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Re: [OM] [OT] In case you hadn't heard....

Subject: Re: [OM] [OT] In case you hadn't heard....
From: Chris Barker <ftog@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 22:45:37 +0000
For me it’s because scientists have to guess first to find stuff out, Brian.  

And I don’t want to eat the results of someone’s guesswork, especially when 
there is no good reason so to do.  The idea of GM, as I understand it, is to 
reduce the need for pesticides and to improve yields.  But I heard some years 
ago that the pesticide argument didn’t work, that farmers merely became 
increasingly dependent on GM grain.  And increasing yield does nothing for 
taste or nutrition, again as I understand it.

I hold no antipathy towards scientist, applied or theoretical, but I continue 
to resent the dominance of commercial interest in many scientific endeavours: 
it pollutes the results or at least reduces our trust in those results.

It’s a bit of a stretch, I think, to attach people’s resistance to tracking to 
dependence on Russian energy: tracking has only recently been of interest to 
the public (not only the green lobby, but people who are near the threatened 
sites), whereas European dependence on energy has been increasing as North Sea 
oil reserves have dwindled.

Where I really get irritated about tracking is if politicians start to use the 
cost of energy as an argument for such exploration.  It seems to be pretty 
certain that any gas or oil that we find in the UK would merely be fed into the 
whole market.  My general objection to tracking is that a) we must reduce our 
dependence on such energy, not grow ever more frantic and destructive in our 
urgency to seek out more; b) that it would grossly disfigure our landscape.  If 
some of us worry now about the visual deterioration of the countryside because 
of wind farms, just look at what thousands of drilling sites would might do.

Finally, I accept that my criticism of science, Big Bang, GM or Higgs Boson was 
generally polemical.  But I remain seriously sceptical of wondrous solutions 
that hit the press 


On 22 Mar 2014, at 22:12, Brian Gray <bsg017@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> As a retired applied scientist, I have to support Andrew in this argument.  
> Big
> bang theory seems a valid attempt to explain what happened although it cannot 
> ex
> plain the ultimate 'why'. And no one to my knowledge has produced any weighty 
> ar
> guments against GM foods in principle, however much one may regret some 
> particul
> ar versions, and none of Chris' aeroplanes would have flown without pretty 
> valid
> forms of aeronautical science.  My pet gripe at the moment is the way that the
> 'green' lobby's activities over recent years against first nuclear power and, 
> no
> w in Europe, fracking have potentially crippled the western response to 
> events i
> n the Ukraine.  Energy independence from Russia for Europe would be more 
> immedia
> tely useful than the latest Typhoons and F16s.
> Returning to the original argument, having been brought up in NE England and 
> sub
> sequently worked in Denmark for a while, I have always been interested in the 
> wa
> y Tyneside slang and accents can resemble Danish words.

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