LO, A BLACK HORSE: Man’s GM Food Crisis
While Thomas Maltus errantly applied his Essay on the Principle of Population to nineteenth century Europe, his predictions seem eerily prescient and applicable to recent global agricultural, environmental, political and scientific events.
In 1973, a class B sci-fi film, Soylent Green brought to life a society plagued by all of the characteristics of the Malthusian Limit: a return to subsistence level agricultural conditions overwhelmed by population, recovering from concurrent crises: war, economic failure: a dystopian portrayal of societal, ecologic and spiritual failure. The picture is strangely Delphian for some, mystically prophetic for others, but portentous and foreboding for all:
The year is 2022. New York City is populated with 40 million people, half of whom are unemployed. A society which has failed to nurture the planet is now at her mercy. An unending heat wave has enveloped the city. Overpopulation and the destruction of the environment have rendered humans to a sheep mentality where life is cheap, but food, real food, is prohibitively expensive: a jar of real jam costs $150, if it is even available since supermarkets no longer exist. Government euthanasia centers supply comfortable alternatives for the weary.
A faceless government now dispenses rations of food substances made by the Soylent Corporation: a panoply of epicurean compositions ostensibly the product of abundant soy and cheap lentil: Soylent Yellow, Soylent Red, and the newest product, Soylent Green which includes plankton. Even the Soylent products are in short supply requiring riot police presence for distribution.
But it is at the film’s magnum, in actuality the nadir, when the fullness of all human and hellish malignance is revealed when ‘hero,’ a cop named Robert Thorn, played by Charlton Heston in an intriguing casting extension, comes upon the film’s powerful, haunting and shocking reality: The government euthanasia centers are the supply source for the Soylent Corporation: “Soylent Green is people.”
Voltaire observed in his “The Philosophic Dictionary,” that, “The present is delivered, it is said, of the future . . . events are linked to each other by an invincible fatality. This system of necessity and fatality has been invented in our time . . . under the name of self-sufficient reason; it is, however, very ancient: that there is no effect without a cause, and that often the smallest cause produces the greatest effects, does not date from to-day.
Complete article ==> LO, A BLACK HORSE: Man’s GM Food Crisis
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