The Progressive Case for Modernization

Against the 'Infantile Left'

It is virtually impossible to discuss manufacturing, energy, infrastructure and related subjects from what I consider a center-left perspective without being challenged by anti-industrial or post-industrial Luddites who claim that the genuine progressive position is an amalgam of Mathusian anti-consumerism and energy austerity, often combined with support for old-fashioned, premodern methods of making artifacts and growing food.  I had thought that this debate was limited to the liberal left, and was surprised to learn, from an interview with Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa, that a similar debate occurs within the less familiar (to me) circles of the radical left.

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The Twin Janus Faces of Genetic Engineering

By Carl Pope. Original post at Green on HuffingtonPost.com.

I don't think I have Dengue Fever - no symptoms yet. But my use of mosquito repellent in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, didn't work totally. One clan of local mozzie's flew in silently, at mid-day, close to the ground, and instead of biting once, left a neat row of burning bumps.

Returning to the US, I discovered, in a remarkable and gripping New Yorker piece, that my antagonists were exotic intruders to Brazil - Aedes aegypti, Egyptian mosquitoes, which arrived several hundred years ago from Africa, probably with slavers. Aegypti brought with it yellow fever and dengue, "break bone" fever, for which there is no prevention and no effective treatment - you either get a little sick, or very sick, or die. (Most stunning factoid in the article - mosquito bites may be responsible for half of the deaths in human history - to yellow fever and dengue, add malaria, filariasis, chikungunya, encephalitis, Nile fever and host of others.)
 

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