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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A detailed critique of the Green Party Platform, conclusion

The previous disclaimers apply, so I won't repeat them. I agree with III.F, so I'll start with the next thing that requires my commentary. Once more into the breach:

III.H.5: Since most toothpaste is now fluoridated, the goal of reducing periodontal disease no longer requires fluoridating our water supply. While I agree with their goal, it is for different reasons than those they stated.

III.I.6: I agree with this stance until they get to irradiation and genetic engineering. Irradiation of food to kill harmful viruses and bacteria, as long as it stays within safe levels, is not inherently bad. In fact, it can lead to increased food safety and a reduction of suffering. Also, I hate harping on GMOs, but it's about intent and responsibility. Billions of people worldwide, mainly in the developing world, do not consume enough vitamin A, and golden rice, a GMO, could easily address that problem. Roundup Ready GMOs, however, are a cause for concern. That said, we should follow where the science leads us instead of allowing blind ideology to get in the way of feeding the poor and hungry, and I'm glad they finally expressed a similar sentiment in III.I.14.

 III.J.10: I support this only insofar as it does not prevent the development of organ cloning for those who need replacement organs. We have a shortage of organs and donors, and the effect of antirejection drugs is a risk to the lives of these very sick people. Corporations are not inherently evil. When they engage in good science, such as this, lives are saved. Instead, I would focus on protections against price gouging, though with the universal healthcare the Green Party and I support, this would at least not be a burden to the patients.

III.K.1: While animal testing of drugs in development is not preferred, sometimes, it is inescapable. The first organ transplants, for example, were performed on animals, and how many lives have been saved since? Animal experimentation should be limited only to those cases where there are no viable non-animal alternatives and the treatment involves saving or significantly improving the quality of life for people.

III.K.2: By dissecting dead animals, students learn things they may not in any other way. The focus should be on the humane sacrifice of animals and the respectful treatment of the same.

I agree with pretty much all of Chapter IV, with the repeated caveat that real science should be the metric for technological advancement, not ideological alarmism.

Final notes: I don't agree with every one of their stances on the issues, as evidenced by these posts. As I've read their platform, I've even seen places where earlier concerns and ideas were echoed in later chapters. However, I think they have a lot of good, rational ideas and some real solutions for what ails us as a nation and as a planet.

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