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Author Topic: Dark Ecology
MaryM
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 420
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Post Dark Ecology
on: January 3, 2013, 08:25
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So this came across my twitter feed last night, and in case you missed it there I wanted to be sure everyone saw it.

@RL_Miller: "Dark Ecology" responds to the neo-environmentalists. Fascinating #longread w/ harsh Unabomber parallels.http://bit.ly/W5K1ep

I think this is seriously twisted. It looks to me like Paul Kingsnorth is having Palinesque "starbursts" for Ted Kazynski--the Unabomber. And then he goes on to tell us in loving detail about his skills with a scythe. Sweet, eh?

Here's the direct link to the article at Orion, Dark Ecology, in case the tweet link fails: http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7277

Although on twitter Robert Wilson said that he thought this:

@CarbonCounter_: @mem_somerville @SkepticalVegan well, he is arguing for withdrawal. He isn’t supporting action to solve problems, either way.

That's not what I heard. What I heard by the end--was "cut down the tall trees".

No where in this article did he address the fact that eco-anarchists have already been bombing and burning universities and other tech sites. Anarchists attack science. (Be sure to also read the letter from the brother of one of the bombing victims: Stand up against the anti-technology terrorists)

I think this article is a high-class version of what Mike Adams flogged recently: The GMO debate is over; GM crops must be immediately outlawed; Monsanto halted from threatening humanity

I predict a future where -- and for the record I DO NOT encourage this -- shipments of GM seeds to farmers are raided and destroyed by activists. I predict Monsanto employees being publicly named and shamed on websites. I predict -- but DO NOT CONDONE -- scientists who conduct research for Monsanto being threatened, intimidated and even physically attacked. Again, for the record, I DO NOT IN ANY WAY condone such behavior, but I predict it will emerge as an inevitable reaction to the unfathomable evil being committed by the GMO industry and all its co-conspirators. The "Army of the 12 monkeys" may become reality. (See the sci-fi movie "12 monkeys" starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.)

What we are fighting for here is the protection of our species. We are fighting for the sanctity of life on our planet. Those who threaten that life must be stopped from continuing to harm us. This evil must be put back in its box and prevented from ever threatening us again.

I think they are going off the rails. Seriously.

More: Nanotechnology: Armed resistance http://www.nature.com/news/nanotechnology-armed-resistance-1.11287

The sentiment is echoed by Beatriz Xoconostle Cázares, a biotechnology researcher at Cinvestav, who is experimenting with transgenic crops resistant to drought and insects — and who regularly debates with ETC in public forums. Last September, Xoconostle arrived at work to find that her lab had been set on fire. A month later, arsonists attacked the lab of a neighbouring researcher.

I don't think amping up the rhetoric--even by decent writers--is a good sign. Linking the ideas to Kazynski? Ode to your scythe? I think this is a dark turn. And it's very disturbed and disturbing.

Karl Haro-
von Mogel
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Posts: 234
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 3, 2013, 12:04
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By coincidence, I just opted out of personal information-sharing sites selling "public" data. Mike Adams' screed of "predicting" but not "condoning" vandalism, personal attacks, and violence against GE scientists may be likened to Mark Anthony stirring up a riot against the "honorable men" Brutus and Cassius. If you read the words literally in either case it just sounds like a description, but when you read between the words you can see the intent is to stir up a frenzy. It is irresponsible. And the moderates need to stand up to this kind of extremism, but will they?
Notice that nowhere in Mike Adams' call to (non-condoned) arms does he state that such actions are immoral or wrong - indeed he practically states that they are right and just - but that he doesn't "condone" it.

MaryM
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 420
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 3, 2013, 12:34
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I don't have a lab so I may not be much of a target, but I really think it's fair to be concerned for folks who are out in front of this issue. I hope y'all are careful and have appropriate security.

MaryM
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 420
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 3, 2013, 20:48
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Yeah, well, I'm not the only one who disagreed with this article. This is Charles Mann, who wrote 1491 and 1493.

Image

Oh, cool, if you enter a tweet URL it just loads it. Still, saving the shot in case. I am not sure what would happen if someone deleted a tweet.

EDIT: this was a keeper too. Postcard from the edge.

MaryM
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 420
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 4, 2013, 10:20
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From a tweet by Frank, I came across this piece of firebombing that I wasn't aware of: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2012-06-20/news/justin-solondz-torches-a-movement/

The targeting of an esteemed academic institution—carried out on the same day as a related arson at an Oregon tree farm—made national news. It propelled a major law-enforcement effort to catch the saboteurs, dubbed "Operation Backfire," and a fierce debate about the meaning of terrorism. Authorities labeled the arsonists terrorists, a term the press turned into the catchier "eco-terrorists," while activists warned of a "green scare" and argued that property crimes did not constitute terrorism—an argument that had particular resonance after 9/11.

MaryM
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 420
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 4, 2013, 22:11
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I thought "Dark Ecology" was the sickest thing I had seen on this topic this week. I was wrong. Seriously, they are really becoming unhinged now.

Rachael-
Ludwick
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Posts: 125
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 6, 2013, 17:24
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So I'm finally getting a chance to read Kingsnorth and I (unsurprisingly) find it infuriating in places (but agree in places of course .. darnit!). A lot of his criticisms of "neo-environmentalist" positions read like caricatures to me. No that's not what they mean! (Or not what I read when I read Brand or Lynas or Marris). Since when have "neo-environmentalists" said we should just let all the wild things die? Emma Marris, at least, argues we should concentrate human production and settlements so that we can intentionally let as much of the wild be wild as possible!!

Anyway, some small oddities so I can get annoyance at small details out of the way:

Peter Kareiva is apparently a "former conservationist". This strikes me as an unfair description or at least an incredibly restrictive definition of the word "conservationist".

The romanticism of the "health" of hunter-gatherers just rubs me wrong. I'm sure it wasn't all hearts and roses for women as I doubt child mortality (or rape) was significantly lower before agriculture than it was after (and until nearly the 20th century). See also Pinker's book on the history of violence.

One of the quotes from Kareiva (starting with "Instead of pursuing the protection of biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake, ..") is cast in Kingsnorth's piece in a way that when I read it in context (http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/03/new-conservation-ethic-21st-century/) is very different. That could just be my biases: I take it to me conservation has to take human utility into mind or it just won't be effective, not that we should throw out the idea of valuing nature. People obviously do -- the trick is to find a way to integrate those values better.

Then there are some odd comparisons. There is this sentence: "This culture is about superstores, not little shops; synthetic biology, not intentional community; brushcutters, not scythes." The oddity of this to me is superstores and little shops are both types of places to buy things. Brushcutters and scythes are both ways to trim grass or plants. But "synethetic biology" and "intentional community" don't seem like things that can be so closely grouped. What does this section mean then?

Anyway ... just a bit of ranting and maybe someone can help me out with what he's trying to get at.

Bill Price
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 260
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 6, 2013, 18:19
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Rachael,
Kareiva is being taken wrong or out of context. Right before that quote he says "And it (conservation) will utilize the right kinds of technology to enhance the health and well-being of both human and nonhuman natures." IMO, this is obviously not Kingsnorth's interpretation "... the wild is dead, and what remains of nature is for people."

MaryM
Elite Hybrid
Posts: 420
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Post Re: Dark Ecology
on: January 9, 2013, 09:10
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This is the first response from one of the named "heretics" I saw: http://brianclegg.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/ooh-im-green-heretic.html by Brian Clegg: "Ooh, I'm a green heretic".

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