Friday, October 23, 2009

Borlaug Failed To Get It Right

Borlaug failed to get it right

George Bernhard Shaw once remarked that although Napoleon was no doubt a great man, it would have been better for the world if he had never been born. Notwithstanding his more noble motives and aspirations, the same could be said for Norman Borlaug. His “green revolution’, by tripling world food production merely allowed human population to triple. The damage that the extra 4 ½ billion people has wrought, as manifest in habitat loss, deforestation, the collapse of world fisheries and climate change, among other calamities, is damage that threatens the very existence of our species and misery and death on a scale far greater than starvation would have inflicted before Borlaug’s innovations were introduced.

Is it truly compassionate or sensible to keep feeding any species that given an abundant food source, will not stop over-breeding? Borlaug himself lamented that increased food production was not matched by population control, but that should have been anticipated. Does one introduce cars to a new highway before traffic controls are in place?

First the cart, then the horse. Family planning then food expansion.

Tim Murray,

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