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04 DECEMBER 2017

One of the few benefits of these short days is that you get to see some rather lovely sunrises.

You will remember the closing scene of The Italian Job, where as the bus hangs over the edge of the precipice, Michael Caine says: ‘Hang on lads, I’ve got a great idea.’

This came to mind on Saturday morning as I listened to a discussion on the farming programme about the ongoing GM debate. The scientist argued that Europe including the UK was becoming a backwater, in thrall to the luddites. It was proven that GM crops would diminish the need for chemical inputs in farming and therefore would be good for nature and mankind. He was very convincing, and as the science progresses I do sometimes wonder if we are looking a potential gift horse in the mouth.

But then I think, it was this same fraternity of agricultural scientists that brought us DDT, neo-nicotinoids, organophosphates and glyphosates to name but a few ‘advances’ in agriculture that didn’t work out so well. Having  plunged the planet into the first mass extinction event in millions of years, they now have the arrogance to tell us that the way to salvation is to further interfere with nature. What this suggests is that the blame for the planet’s woes lies with nature itself.

Like Michael Caine in the film, they have brought us to the edge of the precipice. We are at tipping point – ‘Hang on lads,’ they cry, ‘We’ve got another great idea – genetic modification!’

Why can’t I trust them?

See you soon.