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“Unknown hero” Norman Borlaug dies
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2009-09-14 02:59
"He was a bright, affirming flame in the midst of a sea of despair then prevailing."
"Some credit him with saving more human lives than any other person in history."
"Dr. Norman Borlaug is the first person in history to save a billion human lives. But he must also get credit for saving the wild creatures and diverse plant species on 12 million square miles of global forest that would long since have been plowed down without the high-yield farming he pioneered. The two accomplishments combined make him dramatically unique.”
"Dr. Norman Borlaug was the father of the Green Revolution that transformed much of the hungry Third World. . . [I]n the 1960s . . . 4 million tons of food aid per year [was shipped] to India; now it can export food. Dr. Borlaug’s scientific leadership . . . saved people from starvation. . He is one of the great men of our age."
If feeding the planet is your goal then your hero should not be Sting or Bob Geldof or Thomas Malthus or Jeanette Fitzsimons or (heaven help us) Che Guevara. Even George McGovern can recognise that much. It should be that man in the picture there on the left: agricultural hero Norman Borlaug, who died on Saturday at his home in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 95.
Known around the world as the father of the real Green Revolution, despite viewing it himself as “a miserable term,” Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work to stop world hunger, for which no one did more. Penn Jillette reckoned a few years back that Norman Borlaug was then the greatest living human being. Why?
So why so unheralded? Says Don Boudreaux:
Sure as hell is. The men of the mind achieve their heroism unnoticed, while their moochers and looters hof the headlines that should have been theirs’.
For a sober career assessment of Borlaug’s under-the-radar great work, read the Voice of America’s tribute:
A vain hope perhaps, when arseholes still fight the introduction of new biotechnologies to increase food production, and those same empty-headed misathropic control freaks still deny the murderous effect of the ban on DDT – a ban which has killed millions, and still kills around 3,000 people every day!
Anyway, check out these tributes to the great man from those who have remembered him:
And finally, Listen to "The Norman Borlaug Rap" ‘sung’ by Rohan Prakash in honor of Dr. Borlaug's 90th Birthday., and check out Penn & Teller’s colourful tribute to Norman Borlaug on their Bullshit! TV show.
And check out the Norman Borlaug archive at AgBioWorld.
As the tributes say, this was a man whose work saved more human lives than any other. In a rational world this hero would not be unknown -- and his passing now should not go unnoticed.
PS: By the way, the ‘Ethics’ tag below is no accident. It shouldn’t take a genius to work out why.
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