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Agrochemical Apocalypse An Interview with Environmental Campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason

Colin Todhunter

The renowned author and whistleblower Evaggelos Vallianatos describes British environmentalist and campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason as a “defender of the natural world and public health.”

I first came across her work a few years ago. It was in the form of an open letter she had sent to an official about the devastating environmental and human health impacts of glyphosate-based weed killers. What had impressed me was the document she had sent to accompany the letter. It was over 20 pages long and contained official data and referred to a plethora of scientific papers to support the case she was making.

For almost a decade, Rosemary Mason has been writing open letters and sending reports she has compiled to media outlets and prominent officials and agencies in the US, the UK and Europe to question their decisions and/or to inform them of the dangers of pesticides. She has been relentless in exposing conflicts of interest, fraudulent science and institutionalised corruption in regulatory processes surrounding glyphosate and other agrochemicals.

Her quest has been fired by a passion to protect the natural world and the public but there is also a personal aspect: she is affected by a serious health condition which she attributes directly to the reckless use of pesticides in South Wales where she resides. And her assertion here is not based on idle speculation. In her reports, she has presented a great deal of evidence about the deterioration of the health of the British public and how agrochemicals play a major contributory role.

She recently sent me a report ‘How glyphosate-based herbicides poisoned our nature reserve and the world‘. It focuses on how she had set up a nature reserve in South Wales. What she and her husband (who has a professional background in conservation and nature) had achieved on that reserve was impressive. But thanks to the local council’s indiscriminate spraying of glyphosate-based herbicides, it was subsequently transformed from a piece of land teeming with flora and fauna into a barren wasteland.

What follows is an interview I conducted with Rosemary Mason about her nature reserve and her campaigning. We discussed her motivation, the support she has received and her feelings after almost a decade of campaigning.

*

Colin Todhunter: Have you always had a passion for the natural environment?

Rosemary Mason: I was born in the countryside during the war and my mother took us on walks and taught us about wildflowers, which was her passion. My brothers and I fished in the stream for minnows and sticklebacks and set nightlines for pike and chub (we never caught any).

When I was a junior doctor, I became interested in bird watching and I am former chair of the West Area, Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. At that time, unlike today, farmland was full of lapwing, oystercatcher and redshank displaying and protecting their nests.

CT: Why did you decide to set up your nature reserve?

RM: In 2006, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust was launched in response to the massive declines in bumblebees, butterflies and insects in general, with the demise of traditional hedgerows, hay meadows, chalk grassland and wildflowers and the intensification of farming and the widening use of pesticides.

At the same time, the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council perversely announced the closure of its wildlife research centres for ‘financial reasons’, a decision opposed by 99% of 1,327 stakeholders. Monks Wood centre, which hosted BBC’s Spring Watch, pioneered work on DDT and pesticides in the 1960s and more recently revealed how climate change is affecting wildlife, with spring arriving three weeks earlier.

More significantly, the research centres were also involved in assessing the impacts of GM (genetically modified) crops on wildlife, with findings contradicting industry claims that no harm would be caused.

In response, in March 2006, my husband and I decided to establish our own small pesticide-free wildlife reserve after attending a joint meeting of the Welsh Ornithological Society and the British Trust for Ornithology in Aberystwyth.

CT: I have read your new report about your nature reserve. I would certainly encourage everyone to read it. It describes in some detail how you and your husband set about attracting an impressively wide array of bird, insect and plant species to the reserve, many of which had virtually disappeared from the British countryside, mainly as a result of intensive farming practices.

What I found impressive is your knowledge of these species and how you were able to identify them. From the narrative provided (which at times reads almost like a novel) and the enthusiasm conveyed, you put in a lot of hard work developing the reserve and what you achieved there was impressive.

RM: In brief, it was a miracle. I think the next five years from 2006 were the most exciting and fulfilling of my life. At the end of 2009, I wrote an account of speckled bush crickets. Judith Marshall, working at the Natural History Museum, is a world expert on grasshoppers and bush crickets. She said it was the first monograph to be written on a single species.

CT: Can you say something about the demise of the nature reserve?

RM: We published a second photo-journal in 2010, ‘The year of the bumblebee: observations in a small nature reserve.’ But in 2011, I knew something was wrong. The moths were disappearing from the area and the orb web spider had gone from the hedge. We were aware that the local council was spraying glyphosate-based herbicides on Japanese knotweed in the valley below and close to our reserve. But we had to be sure.

So, in August 2013 and August 2014, we sent samples of river water and tap water to Leipzig to Prof Dr Monika Kreuger for analysis. Between August 2013 and August 2014, the levels of glyphosate in tap water had increased ten-fold, from 30 ppt to 300 ppt. These were of the order of concentrations that stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting.

In August 2013, we asked our then Welsh Assembly Member to request the council to stop spraying glyphosate-based herbicides on Japanese knotweed. The council said they would only stop if they were authorised by the Health and Safety Executive.

So, I wrote to the HSE at the beginning of 2014 telling them about measuring increasing glyphosate levels in water and that we had had many cases of breast cancer in our area. They refused to do it because they said that glyphosate-based herbicides were still legal. I begged them to do it on several occasions, as we saw the biodiversity in our reserve plummeting. Finally, they said if I asked the same question again, they wouldn’t reply to me.

CT: You have engaged in a long struggle for many years, trying to get officials at local, national and European levels to act on pesticides. You have written many open letters to policy makers and key officials and have usually attached lengthy reports referring to data and scientific papers in support of your case. I think you began doing this in late 2010. Whose work have you taken inspiration from along the way? 

RM: The work of Dr Henk Tennekes, the independent Dutch toxicologist, was a real eye-opener for me. In 2010, he published a paper and wrote a book ‘The Systemic Insecticides: a disaster in the making’. It is about the loss of insects and insect-feeding birds in Europe, caused by neonicotinoid insecticides.

The RSPB and the IUCN Charities refused to help fund the book because it ‘wasn’t scientific enough’.  We subsequently discovered that Syngenta had funded neonicotinoid seeds for the RSPB Hope Farm Reserve. Systemic neonicotinoid insecticides are still on the market in the UK and the US nine years later.

I found Henk’s work to be shattering. It actually changed the course of my life. The fact was that he’d worked out that the effect on the brains of insects was irreversible, cumulative and there was no safe level of exposure.

What was worse was that the Chemical Regulation Directorate didn’t seem to take it seriously. So, I wrote to Europe and the US EPA and the response was the same: ‘there is no evidence that the neonics are harmful to honeybees.’ Henk had written this book with amazing pictures and artwork showing the impact on insect-feeding birds throughout Europe.

Humans had the same receptors; so, imagine the effects on humans if there are lots of neonics around. By March 2011, Henk and I decided that there would be a chemical apocalypse. So here we are, eight years later and bingo, our predictions were spot on!

Francisco Sanchez-Bayo, a toxicologist living in Australia, wrote papers with Henk agreeing that neonicotinoids insecticides irreversibly damaged the brains of insects and that levels built up over time. In 2019, he wrote a paper with a colleague in China, which proved that insect losses were global and due to pesticides.

Then there was the late Dr Maewan Ho of the former Institute of Science in Society who helped me to publish an article in the ISiS magazine in September 2014: ‘How Roundup poisoned my nature reserve’. She sadly died on 16 March 2016 from advanced cancer. She was an amazing woman and gave me much encouragement.

Finally, Polly Higgins, a Scottish barrister and environmentalist, gave up her practice and set up an organisation to end ecocide (destruction of the environment). Polly Higgins was an inspiration and campaigned tirelessly against ecocide. She died from cancer aged 50.

CT: Given all the open letters you have written to officials over the years, I cannot but feel you have by and large been stonewalled. Where does the buck stop?

RM: With David Cameron, the Health and Safety Executive and Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) . A ‘Letter from America’ was sent from nearly 60 million US citizens warning Europe not to authorise GM crops and Roundup because of the disastrous effects on human health and biodiversity.

Wales and Scotland took that advice. David Cameron received it on 11 November 2014, but he and Defra ignored it on behalf of England and kept it secret from the public. Cameron also appointed Michael Pragnell Founder of Syngenta to be Chairman of Cancer Research UK, which I’ve written about.

The HSE refused to ask the Council to stop spraying GBH on our reserve because it was ‘still legal’. The European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority ignored the Letter from America too and kept on authorising GM crops for feed and food in the EU.

Of course, there are many others who should be held responsible too, such as Bernhard Url, chief executive of EFSA, and the recently retired Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies.

CT: How do you feel about the destruction of your reserve, the pesticides issue, the state of nature and those officials who have effectively ignored much of what you have said to them? Disappointed? Frustrated?

RM: Those are such inadequate words to express my feelings. I am devastated about the global losses of biodiversity and I weep for our reserve. Sometimes, I dream that it is all reversible, but I know it is not. I read books about nature as ‘comfort food’. I feel sorry for the children who may never see a butterfly or a bumblebee.

Indeed, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of support I have had from certain environmental groups and media outlets that report on environmental issues. I would like the mainstream media to acknowledge the role of the pesticides industry, but I don’t suppose they ever will.

However, I have gained some satisfaction from receiving expressions of gratitude and praise via the academia.edu site where my work is archived. And at least Jon Snow (Channel 4 broadcast journalist in the UK) has revealed the chief cause of losses of biodiversity to be poisoning the land, not global warming.

How do I feel? Maybe ‘resigned’ would be the right word to use.

All of Rosemary Mason’s work can be accessed on the academia.edu website here

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mark

Nobody mentions it much, but all the sparrows seem to have disappeared now.

Antonym
Antonym

All? Not here.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“Nobody mentions it much, but all the sparrows seem to have disappeared now.”
“All? Not here”

Around here sparrows, blackbirds, arachids and insects have all been devastated; between 60 and 90 percent depending on species (my estimate). When it first started to happen (befoe becoming as clearly exponential as it has in the last two or three years) I mentioned this to a neighbour. She said she had seen a bee that morning. So clearly not all. If I get her phone number, would you like to give her a call to propose marriage? When I mentioned it to a professional gardener last summer, he said there were plenty of such pests in his neighbourhood. So again, clearly not all. If I get his number too, would you like to go for a ménage à trois?

Antonym
Antonym

I do wish all mosquitoes would disappear. Doubt if any eco systems would collapse in their absence. I don’t mind the rest of the species and even positively like plenty of them.

Some dark greenies would like most humans to disappear: are you one of those?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

Some dark greenies would like most humans to disappear: are you one of those?

That’s a complicated question with a simple answer. In the abstract, no, but in reality I think it could be one of the few ways that other species than us just might have a fair shot at survival (after an initial round of savage attrition as millions of “lower” animals and plants die from unattended domestication and a longer term attack as the containers of our massive stored energy reserves fail and the other score or more yet-unmanifested vectors of anthropogenic environmental destruction cycle around). Do I think that the implied trade-off is a no-brainer call in favour of humans? Personally, I don’t see much of greater worth in human beings per se than in other species per se, but then I don’t harbour the diligently closeted fake religiosity that such anthopocentric hubris requires of self-identified atheists or agnostics allegedly living outside of our anthropocentric Western culture while actually being firmly rooted in it. I’d be sorry to see us go, but that’s as far as it goes.

But the simple answer is, you have posed yet another irrelevant existential question. We have already disappeared. Consequences of cultural choices we made millennia ago (though ‘choices’ is not really an apt word for what are almost biological imperatives that needed to be recognised and countered from the viewpoint of the exceptionalism of the ‘intelligence’ that begat them at the time they were begat, but weren’t) have already played out. We might still have had a slight chance to do something effective about it up until about a century ago, or even a decade or two later, as the ultimate (in the sense of ‘terminal’) religion of our anthropocentically-distorted intelligence, Science, finally flowered into extravagent, exponential bloom, but we ignored it in favour of our long-term antidiluveanism. So now, while we construct huge contraptions of Technological Endeavour to ward off annihilation from possible earthbound comets and the like, the death we have cultivated from within has already occurred and we are still clutching at the magic of superstitious denial to see us through. It won’t. The “tipping point” that Scientists of the most modern denominations now routinely incorporate into their hymns has come and gone. This period of ironic aftermath is the one which will see our last staggering steps, steps we still fail to see other than as qualitively identical to our first. It’s now about 60 years since I first told a bored audience that if we didn’t, right then, radically change our tune at all levels of social organization then a only century more would see our species extinct by its own intelligence. So far I haven’t heard anything resembling even just a significantly new variation, let alone a new theme.

mark
mark

You see odd things like cormorants as well. An ornithologist tells me this is nothing to do with the Global Warming hoax, just changes in farming methods. Hedge rows, barns, all the poison they dump on the land.

Philip Roddis

Another excellent piece. Keep it up, Colin.

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson

Sometimes, I dream that it is all reversible, but I know it is not.

It is reversible. It only requires a change in point of view. Instead of worrying about the overpowering invader, she needs to be concerned with the weakened condition of the victim. The victims are malnourished. The reason is the decline of soil fertility. Soil fertility is the ability of the soil to produce protein. This depends on a dozen or so elements slowly being broken out of the earth’s crust and carried to the sea. You can actually see the results in nature of this slow decline of soil fertility. Symptoms include a transition from native proteinaceous plant species to woody species, a more compacted soil that causes water to run off, rather than soak in, increased erosion of the soil itself and insect and disease problems with crops.

The soil scientist, William A. Albrecht, PhD, states, “Biotic strata other than man are gifted in assaying their food intake according to different plant species and different degrees of rock development into soil on which plants grow.” The bumblebees and butterflies will demonstrate with their behavior the difference in nutritional value of the same plant grown in differing levels of soil fertility. This is an easy test to do.

edited by Admin to add blockquote

Admin
Admin

Pls try to use the blockquote function for quoted material!

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

OK, ok. I habitually use quote marks for in-conversation quotes and indents for external quotes, but this is your ball so you can be Referee.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

The soil scientist, William A. Albrecht, PhD, states…

I always think that appending academic qualifications to a quoted professional’s name is a good step in the wrong direction.

Separately, a species poisoned past epigenetics down to undesirable mutations in its reproductive DNA is unimaginable even to soil scientists working post-Crick, Watson and Monsanto?

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson

You need not worry. I do not judge what someone says based on their qualifications. I judge it based on the evidence they present to support what they say. I have no academic qualifications but I do scientific experiments that provide evidence to support what I say.
When it comes to soil fertility and genetics, soil fertility rules genetics. Genetics only provides potential. The ability of the soil to produce protein determines whether the genetic potential of the species is realized or not. Declining soil fertility leads to extinction of species, regardless of their genetic potential. Observing what is happening in the environment during a period of declining soil fertility suggests to me that we might look at what happens in the environment when soil fertility is increased with no other factor changed.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

You need not worry. I do not judge what someone says based on their qualifications. I judge it based on the evidence they present to support what they say. I have no academic qualifications but I do scientific experiments that provide evidence to support what I say.

Other than with regard to a few family situations, I’m not a worrier.

My comment was related to your suffix to Albrecht’s name when stating some of his conclusions on the importance of soil, your note that you have no academic qualifications and a medically qualified relative’s behaviour when he is out and about in public, which amounts to a Hare Krishna like chant of his qualifications. He can order a mortadella sausage sandwich at a lunch bar and still refer to himself as Dr Bobbobin when asked for the name to be called when it’s ready.

When it comes to soil fertility and genetics, soil fertility rules genetics.

Dr Albrecht is owed a great deal for his work on soil fertility, but that does not necessarily support your comment on irreversibility. The fact now is that we are already well down the track of intentionally or inadvertently targetting organisms specifically to enhance or inhibit, in a fully transmissible way, one or another of their responses to many aspects of their existence, including their ability to utilize (or not) various critical components of their available nutrition.

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson

Experimental evidence will show whether increasing the ability of soil to produce protein will change the environment in any way in an area where the soil is low in its ability to create protein. If one has not done such an experiment, how does one know what the outcome will be? Such an experiment can be done in a small area at low cost. My own experimental evidence in increasing the ability of soil to produce protein demonstrates improvements in the environment with regard to both plants and pollinators. For any experimental evidence to be of value it needs to be repeatable. To determine if it is repeatable requires repeating the experiment.

Brian Steere

This worthy article only skims the direct human consequences of degradation and death while the indirect ills to our lives are implicit in degradation of most all life on Earth.

I watched the documentary ‘Banking Nature’ on youtube last night – in which environmental scarcities (toxic debts) brought on by rapacious Corporate industrial development are repackaged under capture of the legal system and a hired weaponised ‘science’ – to set up a system of investments and speculations for money-sucking coercive control structure that also transfers The Natural World to Corporate private ownership – (Which may ostensively be pension funds and investment spreads etc – but via a financially regulatory ‘Canopy’ of top-down control).

The same system of agenda that wars, pollutes and destroys for money and power, work the environmental mindset and movement – and set it in motion many decades ago as the means of ITS sustainability at ANY cost. Their expertise is to get YOU to buy their toxic consequence as if to gain thereby.

As for the ‘legality’ of a capture or coercion of the politicians who regulated their protection FROM any real accountability under the law – this is the boot of Big Brother (tyranny by terrorism) on the necks of all who conform and comply for fear of pain of loss or favour of personal advancement or profit. We meet the same thing in seeking accountability from the the Federal Reserve and the same thing behind regulatory capture of ‘medical’ or ‘climate’ guidelines that crept into mandates by manufacturing the science and pushing its fake news as standard mainstream mind-capture.

It nurtures and uses greed of personal self-specialness, in profit or privilege, to leverage such ‘assets’ – but is set on power under any and every means of deceit – but for why? To what end? What does it want power FOR?

Insiders may believe various narratives that are fed them by their handlers and believe the end will justify the means – but the nature of an alien or non-human hate being welcomed and supported and protected as Law, Government, Power and Protection – is malevolence and death.

Our imminent ‘extinction’ is nothing at all to do with a cynical cover story of carbon dioxide as a forcing agent for computer modelling billions of deaths – excepting as a means to induce people to pre-emptively shoehorning themselves INTO EXACTLY such an IoT control system of globally enforced population control – that has nothing to do with qualitatively intelligent shifts to better ways of living together and everything to do with systemic energy and behaviour controls as an enslavement of those who survive by delivering their fellow beings unto evil. For such is the nature of The Choice… to save yourself, you must deliver others to evil. Now guilt and fear of loss says you have no way back. But truth is not set IN the past but in releasing the past of what you no longer consciously choose to carry forward. This is your power of decision.

The truly positive I can share of coming to such an impossible situation, is that in awareness OF such a Choice is the opportunity to know the true nature of such a ‘self’ as nothing BUT deceit – and no longer accept it as you or let it be as god and life to you – regardless how deep the learned habit of its persistence as a symptom.

The meaning of ‘Apocalypse’ is NOT the associations of catastrophe and destruction that is inherent to all invested illusions brought to truth – but the revealing of ourselves to ourselves. Hate will reveal you hateful and a ‘self-hating humanity’ is charging up the wherewithal to empower its own destruction. But an evil HUMANITY is not the cause of destructive intent and effects – but rather the systemic usurpation and subjugation of our humanity to a false sense of power and protection by which we choose slavery under illusion of freedom – but as one who knows not what they do. Hiding fears, gives them power in the dark while seeming to have temporarily escaped or mitigated them. Lather rinse and repeat…

Revealing you unto your self shall also reveal the nature of what hate is and does and why. But you CANNOT kill what you did not create. But you can ‘kill’ your ability to recognise your true creation over and over, over and over, again and again – under the belief it ‘saves’ you from a Total Loss. Winston Smith is Big Brother. All characters are cast of the mind that makes them. A loveless predicate makes a loveless world – even if Infinity is through and through and All about.

No amount of reasoned argument can reach those who have – under whatever pretext – chosen not to listen because they believe they already know. While this fact can be used to embrace a ‘post truth’ manipulation of the psyche instead of engaging in human relationships, such a choice is only seemingly meaningful or plausible for those whose goals are such as to justify denial of life and of others to make THEIR dream come true by coercion and deceit. ‘They have their reward’ – or the fruits of their current choosing.

You do not need Jesus to remind you that the seeds and roots determine the nature of the fruits. Nothing worthy of love can come from hate excepting the recognition of an overriding need to relinquish it. Refusing this is makes the overriding fear of a mind invoked to defend against truth – regardless insanity! The energy of such, shines on the just and unjust alike but our relational alignment within it can be a true or false witness.

Our overriding need is not coercive upon us because it is our true nature Calling and the nature of truth to be itself. For love has no need BUT to share itself because that is the law of its nature. The tempting habit is to believe that coercion and deceit must be demonised, got rid of, killed, eradicated, excommunicated, denied and walled out or denied voice. For that is how an attraction to guilt ‘works’ deceit as investment in FORMS of correctness.

When the ‘Law’ is become a reign of destruction, look to the law that is written on our hearts – and shares there. Give truth its due and you will re-cognise yours as a basis from which to live. A mind of lies is a tricky way to not listen within the heart – and so to hold the heart ‘weak and captive’ to an evil imagination given power. Nothing given power by You is weak, but it may present itself as victim, grievance or loss in appeal for sympathy and support – and rage in exposure.

Murder and genocide are not lawful under systemic corruption of formulation, interpretation and application of law by expertise in Corporate deceit.

Such ‘protection’ is a racket for powerlessness under fear and guilt, ‘made real’. That is – it is manufactured and fed in exchange for awareness and sharing in truth of love and life no longer believed possible Nor deserved. Self-hate calls for self release – but into life, not in death. Insanity is a collective or mutual attunement to a dissonance or blocking signal. Illusions must be ‘shared’ to seem real. But only love Can share. And sharing cannot be forced on others or on our self and be anything but an imposter. True Goodness is a resonance of recognition in act that shares life – and not a fig-leaved credit set or stored up against guilt-debits.

We do not create (our) being – but we DO make or accept the predicates or definitions of our relationship to being and to each other invisible – by acting as if they are true and then reacting to a world we make and take as reality itself.

Fascination with conflict and horror becomes obsessive, negatively polarising and destructive.How can we serve the release of others when we share the same ‘habit’? Self love takes time to centre and renew perspective in the heart of wholeness or currently connected relationship. Without simple but profound fundamental responsibility – nothing can grow or be built that doesn’t fall apart or deliver unto the same sense of failure. To persist in what doesn’t work and cannot work is a refusal to learn or change or grow. This is a failure of approach that guarantees a failed outcome under plausible deniability.

Michael McNulty
Michael McNulty

When rapacious neoliberalism collapses the environment the rich will understand at last they have far more money than they can eat.

George Mc
George Mc

But they’ll eat it anyway. The neoliberal program is a disease that does what it has to do in the same way that cancer does. The goons at the top are like those little chomping demons in Stephen King’s “Langoliers”.

universal
universal

Beautiful image at the top!

Loverat
Loverat

I wish Rosemary Mason well with her campaign and aim to learn a bit more about this. Seeing words such as ‘David Cameron’, ‘ desruction’, ‘ignored,’ and a ‘ lack of support,’ from groups who should be on this should strike a chord with all of us discussing the obvious and pressing injustices here daily.

One thing that does strike me is Rosemary was born in the war years. I know many people, including my mother who fondly remember growing up in rural surroundings remembering what life was like before this. If envoirmental groups cant get themseves in gear, I know many of our older generation have both the knowledge and energy and likely willing to mobilise against further destruction. That is perhaps where most support will come from.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym

I was born at roughly the same time as Rosemary. I too remember the much more creature-filled world of that time, now appallingly reduced. No swifts or cuckoos in my area for several years now, for just a couple of many possible examples. The soul weeps!

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Baby boomers are the unwitting lab rats in the greatest chemical experiment in history.
Unlike our parents and grandparents, we have been ingesting these toxins since we were born.
An ageing population ‘problem’ may never come to pass.
Hug your loved ones often.

George Mc
George Mc

Yup Malthus strikes again!

Antonym
Antonym

Anybody who wants to see many bees or butterflies just visit South India. They survived good old DDT, banned because of Eco protests.

Heathen Tinker
Heathen Tinker

Personally I would rather not have to travel to South India to see species that should be, and once were abundant here in England. Maybe if the airheads of Extinction Rebellion dedicated as much time and energy on this REAL threat to life, instead of banging on about us evil baby boomers, the general public might become more aware of this problem. I am not going to hold my breath though, as XR are one big corporate smokescreen to hide the real problem. By the way, comparing DDT to neonicitinoids is like comparing a hand grenade with an atom bomb in terms of destructive potential.

Antonym
Antonym

The banning of DDT made way for much stronger agro-chemicals. Own goal by the Western Eco NGOs in India.

George Mc
George Mc

By that logic, the banning of toxic agents is always conter-productive since it will lead to more toxic agents. Kind of a win-win situation for the elite.

George Mc
George Mc

“us evil baby boomers”
Yeah don’t you just love it when consumers are blamed for the shit that goes down? Like when they froze real wages and conned everyone into taking out loans …and then blamed everyone for taking out loans.

Heathen Tinker
Heathen Tinker

Or how we were all encouraged to convert to diesel from petrol because it was “more economical”,and then proceeded to condemn drivers of diesel vehicles as planet killers

George Mc
George Mc

And here’s the biggest one of them all. I thought I’d re-watch that Adam Curtis documentary “Century of the Self”. The first episode was all about Freud finding destructive urges within the mass of humanity. Apparently ruling elites were terrified of these urges. And then we get this:

“In 1914 the Austria Hungarian Empire led Europe into war. As the horror mounted Freud saw it as terrible evidence of the truth of his findings. The saddest thing he wrote, that this is exactly the way we should expect people to behave from our knowledge of psychoanalysis. Governments had unleashed the primitive forces in humans beings and no one seemed to know how to stop them.”

Did you get that? Apparently the masses all round the world were just itching to go out and kill each other. And when they were given a chance, the ruling class could only helplessly stare in horror!

On Media Lens, this bollocks was called out:

“Post-1945, as now, the real fear of politicians and planners was the existence of dangerous +rational+ desires and fears – popular desires for equity, justice and functioning democracy; popular fears that unbridled capitalism and militarism would once again lead to horrors on the scale of the two world wars. Freud’s theories were incidental – useful in refining traditional methods of popular control perhaps, but a sideshow.”

As ever, the ruling class create horrors – and then blame them on the masses.

George Mc
George Mc

Well here’s an interesting discovery: I see from Adam Curtis’s Wiki page:

“Curtis is inspired by the pioneering sociologist Max Weber, who (in Curtis’s words) challenged the “crude, left-wing, vulgar Marxism that says that everything happens because of economic forces within society”.”

This is a familiar manoeuvre. The claim that Marx – or at least some Marxists – reduce EVERYTHING to economics is used as an excuse to totally discount ALL economic considerations. But even more interesting, in the light of Curtis’s other documentary “The Power of Nightmares” which criticises neoconservatism, is this:

“People often accuse me of being a lefty. That’s complete rubbish. If you look at The Century of the Self, what I’m arguing is something very close to a neoconservative position because I’m saying that, with the rise of individualism, you tend to get the corrosion of the other idea of social bonds and communal networks, because everyone is on their own. Well, that’s what the neoconservatives argue, domestically.”

The problem is that everyone is most definitely NOT “on their own” i.e. we have a society in which individuals are constantly encouraged to feel “on their own” n order to neutralise any opposition to the neoliberal order. And then:

“If you ask me what my politics are, I’m very much a creature of my time. I don’t really have any. I change my mind over different issues, but I am much more fond of a libertarian view. I have a more libertarian tendency […] What’s astonishing in our time is how the Left here has completely failed to come up with any alternatives, and I think you may well see a lefty libertarianism emerging because people will be much more sympathetic to it, or just a libertarianism, and out of that will come ideas. And I don’t mean “localism”.”

There is a valid criticism here in that “the Left” have failed to serve as an opposition and have simply joined the neoliberal fold. But to completely abandon “Leftism” in favour of something called “libertarianism” just emphasised the failure of that “Left”. And note how Curtis contradicts himself in that he sees – and apparently endorses – the emergence of “a lefty libertarianism” but also said that it’s “rubbish” to call him “lefty”.

Heathen Tinker
Heathen Tinker

I have not seen that particular documentary, but it sounds about par for the course in the game of guilt and blame transferral. No doubt my maternal grandfather loved every moment he spent wallowing in the mud, blood shit and entrails during Part One of the great war for civilisation, while the peace-loving and altruistic financiers, industrialists and politicians tried desperately to stop the murderous rampage of the unwashed masses. He was probably overcome with disappointment when he missed out on Part Two, being a railwayman and thus excluded from all the fun.