Green Revolutionary

February 23, 2008 • News

This is an interesting article about the work of Norman Borlaug, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for being the father of the Green Revolution. He is a member of Population Media Center’s Program Advisory Board and an advocate of stabilizing population before human numbers outstrip the food supply. He views his work as buying humanity some time in which to solve the population problem.

In 1798, the English economist Thomas Malthus argued that population increases geometrically, outstripping the arithmetic growth of the food supply. He promised “famine … the last, the most dreadful resource of nature.” It took another 125 years for world population to double, but only 50 more for it to redouble. By the 1940s, Mexi¬co, China, India, Russia, and Europe were hungry. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s farsighted vice president-elect, former secretary of agriculture Henry A. Wallace, believed the solution lay with technology. He was right: the Malthusian tragedy never happened, chiefly because ¬Norman E. Borlaug transformed the breeding of wheat, which feeds more people than any other crop.

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