The Terrifying Implications of Gene Drives: a PSA

From etcgroup.org, Feb. 22, 2018: ‘Movements of Millions Say No to Gene Drives as Brazil Attempts to Legalize Genetic Extinction Technology’

MONTREAL, MEXICO CITY, SÃO PAULO, February 22, 2018—The largest rural movements in Brazil, representing well over a million farmers, are protesting a new Brazilian regulation that would allow release of gene drives, the controversial genetic extinction technology, into Brazil’s ecosystems and farms.

On February 3rd and 4th, the National Coalition of Farmworkers and Rural, Water and Forest Peoples[1] met near São Paulo, Brazil and sounded the alarm about new Brazilian regulatory changes – a resolution passed on January 15th by Brazil’s National Technical Commission on Biosafety that would allow the release of gene drive organisms into the environment. [2] The effect of this change is that Brazil becomes the first country in the world to establish a legal channel for the release of gene drives into the environment. The new rule could potentially make it even easier to release a living gene drive organism than a GMO seed.

The farmers organizations are concerned about agribusiness giants spreading more transgenic seeds, but also attempts to directly change the nature of wild plants and animals.

Scientists and Peasant Movements’ Concerns About Gene Drives:

Brazil’s new “normative resolution” allows the Biosafety Commission to approve the release of products derived from what they called “Innovative Precision Breeding Techniques” without going through established biosafety risk assessment or requiring labeling, if the Biosafety Commission considers they are not “GMO.” Among the technologies enlisted for such exception are several new genetic modification techniques, including CRISPR technology and gene drives.

Gene drives are a controversial new technology that uses CRISPR-Cas9 to spread a specific genetic trait through an entire species or population – in some cases with the purpose of driving species to extinction. Current gene drives experiments have been conducted on insects, rodents and plants. If the inserted genetic trait results in only male offspring, as is being attempted for rodents and mosquitoes, a full wild population or even a species could go extinct. As far as is known, gene drives have never been released into the environment anywhere in the world.[3]

“Gene drives organisms pose unique threats to nature and livelihoods”, says Silvia Ribeiro, Latin America Director for ETC Group. “It is the first time that the biotech industry has intentionally designed GMOs to spread aggressively in the natural environment and contaminate wild species. It seems surreal that a decision to impose such great dangers to a mega diverse country such Brazil would be taken by a small technical commission, without even involvement of either Congress or civil society”.

[wd here: you’ll want to read the Gene Drives link above.  It goes to a Sept. 2016Reckless Driving: Gene Drives and the End of Nature, A briefing from the Civil Society Working Group on Gene Drives’ page.   To wet your whistle, it begins:

“Imagine that by releasing a single fly into the wild you could genetically alter all the flies on the planet—causing them all to turn yellow, carry a toxin, or go extinct. This is the terrifyingly powerful premise behind gene drives: a new and controversial genetic engineering technology that can permanently alter an entire species by releasing one bioengineered individual.

Gene drives can entirely re-engineer ecosystems, create fast spreading extinctions, and intervene in living systems at a scale far beyond anything ever imagined. When gene drives are engineered into a fast-reproducing species they could alter their populations within short timeframes, from months to a few years, and rapidly cause extinction. This radical new technology, also called a “mutagenic chain reaction,” [1] is unlike anything seen before. It combines the extreme genetic engineering of synthetic biology and new gene editing techniques with the idea that humans can and should use such powerful unlimited tools to control nature. Gene drives will change the fundamental relationship between humanity and the natural world forever.”

Then come sections on how gene drives work, examples of four sorts of gene drives, how they can be used: industrial ag, military, attacking disease, artificially ‘enhancing’ conservation, what are the environmental dangers, all five are in that section are breathtakingly horrifying, of course, but ‘radically altering the course of evolution, and the cui bono? possibilities/probabilities in the ‘dangers to society’ section seem to be the writing already on the wall, imo.]  But back to this exposé:

Concerns About Biological Warfare and Use by Agribusiness/Chemical Giants

At the gathering, the movements and organizations[4] signed an open letter stating that they “emphatically reject the CTNBio’s Normative Resolution 16/2018, which seeks to legalize and release without regulation, assessment or labeling new transgenic organisms which will have an impact on peasants, food sovereignty, health and the environment. We particularly denounce and reject the CTNBio’s intent to legalize ‘gene drives,’ i.e. transgenic organisms that can be used to drive species into extinction and as biological weapons…”[5]

Because of the technology’s power and inherent risks, Gene drive are considered a potential bioweapon. According to 1,200 emails released under access to information requests by a group of civil society organizations[6], the US Military has become one of the main funders of gene drives research at the global level. (They acknowledge the potential use as a bioweapon but allege that their interest is only defensive.[7]) The second biggest funder of gene drives is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which claims to be supporting the development of the technology to combat pests, such as the mosquitoes that carry malaria, by genetically eliminating their ability to reproduce.

The movements argue instead that it is giant agribusiness corporations who will benefit, as they will seek to manipulate herbicide-resistant weeds to reinstate their susceptibility to chemicals, and they “will be free to invade fields and markets with new genetically manipulated products, free from assessments, regulations or labels, thus expediting releases and hiking their profits.”

“Brazil’s move to include this technology in its legislation now is probably aimed at influencing the outcomes in the [current] discussion at the UN in a effort to preempt a decision on a moratorium. This is unacceptable,” said Toledo. “CTNBio never opened the space for consultations with civil society or independent researcher in its own country. They also choose to disregard the scientific debate at the CBD, which shows that there is not yet adequate capacity nor biosafety frameworks to evaluate the results and impacts of new biotechnologies, particularly gene drives.”

The biotech industry has attempted to exempt new biotechnologies from biosafety legislation in other countries, including at the European Union, the US, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. Argentina approved a similar normative resolution in 2015 – also in an administrative measure and without any discussion. However, the Brazilian resolution is the first to explicitly include gene drives in its scope.”

La Via Campesina Int’l Peasant’s Movement/English.

‘The project of deliberately exterminating species is a crime against nature and humanity… Developing tools of extermination in the garb of saving the world is a crime. A crime that must not be allowed to continue any further.

~ Dr. Vandana Shiva, India

“It’s fine to fool Mother Nature if we say so!”

Signed,
The Ruling Class

 Even realizing that JtC will need to help me cross-post this at C99%, I’d like to catch up with some Tweets by the dedicated Colin Todhunter:

Crossposted from: café babylon

Share
up
0 users have voted.

Comments

Steven D's picture

I had no idea this was going on. Thanks.

up
0 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Amanda Matthews's picture

@Steven D

makes me dispair for my kids, your kids, everybody’s kids, grandkids...

just about everybody not in the 1%.

up
0 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Amanda Matthews

on gene drives later; get ready. (smile) but seriously, genes of extinction: what could go wrong? and aren't all DOD weapons for 'defense'? and may i please say for the millionth time:

Fuck Bill Gates and his 'lovely wife! (in the most polite way possible, of course...)

up
0 users have voted.
Amanda Matthews's picture

@wendy davis

Revealed: Gates Foundation's $1.4bn in fossil fuel investments:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/19/gates-foundation-has...

Is the Gates Foundation Still Investing in Private Prisons?

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/gates-foundation-still-inve...

6A582B34-8B48-4797-8840-C05599ED0D8F.jpeg

He is THE person mainly responsible for destroying our public education system. He invented nothing. He took other people’s work and hired people to improve it.

I wonder, is it obvious I don’t like Bill Gates?

up
0 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Amanda Matthews

He is THE person mainly responsible for destroying our public education system. He invented nothing. He took other people’s work and hired people to improve it.

I wonder, is it obvious I don’t like Bill Gates?

And the $20,000 he borrowed from his father to start that process going (buying QDOS and hiring the first batch of serfs to "improve" it) would set you back a cool $100,000 today.

He couldn't know an honest workingman's existence if he tried. He has no point of contact.

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@Amanda Matthews

he's a philanthropist of the highest order, and as proof, he and lovely melinda have their own tab at the guardian!

wonder how many shares past the original 500,000 shares of monsanto he owns? ya think he might be putting pressure to make sure the monsanto/bayer buyout is approved? they keep moving the 'approval' date back a month at time. i reckon they're sure that orange julius's admin (i forget the name of the dark side of DoJ mergers) will approve it. he'd met w/ a bayer rep recently (davos? O, for a memory!). light bulb: monopolies (took ya long enuff, ya old crone). one day soon ya'll are gonna laugh me off the tubes...

on edit: and now calvinist sec. ed betsy devos and her hubbie have doubled down on his privatize corpotate run ed. schemes.

up
0 users have voted.

@Amanda Matthews

Without it, he'd be poor. If the SOB and the rest of his billionaire SOB's paid their fair share of taxes, they'd have a hell of a lot less money to buy influence into things they know nothing about.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Amanda Matthews

Me either. Makes me glad I’m old and makes me despair for my kids, your kids, everybody’s kids, grandkids...

spelling corrected

Once again, I thank God I am childless!

Quelle horreur!!

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Amanda Matthews's picture

@thanatokephaloides

On an iPhone, broke my glasses, have a floater in my right eye, and apparently my blocked tear duct is causing a collateral problen that’s becoming inconvenient and gross.

The seeing eye dog arrives next week.

Actually I wish everybody COULD fix my typos.Small e and s and a are almost impossible to distinguish from each other. And the other day I had to type out most of Massachusetts. And words like if and it? Pfffft!

That paragraph took a week to ‘type’ and it looks funny but I can’t see a problem. Quelle surprise.

up
0 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews Get better, and no survival gear more important than a bag full of those Dollar General 2.50 glasses.

up
0 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Amanda Matthews

Thanks for fixing the typo!

De nada! I wanted to let folks know I had wrought changes in the text I received from you.

On an iPhone, broke my glasses, have a floater in my right eye, and apparently my blocked tear duct is causing a collateral problen that’s becoming inconvenient and gross.

The seeing eye dog arrives next week.

Actually I wish everybody COULD fix my typos.Small e and s and a are almost impossible to distinguish from each other. And the other day I had to type out most of Massachusetts. And words like if and it? Pfffft!

I don't even try on my ZTE Maven; it's just too maddening.

And I'm sorry about your eye troubles, too! Sad

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Amanda Matthews

Sending hugs and the hope that the seeing-eye dog was a joke, with no anticipated need for one...

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Amanda Matthews

I'm glad I'm old. For our kids, I hope the future isn't as awful as I think it will be.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

wendy davis's picture

@Steven D

and one of the footnote links was to vendana shiva in 2016. i'd totally missed it. scary biscuits in any language.

oh, and i'd forgotten to add this earlier: La Via Campesina Int’l Peasant’s Movement/English. cool site, cool folks, great motto.

up
0 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

What a dreadful web we weave when first we practice to conceive. (isn't it Frankenstein?) Our ignorance is only exceeded by our arrogance...like the story of jumping genes.

For much of the 20th century, genes were considered to be stable entities arranged in an orderly linear pattern on chromosomes, like beads on a string. In the late 1940s, Barbara McClintock challenged existing concepts of what genes were capable of when she discovered that some genes could be mobile. Her studies of chromosome breakage in maize led her to discover a chromosome-breaking locus that could change its position within a chromosome. McClintock went on to discover other such mobile elements, now known as transposons....

Of course she was denigrated and poo-pooed. However, she was later exonerated and awarded science people prizes...

By the 1970s the great strides made in molecular biology led to the discovery of transposons in other organisms, starting with viruses and bacteria. We now know that transposons constitute more than 65% of our genomes and approximately 85% of the maize genome. “Transposons are astonishingly abundant, comprising a majority of the DNA in some species,”

http://www.pnas.org/content/109/50/20198.full

There's a reason that Brazil got rid of Dilma and inserted Temer, the corporate stooge. What amazed me was the way the coup was conducted amidst the olympics. Those oligarchs are pretty clever manipulators of more than just genes.

Good to see you around, and interesting essay.

up
0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

yep, dilma had to go. and temer is under investigation for corruption, and the peasants are rioting six ways from sunday. funny, but i'd plum forgotten the putsch was during the cursed olympics.

and thanks, nice to be here, amigo...when i am. (i don't get much time to comment here; your last one on disappearing democracy cuz: capitalism looked great.)

let me add: you all know about gates' gene mapping and patents, no? and all of the seeds stored in the svalbard 'doomsday' vault in norway? it leaked last year due to the melting polar ice cap, but repairs are underway, according to reuters.

up
0 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

no digging...except in the soil.

The seed issue is real. I'm a collector and planter of heirlooms.

up
0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

but plant some hybrids. but by now we mainly grow flowers and herbs, including cannabis from clones and seeds: not heirloom (smile). but good on ya, darlin'. may your gardens grow well!

dunno if importing this photo of our back garden will work, but... nope dinnae work, but here's the url.
https://morestardust.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/back-garden-walls-and-walks/

up
0 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

with a trip down the garden path (says the serpent)...first yours...
wendy's garden.jpg

Now I'll show you mine....

a trip down the path....
IMG_9682.jpg

IMG_9679.jpg

...and into the feline guarded garden...
IMG_4723_0.jpg

Happy production and harvests to all!

up
0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

doing all that rock work, so i love it even more now. some of those stone steps weighed upwards of 90 lbs, arrrggh. i'd had to dream about how to fit the flagstone into the glacial moraine round rock walls to work. if ya click on mine, you can see the old truck garden beyond the chokecherry trees. got too durned old 'n broke down to keep it up.

up
0 users have voted.
Alphalop's picture

@Lookout
I have been reading this sci-fi epic (currently on book 5 of the second part, first set was another 7)

So 12 books into the series and just last night reached the answer to what had happened to an earlier race , who's ruins were discovered not just in our galaxy but in several others.

They existed as an advanced species for millennia, spread across the known universe but then suddenly disappeared.

The revelation?

Confident in their mastery of the sciences they genetically engineered a virus, it extended their life spans many fold.

Right up until an unexpected mutation occurred, which dramatically reduced their population, then mutation 2 hit, which basically caused their genes to become so altered in a negative way, leading to sudden death in days.

A galactic civilization brought down by their arrogance.

Seems like we are on the same path, sans the Galactic Empire, we just gotta settle for the shit one we got that's doing a great imitation of the tail end of the Roman Empire.

Just thought that this as an odd bit of synchronicity so figured I'd share it. Smile

up
0 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Lookout's picture

@Alphalop

Seems like I remember something of that plot - maybe from Pohl?

Well no doubt our arrogance may well spell our extinction too.

Hey are you still listening to podcasts? I finally came around after NPR just became too much Propaganda radio. Perhaps we should have an essay about the best ones some time?

Hope all is well in FL. I'll head down that way for the Folk fest in May. all the best!

up
0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Socialprogressive's picture

Didn't these people watch Jurassic Park?

up
0 users have voted.

I picked the wrong pandemic to quite sniffing glue.
If your car is running, I'm voting for it.

wendy davis's picture

@Socialprogressive

is there some sort of extreme hubris that causes the ruling class to imagine they can escape their destruction as well? Blinded by profits?

'It's delicate confronting these priests of the golden bull
They preach from the pulpit of the bottom line
Their minds rustle with million dollar bills
You say Silver burns a hole in your pocket
And Gold burns a hole in your soul'

~ Buffy Sainte-Marie - The Priests Of The Golden Bull

up
0 users have voted.
Bisbonian's picture

@Socialprogressive , read Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut.

up
0 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

lotlizard's picture

@Socialprogressive  
Experimental virus is released into the wild, intended as a cure for cancer — it ends up killing off most of the earth’s population, with almost all survivors turning into demented, cannibalistic mutants.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

“It is the first time that the biotech industry has intentionally designed GMOs to spread aggressively in the natural environment and contaminate wild species.

It is not the first time. The terminator gene, created by Monsanto, did the same thing. But there was a fairly successful opposition to it, at least in the southern part of this hemisphere.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

and yes, the pushback was strong. but if i understand gene drives at all, the bio-technology is different in that a high percentage of every generation forward would share the same traits, whereas with sterile seeds, there wouldn't be a next generation. but you likely know far more than about all this than i do.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

oh, and i'll stick this on the black panther thread, but our suspicions were correct, and in spades. a retweet from my favorite tankie, cordeliers:

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis For fuck's sakes. Are they even listening to themselves?

Vibranium is like John Galt's mystery machine. It's a magical made-up substance that doesn't exist. While it is obviously being used as an analogy for valuable substances held by various African countries, as you point out, and with a very nasty motive, as you also point out, the most important quality of vibranium is that it's not real.

There isn't any special magical incredibly valuable substance that immunizes people, or nations, from racism and colonialism, and all the wretched fallout these phenomena create. Sort of like there's no special infinite energy machine that you can carry away to a secluded place and live a life free from worry and want because your genius is so great.

In fact, possessing a very valuable substance, if you don't have an enormous army to protect it, generally makes you and your people the target of colonialism. If you're in Africa, that colonialism is generally justified by racism. Far from being a source of power, such valuable possessions make one a target for a very well-heeled brand of looter.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

it's hard to know how to respond. but what i'd think was implied was: wakanda kept that strategic mineral (as burundi, drc, eritrea, central african republic, etc. are rich in) for their own use and control. Africom, say, will then 'create the chaos' (by cia, false flags, usaid, etc.) we will zooom in to protect you from (it's in their hilarious mission statement).

ah! i just went hunting and found 'AFRICOM: Keeping Africans Safe from Chaos…or Something', may 23, based on illuminations by crossed crocodiles in ghana. fun read, though.

and what we witness repeatedly is that there are almost always compradors corrupt enough to allow resource plunder grifting...of their own 99%, for a percentage. so: keep control so we can plunder it for fun and profit! is my take.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis That is a more nuanced and informed version of my opinion.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

up
0 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

Aw, you people are just anti-science!
/ Daily Kos mode to OFF

..... but expect it over there as soon as word of this Essay gets there....

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

but seriously, over the decades i've actually had GMO reps come onto my diaries. one accused me of the same thing, happened to bring up norman borlaug's short-stemmed wheat that Saved Africa!™ nope, he'd developed that via selective breeding, NOT genetic modification. but as the world burns, gen-modifying plants to be drought resistant is a big thing. but of course, the best organic farming methods mean more water, more shade, yada, yada.

up
0 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

over the decades i've actually had GMO reps come onto my diaries. one accused me of the same thing, happened to bring up norman borlaug's short-stemmed wheat that Saved Africa!™ nope, he'd developed that via selective breeding, NOT genetic modification. but as the world burns, gen-modifying plants to be drought resistant is a big thing. but of course, the best organic farming methods mean more water, more shade, yada, yada.

Yay for you and your Essays!

GAK to the GMO propagandists!

"Man made booze; God made marijuana. Who do you trust?"

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

up
0 users have voted.

We violently rise up worldwide and destroy the capitalist insanity now.

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

and i hear ya, as does hip-hop commie rapper boots riley.

but yes, globally, and not until enough are truly woke. but we may then need to beware of demagogues, or the new boss may look just like the old boss. not sure i'd know how to discern one, myownself. but that's a much longer conversation, isn't it?

up
0 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

I thought that the tax bill would be the issue that got people to rise up and say "no more." But no. The PTB are probably laughing at us because of all the shit they have thrown at us and we just keep taking it. Maybe it's going to be rescinding net neutrality. Maybe if enough people can't download their favorite tv shows and movies they will say enough.

I thought that the with the creation of the TSA people would say "hell no, I'm not jumping through your hoops and then after they kept adding more restrictions on what people can do just to get on a damn airplane that they would say enough. Still nope.

up
0 users have voted.

“An addicted underclass is easier to control than one that is fully functional and aware of its oppression.” - The Elite
Centrism is the failed political philosophy of those “despised elites.” Centrism gave us Trump.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@snoopydawg

I thought that the tax bill would be the issue that got people to rise up and say "no more." But no. The PTB are probably laughing at us because of all the shit they have thrown at us and we just keep taking it. Maybe it's going to be rescinding net neutrality. Maybe if enough people can't download their favorite tv shows and movies they will say enough.

I thought that the with the creation of the TSA people would say "hell no, I'm not jumping through your hoops and then after they kept adding more restrictions on what people can do just to get on a damn airplane that they would say enough. Still nope.

Don't expect any progress on this set of issues so long as a significnt subset of the populace sets all its hopes in the world after their deaths and none in this one.

If Americans acted as if the lives they possess now were the only ones they would ever have, your contentions would have come to pass.

Sad

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

snoopydawg's picture

@thanatokephaloides

about how so many people are okay with their plot in this life because what they think is waiting for them after they die.

up
0 users have voted.

“An addicted underclass is easier to control than one that is fully functional and aware of its oppression.” - The Elite
Centrism is the failed political philosophy of those “despised elites.” Centrism gave us Trump.

@snoopydawg

Maybe try asking them for loans to be repaid when ya'll meet in heaven? Tell 'em you'll be begging the god of their choice to take them quickly, so they won't suffer so long in this vale of tears? s/

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg No one knows what to do. Protest gets ignored unless it's persistent over weeks and months, at which point they bring out military or paramilitary forces to clear the protest away, usually bringing economic pressure of some kind simultaneously. Congress and the Executive Branch do not respond to the people's will. Elections are compromised, by outright fraud if need be.

That leaves 1)refusing to pay taxes, 2)refusing to work, 3)armed revolt. Refusing to work might, probably would in this economy, simply result in massive numbers of scabs taking the jobs, unless the revolt comprised a very large percentage of the working population. Refusing to pay taxes would elicit an armed response and imprisonment, after which they would seize whatever assets the person had and leave them imprisoned, and continue to do whatever they wanted. To say that a military confrontation would be asymmetrical is an understatement of vast proportions.

Perhaps a general strike, if it had enough people doing it together, would be the most viable option. But it would be difficult to upset enough Americans enough that they would be willing to risk destitution if they aren't already destitute. Most Americans fear poverty more than almost anything else.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

My instincts tell me while enormous good has always come from, and will come from, carefully hybridizing plants, zero good and retched evil may come of genetically modifying organisms. We are for better or worse living in an astonishingly erratic time, weather wise. Today's flood is yesterday's drought, literally as I and every farmer can attest. I believe its critical to this planet's survival that we focus like a laser beam on adaptation. Immediately. GMOs are almost guaranteed to lead to vast wastelands as climate changes far beyond our control flick a nonchalant fu at Roundup ready crops.

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@GusBecause

and yes, selective breeding is vastly superior to gen-tech. but mono-crops of any sort are inherently potentially catastrophic terrors. but stir in the bio-terrorism likelihood, and the 'conservationists' who want fewer pests decimating bird populations, terminator mice, and tra la la...oy veh. what could possibly go wrong in the planet's ecosystems?

already so many 'canaries in the coal mine' are demonstrate that we've collectively ruined this place. and i suppose you mean by alternating floods and droughts: the vicissitudes of climate change tides and times? sorry to be so incoherent; i've been awake since 3, and am fading quickly now.

up
0 users have voted.

@wendy davis I'm busy transplanting tomatoes, pesky skinny little devils. We grow organic grains and produce, with a new high tunnel bet on the produce side. More high tunnels planned since we're convinced that to survive we have to grow under cover. I'm smiling over my trays of corn seedlings. Transplanting corn? Would have seemed crazy just 5 years ago. Now we chat about growing corn under cover too. Seriously. Our fields are still full of rotting soybeans, stayed too wet and never got cold enough to take them off. Happy deer, very unhappy farmers. Tell you what else is depressing to me, all the comments I see from people glad they never had children, or glad they're so old they won't be around to see the consequences of our folly. Today I'm feeling very lucky to be alive. The red winged blackbirds are back and hundreds of snow geese are flying their vaguely v formations.

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@GusBecause

and it's so good to hear that even with all your travails, you still love being alive! snow geese? does that mean you're in the northern plains, then? (i'm thinking plains because: soybeans.)

we use row covers over wire hoops a lot, both to hold heat and block sun for transplants. i love em.

we adopted two multi-racial chirren, they have chirren, and even while facing such a dubious future, we're still glad we did so. they made us a family. best to you, and solidarity,

wd

up
0 users have voted.

There simply is no way to map out how this can cause mutations, jump species, know the consequences to ecologies…

Either insanity or some alien race trying to "Alien Form" the Earth to their liking are the only options here.

And who's to say the PNAC types who proposed "genetic bioweapons to target specific populations" won't work with this kind of thing?

up
0 users have voted.

Orwell: Where's the omelette?

wendy davis's picture

@jim p

but 'only defensively, of course!' and oh, how it would open the door to non-state actors, as do drones and loose nukes. guess we might extrapolate that the ruling class ARE aliens, at least to everyday people. dunno what to say on any sort of positive note. thing is, they're winning in far too many fields that we get whiplash as our heads whip about trying to to keep track of it all. but yanno: russiagate is what really matters...

up
0 users have voted.

@jim p my own thoughts as well.
The next step in the PNAC.
The alien angle crosses my mind from time to time I gotta admit.

up
0 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain  
“cleansing” Judea and Samaria with a neutron bomb, or something with a similar effect.

up
0 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain

And require many toxins for daily health.

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@jim p

Really too tired again today to be commenting, but in case you're interested:

From the Corbett Report's Requiem for the Suicided series: the most pertinent bit regarding targeted genetic bio-weapons comes in at the end.

https://www.corbettreport.com/requiem-for-the-suicided-dr-david-kelly/

Requiem for the Suicided: Dr. David Kelly
Corbett • 05/17/2017

Famed microbiologist and UN weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly became the centre of a dispute between the BBC and the UK government over claims that the government had “sexed up” its dossier on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction in order to sell the Iraq war to the public. He was found dead on Harrowdown Hill on July 18, 2003. It was ruled a suicide. Today we look at the troubling discrepancies, inconsistencies and questions surrounding that official verdict, and broach the question of what secrets Dr. Kelly may have taken to the grave…

NOTE: This is a visualization of Episode 192 of The Corbett Report podcast, first released on June 25, 2011. This video was recently posted to The Corbett Report Extras YouTube channel as part of a project to make older Corbett Report audio podcasts and interviews available on YouTube. If you are interested in seeing more of this content in the future please SUBSCRIBE TO THE THE CORBETT REPORT EXTRAS CHANNEL.

Also, wondering about any potential relation between targeted genetic bio-weapons and terrifyingly numerous and enormous mass die-offs of wild-life populations within specific species occurring around the world, where entire vast populations may die within several days.

TPTB certainly couldn't seem more eager to kill off all life on the planet and various generally elderly billionaires have been entertaining Super-Tech fantasies, including some about how not only a brain transplant, but even a recording of their characteristics/brainwaves into a computer/robot, could give them an unliving immortality eternal existence, in that case not needing that required for life, apparently not realizing even that they'd still die in their bodies, whether or not the copy continued to exist, spouted their personal viewpoints and mimicked their programmed-in preferences and other traits... (Speaking of which fantasy type, I'm guessing that the latest animal head transplant to be promptly conducted by a surgeon in another country,[can't recall exactly when or many details but have the impression that it was to be soon after someone posted about it on-site, a while back] the last I'd heard about a publicized test case apparently previously scheduled to be conducted on a human, (initially last year,) likely didn't work out; didn't turn up any more hoopla on a search, at any rate.)

Came across this, from 2013, though:

https://listverse.com/2013/07/22/top-ten-disturbing-scientific-developme...

...10 Recent And Disturbing Scientific Developments

Scarlet July 22, 2013

Many of these scientific accomplishments are truly great and will undoubtedly be a great boon for the human race, but buried in each of them is something truly disturbing. For example . . ...

...7 War Robots

It is grievously apparent that members of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) do not watch science fiction movies. Why else would they model a war machine after a cheetah? So if it flips a switch and goes haywire, you can’t outrun it? Military robots are being designed to harness the natural abilities animals have developed over centuries of evolution. The cheetah robot is one of the latest models of war robots to join the ranks. It doesn’t look much like a cheetah, but it’s got the agility, speed, and locomotion of 28.3 mph for a 20-meter (65-ft) split to convince you that it’s as close as any robot has ever gotten. Just in case you’re unaware, that’s faster than Usain Bolt’s first-place universal record for running (although to be fair, the inclusion of a treadmill in the cheetah’s case meant that most of its strength went into swinging its legs, not into actual propulsion).

If a cheetah isn’t enough to worry about, it’s already been accompanied by a robot called Big Dog whose design originally imitated a pack mule. Of course, carrying weapons of mass destruction wasn’t a glorious enough feat for Big Dog, so Boston Dynamics went ahead and added a mechanical arm that enables it to lob cinder blocks at warehouses, and (I’m assuming) people. Big Dog is now voice-controlled, allowing soldiers to effortlessly deploy it on the battlefield. It can run along and use its prodigious strength to lift debris off fallen soldiers and hurl it at their loser, cheetah-less enemies.

6 Human Head Transplant
Not to be mistaken with a brain transplant, this procedure requires the entire, decapitated head of one person to be replaced on the decapitated body of another (preferably with consent from both parties, but you could go the evil scientist route as well). Effective head transplants were more of a theory than a possibility until recently, due to the obstacle of reattaching the fragile bonds of the spinal cord. Now the discovery of a nerve regeneration method has been revealed in the US, and scientists predict that human head transplants will soon be a viable option.

So far, successful transplants have been performed on rats, dogs, and monkeys, although without a means to reattach the spine at the times of the operations, the attached heads were unable to control their new bodies. If you’ve ever seen the twin-headed dogs, or the adult rats with baby rat heads screaming off their thighs, you might think it’s dubious to call this development in any way successful. In principle, it’s intended to help people who have incurable ailments or diseases, too many organ problems for surgical intervention to solve, or who are quadriplegic. Of course, since the procedure has never been tested on humans before, who knows what the implications might be. Will you even be the same person by the time you’re Frankenstein-ed back together? ...

The section entitled 'Google Glass' especially needs to be read - this is the Google intertwined so deeply with the Obama Admin that they/their various staff formed a inseparable/revolving-door corporate partnership, by all accounts. So, yeah, why shouldn't the combined lot of them kill off the relative Poors along with other Earth life which they plan not to need, place psychopathic billionaire brains in robotic bodies - and they've paid for and created pure hell for themselves, especially as they rapidly deteriorate/glitch/stagnate without the complex supply of far more than simple nutrition which the biological brain requires - something they're hoping to maintain themselves in forever. Or maybe they just won't be capable of realizing and at least be useful as perhaps idiot but obedient and useful robotic-with-replaceable-'meat-mind'-processing slaves.

But this lot can't plan to de-live themselves in the hope of never dying and let live the rest of life, and they aren't even physically Terminator robots yet... (And they also probably think that controls couldn't be implanted into them, of course... betcha.)

All this seems to me sorta like a little kid announcing that he can now play the trumpet before producing a series of farting noises at his rapt parents - only with unseen and unnoticed slow-acting poison gas emitted from the business end of the trumpet gradually killing all concerned shortly after the performance, because the kid didn't know anything about some weird thing he'd picked up and dropped into his Dad's instrument because he could, and being imaginative, thought it might give him cool magical skills to blow Dad's horn. But that mental image which somehow sprang to my mind is of some disaster limited at least to a room, and would be understandable in a small child.

The problem was, of course, initiated with whoever released such as that deadly hazard into the world for the ignorant to play around with for personal benefit, as with the US government handing over GM tech to ruthless and greed-blinded polluting industry to be commercialized and scattered freely into the to-be-genetically and petrochemically damaged and poisoned environment, food supply and entire chain of global life to all ultimately be made incapable of any longer breeding true. Kinda makes you wonder who Monsanto was, and what his connections really were, doesn't it?

And another from that article's listings which I'll briefly quote from, with the note that studies of the results of genetic modification - including those regarding artificially created biological replacement organs also covered in the article - are always secret/suppressed/downplayed and independent studies/tracking forbidden/discouraged for a reason:

https://listverse.com/2013/07/22/top-ten-disturbing-scientific-developme...

...Genetically Modified Babies

...And yet, genetically modified babies have already been brought to life. These children have inherited extra genes—one from a man, and two from women—among other aberrations. Consequences were soon to follow, and things weren’t as sunny as the scientists would have liked.

By the time the children were teenagers, reports began to sprout of how the additional genetic trait might express itself either in the individual, or in the individual’s subsequent children. A frequent rise in autism seemed to be one of the ramifications noted. Unfortunately, many of the babies born this way weren’t properly evaluated or followed up on, making a safe conclusion impossible. The FDA is leaning toward a ban on so-called designer babies, doubtless to appease the rabble. While many argue that the GM children are growing up just fine, a brief glance at some of the controversial results genetically modified foods have already been accused of exhibiting will probably make you glad for the FDA’s final ruling. Perhaps we should perfect plant engineering before taking on genetic intervention in human life. ...

But they already have taken on genetic intervention in human life; the food's been engineered with a viral capacity to invade other cells and various profitable and highly toxic, inimical-to-health/life chemicals the tech's used to sell, (as well as to set up food monopolies also useful for the control of large populations,) alters basic body functions, in at least one instance inhibiting mineral uptake essential for biological function and life, that being how it kills weeds and anything else not specifically engineered to withstand it, this gained at the cost of cells damaged by gene insertion, the introduction of genetic material intended to regulate and reproduce entirely different organisms having different origins, life cycles, manner of reproduction, biochemistry and a further list of different mechanisms, signaling and...everything else, too long to list even if I could recall them all... but it ends also in the organism's loss of its own genetic heritage and ability to breed true.

They're trying to play the role of a man-created simplistic god with incredibly complex natural processes developed over, essentially, billions of years of refinement from a very generally simple stage retained for a very long time until, finally, viable and increasingly complex life could not only result but survive to become the various ancestors of many more animals to come, these often adapting various physiological sections for entirely different uses than were inherent in their forebears - all of which these manipulators don't care to understand, because those who seemingly often prize machines - tools - over life, as 'better at doing certain things', understand a craving for unlimited power and control and apparently not much else.

And they'll kill off life itself for the (defective) fantasy of achieving it.

Edited to clarify the specific reference intended in a sentence. And again for one typo caught, but can't see straight, so the rest that I've undoubtedly missed will have to rot where they lie, lol.

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Alligator Ed's picture

Looking into one citation led to another, yielding a most desirable method, if only realizable:

It is imperative that we forge a new system that restores harmony with nature and among human beings. And in order for there to be balance with nature, there must first be equity among human beings. We propose to the peoples of the world the recovery, revalorization, and strengthening of the knowledge, wisdom, and ancestral practices of Indigenous Peoples, which are affirmed in the thought and practices of “Living Well,” recognizing Mother Earth as a living being with which we have an indivisible, interdependent, complementary and spiritual relationship.

* harmony and balance among all and with all things;
* complementarity, solidarity, and equality;
* collective well-being and the satisfaction of the basic necessities of all;
* people in harmony with nature;
* recognition of human beings for what they are, not what they own;
* elimination of all forms of colonialism, imperialism and interventionism;
* peace among the peoples and with Mother Earth.

The indigenous peoples often had it correct. But owing to their beliefs were often unprepared for the rapaciousness of intrusiveness of foreign cultures (now most exemplified by USA! USA!). Hence defeated both in battle and by disease, they were either severely debilitated (and still are) or exterminated outright.

It is thus apparent that, like AI (artificial intelligence), gene drives will almost certainly have wide-spread but as yet unknown lethal consequences. A certain balance of nature has been achieved over about 2 billion years (including 4 or 5 great extinctions). To introduce in what is a nanosecond of time relative to life on earth, dramatic changes to the ecosystem, such genetic modification on steroids, is bound to have disastrous effects. The nature of unintended consequences is that they are also unpredictable as to their particulars.

Regardless of the alleged purpose of such changes, the results will be disastrous. One does not resuscitate a hypothermic individual rapidly. One does not replenish a massive sodium deficit rapidly. Both of these conditions which occur relatively gradually on a human time scale (days to weeks) must be reversed more slowly than their onset. To "reset" global biosphere parameters will do no one good--including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos in their New Zealand isolation.

A strange paradox often afflicts those whose material success exceeds their self-knowledge: they become arrogant and by that arrogance self-destructive--taking along with themselves others who wanted no part in the experiments.

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

and oh, my, the treatise you've quoted is simple and elegant. but the rest of your worthy comment deserves more time and energy than i have now, as i seem to have just hit the wall. may i beg off until tomorrow morning, eye of the gator? and leave you with what will serve as tonight's sign off lullaby? you may recognize part of your comment in it...

night, all. dream well if you can, and at least constructively...if you can't.

up
0 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@Alligator Ed

up
0 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

snoopydawg's picture

@Alligator Ed

Imagine if all the peoples could shuck off our yokes that the PTB have saddled us with and find a way to live with one another in peace. I think that most people do just want peace, it's the sociopathic people who have the power that want wars. I can't understand why they can't offer money for country's resources instead of invading them or overthrowing governments and taking what they want.

up
0 users have voted.

“An addicted underclass is easier to control than one that is fully functional and aware of its oppression.” - The Elite
Centrism is the failed political philosophy of those “despised elites.” Centrism gave us Trump.

wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

i think you’re right about the collective indigenous cultures in the amerikas and elsewhere having underestimated the power of greed and control by colonizers, then re-colonizers by extermination or the jackboot oppression if a nation chose a socialist government. one of the exceptions was that on the day nafta clicked into effect, the zapatistas poured out of the mountains of chipas, and rather militantly occupied different agencies, then later created their own people-up self-sufficient democracy that's still improving a step a a time after all these years. at issue was food sovereignty, especially maize, and iirc, there were multiple dozens of heirloom strains that nafta would eradicate w/ gmo sorts. but zapatismo is a very long subject i've written about for years.

but so horrific are the (possibly) threats unintended consequences to global society at large, and i like your formula for the lethality of skipping over evolutionary steps as in your ‘one does not’ steps. your strange paradox resembles michael hudson’s theme of (capitalistic) ‘parasites killing the host’.

when i read the words in your text box from a link you’d discovered, those words tripped me into the stratosphere of remembering. so i went hunting for them in some diaries i wrote at the readers diaries at firedoglake in 2012 when i’d covered the rio 20 sustainability conference, esp. the side meetings (go away! The People are not invited!). and look what i found!

Green Capitalism and the ‘Peoples Summit’ at Rio+20june 14 2012 (one short bit)

“Right now there are organized caravans of Indigenous People traveling to Rio in solidarity with the Cochacamba Peoples’ Agreement on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in recognition of the fact that the Rio+20 Summit has already been designed to fail in producing any meaningful outcomes at this time of great peril for the planet and workers around the planet. I’d like to clip a few of my favorite parts, but there are so many more thrills and chills contained it; seriously.

“It is imperative that we forge a new system that restores harmony with nature and among human beings. And in order for there to be balance with nature, there must first be equity among human beings. We propose to the peoples of the world the recovery, revalorization, and strengthening of the knowledge, wisdom, and ancestral practices of Indigenous Peoples, which are affirmed in the thought and practices of “Living Well,” recognizing Mother Earth as a living being with which we have an indivisible, interdependent, complementary and spiritual relationship.

* harmony and balance among all and with all things;
* complementarity, solidarity, and equality;
* collective well-being and the satisfaction of the basic necessities of all;
* people in harmony with nature;
* recognition of human beings for what they are, not what they own;
* elimination of all forms of colonialism, imperialism and interventionism;
* peace among the peoples and with Mother Earth.
The International Peasant Movement, La Via Campesina, will also attend; their message to the UN doesn’t mince words about the horrors of ‘green economics’ or ‘green capitalism’ masking as ‘Sustainability’. (also a great document, and so on), ending w/:

“You can read La Via Campesina’s righteous document here; it’s an awesome piece of work, and a heavy indictment of capitalism, monoculture, BigAg, transgenics, and issues a call to return to food production by indigenous agro-ecology.”

not similar: the same as your box quote, smile. but the bold in the final graph are srsly what opened my eyes totally to that evil nexus.

This Is What Indigenous Activism for Mother Earth Looks Like: The Shadow People’s Summit at Rio+20’, june 21, 2012

“The Teotihuacan, Bolivians (bearing their Cochabamba document), The International Peasant Movement (La Via Campesina), and other global Indigenous groups are in attendance, fighting against “The Carbon Cowboys” and other multinationals posing as ‘Eco-friendly’ pushing false notions of ‘sustainability’.

“It just knocks me out how well-organized, brilliant, wise and dedicated these folks are: they see right through these nefarious and false ‘solutions’ like bio-mass, bio-fuels, global hunger-by-transgenic crops, atmospheric carbon-trades that hide even worse eco-travesties, etc. They know mainly because the 1992 UN Sustainability Summit showed them the evil being done to the planet and its inconvenient inhabitants in a second major wave of Colonization. People have been caravanning to Rio all week, and some have constructed a Kara-Oca encampment, and are performing their prayer rituals and healing ceremonies, plus instructing people on their true eco-agricultural techniques and more. From their document:
“The institutionalization of Colonialism We see the goals of UNCSD Rio+20, the “Green Economy” and its premise that the world can only “save” nature by commodifying its life giving and life sustaining capacities as a continuation of the colonialism that Indigenous Peoples and our Mother Earth have faced and resisted for 520 years.

The “Green Economy” promises to eradicate poverty but in fact will only favor and respond to multinational enterprises and capitalism. It is a continuation of a global economy based upon fossil fuels, the destruction of the environment by exploiting nature through extractive industries such as mining, oil exploration and production, intensive mono-culture agriculture, and other capitalist investments. All of these efforts are directed toward profit and the accumulation of capital by the few.

Since Rio 1992, we as Indigenous Peoples see that colonization has become the very basis of the globalization of trade and the dominant capitalist global economy. The exploitation and plunder of the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as the violations of the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples that depend on them, have intensified. Our rights to self determination, to our own governance and own self-determined development, our inherent rights to our lands, territories and resources are increasingly and alarmingly under attack by the collaboration of governments and transnational corporations. Indigenous activists and leaders defending their territories continue to suffer repression, militarization, including assassination, imprisonment, harassment and vilification as “terrorists.”

that may be the one that discusses the evil of REDD 'green capitalism', OMG. but in the end, i doubt any UN condemnation, treatises, etc., against this newer evil will have any force whatsoever, even in terms of dangers and shall we say...ethics? cloning animals, creating in vitro human/other animal hybrids? does any one care what the rabble object to?

up
0 users have voted.

My kid was pretty excited when this was announce. This is the best quote I could find that sort of said what said.

“Genome editing started with just a few big labs putting in lots of effort, trying something 1,000 times for one or two successes,” says Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford. “Now it’s something that someone with a BS and a couple thousand dollars’ worth of equipment can do. What was impractical is now almost everyday. That’s a big deal.”

One of the scientists attempting to come up with ethical guidelines wouldn't even give examples of what he was afraid of, that he would not give voice to his fears and would take them to his grave. This seems J Robert Oppenheimer level stuff.

up
0 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@Snode  
and biotechnological “hacking” for years.

https://techonomy.com/conf/13-tucson/bio-techonomy/life-2-0/

https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcsbi/node/164.html

Perhaps surprisingly given his long association with the Sixties counterculture, Brand talks as if GMO in the industrial food supply chain has pretty much proven to be safe. On the other hand, not so surprising: he left that scene behind long ago, for projects such as the Global Business Network, a kind of public-private corporate think tank.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewart_Brand#Global_Business_Network

The idea is that sooner or later, you’re going to have smart kids in their parents’ garage disregarding rules and convention in order to experiment with biotech — the way the pioneers in the Bay Area’s Homebrew Computer Club and the MIT Model Railroading Club did in the early days of computers and programming.

up
0 users have voted.

@lotlizard I think they're most afraid of bioweaponry. In 2001 after 9/11, some one sent Anthrax through the mail and even though it was detected in everyplace the envelopes landed only a few people died. I think that's why Russia and the US gave up bioweapons, is because it didn't work the way they wanted it to. Now, all bets are off. China is way ahead of us and they only let us know what they want us to know. I don't think they, or many other countries are as hung up on ethics as we are.

up
0 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@Snode  
barriers to entry seem relatively low — non-state actors could easily get in on this.

Also, the 2001 anthrax business shows the great difficulties involved in tracking down even a very crude false flag bio-attack.

Media were running with the “Arab/Iraqi source” story for weeks and months — before it emerged that the strain involved could only have come from the U.S.’ own bioweapons research lab at Fort Detrick.

up
0 users have voted.

@Snode

Well the American people may have ethics, but The Psychopaths That Be certainly don't. And the concern for optics is dying along with any pretense of democracy - and the planet.

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

up
0 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
But then, I was irritated when I heard Jerry Rubin had settled down and become a “successful businessman,” too.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/jerry-rubin-countercultural-icon-inven...

And then I was just plain bewildered by the personal odyssey of Eldridge Cleaver.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/02/us/eldridge-cleaver-black-panther-who-...

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

and didn't barry melton (country joe and the fish) 'give me an F!' become a stock broker?

oh, the ironies.

up
0 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Snode

it all now? i hadn't known it could be done by computer tricks, if that's the implication. i'd thunk one still had to slide some new dna into a strand by hand, as it had been done in the old days.

i'd have to take issue with your 'not as many ethicists in other countries' compared to amerkia, though. a few, but they're the minority report from what i've read and experienced over the years.

up
0 users have voted.

@wendy davis I'm not the smart one in this family, but it was something that was on the horizon when he was in school, and read research papers about it. I don't think it's entirely automated, but don't quote me. It was something that when a gene was cut it initiates a repair, and this somehow altered the repair mechanism of the gene and made it easy to insert the material you wanted in there, with a high rate of success. It was more a "wow, they really did it, and it's going to be really easy to do"

up
0 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Snode

but it does sound far easier to jimmy with genetic modifications than ever before by all accounts.

up
0 users have voted.

@Snode

I remember how cool I thought it was back when I first heard advances in genetic science publicized, at least in mention - until I almost immediately discovered that the idiots had been releasing altered organisms into the environment in open-air experimental fields and had plans to release it into the freaking food supply, as was done far earlier than was admitted.

Any idiot could instantly see how insane this was, even just on the basis of any organism being released into a previously stable environment in which it'd had no niche, because we knew better such a very, very long time ago, due to consistently disastrous ecological/species results.

I'd had visions of scholarly experiments conducted in secure labs with interesting and enlightening results, of a pursuit of knowledge, an increase in biological understanding, of this being useful also in such as medical advance, especially the study of disease progression and identification of causal factors, etc., rather than the pursuit of profit and power at all cost by some. Silly me...

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

curses, red baron. i'd just had to keep on diggin' and had found:

‘Gene drives spread a trait through a population by ensuring that it is passed to virtually all of an individual’s offspring as it reproduces, rather than the usual half. In laboratory experiments, the desired change has appeared in nearly 100 percent of the offspring of flies and mosquitoes. So far, gene drive research has focused largely on mosquitoes that transmit infectious diseases to humans. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which helped pay for the N.A.S. report, has spent some $40 million on a gene drive project aimed at eradicating the species of mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Anthony James, a mosquito researcher at the University of California, Irvine, who is among those advocating the use of gene drive to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, called the report “reasonable.’’
“The key thing is there’s no moratorium,” he said.

But environmental watchdog groups argue that the report should have recommended that research be halted. Jim Thomas, the program director of the ETC Group in Montreal, said the panel gave short shrift to how to prevent commercial and military interests from misusing the technology, which he said should be placed under the control of the United Nations.
And Kevin Esvelt, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology evolutionary biologist who has also pioneered the technology, said the report failed to adequately flag its key risk. “They assume you can safely run a contained field trial,” he said. “But anytime you release an organism with a gene drive system into the wild you must assume there is a significant chance that it will spread — globally — and factor that in.” (ny times)

at about the same time: ‘Scientists Announce HGP-Write, Project to Synthesize the Human Genome’ on the right sidebar, NY times

not content, i'd bingled for 'monsanto and gene drives' and yes they have some cripsar patents, but not everything they'd wanted. but along the way i'd found: 'Gates Foundation Secretly Paid “Experts” to Manipulate UN Over Gene Drives’, independentscience news. org (foiad'ed emails)

now the link to the emails mean nuffin’ to me, but let’s assume they may have done their homework, okay? well, no...we shouldn’t assume, but i sure do hope so.

but toward the end: "Despite the public perception that conservation and public health are what motivates gene drive research, it is known that, besides the contribution of the Gates Foundation, most gene drive funding comes from the DARPA, the technology foresight arm of the US Dept of Defense."

w/ a link to DARPA's safe genes project. you betcha! cuz we're the Good Guys!

up
0 users have voted.