Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Green Revolution

Back in the 1700s, the Marquis de Condorcet and Thomas Malthus had different predictions for the future. Malthus thought that human population increase would eventually outstrip food production and hundreds of millions would starve. Condorcet thought that we would solve the problem, and several others, through science and reason and hundreds of millions would be saved. Thankfully, Condorcet was right. We did solve the production problem through science and saved countless millions of lives.

Or, more specifically Norman Borlaug did. He's the man responsible for the "Green Revolution" in the 1960s that dramatically increased agricultural productivity through the painstakingly engineered dwarf wheat. In the 1960s, people were still predicting millions of deaths. It's impossible to calculate how many lives Borlaug saved, but if anyone who got the Nobel Prize ever deserved it, he sure did. Remember kids: Great things can be accomplished by meddling with God's creation.

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