TriplePundit Founder and Publisher Nick Aster contributed to this article
You heard that right. The TriplePundit team is very excited to be hosting an upcoming Twitter chat with special guests Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto, Dr. Nick Goeser, director of soil health and sustainability for the NCGA’s Soil Health Partnership, and Pradip Das, principal researcher of experimental science for the Climate Corp., to discuss the future of agriculture.
Many of you are probably wondering why we'd choose to host this chat -- especially enthusiastically. Here's why: We believe everyone deserves a seat at the table when it comes to managing climate change. Actually, we NEED everyone at the table if we're going to solve global challenges and nourish 9 billion people in a warming world. And we don't believe in bogeymen.
The arguments against monocrops like corn and soy and against excessive pesticide use are very sound from a systems-thinking point of view. These crops can be problematic both nutritionally and environmentally. Further, the changes our global agricultural systems have seen in the last century have come so quickly that it's scary to sit on the sidelines and watch. Monsanto also rightly has its critics when it comes to its aggressive approach to intellectual property (IP) protection and taking farmers to court.
But the knee-jerk reaction to Monsanto as the root of all evil is not sound thinking. Monsanto is the environmental community's favorite bad guy, and referencing the ag giant is all-too-often a way to distract or deter an argument. The recent health crisis over the Zika virus and the speed with which a rumor that Monsanto was somehow involved is the perfect example of how Monsanto-as-strawman hurts the cause of sustainability. Simply put: Blaming Monsanto for the world's ills is a lazy way to win an argument. The fact is that advanced technology, including genetic modification, may be helpful in both feeding a growing world and adapting to the effects of climate change. There are arguments to be had for and against this sentiment.
We need critical thinking to solve the worlds biggest problems, and we need everyone at the table. That includes the world's biggest agriculture giants. And you!
We invite you to join the conversation on Tuesday March 8 at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST at #Ag4thefuture. Please bring your most respectful and intelligent tweets, and you'll get a chance to engage with the CEO of Monsanto -- quite an opportunity if you think about it!
For more information, read on here.
Already active on Twitter? Tweet to spread the word about the #Ag4thefuture Twitter chat:
Jen Boynton is the former Editor-in-Chief of TriplePundit. She has an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and has helped organizations including SAP, PwC and Fair Trade USA with their sustainability communications messaging. She is based in San Diego, California.
When she's not at work, she volunteers as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for children in the foster care system. She enjoys losing fights with toddlers and eating toast scraps. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego.