Bioengineering, Chemical Pollution, Dystopic Future, Eco-Apocalypse, EPA, Genetically Modified Organism, Glyphosate, GMO, Monsanto, Roundup Herbicide, Scott Erickson, The Diary of Amy: the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth, Toxic Environment
The following blog entry is a guest post by award-winning satirical writer Scott Erickson. When I was initially contacted by Scott I was a bit wary until I read more about him and his writings at his website. He’s definitely ‘collapse-aware’ and is my kind of people. In a world where dystopic fiction has in many ways already become reality, we find ourselves to be a captive audience of the real world post-apocalyptic story playing out before our very eyes. Life is increasingly becoming stranger than fiction…
SATIRE CAN’T KEEP UP WITH REALITY
How long until Monsanto proposes genetic engineering of the human race?
By Scott Erickson
The hardest part about writing satire is trying to write things that are more absurd than what real life comes up with. I’ve heard this from a lot of comedy writers lately. There’s this idea that satire is dead because real life has become a satire of itself.
Here’s an example: Could anybody have invented the character of Sarah Palin? The vice presidential debate with her versus Joe Biden was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my life.
Someday she’s going to be elected President. Which reminds me of the movie Idiocracy. It’s a pretty good satire about where we’re heading. Or have we already arrived?
The rest of this post is about a more personal example.
I just published a satirical novel about environmental destruction: The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth.
In the novel, our young protagonist Amy Johnson-Martinez encounters the evil corporation GloboChem. A spill of the agricultural chemical “GrowMagic” has led to a hospital full of sick babies.
Amy does some research into what “GrowMagic” is, and she is shocked – SHOCKED! – to discover that “GrowMagic” is actually ONE OF THE MOST POISONOUS AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS EVER MADE. This is what she finds on the GloboChem website:
Our main product is HappySeeds™ which grow 73% of the world’s vegetables and grains. Most of those seeds are Magic-Ready HappySeeds™ that are genetically engineered to accompany GrowMagic™ “agricultural helper.” As happy farmers around the world say, “I need the miraculous GrowMagic™ to keep my Magic-Ready HappySeeds™ happy!” And since Magic-Ready HappySeeds™ are genetically designed to grow plants that don’t produce seed, farmers around the world are happy to come back and buy more HappySeeds™ year after year – which keeps GloboChem shareholders happy! GloboChem: Spreading happiness wherever it touches.
If you guessed that “GloboChem” is a thinly-disguised “Monsanto,” and that “GrowMagic™” is a thinly disguised “Roundup,” then good for you! You win 10 points and advance to the semi-finals.
Later in the story, things take a darker turn. Since weeds have evolved into super weeds that are increasingly resistant to agricultural chemicals, bolder measures are necessary. Thus, GloboChem’s spokesperson announces a radical new proposal:
Ladies and Gentlemen, some people would suggest that GloboChem has gone too far. I put it to you that we haven’t gone far enough. I am proud to announce that GloboChem has developed an innovative new product that will absolutely end all problems with human exposure to agricultural chemicals.
Our new product is a highly-advanced version of our famous ‘HappySeed’ technology. As you surely know, ‘Magic-Ready HappySeeds’ are genetically engineered to go with our ‘GrowMagic’ agricultural helper. I am proud to announce GloboChem’s brand-new product, which we call ‘HappyHuman.’ It will make human beings – people like you and me – able to withstand the ‘GrowMagic’ that brings us the clean and inexpensive food you serve to your loved ones. ‘HappyHuman’ will be available in capsule form – just one dose per month is all you’ll need to stay healthy and prosperous.
Each capsule contains specially-engineered radioactive isotopes that go throughout the body, miraculously altering the genetic code to change the cell chemistry in each and every cell. Then, our bodies can withstand the ‘GrowMagic’ that brings us attractive pest-free food at a reasonable price. In other words, it will make us able to withstand ‘GrowMagic’ 100 percent naturally!
I know what you’re all thinking. You’re thinking, ‘What about our household pets, our fuzzy kittens and puppies?’ I’m pleased to assure you that GloboChem will offer our supplement in a pet-friendly form, because GloboChem cares about your pets. In fact, we love them more than you do.
Funny stuff, huh? Well, maybe less funny after the recent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency. Since weeds have evolved into super weeds that are increasingly resistant to agricultural chemicals, the EPA has decided to allow larger traces of the herbicide glyphosate in farm-grown foods (http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-glyphosate-roundup-epa-483 http://truthstreammedia.com/epa-to-raise-allowable-glyphosate-levels-in-food-crops-3000)
Yes, glyphosate is the key ingredient in the company’s GrowMagic™ label of herbicides. Sorry, I meant to write Roundup label of herbicides.
Don’t worry, though – the acceptable level of glyphosate is only rising a little bit. The EPA is increasing limits on allowable glyphosate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm. That’s not much – only 3,000%.
Yes, scientists have linked glyphosate to cancerous diseases.
Yes, a study by The Cornucopia Institute concluded that glyphosate “exerted proliferative effects in human hormone-dependent breast cancer.”
Yes, another study concluded that “glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins.”
According to GloboChem – sorry, I meant to write Monsanto – the public is okay with this. A two-month open comment period that began May 1st drew little public resistance. Yes, the comment period was only announced on a 3×5 card posted in the company’s break room, but if you really wanted to see it then you should have looked harder.
Later in The Diary of Amy, the story eventually takes an even darker turn. The public has so far resisted GloboChem’s plan to genetically alter the human race. But now the agricultural chemicals are not stopping the super weeds, despite applying them far above the recommended concentrations. And the economy is in a tailspin due to a sudden oil shortage. We have to act fast! Fortunately, GloboChem comes to the rescue:
Recently GloboChem, Inc. has received some “less than fully satisfied” feedback on our agricultural products. We are pleased to respond to this feedback and offer what appears to be the only viable solution.
Apparently our GrowMagic™ agricultural helper is becoming less effective over time, even by using heavier applications.
Some have claimed all along that this would happen, and that we have lied about it. That is true. But even though we lied once, that doesn’t mean we’re lying to you this time. Since we told the truth about our lying, that should make you trust us now.
But rather than engage in a useless discussion about “who said what when,” we must forge ahead, like the courageous nation that we are. America has never turned its back on a challenge, and these tough economic times mean we must not turn our back like never before.
We recently announced our new HappyHuman™ product and sought to receive congressional approval to market it. But public reception was less-than-positive and the congressional bill stalled in committee.
We believe that now is the time to pass the bill and rush HappyHuman™ to the American public. Only by genetically engineering a human race able to withstand our products can we preserve our American way of life.
We must increase the “magic” within GrowMagic™ to a level high enough to kill every form of life that has not been genetically modified to resist it. There is no other option.
We have consulted with economic experts that we paid, and confirmed the following: Either we go forward with HappyHuman™, or food prices will increase by one thousand percent and the United States agricultural system will collapse and we will all die.
In other words, the only way to sustain human life is to modify ourselves to resist killing the rest of it.
This was much funnier to me when I wrote it. Now, not so much.
I’m just wondering how long it is before I see such a press release in real life, or before I see such a plan being proposed by a GloboChem spokesperson. Sorry, I meant to write Monsanto spokesperson.
The Diary of Amy, the 14-Year-Old Girl Who Saved the Earth