Sterling traders had a busy session. GBPUSD opened up with a bid at 1.3412 and climbed all the way to 1.3532 as Europe closed for the day.
Forget Brexit, one of the most contriversial debates has surfaced once again, and this time with a vengeance. More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed a letter urging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The letter asks Greenpeace to cease its efforts to block introduction of a genetically engineered strain of rice that supporters say could reduce Vitamin-A deficiencies causing blindness and death in children in the developing world.
“We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against ‘GMOs’ in general and Golden Rice in particular,” the letter states according to The Washington Post.
The reasoning is simple according to those who signed the letter: “We’re scientists” – so there!
The letter campaign was organized by Richard Roberts, chief scientific officer of New England Biolabs and, with Phillip Sharp, the winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of genetic sequences known as introns. The campaign has a website, supportprecisionagriculture.org, that includes a running list of the signatories, and the group plans to hold a news conference Thursday morning at the National Press Club in Washington.
“We’re scientists. We understand the logic of science. It’s easy to see what Greenpeace is doing is damaging and is anti-science,” Roberts told The Washington Post. “Greenpeace initially, and then some of their allies, deliberately went out of their way to scare people. It was a way for them to raise money for their cause.“
Roberts said he endorses many other activities of Greenpeace, and said he hopes the group, after reading the letter, would “admit that this is an issue that they got wrong and focus on the stuff that they do well.”
Greenpeace has not yet responded to requests for comment on the letter. It is hardly the only group that opposes GMOs, but it has a robust global presence, and the laureates in their letter contend that Greenpeace has led the effort to block Golden Rice.
The list of signatories had risen to 107 names by Wednesday morning. Roberts said that, by his count, there are 296 living laureates.
“I find it surprising that groups that are very supportive of science when it comes to global climate change, or even, for the most part, in the appreciation of the value of vaccination in preventing human disease, yet can be so dismissive of the general views of scientists when it comes to something as important as the world’s agricultural future.” Nobel laureate Randy Schekman, a cell biologist at the University of California at Berkeley told WaPo.
First, there has been a tendency to label anyone who dislikes G.M.O.s as anti-science — and put them in the anti-antibiotics, antivaccine, even Luddite category. There is, of course, nothing scientific about the comparison. Nor is the scholastic invocation of a “consensus” a valid scientific argument.
Interestingly, there are similarities between arguments that are pro-G.M.O. and snake oil, the latter having relied on a cosmetic definition of science. The charge of “therapeutic nihilism” was leveled at people who contested snake oil medicine at the turn of the 20th century. (At that time, anything with the appearance of sophistication was considered “progress.”)
The article states:
Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity.
Greenpeace has spearheaded opposition to Golden Rice, which has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has the greatest impact on the poorest people in Africa and Southeast Asia.
The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people, suffer from VAD, including 40 percent of the children under five in the developing world. Based on UNICEF statistics, a total of one to two million preventable deaths occur annually as a result of VAD, because it compromises the immune system, putting babies and children at great risk. VAD itself is the leading cause of childhood blindness globally affecting 250,000 – 500,000 children each year. Half die within 12 months of losing their eyesight.
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In summary, everyone should listen to the elites, no matter what one’s personal conviction is. This letter is not a surprise, as there was recently a call for elites to rise up against the ignorant masses – this group wasted no time in that effort.
Crude oil inventories are down by 4.1 million barrels from the previous week, sitting at 526.6 million barrels, according to official U.S. crude oil …
For months I have been saying mostly good things in this blog about Trump’s powers of persuasion, and mostly bad things about how the Clinton campaign does persuasion. And yet Clinton has a solid lead in the polls, assuming the polls are accurate. How can that be?
The quick answer is that Clinton’s side is totally winning the persuasion battle.
Clinton’s side includes more than her campaign team. It also includes pundits, supporters on social media, and the liberal-leaning parts of the mainstream media. While the Clinton campaign itself has been notably weak with its persuasion game, the folks on her side have been viciously effective at branding Trump a crazy racist.
Nothing else in this election matters.
The persuasion kill shot against Trump is the accusation that Trump is a crazy racist. When you combine crazy and racist, you have a lethal persuasion cocktail. And that’s what the Clinton side has done.
The folks on social media tested lots of accusations against Trump until they found traction with the “crazy racist” theme in all its forms. And Clinton’s campaign team wisely amplified it.
Remember when social media was saying Trump wasn’t serious about running, or that he was a clown, or he was doing it for the money? Those accusations didn’t get traction, and Trump swept them away with his continued success.
But the accusations kept coming, one after another, until the combo of crazy and racist bubbled to the top, as measured by social media virality. The Clinton campaign recognized the crazy racist theme as the best approach and started hammering on it through a variety of “fear Trump” message. Fear works when facts do not. And “crazy racist” is totally scary. And totally working. You can test it for yourself by asking any anti-Trumper to list the top three reasons for disliking Trump. Some form of “crazy racist” will normally come out on top. Persuasion-wise, every other reason is just noise.
The facts don’t matter. Facts never matter. What matters is that the “crazy racist” label picked up enough confirmation bias to stick like tar. The Clinton team won the month of June. And unless something changes, Clinton will saunter to an easy victory in November.
But remember also that Trump always makes aggressive first offers before negotiating to the middle. I predicted a softening of Trump’s immigration proposals and you see that happening now, right on schedule. Those changes in his proposals won’t be enough to change the election results because facts and policies are meaningless for persuasion. Trump would have to do far more to shake off the crazy racist label.
I now update my prediction of a Trump landslide to say that if he doesn’t give a speech on the topic of racism – to neutralize the crazy racist label – he loses. There is nothing he can do with policy tweaks, debate performances, advertising, interviews, or anything else that would remove the tarring he received from the Clinton side. But a persuasive speech could do it.
Trump needs to convince Americans of all types that he loves them and plans to protect them from outside forces. Here’s a simple and persuasive formulation for that:
Example: “If you are an American citizen – of any color, ethnicity, gender, or religion – I love you, and I’ll fight for you. I support the melting pot of America, and I will fight to protect each of you from crime, terrorism, and economic risks.”
That’s the basic idea. Talking about policies won’t be enough. To become president, Trump has to embrace the melting pot. And he has to embrace the value of American diversity, loudly.
If Trump doesn’t directly address the elephant in the room – the accusation that he is a crazy racist – he loses. If he makes a case for the value of American diversity – and does it persuasively – he wins in a landslide.
I expect him to do the latter.
Nothing to see here, move along…
ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil (NYSE:UCO) traded in a range yesterday that spanned from a low of $12.10 to a high of $12.69. Yesterday, the …
Submitted by Mish Shedlock of MishTalk
Inquiring minds are diving into Kaiser Family Foundation reports on health care. The charts and stats are not pretty, and they are sure to get worse.
Health Care Expenditures 1960-2014
The above chart from…
The oil market mirrored the rebound on US and European stock markets for a second day from a brutal selloff after Britain unexpectedly voted to exit …
Between BofA, Citi, JPMorgan, and all the other big banks, announced buybacks amounting to dozens of billion have sent US equity futures spiking after hours.
Bank of America Authorizes $5b Buyback; Boosts Div to 7.5c-Share
Citigroup Plans $8.6b Buybac…
One week ago, the Fed released the first part of its annual solvency stress test, which found that all 33 bank participants had passed, and would not need additional capital even in a severely adverse scenario which looked as follows: