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Where Borlaug and organic farming have differences is modeling sustainability.

As a scientist, I think (based on very little knowledge of him) , Borlaug was interested in sustainability and open to criticism.

The problem of sustainability can be addressed by various forms of science - Borlaug probably doesn't deserve to be a lightening rod. The politicization of agriculture (and the sustainability debate) is industrial farming techniques are sometimes (obviously) in conflict with ecologically "holistic" practices - that is, the model of the systems are different, and both models get things wrong.

My two cents: Profit clouds science as much as fear or ignorance.

Borlaug takes the stance that even if having 6 billion people on earth is 'unsustainable,' that we should still feed them all. At the root of all the 'sustainability' counter-arguments is the idea that we shouldn't feed everyone no matter what it takes, that people SHOULD be starving... just never the person making the argument. This is why Greenpeace does things like run a successful campaign to ban nitrogen fertilizer exports from Western Europe to Africa - its environment over people. Better for the people to starve than the environment suffer the fertilizer load, and the problem of increased populations when people stop starving.

Which is what I call environmental extremism - the non-extreme variety has people first, and seeks sustainability for our entire, well fed population.

'''the non-extreme variety has people first, and seeks sustainability for our entire, well fed population.'''

I agree partly - starving now or later - is the problem.

Isn't humanity just a startup?™ - industrial agriculture has "technological debt". We either pay the debt now, or face bigger debt later.

Borlaug, I don't think, was trying to define and deal with debt - and I think sustainability/ecology does.

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