How Supercharged Plants Could Slow Climate Change: Joanne Chory (Transcript)

So the suberin will break up into little particles and give the whole soil a new texture. And as we’ve shown that we can get more carbon in that soil, the soil will get darker. And so we will be able to measure all that, and hopefully, this is going to help us solve the problem.

So, OK. So we have the challenges of a lot of land that we need to use, we have to get farmers to buy it, and that’s going to be the hard thing for us, I think, because we’re not really salesmen, we’re people who like to Google a person rather than meet them, you know what I mean? That’s what scientists are mostly like.

But we know now that, you know, no one can really deny — the climate is changing, everyone knows that. And it’s here and it’s bad and it’s serious, and we need to do something about it.

But I feel pretty optimistic that we can do this. So I’m here today as a character witness for plants. And I want to tell you that plants are going to do it for us, all we have to do is give them a little help, and they will go and get a gold medal for humanity.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.

I finally got it out.

Chris Anderson: Wow. Joanne, you’re so extraordinary. Just to be sure we heard this right: you believe that within the next 10 years you may be able to offer the world seed variants for the major crops, like — what? — wheat, corn, maybe rice, that can offer farmers just as much yield, sequester three times, four times, more carbon than they currently do? Even more than that?

Joanne Chory: We don’t know that number, really. But they will do more.

Chris Anderson: And at the same time, make the soil that those farmers have more fertile?

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Joanne Chory: Yes, right.

Chris Anderson: So that is astonishing. And the genius of doing that and a solution that can scale where there’s already scale.

Joanne Chory: Yes, thank you for saying that.

Chris Anderson: No, no, you said it, you said it. But it almost seems too good to be true. Your Audacious Project is that we scale up the research in your lab and pave the way to start some of these pilots and make this incredible vision possible.

Joanne Chory: That’s right, yes, thank you.

Chris Anderson: Joanne Chory, thank you so much. Godspeed.

Joanne Chory: Thank you.


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