Friday, April 23, 2010

Chickengate: The Left and Science and Technology

By now you've probably heard of the Chickengate in Bolivia.

There is a chance that the president of Bolivia was joking about hormones in chickens causing premature baldness, reproductive developmental disorders, and other disorders due to sex hormone imbalances. ABI reports that the president was speaking "at times in a joking tone" ("a momentos en tono de guasa").

But if it was a joke, it in any case completely overshadowed what little coverage of the Summit on Climate Change in Bolivia there was in the corporate media. Seeking to counter the media coup, a gay indigenous man on the Left bravely put out a video statement: "I am a proud indigenous man, and I am a proud gay man, and I'd like to thank President Evo Morales for his leadership . . . in behalf of all humanity . . . in behalf of protection of our Mother Earth."

Evo can't be a homophobe -- especially given the new Bolivian constitution promulgated by his government specifically prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time in the history of Bolivia -- and the corporate media are wrong to try to pass him off as one.

However, the Chickengate in Bolivia does remind us that there is a tendency in considerable parts of the Left today to be too alarmist about science and technology, especially when it comes to food and energy. That basically leaves the people hanging in the scientific and political vacuum between the Apocalypticist Left and the Panglossian Right.

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