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Nobel Prize Winner, Science Pioneer, Famine Fighter Norman Borlaug, R.I.P.
This is what an environmental hero really looks like.
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Eco-charlatans like Van Jones claim to represent the poor and pose as saviors of the planet.

Norman Borlaug, Nobel Prize-winning agricultural scientist, was a real global famine fighter and science pioneer who literally saved billions around the world. He died today at the age of 95:

Nobel Prize-winning agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug has died in Texas at age 95.

Known as the father of the “green revolution,” Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in combating world hunger.

Texas A&M University spokeswoman Kathleen Phillips said Borlaug died just before 11 p.m. Saturday at his home in Dallas.

The Nobel committee honored Borlaug in 1970 for contributions to high-yield crops and other agricultural innovations in the developing world. Many experts credit his green revolution with averting global famine during the second half of the 20th century.

CEI’s Fran Smith wrote in 2007:

Has there been anyone else in history credited with saving a billion people? Yesterday Norman Borlaug received the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award. This humble and unpretentious microbiologist and plant breeder is credited with saving over a billion lives through the “Green Revolution.” Dr. Borlaug has spent his professional life introducing crop breeding methods to developing countries that dramatically increased crop yields and saved over a billion people from starvation.

Gregg Easterbrook excoriated American ignorance about this scientific giant when he received the Congressional Gold Medal:

Do you know Borlaug’s achievement? Would you recognize him if he sat on your lap? Norman Borlaug WON THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, yet is anonymous in the land of his birth.

Born 1914 in Cresco, Iowa, Borlaug has saved more lives than anyone else who has ever lived. A plant breeder, in the 1940s he moved to Mexico to study how to adopt high-yield crops to feed impoverished nations. Through the 1940s and 1950s, Borlaug developed high-yield wheat strains, then patiently taught the new science of Green Revolution agriculture to poor farmers of Mexico and nations to its south. When famine struck India and Pakistan in the mid-1960s, Borlaug and a team of Mexican assistants raced to the Subcontinent and, often working within sight of artillery flashes from the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, sowed the first high-yield cereal crop in that region; in a decade, India’s food production increased sevenfold, saving the Subcontinent from predicted Malthusian catastrophes. Borlaug moved on to working in South America. Every nation his green thumb touched has known dramatic food production increases plus falling fertility rates (as the transition from subsistence to high-tech farm production makes knowledge more important than brawn), higher girls’ education rates (as girls and young women become seen as carriers of knowledge rather than water) and rising living standards for average people. Last fall, Borlaug crowned his magnificent career by persuading the Ford, Rockefeller and Bill & Melinda Gates foundations to begin a major push for high-yield farming in Africa, the one place the Green Revolution has not reached.


Yet Borlaug is unknown in the United States, and if my unscientific survey of tonight’s major newscasts is reliable, television tonight ignored his receipt of the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award. I clicked around to ABC, CBS and NBC and heard no mention of Borlaug; no piece about him is posted on these networks’ evening news websites; CBS Evening News did have time for video of a bicycle hitting a dog. (I am not making that up.)

Please teach your children about Borlaug. This is what a true environmental hero looks like.


Ronald Bailey pays tribute.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology