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Norman Borlaug: the greatest person to ever live? (wikipedia.org)
13 points by kf on Aug 28, 2007 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments



> The fact that Norman was a great-grandchild of Norwegian immigrants to the US makes one wonder how many talented people are going to waste given the current almost epidemic prevalence of xenophobia in the US and in Europe.

In what universe are Norwegians discriminated against in the US? In this universese, there are whole states populated with Scandahoovian immigrants and their descendants over the past 100 years. Maybe the Swedes and the Norwegians throw down in America, but the rest of us can't tell the difference.


How many of us only know about Norman Borlaug because of Penn Jillette talking about him?


Great story.

The fact that Norman was a great-grandchild of Norwegian immigrants to the US makes one wonder how many talented people are going to waste given the current almost epidemic prevalence of xenophobia in the US and in Europe.

It is remarkable that someone who went on to become an accomplished scientist failed his University entrance exam!


almost epidemic prevalence of xenophobia

Multiculturalism is practically the state religion in the US.


I always thought Orville Vogel was the father of the green revolution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orville_Vogel Must have been regional bias.


Sounds like Vogel was an important predecessor of Borlaug. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orville_Vogel


"Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people from starvation."

Penn and Teller declared him the greatest human being to ever live and you really can't argue with that.

What have you done today? :)


If a country's carrying capacity is 10, and the population is 11, then you get starvation. If you raise the carrying capacity to 20, the starvation ends. Until the population hits 21. That is not a sustainable process.

Meanwhile, the ratio of people to non-food natural resources has increased, resulting in pollution and crowding.


"Besides increasing the worldwide food supply, Borlaug has repeatedly stated that taking steps to decrease the rate of population growth will also be necessary to prevent food shortages. In his Nobel Lecture of 1970, Borlaug stated, "Most people still fail to comprehend the magnitude and menace of the 'Population Monster'...If it continues to increase at the estimated present rate of two percent a year, the world population will reach 6.5 billion by the year 2000. Currently, with each second, or tick of the clock, about 2.2 additional people are added to the world population. The rhythm of increase will accelerate to 2.7, 3.3, and 4.0 for each tick of the clock by 1980, 1990, and 2000, respectively, unless man becomes more realistic and preoccupied about this impending doom. The tick-tock of the clock will continually grow louder and more menacing each decade. Where will it all end?"[20]"


I'll see your Norman Borlaug and raise you a Julian Simon.


I'm going to buy General Mills shares.


has repeatedly stated that taking steps to decrease the rate of population growth

Read: Has repeatedly stated that the apocalyptic-scale problem he caused should be solved by someone at some point by some means.


He caused a problem by solving another apocalyptic scale problem. Like Julian Simon, I am confident that new technology will emerge to solve any overpopulation problems.


The crowding is not due to too many people. There are lots of places on the planet with very few people; it's just that many people (when free to travel) prefer crowding to solitude.




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