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Bioneers Host Speaks Out Against GMO’s

Neil Harvey, Host of the radio program Bioneers, which broadcasts Friday mornings on Chico, CA NPR station KCHO, was at Shasta College in Redding, CA last Monday morning talking about his art and the dangers of GMO’s.

He stressed that “seeds carry tremendous potential. “He who controls seeds controls the food supply. They belong to all of us, but large companies are purchasing heirloom seed producers.” Native seeds are being replaced with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). In the process we are also losing our precious bio diversity. “The more diverse our biology and our culture, the stronger and more resilient we will be.” He noted that Dr. Elaine Ingham, chief soils biologist for Rodale Institute, refers to GMO’s as “biological polution.”

I asked Neil if there are any socially redeeming values of GMO’s in terms of addressing growing problems of world hunger and he responded that rather than increasing agricultural productivity via shipping fertilizers to help desperate farmers in third world countries, we need to take a wholistic, sustainable approach such as was done in China as documented by John D. Liu. Liu’s work provides compelling evidence that it is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems and points toward the path humanity must take to ensure sustainability.

I was also particularly fascinated by Neil’s discussion about his art. He noted, tongue-in-cheek that art is about arousal. He recounted his dream where “paint was coming out of his hand” and he became compelled to “follow his joy to find expression of  his blue grid.” Neil aspires in his art to deliver a spiritually transformative impact, similar to Tibettan thangkas or Orthodox icons.

You can check out the art of Neil Harvey as well as David Eisenhour and Kathryn Miller in the exhibit titled: ART, ACTIVISM & THE CHANGE OF SEEDS, now showing at Shasta College Art Gallery, Building 300, from August 20, 2012 to September 21, 2012, Gallery Hours are: Monday-Friday 8am-4pm; Monday & Wednesday 7pm-9pm. For more information call 530-242-7730

The National Bioneers Conference is being held in San Rafael, CA October 19-21, 2012.

Here are some highlights on Saturday that interest me:

  • Bill McKibben will be there Saturday speaking on The Climate Fight Gets Hotter
  • Fletcher Harper speaking on Greening Our Faiths:From Belief into Action for the Environment and Environmental Justice. Harper is a courageous Episcopal priest; Executive Director of the groundbreaking interfaith environmental coalition GreenFaith; and award-winning spiritual writer and renowned preacher on the environment. Her talk will illustrate ways in which growing numbers of diverse faith-based groups are offering environmental leadership on issues ranging from renewable energy to environmental justice and reconnecting with the Earth.
  • Mother Jones Presents: Change the World, Not the Channel: Media for Social Change.
  • Annie Leonard will share lessons learned on the journey that took her from being a somewhat isolated, wonky waste activist to a thriving social media hub for people transforming how we make, use and throw away stuff around the world.

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