C4 Rice – “The Relevant Technology for the World!” – or “The Wrong Way Out?”

BILD0284After my last article on How We Treat Food, I think an article sent to me by Chris (cw) is quite fitting.

In this article (here is the download link C4-Rice (466 downloads) ) the fabulous potential of the C4 food technology is presented. And there is much euphoria about solving the world hunger problem on a high level.

To be sure, this might be a nice hope, but what else does it imply! An even more domesticated world with plants based on a new technology. In former times, when I was very enthusiastic about technology, I might have found this great news. Today, it sounds more like a disastrous concept to me. It reminds me of past utopias of socialism and other totalitarian regimes, and of Aldous Huxley ’s “Brave new world”.

My generation grew up with the belief in technological progress. We were stamped by publications such as the “Hobby-Hefte”. I recommend reading the colourful and beautifully designed magazine from the 1950ies and 1960ies. Our view of the world was a fascinating one, but it was also totally unrealistic.

Today, I see technological advance a little more critically. Firstly, my belief in visions like C4 is a limited one, because I have too often been disappointed. Many years ago, I was told how the technology of hydrogen fusion will provide mankind with a time where nobody needs to worry about energy any more. Yet I still cannot really see a true breakthrough in this field. Paradise on earth is probably something you cannot just develop in engineering. Just like you cannot buy standardized happiness.

In my opinion, C4 technology is another example for our dreams going in the wrong direction. What is important is not generating unlimited resources “no matter what the cost”. I long for a return of the considerate and responsible treatment of our world’s resources. And for a dignified acceptance of all that nature provides for us. And for a re-orientation towards what is really relevant in our lives. Then everything would last a lot longer, even today.

And I long to get “away” from the dreams of all-powerful technologists who design the world afresh on the drawing table and in the process destroy it. Technological omnipotence looks more and more ominous to me each day.

(Translated by EG)

The picture was taken in the night train of the Bulgarian rail between Vienna and Bucharest. There was only one choice for dinner. But the Schnitzels were beaten and really baked in the pan; the salad was washed and prepared by hand. And the potatoes were “fried” in the big frying pan on the hearth. The portions were reasonable-sized (except the Schnitzel could have been a little smaller). But dinner and the Bulgarian wine tasted really excellent.


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