This article, originally published on the academic website HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), went viral. I received dozens of phone calls, e-mails, and text messages — could I please verify the primary sources? What year did it happen? It was telling that so many thought it was reality instead of satire.
MONSANTO ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO THE SUN
CREVE COEUR, MISSOURI, June 30 — in a ground-breaking move, Monsanto, a multi-national biotechnology corporation, acquired rights to the sun in a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision, led by Clarence Thomas, was hailed by Monsanto President and CEO Hugh Grant as “good news for food producers, food consumers, and the future of humanity.”
Monsanto is known worldwide for its Roundup brand, an herbicide that works in conjunction with genetically engineered seeds.
The decision allows solar energy used by Monsanto-crop farmland — including solar panels, wind turbines and the like — to be taxed at a rate of 10% per kilowatt hour. Approved in an unprecedented three months, the law will go into effect January 1, 2013. Companies, organizations and individuals currently using Roundup products will receive one free year of sunlight before the 10% tithe is active.
According to the new regulation, any action to “store, reuse or redirect” sunlight will be a prosecutable offense unless authorized by Monsanto. Failure to comply with the law may result in a visit by Monsanto’s secretive “Watt” Police. Monsanto typically uses lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits to bring compliance. “We feed the world,” Grant says, “anyone caught stealing sunlight from us is stealing food from the mouths of millions.”
Sunlight, which most life on earth relies on, provides warmth, photosynthesis for plant life, and is used widely on beaches.
Opponents such as Greenpeace and “Sunshine for All,” a crowdsourced Facebook movement, vow to fight the ruling. “First they patent life, then they insert genes into our food supply, now they’re hijacking the sun. Monsanto seeks world domination and the Supreme Court is enabling them. Shame on you, Supreme Court,” says Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo.