Glowing plants: a cool idea, or terrible one?

Jay Owen Crowdfunding, Nature/Biomimicry

We at Ethical Markets  think this is an appallingly  ignorant , stupid idea . We hope Kickstarter  removes this from their site !, Hazel Henderson, Editor

“What if we used trees to light our streets instead of electric street lamps?” starts the Glowing Plant Kickstarter campaign video.

The pitch, launched April 23, continues, “Our way of life is unsustainable. Lighting creates as much CO2 as cars,” and then describes how its “Stanford-trained PhDs” used synthetic biology to create a weed, Arabidopsis thaliana, that faintly glows in the dark. Along with images from the film “Avatar,” the video finishes with Glowing Plant project manager Antony Evans asking potential backers to “demonstrate their commitment to a more sustainable future.” For $40 or more, 8,000 backers of the project will each receive 50 to 100 seeds next year.

Unless, that is, some environmental groups — claiming that the project will set a precedent that could have far-reaching environmental ramifications — manage to stop it.

Before going any further, let’s define genetic engineering and synthetic biology. With the former, you take genes from one organism and insert them into another organism. With the latter, which is newer technology, you design genes on a computer and put them into an organism, thereby creating DNA that has never before existed in nature.

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