Thank you Colin Creasey for your thoughtful, well-documented “Change our Habits” opinion piece, that dared to broach Monsanto, Big Agro and vegetarian choices in the same article. It was a very interesting contrast to Jim Bertram’s letter.
Further to your observation that “Huge amounts of farmland are devoted to growing food to feed cattle,” I couldn’t help noticing that the local constituency office for our elected member has a lovely window-size picture of a huge field of corn. I wonder how many viewing that photo see it as symbolic of his support of the ‘Big Agro’ industrial farming status quo approach, as I do.
Jim Bertram’s letter, in a different vein, praises Kevin Hodges’ previous letter (That letter was the one that Creasey’s article challenged.) Bertram summarizes stating, “A timely point and a point well made,” As far as I can see his point is that many or most of us “don’t have the luxury of just pretending that science is on our side for a populist political movement.” What particular ‘science’? Who is ‘just pretending’? Why does he assume that the ‘science’ he disagrees with is a ‘populist political movement’? I can guess that his emotionally loaded terms are intended to sway us to his view, but I hold out hope that most readers can see past this strategy.
But Mr. Bertram also gave us a URL to check, so I did. The referenced article was written by Steve Novella in 2008, eleven years ago. That date did not of itself take away credibility, so I dug further. There are many opinions about Novella, so I read several of his blog posts and critiques of those posts. I won’t bore you with details; suffice to say that Novella is a controversial figure whose posts are sometimes very persuasive, and sometimes not. And other skeptics sometimes disagree with Novella’s ‘dogmatic skepticism’ (a contradiction in terms?)
If you are still with me — brave you — check objectiveskeptic.blogspot.com ‘The Ugly Face of Science’ (2018) for a different skeptic’s view of Novella’s skepticism.
Personally, I prefer Creasey’s attempt at clearly presented argument to Bertram’s reliance on emotionally loading.