Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Bill Gates...

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in an effort to beget the second Green Revolution, as it is called, has decided to pour $120 million into organizations that will work to assuage hunger in Africa. The particularly noteworthy part of the Foundation's generosity is this: it believes technology can and should be integral in addressing and solving this problem. The Gates Foundation has a history of pursuing these kinds of solutions, and its choice to fund organizations that share its vision speaks to the growing body that rejects the notion that technology and nature are somehow inexorably opposed:
“Productivity or sustainability — they say you have to choose. It’s a false choice," [Bill Gates said]. Rather, we need farming techniques that are both environmentally responsible and highly productive, and technology will help bridge the gap, he said.
The Vertical Farmer couldn't agree more. First of all, the idea that farming as it is currently practiced is "natural" is bogus. Dickson Despommier says that farming is the most unnatural thing we do. Not only is it unnatural, but it's not working. Farms all over the world are failing, and an unacceptable number of people are facing weary straits. Why would we not pursue technological cures--humans are pretty good at technology!--for an ailment that, if we trace the story to its origin, resulted from the use of technology? Vertical Farms seem like a logical recipient of Gates Foundation capital:
Bill Gates...wants to help accelerate a second green revolution in agriculture — again boosting yields, but this time paying more mind to the environment and turning to some technologies that could help deliver a truly sustainable movement.
Providing abundant yields of healthy food, creating drinking water through remediation, generating electricity, restoring damaged ecosystems, and diminishing Sub-Saharan Africa's dependence on foreign aid, the Vertical Farm is the technological solution that the Gates Foundation has been seeking.

Hey Mr. Gates, got a minute?

Read the whole story from earth2tech here.


  1. First of all, we should not rely on a technological infrastructure. Too many missionaries and others providing methods to feed. water and provide support to third world countries will tell you that the supply of the techno-gadgets needed to keep sophisticated systems can and do cause more problems than they solve.

    Permaculture and bio-intensive methods are the way to go. How will you heat and light a huge skyscraper, if there is no electric infrastructure available?

  2. Dear Mr. Bill Gates,

    I would like to extend my services to my country men by starting a chicken farm subcontracted to local major chicken producing company. My line of work is Information Technology but my goal in life is to be a farmer. My dream is to work with nature and to produce food to stop hunger in our country. I would like to start this cause but I have no funds to start with. I hope you can help fulfill my dream.

    May God bless us all.


    Jojo B.
    Manila Philippines

  3. hi..Im college student, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)