address the Vitamin A deficiency problem and save countless lives.
“Golden Rice” has been tested more than any other genetically modified species and no adverse effects have been noted. Its efficacy in delivering the much-needed vitamin A is clear yet green groups, including the UK organic food organization Soil Association continue to oppose this life-saving food. Ironically, the UK’s Soil Association says it wants “Healthy soil, healthy people and a healthy planet”
Apparently not in developing countries!
The Soil Association is the UK’s leading organic certification body and doesn’t seem to care that Vitamin A deficiency affects over 4 million children in the Philippines and 1 in 5 children in Bangladesh.
The baseless opposition to “Golden Rice” has already resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent babies and children.
It is estimated that millions of children worldwide suffer from Vitamin A deficiency and the introduction of “Golden Rice” could prevent about 1 million deaths per annum.
Dr. Ingo Potrykus observes:
“Is there any problem left that could interfere with the exploitation of “golden rice” to the benefit of the poor and disadvantaged in developing countries? It is unfortunate that the answer is yes: Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org) and associated GMO opponents regard “golden rice” as a “Trojan horse” that may open the route for other GMO applications.”
“The problem is that green groups, notably Greenpeace, consider that anything that is not natural should be resisted at all costs and genetically modified food simply represents genetic pollution.”
The Greenpeace International website has made its position very clear, saying:
“Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally.
These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non ‘GE’ environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.”
Greenpeace has spearheaded a global campaign against genetically modified food and “Golden Rice” in particular. Any suggestion that they are untested, poorly regulated and dangerous goes completely against the evidence.
All genetically engineered crops have to undergo rigorous testing before they are consumed and there are very stringent food safety regulations by the countries reviewing them.
Dr. Anne Glover, former scientific adviser to the European Union, said the evidence was clear that GM was safe and that:
“There has never been a technology which has had so much money spent on it in terms of looking at the safety.”
No study to date has found any health issues related to the consumption of vitamin- enhanced “Golden Rice.”
Stringent testing of any new product is mandatory in the US:
As it is in Europe:
As it is in many other countries:
Green groups (especially GE Free New Zealand) have mischievously argued that “Golden Rice” is not a good source of Vitamin A but Dr. Ian Godwin has refuted this, pointing out that:
“GE Free NZ is relying on old data based on the original Golden Rice variety from the 1990s. The new variety produces up to 23 times more beta-carotene than the original.”
Russell Reinke, from the Healthier Rice Program at the International Rice Institute (IRRI) added:
“Daily consumption of a very modest amount of Golden Rice -about a cup – could supply 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for an adult.”
Influence from European Green Zealots and their specious arguments against “golden rice” have already led to its opposition in some developing countries. Activists in a number of African countries have opposed the growing and consumption of genetically modified crops with the inevitable consequences.
In 2013, environmental activists in the Philippines destroyed a trial field of “Golden Rice” where paid activists trampled and destroyed an entire crop that was about to be harvested.
This act of mindless destruction was:
“Incited by international NGOs including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Food First. These and other groups have worked together to conduct a mis and disinformation campaign against golden rice and other GMO foods labeling them dangerous “frankenfoods.”
As a result of an unsubstantiated alarmist campaign, it took 12 years before “Golden Rice” was grown and eaten in the Philippines and other parts of the world, during which time Dr. Bjorn Lomborg from the Copenhagen Consensus Centre estimated that:
“About eight million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency.”
Presumably, Green Zealots are worried that continuing trials of “Golden Rice” will produce even more hard evidence that the consumption of this particular product is harmless and will address the problems of blindness and death faced by millions of people.
Dr. Richard Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer of New England claimed that Greenpeace and their allies, deliberately went out of their way to scare people and many other scientists are alarmed over the opposition to “Golden Rice” by Greenpeace.
More than 100 Nobel-Prize-winning scientists have signed a letter urging Greenpeace to end its baseless opposition to a product that could save millions of lives. They write:
“We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against ‘GMOs’ in general and Golden Rice in particular.”
“Greenpeace has spearheaded opposition to Golden Rice, which has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has the greatest impact on the poorest people in Africa and Southeast Asia.”
Standing in the way of an individual’s access to life or their eyesight is bordering on the criminal and Dr. Patrick Moore has pleaded on his website:
“Allow Golden Rice Now! Preventing it is a Crime Against Humanity.”
The blindness and deaths of the millions that have been deprived of access to “Golden Rice” is added to the millions of deaths from insect-borne disease and the blame is sheeted home to those Green Zealots who appear to have an uncompromising hatred of humanity and progress. It appears there are many in that category, including David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First:
“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
Pointman (a pseudonym) tries to understand why these green tyrants act the way they do. He argues that:
“It’s about control, but control by small people who have no big ambitions, but it goes further than that. It’s that old Marxist-Leninist idea that people can somehow be re-conditioned, reshaped by those who know best for them to conform to some silly ideal which will therefore build their idea of the perfect world.”
“The reason I began commenting was that I hated the effect the environmental movement was having on the developing world. A thinly veiled political movement, which is perceived as simply a fashionable lifestyle choice in the developed world, is causing death and misery amongst the eighty percent of humanity not fortunate enough to live well above the poverty line.”
Green Zealots are not interested in what the science says, rather they want us to believe what they say the science says and why we should oppose inexpensive hydrocarbon fuels, farming, fishing and economic growth. It would appear they also want us to learn to hate humanity.
As Julia Patrick says:
“For committed green activists it is mankind who has desecrated the pristine world of nature and destroyed its beauty; in Bob Brown’s words, “the planet’s most colourful killer is modern Homo sapiens“. It is a mantra that fits nicely into the socialist’s aim of crippling Australia by putting productive land out of reach of the killer.”
“Why are you accepting green ideology that is working to sacrifice a prosperous, independent Australia on the altar of the poisonous brotherhood of global socialism?”
Stephen Tindale, a former director of Greenpeace saw the need for the organization to change its position on biotechnology, saying:
“The overwhelming majority of scientists think that it is safe. It is, in my view, morally unacceptable to stand out against these new technologies.”
“I worry for Greenpeace and the other green groups because they could, by taking such a hard line . . . be seen to be putting ideology before the need for humanitarian action.”
Co-Founder of Greenpeace, Dr. Patrick Moore noted how some green groups had developed an anti-human stance.
“When I left Greenpeace 15 years later they, and much of the environmental movement, were portraying humans as the enemies of the earth … I had to leave.”
And who could blame him?
Dr. John Happs M.Sc.1st Class; D.Phil. John has an academic background in the geosciences with special interests in climate, and paleoclimate. He has been a science educator at several universities in Australia and overseas and was President of the Western Australian Skeptics for 25 years.