mardi 12 juillet 2016

81- Glyphexit, the big illusion


It's amazing, the British populist laboratory has just given birth to a scam that even its own creators and its supporters fear.


The Huffington Post, in its French edition, published a video montage of an unthinkable reality.

This arrangement simply demonstrates that artisans of the Brexit (exit of Britain from the European Community) have used it to gain notoriety, to criticize, to create an opposition to the ruling power, but their intentions were many, but certainly not to come to power. It's so much more comfortable to be in the opposition!
Look this young woman who says ingenuously, the day after the vote "I opened my eyes," or "if there is another referendum, I'll be more careful."

However, it is not a unique case, far from it, if you see Google search statistics, which show that research on the European Community increased by 250% AFTER the vote.
One can add to this crazy finding, that the areas that voted for "Leave" are often deprived areas, which are those that receive the more important Community aid.

If at this is added that the UKIP leader, the party which promoted the "Leave" (get out) and ideologist of the referendum, many years ago, Nigel Farage, recognized on television, AFTER the vote, that one of the main arguments put forward and hammered throughout the campaign, is simply a lie (a mistake, as he says), we realize how much we have a very serious and complex context, highlighting the public ignorance on the subject, his desire to protest against a system that he knows very bad and does not understand, the need for protagonism of the leaders of the movement, which results in a huge scam whose consequences will be enormous, at the same time politically and at the economic and social levels, and in the whole world.
We can expect a serious crisis that will affect us very directly in the coming years.

Why this article in a blog on Agriculture?
Because the parallel, for those who are very interested in the issue of glyphosate and pesticides in general, is obvious and immediate.
The questioning of pesticides, in the current state of legislation, is a huge scam.
Populism and manipulation of public opinion are obvious in a matter in which we have a very serious and complex context, highlighting the public ignorance on the subject, his desire to protest against a system that he knows very bad and does not understand, the need for protagonism of the leaders of the movement, which results in a huge scam whose consequences will be enormous.

So I headed this article especially for those who have signed one of the innumerable petitions calling for a ban of glyphosate, and that continue to receive daily a harassment of warrior messages from different pressure "citizens" groups as Avaaz, SumOfUs, Change, or from environmental groups like Greenpeace.
Not being sectarian, I authorize non-signatory and even the opponents to these petitions, to read this post.

You signed one or more petitions. You almost won. You're probably proud of this result. The extension of the authorization of glyphosate should be 15 years, it will be only 18 months.
In the confusion of the Brexit and facing a blocked situation, the European Commission finally take a decision without the agreement of the member states. The method is questionable, but honestly, I am delighted with the result. Glyphosate is in a survival state in Europe until December 2017.

Time has come for me to give you my perspective on what you thought contribute by signing these petitions:
-       The fight against the poisoning of the population,
-       The fight against Monsanto,
-       The reduction of the use of chemicals in agriculture,
-       The reduction of pollution in agriculture,
-       The fight against global warming,
-       The takeover of the people against the lobbies.

Let's see it together.

The fight against the poisoning of the population.
Pesticides are these filthy chemicals that farmers apply for fun on the food they will then try to make you eat. And among those, glyphosate is probably the worst of all. Brief summary of the situation, which seems to correspond quite well to the thinking of many people, right?
I do not know if you followed the fiery debate between anti and pro-glyphosate. IARC (a WHO program) has classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic.
Three other WHO programs say otherwise. Curious and somewhat contradictory, right? If the same organization, international reference in its field, supposed to ensure the health of humanity, is able to publish a thing and its opposite, perhaps should we ask about the value of his conclusions, and even its mere existence, right?
In fact, one member of the IARC, Christopher Portier, is also known to be an environmental activist of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Don't you think that it looks like a very strong form of political lobbying? If you want to change things in a concrete sense, place your pawns up in the leadership. This is the basis of lobbying.
Finally on this point, note that IARC has not hesitated to dismiss some recognized scientific studies, to be able to reach this conclusion.
What were saying these studies that IARC ruled out?
That glyphosate does not pose any health problem.
How many studies have been ignored?
Only 800. A bundle!
By the way WHO (but not IARC), a few weeks later (May 16, 2016), has formally issued a document stating that glyphosate, in the conditions of agricultural use, is probably not carcinogenic.
But, as they say, the damage was done ...
But at least if the studies included were scientifically impeccable! But this is not the case, far from it. This file is rigged from beginning to end.


As for documentaries and publications on the prevalence of cancers in areas where GMOs and glyphosate are used, as in parts of Argentina, this is simply rubbish, a pure statistical manipulation. See what says on this topic the very serious newspaper Courrier International (in french, from an german article from Die Zeit).
We discover that the chicory salad is directly responsible (98.1%) of infectious diseases, or the slaughter of pigs is directly related (97.4%) with the production of documentary films.
Still see the american website  that will show you, supporting statistics, that the US import of Norwegian oil is directly related (95.5%) with victims of collisions between a car and a train, or that suicide by hanging has a 99.8% relationship with US spending on science, space and technology. Yet Nicolas Cage, in his films, does not reach this level: the correlation is only 66.6% with the dead drowned after falling into a pool.
We can say what we want with statistics. The figures are true, the lies come from the false connections.
Agricultural products are healthy, although a very low level of pesticide can be detected. But there are people who have political objectives, using us, putting the finger where it hurts or scares us, to get there.
Well, okay, you've been swindled. But hey, when in doubt, as they say, huh?
Let us see the continuation.

The fight against Monsanto.
The power of symbols !!!!
Monsanto is a very large company, no doubt, but it has mostly been erected as a symbol because of its specialization in transgenic seeds. Many other companies in the agrochemical sector and transgenic seeds are on the same scale, or much larger, such as ChemChina, Bayer, Dupont, Dow, BASF, Syngenta (also recently bought by ChemChina) Sumitomo, and I forget some.
I don't believe that Monsanto suffer many of the local prohibition (we speak only of the European Community) of glyphosate, entered the public domain since 2000. It has become a generic herbicide, such as aspirin or paracetamol in pharmacy, so cheap and easy to find, on which manufacturers make little profit. Much of glyphosate used in the world is manufactured by Chinese companies. Monsanto sells, of course, but that is not its primary business.
In reality, the ideological struggle against the giants of agrochemicals will profit primarily to ... agrochemical giants themselves.
Nothing is worse for an industry to have as main competitor, a generic product as famous and widespread as glyphosate. Its ban will enable the development and launch of new herbicides, not less dangerous, not more effective, not less polluter, but much more expensive for farmers, and also much more profitable for the giants of chemistry.
Monsanto, on behalf of all his colleagues, the other giants of agrochemistry, thank you for the enormous benefits that removing glyphosate will enable it to achieve, thus strengthening its economic position and power.
Well, okay, you've been swindled one more time. But hey, when in doubt, as they say, huh?
Let us see the continuation.

The reduction of the use of chemicals in agriculture.
Less glyphosate, it is less chemistry, right?
However, conservation agriculture, and especially low-tillage techniques have some interesting agronomic consequences. For example, the fact of not plowing can significantly increase the activity of soil life, so its biodiversity. The grasses that grow after germination are also contributing to biodiversity. Who says biodiversity, says parasites and predators, balance, and drastic reduction of the negative environmental impact of agriculture. Gurus of biodynamics as Claude Bourguignon, can’t pronounce their catchphrase any more "this soil is dead" because these soils found an extraordinary life again.
We remove glyphosate, so we go back to plowing, we reduce biodiversity on the ground and in the soil, and we increase the incidence of pests, because of the reduction of predatory wildlife. We are faced with an increased risk of having to use pesticides.


But above all, conservation agriculture has two major advantages, reducing soil erosion effects, and increasing their natural fertility, thus reducing fertilizer requirements.
The return to tillage will result in inevitable increase in loss of soil fertility, thus increasing fertilizer requirements. In fact, the vast majority of fertilizers, are chemical fertilizers.
Therefore, the removal of glyphosate will result in an inevitable increase in the use of chemicals in agriculture.
Besides the more you do mechanical work, the more you use tractors, the more you consume fuels derived from petrochemicals.
Still missed!
Well, okay, you've been swindled once again. But hey, when in doubt, as they say, huh?
Let us see the continuation.

The fight against global warming.
As we have seen before, the benefits of the ban of glyphosate are limited more and more.
It must still let you know that tillage reduction techniques allow to imprison in soils a huge amount of CO2, the famous carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.
What is the relationship with glyphosate?
It is huge this report, because this herbicide is used almost systematically before planting in low-tillage techniques. Basically, without going much into details, you will not till after the previous crop, so you let the crop scraps on the surface, you let germinate the weed seeds, many, then you apply a glyphosate, which kills them and has no effect on the following crop, then you sow with a seeder, specifically designed for this purpose. The crop can thus germinate and begin to grow without competition from weeds. The later germinations will occur on an already grown plant, so dominant, and will have no impact on productivity.
What will happen without glyphosate?
There are currently no alternatives available in order to maintain the technique, both in terms of effectiveness and on the economic aspect. There are some other herbicides, but less effective and much more expensive, so not profitable on crops whose margin is very low. Farmers therefore will often return to plowing. Who says plowing says fuel consumption, with the effects of pollution arising and most of all, these soils will release millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, since they will be plowed again.
So the ban Glyphosate will have in the short term, direct and rapid adverse impact on global warming.
Well, okay, you've been swindled again. But hey, when in doubt, as they say, huh?
Let us see the continuation.

The reduction of the pollution in agriculture.
You know, since I have already told you in this blog, I use herbicides, specifically glyphosate, in mature orchards, in small doses and twice a year, to keep clean the tree row to control the consumption of water and fertilizers (herbs also like that), and to reduce the incidence of fungal diseases, responsible of important damage in orchards, favored by moisture maintained by the presence of weeds under the tree, and that we control with a sometimes heavy use of fungicides, often synthetic.
The ban of glyphosate places me with a problem I can solve in several ways:
-       Either the use of other herbicides, but more expensive, with major dose, and that will probably make me more applications per year,
-       Either mulching, soil cover, under the trees to prevent the development of weeds. There are two types of mulch, fragmented plant scraps, which require high availability of material, which is not my case (and which is the case of nobody, actually) or the plastic mulch available on demand, simply go to the manufacturer,
-       Either ground cover selected by a grass cover, with low development, and mechanical maintenance. This is experimental, and has to prove its efficiency. This grass, assuming it to be effective, will need water and food. It will enter into direct competition with the crop. I can't generalize a technique of this type, especially in a semi-desert climate, as is the case here, without knowing its short and long term effects.

So my short-term choice is between more chemistry, plastic, or over consumption of water and fertilizers. The second one is the most economical and safest.
In the long term, can we say that it is a progress, considering aspects of sustainability and environment?


Especially as mulching, whether plastic or not, greatly favors the development and outbreaks of voles. And who controls voles in the nature? Especially snakes and owls, but they don't like plastic. So I will use first poisoned baits (also risky for raptors and snakes). One more progress on environmental and sustainable plan!!!

-       I have a little hope in a fourth way, the shallow tillage but it presents to me a series of serious problems. I irrigated by drip, with two lines, one on each side of the tree row, laid on the ground. It allows me a good control of the contributed volumes of water, with a large useful root volume. Tillage can force me to do several things that I don't like: destroy the most shallow root system of trees, bury or suspend the dripper lines, two solutions with solid disadvantages, to pass frequently in orchards with a tractor, therefore consume a large amount of diesel, compact the soil, damaging the vegetation cover of the interrow. I don't know the type of equipment that comes to solve all problems with a minimum of inconvenience.

In short, currently, there is only much worse solutions to all points of view. I'll regret glyphosate, if it disappears. This is a great help for the development of agroecology.
Well, okay, you've been swindled this time too. But hey, when in doubt, as they say, huh?
Let us see the continuation.

The seizure of power of the people against lobbies.
You have not taken up arms, you have not stormed the Bastille, it was already done.
You stormed parliamentarians, using a lethal weapon, the petition, and it almost worked, because basically they are as ignorant as you, but in addition, they have a political position to defend, with all resulting benefits, particularly power and income.
You sign, and you sleep quiet. You made a citizen action for a better world.
We must ban this poison, this impure blood!
Ah, my dear readers, what vigor, what spirit of revolution, what epic struggle against the multinationals, these foul monsters that devour the world. On the scaffold!!!!!
Anger is brewing in cities.
In cities?
Yes, especially in cities. Big or small.
It is strange how this anger is urban (or from people who live in villages, but have an urban life and activity, which is the same).
Because those who know, don't protest against glyphosate.
It is the revolt of ignorant.
But in fact, who is behind this revolt?


Citizens and environmentalists pressure groups, who manipulate public opinion using scary arguments. And it does not matter if it's not true or if it's only a half-truth. You have to make the people shake. That's power. This is mere populism, that is, as defined in the online dictionary Reverso "political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people."
In fact, if you are looking for the definition of the word lobby on the same online dictionary you find "pressure group".
People did not really take power against the lobbies, he has been manipulated by a lobby to fight against another lobby. A lobby tries, with your help, to gain power over another lobby. People is only a weapon in a power struggle, not a goal.

Our dear politicians, often cowards by nature, have been influenced. A lobby against the other. It's so comfortable and enriching, a chair in a European bodies!!!
Above all, they should not take the risk of losing their place in next elections.
Well, well, okay, really you've been swindled from beginning to end. But hey, when in doubt, as they say, huh?

You know, people like being lied to...

And populist lobbies, especially environmentalists, know very well how to lie to the people, and that's nothing new.
We are exactly in the same situation. Except that in this case, the consequences are considerably more serious, especially indirect ones.

With the Brexit, we could see the voluntary withdrawal of the UK from the European Community through a manipulation of public opinion based on lies and populist arguments.
With the Glyphexit we will perhaps see the involuntary exit of the glyphosate by the European Community through a manipulation of public opinion based on lies and populist arguments.

Thanks to your signature, if glyphosate is finally banned (something which I hope will not happen), you will have taken an active part in:
-       The decline of the serious and reliable Europe, preoccupied with solving the REAL problems, which bases its decisions on irrefutable scientific arguments,
-       The worsening of the economic situation of farmers, now sentenced to use only proprietary products, so more expensive, significantly reducing their margins,
-       The enrichment of multinational agrochemical you wanted to ruin,
-       Global warming,
-       Soil erosion,
-       The loss of biodiversity in agricultural areas,
-       The increase in consumption of fossil fuels for agricultural needs,
-       The increase in the use of chemicals in agriculture,
-       The loss of competitiveness of European agriculture, hence its economic weakness directly related to the disappearance of farmers and farm abandonment, or purchase by increasingly larger structures, resulting in a reduction of family farming
-       The more important import of non-EU agricultural products,
-       And I probably forget some...

Yes, we can say it is a real success, congratulations!

I'm not sure to use the same definition as you of the word victory...


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