Am I a Luddite? 

I was recently accused of being a Luddite.  I looked it up  and found that the original Luddites were a group of radical English textile workers. During the early 1800’s they protested by destroying new weaving machinery that was replacing them as weavers. After five years, the region-wide rebellion was quelled by military force in 1816.  Today the term Luddite has come to mean anyone opposed to industrialization, automation, computerization,  , or new technologies in general.

 I guess I have to admit it, I am a Luddite in some ways at least — but not in all areas. 

  For example, I am not a Luddite in the areas of electronics and communications.  To be able to have a real-time video conference with friends and family almost anyplace in the world is a boon to mankind that overshadows many of the negatives. The ability to have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips via the internet is akin to a miracle.  

I am not a Luddite when it comes to the advances in travel—automobile engines operate cleaner—tires are safer and last longer.  While it took the the pioneers months to travel in  wagon-trains from St. Joseph, Missouri to Oregon in the mid 1800’s, we can now make the journey in an automobile in a few days or mere hours in a jetliner.  

I am definitely a Luddite when encountering many of the facets of today’s so-called conventional  agricultural technology.  I am encouraged by the revival of holistic farming but alarmed by the pervasiveness of GMO technology and the associated herbicides. I believe the keyword here is ‘irreversibility’. It is a slippery slope like a ski-slope with a swamp full of alligators at the bottom.  Once you are on it there’s no turning back.  

Today, it is almost impossible to buy food that is not contaminated with GMO’s, glyphosage, and myriads of other toxic agricultural chemical.  These substances do not just go away. Even if we stopped using them today, it would be decades, and probably generations,, before they are completely cleansed from our soils and crops.   

 Consider this quote from Dr. Don M. Huber, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University.  "Future historians may well look back and write about our time, not about how many pounds of pesticide we did or did not apply; but about how willing we are to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations with this massive experiment we call genetic engineering that is based on false promises and flawed science, just to benefit the 'bottom line’ of a commercial enterprise.”