September 16, 2009

If your "god" orders you to kill a million people...

What happens?

I recommend this piece by Gregg Easterbrook in WSJ, The Man Who Defused the 'Population Bomb', about Norman Borlaug, whose lifetime of work increasing agricultural yields in Third World countries has saved perhaps a billion lives!

But I have my own special field of blogging interest, which is the change that is coming over the Western world as the "faiths" that substituted for fading Christianity have themselves started to fade. To drain away, leaving only the worship of the most terrifying god of all- — the self. "But wait," you say, "I'm not like that! My 'self' is a pretty good guy." Well, it probably is, but only because you've imbibed habits of morality derived from religious faith. And habits drain away over generations, when their source is forgotten. We see it all around us.

You are not intrinsically one of the good guys. None of us is. And if you think I'm just kooky, ponder the following....

...After his triumph in India and Pakistan and his Nobel Peace Prize, Borlaug turned to raising crop yields in other poor nations especially in Africa, the one place in the world where population is rising faster than farm production and the last outpost of subsistence agriculture. At that point, Borlaug became the target of critics who denounced him because Green Revolution farming requires some pesticide and lots of fertilizer. Trendy environmentalism was catching on, and affluent environmentalists began to say it was "inappropriate" for Africans to have tractors or use modern farming techniques. Borlaug told me a decade ago that most Western environmentalists "have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists in wealthy nations were trying to deny them these things."

Environmentalist criticism of Borlaug and his work was puzzling on two fronts. First, absent high-yield agriculture, the world would by now be deforested. The 1950 global grain output of 692 million tons and the 2006 output of 2.3 billion tons came from about the same number of acres three times as much food using little additional land.

"Without high-yield agriculture," Borlaug said, "increases in food output would have been realized through drastic expansion of acres under cultivation, losses of pristine land a hundred times greater than all losses to urban and suburban expansion." Environmentalist criticism was doubly puzzling because in almost every developing nation where high-yield agriculture has been introduced, population growth has slowed as education becomes more important to family success than muscle power....

The "environmentalists" mentioned are certainly all "Liberals." They consider themselves better people than "greedy capitalists" and American "Imperialists" and "heartless conservatives," like me. And yet, after the problem of starvation in India was solved, they can coolly sit and condemn millions of African to likely death by...... starvation! Because tractors would be "inappropriate!"

Think about it! Why should we consider such "Liberals" to be any better than Stalin, who deliberately condemned millions of Ukrainians to death by starvation? Why should they be considered any batter than Hitler? WHY?

What's going on in these people's heads? And it still goes on today; there is, right now, intense resistance to introducing genetically modified crops into Africa.

Posted by John Weidner at September 16, 2009 9:52 AM
Weblog by John Weidner