Lab-Designed GMO "Carbon Capture Plants" to Replace Pastures
Their Polymer Roots Never Rot. What can go wrong?
I decided to write about something new so that my readers would not get bored or too saddened by the recent birth rate news. So, I logged onto the World Economic Forum’s website, hoping to wade through their articles for a while in search of some random crazy idea to write about.
It turned out that the very first article WAS a crazy idea!
The World Economic Forum has a new proposal (archive): engineered crops whose roots DO NOT ROT when the plants die, and “capture carbon”.
Their plan (per article) is as follows:
Make us stop eating meat: “Decreasing the amount of land devoted to livestock will reduce methane emissions”
Plant genetically engineered crops in place of pastures, that would capture carbon. “By using a molecule found in avocado and cantaloupe skins, these engineered roots can better resist decomposition, minimizing carbon escape.”
So, after we stop eating meat, they plan on liquidating pastures and planting those genetically engineered “carbon-capturing” plants on the pasture land.
The plants would have genetically altered polymer roots (archive) that will not decompose. Think of these roots, for the purposes of discussing decomposition, as being made of plastic polymers, like plastic fibers or ropes.
Thus, the WEF plan goes, these GM plants would grow in former pastures, grow polymer roots, and die every year, BUT THE ROOTS WILL NOT DECOMPOSE. Since the roots do not decompose, the soil will gradually become firmly permeated by a thickening tangle of never-disappearing polymer roots. Those roots would hold CO2 forever.
Great right? Except that I have some questions:
Will this pasture soil be basically permanently condemned to hosting these genetically modified plants, since no other plants could penetrate the tangles of plastic-like polymer roots until the jammed soil no longer supports any growth at all?
What will happen to the diversity of native pasture plants that never evolved to grow on soil which is blockaded by these genetically modified, never-rotting plants?
What will happen to insects such as bees, living off native pasture plants and their pollen?
What will happen to worms, no longer able to move through the soil?
What will happen to the birds, who eat those insects and worms?
What will happen to burrowing animals, who no longer would be able to burrow in the tangles?
What if, like Sars-Cov-2, these soil-clogging, never-rotting plants escape and outcompete wild plants everywhere else? Before you dismiss that, please realize that these plants have to outcompete natural pasture plants to take root in the former pastures.
Such uncontrolled occupation of a new ecosystem happened with rabbits in Australia, for example. The rabbits were brought in without much forethought and outcompeted other wild animals and became a threat to Australia's ecosystem. Those rabbits also ate all plants they could eat, leaving barren soil, before dying off en masse after that but never relinquishing their ecosystem dominance. Thankfully, the Australian rabbits were not designed to never decompose.
And, lastly, the biggest concern: What if these plants become so successful and widespread beyond pastures, that they remove TOO MUCH carbon from the atmosphere, turn out all soil into an endless tangle of dead plastic-like root material, and leave no other carbon dioxide to feed normal plants and plankton?
Remember that all plants need CO2 to grow: they capture it via photosynthesis and convert it into plant material. No plants can live without CO2!
If not controlled, the lab-designed “carbon capturing plants” could suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and make soil logged with non-decomposing polymer fibers, and end our plant life which depends on CO2.
We are having a problem with Sars-Cov-2, which science was able to design, but isn’t able to stop. What if the genetically modified plants spread beyond pastures, into fields and wild forests?
What if this ends with the Earth being a frozen (due to too much CO2 removed), barren (due to polymer roots preventing normal growth and too little CO2 to support plant and aquatic plant development), grey planet with no room for any other plant life?
I doubt that any WEF dreamer is asking these questions. Or are they? Is there anyone not on their payroll who is looking at this with the absolutely highest degree of skepticism? Or are WEF’s paid acolytes purposely dismissing such reasonable concerns as “conspiracy theories” using paid “fact checkers”?
I understand that there is money to be made from buying pastures and converting them to polymer-rooted plants and capturing “carbon credits” and making profits. I am pro-business. At the same time, I want my planet to have a future for my kids and (hopefully) future grandchildren.
These people are working on outlandish projects, using billions in dark funding, with essentially no adult supervision or questioning allowed. This reminds me of “virologists”, messing around creating chimeric viruses, without effective oversight. We know how that ended.
Would you plant those plants in your garden to help capture CO2?
Every time I think their crazy, nefarious, and destructive ideas couldn't get worse, they outdo themselves.
Look at the numbers folks. Atmospheric CO2 has only increased by about one part in 10,000 since humans began burning fossil fuels (a trace amount) and the earth has been in a warming trend for thousands of years. There is every reason to suspect the manipulative political narrative being pushed with regard to climate change (which it absolutely does all by itself) is nothing more than that.