Agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug, the father of the "green revolution" who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in combating world hunger and saving hundreds of millions of lives, died Saturday in Texas, a Texas A&M University spokeswoman said. He was 95.From his Nobel Lecture, which was in 1970:
For the underprivileged billions in the forgotten world, hunger has been a constant companion, and starvation has all too often lurked in the nearby shadows. To millions of these unfortunates, who have long lived in despair, the green revolution seems like a miracle that has generated new hope for the future. ....
... Some critics have said that the green revolution has created more problems than it has solved. This I cannot accept, for I believe it is far better for mankind to be struggling with new problems caused by abundance rather than with the old problem of famine. Certainly, loyalty to the status quo in food production - when being pressured by population growth - cannot break the chains that have bound the peasant to poverty and hunger. One must ask: Is it just to criticize the green revolution, with its recognized accomplishments, for failure to correct all the social-economic ills of the world that have accumulated from the days of Adam and Eve up to the present? Change we must, or we will perish as a species, just as did the dinosaurs in the late Cretaceous.
The green revolution is a change in the right direction, but it has not transformed the world into Utopia. None are more keenly aware of its limitations than those who started it and fought for its success. But there has been solid accomplishment, as I have already shown by concrete examples. I have also tried to indicate the various opportunities for capitalizing more fully on the new materials that were produced and the new methods that were devised. And, above all, I cannot emphasize too strongly the fact that further progress depends on intelligent, integrated, and persistent effort by government leaders, statesmen, tradesmen, scientists, educators, and communication agencies, including the press, radio, and television.
Thank you, Dr. Borlaug.