I can’t currently specify where I’ve heard so, but it seems axiomatic (at least in some science fiction narratives) that one of the caveats of technological progress is ‘ask not only if you can, but also if you should.’ In a market-based economy– especially one where the pursuit of short-term profit typically eclipses all other concerns– this is especially good advice.

Consider the following items:

Weeds Are Now Resisting Monsanto Weed Killer, Spurring Crisis in American Agriculture
(excerpt below)
…Monsanto sells genetically modified seed that’s supposed to survive spraying with their weedkiller. Unfortunately, the weeds learned to resist it – and now their GMO seed is struggling against the pesticide-resistant weeds that evolved as a result of their own product.

“Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water.”


The Vanishing of the Bees
Honeybees pollinate one out of every three bites of food on our tables, so when they started disappearing, beekeepers and other environmental activists took notice. Filmmakers Maryam Henein and George Langworthy took notice as well, and put together a documentary that looks into the circumstances.

A lack of comprehensive regulation and public awareness has led to this. It is yet another case where public political apathy, unmitigated corporate greed, and unethical scientific activity have coalesced to create a very dangerous situation. Combined with global climate disruption and other destructive effects of our gluttonous addiction to fossil fuels, this will not long be so easily ignored by the general population. Since we seem unwilling to stem the tide of destruction, we’ll be forced to deal with the catastrophic results of our neglect. If our current political antics give any indication, this ain’t gonna be pretty.

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