GW or GM

If you see a member of an endangered species eating an endangered plant, what do you do?

That’s an environmental conundrum and here’s another: what if genetic modification could reduce globbal warming?

AgResearch is seeking approval for trials of transgenic grasses which it thinks could reduce greenhouse emissions.

AgResearch’s applied biotechnologies manager, Jimmy Suttie, said the transgenic grasses had both environmental and productivity advantages.

The grasses were high in energy, which meant fewer animals were needed to get the same production, reducing the amount of methane released.

The science behind the forage meant digestion of the plant was more efficient, cutting the amount of methane produced by animals and increasing energy that went into tissue and productivity.

But Dr Suttie said the technology also had implications for further research to cut methane emissions and reduce the volume of water required by the plants.

A lot of people who oppose oppose genetic modification also support radical efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Would they be prepared to relax their opposition to genetic modification if it could be part of the solution to global warming?

GW or GM? Some see both as threats but GM also provides opportunities.

6 Responses to GW or GM

  1. JC says:

    Back in the dim distant I recall that used to be the story of the two doors.. the lady or the tiger.
    The cynics argued the tiger was the better.. or at least the cleaner death 🙂

    But the Green conundrum goes beyond GE. It applies to nuclear versus dams or fossil fuels or sinful wealth that encourages cleaner surroundings in which to enjoy it.

    And the huge conundrum for the Greens.. if they are successful there’s no need for them unless they keep inventing new and increasingly frivolous causes.. AGW?

    JC

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  2. Andrei says:

    Its not really an environmental conundrum at all, greens oppose all human progress, it is an instinctive reaction for them – the most wicked of them of course are unrepentant Marxists who have hijacked legitimate concerns people have about the environment to promote their satanic ideas.

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  3. Rimu says:

    It would indeed be a quandry if the ONLY solution to GM was GE.

    In the case of these grasses, I’m sure the temptation would be to simply increase stocking rates – leading to more meat/milk/profits but the same or higher emissions.

    Genetically modified cows that have more efficient digestive systems, on the other hand, are a much more promising and safe path, IMO

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  4. murrayg1 says:

    Andrei – first define progress. Next, remove the rhetoric.
    Then, try making some truthful observations.
    Im not a Green, but I’m certainly an environmentalist. We – despite the obvious arrogance of some – are a species. That species requires certain parameters to exist, for it’s continued survival, and is wholly responsible for ensuring those.
    To call that a satanic idea is somewhat of a mixed metaphor….

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  5. Andrei says:

    Progress
    developmental activity in science, technology, etc., esp. with reference to the commercial opportunities created thereby or to the promotion of the material well-being of the public through the goods, techniques, or facilities created.

    What that means for you in human terms is that you don’t have to worry about famine anymore

    and you don’t bury most of your children before their fifth birthday.

    Nor do you have to fret about typhoid, anthrax or intestinal worms.

    You most probably still have all your teeth when you turn forty.

    and you are very unlikely to die of an ingrown toenail.

    etc

    And because all of these threats are a distant memory to people like you – you come up with phantom worries about wrecking the planet – after all pessimistic doom and gloomers need something to fret and worry over.

    However for most people on the planet these things are not phantoms but part of everyday existance and they are too busy getting by to even care about the environment – which is why they don’t and is also why the environment in the third world is in a far worse shape than in the developed world.

    And your solution – to undevelop the developed world rather than develop the undeveloped which logic and personal experience tells me would be the best solution if you really care about the environment – not to mention being the best solution in terms of plain old fashioned humanity

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  6. murrayg1 says:

    yes indeed, but we did all our advancing on a temporary injection of fossil fuelled energy, and by ripping into finite resources at 3 times the sustainable rate.

    I’m not advocating going back to the stone age, I’m pointing out that your approach is taking us there.

    We can’t carry any more than 2 billion on this paddock, long term.

    The trick is to retain as much of our advances as we can, while powering down.

    Don’t ever relegate things as ‘phantom’, without investigation. That’s choosing to remain ignorant – hardly the hallmark of a mature society.

    Same with labelling people as ‘doom and gloomers’.

    Just watch the Dow, and oil prices. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet….

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