2011 Top Ten: 2. Environmentalists may embrace genetically modified crops as a carbon-reduction technology.

Like nuclear power, genetically modified crops have long been the bane of environmentalists, but Stewart Brand, author of Whole Earth Discipline, argues that there are myriad benefits to them. For example, crops modified to grow without being tilled (achievable through the creation of genetically novel crop strains) could prevent carbon on the soil from being released into the atmosphere.

Rising levels of CO2 are benefiting GM crops and weeds. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been shown to stimulate growth in genetically modified soybeans—and the weeds that they’ve been modified to resist. On the downside, fast-growing invasive weeds could become even more troublesome as CO2 levels increase to a predicted 550 parts per million by 2050.


Environmental Issues and the Future Wonder of GMO

Number two, GMO is here to stay, and there will continue to be a learning curve, as we get better at all of this and learn more, it becomes more viable. With regards to crops which use less water, nitrates, fertilizers, etc, yes, this will help agricultural run-off etc. We will continue to see GMO for use in biofuels, and an emergence of Pharma-food to solve disease and virus issues, as well as prevent things like Ug99 fungus, etc. Good for the Global Warming issue – sure that might be a GMO play for PR, if you believe a trace gas like CO2 is causing the climate to heat up, but really mankind produces what 2.6% of all the CO2 in the atmosphere? I think the Futurists proclaiming one with the Global Warming "Religion" are doing nothing more than promoting a false agenda here.

There too is another problem with conspiracy theorists, future regulation perhaps not based on science, and the bad name GMO has gotten from protesting groups; aka - FrankenFood - label. Will the Global Warming, water saving, pollution reducing, attributes of GMO be enough to sway those groups? Maybe but one minor event blown out of proportion by the media, will set back GMO bigtime. Monsanto and others are monitoring eco-terrorist groups, and other anti-GMO groups, but too some scientists, and politically connected farming families, as well as competitors and other nations are also crying foul both early and often. It's thus, too soon to make this prediction. (this commenter is not against GMO, just scanning the trends).

Lance Winslow
Online Think Tank