RE: Did Borlaug prevent or just delay mass famine?
Norman Borlaug was debatably the greatest person in the 'green' revolution, but where Norman would have been the first to have said that this is only just one of the pieces in the jigsaw of human survival. For the realisation of a world without starvation, great wars et al, we have to look elsewhere and fast, as time is simply running out.
In this respect the pace of economic recovery throughout the world should not be the prime consideration of industrialists (World Economic Forum, Dalian, China ? 12th September 2009) or governments, but what the future holds for all who live and breathe on this planet. In this respect the way that our politicians are working and addressing mounting global problems is like Nero fiddling whilst Rome burns. They are oblivious to the strains on humankind?s constant growth and are impotent in preventing global Agamemnon coming in this present century with their present thinking and mindsets. Whilst they try and fix the financial system through the people?s wealth, they impoverish tens of millions yearly. The system is a destructive force and where they are the conductors, forever adding fuel to the burning mass that goes on underneath. Over the next 20 years the world will increasingly witness a far more destabilised world, where emerging wars become a common event. By then there will be over 8 billion humans living on planet Earth (and that will be 2 billion less than peak population by 2075 at 10 billion humans according to the latest UN predictions), a significant number unable to sustain themselves. Indeed, the vast dwindling resources problem will create the base and start-line for global conflict, the size and ferocity never seen before. Therefore as Rome did indeed burn, so will humankind eventually with the present political mindsets. This is not pie-in-the-sky scare mongering, but sheer fact and is conditioned by common sense and what will eventually come to pass. That is why armaments throughout the world are increasing every year and where by 2030 through this vast expenditure by governments worldwide, could very well become the largest industry in the world turning over in excess of $5 trillion annually. Indeed in the case of the USA alone, the Friends Committee on National Legislation calculates for Fiscal Year 2009 that the majority of US tax payer?s money goes towards war ? some 44.4% of all taxes. Therefore whilst our politicians continue to place their faith in that the strongest will prevail, they lose sight of any possibility of a peaceful future world. Indeed again, they fuel the whole process of human destruction and where their combined interests of relying upon weapons of mass destruction to protect themselves and the preservation of the capitalist system that supports such an unholy mechanism, is absolutely flawed. In time and when things are too late, politicians (and industrialists) will realise the folly of their mismanagement of the world order, for by then all that they once held so dear will have disappeared completely ? and the rest of humankind with it.
For having the insight gained from the thinking of many of the world?s foremost scientists and engineers, technology will not come to the rescue this time, as there are not any significant breakthroughs on the horizon in science today. Indeed, if a scientific miracle were discovered tomorrow to solve just one of humankind's huge problems, it would take around 4 decades for this to have any significant global effect, as all other revolutionary technologies have shown us in the past ? R&D development, technological prototypes, final technology product, mass manufacture, global distribution logistics etc, etc. Therefore any solution would come too late according to the dictates of common sense and where the resources necessary to support 8-10 billion humans, would not be there.
And where all the above future problems are determined by a vastly overpopulated world, unimaginable depletion of natural resources over the next 25-years that will not be able to support all human life (it only takes 15% of the global population to be affected to cause an irreversible situation), lack of energy and food, the destruction of arable land by continual erosion (both the hot climate effect and rise in sea levels) and the decimation of the oceans through industrial pollution and energy resources extraction on a momentous scale.
Dr. David Hill, DSc(Hon)
World Innovation Foundation Charity