Biofuels, Food Drive St. Louis Dreams of a Plant Revolution
by Marc Gunther (GreenBiz.com) St. Louis doesn’t turn up on lists of America’s most innovative cities. But when it comes to plants, the city matters, thanks in part to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. And if you care about sustainability, you’ve got to care about plants and plant science.
How are we going to feed the hungry? How are we going to create the low-carbon, renewable fuels of the future?
Almost surely with new and improved plants.
Founded in 1998, the Danforth Center has grown to become the world’s largest independent research institute devoted to plant science.
…“We think we’re addressing the most important problems on the planet,” says Jim Carrington, a leading plant scientist and the Danforth Center’s president. “Plants, in the broadest sense — as sources of food and as growing sources of energy — will be a big part of addressing these grand challenges that we face.”
…Later the Taylor family, which owns privately-held Enterprise, gave $35 million to start the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Center.
…One last thought: We’re not, as a nation, investing enough in plant research. The federal government spent about $760 million on plant science in 2010, according to this article in The Scientist co-authored by Tom Brutnell of the Danforth Center. That’s a small price to pay for potentially big gains in food security, low-carbon fuels and economic growth. READ MORE