The GM tree plantations bred to satisfy the world’s energy needs
by John Vidal, www.guardian.co.uk | November 15, 2012
‘It’s a timber company’s dream but a horrific industrial vision for others: massive plantations of densely planted GM eucalyptus trees stretching across Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and China, engineered to grow 40% faster for use as paper, as pellets for power stations and as fuel for cars.
‘… “The dramatic and dangerous impacts of non-GM industrial eucalyptus plantations are well known and include invasiveness, desertification of soils, depletion of water, increased threat of wildfire and loss of biodiversity,” says Anne Petermann, director of the Global Justice Ecology Project in the US. “In Brazil, these plantations are called ‘green deserts’ because nothing can grow in them. Now they want to genetically engineer them, which will make them even more destructive.”…’
I agree with those quoted who are concerned about these efforts to create transgenic forests. It doesn’t sound safe to me. Sounds insane.
But the article doesn’t give the impression that it’s going to be stopped. On the contrary, the most powerful “green” organizations appear to be on board with it, notably the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).
“Hirsch [CEO of Israeli company FuturaGene] hopes to avoid the GM furore that has accompanied GM foods, with the backing of groups such as WWF and Conservation International, as well as certification bodies such as the Forestry stewardship council (FSC) which has so far refused to certify any GM trees.”
According to the article, Hirsch claims this is compatible with the UN’s “green economy” [no economy] plans.
There are other GM tree companies mentioned such as ArborGen, a spin-off of Monsanto.
Suzano Unit Gets Brazil Approval to Trial GM Forest for Biomass (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-02/suzano-unit-gets-brazil-approval-to-trial-gm-forest-for-biomass)
www.businessweek.com | May 2, 2012
‘FuturaGene Ltd. U.K., held by Suzano Papel e Celulose SA, said it won approval from Brazil for the world’s most advanced trial of a genetically modified forest as it seeks to boost yields of trees used in biomass power plants….
‘While WWF International has sought a moratorium on use of genetic modification until the technology is fully researched and safeguards are in place, the environmental organization is now revising its position, it said by phone…’
As I explained here and here, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) writes (“lobbies for”) environmental legislation that governments pass in order to restrict property rights and freedoms (what we choose to do with our resources).
Here is the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2012 in which this “wildlife” organization repeats propaganda about human population. They repeat it until you believe it.
See page 12, for example, where pure authoritarian bull is spewed about “carbon emissions” and our “footprint” not fitting inside our “biocapacity”. Isn’t it wonderful that children nowadays get to be brainwashed with these oh- so- “scientific” concepts:
“Human demands on the planet exceed supply
• Humanity’s Ecological Footprint exceeded the Earth’s biocapacity by more than 50 per cent in 2008.
• In recent decades, the carbon footprint is a significant component of this ecological overshoot.
• Biocapacity per person decreased from 3.2 global hectares (gha) in 1961 to 1.8 gha per capita in 2008, even though total global biocapacity increased over this time.
• Rising consumption trends in high-income groups around the world and in BRIICS countries, combined with growing population numbers, provide warning signs of the potential for even larger footprints in the future.”
So the usual anti-human policies are promoted by this report, and this is totally consistent with their legislative efforts.
Genetically Modified Forest Planned for U.S. Southeast
www.scientificamerican.com | January 29, 2010
“International Paper and MeadWestvaco are planning to transform plantation forests of the southeastern U.S. by replacing native pine with genetically engineered eucalyptus…”
“… many questions remain about the effectiveness of the fertility system used by ArborGen, which, according to leading scientists, has never been rigorously studied in multiyear trials to prove that it can effectively control plants’ spread….”
I have another question about the claim that some of these forests are going to be used as a biomass energy source. If that’s true, how would that be consistent with the [stupid] goal of reducing carbon emissions unless they were harvested in a very limited authoritarian way? Is this just another mirage of a fake energy supply like windmills which never supply any reasonable quantity of energy?