Well, okay, he's figured out how to fix that whole problem they have of, like, starving all the time over there. They just need geneticaly modified seeds and lots and lots of agrichemicals (i.e., petrochemical fertilizer!). You know, so they can kick out bumper crops like farmers over here in the States do! 'Cause it's not like there are any negative consequences to that approach, especially not when rich corporations bring it to the tropics. Jeebus, Bill Gates, what is your deal?! Is it not bad enough that you sell buttloads of imperfect operating systems that bring blue screens and frustration* to people around the world....do you have to export crappy (environment-destroying) industrial farming, too?! (P.S. While it may be historically accurate, don't you think you could've found a better way to talk about the increase in crop yield due to petroleum-based mono-crop industrial agriculture than "Green Revolution"? 'Cause I dunno 'bout you, Bill, but I'm interested in a whole 'nother kinda Green Revolution these days...Plus, what the hell? USA, China, India, Africa: one of these things is not like the other.)
In fairness, though, this sentence in Bill's letter is spot fucking on:
It is interesting how often the impact of climate change is illustrated by talking about the problems the polar bears will face rather than the much greater number of poor people who will die unless significant investments are made to help them.I totally agree, Bill. I'm not sure, though, that expanding industrial farming techniques to countries that don't use them now will actually help this situation. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure it won't. Now, organic and permaculture resources? Whole different story.
In other news of the wackadoo, apparently someone's printing out the Shared Items from their Google Reader, and calling it a newspaper?? I saw one on the el this morning, and literally turned to my roomie and said, "I think they missed the point." Don't get me wrong, I love the tactile experience of printed media; I will probably always keep a magazine subscription or two, and you'll pry my books from my cold, dead hands. But. It makes zero sense to me to compile a bunch of blogs and print it out like a newspaper. Also? STOP NEEDLESSLY KILLING TREES, YOU THOUGHTLESS FUCKS! Read it on your damn laptop!
Another thing fueling my rage today: TreeHugger's "Vegetarians We Love," which is a list of *dudes* who don't eat meat. 'Cause, apparently, it is totally girly to not eat meat. Don't get me wrong, TreeHugger, I get that y'all are trying to show other dudes that not-eating-meat can totally be manly, since Joaquin Phoenix is totally a vegan and all....but excellent work ignoring the fact that food choices (should) have FUCK ALL to do with gender. And that guys need some kind of extra special prize for not guzzling steak at three meals a day.
Finally, to round out the sad state of the good, green earth and some of her fucked up peoples, it seems that Americans don't really buy this whole "climate change" business, and that if those of us who do buy it and give a damn are going to convince them to change, we're gonna have to dumb it down a bit, 'cause all that science talk is just confusing, or something. I know not everybody wants to pore over charts and data and read scientific studies which are, admittedly, often a little on the dry side...but the evidence is ubiquitous enough these days that we've already boiled it down to stuff like the penguins will all die and global warming is irreversible....I dunno how much less "science-y" it gets than those really plain statements, but apparently Jane Six-Pack still somehow thinks that's not a big deal. Ugh.
Le sigh. Okay, some good stuff to get the brain churning a bit: BFP & Jess' collab called (re)Thinking Walking, which is really interesting food for thought; a manifesto from Jeremy Schlosberg at Fingertips, who I find one of the smartest, fairest and most ethical music bloggers on the web; also, this bit about racism in SF&F is delightfully blunt.
The world is a complicated place, and I rarely find enough time to wrap my brain around even a small piece of it. But I keep trying.
* Note: I detest Microsoft only marginally less than I detest anything Apple-related. Just in case you were thinking I was a Mac person or something. *shudder*