worst cynicism this week
Why the Climate Corporation Sold Itself to Monsanto
Posted by Michael Specter
For this week’s issue of the magazine, I wrote about the Climate Corporation, a company that is trying to deploy a vast and growing trove of data to help farmers cope with the increasingly severe fluctuations in weather caused by climate change, in much the way that Google organizes and presents the world’s information. The New York Times, citing a forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also noted this weekend that warming trends will pose an increased risk to the world’s food supply in the coming decades.
While I was reporting the piece, David Friedberg, the Climate Corporation’s thirty-three-year-old chief executive, told me that Monsanto had agreed to purchase the company for about a billion dollars. The deal was finalized last week. The Climate Corporation, which has nearly two hundred scientists trying to make sense of fifty terabytes of weather data every day, will continue to operate as an independent unit, but I was surprised at Friedberg’s decision, because many food activists consider Monsanto to be the definitively evil corporation. Friedberg was not prepared for the response from his family, friends, and colleagues. (“When I shared the news with my dad recently, his first reaction was, ‘Monsanto? The most evil company in the world? I thought you were trying to make the world a BETTER place?’”)
Read the rest of the article here.