They say if you want to know the truth, follow the money. Although U.S. politicians continue to debate the validity of climate change, Monsanto, one of America’s biggest agricultural lobbyists, just spent almost a billion dollars to buy a big data weather company that can help its biggest customers prepare for challenges brought on by climate change.
The biotech company spent $930 million in cash to buy The Climate Corp. a San Francisco-based big data weather company founded by former software engineers and data scientists from Google.
The data company’s technology is used to facilitate hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modeling, and high-resolution weather simulations for the agricultural industry. According to Fox Business, “Monsanto hopes to combine The Climate Corp.’s strength in agriculture analytics and risk management with its own R&D capabilities to help farmers grow crops and conserve natural resources.”
Apparently there’s no money in denying the risk that extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and storms poses to the agricultural industry. Instead, unlike our government, Monsanto would rather move on to the stage where such challenges are predicted and avoided as early as possible.
What Monsanto’s action means for the state of agriculture, our saturation in GMOs, and the health of our environment remains to be seen, of course. The troubling part of this news is that Climate Corp. has been very interested in geoengineering, a way of manipulating the planet that’s been highly controversial. Although geoengineering seems promising on paper, we have no idea what the negative effects could be, much like the way we have no idea what the ultimate consequence of Monsanto’s GMOs will be.
The argument with GMOs is that uncertainty is never a free pass for experimentation with people’s lives or the environment. The same thing applies, if not with more emphasis, to the climate and climate change.
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