Monday, December 04, 2006

Honoring Norman Borlaug

Norman BorlaugThis network has already lauded Norman Borlaug, the recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. C.S. Prakash, professor of plant molecular genetics at Tuskegee University, is urging passage of H. R. 4924, the Congressional Tribute to Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Act of 2006. Public support is essential if H.R. 4924 is to be adopted before Congress recesses.

The Jurisdynamics Network wholeheartedly supports H.R. 4924. This bill, if passed, would confer the Congressional Gold Medal, our nation's highest civilian honor, on one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century. Section 2 of H.R. 4924 tells the story:
  1. Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, was born in Iowa where he grew up on a family farm, and received his primary and secondary education.

  2. Dr. Borlaug attended the University of Minnesota where he received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees and was also a star NCAA wrestler.

  3. For the past 20 years, Dr. Borlaug has lived in Texas where he is a member of the faculty of Texas A&M University.

  4. Dr. Borlaug also serves as President of the Sasakawa Africa Association.

  5. Dr. Borlaug's accomplishments in terms of bringing radical change to world agriculture and uplifting humanity are without parallel.

  6. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Dr. Borlaug spent 20 years working in the poorest areas of rural Mexico. It was there that Dr. Borlaug made his breakthrough achievement in developing a strain of wheat that could exponentially increase yields while actively resisting disease.

  7. With the active support of the governments involved, Dr. Borlaug's `green revolution' uplifted hundreds of thousands of the rural poor in Mexico and saved hundreds of millions from famine and outright starvation in India and Pakistan.

  8. Dr. Borlaug's approach to wheat production next spread throughout the Middle East. Soon thereafter his approach was adapted to rice growing, increasing the number of lives Dr. Borlaug has saved to more than a billion people.

  9. In 1970, Dr. Borlaug received the Nobel Prize, the only person working in agriculture to ever be so honored. Since then he has received numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Public Service Medal, the National Academy of Sciences' highest honor, and the Rotary International Award for World Understanding and Peace.

  10. At age 91, Dr. Borlaug continues to work to alleviate poverty and malnutrition. He currently serves as president of Sasakawa Global 2000 Africa Project, which seeks to extend the benefits of agricultural development to the 800,000,000 people still mired in poverty and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.

  11. Dr. Borlaug continues to serve as Chairman of the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize, an organization he created in 1986 to be the `Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture' and which presents a $250,000 prize each October at a Ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, to the Laureate who has made an exceptional achievement similar to Dr. Borlaug's breakthrough 40 years ago. In the almost 20 years of its existence, the World Food Prize has honored Laureates from Bangladesh, India, China, Mexico, Denmark, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  12. Dr. Borlaug has saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived, and likely has saved more lives in the Islamic world than any other human being in history.

  13. Due to a lifetime of work that has led to the saving and preservation of an untold amount of lives, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug is deserving of America's highest civilian award: the congressional gold medal.
CornReread paragraph 12. Norman Borlaug "has saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived." This is a profound distinction. Like the society that sustains it, American academia takes achievements like this for granted. One must wonder how many professors, outside schools such as Tuskegee and departments dedicated to agriculture, have any idea that an American university professor holds the all-time record for lives saved. A Congressional Gold Medal is the very least that America can do to honor Norman Borlaug, a hero to all and a friend of humanity.

This item is being posted simultaneously on Jurisdynamics and Agricultural Law.

14 Comments:

Blogger Svolich said...

Well said.

Honoring Dr. Borlaug is one of the things that everyone, of every political and ideological bent, can agree on.

12/04/2006 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Honoring Dr. Borlaug is one of the things that everyone, of every political and ideological bent, can agree on.


Unfortunately, that isn't true- Greens hate his guts, because he showed that the population bomb didn't really exist. Greens typically see the reduction of pesticides from the environment as being far more relevant than saving human lives.

12/04/2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger TombZ said...

Dr. Borlaug ... has saved more lives in the Islamic world than any other human being in history.

Do you think the Islamicists might say "Thank you" to an infidel?

12/04/2006 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gig 'Em Aggies.

12/04/2006 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Andrew T. Schoppe, Esq. said...

I just called my congresswoman's office- Jane Harman- to register my endorsement. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

12/04/2006 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are the "greens" anonymous was refering to.

Search the name Jose Bove and Via Campesina on Google. Mr. Bove is the founder of Via Campesina, a semi-socialist, anti-globalization, agrarian movement commited to turning back the clock on agricultural progress.

12/04/2006 3:31 PM  
Blogger Tony Lekas said...

Is this bill scheduled to come up in the remainder of this Congress or will it wait till the next one? That matters becuase my rep got replaced and I need to know who to contact.

I looked the bill up on Thomas. It is in a subcommitte. I sent email to the main sponsor Rep Tom Latham asking about the status. If I hear back I'll post something here.

12/04/2006 3:35 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

"...saved more lives in the Islamic world than any other human being in history."

I hate to say it, but maybe this one isn't so great....

12/04/2006 3:35 PM  
Blogger Jay Manifold said...

I dunno, Brian. I still prefer the save 'em all, and let God sort them out approach.

12/04/2006 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Many politicians have very poor scientific backgrounds and do not understand the impact of the policy decisions they are making." - former Surgeon General and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dr. Harold M. Koenig.
-----------------------------------
Your post honoring the great scientific work of Dr. Borlaug reminded me of the contradictory legacy of Rachel Carson of 'Silent Spring' fame.

While Dr. Borlaug is credited with saving the lives of billions of human beings through his science, Ms. Carson has been repeatedly credited with the unneccessary deaths of hundreds of millions of human beings through her lack of science (ie. her success in banning DDT - the most effective pesticide against human killers like malaria and typhus.)

Wouldn't it be great if someone created an index, that politicians could utilize, which measures the track records of say, leading environmental organizations versus those of say, people like Dr. Borlaug? A well measured, one stop source for ANY politician who is about to vote on policy which will impact the lives and health of possibly billions of human beings!

Brian J. Goodwin
New York, NY

12/04/2006 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bill honoring Dr Borlaug now has 200 co-sponsors and we need a total of 290 to get it considered yet this year in the House and we only have the next two days to get it done. So anyone that can contact their congressman now is the time to do it. Yes contact your current congressman they are the one that would consider the bill

12/04/2006 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Randall Tallent said...

The concept of selecting one man as having saved so many billions of lives is pretty humourous to me, however, I am in full support of honoring men for their peaceful and helpful achievements, instad of raising men up for manipulation, violence, dishonesty, or being exceedingly good at things such as making money, playing sports, or singing in front of lots of people. It is refreshing to see that today's society can still chose to pick people who have done great and honest work and raise them up, even if, in all liklihood, this has some political ramifications too. Now we just have to wait for the day when society will chose to honor that sweet old lady, or the man who always puts other before himself. I won't hold my breath however. And I disagree with your statement about "greens" hating his guts. I'm a pretty green minded person and bear no ill will against him for saving lives. The problems with populations are not solved by killing people, or at least, they shouldn't be. The problems with population exist in people having more children than they can support, and nations producing more people than they have food available to feed, land to live on, or jobs to work. Nor does this in anyway disprove the population bomb, for as long as there is a maximum yeild to crop growth, and a limit to soil, there is a point at which there will no longer be food. Thats pretty simple to see. As to whether o not we are there yet, well, it is pretty obvios that we haven't reachd that point. However, crowding populations does mean that disease, like malaria, can spread faster. It also means that people are gonig to be less comfortable in cities, and there will be fewer places where you can go and see crops growing, or watch animals move about in the wild. Still, interestingly enough, many of the nations with th highest population densities are not those who have over developed their land. In anycase, Dr. Borlaug should be commending for caring about the state of living in other countries, for few bother to look outside our own borders, or even our own back yards. Thanks to you Dr. Borlaug, for giving a &^%* about the people of the world. I wish there were more who would move away to another land to hep and heal after, at last, the terror and violence of war that kept you from your family was put aside. Hats off.
Randall Tallent,
North Carolina

12/06/2006 3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This legislation passed this morning. Here's the story.

12/06/2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Malaria parasite helps fuel the spread of the AIDS virus through Africa... Developing..."
Drudgereport, 1:45 pm EST, 12/7/06
-----------------------------------
We will have to see where this leads...but if it turns out to be true, can you imagine the blood of how many million more Africans that Rachel Carson has on her hands? And all due to her misinformed belief that DDT was more dangerous to the ecosystem then malaria is to Africans and other human beings!

Just a few tens of millions more reasons why Dr. Borlaug was a better scientist than media darlings like Rachel Carson.

12/07/2006 2:01 PM  

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