Clinton stressed that it was important for biotech to develop a wide range of alternatives to both reduce the rate of global warming as well as to cut the human contribution to it “by restricting greenhouse gas emissions.“ The Former President believes biofuels are the way to go.
“We need to move to a biofuel future based more on cellulistic fuels than corn, which is a principal contributor to ethanol now. Why? Because the conversion ratio is better. If the goal is not only to have clean fuels but to reduce greenhouse gases, then you want stuff thats lying around anyway, that you didn't have to burn oil to produce in the first place. And theres all kinds of agricultural waste that can be used. Theres wood waste thats lying around.“
He also maintained that the move to a clean energy future would reverse the declining wages trend in America because it would be driven by high job growth in the private sector.
“Ninety-two percent of the new jobs that came into being in the United States when I was President came in the private sector. We actually reduced the size of the Federal government to the size that Eisenhower had when he turned the government over to President Kennedy. So youve got to have a source of private sector growth.“
Ultimately, Clinton believes that biotechnology can replace energy as the main source of new jobs “because it will take us about a decade to reach the full implications of the sequencing of the human genome, so that we will be able to apply it to all kinds of diseases and conditions, develop vaccines, develop preventive strategies, and produce all kinds of products and services that we never even dreamed of before.
“But first weve got to get the energy thing right.“
The Former President sees a huge role for biotech in healthcare. For example, he views the rapid growth in obesity rates among young children as an extremely serious problem that is not being properly addressed.
“The explosion for the first time in our history of Type II diabetes, what we used to call adult onset diabetes, [is taking place] in our children. Now there are many reasons this happened. For one thing, food is still a great bargain in America. In some ways, some of you farmers in the audience may have done your job too well.“
Responding to Clintons speech, Nalini Motwani, Ph.D., president and founder of ApoLife (www.apolife.com), said she liked his passion for biotechnology and globalization and how he interconnected the science, humanity, and taking care of poverty in Africa—all in one topic. “He is very effective in convincing an audience about his vision.“