SOC 2080 Mar.29.docx

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3 Apr 2012
From Green Revolution to GM Foods
-is GM well tested and proven safe?
-EU-USA biotech committee said in 2000 “there is a lack of substantial scientific evidence and data” on
this issue
-recent article in Science [2000] argues that “key experiments on both environmental risks and
benefits are lacking”
Jeffrey Smith-“What could go Wrong”
-the results of genetic engineering can be highly unpredictable and full of surprises
-there is a lot going on w/gene expression that we don’t understand
-many scientific principles underlying early gene expression have proven to be false
-it’s wrong to believe gene expression is simply an extension of previous natural breeding practices
State of the World’s Forests
-according to world watch institute:
-one half of the world’s forests [3 billion acres-are gone]
-200 million acres lost between 1980-1995
-an area larger than Mexico
-each year 16 million hectares of forest are lost
Asia lost 1/3 of its forests between 1960-1990
-80 million acres of forest converted to tree plantations worldwide
-today b/c of climate change and other factors even humid tropic rainforests are burning [forest fires b/c
trees were so dried out]
-Canada has over 1/3 of world’s boreal forest, 1/10 of all forests
-government oversight of forestry practices drastically reduced-Canadian Forestry Service budget cut
$219 million to $93 million between 1995-1998
Language of Alternative World-Views
View#1-trraditional forestry “science” and forest industry
-chief objective-maximize short term return on investment
forest=resource to be exploited for private gain
favoured method: clear-cut logging: at present 90% of forest clear-cut logged on average, 90% area os
virgin forest
-economic outcome: short-term profit maximization for investor
-ecological outcome: vast simplification of forest
-forest management=agricultural model, forest as a crop to be harvested
-labour is a cost of production, to be reduced whenever possible
-1990’s mechanization of logging=cutting crew in the bush now 10% of pre-mechanization in N.E.
Ontario forestry
-contracting out of cutting crews now favoured by multi-national logging companies-“fallers” now
independent operators=must cover own liability insurance costs, equipment costs etc.
-value of wider forest ecology-none
-aesthetic value of forest-not considered expect when forced to by government
-main organizational form: multi-national corporations
-new “super mills”=enormous consumption of trees to be profitable
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