.@GreenpeaceNZ picks & chooses its scientific consensus #GMOs #globalwarming

For a generation, a campaign by the green movement against the growing of genetically modified crops has held sway across Europe. These foodstuffs are a threat to health, the environment and the small independent farmer, NGOs have argued.

As result, virtually no GM crops have been grown on Europe’s farms for the past 25 years. Yet hard evidence to support what is, in all but name, a ban on these vilified forms of plant life is thin on the ground. In fact, most scientific reports have indicated that they are generally safe, both to humans and the environment.

This point was endorsed last week when a 20-strong committee of experts from the US National Academies of Science announced the results of its trawl of three decades of scientific studies for “persuasive evidence of adverse health effects directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from genetically engineered crops”. It found none.

Instead the group uncovered evidence that GM crops have the potential to bestow considerable health benefits. An example is provided by golden rice, a genetically modified rice that contains beta carotene, a source of vitamin A. Its use could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who suffer from vitamin A deficiency in the third world, say scientists.

Source: The Observer view on the GM crops debate | Opinion | The Guardian

Scientists and governments around the world overwhelmingly agree that climate change is real, is largely human-induced and needs urgent action to prevent.

There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left un-checked will likely have disastrous consequences.

Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change – and this is reflected in the statements by these definitive scientific authorities.

Source: Scientific consensus | Greenpeace International.

The irony of environmental protests

@GreenpeaceNZ @savethearctic real reason @Shell stopped Arctic drilling @NZGreens

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How to lie about statistics on inequality and global poverty @oxfamnz @Oxfam

Some of the kidnapped ODA activists have been freed and can speak out at last!

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The role of the spread of capitalism and globalisation in massively reducing extreme poverty just gets a mention, begrudgingly, but it’s better than nothing From a newspaper of record of the Left over Left.

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via The Guardian view on global development goals: heed the good news, but more needs to be done | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian.

The time when the mass kidnappings of principled anti-war activists started has been uncovered

via What’s Wrong With the U.S. Peace Movement, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

Evidence grows of mass kidnappings of Oxfam activists – how else could they have been silenced?

https://twitter.com/MaxCRoser/status/621132860657897472/photo/1

Naomi Klein versus The Great Fact

via Winning the War on World Poverty – Bloomberg View.

A living wage helps well-off households more!

Further evidence that street politics is counter-productive

Public disorder and rioting by a large leads to a law and order response among the public and a hardening of social attitudes against whatever the desired social reform might be when it is tainted by civil disorder.

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The Left, the Green Left and the watermelons in particular want to believe that street protests change things. They have to validate their youthful offences against public order.

Sadly, no; sadly for them but not for the law-abiding rest of us who resolve our differences by trying to persuade each other and elections.

The law-abiding rest of us believe in democratic equality. Your vote counts as much as mine  in a democracy with free speech. The only way you can change my vote is by free speech, not by public disorder, threats and intimidation and taking the law into your own hands.

Do violent protests win votes for your cause?

Monkey Cage blogged on a very timely study on the impact of violent and nonviolent protests on voting behaviour. Non-violent protest in the 60s enticed sympathy and increased voter support for the Democratic Party in the 1964, 1968 to 1972 presidential elections:

Black-led nonviolent protests… exhibit a statistically significant positive relationship with county-level Democratic vote-share in the same period.

This is not surprising because nonviolent protest acknowledge fidelity to law and democratic equality. No one likes to be bullied and one of the purposes of the secret ballot is to prevent voters from being bullied because no one knows how you voted.

Indeed, there is a long history of anonymous pamphleteering, which has evolved into anonymous trolling as a way of people expressing their political views without facing backlash from both the majority and a vindictive minority.

In a democracy, it’s up to me to persuade you to change your mind – that what you took for granted for so long is not so. That’s how liberal democracies work: by trying to persuade each other and voting.

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Violent protests had the exact opposite effect to peaceful protests on Democratic Party voting shares in the 1964, 1968 in 1972 presidential elections. There was a law and order backlash among voters against what were relatively widespread rioting and civil disorder:

…black-led protests in which some violence occurs are associated with a statistically significant decline in Democratic vote-share in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 presidential elections.

This is a roundabout way of saying that a Republican won the 1968 election on a law and order platform, not a Democrat on a peace platform. The country was convinced, including Liberal Democrats, that law and order had broken down and that the Democratic Party could not restore law and order.

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In the 1968 presidential election, there is a third party candidate, George Wallace, who won won almost ten million popular votes and 46 electoral votes, including in the electoral college on an even harsher law and order platform than Nixon.

Wallace was a racist Southern Democrat the Democratic Party would prefer us to forget and a nasty political opportunist to boot. His political rhetoric included the only words four letter words the protesters didn’t know was work and soap.

As I recall warmed over Marxism, the idea of violent protests is to provoke a law and order backlash, initially with popular support of the working class. The resulting police repression will overreach and cause the proletariat to breakthrough their false consciousness to see that capitalists for whom they are and rise up to overthrow them.

Rise up ye workers, rise up for you have nothing to lose but your chains. These days that call to the barricades would have to be rise up ye workers, rise up for you have nothing to lose what your smart phone and air points.

American opinions on abortion don’t differ that much by gender

Women have in recent years been more likely than men to hold the two absolute positions on abortion — saying it should be either legal under any circumstances or illegal in all circumstances — but these differences are not large.

Within various age and partisan categories, men and women are mostly similar in their views. Only with respect to education, specifically those with a college education, is there a sizable gender gap.

College-educated women are significantly more likely than college-educated men to believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances.

via Education Trumps Gender in Predicting Support for Abortion.

In the broadest terms, the largest segments of Republicans and Democrats have consistently preferred the middle "legal only under certain circumstances" abortion position.

What’s changed since 1975 is that the percentage of Republicans favouring the "illegal in all circumstances" position has grown and the percentage favouring the "legal under any circumstances" position has decreased. The reverse pattern is seen among Democrats.

via Republicans’, Dems’ Abortion Views Grow More Polarized.

The question I ask is why isn’t this substantial number of women with reservations to varying degrees about abortion not represented by the feminists who claim to speak on their behalf in the media?

via Americans Misjudge U.S. Abortion Views.

The effectiveness of environmentalists in mobilising public opinion

Why is the rapid closing of the gender wage gap in New Zealand not celebrated more?

With the rapid closure in the raw female male wage gap in New Zealand over the last 15 or so years, the lack of celebration of this achievement among equal pay activists is puzzling.

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Source:  Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Social indicators, Median hourly earnings.

Are natural foods better if you are a anti-GM over activist?

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