Here is the rebuttal to Mr. Paarlberg's posting in Foreign Policy (My previous blog covered this).
Thanks to @meredithmo for supplying the link.
As I mentioned in the last posting, it is good to see people getting involved in agriculture and food.
As for this rebuttal, I appreciate Anna's points about agroecology; however, I do not agree that biotech is unsustainable. The whole premise of the article assumes that organic production is sustainble. I do not believe the issue is as simple as that.
Take for example fertilizer. It is well understood that a ton of shit is needed to make organic viable. Where do we intend to obtain this? From cover cropping and rotation alone?
Take for example water. I believe that water is a major issue of our time. It is finite. Need evidence, just look at Punjab and the diminishing water tables there. We need crops that are drought resistant. And to all the GMO nay-sayers, drought resistant crops are on the market and have been done with conventional breeding by Syngenta and Dupont (Pioneer). And yes, the biotech drought resistant crops are in the pipeline.
Take for example climate change. Who knows the impact on agriculture as we progress. We need to think outside of the box, better yet how about we just do away with the box!
One other point in fact is that the assumption is made that the current agriculture system will continue to rely on fossil fuels. Why do we continue to assert this? Agriculture has never been, nor will it remain static. It is fluid. I envision a time where we are not using fossil fuels to power equipment. There are other means available to us like biomass and solar. Yes, yes I know how many panels it takes to power equipment TODAY. But I am not talking about today, rather tomorrow.
So, I appreciate both articles and their position. Both have merit, case studies, and conviction. And thankfully we have people who are passionate about agriculture.
But how about this novel idea? Why not BOTH, or better yet more than both. We have bio-dynamic, vertical, urban, conventional, organic, and permaculture. Why not embrace all of these approaches, take the best of them and implement?
I know, much easier said than done.
And don't worry Anna, I am not panicking. I embrace agriculture as a whole. It isn't my way or the highway.
So folks, get involved with agriculture. Talk to your local farmer. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power.
Don't Panic, Go Organic - By Anna Lappe | Foreign Policy