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1.Strategy: Insist that other, major variables that require massive resources and a lengthy time horizon need to be addressed in tandem with your solution in order for your preferred solution to work and your rival’s solution to become obsolete. The moral bonus of this strategy is that only you are addressing the roots of the problem. (Not really, but keep telling yourself that.)
Example: If we ended poverty there would be no need for Golden Rice.
What you are really saying: If the world was a completely different place than it is, then my strategy would be more appropriate than yours.
2. Strategy: Insist that the solving a completely different problem would be a better than solving the problem under discussion.
Example: We shouldn’t even be talking about feeding 9 billion people. We should be talking about population control.
What you are really saying: My preferred solution is clearly inadequate to the task at hand, but it wouldn’t be, if the task at hand were radically changed to accommodate my preferred solution.
3. Strategy: Insist that we need a more holistic approach.
Example: GMOs are only about improving a single trait in a crop, but we need to address many different issues.
What you are really saying: It hasn’t occurred to me that a holistic approach is composed of a collection of single elements.
(This piece previously appeared on RealFood.org)
[Please consider supporting Food and Farm Discussion Lab with ongoing contribution of $1, $2, $3, $5 or $10 a month on Patreon.]