In a hall filled to the rafters with agroecological and regenerative farmers, a man approaches the podium.
Most already know what he’s going to say, but they’ve come to listen anyway—only half believing that what they’ve seen and heard about his assault on farming and farmers could be accurate.
George Monbiot is a journalist and author specializing in environmental issues. His work is read all over the world. You could be forgiven for thinking that he might be on the side of agroecological farming. But increasingly he isn’t. And if there was ever any doubt of this, Monbiot’s performance at the UK’s prestigious Oxford Real Farming Conference, following the debut of his TV documentary, “Apocalypse Cow,” was enough to remove any last shred of that doubt.
For decades, the biotech industry has spun a narrative around genetically engineered crops that could be summed up very simply as “jam tomorrow, instead of bread and butter today.”
Sustained—and financed—largely on the promise of spectacular success at some unidentified point in the future, the research and development of new types of GMO foods, made with a whole host of new genetic engineering technologies, has gathered pace in recent years.
These days, without most people being aware of it, genetic engineering is spreading from the crops in the field to the animals in the barn.
According to a recent poll, at least half of U.S. consumers oppose industrial factory farming.
Now some federal legislators (and some presidential candidates) are catching up with voter sentiment. And some are stepping up with proposals to either severely restrict, or outright ban what Big Ag refers to as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).
The latest good news? A bill, introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), that could, among other things, lead to the end of industrial factory farms.
Beyond the media smog, the 24/7 fixation on the Trump cesspool and the endless distractions of the holiday season, I probably don’t have to remind you that the end of the modern era is at hand.
As most of us realize, even as we repress this thought in order to maintain our sanity, we are fast approaching “the point of no return,” whereby our 21stCentury Climate Emergency and societal meltdown begin to morph into global catastrophe.
Even in the midst of enjoying a break over the holidays and celebrating with our family and friends, it’s hard to avoid thinking about the “Emergency”—and the climate criminals, indentured politicians and climate deniers who have dragged us to the precipice.
Our common house is “on fire” as Greta Thunberg reminds us. And as Arundhati Roy laments: “It is becoming more and more difficult to communicate the scale of the crisis even to ourselves. An accurate description runs the risk of sounding like hyperbole.”
As another year winds down, I’m appealing to you with a greater sense of urgency than ever before.
The longer industrial agribusiness is allowed to destroy soil fertility, pollute waterways, bankrupt family farms, and monopolize our food distribution system for the purpose of profiting off the sale of nutrient-deficient, pesticide- and drug-contaminated food, the harder it will be to reverse course.
Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.