13 September 2009

stand and pay respects both right and proper

A great man has left the stage.

Dr. Norman Borlaug passed away this weekend at his home in Dallas.

There's a good chance you don't know who Norman Borlaug was, or why his name ought be long remembered for accomplishments few humans can ever hope to match.

You see, Dr. Borlaug was a plant scientist, and it was his efforts to develop better hybrid varieties of dwarf grains -- hybrids which would be easier to grow, less prone to damage and drought, higher in yield, and able to sustain larger local populations -- which changed our world. These efforts to feed the growing third-world populations in the 1950s and 60s won Dr. Borlaugh the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, as well as the title-- offered with no hint of exaggeration or embellishment, it should be noted -- of "the man who saved a billion people."

If you want to learn a few details about a largely unknown man who quite literally changed the face of our world, take a few minutes to consider the impact and implications of Dr. Borlaugh's efforts. Just the reminder that there are in fact, good honorable men (and women) out there fighting the good fight, every day in a thousand surprising ways on a thousand unexpected fronts, is often enough to rinse away the stink of the normal everyday political cynicism and pop-cultural triviality we're usually shoveled.

Some people achieve fame for next to nothing, while others just quietly go about the business of actually leaving the world a better place than they found it.

proud of the good guys B


sordie said...

This is the "green" I can get behind.

Not the "green" of haughtily looking down your snoot at the barbarians who cannot afford a $30,000 Prius hybrid, or the "green" that meticulously scours the landscape seeking some rare species of mutant lousewort for the sole purpose of obstructing development, but rather the "green" that finds practical, efficient utilization of resources to benefit humanity.

Salut, Mr. Borlaug.

Scott the Reader said...

I read a good script about him about a year or so ago.