Sunday, September 13, 2009

Norman Borlaug has died

Um, who?
Apparently, he is (or was) an agricultural scientist that, according to some people, has saved over 250,000,000 people. That's a quarter of a billion! Others put the numbers at a billion!

So, I did a little research. He was the founder of the Green Revolution. Uh oh! Red (or green) flag! Another one of those eco-freaks, right?

Well, no. He vigorously applied the scientific method to the agricultural production of food. His techniques and research increased crop yields by 200% to 300%. And what's best, he didn't do it by fording anyone to do anything: he made convincing arguments about how farmers get compensated for their crops and he developed pest and disease resistant strains of food!

So, the "Green" part of his Green Revolution wasn't a political agenda (mainly), but it was a scientific application of stuff that worked.

It wasn't just agricultural science, either.:

He insisted that governments pay poor farmers world prices for their grain. At the time, many developing nations--eager to supply cheap food to their urban citizens, who might otherwise rebel--required their farmers to sell into a government concession that paid them less than half of the world market price for their agricultural products. The result, predictably, was hoarding and underproduction. Using his hard-won prestige as a kind of platform, Mr. Borlaug persuaded the governments of Pakistan and India to drop such self-defeating policies.

That's a Green Revolution that I can get behind.

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