Thursday, April 17, 2008

let's have a little talk

For the three of four of you that may occasionally read this blog I need you to read about this and then tell a few more people about it(not the blog, the blog contents). I need you to do this because the more I look at the world of shit we are in the more freaked out I am getting.I should probably stop reading Vanity Fair.

So there was once this company that specialized in weed killer. I can bet we all may have at one time in our lives either used it or saw the commercials for it. It's called Roundup.
The Monsanto company that makes Roundup thought it would be interesting to to create seeds that were completely unaffected by Roundup. These are genetically modified seeds resistant to herbicides .
Roundup was given a patent for that seed. It happened kind of accidentally you see. Some kind, thoughtful GE scientist worked hard and long to find a strain of bacteria that had the truly amazing ability to clean up oil spills.
This bacteria was not a new man made creation but the research company that found it still got a patent for it. ( In 1980 in a Supreme Court five to four decision.)They should never have been allowed to but it happened and Monsanto saw it and they demanded a patent of their own for their seed. They began to create more and more seed that could resist herbicides. All farmers had to do was spray Monsanto's Roundup on their fields and the seeds would be free to grow weed free.
Monsanto then told every farmer who wanted to buy this patented seed that they could not save the seeds from the crops they produced. They are forbidden to sell that seed to anyone else. The seed was "returned"( or more likely cleaned and resold) and every year the farmers are forced to buy new seed. Monsanto gets to sell the seed and the weedkiller Roundup together every year and make billions.
Small farmers are not the target market of Monsanto. Monsanto sells to massive corporate farms but if some stray Monsanto seed happens to be caught in the wind or in the poop of a bird and it drifts on to the property of a small farmer Monsanto will come after them as if they were serial killers hiding bodies in the barn. Because Monsanto has another business. The litigation business. If you aren't using Monsanto seed Monsanto will take you to court and say you are using their seed and you are doing it illegally. They have a team of lawyers whose only job is to bankrupt any farmer they choose.
Monsanto also controls 90% of the soybean market. Every have a look at all the products that use some form of soybean in them? Monsanto has GM seeds for soybean,corn, canola and cotton right now. In the next two years Monsanto will have seeds for sugar beets and alfalfa.
Alfalfa, the staple hay of livestock. Sugar beets and alfalfa are also two crops that can be used to produce high quality ethanol. Monsanto now has 40% control of the US market for lettuce, tomatoes and fruit seeds.
As of 2007 the US has 142 million acres of genetically modified crops in production. World wide 282 million acres.
By 2010 it will have increased ten fold. It is already becoming difficult to get the quantities of seed needed for large farms that haven't been modified. This is expected to only get worse.
It wont be long before we will have handed total global control of our food supply to no more than five international companies who specialize only in genetic modification. More interesting, we will have handed global control of the ethanol market to these same markets.
What? did you actually think the Oil companies are too stupid to figure out they needed to diversify their market?

Think about world wide corporate domination. If you control the food you control the land on which the food grows. You control the water that feeds the crops. You control the crops that produce the fuel.
There is no way to defend yourself if you are a small to mid sized farmer anywhere. If you threaten through legal channels you will lose because you have never had any obligation to use the seeds. If you threaten through violence the seeds will be withdrawn from your economy . If you violate the agreement to not reuse the seeds of your own legal crop Monsanto will use your own laws against you, bankrupt you and then withdraw the seeds. The goal is to eliminate all competition for the corporate farms . The farms that these multinational GM seed companies have huge stakes in.

These farms and companies will control the commodities markets.
They will set the prices for the seed and the crop the seed yields. They will decide who gets the seed and who doesn't.

At one time Monsanto was responsible for more than 50 Environmental protection Agency Superfund sites. It hides it's shameful, destructive history by shuffling it's thousands of lawsuits over to a separate company Solutia.
Monsanto is the company that brought the world PCB's and dioxin. Monsanto's business practice was to dump all it's toxins into hidden pits and then lie about them. Go visit Anniston, Alabama. Hold on, better not since they have still been unable to clean up the mess Monsanto left behind. Monsanto didn't just do this kind of evil shit in it's own backyard either. It went global in poisoning people and then lying about it.

Monsanto says today that it wasn't them that did them bad things, it was that old Monsanto. "We are the new Monsanto."" You know us! We are the ones that inject cows with human growth hormone without bothering to do any long term health studies first!!"
Canada and the EU have banned this practice and made Monsanto very, very angry but it's okay..America loves it's human growth hormone milk.

MMMMMM..Autism anyone? Because, if you notice, autism is a distinctly American pandemic. The rest of the world just isn't seeing the rates the US is(yet). I just cannot imagine a good outcome for a mother to be who drinks human growth hormone milk, eats genetically modified food soaked in RoundUp and still carries around in their fat cells their childhood exposure to Monsanto dioxin and PCB's. What will the US look like in fifty years if 1 in 5 children has autism by the way?
But the good news is we have granted almost complete global domination over our food and new fuels to a company that poisons, pollutes and lies about everything they do. What trouble could that cause really?

Now on to the good news; according to Robert F Kennedy Jr in Vanity Fair
" America has the second largest geothermal resources in the world, North Dakota,Kansas, and Texas alone produce enough harnessable wind to meet all the nations electricity demand, as for solar according to Scientific American photovoltaic and solar thermal installations across just 19% of the most barren desert land in the Southwest could supply nearly all the nations electricity needs without any rooftop installation, even assuming every American owned a plug in hybrid."

So he advises giving up the trillions of dollars of coal and oil subsidies and handing it over to an army of workers to build a new renewable resource US that includes an entirely new, reliable energy grid that can tolerate DC current.
The beauty of this is it needs only a small investment from government and a large investment from the states legal departments to unravel the ridiculous laws that govern energy .
Think of all the global corporations fighting to spend their money on the biggest rebuilding America has ever seen. Think of the employment that will open up. Why stick with oil and a drowning economy when you can go green, become completely energy independent and have a booming economy ? It seems to have worked for the telecommunications business pretty well and this wouldn't be any different. Hell, Iceland has done it already, don't you think we should be able to keep up with them? Or is Iceland just way too damned advanced for the rest of us?
It would take twenty years and the results would be amazing.Even better you cannot patent the wind, the sun or the heat coming from the center of the Earth.
And wouldn't the Middle East be pissed.
If you are really a patriot and not just some asshole with a bumper sticker you would demand that your country start getting to work right the fuck now.
Real patriots are not George Bush, his oil buddies and Rush Limbaugh. Real patriots want their country to be number one in every damn thing and to not be a welfare country begging China for it's allowance.

So for anyone of who actually goes to political rallies and asks candidates questions ask them about Monsanto, ask them about a solar farm in that desert and more importantly Is it really that hard to beat Iceland? .
If Iceland can go from 80% dependency on foreign coal and oil in 1970 to the fourth most affluent country in the world and completely energy independent in 2007 what the hell is wrong with the rest of the world?

Are we truly that lame?


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