Thursday, January 13, 2005

Ye olde adoption/diffussion lag...

Of course we still use chemicals banned by our Big Market Brothers. Our place on the classic S-shaped curve (first posited by Gabriel Tarde) for adopting sustainable technologies would be somewhere between late majority and pissant laggards. These things take time - that's a given. However, there is certainly a need to put in place a culture of skepticism towards supporters and distributors of toxic substances (see below on Dow Chemicals) and begin locating and safely disposing of this stuff.

As I'm arguing in my thesis, these artefacts of the crop protection industry can be observed as if they have agency: their presence - even in theory only - provokes predictable reactions from other actors in the network. I use Actor-Network Theory to help frame this thesis, although Kaupapa Maori principles seem to enable the same perspective, perhaps more so as it is a stated intention of our research to empower Maori growers in sustainable horticulture.

On a tangent to this, in 2002 I opposed a resource consent for Turners and Growers to treat fruit and vege in our heighbourhood (okay, we live on the edge of an industrial zone; 'twas all we could afford). They had emitted toxic fumes illegally, in central Christchurch, for seven years (this came out in the hearing). But hey, they'd learnt their lesson (remind me what that was...). Toxicology data for methyl bromide came from the US EPA research (perhaps that should be 'research'...). And later I hear that methyl bromide is to be banned in Stateside!

oh well, as the old people say, 'a te wa' (in time...)

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Simon Lambert

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