Gary Comstock

Professor of Philosophy, North Carolina State University

Guest

Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University author of Vexing Nature?: On the Ethical Case against Agricultural Biotechnology

Gary Comstock on KCRW

In much of the world, genetically engineered crops, including soybeans, corn and canola, are part of the basic diet.

From Genetically Modified Crops to Fish and Farm Animals

In much of the world, genetically engineered crops, including soybeans, corn and canola, are part of the basic diet.

from To the Point

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In a Dallas courtroom on Wednesday, a former police officer was convicted of murder for killing her African American neighbor, then she got a hug from the victim’s brother and the…

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Two of the most urgent crises facing Americans---mental health and homelessness---are inextricably linked. The failure to see this has only made things worse.

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66 million years ago, an asteroid caused Earth’s Fifth Extinction, destroying the dinosaurs and most other life forms. Now Earth is facing another extinction, as fish, plants and animals vanish forever. But this time, it’s not the asteroid, it’s us. This week, hundreds of people, both young and old, took to the streets in cities all over the world to begin weeks of protest called the Extinction Rebellion. In the natural course of evolution, the decline and disappearance of a life form takes thousands of years. In the course of a human lifetime, not even one species might disappear. But now, some 28,000 species are vanishing all of a sudden. Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker magazine has written a book called “The Sixth Extinction.” She says, “Extinction rates are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times higher than what is known as the background extinction rate that has pertained over most of geological history.” In her words, “You should not be able to see all sorts of mammals -- to name just one group -- either going extinct or on the verge of extinction. And that is a tipoff that something very, very unusual, and I would add, very dangerous, is going on.” “We’re running geological history backwards. Fossil fuels that were created over the course of hundreds of millions of years buried a lot of carbon underground. We’re now combusting it, putting that carbon back into the atmosphere over a matter of centuries. So we’re taking a process that hundreds of millions of years to run in one direction and then, in a matter of centuries, running it in another direction.” We’ll hear what that means now and for the future of life as we know it.

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More adults are living with their parents now than they have in more than a century. It’s a third of all adults under 34. But in Los Angeles, it’s more than 40% .

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A cartoon on the cover of the Economist says it all: leaders of the world’s two foremost democracies are scrambling to hold on. President Trump is faced with the possibility of impeachment. In the interests of Brexit, Boris Johnson is accused of lying to the Queen and defying Parliament. In both countries, voters are losing trust not just in their elected leaders but in their governments. The UK and the US aren’t alone, as the ideals of western democracy are being challenged by demagogues in other parts of the world.

from To the Point