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Messages - TTG4

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16
The Boozer / Re: Happy Australia Day!
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:19:49 PM »
Happy Australia day! Enjoy your PM giving the duke of Edinburgh a knighthood...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-30977964

17
Also, isn't there a point that on something that their coalition partners disagree with, they only need to gain 2 non-government votes to pass legislation?

18
BBC have pretty much called it for Syriza, suggest they may be as few as 150 seats short of a majority. Golden Dawn in joint third with a centrist group called The River. Full results expected 8am GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-europe-30975663

19
It sure will be interesting! Whatever happened to Golden Dawn? They used to be huge?

20
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: UK Elections 2015
« on: January 24, 2015, 04:36:16 PM »
I admit I expected low understanding, but the actual scale of it surprised me. Especially 48% not knowing their policies on the environment, or even saying they had a general idea of what they'd say about the environment. It does make me wonder just what people base their voting choice on.

21
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: UK Elections 2015
« on: January 24, 2015, 02:30:15 PM »
New yougov polling suggests 75% of voters don't actually know what the Greens policies are. https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/01/23/little-awareness-green-policy/

22
The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: On a llama farm
« on: January 21, 2015, 07:18:27 PM »
The drunken botanist on a Llama farm

My future if things go badly

23
They are also all wearing dog masks
(Warning: Link, once clicked, cannot be unseen)

Speaking of which, for YEARS I assumed the markings on a mute swans beak were its eyes. Then didn't believe it when someone told me until I actually looked properly!

24
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: January 19, 2015, 06:41:11 PM »
When you think about, 1% is actually quite a lot of people, at least 70 million.

If I remember rightly, in order to be in the top 1% of wealth you have to own your own house and it be worth at least £500000. Which doesn't seem too extreme.

Statistics are fun!

25
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: January 18, 2015, 08:48:51 PM »
New polling suggests a similar proportion of people support labelling food for if it contains DNA as support labelling of GM foods

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/01/17/over-80-percent-of-americans-support-mandatory-labels-on-foods-containing-dna/

26
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: January 17, 2015, 12:03:53 AM »
damn there's so much negativity towards it, for as far as I can tell, almost no reason.

Yeah, there's a commonly held idea that GM food is just a tool for agri-business to profit from at the expense of public health, which just isn't true. In the bill mentioned a UK green MEP from the south east spoke and implied quite heavily that the only anyone wants to introduce GM crops is to profit from it. That's the level of argument I expect from hippies on the internet, to see it entering politics is depressing.

The yield thing is indeed true, but that's also due to improved agri-chemicals and more productive farming techniques, which may not be sustainable.

Apparently blight is not just a thing from Warcraft 3 and kills loads of potatoes #JeSuisPotato.

Yeah, Irish potato famine. That was a super-virulent version but it's a pretty powerful disease anyway

27
Beagle 2 actually made it! They thought it was lost, turned out it just broke!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30784886

28
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: January 15, 2015, 09:54:46 PM »
So does this mean that Governments will have EU approved power to allow things and complete access on banning things?

I believe so, I understand that things need to go through safety screening, but I don't think the politicians should be able to tell the farmers not to use a thing if it's been shown to be safe enough for use.

@TTG4 Is GM still too new to have blanket use among countries with the tech to do it or are there (non-moral, I don't even get the morals against it anyway but ehh whatever) future implications such as, erm I don't know, weakening the crop through excessive engineering? Or would it be a good idea to modify everything to increase size, nutritional value, insect-proof-ness etc?

To just use GM and not use any conventional breeding just isn't feasible. Something like herbicide resistance or even resistance to disease is fairly easy to do as compared to just trying to increase yield, because the genetics of yield are portugaling complicated! As with most new things it's not a panacea, but I think that used sensibly it's a good idea.

29
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: January 15, 2015, 12:33:29 AM »
Following on from the EU vote on GM crops, I missed one key point. A country can decide to plant a GM crop as long as they clear safety tests, but they can also ban these crops for NON-scientific reasons.

From my point of view, this is a bad idea, crop yield is probably going to fall in the next few decades, especially if we continue banning pesticides/fertilisers on the weight of very little evidence, such as the current issues with the loss of oilseed rape to flea beetle because neonicotinoids have been banned for two years based on fairly slim evidence of effects on bees.

So we need to look at alternatives, and GM is a very promising one of these.

30
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / Re: In the News
« on: January 13, 2015, 10:40:43 PM »
Onto another topic

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30794256

I'm so glad this has happened, it was a portugaling stupid idea to place a blanket ban in the first place. But now we can utilise our new knowledge and skills to improve the agricultural system. In my view, anything that reduces the need for increased pesticide, herbicide, fertiliser etc. usage can only be a good thing.

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