Exclusive: US clashed with Pope over GMOs & population growth


by Guest    
12:30 pm - December 22nd 2010

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contribution by Eamonn Dwyer

A secret diplomatic cable from Miguel Díaz, the US Ambassador to the Vatican, has revealed the US sees population growth as a major cause of climate change.

The dispatch, released by the whistleblower website Wikileaks, criticises the Vatican for arguing “unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries–and not population growth worldwide–is to blame for global warming.”

Diaz goes on to lament that ‘the Vatican will continue to oppose aggressive population control measures to fight hunger or global warming.’

The cable does not elaborate on what these ‘aggressive’ measures would be.

In a wide-ranging cable on the Pope’s views on the environment, Diaz offers a withering summary of the Vatican’s solution to climate change.

“The Pope’s proposal to curb environmental degradation is for people everywhere to reject excessive materialism and consumerism.”

Diaz notes that the Vatican is finding it increasingly difficult to avoid the population growth question.

“Until recently, Vatican officials often noted that the countries that released most of the greenhouse gases were not the world’s most populous. As China and India industrialize and release more greenhouse gases, however, the Vatican may find it more difficult to blame climate change on lifestyles only.”

The cable appears to be at odds with official US Government policy, which seeks to combat climate change through green energy, technology and carbon trading schemes. The reference to ‘aggressive population control measures’ is potentially embarrassing for the Obama administration, as 51% of Americans identify themselves as ‘pro-life‘.

The cable also reveals the US has been lobbying the Vatican to promote Genetically Modified Crops (GMOs).

While it believes the Vatican is ‘quietly supportive’ of GMOs, it attacks local church leaders for speaking out against them for ‘ideological reasons or ignorance’.

Revealing concerns about ‘global food security’, Diaz says the US ‘will continue to lobby the Vatican to speak up in favor of GMOs, in the hope that a louder voice in Rome will encourage individual Church leaders elsewhere to reconsider their critical views.’

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Reader comments


“The Pope’s proposal to curb environmental degradation is for people everywhere to reject excessive materialism and consumerism.”

Easy to say when you live in a building made almost entirely of gold and jewels.

[T]he Vatican will continue to oppose aggressive population control measures to fight hunger or global warming.

The Vatican is on the side of human rights and progress here. Sunny Hundal take note.

The cable does not elaborate on what these ‘aggressive’ measures would be.

It doesn’t need to. Informed persons should be well aware of what population control programs involve.

The reference to ‘aggressive population control measures’ is potentially embarrassing for the Obama administration, as 51% of Americans identify themselves as ‘pro-life‘.

There is nothing espcially revelatory in this; one of President Obama’s first actions on taking office was to restore funding to UNFPA.

At least the Pope isn’t breeding (as far as we know).

Yet another Wikileaks revelation that shakes the foundations of western civilisation…

@1 “The Pope’s proposal to curb environmental degradation is for people everywhere to reject excessive materialism and consumerism.”

I can’t stand the Pope and I take your point about the hypocrisy but this is undeniably good advice.

@1

That same palace has been recycled by centuries of popes.

It has nothinjg to do with the problem, which is people buying and disposing of tons of junk.

Addressing that would be preferable to the pursuit of some sort of Malthusian cull.

OK. So this is the first time that I have seen using contraception described as ‘aggresive population control’ (please avoid any obvious, Franky Boyle-style jokes here…). I assume the aggression would be in promotion of use? In which case, perhaps someone needs to point out the rise in living standards normally associated with smaller family sizes is generally seen as cause not consequence (but I have no scientific data for that).

Chervil – quite where did anyone suggest anything Malthusian?

@7

I had the same initial reaction but I’m guessing “aggresive population control” means abortion as opposed to hormonal or barrier methods of contraception.

(I’m not debating the rights or wrongs of abortion but just pointing out that if someone sees the foetus as a viable living being then termination of pregnancy would be described as aggressive.)

@7 @8

I could be wrong. The full quotation doesn’t give much more information:

¶5. (U) Comment: The Vatican is publicly stressing in various
fora the need to care for the environment in the run-up to the
Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. Pope Benedict places caring
for the environment (“the creation”) as a central social,
economic and moral issue to his papacy. The Pope’s proposal to
curb environmental degradation is for people everywhere to
reject excessive materialism and consumerism. In the Vatican’s
view, unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries–and not
population growth worldwide–is to blame for global warming.
Vatican officials claim that the planet has the capacity to feed
and sustain its expanding population, provided resources are
properly distributed and waste controlled. Until recently,
Vatican officials often noted that the countries that released
most of the greenhouse gases were not the world’s most populous.
As China and India industrialize and release more greenhouse
gases, however, the Vatican may find it more difficult to blame
climate change on lifestyles only. Even as this happens,
however, the Vatican will continue to oppose aggressive
population control measures to fight hunger or global warming.

Googling for the expression brings up a few more results that suggest that “aggressive population control measures” might refer to insisting on compulsory sterilization as a condition for aid which is far more sinister.

I had the same initial reaction but I’m guessing “aggresive population control” means abortion as opposed to hormonal or barrier methods of contraception.

Why, exactly? You might as well guess that “aggresive population control” means Logan’s Run style euthanasia at the age of 30…

As to the wider issues, I like to think of myself as smart enough to be able to cope with two different concepts at the same time… Perhaps it’s both population growth and “unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries”?

It’s also worth bearing in mind that much of the emissions growth in China and India is because of their role in manufacturing the goods which support those “unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries”… I’ve long argued that carbon accounting should assign the costs to the end users, rather than producers or intermediaries. If I contract someone to perform a service on my behalf, any emissions resulting from that should be considered my responsibility.

@10 You’re quite right. I think there’s something wrong with my palm flower but it won’t stop me going to Carousel this evening… ;)

And you’re also quite right that one can agree with the Pope that the current dominant system of consumer capitalism is unsustainable for the planet and disagree with him on the need for wider sex education and access to contraception, etc.

If I contract someone to perform a service on my behalf, any emissions resulting from that should be considered my responsibility.

That’s a very good point. I’d also like to see the principle extended to criminal responsibility if I contract manufacturing to a company that uses child or slave labour.

“The Pope’s proposal to curb environmental degradation is for people everywhere to reject excessive materialism and consumerism.”

Given that that is the basis of Caroline Lucas’ politics…..

Anyway, arguing over contraception isn’t the way reduce population growth. It’s well known that contraceptive availability only influences some 10% of changes in actual fertility. For it is desired fertility which changes the outcome much more than the contraception. Partly for the obvious reason that you have to want to limit your fertility in order to actually use contraceptives but also because there are plenty of ways of having sex that don’t lead to conception.

Strangely, it’s actually wealth which is the biggest influence upon desired fertility. Which makes both the Pope and the Yanks wrong here. As in every advanced industrial society: we’re all at (absent immigration) below replacement rates of fertility.

Can’t believe I’m siding with the pope: he is right – the core problem is unsustainable consumption by the wealthiest top few hundred million.

Here’s the equation:

* the problem = consumption x population

We cannot make any meaningful change in global population in the timespan required – short of nuclear war or releasing a virus that kills billions (starting with the wealthiest). We are committed to ~9 billion in 2050 and then stabilisation (UN report).

That just leaves consumption as solution – and look at who wants to ignore this in preference for talking about population (which has no solution)… the country with the most gluttonous consumption.

Re. GMO crops:

Not needed, not wanted by the vast majority of the public and just another tool for corporations and one country in particular to control the planet’s entire food chain.

Re. global warming:

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that the United States will lead the world into catastrophic global warming over the next twenty five years, with “…rapid sea level rise, extreme famine, desertification, and ecological collapse on land and sea.” – http://www.grist.org/article/2010-12-21-eia-projects-climate-catastrophe

Is it absolutely necessary to put “Exclusive” before everything that no one else has reported?

‘Why, exactly? You might as well guess that “aggresive population control” means Logan’s Run style euthanasia at the age of 30…’

21 in the far superior novel…

Anyway, population growth and massive consumption in the developed/developing world threatens the environment but there’s little one can do about the former without awful, authoritarian measures no one worth their brains would trust governments to implement.

I agree with the Pope. Kill me now.

Thanks you wikileaks. Your leader may be suspect but we live in a free Market! :-)

There is nothing espcially revelatory in this; one of President Obama’s first actions on taking office was to restore funding to UNFPA.

Another of his early actions was to appoint John Holdren as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The last time that Malthusians were fashionable, in the 1970s, Holdren wrote a book advocating forced abortion, mass sterilization and eugenics.

The last time that Malthusians were fashionable, in the 1970s, Holdren wrote a book advocating forced abortion, mass sterilization and eugenics.

No he didn’t. There’s a difference between discussing an option and advocating an option. To quote Paul Ehrlich (who was actually the lead author of the book in question, not Holdren): “We were not then, never have been, and are not now ‘advocates’ of the Draconian measures for population limitation described—but not recommended—in the book’s 60-plus small-type pages cataloging the full spectrum of population policies that, at the time, had either been tried in some country or analyzed by some commentator.”

Bluerock,

Re. GMO crops:

Not needed, not wanted by the vast majority of the public and just another tool for corporations and one country in particular to control the planet’s entire food chain.

Your grip on science and reality is at its normal level I see. Perhaps you need reminding that the only reason that there is not huge levels of famine in the developing world is the development of more reliable (i.e. genetically modified) foodstuffs over the last few thousand years since humanity started agriculture.

If we can naturally produce more food from the same resources (which is the point of GM crops) then actual consumption – the resources required to produce the amount of food – stays constant whilst the yield rises. Surely this should suit a green agenda. It should certainly suit an agenda of social justice, since increased yields mean less people have to work on the land, allowing more people to get education, less people to be forced to be peasants etc. Unless you actually believe a feudal society with most people forced to work on the land in order to survive is an ideal?

@20. Watchman

No surprise that you are as confused and misinformed about GMO issues as you are climate science. It’s kind of odd: ACC deniers, like yourself, are almost always similarly in denial about the reality of GMO crops. And nuclear. I call it ‘The Idiot’s Triumvirate’.

> …the only reason that there is not huge levels of famine in the developing world is the development of more reliable (i.e. genetically modified) foodstuffs

- Genetically engineered corn and soybeans in the United States for more than a decade has had little impact on crop yields despite claims that they could ease looming food shortages. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g53DoblG25y7O5t4KPsuzYyxMd6Q

- Failure to yield. The promise of higher yields from GM crops has proven to be empty. http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/science/failure-to-yield.html

- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study concludes. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050714004407.htm

> …over the last few thousand years since humanity started agriculture.

Ah, you’re completely clueless about what GMO is and that we have only had the technology for a few decades. Primer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_breeding + http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_modification

And a clue: you cannot put fish genes in to tomatoes by ‘traditional’ plant breeding no matter how long you do it.

> It should certainly suit an agenda of social justice…

Corporate control of the entire food chain and making people dependent on buying seeds and Roundup from Monsanto every year is moving in the opposite direction to “social justice”. Why would that need explaining to you?

> …since increased yields…

The reality – as shown above – is that there are not increased yields. You’ve just been fooled by the GMO propaganda.

In fact, you seem to be fooled by every bit of corporate propaganda that floats past you. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot

Just for the sake of balance, I’d like to point out that not all “greens” share a blanket opposition to GMOs. I started out very sceptical, but as I’ve learned more about the topic, I have revised my opinion. I still think we should be cautious and approach GMOs on a case-by-case basis, but I’m absolutely convinced that the technology has the potential to be highly beneficial if used appropriately, and that it is already making a positive impact in many ways.

It’s also untrue that GMOs are necessarily controlled by corporations. Developing a new GMO strain is actually cheaper than developing a new strain through conventional breeding techniques, and there are already cases where true-breeding GMO strains have been developed entirely by non-profit groups and then released under royalty-free licenses. Corporate control of the food system is an entirely separate issue, and one which has been around a lot longer than GMOs.

@22. Dunc

> …not all “greens” share a blanket opposition to GMOs.

Note that I never stated a blanket opposition to GMOs – only to GMO food crops.

> I started out very sceptical, but as I’ve learned more about the topic, I have revised my opinion.

I started out neutral. The more I learn about the subject, the more damning the case against GMO crops becomes.

> …the technology has the potential to be highly beneficial if used appropriately

That’s what Monsanto, et al keep telling us. Any day now….

> …it is already making a positive impact in many ways.

Examples? Here’s a couple of counter examples:

- Scientists call for GM review after surge in pests around cotton farms in China. Farmland struck by infestations of bugs following widespread adoption of Bt cotton made by biotech giant Monsanto. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/13/gm-crops-pests-cotton-china

- The rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds and more chemical residues in foods. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5AG0QY20091117

> It’s also untrue that GMOs are necessarily controlled by corporations.

And yet that is the reality. Monsanto controls ~90% of the global GMO market – with DuPont and a few others taking the rest.

> …there are already cases where true-breeding GMO strains have been developed entirely by non-profit groups and then released under royalty-free licenses.

Examples?

> Corporate control of the food system is an entirely separate issue, and one which has been around a lot longer than GMOs.

Farmers can save, exchange, gift and replant ‘normal’ seeds. GMO seeds with their patents take away that right and has been used to extort and push out small and poor farmers.

Patented GM crops are bad. Kill-switch / activator GM crops are bad.

I think the most important part of Dunc’s post is “approach GMOs on a case-by-case basis”

The blanket anti-GM hysteria the likes of greenpeace throw out is unhelpful – it’s delayed evaluation of golden rice for years (I mean actual evaluation, not “wave it through, regulators, here’s some cash”).

*waits patiently for meat grown in a vat to become viable*

Vegetarian cow!

GMO seeds with their patents take away that right

No, because GMOs are not necessarily patented. The biggest reason people don’t save seed is that it’s more hassle than they can be bothered with and they’d rather somebody else deals with it, and the second biggest is the popularity of F1 hybrid crops, which are not GMO in the conventional sense and have been around since the ’30s at least. F1 hybrids are popular with farmers because of their reliability and consistency, in addition to improved pest and disease resistance. If you imagine that farmers were happily saving seed in significant quantities prior to the introduction of GMOs, you simply haven’t got a fucking clue what you’re talking about.

The best example I have to hand of a GMO developed by non-profits and released for free is the drought-tolerant rice developed by the International Rice Research Institute. Other beneficial effects from GMOs include the dramatic reduction in pesticide use from the deployment of Bt crops. Yes, many people claiming the opposite, but they don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between pesticides and herbicides, which should tell you how seriously to take them. But then you apparently don’t know the difference either, nor do you seem to know what F1 hybrids are and why they’re popular, which is on the “tying your own shoelaces” level of knowledge in agriculture… I mean, your two claimed counter-examples contradict each other – one is about an increase in pests following a reduction in pesticide use (which is surely a good thing – the reduction in pesticide use, I mean) and the other claims that GMOs increase pesticide use by redefining herbicides as pesticides. Which is it?

Now, if you want to argue that the likes of Monsanto and Cargill have monopoly positions which distort the market to the detriment of everybody else involved, and that they should be broken up or otherwise restricted, you’ll get absolutely no argument from me – but it’s got nothing to do with the technology of GMOs. I’m also perfectly happy to accept that glyphosate-tolerance is a bad idea (because it increases herbicide use), which is why I said that GMOs should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

@24: Sorry, that should be “flood-tolerant rice”, rather than “drought-tolerant”.

@25. Dunc

> …GMOs are not necessarily patented.

But the reality it is – again – that they are.

> The biggest reason people don’t save seed is that it’s more hassle than they can be bothered

Sure. It’s a big “hassle” for peasant farmers to save the seed they need to survive next year.

> …F1 hybrid crops, which are not GMO in the conventional sense…

They are not GMO at all in the sense that we are discussing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_engineering

> If you imagine that farmers were happily saving seed in significant quantities prior to the introduction of GMOs, you simply haven’t got a fucking clue what you’re talking about.

Really? Prior to the commercial appearance of GMO crops in the 1990s farmers did not save seeds for the following year? Who doesn’t have “a fucking clue”?!

> …drought-tolerant rice developed by the International Rice Research Institute.

Excellent. Seemingly there is one example – let’s hope no major detrimental effects appear as it is deployed.

> Other beneficial effects from GMOs include the dramatic reduction in pesticide use from the deployment of Bt crops.

You’ve simply contradicted without evidence a credible source that shows your claim is false. I’ll take the credible cite over your opinion.

I can see from the rest of your diatribe that you’re typical of the type who turn up to defend GMOs – quick to anger, lots of dumb rhetoric, failure to respond to evidence, lots of strawmen and insults.

For someone who claims to have “started out very sceptical”, you certainly appear very emotionally tied to defending GMOs. I see that a lot in this ‘debate’ – hysterically angry people who act as though their salary depends on it. ;)

Really? Prior to the commercial appearance of GMO crops in the 1990s farmers did not save seeds for the following year?

Not in commercial agriculture, no. Really, they didn’t – they bought them from seed companies. That’s how the seed companies got established in the first place.

You’ve simply contradicted without evidence a credible source that shows your claim is false. I’ll take the credible cite over your opinion.

No, the first cite you provided states the exact opposite: that numbers of non-target pests are increasing because of reduced pesticide use. Didn’t you even read your own cites? Allow me to quote from the article:

“Traditional cotton famersv [sic] have to spray their crops with insecticides to combat destructive bollworm pests, but Bt cotton produces its own insecticide, meaning farmers can save money by spraying it less.

But a 10-year study across six major cotton-growing regions of China found that by spraying their crops less, farmers allowed mirid bugs to thrive and infest their own and neighbouring farms.”

Now, this certainly shows the need for an improved, integrated approach to pest management (of which GMOs could be part), but it’s very clear that this is a result of reduced pesticide use.

I can see from the rest of your diatribe that you’re typical of the type who turn up to defend GMOs – quick to anger, lots of dumb rhetoric, failure to respond to evidence, lots of strawmen and insults.

For someone who claims to have “started out very sceptical”, you certainly appear very emotionally tied to defending GMOs. I see that a lot in this ‘debate’ – hysterically angry people who act as though their salary depends on it.

Oh, really… Have we reached this stage of the argument already? Well, I guess there’s no point continuing then, is there?

It is amazing to see the information being released about certain governments and entities like the Vatican from the Wikileaks… leak. It goes to show that the Vatican and the Pope are trying to stay ahead of the curve. There are plenty of secrets and stories about the vatican, the environment, and the mob. I’ve done plenty of research on it!

@28. Dunc

> Oh, really… Have we reached this stage of the argument already? Well, I guess there’s no point continuing then, is there?

I like the pompous condescension and the act of being offended by lack of good faith and civility from someone who just a few minutes earlier offered up:

> …you simply haven’t got a fucking clue what you’re talking about.

Thanks for your further evidence-free opinion. I’ll give it all the consideration it is due.

To be fair, “your citation contradicts your assertion” is actually evidence in favour of the opinion that you “don’t have a clue what you’re talking about”, BlueRock. So characterising it as an evidence-free opinion without addressing that point of evidence isn’t particularly compelling of you.

Just saying…

@31. Nick

Hi,

Still stinging over your inability to prove the Green Party are “anti-science”? ;)

Nope. You’re confusing the opinion and ‘unique’ interpretation of someone called ‘Dunc’ with a compelling, evidence-based argument. They’re not the same things.

> Just saying…

Indeed you are.

See, you’re still failing to address the point made by the person. Just as with the previous debate, which you seem to enjoy returning to without actually addressing any of those points either. Dont’ forget you still need to reconcile – what was it – 68 and 94?

Amazing that the green party are actually more anti-science than the pope in this particular area. That’s not a good place to be at.

On the bright side, my encounters with you have encouraged me to start developing a whole new field of assessing the health and worth of debates – I’m calling it “meta-debate analysis”. We’re engaging in a metadebate right now, you see, and it’s my working hypothesis that the more a debate consists of metadebate, the less constructive, worthwhile and useful that debate is.

Well, if the evidence you yourself provided isn’t good enough for you… Lets look at some actual scientific literature rather than newspaper reports:

A GM subsistence crop in Africa: the case of Bt white maize in South Africa

Five years of Bt cotton in China – the benefits continue

Benefits from Bt Cotton Use by Smallholder Farmers in South Africa

Environmental benefits of genetically modified crops: global and European perspectives on their ability to reduce pesticide use

Achieving successful deployment of Bt rice

Bt cotton, pesticides, labour and health: A case study of smallholder farmers in the Makhathini Flats, Republic of South Africa

And so forth… Plenty more where those came from.

(Full disclosure: I am a fully-paid up member of the Scottish Green Party and have been for many years. We’re not all anti-science, despite the best efforts of some to portray us as such. ;))

@33. Nick

It’s heartening to see you trying to defend other people – but you’d be better served trying to defend your own weak position.

You failed absolutely to provide any evidence that the Green Party is “anti-science”. You simply conflated your opinion based on low-ish moral and ethical standards with unassailable fact. And, of course, you lied about my position.

Feel free to introduce new evidence any time you find some.

Dunc – myself and BlueRock had, a while ago, agreed that the green party policy on xenotransplantation was anti-science¹, but later withdrew that agreement without explanation – hence the sparring.

I’m actually quite in favour of huge tranches of green party policy (although I have no clue whatsoever of how realistic the economic & social stuff is, I guess aspirations are good). In terms of GM specifically, they seem to be coming around slowly – at least, there’s less wild-eyed hysteria among their representatives when the topic’s mentioned ;).

If they keep improving in the Science(tm) stakes, I might even help my Green PPC to keep his deposit in 2015.

Going back to the original topic, I wonder if we’d get an honest answer – or any answer at all – from asking the US exactly what they meant by “aggressive population control”. To me, it speaks strongly of negative (i.e. forced) eugenics – which is a bit of a nightmare scenario :/

¹ As long as you don’t hold a moral position that using animals as organ farms is somehow worse than using them as meat farms, anyway. If you do hold that position, their policy is not anti-science.

@34. Dunc

> …if the evidence you yourself provided isn’t good enough for you…

No, *your* twisted interpretation of it is not good enough. Keep up!

Of course, you can find some studies that suggest benefits in some areas with some crops. I am not disputing that. You can point to as many supposed benefits as you like but they do not magic away the detrimental traits of GMO. Your tactic is similar to defending the Nazis by demonstrating their road-building and train-operating abilities!

The reality remains that there is wide-ranging evidence for the detrimental effects – both environmental and societal – from GMO crops and for their failure to deliver on promised benefits.

And, of course, not all the world’s wisdom is contained in peer-reviewed papers. You would be curiously ignorant if all you relied on was that!

- Twelve years of GM soya in Argentina – a disaster for people and the environment: http://www.grain.org/seedling/?id=578

- In a study by Scientists at the University of Arkansas published in 2010 showed that about 83 percent of wild or weedy canola they tested contained genetically modified herbicide resistance genes, and they also found some plants that contained resistance to both herbicides, a combination of transgenic traits that had not been developed in canola crops. That leads us to believe that these wild populations that contain modified genes have become established populations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food#Economic_and_environmental_effects

- Glyphosate-based herbicides (Roundup – GMO promotes increased use) shown to produce severe malformations in frog embryos. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749

- Indians Abandon ‘Green Revolution’, Embrace Organic Revolution. More and more fertilizer and pesticide was needed to grow the same amount of crops. “I realized the vicious circle in which we were stuck.” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104708731

So, not only does GMO cause harm it also consistently fails to deliver on its promised benefits. And we don’t need it. And people overwhelmingly do not want it. The only people who really want it are the GMO corporations, their pet politicians and a suspiciously determined contingent on the internet….

@37. Nick

> …myself and BlueRock had, a while ago, agreed that the green party policy on xenotransplantation was anti-science¹, but later withdrew that agreement without explanation…

You are a liar. I have corrected you several times but you continue to lie.

What’s the matter? Furious that you could not win the argument so you’re having a temper tantrum now?

No, I think that quote is an accurate statement of the facts as they happened. You’re welcome to actually reconcile 68 and 94 and show how my assessment of the situation is incorrect, though.

Characterising it as a lie is incorrect since I do genuinely believe that my statement is an accurate summary of the events and positions in question. At worst, ’tis a misunderstanding – but I continue to think it’s accurate.

Indeed, you allude to it 36 here when you say – ‘You simply conflated your opinion based on low-ish moral and ethical standards with unassailable fact’

My position was never that “the green party are anti-science” was an unassailable fact, but rather, that it was a position based on a moral judgement, which is necessarily not a matter of facts.

My morals on this are no worse than the morality of eating meat generally (an assertion you failed to address /completely/ in the original discussion, just as you failed to address the moral relativism aspect) – whether that makes them “low-ish” or not is really a matter of taste (haha).

@40. Nick

You’ve said nothing new that I haven’t responded to before. Your best bet is to provide some evidence for your assertion – or you can keep lying about what I have said. Whichever you think will work best. ;)

If you have said it before, a simple URL will do, but I’m sure you’ve not – as your continuing mischaracterisation of my own position shows.

We’re deep into metadebate here, anyway.

@42. Nick

If you didn’t understand it first time *and* you cannot find go back and find it yourself, you’re probably out of your depth. Soz!

Not at all, I carefully read everything you wrote the first time around and I’m confident in my summary of our respective positions that I provided above.

What’s missing now – and what was missing then – was some action from you to move the debate forward. Instead, you chose to ignore salient points and focus on metadebate instead. Which is ultimately dull.

As I said previously, if you still feel I’m misrepresenting your position, and you’re not prepared to move it on at all, your only remaining option with teeth is to file a libel suit or some such. Have fun with that.

@44. Nick

And yet you repeatedly lie about my position. Funny that.

You spot the going around in circles part yet?

We agreed in ?68?-on-the-first-thread that my position that the green party was anti-science was justified, given my moral code. That is all I have ever represented your position as – including the “this anti-science position that me and BlueRock agree they have” comment that you got so het up about (but failed to indicate why you were so het up). And every time you assert otherwise, I will contradict you.

Let me know if you need an address to send legal papers to.

@46. Nick

So, in summary: not a shred of evidence that the Green Party are “anti-science”. Yeah, that’s what we established multiple times before.

Yes, we established that whether or not you view them as anti-science depends on your moral code.

Are you willing to put your signature against that and draw a line under this frankly boring conflict yet?

@48. Nick

As before, *you* can label anything or anyone “anti-science” because you do not like where they draw the moral / ethical line… but be clear that it does *not* make them anti-science.

As I always said, it makes them anti-science in my opinion. That’s exactly what I’m saying now, what I said before, and originally. Can you finally agree?

@50. Nick

You have my permission to offer your opinion that anything or anyone is “anti-science” if you don’t agree with their moral and ethical standards.

@38:

Your tactic is similar to defending the Nazis by demonstrating their road-building and train-operating abilities!

You really went there? For fuck’s sake…

Now, as to your examples of the problems… Yes, there are problems, certainly. I’ve not attempted to deny that at all. However, all of the problems you’ve cited (except the last) are related to glyphosate resistance, which I’ve already (at #25) said I think is a bad idea. (Perhaps I didn’t emphasise that enough: I think it’s an absolutely terrible idea.) And the last article you’ve cited isn’t actually about GMOs at all, but rather about chemical agriculture, which we haven’t really talked about at all so far, and is a whole other very complex subject. (Generally, I’m in very much favour of “organic” approaches, but there are a lot of subtle problems around the question of what exactly you define as “organic”.)

The point that I’m trying to make, and which you seem consistently unable to grasp, is that seeing things in terms of pro- or anti-GMO is far too simplistic. There are good applications of the technology and bad applications, and most of the bad applications result from deeper and more fundamental systemic problems in our agricultural systems. By focusing so much on GMOs you’re actually overlooking the most fundamental problems, which arise not from any given agricultural technology, but from profound economic injustices. The problems of proprietary lock-in, increasing inputs, unexpected ecological impacts and so forth, all already existed in spades before the development of GMOs.

Now, if you want to claim that the Green Revolution was an unmitigated disaster, that’s up to you, but you’ve got a tough argument to make. Personally, I would hope that we can recognise that it was neither entirely good nor entirely bad, and try and figure out which bits are worth keeping and whether we can come up with some way of having more of the good bits and less of the bad bits.

@52. Dunc

You’re writing a lot but not actually offering any evidence or rebuttal to what I have provided: GMO crops cause damage to environment and society; GMO crops do not deliver on promises; GMO crops are not wanted by the majority of people; GMO crops are not needed to feed the planet.

We’re already wiping out species at 100 to 1000 times the background rate – introducing plants that further eradicate ‘pests’ and ‘weeds’ is not the solution.

If we want a sterile planet that supports nothing but food crops, humans, flies, mosquitoes and jellyfish, GMO is the way to go.

@53: Do you have some sort of reading comprehension problem? I have offered evidence in the form of peer-reviewed scientific studies, I have clearly shown that several of the newspaper reports you’ve provided don’t actually say what you seem to think they say, and I’ve tried to provide a nuanced assessment of the pros and cons of several distinctly different applications of GM technology. You’ve offered simplistic soundbites and insults, and completely refused to actually engage at all with any of my arguments. I see no point in continuing with this.

It’s less about permission and more about delineating the boundaries of each other’s arguments appropriately, silly.

Of course, you never addressed the contention that your greens-aren’t-anti-science position is based on opinion in exactly the same way that my greens-are-anti-science position, so by pouring scorn on the basis of my viewpoint, you don’t do yourself any favours. But I’m glad we’re finally able to agree on the delineation of these arguments. It’s like progress, or something.

@54. Dunc

> Do you have some sort of reading comprehension problem?

See, when you ask that of someone who has demonstrated – at minimum – competent English, you make yourself look like a bit of a twat.

You’ve failed to refute the evidence presented against GMO. You’ve simply declared that you’re right. Not interesting, not persuasive.

P.S. The longer this goes on and the more ‘excited’ you become, the less your claim that “I started out very sceptical, but as I’ve learned more about the topic, I have revised my opinion.” seems credible.

I’ve been ‘debating’ GMO shills and ‘useful idiots’ for a year or so now. The script is always the same – and you appear to be working your way through it.

@55. Nick

> It’s less about permission…

So why are you so desperate to seek mine? I grant you whatever opinion you choose.

If, in the future, you find a scrap of evidence that the Green Party are “anti-science”, feel free to present it. Until then, I’d suggest that you abstain from the lies and sophistry that has marked your ‘argument’ so far. :)

You – again – failed to respond to the point that your “green party are not anti-science” position is grounded in exactly the same reasoning as my “green party are anti-science” position.

I think you’re just incapable of being graceful in defeat.

If we want a sterile planet that supports nothing but food crops, humans, flies, mosquitoes and jellyfish, GMO is the way to go.

Come on then, BlueRock: show me the evidence that a program of genetically modified organisms will lead to a “sterile planet”. Not that some applications have been harmful or reductive; that the notion is, per se, destructive and ultimately useless.

@58. Nick

I’ve given you permission to express your opinion. What more do you want? Why is my approval so important to you?!

Do I need to get a restraining order?

@59. BenSix

> …show me the evidence that a program of genetically modified organisms will lead to a “sterile planet”.

[sigh] In every thread a pissant crawls out to argue from dumb literalism. Of course I am not suggesting the planet will really turn sterile any time in the foreseeable future – I was just using obvious hyperbole to make a point.

As already discussed, you’d have recourse to a libel suit if your stated view of my statements and behaviour were accurate (they’re not). Restraining orders are used to protect against harrassment, physical violence, that kind of thing – and I’ve not done any of those to you. Indeed, you’re the one who keeps bringing the subject back up, not me – I’m just defending my position when challenged.

And you still failed to address the point. Let’s try laying it out differently:

The “shred of evidence” you so frequently demand showing that “the greens are anti-science” is the Green party policy on xenotransplantation.

We have agreed that whether this evidence is admissible depends on a moral judgement on the ethics of xentransplantation. “Opinion”, as you characterise it, e.g. in 49 here, or 68 previously. If you’re going to change your mind on this point *again* (like you did in 94), please submit a detailed explanation of why you differ now. Your previous mind-changes have just looked like flip-flopping for no apparent reason.

I have previously submitted (but you have never addressed) that the ethics (“opinion” in your parlance) that make opposing research into xenotransplantation anti-science are no worse in terms of animal rights than ethics that permit omnivory (NB: I’m not saying all omnivores are pro-xenotransplantation here).

I’ll say it again: The interpretation of the submitted evidence to the proposition depends on a moral judgement. Which is necessarily subjective and unscientific itself – whoever makes it. Me *or* you. Your position requires an approach to animal rights a vegetarian wouldn’t find unreasonable; mine requires an approach to animal rights that an omnivore wouldn’t find unreasonable. Neither moral position is obviously, or objectively better than the other. One outnumbers the other significantly, but argument from numerial superiority is weak at best.

All this gives us a number statements which can be considered true:

(pro-xenotransplantation-research person) : “The greens are too anti-science for me”

(anti-xenotransplantation-research person) : “The greens are not too anti-science for me”

Phrased better, “My moral code leads me to judge the green party as anti-science” or “My moral code leads me to judge the green party as not anti-science”. It’s important to note that these two are orthogonal.

Here are some untrue statements, given the current state of our ‘debate’:

“The greens are anti-science.”
“The greens are not anti-science.”

For either of these two statements to be true (and only one of them can be true, unlike our current crop of true statements where both can be – and indeed are – true), we would need to take the appropriate subjective morality-based argument and substitute it for an objective science-based argument.

Now let’s remind ourselves of our positions:

Me: “The green party are too anti-science for me”
You: “Greens are not anti-science.”

(metadebate:) Despite agreeing with me in principle, you don’t want to back down from your absolute stance to adopt the (justified) relative stance – despite agreeing with me in principle – because your debate style doesn’t lend itself to that kind of backing down – it results in a loss of face. That’s a problem with your debating style, not my argument, and maybe something you should address in the future. Or not.

If you want to continue to state “the greens are not anti-science.” (note the full-stop there), you either need to build that aforementioned objective argument about the morality, or do as you’ve previously done – pick on some tangential, unimportant or semantic point and run with it for a few posts, then re-assert your unjustified position a few posts – or threads – later, when you think I won’t notice that you’ve dodged the argument. If you do it this time, I’ll just refer you back to this paragraph.

Here’s what you’re actually saying at the moment, caricatured:

“The greens aren’t anti-science. Well. If you happen to think xenotransplantation research can be justified (you horrible person) then of course they’ll seem anti-science to you, since they’re opposing scientific research that you think is justified, but you’re wrong! Because your morality is wrong! And I’m right! Because my morality is right! Despite our two moralities having equal weight! Except my morality has more because, um, erm, it’s mine!”

@62. Nick

Again, you’ve introduced nothing new. No evidence to salvage your failed assertion.

You still have my permission to call anyone or anything “anti-science” because you don’t like where they draw the moral and ethical line. Good luck with it.

Indeed, all, I’ve done is restated my position and highlighted the areas you’ve failed to address. I also said:

“you either need to build that aforementioned objective argument about the morality, or do as you’ve previously done – pick on some tangential, unimportant or semantic point and run with it for a few posts…”

I’ve highlighted the areas in which we agree and disagree, and where that leaves our respective assertions. The assertion I have made is well-supported by the previous post, and stating that it isn’t is empty unless you actually address why. As I’ve previously said, stating you already have addressed the point won’t cut it without – at a minimum – a link to that address. Because I genuinely haven’t seen it yet, despite carefully reading your every response.

@64. Nick

Cutting through the sophistry and semantics, the core fact is you have failed to provide any evidence that the Green Party are inherently “anti-science” – you just have a lower standard of morals and ethics. That’s fine – it’s a free society.

We’ve always had some people advancing society’s ethics and morals, while others want to remain in the past – badger baiting, cock fighting, unrestrained experimentation on any animal or now your belief that it’s AOK to “glue primates heads to posts, saw off the top of their skulls, then poke around while providing stimuli to them.” You think it’s justified, some of us think it’s barbaric and indefensible.

And, of course, the problem is that you’ve conflated your opinion based on your lower morals and ethics with a compelling argument. They are not the same things – no matter how highly you think of yourself.

I see my summation of your argument at the end of my post-2 is accurate, then.

Earlier in that same post, i explained why your moral position is neither better supported or objectively right, compared to mine. I also ecxplained why the policy on xenotransplantation is the evidence you keep asserting I have not provided (the vivisection bit is another one, of course, but I only need one and xenotransplantation is an easier target).

Society’s morals are overwhelming supportive of omnivory (you still haven’t addressed that element), but like I said argument from numerical superiority is poor.

No sophistry – no semantics.The relative position I have adopted is supported by the evidence I provided. The absolute position you have adopted is contrary to tnat evidence, and depends on an unsupported assertion of moral superiority.

I you think that moral superiority is self-evident, well, good for you. It still rests on you to demonstrate it (and incidentally convert myself and the rest of the british isles to vegetarianism in the process) though.

@66. Nick

You’re not helping your argument or your already low credibility by conflating vegetarianism with your belief that it’s AOK to “glue primates heads to posts, saw off the top of their skulls, then poke around while providing stimuli to them.”

I already responded to the xenotransplantation issue. Go back and read again if you’re not sure why you failed with that point.

If you find any compelling evidence for your assertion, please be sure to put it up for inspection.

I’m not sure how I conflated vegetarianism with vivisection. We’re talking about xenotransplantation at the moment – precisely because it’s an easy target. As I said.

I’ve not seen any proposal that xenotransplantation is wrong in the absolute-morality sense that would be required to upgrade your viewpoint from “my moral viewpoint leads me to conclude that the greens are not anti-science” to “the greens are not anti-science”. I’ve seen plenty of assertions that your moral viewpoint is superior, but nothing addressing the orthogonality of our moral standpoints, or my submission that being pro-xenotransplantation doesn’t require a worse attitude to animal rights than being an omnivore does.

As I said earlier, if you think that is incorrect, you need to link to it, not airily state that you’ve already covered it. Because you haven’t. “My moral viewpoint is mine, and therefore it is right” is a fail.

I stand by my earlier assessment – you simply can’t bear to admit that you’re wrong, since it would require you to do as I am doing and precede your “the green party are not anti-science!” remarks with “according to my morals ()”

And that would be a climb-down for you, which you absolutely cannot bear.

@68. Nick

There appear to be a lot of things you’re not sure about. Maybe go away and reflect on that – along with your failure to provide any evidence to support your accusation?

(metadebate:) the basis for my accusation is your simple refusal to address the relative-vs-absolute-morality point we’ve managed to boil this down to together.

Thing is, we’re actually in agreement now. We have been for quite a while. All that remains is your refusal to admit that – or show that research into xenotransplantation is not moral by some standard that is more binding than subjective, personal morality. Until you do that, your position that “the greens are not anti-science” is just as much based in opinon (ethics) as my position.

The difference between myself and you at this point is that – as throughout this debate – I make the fact that it is based on a subjective moral point (“opinion”) clear, while you do not.

The onus is on you to advance this again. Until you develop it in one direction or another, all I can do is continue to restate my position every time you state yours, or misrepresent mine.

@70. Nick

Sure, but you’ve demonstrated that you are dishonest and you keep failing to do the one thing that would help you salvage something from this ‘debate’: provide a scrap of evidence for your accusation.

I wonder how long it will take you to realise why you cannot produce that evidence. ;)

70

Nick, I admire your patience; Blue Rock has proven himself to be the “oldandrew” of the environmental thread…. probably because his position as a Green ultra is about as defensible as oldandrew’s defence of the Catholic church.

*shrug* I am a man of infinite patience.

(metadebate:) BlueRock, my position throughout has remained the same. Dishonesty would be, for example, you @45, 39 or 36 in this thread. Asserting I have misrepresented your position, when I have not; or presenting *my* position as being “the green party are anti-science.” rather than “my ethics lead me to judge the green party as anti-science”.

Now, are you going to address the relative-vs-absolute morality point, or not?

@72. Galen10

You’re *still* fuming that you were made to look stupid for failing to produce any evidence? Admirable dedication! lol.

@73. Nick

Yeah, more lying really isn’t going to help you on this one. Try again.

74

Nah… you were outed as a hopeless troll long ago..it’s not worth the effort feeding you.

Repeating your mantra over and over again doesn’t make it any more true; you go on about evidence a lot, but aren’t open to any. You have consistently been “owned” by various other posters on this and other threads… but like a lot of zealots you just don’t have the good grace or sense to stay down when you are beaten.

@76. Galen10

> …you were outed as a hopeless troll long ago…

Says the pissant who has done nothing but troll me since I insisted he produce evidence for his claims.

What’s your total contribution in this thread? Whining about BlueRock. Good work, chief! :)

73 Nick

You’ll probably find it better to ignore him….most other people have.. the crazies don’t get any more rational for you taking time to expose how mental they are.

@78. Galen10

Troll harder! ;)

73 Nick

I guess we have to hope that ‘yer average green Party member is somewhat different to Blue Rock; from what I’ve seen on some of their blogs and discussions, there are actually some fairly sane ones who acknowledge the previous kooky stance they had on huge swathes of science policy.

I suppose there has to be some joy over a repentant sinners, particularly at this time of year? ;)

@80. Galen10

Why don’t you at least make an effort to contribute something useful? It’s not *that* difficult!

Or are you really so intellectually bankrupt that you’ve thrown in the towel? :)

BlueRock – no, I’m not going to forget that you still haven’t addressed the relative-vs-absolute morality point, and that’s what I’m waiting (very patiently, I should point out) on.

Again, baldly stating that I’m lying about – whatever it is I’m meant to be lying about – isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Address this point.

Galen – I actually find this bit of these kinds of debates to be the funnest part. I’m pretty sure BlueRock isn’t going to advance the debate at all – s/he doesn’t have the cajones for it – but unless s/he does, maintaining my position requires no extra effort on my part at all.

People don’t get to “win” by default when I’m around.

@82. Nick

Your dishonesty has been clearly exposed in black and white when you totally lied about my position. Don’t you have *any* personal integrity?

Still waiting for evidence. Try again!

P.S. Why don’t you two get a room if you’re so eager to comfort each other? ;)

82

He’ll no doubt crawl back under the rock of unknowing he came from… bit like oldandrew on the other threads, but less erudite and even less convincing. I wonder if there are lots more like him in the Greens..? It’s enough to make you think twice about supporting them! ;)

BlueRock – I’ll refer you to back to my post at 62 to answer your last point. Since you’ve not moved the debate on at all in the intervening words, it is still entirely relevant. Particularly:

“If you want to continue to state “the greens are not anti-science.” (note the full-stop there), you either need to build that aforementioned objective argument about the morality, or do as you’ve previously done – pick on some tangential, unimportant or semantic point and run with it for a few posts, then re-assert your unjustified position a few posts – or threads – later, when you think I won’t notice that you’ve dodged the argument. If you do it this time, I’ll just refer you back to this paragraph.”

I haven’t lied about your position, but you have lied about mine, as mentioned in those earlier posts.

Here is my assessment of your position:

“The greens aren’t anti-science. Well. If you happen to think xenotransplantation research can be justified (you horrible person) then of course they’ll seem anti-science to you, since they’re opposing scientific research that you think is justified, but you’re wrong! Because your morality is wrong! And I’m right! Because my morality is right! Despite our two moralities having equal weight! Except my morality has more because, um, erm, it’s mine!”

I submit that this is as accurate now as it was then, and indeed, at 68 and 94 on the first post.

And you don’t get points for insinuating that I’m “teh gay”.

@86. Nick

You’re not saying anything new – it’s just the same, tired rhetoric that failed you first time around.

Evidence, boy – *evidence*.

I’m repeatedly submitting the same thing because you’re repeatedly dodging it. As your continued calls for evidence show.

The green party policy on xenotransplantation is evidence in support of my subject viewpoint, as previously explained (but not addressed by you). As also previously explained, the onus is now on you to expand your own (orthogonal, and so identically subjective) viewpoint with some form of moral absolutism to justify your position.

As also previously explained, you’re unable to do this, and unable to back your position down to the orthogonal, subjective one (the reasonable action to take) as a consequence of your early-run aggressive debate style.

Which means we’re probably now stuck in an infinite loop of me asking you to address a point you’re unable to; followed by you attempting to distract attention from that fact in the hopes of somehow getting an end-run in somewhere. All in good fun.

@88. Nick

Nothing has been dodged other than by you. Return to original thread to remind yourself.

Now, try and escape the loop you are stuck in and produce some *evidence* if you want to salvage something from the lamentable performance you’ve put on here.

BlueRock –

You’ll note that the sophistication of my request – “dumb” and “literal[istic]” as it may be from a “pissant” like as my lowly self – was proof that “that the notion [of GMOs] is, per se, destructive and ultimately useless”. As you’re so determined to abuse strangers on a little-read corner of the internet, though, I’ll leave you to it. Merry Christmas, one and all!

I say BlueRock wins, and he’s right about GMO. It’s not anti-science to be anti-GMO.

Oh, quite possibly, I’ve no real opinion on the argument.

@90. BenSix

The one constant with pissants, such as yourself, is that you’re hypocrites. You come steaming in, acting all Billy Big Bollocks, sneering and demanding answers – but when the response is less than cuddly, you start whining about civility.

As for your question: why could you not work it out? Do you know what GMO crops promise? They are sold as being inedible or poisonous to ‘pests’. They are sold as being able to out-compete ‘weeds’. They will supposedly grow where other plants cannot. Those ‘pests’ and ‘weeds’ form part of the ecosystem that all other life depends on. Can you really not imagine what the effect is of systematically destroying sections of the ecosystem? Think hard.

> …I’ve no real opinion on the argument.

Judging by your small ‘contribution’, you have no real clue either. More reading, less typing would be a good starting point to solve that.

You and ‘Pinocchio Nick’ should watch this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UiCSvQvVys – and think *very* hard what the connection to GMOs might be. If you can’t get it on your own, come back and we’ll try to explain.

@91. Trooper Thompson

> I say BlueRock wins, and he’s right about GMO. It’s not anti-science to be anti-GMO.

At last! We have an informed, intelligent person join the ‘conversation’. ;)

@88. Nick

Just noticed:

> …getting an end-run in…

A term from American ‘football’. So, you’re a Yank? That would explain much, Pinocchio Nick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGB8Uuffi4M

TT – really depends on the GMO in question. In agriculture, in the main, GM isn’t particularly needed (although it’s not a blanket evil in the sense that greenpeace tend to portray it). When it comes to medicine production, for instance insulin (as I pointed out in an earlier thread), GMOs have distinct and welcome advantages that make them a very good idea indeed. I stand by my comments in @24 on this area.

BlueRock – the loop is solely predicated on your failure to address the relative-vs-absolute-morality point. It stands, unchallenged – barely acknowledged, even – by yourself. Now, I did predict that you wouldn’t respond to it, and that prediction has been borne out, so I don’t really expect you to do so upon this request – but please respond to it if you want to move this along another notch.

I have dodged none of your points; as I’ve said multiple times now, I’ve carefully read every word you’ve written in our exchange. You, however, have dodged the relative-vs-absolute morality question… *counts*… no less than twenty times on this thread alone. You have not answered it, protestations to the contrary, as your repeated efforts at stating you have, without providing a link to the claimed refutation, shows. Dodging the question that many times is a lot more effort than simply providing a link to your refutation would be.

So why haven’t you? Because you’ve produced no such refutation. Post 62 on this thread remains unchallenged by you in any way whatsoever.

Fortunately, I’m quite happy with the version of events presented in that post; I feel they accurately sum up the basis of my and your argument. Your avoidance of the topics contained within lead me to assume that you cannot refute them (there’s no reason why you wouldn’t, if you could). Fair comment?

*blink*

No, I’m English – but I am capable of using colloquialisms from other cultures. And you’re once again engaging in picking on tangential or irrelevant in an attempt to distract attention from your failure to address the relative-vs-absolute-morality point. As I predicted you would.

Just answer it. Or acknowledge why you’re not answering it. It’s a lot less effort than the time you’re putting into evading it.

@96. Nick

If bloviated, twisty rhetoric were a winning tactic, you’d be king of the castle. Sadly, for you, we need compelling evidence to consider your accusation that the Green Party are “anti-science”.

You have clearly failed to provide anything while simultaneously exposing your dishonesty. It’s time to put up or shut up, son.

P.S. Given your behaviour, I don’t trust you further than I can throw Fat Bob – so your claim to being English and breezy explanation for using “end-run” is unconvincing… and you certainly give off the odour of a sneaky Teabagger Yank.

You’re making demands for evidence based on a model of this argument that is about two threads out of date.

The proposition I put forward – from the very start – is not “the greens are anti-science” (the opposite of which is your assertion) but rather “my ethical code leads me to judge the greens as anti-science”. You know this is my position, because you’ve agreed with me (see 68 on the previous thread, and as detailed – at length – on 62 in this thread). This is the argument you’ve dodged no less than twenty-one times now. It’s not a twisty turny argument. It’s a simply the difference between absolute and relative morality.

You can of course choose to believe whatever you will about where I was born, and where I now reside; that doesn’t change the fact that I am in fact English. It also doesn’t change the fact that this is indeed an attempt to distract from the point.

Again: answer it. Don’t wriggle around it like a fish on a hook. Just answer it. The only explanation for the amount of effort you’re expending on /not/ answering it is that you cannot answer it whilst maintaining your position. Which is a shame for you, obviously.

@99. Nick

As much as you twist and turn, the fact remains you have failed to offer the evidence needed to demonstrate your accusation. Put up or shut up.

P.S. I’ve already given you permission to call anything or anyone “anti-science” – provided you grasp the really simple concept that your opinion does not constitute fact.

That makes 22 dodges. You’re really not helping matters here.

Like I’ve said over and over again, I’m happy with the position that my view that the greens are anti-science is based on a subjective moral judgement. You’re the one who seems to have trouble grasping that. And that their xenotransplantation policy is the evidence that you seek so eagerly.

@102. Nick

Keep wriggling, Pinocchio Nick – you’re not getting off the evidence hook. Put up or shut up.

You are actually engaged in cargo-cult debating here. It’s the only term I can come up for it.

Stating i haven’t answered a point doesn’t magically make it so. Not answering a point make it so. I answered you point in the previous post. We have previously agreed that it has been answered, and that are differences lie further down the line – in subjective moral judgements.

If you feel otherwise, provide worked examples, ta.

@104. Nick

So, you’ve admitted that your accusation is based purely on your subjective opinion. Exactly as I explained to you in the original thread.

Since then you’ve twisted, wriggled and lied. How do you feel that is working out for you?

Nope, as I’ve repeatedly stated, my assessment is subjective. As is yours.This is the exact point you’ve failed to address more than twenty times. See 62 if you need a refresher.

‘Oh, it’s sophistry’ is nt addressing the point.
‘I’ve already addressed it [no link]‘ is also not addressing the point.
‘Look over there!’ is, similarly, not addressing the point.
‘Your view is merely subjective’ is not addressing the point.

So address the point already. The relative-vs-absolute-morality, argument-from-orthogonality point that you have repeatedly dodged.

@106. Nick

“No, I agree with you.”

Are you stupid or being dishonest again?

You have failed to offer any evidence that the Green Party are “anti-science”.

You failed to address the point. *Your* point is addressed in 102 – and numerous other posts.

Your demand for evidence puts us several points before the subjective moral judgement mentioned in 62 and 06. The evidence is the policy. The disagreement is whether *your* judgement is subjective or objective morality. This is the point referred to in 106. The one you haven’t answered.

The words you quote me on do not appear in the 106-post. You need some concept of a reference in there.

@108. Nick

lol. Wriggle some more, Pinocchio Nick! :)

You’ve lost. Badly. You’ve failed miserably to prove your assertion. You’ve been caught out blatantly lying.

Pro tip: when in a hole, stop digging.

BlueRock -

A cordial Christmas, comrade! You’re right, I don’t have much of a clue where GMO is concerned – strange as it is one can’t be clued-up on it all, unless you’re going to tell me that you’ve rich expertise on structural engineering, World War 2 espionage and the Ashes touring side of 1986/7. That’s why I should, indeed, do more reading, which is why I, er – asked if you could recommend some. Perhaps if you were less keen to assume your interlocutors are all engaging in some kind of devious, deep political scam people would learn more from these threads.

Still, never mind all that – I hear sleigh bells a’ringin and I need to set the bear trap. Come one, come all and sing!

Cor…

What round are we in?

Hey BenSix, check out the documentary ‘the world according to Monsanto’.

It may not be the last word but it does show how awful that particular company is.

*Hic*

Thanks, TT. I need something to watch when the fambly insists on Dr Who this even.

@110. BenSix

> A cordial Christmas, comrade!

Backatcha, tovarisch!

Merry Yuletide one and all (even Pinocchio Nick can have some!)

P.S. Apposite communication for this day: Congratulations, Great Britain!

Eee gad, people deliberately go hunting for arguments on christmas day?

BlueRock – you still didn’t go near the actual point. Providing me with a peculiar nickname with a subtext of lying git when you’ve not isolated a single instance of my lying is a bit rich, also. Hypocritical would be the right word.

Yes, my judgement on the moral issue required to resolve the question is subjective. *so is yours*. That is the entirety of the point you keep avoiding, and in the absence of an answer, I can only assume what I assumed so long ago – you refuse to anxser, because to concede the point would be to lose face.

You need to back up and find a style of debate that lets you actually, you know, debate.

@114. Nick

You do realise that everyone can read your previous comments and mine?

* BlueRock: “You have provided no evidence that the Green Party are “anti-science”.”

* Pinocchio Nick: “BlueRock agreed with me that the Green Party are anti-science.”

You’re a liar.

Now, have you managed to find any evidence that the Green Party are “anti-science”? And have you understood that just because you have lowish morals and ethics that says nothing about the Green’s policies?

You’re still missing references.

What I said in 95?-in-the-first-thread was “this anti-science policy that me and BlueRock have agreed on”. The context was clear – “this” being “my subjective judgement of”.

I explained that to you at the time but you were too occupied with shouting “liar” to respond intelligently.

As with now.

Your viewpoint is subjective, as is mine. I have never pretended otherwise. My initial statement was one of subjectivity, and I’ve not moved from it since. Your initial viewpoint was all absolute-y, and you’ve been flopping around it since you learned that the greens were against xenotransplantation research.

@116. Nick

You can parse and twist all you want – your dishonesty is there for all to see.

You have failed to prove the accusation that the Green Party are “anti-science”. You have amply demonstrated that your morals and ethics are… on the low-ish side.


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