Which do you love more, organic food or green energy? Because you may have to choose.
Oregon is the site of a conflict between food and energy, though it is a state that claims it loves both - but the people who love each primarily do so because it makes them money. You really can't love both anyway, because environmental activists are in a never-ending war against the bulk of society and its bad habits, and also in a war with each other. They not only love Gaia more than you do, they love Gaia more than other environmentalists.
Willamette Valley, which surrounds the Willamette River just east of the Coast Range and extends from south of Eugene to north of Salem, is a nice area to grow lots of crops, including those vegetables known as brassicas, like cabbage and cauliflower and other foods I won't touch. Organic stuff, of course, because it's Oregon, which is culturally like California, just with fewer people.
Like California, the conversation about right and wrong is dominated by social authoritarians. They love to ban stuff. California, which used to be the home of freedom and independence, leads America in banning things now but Oregon is not far behind. One thing they ban is a particular brassica, canola.
Yet green energy proponents would like for canola not to be banned. In watching that discussion you get to witness the dirty underbelly of both kooky anti-science activism and organic food. Organic cabbage growers say canola brings pests and that it will cross-pollinate with their absolutely pure plants that have apparently been untouched by outside forces for millenia. They invoke, of course, genetic modification as the creepy monster hiding under the organic bed. "This is an existential threat," farmer Frank Morton, told the Jonathan Cooper of the Associated Press. "If canola comes here, it's the beginning of the end of this industry."
Ummm, why again? Right now, wheat farmers have to burn their fields to interrupt pest and disease cycles. Doesn't that cause global warming? Sure it does and therefore burning is...wait for it, wait for it...banned. Planting canola as an alternate crop would accomplish the same result - naturally - and also provide more green energy.
Bureaucrats in Oregon agree, since the only other solution to curbing pests is evil pesticides but wealthy organic farmers, who, like rich progressives on the coast that see a proposal for windmills in the water and get a case of NIMBY-ism (Not In My Back Yard), are against canola. Green energy is great but it should be where poor people are, not where it works best, because it might interfere with yachting and the view.
Organic cabbage growers have one more argument they invoke as often as possible - every other farmer is dumb. Basically, they believe wheat and rapeseed growers who also want canola are too stupid to control the stuff they produce. Why isn't the entire area overrun with wild organic cabbage if these seeds spread so easily and take over entire regions? Are organic plants just not robust enough to spread like wildfire the way activists think GMO canola will?
That sounds like evolution at work.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Supertranslations And Eternal Ghosts: Black Holes No Closer To Being Understood
- Bel's Temple in Palmyra Is No More
- If Happy Meal Law Passes, NYC Kids Will Frown
- Blade Runner: The Science In The Fiction
- Highlights From ICNFP 2015
- Could A Star Orbit A Planet? - Just For Fun
- Innate GMO Potato Deregulated By USDA
- "There are no Black Holes because the very space-time concept has been proved to be baseless in..."
- "When you account for the following factors, such discrepancies disappear:-Men are more aggressive..."
- "The wavelength of the exiting radiation from the iguana asymptotically becomes zero, so I can't..."
- "The other thing that is weirdly suspicious is the picture mocking Hilarry Putnam. Now, the brains..."
- "My question is, exactly what was in this paper? He complains about the paper being rejected and..."
- Not All Expensive Drugs Are Equal
- Conundrum Confronts DCIS Breast Cancer Patients
- Germany Rightly Skewered for GMO Nonsense; Kudos for WSJ
- Expect Only Frowns if Silly Happy Meal Law Passes
- “Shock Therapy” – Not a Cuckoo’s Nest, a Valid Depression Rx
- Innate: Simplot genetically engineered potato gets USDA nod for deregulation
- Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider confirms tiny drops of early universe 'perfect' fluid
- Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly
- With tobacco, what you don't know can kill you sooner
- Isthminia panamensis: New species of ancient river dolphin discovered
- Smoking prevalence stays the same but people who want to quit are up