As a new version of “The Society of Spectacle” by Guy Debord, the green revolution farce wind blows on an avant-garde era, on a model of consumerism in the world global consumption. Paradoxically it only includes the oligarchic and elitist 20% of the population who disposes of the highest gross national product and consequently develops as an exterior sign of wealth, a fetichism towards the color green.
The new hybrid-conscious consumer, product of a carefree manufacturing process, representing 10-12% of the green market is aware of the impact of his purchasing decisions on the environment, on his health and life.
Lectured by advertising, proactive by the guilt, the global warming specter as an alarm, the variable-faced consumerist swinging between conspicuous, anti, ethical, political uses and abuses rightly or wrongly of his almighty autocratic and dictatorial powers.
Contemptible during the industrial and the mass production waves, the vile populace and its wallet at stake, has its voice more audible than ever in the conclaves of the corporations. Whims or convictions, its blatant voice resonates to impose its values and tastes, and doesn’t hesitate to oppose its veto!
No more chemicals in my plate! No more genetically engineered food as in Europe! Less energy wasted in the horses of my four-wheeled medium of locomotion! Less pollution! More crop rotation, compact fluorescent lamps, photovoltaic solar panels…! In the name of saving our planet refrain, our society is STILL a consumerist society!
In this new model of society, the consumarchy, individualism and solidarity team up for our benefits(?)!
I trust the consumers’ judgement to “sniff” information and to value what is important in their life! Personally, the debate what is greener than green is as interesting as the quadrature of the circle! Green consumerism is now a failed approach to the environmental crisis. Based upon those facts and this point clarified, let’s step to the 21st century new green revolution!
Given that the world population is 6,6 billion, that it will reach 9 billion by the year 2050 with the highest concentration in Africa (1,7 billion) and Asia (5,2 billion), what are our chances to develop a new green revolution supported by ancestral methods of farming?
Malthus was right when he assessed his postulata “Food is necessary to the existence of men and passion between sex is necessary…” and when he added “I say; that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio”.
Without going into details, he’s formulating that both aggregates population and agricultural production evolve progressively but with a different intensity and rapidity. As population will grow geometrically (multiplied), the production will arithmetically (additioned)! The revolution concept will repose in adapting the production to the worldwide population exponential pace. Is the 40’s, 60’s model privileging quantity over quality, ideal to the health-centered green consumer? Will we invest with plenipotentiary powers our manufacturers to spray at us new chemical fertilizers, insecticides; to inject us insidiously new hormones in the name of technology or/and productivism? Or will my favorite sense “the taste” be back? Will it be its resurgence? I invoke the gods of the taste buds! I want my tomatoes to be sweet and deformed, I want seeds in my watermelons and grapes, I want my cheese to “stink” in its individuality! No more formatted consumption! No more standardized caliber and size! No more taylored taste!
According to the giant of the agribusiness industry Monsanto, biotechnology, the breeding of new crop varieties and massive chemical fertilizers are incontrovertible! In 2003, the agrochemical market achieved $ 32 billion, 14 in herbicides, 8 in fungicides and insecticides! The Pandora box to human genetic mutation is wide open! Their motto is “spray and pray” with all the implications on the environment or on the living species that their carefree and lucrative behavior implies!
And against all odds, fighting against a handful of new “powerhouse” agrochemical companies, struggling against governmental collusive legislations or actions (subsidies…), organic farming (our future?) amounted a 20% annual rate of market growth! Consumers’ pressure! Who said that there’s no good dictatorship?
Is it a myth or a reality? Let me dream about the exclusion of the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, of plant regulators! Let me dream about the re-development of crop rotation (from the Middle-Ages) implementing biodiversity -2000 species of plants cultivated for food among which we consume 40%- crops residues, animal manures that will foster the soil productivity! Did you know that none of this is required in the United-States to earn the USDA organic seal? No information, no traceability! SCARY!
I had a dream…Or is it a reality? The organic farming represents 31 million hectares; 120,000 farms are located in Mexico, only 8,035 in the US. Why such contradictory discrepancy? Unless many of the mexican ones aliment or obey american USDA non-existent or laxist regulations!
Organic does exist! Studies attest that organic farming methods can produce higher yields! A worldwide conversion to organic would lead to increase food production levels while reversing the degradation of agricultural soils and augment logically soil fertility (natural presence of nutrients, carbon, nitrogen…). Rothansted and Rodale experiments proved that nitrogen is provided by manure and since livestock operations generate a billion tons of manure per year, here is the niche for natural fertilizers!
I had a dream…It’s a reality!
As consumers dictate how to think to companies, the cause-marketing is a perfect exemple, let’s increase the pressure by imposing products with the minimum effect on the environment and on human! If they resist, find another market that corresponds to your choices, for instance the european one! No genetically modified food! The competiton is open! Isn’t it the cornerstone of capitalism?