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China Third Country To Be Hit By 'Brown Tide'

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the can-we-find-a-way-to-make-it-edible dept.

China 129

ananyo writes "The species of alga that causes 'brown tides' in the United States and South Africa is also to blame for massive blooms along China's east coast on the Bohai Sea, researchers have found. The finding could be the first step to tackling the problem. It is the fourth consecutive year the country has been hit by the bloom (Slashdot's story on the 2010 bloom), with the situation worsening each time the bloom returns."

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history repats itself (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673209)

First the red flood, now the brown tide...

Re:history repats itself (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673233)

As long as we don't have the white froth...

Re:history repats itself (5, Funny)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673681)

Not a Santorum campaigner, I presume?

Re:history repats itself (5, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673239)

First the red flood, now the brown tide...

Both are different algae species and/or the bacteria that accompany the algae decay so its not all that surprising.
A surprise would be something totally different, like getting hit with "Tide with bleach alternative" or "2X Ultra Tide"

Re:history repats itself (4, Funny)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673395)

All we need to do is hit the Brown Tide with Tide with Febreze. It'll get the brown out, *and* it will smell 10x fresher!

Re:history repats itself (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673547)

actually I was more along the lines of this red flood [worldcat.org] . But reds under the beds aren't to craze of the day anymore.

Re:history repats itself (4, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673241)

It sounds like you're describing a movement made by a woman....

Re:history repats itself (2)

Reez (65123) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673509)

next, the golden shower ...

Brown Tide in Corpus Christi, TX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673661)

We had ongoing brown tide in Corpus Christi, TX. Lots of research was done. Run off from King Ranch, Chemical Industries, and city waste were all looked at. As I recall, the water had too much fertilizer in it (nitrates, phosphates).

By the way, if you are having problems with Geese pooping all over your lawn - stop fertilizing. That gets rid of another brown tide.

Re:history repats itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40676195)

What is this "repat" of which you speak?

Sorry! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673291)

It's my fault; beer, pizza, and tacos when one has cholera is not advised. Sorry :(

GM crops are partially the answer (0, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673351)

There is research going on to allow various wheat and barley strains to fix their own nitrogen by implanting genes from peas and beans. If these are used in agriculture substantially less nitrogen fertilizer will be required on farms growing these crops.

Unfortunately as usual the greenpeace and anti-GM rent-a-mod luddites are against it because ... well I've no idea really , best ask them. Perhaps they think nitrate poisoning of the sea is better than putting pea genes in a grass.

Oh wait , sorry , news coming in.... we all need to go organic! Presumably they've found a 2nd earth in which there is enough room to farm organically for the entire world but have yet to tell us. I await their announcemant.

What My Opponent Will Say Is Easily Dismissed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673443)

PROTIP: it turns out it's super easy to defeat your opponents when they don't exist and you put words in their imaginary mouths. Later, we'll show you how to have an entirely fair and balanced "debate" internally within your own post without ever having to worry about learning something new in the process -- but let's not get ahead of ourselves or you might accidentally learn something!

Re:What My Opponent Will Say Is Easily Dismissed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673501)

PROTIP: It turns out your a vile Slah dot idiot.

Re:What My Opponent Will Say Is Easily Dismissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673603)

AWESOMETIP: The poster above was correct, and you just validated it.

Re:What My Opponent Will Say Is Easily Dismissed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673769)

AWESOMETIP: The poster above was correct, and you just validated it.

MYPECKERTIP: Scrape it off your lips.

Never listen to people that put subject in replies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673535)

AMATEURTIP: it turns out you're not funny at all.

Re:What My Opponent Will Say Is Easily Dismissed (0)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673625)

Sometimes that's the only way to have a debate. Particularly when your opponents are to cowardly to come out and back their position when it doesn't suit them.

Re:What My Opponent Will Say Is Easily Dismissed (2, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674057)

Actually, these "anti-GM-anything-full-stop" morons are all over, and grandparent hasn't inaccurately characterized them.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673645)

I don't think it's being a Luddite to be concerned with the safety of something that is engineered, whether it be organic or a high-speed train.

Especially since in the U.S. there has been an awful lot of lobbying aimed to MAKE SURE that extensive long-term tests don't have to happen before these products go to market.

Even regular hybridization can occasionally cause bad side-effects and we've even seen this lately.

Being skeptical and wanting more information is scientific, not being a Luddite.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673943)

"I don't think it's being a Luddite to be concerned with the safety of something that is engineered,"

There's being concerned the proper tests have been done and then there's dismissing something based on nothing more than dogma. Greenpeace et al are firmly in the latter category.

"Even regular hybridization can occasionally cause bad side-effects and we've even seen this lately."

Life isn't risk free, you mitigate as much as you can. You're just using the standard issue "It went bad once so never use it again" luddite argument. Sorry, but if everyone thought like that we'd still be living in mud huts and riding around on horses. ... Actually no , we'd be walking , because someone once fell off a horse and hurt themselves , best stay away from the dangerous beasts.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (5, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674205)

There's a fascinating story with Greenpeace and GM corn. The folks making the GM corn did a study where they got both their GM corn and conventional corn that was as similar as possible, and then fed both to lab rats. They weighed the rats every week, then took the rats apart after a while and assayed ... everything. Organ sizes, weights, chemistries, etc. They concluded that there were no significant differences.

Greenpeace sued to get the raw data, something I think they have a right to (since that study was used as the basis for approval). They got some folks (grad students in Germany, I think) to do their own statistics, which concluded that GM corn caused a statistically significant increase in growth rate for male rats and a statistically significant decrease for female rats. I looked at what they did, and it turns out they made a sophomoric statistics error that I teach, well, sophomore undergrads not to make.

What they did, essentially, was to neglect the fact that limited-sample-size uncertainties in "weight of rat at 6 weeks" and "weight of rat at 7 weeks" are correlated when they tested for statistical significance. Of course they're correlated -- they're the same damned rats! (In technical language, they calculated chi-squared based on the naive standard-errors-of-the-mean, rather than on the full covariance matrix which is required for [strongly] correlated data.)

If Greenpeace can't even get undergrad stats right in one of the cases where they *have* shown their work (and it's wrong) then I see no reason to give them any credibility unless someone who's better at this than they are checks their work.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674449)

I dismiss GM foods because of the commercial interests and their behavior in the past and present. Controlling the food supply of the planet is inhuman and leads to inhuman behavior. Consider the ramifications of controlling the water supply or air supply. The results are much more terrifying but they are all quite necessary for survival and limiting and controlling the means of survival is where I draw certain lines.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (3, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674849)

Commercial food interests may be greedy and evil but GM food should be evaluated on its own merits.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676863)

In general, yes - but one can't help to look at the current practices in the application of GM crops. Those being vendor lock-in, massive monocultures and over-reliance on single pesticides making resistances shoot up. Can't beat evolution, guys. As soon as they stop pushing roundup-ready soy and corn and instead get nitrogen-fixating crops in a variety of cultivars on the market, I am ready to evaluate those on their own merit.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679691)

Yes, and let's not forget the other side-effects.... super-bugs.

We don't seem to be learning our lessons in nature and biology do we? We introduce foreign plant and animal life to help cure some form of pest or another and the next thing you know, the whole eco system is messed up and you're up to your arm-pits in frogs. And what of the over-use of anti-biotics? Heard any MRSA horror stories lately? Heard of anyone infected by one of those and end up losing arms, legs and more? I have... lots. With biological monocultures, you risk whole food varieties by exposing them to the pygmy tribe effect.

And these are things we, as a people on this planet, should all know about. It's not a surprise to anyone by now. And yet we still want to let private enterprise interests rule over something as important as food? Sorry, but no! Private enterprise and its limitless greed took down the global economy and it's still not recovered because they still don't want to stop doing what caused the problems. And yet people still want to trust private enterprise to control entire human food supplies? A global economic collapse caused enough damage... what do you think a global food crisis would cause?

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675339)

Good for you. But..

The invention of fertilizer allowed 6 billion people to be fed.

GM is what will allow us to continue feeding the planet as the population grows.

So if you're against it, I assume you will do your part, and restrict your eating (especially meat), and get a vasectomy to prevent yourself from contributing to the population problem.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

LourensV (856614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677759)

The invention of fertilizer allowed 6 billion people to be fed.

GM is what will allow us to continue feeding the planet as the population grows.

Well done to the people who invented fertiliser, and good luck to the genetic engineers. But it is, as we say in Dutch, mopping with the tap still running. Every time we engineer ourselves out of trouble, we procreate ourselves right back in*. At some point we'll have to figure out a way to limit the growth. We can then use our technology to improve quality rather than quantity. I'd have healthier, tastier, more varied and robust GM crops rather than just more of them and a larger population.

* Question: How are these activities distributed among Slashdotters and non-Slashdotters, and why? Bonus points if your answer includes a car analogy!

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676955)

air supply

You know what? I can't fight this feeling any more. It makes me feel like screaming.

I'm all out of love for these GM companies. Ain't it a shame that a few powerful people will call all the shots?

If it was up to them, they would stop the rain. Mother said, "hopefully this is the end of the line for them". I hope it's not too late.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674095)

In general fear of GM crops seem to parallel fear of cell phone radiation.

Yeah, it's true that there's theoretical ways that either of them could hurt you, but most people who are afraid don't understand much about either topic. It's rare to find someone who even understands how regulators test that GMOs are safe for human consumption, and if you ask them how the testing process should be improved, they can't answer. Then if you ask them to do a cost/benefit analysis for GMO crops, they just stare at you like lost rabbits.

Another similar topic is irradiated food. Blanket fear of radiation.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (5, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675149)

That isn't entirely true. No doubt that there are a LOT of people think as you describe. My problem with GM crops is that they are patentable, and it isn't a criminal offense to put a kill gene in the crops. We have seen huge problems with food monoculture where a single disease wipes out enough of a countries food staples that there is wide spread famine. The kill genes mean that the corporations with the patents of the food can artificially create these kinds of situations.

The situation with GM crops almost sounds like it is coming right out of a James Bond story. My problems with GM crops isn't that I believe they are inherently safe. Heck, I would love to be able to buy strawberries that were deliciously sweet, the size of a watermelon, and stayed fresh for a month without refrigeration. My problem with GM crops is that in our legal climate, I don't trust corporations not to manipulate food availability to increase profits. I also would not put it past them to engineer the food to induce greater consumption.

It isn't the scientific issues that worry me. It is the legal ones.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675337)

I'm not sure your worries are any more realistic than anyone else's. Imagine some company tried to control the food market. Then all the farmers would have to use seeds from 20 years ago. How bad would that really be?

Second, your worry about monoculture, which can be serious, is not related to GMO. It has been a problem long before GMO crops.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

maugle (1369813) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677485)

I'm not sure your worries are any more realistic than anyone else's. Imagine some company tried to control the food market. Then all the farmers would have to use seeds from 20 years ago. How bad would that really be?

Then that company (*cough*Monsanto*cough*) would do what they usually do: pay someone under the table to fling a few GM seeds into the farmers' fields, and then sue the farmers into oblivion. So, to answer your question, it'd be pretty bad.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677661)

That's what they usually do, is it?

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679373)

One big difference being that if we one day find out there's a problem with cell phone radiation, we know we can stop the proliferation of harmful cell phones and within several years the number of harmful cell phones will be insignificant.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679457)

Another similar topic is irradiated food. Blanket fear of radiation.

Oh really? Russian scientists from the 1970s disagree with you. Something about it reducing the nutrient value of the food over 50% while turning "healthy" fats into "unhealthy" fats...

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673709)

There is research going on to allow various wheat and barley strains to fix their own nitrogen by implanting genes from peas and beans. If these are used in agriculture substantially less nitrogen fertilizer will be required on farms growing these crops.

Unfortunately as usual the greenpeace and anti-GM rent-a-mod luddites are against it because ... well I've no idea really , best ask them. Perhaps they think nitrate poisoning of the sea is better than putting pea genes in a grass.

Yeah, that or maybe they think GM wheat and barley will be as much of a disaster as GM corn has been. We should do neither...

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673865)

"Yeah, that or maybe they think GM wheat and barley will be as much of a disaster as GM corn has been. We should do neither..."

Fine. Whats your solution then? A nobel prize awaits you...

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (3, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674285)

GM corn has been a disaster?

Now, Monsanto's lawyers in combination with patent law have been a disaster -- I'll grant you that. But the technology itself is safe (see above, and see the safety tests on Bacillus thuringensis bacteria themselves, which farmers used to put directly on their corn) and has prevented tons and tons of insecticide from being sprayed on crops.

I was a field hand in a study of Bt cotton vs. conventional cotton. The instructions to farmers were "farm both of these like you normally would, and ignore us -- we're going to come in and count bugs once in a while". The conventional field was a wasteland, since farmers had to spray to kill caterpillars, and then spray again to kill all the things that the predators who're now dead would have eaten.

The Bt field had bugs (and other insects, but mostly bugs) all over it, happily eating each other and eating pests -- especially aphids. Aphids are a notable critter here, since they're resistant to most insecticides but are a tasty snack for all sorts of predators.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673751)

Organic works, but only if everyone substantially reduces their food intake and wastage. The issue isn't so much that there isn't room, it's that third world countries like the UK and America eat more than they should and waste enough for a small family - not claiming I'm a saint at all, mind.

We're also in big time need of a population cull, I'm all for reversible sterilisation at birth, provided you pass a basic cognitive test you can have as many kids as you want.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (4, Insightful)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673903)

Here's a little advice, for free - when arguing your point, don't advocate for exterminating populations. . . . . It doesn't generally draw that many supporters.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (0)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675315)

Your advice is good, but it also points out why environmentalists really are not. The single biggest problem facing the planet is over population. Sterilization is the second kindest way to accomplish large scale population reduction. Promoting homosexuality is kindest.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

vivian (156520) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674589)

While you are at it, test for basic empathy and compassion too.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674853)

Is making sure that people who can't raise kids don't have them not compassionate?

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676399)

So you advocate a top down planned economy for everything, or just population?

I'm sure you have heard the popular saying, "if you take away legal guns, only criminals will have guns", now imagine only criminals and most backward countries are having children...
Is what you picture good for the human race or the planet?

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675193)

provided you pass a basic cognitive test you can ...

There are cheaper and more effective ways to implement a survival of the fittest policy.

False dichotomy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673907)

"If these are used in agriculture substantially less nitrogen fertilizer will be required on farms growing these crops."

Well if the plant fixes the nitrogen instead, how are we using less nitrogen, and thus fixing the algae problem?? The only way that can be true is if the plant fixes *just* enough and no more nitrogen than it needs, making it more *efficient*. However the most likely outcome is that the GM crowd make one that over-fixes nitrogen because underfixing is a fail, and there's no evolutionary drive to the efficient balance, it's an economic one (speed to market something in particular is threatening).

So its not unreasonable for the anti-GM crowd to be suspicious, but they (and I) am more concerned that you splice stuff with barely a clue as to the complex interactions it causes.

Let me put it this way, do you think the fertilizer people thought that their fertilizer would cause posionous brown algae blooms in China? They just made artifical cow poop, yet didn't see the consequences, and you guys want to change the nature of plants by trial and error with far bigger risks.

The obvious fix is more efficient use of the fertilizer so it isn't wasted surely? But that will happen anyway as oil becomes scarce and fertilizer becomes hugely more expensive.

Re:False dichotomy (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674323)

"More efficient use" means "hey, instead of spewing nitrates all over the place, let's let the plants make their own right where they need it". There's basically no scenario where giving plants the ability to fix their own nitrogen will result in more wastage than the current strategy of "mix the stuff up with the dirt".

Re:False dichotomy (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677481)

One supposes that fixed nitrogen embedded in plant tissue might be slightly less likely to run straight off into the downstream water supply than loose nitrogen from fertilizer (especially if the fertilizer is sprayed on rather than tilled in; I'm not sure how common that is in practice).

I'm not entirely convinced that the other poster's conclusion (that wider use of genetically modified crops would therefore reduce the incidence of harmful algal bloom) is necessarily correct, but I think I understand, at least partly, how he could have arrived at such a conclusion.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674103)

Unfortunately as usual the greenpeace and anti-GM rent-a-mod luddites are against it because ... well I've no idea really

Because nobody has any idea about the long term implications of using GMOs, or what might be going wrong. They make them, decree they're safe, and then say unless there's evidence to the contrary, they must be.

GMO crops can affect biodiversity, and in the case of Monsanto pollute other people's fields even when they aren't using it, and when it's sent for food aid the recipients are told they can't keep seed to plant next year because they're not "licensed" to grow corn.

It's the law of unintended consequences, really. Except that people take the default position of "what could possibly go wrong?", until something does.

If you think people are against GMO food because they're luddites, then you're an idiot.

People are against it because there's no evidence it's safe either, and there's a lot that can go wrong with it. In fact, there's loads of examples where it has.

Genetically modified pigs have ended up in the food supply [mindfully.org] and contaminated crops [guardian.co.uk] .

It's like pharmaceuticals. The company who makes it has a vested interest in selling it, so if they take a few shortcuts, or leave out the evidence they don't like, or outright fabricate their evidence -- well, then we don't really know what we're getting, do we?

I'm far from a luddite, but I see an awful lot to suggest that people are doing this, doing a piss poor job of actually keeping tabs on it, and not always being up front about it when it goes wrong. With some things (say, thalidomide) you only discover the disastrous consequences after literally years.

Feel free to exercise your choice to eat those things. Me, I'd prefer to avoid it. There's just too many accidents and questions that I'm not convinced there are good enough answers yet.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674413)

"If you think people are against GMO food because they're luddites, then you're an idiot."

No, they're against it because its big scaring biotech and people are always against stuff they don't have a clue about.

"People are against it because there's no evidence it's safe either,"

Oh puh-lease! The attempting to prove a negative straw man argument. Let me guess - you want to keep testing until someone or something falls ill? No? But if no one falls ill how long do you wait until you think its safe? 1 year, 10 years, 100 years, forever? Moron.

"enetically modified pigs have ended up in the food supply and contaminated crops."

And has the world come to an end or have there been ANY biological consequences? No.

"With some things (say, thalidomide) you only discover the disastrous consequences after literally years."

Thats called life. Shit happens occasionally when you advance technology but if it didn't risk it we'd still be living in the dark ages. I'm sure there were people like you prophesising doom when someone came up with the idea of farming instead of just picking stuff from the woods.

"Me, I'd prefer to avoid it."

Be my guest. Though if you're really concerned about gene swapping you might want to worry about all the bacteria in your gut doing it 24/7 via plasmids.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (-1, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674835)

Oh puh-lease! The attempting to prove a negative straw man argument.

You can neither prove something is safe nor dangerous ... it's the same logical fallacy, asshole.

Look, you whined that people who object to GMO never give their reasons. I've given you mine. You're the one who is now acting like a complete childish douchebag who is rejecting everything I said out of hand. You're basically resorting to ad hominem responses, and generally acting like a churlish little shit.

So why don't you go back to swapping genes with your sister, and crawl back under your rock? You're clearly only interested in shouting over people that you're right and they're wrong.

So despite your initial claim that nobody ever provides supporting arguments, you've already 100% made up your mind, and then accuse others of doing that.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675103)

You can neither prove something is safe nor dangerous ...

The entirety of our medical knowledge consists of identifying things that kill you quickly, and gradually increasing the scope of "quickly." For example, it is fairly easy to prove lead is dangerous, just put enough in someone's food and watch them die from nasty heavy-metal poisoning.

So you almost have a true statement in there that "no unwanted side effects for 30 years" is not proof either way about safety over longer periods, but you're still an idiot.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675303)

A) he was pointing out you're ;logical fallacy.
B) You're reason are made up crap and don't reflect the real world at all.
C) Ah, another ad hom by you. That's what? 3? Plus your strawman. Not going well for you, is it?
D) You have eaten GM foods. Just so you know.

BY opinion is based on the evidences I have read in studies and talking to people in the field. Could new data change things? yes. Is it likely at this point? no.

You know why people like you irritate me? Because in the 70's there was a new pesticide developed. IT had a half life of 3 days. No tests showed any ill effects for people. So we have a pesticide that will be completely gone before product gets to market. Saves money, and helps return larger yields.
IT was killed by a bunch of people who only used FUD pulled from their own echo chamber. People who try to influences things without evidence piss me off.

I can list a lot of shit removed based on FUD. DDT is another one. One opinion in one book based on correlation in the field. Meaning no controls, was why it got pulled.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675529)

Oh course he's using strawmen and logical fallacies, you said it yourself - he's eaten GM foods! He can't help it! ~

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675199)

GM crops are tested for safety, no other crop is.

"If you think people are against GMO food because they're luddites"
well, what else do you call people who don't understand the technology, don't understand the testing, haven't read any actual good study, but still don't want it done? It seems Luddites is accurate.

"People are against it because there's no evidence it's safe either,"
you mean besides millions and million of people eating every day without problem? besides the testing?

So what if genetically modified pigs ended up in the food supply? DId you read the artical? someone stole it, and the used it. Genetic modification isn't the concern there this is:
"with enough barbiturates and chemicals to kill a 500-pound pig, "

Oh, and the genetic changes weren't about feed, they are about diabetes research.

You're argument is so weak, you had to stoop to using a pig stolen from a lab, genetically changes fro diabetes as some sort of argument baout GM feed stock.

Seriously, detach you're emotional position and think. Or at least use relevant examples.

"I'm far from a luddite"
Are you? have you read any good studies? or just what you echo chamber has spewed out? Have you tlaked to researched in the field? Have you read any comparative studies of safety vs. the current methods?
Nothing in you post or opinion at all represent what is actually going on in the field, so I really thing you are, in fact, a Luddite regarding this technology.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674119)

There is research going on to allow various wheat and barley strains to fix their own nitrogen by implanting genes from peas and beans. If these are used in agriculture substantially less nitrogen fertilizer will be required on farms growing these crops.

If you knew what you were talking about, you would know that nitrogen fixating plants leak nitrogen into the soil and therefore eventually into the water. Just like nitrogen fertilizer, except you cannot easily control the amount being fixated.

But then again, if you knew what you were talking about, you wouldn't need to go on a rant against Greenpeace and "anti-GM rent-a-mod luddites".

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674309)

And if you knew anything about algea, you would know that nitrogen DOES NOT cause blooms.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674331)

"But then again, if you knew what you were talking about,"

If you knew what you were talking about you'd know that leakage is a DAMN site less than the amount caused by fertlizer runoff plus it tends to stay locked in the soil. Ever heard of run off from legume farms? No, you won't have. Now back under your bridge you pathetic troll.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677125)

We do not grow legume in Denmark, but we do grow peas, and there is run-off off from those.

Your name calling is pretty pathetic even for Slashdot. Go take lessons in how to insult people, or at least learn how to spell.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675367)

You owe the poster an apology:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301091552.htm [sciencedaily.com]

And Green Peace turned into an 'ANTI-anything from corporations and shit we don't understand' group in the 80. AS a former member, it's saddens me to have seen the go from "How can we do thins safely" to "Don't do anything new".

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677175)

You owe the poster an apology:

Most certainly not. Even your own link says it: "also leaves the soil enriched through the plant matter left after harvesting, creating a natural fertilizer for other crops, which is the basis for crop rotation". That is the positive spin on "puts nitrogen into the ground, where it will leak into waterways".

Organic and natural are lovely positive words, but things are not harmless just because they are natural or organic.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674895)

The answer? Why don't we look at The Problem. There are TOO FUCKING MANY PEOPLE. Too many people requires too much food, requiring too many ridiculously unsustainable mechanisms(enabled by CHEAP OIL) to bring this food to the table. Ridiculously unsustainable mechanisms, whether it's GMO, Nitrogen fertilizer, CHEAP OIL or whatever. There are sustainable ways of growing locally produced food to feed people, but not with the number of people there are on Earth now, hence the damage.

I grew up in a town that has a strip mine nearby, and what is mined is used for fertilizer. I have seen over the years as the size of the denuded landscape, and the disgusting tailings pond has increased exponentially. I'm told with a straight face how good the mine is because of jobs, tax base etc; All I see is how ridiculously unsustainable it is, and how industrial agriculture is destroying the Amazon Basin, China, etc;

We in the "First World" who have the luxury(for now) of driving to the store and buying a vast array of(mostly non-nutritional and horribly wasteful) food items aren't met with the spectre of starvation or food rationing. An unsustainable system keeps us fat and happy. However, people have and are waking up to the reality that we are going to have to take food production into our own hands as time goes one. Urban gardens, farmers markets, sustainable agriculture, etc; is going to be the norm as this century drags on. The problem causing the Ridiculously unsustainable mechanisms, overpopulation, will fix itself.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675395)

It's a management issue, not a food issue. Cut the population in half, and it won't change a thing because it's a management issue.
People where starving when we had 4 billion. Care to guess why? management issue.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (2)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676373)

Why don't we look at The Problem. There are TOO FUCKING MANY PEOPLE

Right on. First shuttle to the sun will be at your place in 5; don't worry about packing anything.

Your argument can be stated identically with this statement: "There are TOO FEW RESOURCES." You can't go culling wide swaths of people or magically increasing on-hand resources. Besides, as geekoid says below, it's a matter of logistics, which is something we *can* begin to address. We can also begin to address education in family planning and increases in resource acquisition, but this is a very long-term proposition. At least a generation; more probably several, if it even works. Regardless, yelling about how many people we have, or how few resources we have, is a "The barn door's already open." situation.

The solution is 3 pronged: 1) Progressively waste less. 2) Progressively increase logistical efficiency. 3) Progressively develop and exploit high-yield and renewable resources. It's not all doom and gloom, because we are already doing this in a great many industries, and companies have even found it profitable in many cases. I think we should be focusing on business success in this area just as much as we focus on business failure, but I guess a news story on "ABC Corp increased efficiency of XYZ production by 400% this quarter" isn't as interesting as "BCA Corp used up ALL the whales."

Your second and third paragraphs are spot on, though.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675491)

With nitrogen, you may have a point, because it can be generated in-situ from nitrogen fixation. But GM crops can't magically create phosphate and many other essential nutrients out of nothing. And even if they did somehow extract it from the soil in a new way, they would eventually deplete the soil as they were harvested, necessitating addition of fertilizer to maintain yields. There are ways to mitigate runoff of excess fertilizer. Regardless of GM advances, that's something that needs attention for all sorts of good reasons, including decreasing harmful algal blooms.

And despite your dismissal of organic farming, there is a great deal of sense to returning as much organic material as possible to the fields from which it was extracted. Otherwise you're pretty much mining the soil in a non-renewable and unsustainable way.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676687)

Unfortunately as usual the greenpeace and anti-GM rent-a-mod luddites are against it because ... well I've no idea really

So what you're saying is, you haven't paid one bit of attention to this debate over the past decade or so. Weird that you feel compelled to post about it just so say you know nothing at all about it.

Just on the off chance you have some new-found ability to learn, here are the three major reasons people are against GM foods, in order of plausibility:

1) Health and safety. This is the one that gets the most attention because only stupid people (there are a lot of them) believe it and pro-GM people find it easy to refute.

2) Moral reasons. Ownership of seed grain, the slippery slope toward crops with the bio-terrorist "terminator gene", which will with certainty escape and contaminate entire crop systems, and so on, are legitimate concerns. Monstanto and other unequivocally evil organizations have spent quite a bit of money countering this through marketing and other lies.

3) Bio-diversity reasons. This is by far the strongest concern, and why I don't want to eat GM foods: because it would be supporting a very fragile monoculture that progressively undermines food security for me and everyone else.

Since you've told us all so clearly that you know nothing at all about GM foods and the controversy around them, I guess it's also reasonable to assume you know nothing about the well-documented effects of monocultures. The basic problem is that they are highly susceptible to parasites. Famous examples include the Irish potato famine and the world-wide collapse of the banana industry in the 1950's.

You should use your favourite search engine and learn a bit about the biodiversity issue, as it would stop you from looking like the trollish little pillock you come across as here.

Re:GM crops are partially the answer (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677919)

Yes, lets blame other unpopular subject matter as the reason for an undesirable happenstance. Without any proof or facts lets connect GM crops to brown tide. There, anti-GM fanatics have another "fact" in their arsenal about why GM crops should be banned. Of course we all know that non-GM organic crops NEVER leak nutrients into the environment, they are perfect in every way. GM = bad, non-GM = good, I don't need no stinking facts!

While we are at it I also blame abortions and and increase in human rights for brown tide, so lets squash those things too. And of course you know damn well Global warming is behind all this. We should all stay home, piss in buckets and use gray water it to wash ourselves because it might cause brown tide!

This is why scientists cry, because people post shit on the web connecting something to another thing with limited basis in fact, only fear mongering and gross ignorance to support something they blindly believe in.

Wait... (0)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673433)

Is that like the Brown Note?

And TFS is unclear: Is the brown tide coming from China or heading to China? Because with 1.3 Billion people, you know they could create one hell of a brown tide if they wanted to... for certain definitions of brown tide. Hell, it's probably happening because they didn't take care not to.

Biological Warfare- Do Not Want :'-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673533)

Because with 1.3 Billion people, you know they could create one hell of a brown tide if they wanted to... for certain definitions of brown tide.

Is this an unpleasant variation of the old "if all 1.3 billion Chinese jumped into the sea at the same time, they could create a tidal wave that would drown the entire US coast" thing?

Replacing "jumped" with, er... "dumped" and "tidal wave" with.... um... "brown tide". :-(

Brown tide? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673437)

We've been getting a strong brown tide here in Australia, unfortunately.

Thanks, Julia Gillard.

STOP THE BOATS!

false alarm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673523)

CowboyNeal just flushed. It's okay now.

It would probably help.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673529)

If they installed more port-a-potties along the beaches and required infants to be in swim diapers.

Nature healing itself (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673553)

It's nature healing itself.

PH levels in the sea are rising. This a result of it. Let this bloom grow and it will eventually come in contact with a different PH level current or sea or ocean and disperse and die - the end result is a normal ph level.

Re:Nature healing itself (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673815)

It's nature healing itself.

PH levels in the sea are rising. This a result of it. Let this bloom grow and it will eventually come in contact with a different PH level current or sea or ocean and disperse and die - the end result is a normal ph level.

No, the pH (note the way it's typed - stands for 'negative log of the Hydrogen ion concentration') is DROPPING (becoming more acid - look it up).

"Nature" doesn't 'heal itself'. It goes along working against entropy. Whether or not that happens to help humans is another issue.

And while you're hanging out on Wikipedia learning about acid - base reactions and buffers, check on the articles about ocean circulations and gyres.

Re:Nature healing itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674333)

AC got scienced!

Baltic Sea still the worst? (4, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673685)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3007228.stm [bbc.co.uk]

'Half of the fish species in the Baltic are at levels below the critical biological level, while pregnant Swedish women are being warned not to eat herring - a staple diet - because of dioxins. There is little dispute that St Petersburg - Russia's second-biggest city - is the Baltic's single biggest polluter, and behind many of the problems.'

http://www.euronews.com/2010/02/10/baltic-nations-take-action-on-sea-pollution/ [euronews.com]

'Northern European nations have been discussing pollution in the Baltic Sea at a conference in Finland. The Baltic is considered one of the most polluted waterways in the world. [...] “Today some of the richest and most environmentally-conscious countries on earth live on the shore of one of the world’s most polluted seas. What a tragedy. It is clear that something has to be done and quickly.” [...] “Today we are also facing a historic international challenge, which I would like to point to as as the issue of chemical and conventional weapons dumped into the Baltic Sea.” [...] Almost enclosed, very shallow, and fed by numerous rivers, the Baltic is a vulnerable sea. 90 million people live around its shores, many of them depending on the sea in some way or other for their livelihoods, but waste from industry, agriculture and daily life ends up in the sea. One of the biggest resulting dangers is too much algae. Excess growth of it robs the water of oxygen suffocating other species.'

etc.

Maybe the Chinese still can change this tide, err, that brown tide.

Re:Baltic Sea still the worst? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673847)

FUCK YOU.

I want oil for my Hemmi.

drag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674389)

Oily drag shows aren't the worst polluters.

Re:Baltic Sea still the worst? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674421)

FUCK YOU.

I want oil for my Hemmi.

seas getting polluted isn't about your hemi. it's about shit.

Re:Baltic Sea still the worst? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676219)

Literally. You might want to specify that...

Re:Baltic Sea still the worst? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40676531)

Why? Because of the seamen?

Re:Baltic Sea still the worst? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678845)

You know those moments where you say something you think is funny, and everyone just stares at you instead (in shock or utter disbelief)?

This is one of those moments.

Did we jumped planet while I slept? (4, Funny)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673783)

Observe the Razorbeak as it tends so carefully to the fungal blooms; just the right bit from the yellow, then a swatch from the pink. Follow the Glow Mites as they gather and organize the fallen spores. What higher order guides their work? Mark my words: someone or something is managing the ecology of this planet.

-- Lady Deirdre Skye, "Planet Dreams"

Re:Did we jumped planet while I slept? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674319)

What does a transforming cassette-tape ornithoid have to do with algae?

Re:Did we jumped planet while I slept? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674429)

Even Decepticons need a hobby.

Re:Did we jumped planet while I slept? (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674345)

If I hadn't posted already you'd get mod points.

Re:Did we jumped planet while I slept? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675045)

I'll translate your post for you, using a quote from George Carlin:

"The planet is fine, the people are fucked"

Man, this is tough (0)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673795)

I have to decide whether to go with a scatological or racist joke. Hmm...

Okay, how about, "Sorry, took me a few flushes to get that one down."

Appropriate video: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673937)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncKJIIHsz-Q

I thought you meant THIRD WORLDERS... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674009)

... you know, the 'brown tide' of unwanted, uninvited, destructive third world SCUM who are flooding into every white country on Earth.

Oh, wait - we aren't allowed to have our own countries any more, are we? That privilege is reserved for non-whites only - they get to KEEP their countries (because nobody else wants them anyway), AND steal OURS too! Ain't we lucky?

Long term effects? (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674071)

Ecologists in the crowd, what are some of the larger reaching effects of these kinds of blooms? I know it decreases available oxygen, but do we see an increase in food supply and booms in populations because of the newly available food source? Does it have any positive effects in the long haul to have these things turn up?

Re:Long term effects? (2)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675341)

You end up with seacoasts covered in dead fish. The local birds are often fairly happy for a week or so, but since it's a one-time or only rarely and irregularly repeated thing there's no significant long term effect that I'm aware of.

It probably also kills any corals and sponges in the area, so depending on how fully killed the reefs are you lose reef protection, resulting in stronger storm surges and faster beach erosion.

Mind Worms! (1)

fibonacci8 (260615) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674109)

Maybe now Chairman Yang will listen to the Gaians about the benefits of a Green society instead of the wasteful Planned system.

Re:Mind Worms! (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674465)

Heh.

Except that the "Gaians" around here are pretty much 100% in the tank for a Planned system.

Re:Mind Worms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674601)

I found an interesting unintended spiral in that game. If you can get your neccessary resources from the fungal blooms (Gaians had a headstart at this, don't remember what techs help), it suddenly becomes preferable to have significant "waste" spawning more fungal blooms. This creates a very interesting cycle of fungal spread and sea level rise, which AI players are not very capable of responding to. The remaining challenge is in making sure you have enough PSI bonus that you don't get overrun by the worms (again, Gaians have a head start) before you can hit one of the victory conditions.

So, we can't scoop the stuff up? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674337)

And make bio diesel out of it?

Re:So, we can't scoop the stuff up? (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676259)

Just as soon as we produce enough biodiesel to power the ships that'll do all the scooping...

In all seriousness, the people researching biodiesel aren't going to have any use for just any algae out there.

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