Southern Man

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Norman E. Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009)

There are several living Americans who have recieved the Nobel Peace Prize. Some are familiar names to most Americans - Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore. Lesser known is Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor honored for an exemplary life and message of peace. Another is Norman Borlaug, who has been described as the "Greatest Living American" and the "Father of the Green Revolution." He was just recently awarded the U.S. National Science Medal. He's also won the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the two highest honors awarded to civilians by our government.

And you've never even heard of him.

Southern Man's formative years were spent having his fool head filled with Malthusian doomsday predictions such as
Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, which predicted that overpopulation and the inability of agriculture to keep pace with population growth would inevitably lead to famine and death, particularly in the Third World. Fortunately, Borlaug wasn't having any because he was busy inventing high-yield agriculture and teaching it to the rest of the world. His lifelong research in agriculture and high-yield strains of crops such as wheat led to revolutions in agriculture in Mexico, Pakistan, India, and elsewhere in Asia and Africa, transforming impoverished nations from from food importers to agricultural self-sufficiency. He probably saved a billion lives over the last five decades, and he's a big part of the reason that food is more plentiful and less expensive than in any time in history. Not to mention forcing poor Dr. Ehrlich to continually revise his book.

So why does Southern Man mention this American hero?

Southern Man reads a lot of blogs. A lot of blogs, of every stripe, liberal and conservative, popular and unpopular, known and unknown. Yes, it's a rough life but someone has to do it. And he noted that of the blogs he read today, stories mourning Borlaug's passing and honoring his accomplishments appear almost exclusively on conservative / libertarian blogs; his passing has gone virtually unmentioned on liberal blogs.

Just wanted to point that out.


Post a Comment

<< Home