“Norman Borlaug was the right person, in the right place, at the right time”.
That time is now behind us.
The “Green Revolution” to which Mr. Borlaug is accredited, did indeed feed millions who would have otherwise starved in the aftermath of WWII. Yet to view these accomplishments through the prism of the mid 20th century as a perpetual prescription for current world symptoms without reapplying 21st century attributes is not only bad science, but indeed reckless.
The Green Revolution was the product of three primary advancements:
Haber-Bosch nitrogen fixation; Seed hybridization; Excess post-wartime nitrogen capacity.
The Haber-Bosch process requires copious volumes of natural gas and electricity in order to produce the fertilizers which have painted the countryside green since Mr. Borlaug’s early years. Increased 21st century demand for these fossil fuels in conjunction with decreasing supply reveals the dead end road that industrial agriculture is currently on.
We can have an intelligent debate in regards to how “long” this dead end road Is. There is however, no way to have an intelligent discussion debating the sustainability of the present industrial model. For to state that we are NOT on a dead end road is to believe that the diminishing supply of a finite resource will continue to meet an ever-increasing demand.