Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Norman Borlaug on the path ahead

Norman BorlaugThe Jurisdynamics Network thanks the thousands of visitors who noticed Jurisdynamics and Agricultural Law's tribute to Norman Borlaug. I am especially gratified with the prospect that public support for H.R. 4924, the Congressional Tribute to Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Act of 2006, might enable the 109th Congress to confer its Gold Medal on Dr. Borlaug as one of its final acts.

But more work remains. Remember these words of wisdom, uttered two millenia ago: "You have the poor always with you." Sickness, starvation, and misery continue to haunt our world. In "Billions Served," a Reason magazine interview published in April 2000, Norman Borlaug was asked whether he thought "the Green Revolution was a success." His answer is worth taking to heart:
Yes, but it's a never-ending job. When I was born in 1914, the world population was approximately 1.6 billion people. It has just turned 6 billion. We've had no major famines any place in the world since the Green Revolution began. We've had local famines where these African wars have been going on and are still going on. However, if we could get the infrastructure straightened out in African countries south of the Sahara, you could end hunger there pretty fast. . . . And if you look at the data that's put out by the World Health Organization and [the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization], there are probably 800 million people who are undernourished in the world. So there's still a lot of work to do.
As a grateful Mexico undoubtedly said to Dr. Borlaug upon his arrival there, "Trabajamos juntos." Let's work together.

Editor's note: This item is being posted simultaneously at Jurisdynamics, Agricultural Law, and BioLaw: Law and the Life Sciences.

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