Source: Ecologist, 15th December 2009
US company wants its GM crops to be given carbon credits and to be at the forefront of tackling climate change despite link to deforestation.
Biotech giant Monsanto has been criticised for its aggressive corporate lobbying on climate change at the Copenhagen summit. In a public vote organised by an alliance of NGOs including Friends of the Earth and Spinwatch, the US agricultural company came out ahead of oil giant Shell and the American Petroleum Institute. Monsanto was nominated for its promotion of genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to climate change and for pushing its crops to be used as biofuels. According to the alliance, the expansion of GM soy in Latin America is contributing to major deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Read complete article: 'Monsanto named worst corporate climate lobbyist'.
If there were ever a smoking gun of how corporations are trying to cash on the higher moral ground of green ethics while, in our opinion, being among the greatest offenders when it comes to environmental damage, here we have it!
Corporate members of Big Pharma / Agri / Food / Biotech have an unusual knack of creating or exploiting situations in such a way as to maximimise their profits… they flock or sniff around anywhere where they could themselves gain benefit, in the same way that hungry vultures or hyenas are tempted by the dead carcass of another animals 'kill'. It's called corporate lobbying, and, with no expense spared, its very effective. It often involves relentless stalking of the corridors of power, with the purpose of influencing the decisions of powerful governments and legislators, or through 'assisting' in the efforts to rebuild a shattered, war torn countries, or providing 'solutions' for any type of World crisis, such as climate change.
The climate change issue continues to headline the news, especially given the recent UN talks in Copenhagen. So whilst big business was busy lobbying to effectively block effective action being called for, whilst also seeking to benefit, they were actually caught in the glare of a huge world spotlight!
It’s no surprise to us that Monsanto was voted by the public (37% of some 10,000 votes) as top in the list of greedy corporations, as their environmentally damaging activities have been extensively publicized, and are hence common knowledge by vast tracts of people in all corners of the world. A simple internet search will reveal the extent of the public’s contempt for this corporation.
It beggars belief that, with its record of environmental damage and destruction, not to mention the huge irreversible threat that will remain at large for ever with their so-called 'GMO solutions', Monsanto still attempts to cultivate an image of itself as 'responsible' and 'green'!!
There has been much anger and disappointment over the Copenhagen 'deal' that has fallen far short of expectations. For some this was because agreement to work towards the 350 ppm target for carbon dioxide, as put forward forcefully by the high profile 350.org campaign was not able to be agreed.
For others, it was the lack of consideration of so many other issues, including the fact that there are likely many reasons, rather than just carbon dioxide emissions alone, that are contributing to the current warming phase being experienced around the world. Read Dr Peter Taylor’s new book 'Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory' for a very different picture of events. Of course, none of Taylor's arguments, including the fact that the role of elevated carbon dioxide linked to machines and industry might contribute to only 15% of the current warming effect, were heard at Copenhagen.
In our opinion, key ecological (and climate change) issues such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification and acidification of the oceans have now been sidelined as a result of the excessively narrow focus on carbon dioxide emissions. Could climate change really only be a single factor phenomenom? What do long-term projections suggest? Could we actually be moving towards a cooling cycle? Just how many of the facts and solutions we hear about in the media are clouded and distorted by those ubiquitous vested interests?
One thing is for sure, there is increasing amount of evidence that there is something seriously wrong, and misguided, about the picture we are generally being fed. And the likes of Monsanto are always close to the places where disinformation-for-the-sake-of-profit originates.
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Updated: 23 Dec 2009
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