Why doesn’t Monsanto fix energy?

Agriculture & Food, Energy, Science & Technology

There’s a very simple way we can tell that GMO companies (a) don’t understand genetic modification very well, and (b) aren’t interested in solving humanity’s biggest challenges.

Ask yourself what you would do if you ran Monsanto.

If it was me, I’d look at the reasons people don’t like my work: it’s tampering with complex systems which we don’t understand, and it’s solving a problem which is better solved by other means.

Then I’d look at the algae which produce hydrogen or oil and realise that here I could

  • solve a problem for humanity
  • revolutionise energy production
  • operate in closed and safe systems
  • with a non-pollinating product
  • which has no interaction with other life-support systems
  • uses only sunlight as in input
  • capitalise on the US passion for biofuels and energy independence
  • and would win people over to GM so I could then go on and own the food system
  • mwhaaa mwhaa ha ha!

Now as soon as you’ve had those thoughts, and we should probably assume they have, then.. well.. I’m not sure what the conclusion is but I suspect it’s in the list below.

  • They’re really, really dumb*
  • They aren’t very good at genetic modification
  • They’re more interested in dominating the market of a scarce resource
  • All of the above

* this is actually quite likely – superglue was invented THREE TIMES before someone realised it wasn’t just some super-sticky annoying by-product of an experiment gone wrong.

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons

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