Luddite eco-imperialists claim to be virtuous

Foreword by Paul Dreissen

Poor families in impoverished countries face formidable foes: an absence of electricity, roads and other infrastructure; corrupt, kleptocratic governments;  nonexistent property rights to secure loans; well-financed eco-imperialists whose policies perpetuate poverty, malnutrition and disease.

Now they face even harder struggles, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups has formed a social-political movement called “AgroEcology.” Coalition members despise fossil fuels, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, biotechnology, corporations, capitalism, and even farm machinery and all facets of modern agriculture. It’s anti-GMO organic food activism on steroids, promoting all the latest in PC fads and terminology: “food sovereignty,” the “right to subsistence farming by indigenous people” and “the right of peoples to culturally appropriate food,” to cite a few.

Our informative commentary explores this bizarre, anti-technology, anti-humanity movement, which seeks to impose practices and living standards that these self-righteous agitators would never live under themselves.

Uber-organic campaign enshrines primitive agriculture and malnutrition as human rights

By Paul Driessen and David Wojick

Not every poor person in impoverished places around the world aspires to the modern living standards they see and hear about: indoor plumbing, electricity for lights, a refrigerator and stove, a paucity of disease-carrying insects, top-notch schools and hospitals, their children living past age five. But many do.

Not every poor African, Asian or Latin American farmer wants to give up his backbreaking, dawn to dusk traditional agricultural practices, guiding his ox and plow, laying down meager supplies of manure to fertilize crops, surviving droughts, repeatedly hand spraying pesticides to battle ravenous insects – to reap harvests that often barely feed his family, much less leave produce to sell locally. But many do.

Unfortunately, they often face formidable foes. An absence of electricity, roads and other infrastructure. Corrupt, kleptocratic governments. Nonexistent property rights and other collateral to secure loans. Powerful, well-financed eco-imperialists whose policies perpetuate poverty, malnutrition and disease.

Banks and other carbon colonialists glorify limited wind and solar energy for poor villages, while denying financial support for fossil fuel electricity generation. Anti-chemical fanatics promote bed nets and narrowly defined “integrated pest management,” but bitterly oppose chemical pesticides and the spatial repellant DDT to kill mosquitoes, keep them out of homes and prevent deadly malaria.

Radical organic food groups battle any use of genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide spraying by 75% or more. They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death.

Now poor country families face even harder struggles, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups once again proves the adage that power politics makes strange bedfellows. Coalition members share a deep distaste for fossil fuels, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, corporations, capitalism, biotechnology, and virtually all aspects of modern agriculture.

Their growing social-political movement is called “AgroEcology.” While the concept is studiously vague, it essentially asserts that indigenous, traditional farmers must be shielded from market forces and modern technologies, so that they can continue using ancient, primitive, “culturally appropriate” methods.

AgroEcology is anti-GMO organic food activism on steroids. It rejects virtually everything that has enabled modern agriculture to feed billions more people from less and less acreage and, given the chance, could eliminate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. It is rabidly opposed to biotechnology, monoculture farming, non-organic fertilizers and chemical insecticides – and even despises mechanized equipment like tractors, and the hybrid seeds and other advances developed by Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution.

AgroEcology advocates tortured but clever concepts like “food sovereignty” and the “right to subsistence farming by indigenous people.” It promotes “indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices,” thus excluding the vast storehouse of non-indigenous learning, practices and technologies that were developed in recent centuries – and are readily available to anyone with access to a library or internet connection.

Or as they put it: “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies, rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” Food sovereignty also “focuses on production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems, avoid costly and toxic inputs, and improve the resiliency of local food systems in the face of climate change.” (The 2007 Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty. In Mali!)

Some adherents even seek the “re-peasantization” of Latin American society!

AgroEcology has the financial backing of far-left foundations like the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which collectively have committed more than $500 million to a raft of like-minded NGOs.

Its precepts and policies are approved and actively promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank and other UN agencies at their taxpayer-funded international conferences. These agencies are even beginning to demand adherence to über-organic practices as a condition for receiving taxpayer funding for agricultural development programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (But taxpayers and legislators who provide the funding have been permitted little substantive input on any of this.)

It’s all justified – and often accepted without question in government agencies and universities – by reference to the politically correct, virtue-signaling terminology of our era: sustainability, sustainable farming, dangerous manmade climate change, social justice, indigenous rights, self-determination.

Also typical, anyone opposing these ideologies, policies and demands is vilified as a “willful supporter” of violence against women, “land-grabbing” by multinational corporations, peasant farmer suicides, “mass expropriation and genocide” of indigenous people, and crimes against humanity.

Imagine how intolerant AgroEcology ideologues would react if a farmer wanted to assert his or her food sovereignty and self-determination – by planting hybrid corn, using modern synthetic fertilizers or (heaven forbid) planting Bt corn (maize), to get higher yields, spend less time in the field, spray fewer pesticides, or improve the family’s living standards by selling surplus crops. And yet many want to do exactly that.

“By planting the new Bt cotton on my six hectares [15 acres], I was able to build a house and give it a solar panel,” Bethuel Gumede told the late Roy Innis, then chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, during a trip to South Africa. “I also bought a TV and fridge. My wife can buy healthy food, and we can afford to send the kids to school. My life has changed completely.”

“I grow maize on a half hectare,” Elizabeth Ajele told him. “The old plants would be destroyed by insects, but not the new biotech plants. With the profits I get from the new Bt maize, I can grow onions, spinach and tomatoes, and sell them for extra money to buy fertilizer. We were struggling to keep hunger out of our house. Now the future looks good.”

Equally relevant, how can agricultural practices that barely sustained families and villages before the advent of modern agriculture possibly feed the world? As Dr. Borlaug said in 2006: “Our planet has 6.5 billion people. If we use only organic fertilizers and methods on existing farmland, we can only feed 4 billion. I don’t see 2.5 billion people volunteering to disappear.”

AgroEcology promoters like Greenpeace, Food & Water Watch, Pesticide Action Network, Union of Concerned scientists and La Via Campesina (The Peasant Way) pay little attention to any of this. They’re too busy “saving people” from “dangerous” hybrid seeds, GMOs, agribusiness, farm machinery and chemicals. Not that any of them would ever want to toil on any of the primitive farms they extol.

Greenpeace frightens Africans by claiming “some researchers think DDT and DDE could be inhibiting lactation” in nursing mothers. So families are afraid to use DDT, and millions die from preventable malaria, while still more millions suffer permanent brain or liver damage from the disease. Would it also oppose cancer-curing chemotherapy because it causes hair loss and reduced resistance to infections?

Modern instruments can detect chemicals in mere parts per billion (the equivalent of a few seconds in 32 years) or even parts per trillion (a few seconds in 32,000 years). That’s hardly a threat to human health.

But Luddite eco-imperialists and über-organic food activists stridently oppose any manmade fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, while saying “natural” pesticides commonly used by organic farmers are safe. In reality, copper sulfate can kill humans in lower doses per kilogram of body weight than aspirin, and exposure to rotenonecauses Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats and can also kill humans.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, US and EU government agencies, and real human rights advocates should challenge and denounce AgroEcology agitators and their financial enablers for advancing fraudulent claims that perpetuate malnutrition, poverty and human rights abuses in the world’s poorest countries. They should also cut off funding to any government agencies that support AgroEcology nonsense.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and economic development. David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science and logic in public policy.

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John Bell
July 22, 2018 1:46 pm

OT a bit, but oh the irony, an Airbus 380 painted with “Save the coral reefs” motif, as if the plane is saying – save the reefs, do not fly on me.

Reply to  John Bell
July 22, 2018 2:06 pm

what is the purpose of a cruise ship?
Spewing all of that horrible CO2 so some aged climate den…rs can enjoy themselves.
Here is how billionaire sir Richard Branson, climate change and the CAGW warrior celebrates acquiring one of those monstrosities that are pushing the earth’s climate over the tipping point.
never mind any of that, it’s a nice not-so-little earner for our noble climate change fighting hero.

Reply to  vukcevic
July 22, 2018 4:48 pm


I can’t imagine a worse holiday than on a cruise ship.

Reply to  HotScot
July 22, 2018 5:49 pm

Well, if you are on a long transoceanic cruise to Greece, if you have rented a cabin with a balcony, if you keep the balcony door open and the corridor door firmly closed, if you are not tempted by casino, cheap entertainment and binge drinking in a noisy company… the clean open-sea wind and gently swaying ship do wonders for overstrained nerves. Plus you can continue working with your laptop. Just be very careful about what you eat on a cruise ship — and never drink their tap water; bellyache is always around the corner there. Then jump off the ship and begin your Greek island hopping vacation. My kind of a thing.

Reply to  HotScot
July 22, 2018 11:28 pm

Not for me, never been on one and don’t intend to.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  vukcevic
July 23, 2018 5:52 am

Floating prison is the definition that springs to my mind – once committed you have no chance to alter where you are taken, when you get there or who you end up sharing a table with. Lots of unpleasant bugs and diseases to catch.
That said some people like being hostages and Stockholm is a popular tourist destination.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
July 23, 2018 3:07 pm

You choose beforehand, where you are to be taken, you don’t need to socialize with people you don’t like (or to socialize at all), and some restaurants (on Norwegian cruises at least) are OK. Nobody forces you to leave your cabin and stop breathing in your private ocean veiw. I certainly would NOT recommend any ships owned by the Carnival Corporation, they are infested in all senses of the word.

Reply to  HotScot
July 23, 2018 8:07 am

Spent 6 years in the Navy, I wont even entertain putting cruise ship on my bucket list. Cooped up on a ship with a bunch of people I don’t know and don’t wan to get to know? Been there, done that, have the medals to prove it, no thanks.

Reply to  Darrin
July 23, 2018 8:19 am


At least you were spared the screaming brats when you were in the Navy.

Reply to  HotScot
July 23, 2018 8:39 am

There was a couple of first lieutenants that I once knew …

Jim Whelan
July 22, 2018 1:53 pm

Ummmm, I think ALL the poor in third world countries DO want the benefits of modern technology, not just “some”.

In any case, whenever anyone pulls the “cautionary principle” on me in favor of lowering CO2 (and now CH4) levels I always state that the cautionary principle demands we NOT muck around with the world economy and energy supply. Whenever anyone claims the millions that might be killed by climate change I always respond with the hundreds of millions who WILL be killed in an energy poor economy.

Reply to  Jim Whelan
July 23, 2018 12:57 am

Whenever anyone claims the millions that might be killed by climate change I always respond with the hundreds of millions who WILL be killed in an energy poor economy.

Are being killed – it’s happening now.

July 22, 2018 1:58 pm

The rich, using the uneducated foot soldiers, to continue to oppress the poor.

Reply to  Davis
July 22, 2018 2:42 pm

As I’ve often said, the only proper way to refer to a climate alarmist is as an anti-human climate alarmist.

And as someone else said… “The children of the poor need to continue dying so that the children of the super-rich inherit a better world. And if it turns out that the fate of the world is not at stake, well, the children that have died are the children of the poor.”

Reply to  laura
July 22, 2018 3:31 pm

Who said that? …“The children of the poor…”

Reply to  SMC
July 22, 2018 6:12 pm

“The children of the poor …” quote is from The Years of Living Dangerously.

Reply to  laura
July 22, 2018 3:36 pm

The problem Laura is that the deep-greens glory in being called anti-human.

Reply to  laura
July 22, 2018 4:52 pm


Nothing wrong with being rich, or super rich. Owning a semi detached in suburbia with running water, sanitation and electricity would appear super rich to an African labourer.

It’s the politicians who screw things up, not the wealthy.

Reply to  HotScot
July 22, 2018 5:20 pm

When did I say otherwise?

I do not consider all rich people to be anti-human. Some, however, absolutely are.

Reply to  laura
July 22, 2018 5:28 pm



Reply to  HotScot
July 22, 2018 7:05 pm

Anyone who places “concerns” over CO2 levels and similar Malthusian fantasies before human beings.

If you do not know who these anti-humans are, there is no helping you. They have been screaming their ideological insanity from the rooftops of the MSM for years.

Reply to  laura
July 23, 2018 6:32 am


In other words, the usual suspects, Gore, Di Caprio et al.

Reply to  laura
July 23, 2018 8:40 am

So it has nothing to do with their being rich.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  HotScot
July 22, 2018 7:59 pm

If you had read the article above, HotScot, you would have learned about the coalition of “well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups” that have formed a social-political movement called “AgroEcology.” They are not just politicians. These groups are supported by wealthy individuals who think they can save the planet for themselves by using their money to pressure underdeveloped countries to forego fossil fuels and the modern farming methods that could feed their people. They are basically condemning them to hunger, suffering, and death, especially the children.

The US Senate is composed of millionaires, which shows that politicians simply comprise a subset of those wealthy individuals who think they deserve to tell everyone else what to do, even to the point of micromanaging the size of the soft drinks we are allowed to buy. Not all wealthy people are in this category, but even those who aren’t will often donate money to the politicians and malcontents who are in this category.

Reply to  Louis Hunt
July 23, 2018 6:58 am

Louis Hunt

I did read the article. These are issues I have been reciting on this site for some time now.

Malcontent’s are not necessarily malcontent because they are wealthy. Al Gore is one of the few exceptions in my opinion. He identified a route to replace his loss of income when he was forced by political, peer and public pressure to abandon tobacco farming. He stated he wouldn’t do it until he found another source of income, which he did, carbon trading. And in a cynical PR campaign to ensure profitability, he created the media splash of his ‘Inconvenient truth’. I believe he closed his fund to new investments when it hit $5Bn but I’m happy to be corrected on that.

Many others like Maurice Strong and Christina Figueres are batty enough to believe that global socialism is the route to global contentment and have stated their intention to use climate change to that end. That’s nothing to do with wealth, that’s political lunacy.

AgroEcology, Greenpeace etc. are simply jumping on the political bandwagon. Virtue signalling whilst taking the filthy lucre. They may be financed by the odd wealthy individual, but no wealthy person does something without payback, that’s why they’re wealthy. I have no evidence, but I suspect many of these organisations are funded by larger organisations like Greenpeace, others supported as charities by governments, especially true in the UK where government funded charities have now been banned from lobbying the government. But why is a charity funded by a government in the first place? It’s counter intuitive.

I just don’t think it’s helpful to trot out repeatable sceptical rhetoric without actually identifying individuals and providing evidence. A tiny select few wealthy might be culpable, but don’t condemn the wealthy just because they are wealthy. That’s going down the same rabbit hole as the alarmists.

Reply to  laura
July 22, 2018 5:01 pm

Laura, I’d like to know who said that, besides you.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 22, 2018 6:14 pm

See my comment above.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 22, 2018 7:40 pm

So it’s fictitious.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 23, 2018 12:28 am

You do not understand the meaning of the word “fictitious”.

Reply to  laura
July 23, 2018 4:47 am

I believe the word ‘factualism’ provides a more accurately descriptive expression than does “skepticism.” Give it a try sometime.

emphasis on, devotion to, or extensive reliance upon facts:
the factualism of scientific experiment.

Reply to  laura
July 24, 2018 11:31 am

laura :
They HATE PEOPLE…..especially those in their own countries…
.and while espousing “compassion” for the “poor and down-trodden”
in other countries…they advocate policies to “protect the planet” from
people …even to the point of eliminating the vast majority of people !
They are IN EFFECT traitors to their own species !!
THE ANTI-HUMANISTS…….the ONLY form of address that should be used !

John Minich
Reply to  Davis
July 22, 2018 2:57 pm

Isn’t this a little like I.S.I.S. leaders telling their underlings to be suicide bombers and murderers without putting themselves at risk? Our “governor” of California, who wants the rest of us to live in more densely populated areas, use less water for food and living while sending about half our surface water out to sea to “protect the environment” (which it doesn’t), restricts groundwater pumping, and buys some rural property to retire on and runs a pipeline to a nearby dam so he doesn’t need to worry about “his” water.

Reply to  John Minich
July 22, 2018 5:07 pm

John Minich

“Isn’t this a little like I.S.I.S.”

No, much worse. ISIS are condemned for their practices.

Our politicians are lauded.

Robert B
Reply to  Davis
July 22, 2018 3:25 pm

The useful innocents (idiots).
I made a joke once that the leaders were the Meke as in the Bible was translated incorrectly. They think that Matthew 5:5 is meant to be “Blessed are the Meke: for they shall inherit the earth.” Except its too close to the truth to be funny.

Reply to  Davis
July 24, 2018 11:15 am

Oppressing the poor only works IF they are somehow productive !
Like slaves planting and picking cotton or sugar cane or rice !
And the “owner” being the sole beneficiary.
“Where-ever the people are poorest , the Church is richest” –
The mantle of oppression has shifted many times.
Now the RICH are being blamed and castigated WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE !
That is called BIAS or LYING or BOTH !
Bureaucrats usually do it to deflect from their personal incompetence !
Leftists…because lying is an acceptable practice..where the ends justify the means !
Why would the RICH use uneducated foot soldiers ?
Highly educated soldiers , well armed and equipped , would be more effective !
Oppressing the poor …..why ? What do the poor have that the rich want except
as a market for their products or as a source of labour or troop-recruitment ??
You need to ask , are the poor just plain poor or has oppression made them poor ,
and if so , why ? …..and Who benefits from THAT arrangement and HOW ?

Bruce Cobb
July 22, 2018 2:05 pm

Meet the Green Meanies. Same as the Blue Meanies. Only green.

John Garrett
July 22, 2018 2:06 pm

“Nothing is more frightening than ignorance in action.”

Reply to  John Garrett
July 22, 2018 2:17 pm

Martin Luther King said that the two most dangerous things were sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Reply to  John Garrett
July 22, 2018 2:21 pm

Reminds me of:
“I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities.

Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.”
― Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

Reply to  John Garrett
July 23, 2018 4:57 am

“Most of the problems are caused by things that people ‘know’ that aren’t really true.
I’m no longer certain, but I believe that was a Will Rogers comment.

July 22, 2018 2:23 pm

Sort of an ecological Khmer Rouge.

Reply to  donb
July 22, 2018 7:10 pm

The Khmer Rouge were a green movement, from what I have read.

Bill Treuren
July 22, 2018 2:27 pm

It used to be dangerous to combine ignorance and power but when that ignorance is enshrined in an ideology it grows extra legs.
I often consider where the world would be if the Catholic church had not hobbled the Roman empire.

Imagine colonies on planets maybe a 1000 years ago and what else.

The consumption of the fossil fuels would have haltered the LIA.

regardless we currently face something as sinister.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Bill Treuren
July 22, 2018 4:39 pm

Since the current rate of CO2 emission is not producing a detectable rise in Global temps, there is no reason to think higher CO2 emissions in times past would have made any difference. Even had there been no “dark age” following the fall of the Roman Empire, climate and weather would have done what it did do. CO2 is not a control knob.

P.S. I know the Catholic Church hobbled Christianity (Gal. 5:1), but how did it hobble the Roman Empire? What of the Huns and the Goths?


Roger Knights
Reply to  Steve Reddish
July 22, 2018 5:47 pm

mikewaite (a commenter on the Reason magazine site)” said:

People should read the recent book by Catherine Nixey, a young Classics historian, “The Darkening Age- the Christian destruction of the classical world”.

It is a terrible account of how, from the 3rd cent onward the works of classical authors, the art of the time, the libraries and the educated themselves were systematically destroyed by the Christian vandals who insisted that there was only one truth and the rest is lies that must be destroyed.

The result is that only 1% of all classical roman literature survived – only 1%: difficult to believe, but not when you read of the ISIS-like attack by the Christian mobs.

It started as described in this post by the censoring and defacing of classical literature and culminated in the order from Justinian that anyone owning , let alone reading, a non christian text would be executed, the property destroyed. The start , as Catherine Nixey says, of the Dark Ages.

What helped of course is the sycophancy of those who initially supported the gradual destruction and the closing down of the european intellect – which was, in part , ultimately saved , ironically as it may seem today , by Muslim scholars.

Reply to  Roger Knights
July 22, 2018 6:53 pm

It’s a terrible account, that just happens to have no basis in reality.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Roger Knights
July 22, 2018 7:06 pm

In reference to Bill’s post, the purging of classical texts before Justinian’s decrees was primarily directed at religious writings. Justin made his decrees after the Western Roman Empire was already lost. My response to Bill was speaking to the fall of the Western Roman Empire.


The Justinian decree specifically references Catholic Christianity, which is the entity I thought Bill was referring to.

I see the Justinian decrees and its Catholic Christianity as the bad result of joining government and Christianity to create a state religion. This result required anyone having political ambition to work themselves into the church hierarchy. Thus church creed ends up being determined by people who are not actually Christian at heart. The Crusades were one result of using the Christian believers to accomplish State ambitions.

Christianity, through people like Martin Luther, and the founding fathers of the U.S., has purged itself of government control. Prohibiting the establishment of a state religion while guaranteeing freedom of personal belief is in the 1st amendment for good reason.


Reply to  Roger Knights
July 23, 2018 5:03 am

I agree that there is only one ‘truth’ and only one ‘reality’. The trick is to recognize it and to understand it when you see it or hear it.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Bill Treuren
July 22, 2018 5:12 pm

Without the Judeo-Christian worldview, which you believe is sinister and hobbled the Roman Empire, 80%+ of humanity would still be slaves. The church, both branches, not once but twice stopped the slave trade, first in the 11th century in Europe, and then in the 18th and 19th century, worldwide. No culture in history except those where the Judeo-Christian world-view was dominant ever considered banning slavery let alone did it.

No culture, except those influenced by the Christian world-view, ever considered women more than mere chattel. It is no accident that Christian world-view cultures placed women on equal basis as men for no other religion ever dared say “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Modern historians of science (within the last 30 or so years) are unanimous that only in the Judeo-Christian world was the rise of modern science possible, for only in the Judeo-Christian worldview is the concept of laws of nature possible. The Romans and Greeks considered it folly to even attempt to determine underlying principles of nature because the natural principles are subject to the whims of the gods. And Islam considers Laws of Nature to be heresy because to say that there are laws of nature means that Allah is limited, that he cannot do what he wants.

Without the Church, medicine would be still the prerogative of the rich. It is only the Church who felt that we have a moral obligation to tend to the sick. It is no accident that only Christians were willing to treat those with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) when no one else would. Before health insurance made our modern medical system possible, the only hospitals were those operated by churches. Why do you think so many hospitals have names that reflect religion. St. Mary’s, Adventist, Providence, etc.?

In summary without the “hobbling of the Roman Empire” by Christianity 0.5% of the much smaller world population would live in luxury, slightly less than 20% would live in poverty, and 80% would be slaves, and women would be property.

You should thank your lucky stars, or whomever you look to, that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ existed because without even one of them you would possibly not exist and if you did you would be a slave.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Richard Patton
July 22, 2018 5:32 pm

Richard, I agree whole-heartedly with your response to Bill. In my response, I directed my attention to his distinction of naming the Catholic Church as the agent hobbling the Roman Empire, rather than Christianity. Until I saw your post, I did not realize Bill may not have separated the two. (My wife says she is going to start calling me “Drax”.)


Richard Patton
Reply to  Steve Reddish
July 22, 2018 9:37 pm

If he had said that making Christianity the only allowed religion hobbled both church and state I would have agreed. Forcing 60% of the population to pretend they are Christian corrupted the church and politics. I don’t know what would have happened if free competition of ideas was allowed to continue. But forcing over half the population into a religion that they don’t believe in just makes a bunch of hypocrites. It’s a wonder that Christianity had as much good effect it did considering that most of the “Christians” were hypocrites (many self-deceived). A state which, sadly, continues today. I believe if that had not happened we may have been much further along on the road to progress than we are today. But that gets into what-ifs, a subject best left to fiction.

Reply to  Richard Patton
July 22, 2018 6:34 pm

Hmmm. I suggest you read up about the 7th century Saint Balthild of Ascania.
Slavery was ingrained in Christian culture, and while she was queen of Burgundy and Neustria she was only able to end the trade in Christian slaves there. IOW, the Christians would not give up slavery per se – and that was a long time after Abraham, Moses, etc. Methinks that Christianity has claimed credit for something that others forced on it against their determined resistance over centuries.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 22, 2018 6:56 pm

1 queen, and suddenly it’s engrained in Christianity.
Nice bias you got there.
It was Christians that ended the slave trade. Nobody forced it on the Christians.
In fact it is the non-Christians who continue the trade into the modern era.

Robert B
Reply to  Bill Treuren
July 22, 2018 6:04 pm

The Western Empire crumbled while the Eastern survived. Both were the one Christian faith until well after Rome fell. The separation of Catholic and Orthodox started with the partition of the Roman Empire resulting in poor communication and differing influences of rulers. Rome’s fall was also the result of this, separate rule inherited by two young brothers overseen by ambitious men.
The role of Christianity is emphasised by those with a bias to push. They always neglect to mention that Rome was sacked by a Christian, Alaric, who destroyed pagan temples and left churches untouched. Rome fell because of fighting with the Eastern Empire that had control of warmer wheat growing areas, and Barbarian tribes from the north looking for better farming land.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Robert B
July 22, 2018 10:59 pm

But the wealth destruction is the issue.
Nobody can dispute the fact that poverty today is luxury in the past. The evidence based world would ask such things as what is the life expectancy of these people etc.

I think there is little evidence to show that Christianity and good values are linked.
Wealth and democracy drive distribution not belief /religion.

Again to the stars and beyond.

Reply to  Bill Treuren
July 23, 2018 8:45 am

Until quite recently, the vast majority of charities were Christian/religious based.

July 22, 2018 2:34 pm

I endorse every thing written here. I was brought up high on a farm on a mountain hacked out of the bush by my grandfather and my farther was able to take it over in 1928
When I was born there was no electricity ,no refrigeration ,no washing machine , the heating was an open wood fire and cooking was done on a wood fired stove with a wet back to supply hot water.
To wash clothes my mother started a fire under a copper to heat water and then rinsed the clothes in a tub and wrung them out with a hand powered mangle .
A meat safe on the cold side of the house was the only means of keeping any perishable food from deteriorating. In the summer my mother trudged down into the bush and put perishables into the stream in the shade .
In the summer we could run out of tank water off the roof and I remember having to help my farther run water from a spring above a road into drums on the back of our pickup truck .
All work was done by hand starting with a two man crosscut saw to cut down trees and cutting them up .Explosives were used to split the sections of logs and the wedges and mall, and axes fashioned fence posts and fence battens . Wire and staples were purchased but the fences were erected up and down steep hillsides completely by hand .
We did have a horse and sledge to cart the posts and battens to the fence line and to cart super phosphate fertilizer to be spread by hand around the hill sides .
A few cows were milked,and during the great depression of the 30s every hill farmer milked some cows to separate the cream off to sell to dairy companies to earn enough cash to buy essentials. A large garden was kept and the odd wild pig was shot .This was a hard life and I would estimate my farther would have worked 60 to 70 hours a week over the year .
Would any of our snow flakes live like this today ? I doubt it but they would expect others to live a life of ceaseless toil because they think that they are preserving a way of life and culture .

R. Shearer
Reply to  Gwan
July 22, 2018 3:48 pm

Thank you for that.

A snowflake might lament the toil of having to fly an economy airline to Washington DC and having to hold both an umbrella and protest sign in demonstration on a cold day in July.

Walter Sobchak
July 22, 2018 2:53 pm

Environmentalism is the last socially acceptable form of racism.

July 22, 2018 3:02 pm

I guess “and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems” doesn’t really mean what it says. Activists don’t want to support humanity, they want to destroy it. They will be the first to be culled when times get tough.

Reply to  markl
July 22, 2018 5:47 pm

Actually, the folks who staff these environmental organizations desperately need to keep the alarm going. They depend on it for their paychecks.

… the International Workshop On Neonicotinoids in 2010 and it explains a lot about how the anti-science contingent has managed to maintain so much mindshare in media: they know how to work the system and created a 4-year plan to do just that. link

The plan involves creating peer reviewed scientific papers published in reputable journals with made-to-measure conclusions. How do we know that, you ask? These bozos published their how-to manual on line.

The environmental organizations pretend to be virtuous while feathering their CEOs’ nests.

The most evil villain looks outwardly like a saint.

It’s a paraphrase. I think it’s Plato. I can’t find the original.

Reply to  commieBob
July 23, 2018 8:47 am

I watched a episode of Star Trek TNG recently.
At the end Capt Picard stated: “Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who hide their evil in good deeds often go undetected.”

July 22, 2018 3:14 pm

“Would it also oppose cancer-curing chemotherapy because it causes hair loss and reduced resistance to infections?”

What if they do? Is there any evidence that modern chemo, which is extremely costly, is better than old chemo or sometimes better than nothing?

Reply to  simple-touriste
July 22, 2018 4:11 pm

Shouldn’t we listen to The Experts? Medical doctors are the authorities in your example and if they say chemo, why would you be skeptical? It’s similar to AGW, we are told that 97% of climate scientists agree but some people seem to be skeptical and I think they have good reason to be.

In case I’m not being clear, there is good reason to be skeptical of much that our medical establishment does, and it’s good to be skeptical of AGW.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Albert
July 22, 2018 4:52 pm

What is the point of trying to link skepticism of medical science to skepticism of CAGW? This has nothing to do with climate and is off-topic.

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 22, 2018 5:54 pm

Rich, that’s a great question, ask the author of this article. He brought it up.

Reply to  simple-touriste
July 22, 2018 5:19 pm


Clearly, you have not encountered many chemo patients over the last 40 years or so. Around 80% of cancers caught in their early stages today, are successfully cured by medical intervention, including modern chemo therapy. Modern chemo therapy causes far fewer side effects than old chemo therapy and patients respond better.

Cancer was a death sentence 40 years ago, early stage or otherwise.

So what if it’s costly? What’s your life worth? Judging by your comment, not a lot.

And yes, there is overwhelming evidence that modern chemo therapy is better than old chemo therapy, and is much better than nothing.

Reply to  simple-touriste
July 22, 2018 6:57 pm

Is there any evidence?
Yes, lots of it.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  simple-touriste
July 22, 2018 8:14 pm

I can tell you from personal experience that modern chemo is better. When I was diagnosed with stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, I was told that it was a slow-growing, but incurable cancer. Most patients could achieve remission, but the cancer would return in 2 to 5 years in most cases. My treatment included a new type of chemo that was added to the old. Because of it, I have been in remission for 12 years. Were their side affects from the chemo? Sure, but I am alive and enjoying life. One can always decide not to receive the new treatments if one chooses, but please don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

July 22, 2018 3:16 pm

The envirowacoism ecocommie bs is being taught in our schools to our youngest and oldest students from elementary school to college and graduate school. That is where the battle needs to be fought, in the educational arena starting with those schools which teach our teachers. If not, we will lose in the long run.

John Nelson
July 22, 2018 3:19 pm

Pol Pot would have been an enthusiastic member of AgroEcology

Percy Jackson
July 22, 2018 3:44 pm

I am amused by the description of the group as “a coalition of well-financed malcontents”. Looking at their webpage their 5 year goal is to double their available funding to 2 million dollars a year. If Paul really thinks the across the globe the poor are being threatened by a group that at best currently hands out 1 million a year in funding then he would appear to have very little concept of just how little evil or good you could achieve with that level of funding.

Donald Schmitt
July 22, 2018 3:49 pm
Martin Howard Keith Brumby
July 22, 2018 3:59 pm

Food Sovereignty and indigenous practices.

That’s the ticket.
Sounds like the NGOs will be happy for the peasantry to go back to killing elephants, tigers, apes and all the rest to feed the family, protect their crops and sell odd chunks to rich Chinese for their traditional medicines.
Should be interesting.

July 22, 2018 4:04 pm

Don’t need golden rice if mangos are grown and eaten

Rich Davis
Reply to  ROB
July 22, 2018 4:55 pm

While that may or may not be accurate, how does it argue against golden rice? Why should they not have both?

Reply to  ROB
July 22, 2018 4:58 pm


Too bad if all you can afford is rice.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  ROB
July 22, 2018 6:06 pm

Rob, Go to the rural areas of the Philippines. People are lucky to get a bowl of rice or two a day. Childhood blindness is not rare. Adults suffer form conditions caused from lack of vitamin A. They can’t afford fruit. Most people in developed countries have no concept of true poverty. The problem with golden rice is low yield per acre. The Philippines imports quite q bit of rice, so who would want to plant a lower yield rice?

Richard Patton
July 22, 2018 4:33 pm

Evil by any other name is still evil

July 22, 2018 4:37 pm

They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death.

Doesn’t anyone get sick of hearing this virtue signalling about how proprietary lifeforms from magnificent and benevolent corporations are going to save the poor from their own dietetic stupidity?

But, in a surprising twist, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded its consultation process on Golden Rice by informing its current developers, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), that Golden Rice
does not meet the nutritional requirements to make a health claim.

Here’s the letter from the FDA stating exactly that – no nutritional benefits

Of course, that won’t stop fans of proprietary life making false health claims about the alleged benefits of golden rice for the poor.
If golden rice was worth anything, it wouldn’t need to be supported by decades of deceptive propaganda.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Khwarizmi
July 22, 2018 6:50 pm

K, As Americans do not eat much rice, the FDA study was based on 45 grams per day ( less than 2oz). The average consumption in the Philippines is 290 grams per day, Bangladesh 367 grams per day. So, in this country, not much help. In countries where rice consumption is high and fruit consumption in low, it sure would help. The poor can’t afford fruits. The problem with golden rice is low yield per acre. Who would want to grow a low yield crop? PS, golden rice is not a product of benevolent corporations. The Philippines has been doing research on rice for years with the help of the IRRI and China. Perhaps the Philippines asked the FDA to look at golden rice. There is no reason to adopt golden rice as an American crop. The poor in the USA get more than one or two bowls of rice a day.

Reply to  Khwarizmi
July 23, 2018 8:52 am

“Doesn’t anyone get sick of hearing this virtue signalling about how proprietary lifeforms from magnificent and benevolent corporations are going to save the poor from their own dietetic stupidity?”

Get off your freaking high horse and re-join humanity.

Corporations aren’t benevolent, and magnificent is as always, in the eye of the beholder. However corporations, while seeking after their own profit, have provided the things that have improved life for everyone.
It’s poverty, not stupidity that have condemned the poor.

The fact that you have to provide multiple adjectives in an attempt to hide the poverty of your position is a pretty good indicator that even you recognize how poorly thought out your position is.

Harry Newman
July 22, 2018 4:41 pm

I was involved with the FAO and IPM in the early 2000s. Lots of “secondary” good things associated with the program and there was a mountain of corruption at all levels with the various extension and agriculture support programs by just about everybody, including the World Bank. Africa was a dumping ground for just about every nasty pesticide and chemical ever produced. The virtuous Sasakawa “peace” foundation was caught red handed funneling obsolete and dangerous pesticides into Africa for tax credits in Japan. Botswana, a pastoral country was a favored dumping ground of pesticides because of the lack of regulations on field pesticides. Repositories of obsolete pesticides happened to be located next to schools, kids were dying. So lots of reasons to deal with the preexisting agricultural support system into places like Africa, but Asia and South America as well. It was clear that IPM schools and the like could help at the time by empowering locals and identifying the corruption in old Ag programs. But it is no surprise that IPM degenerated to virtue signaling. Few of the field operatives wanted to listen to the local farmers, most of whom at the time were women who made it clear that they would have been happy to have a bit of certified seed and some poultry. At the end of the day it was clear that what poor farmers needed most was competitive markets where they could sell their goods and make some cash to send their kids to school, get a fridge etc. What they got instead was a mountain of EU agriculture subsidies stacked against them by the socialist overlords at Brussels, and then virtuous food aid into Africa which devastated markets for local farmers. The struggling farmers in Africa certainly don’t need the virtuous agro-Ecology, but the global distortion of agriculture markets and most virtuous food aid programs would go a long way to wiping out poverty very quickly. In the day it was a bit of a joke that the level of agricultural subsidies in the EU, Japan and the US was larger than the entire GDP of all of the African countries. A little less distortion and a bit more competition would be dynamite for the Africa women farmers. But maybe not as sexy for the virtue spinners?

July 22, 2018 5:04 pm

Does this mean we Scots will be forced back to eating nothing but porridge, turnips and potatoes? We’ll pretty soon run out of Haggis, assuming we can catch the damn things.

Oh goody, Rickets make a return. How nostalgic.

John Robertson
July 22, 2018 5:06 pm

As I get ever more cynical,I picture Gang Green assuring us of it’s virtue.
Image your immune system buying that.
The saying,Your average environmentally concerned citizen will do virtually anything to save the planet,engage in physical assault and break many laws,even sabotage life protection systems…
Anything at all, except get an education,actually take some classes on biology,physics and chemistry,history is a blank page to these emotionally “engaged” persons.

Seems the left wing progressives are right about something,Re-education camps, every protester caught breaking the law and infringing other peoples rights should be forced to gain basic science and mathematical skills..
Just remember this Gang Green is as destructive to civil society as gangrene is to your body.
Banishment may be the only cure for some of the most afflicted.

July 22, 2018 5:38 pm

The UN Human Rights Covenant:
– the right to work in just and favourable conditions;
– the right to social protection, to an adequate standard of living and to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental well-being;
– the right to education and the enjoyment of benefits of cultural freedom and scientific progress.
I never knew there was a “right to subsistence farming by indigenous people.” Aren’t we all indigenous people?

Pompous Git
Reply to  Robber
July 23, 2018 12:01 am

Aren’t we all indigenous people?

Nope. I was born in the UK and made my home in Tasmania at the opposite end of the planet. Lotsa people from all over the world live in these parts.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Robber
July 23, 2018 3:23 pm

Indigenous to the planet, I suppose.

July 22, 2018 5:38 pm

Brlliant analysis. Thank you.
To which I would like to add how the undp, charged with ending poverty is now in the clumate business and using fancy acronyms to push climate action on to the poor who incidentally have no climate action obligation under the UNFCCC.

July 22, 2018 5:55 pm

” like the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which collectively have committed more than $500 million to a raft of like-minded NGOs.”

Here are some links of organizations that are financed by the Rockefeller Bros.

The Rockefellers also have a search option on their website which is very useful and informative.



July 22, 2018 9:21 pm

Outstanding essay.
Bob Hoye

Pompous Git
July 22, 2018 11:27 pm

“natural” pesticides commonly used by organic farmers are safe. In reality, copper sulfate can kill humans in lower doses per kilogram of body weight than aspirin, and exposure to rotenone causes Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats and can also kill humans.

David, I thought you’d know better than that! Copper sulphate is used by conventional farmers as well as organic farmers. My orcharding neighbours are spraying the copper on their apple and cherry trees as I type this. Rotenone is OK for use by conventional farmers, but not organic produce for export. See:

Item 4.2 Use of Rotenone, Derris Elliptica, Ryania, Boric acid, Propolis, Carnauba wax, Sodium
Silicate or Mineral Oils for pest and disease control is prohibited.

Rotenone is only OK under the organic standard for use on non-edible plants and not where it can be washed into aquatic systems.

July 23, 2018 1:08 am

Perhaps the eco-warriors should take part in a new television programme “House Swap International” where they exchange homes with a poor African for a month. Let’s see how the eco-warrior get’s along.

July 23, 2018 4:27 am

Perhaps they see themselves virtuous because they’re “warriors for” a victim (the planet) which can’t fight for itself? But human morality is just that: human. A philosophy which is no longer pro-human can’t be called moral; it’s, rather, immoral.

July 23, 2018 5:44 am

Completely unrelated to the topic at hand, but this article appears to be editable when I open it in Chrome or Firefox. I can change words or formatting, but I haven’t tried to save it back to the server. (I’m sure saving would fail, as I don’t have any access credentials, but I don’t want to take the chance.)

Geoff Sherrington
July 23, 2018 8:39 am

About 15 years ago, the Australian national broadcasters ABC announced that its gardening emphasis would be on organic gardening. One of its popular TV presenters wascretiring and he and apparently others decided to use propaganda from the State to push this organic myth method. The ABC started an organic gardening magazine that is still going at taxpayer expense, a remarkable feat given the lack of much reportable material in the topic.
Others more qualified have attested in droves to the stupidity and dangers of the organic farming concepts, but the ABC doubled down and intensified auxiliary efforts like demonizing chemicals and genetic modifications.
I have never been able to work out who ratted the ABC back then, but it was a very good infiltration. I have lodged formal complaints, with supporting material, but have not been surprised by the bureaucratic senseless jargon by which the crime was justified. I guess people were paid off by some rich body or person who was poorly educated about ethics and morals.
Our present social structure stinks. This is simple corruption at work in our ABC, unchecked and protected for years by someone who must know. Geoff.

July 23, 2018 8:42 am

Typo: it’s Driessen not Dreissen

Ian Macdonald
July 23, 2018 9:07 am

The ethos of the Greens seems to be based on the idea that if we do everything the way nature intended, then everything will work out perfectly. Therefore they must stop everyone else from doing things in ways which (they think) nature never intended.

Unfortunately there is very little real world evidence to support this notion. Species that survive, generally do so because of their tenaciousness, cleverness and adaptability, not because they have done exactly what ‘Eywa’ wants them to do.

It’s also evident that species which work together for the common good have better survivability than those which fight among themselves. Pods of dolphins warding off sharks for example. We could learn something there.

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