Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Edinburgh graduate changes mind on GM and Greenpeace - spectacularly!

Mark Lynas graduated from Edinburgh University in Politics and History.  He became a journalist and an environmental campaigner.

For years he ripped up GM crops and, along with Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, he exported, what he now considers unscientific and unfounded fears, around the world.

Last week he apologised for helping to start the anti-GM movement and for demonising something which can be used to benefit the environment.  His speech at the Oxford Farming Conference on 3rd January 2013 is sobering and salutary. You can read it and see the speech at this link.

Now Mark Lynas still seems to believe we are facing dangerous climate change.  And he may well be right.    But his remarkable Damascene conversion on GM suggests he may just be willing to recognise that the so called science on which the climate scare is based, is no more science than the unscientific passion which drove him to destroy crops.

The speech is around 50 minutes and there is a printed text at the site above.   Well worth taking the time to read.


  1. The two are not comparible:-

    Our record of introducing alien species is not very good. We know that many island communities were destroyed by apparently innocuous introductions. We also know that there are huge pressure groups pushing for GM which like drugs will distort the evidence.

    Likewise, we know wind farms destroy landscape and wildlife, but in contrast there are huge pressure groups pushing the global warming scare and the NGOs that ought to be protecting our countryside (or at least forcing the debate) have provided no scrutiny whatsoever of this ridiculous scare.

    Let's put it this way: GM crops are as dangerous as snails, rats and cats. None of these species are dangerous in normal conditions when they are in an environment which has grown up with them. However, put them into a new environment and apparently benign species can destroy that environment.

    We simply do not know the economic cost WHEN we get it wrong on GM. But it could be similar to the locust plagues in Africa ... how do you get rid of an alien species after it reaches plague proportions?

    The same is true of DNA -- we cannot remove alien DNA from the environment -- and let us not forget that some of the disastrous introductions were the introduction of new species to try to correct the problem caused by previous introductions of alien species.

    And lest we forget. The same new arrogant group of "scientists" who told us (without evidence) that the world will end in global warming hell, have also assured us that the world will not end with GM. Neither is correct, nor are those who say it will certainly end if we have GM.

    So, let's just proceed cautiously on GM.

    1. Thanks for your comments. It is helpful to know where you stand on GM. I wouldn't want to claim expert knowledge on GM - though I note the cogent views expressed by Mark Lynas.

      Actually, the post was more about the conversion of Mark Lynas.

      Thanks for your comment.