“Environmentalists are standing in the way of feeding humanity through their opposition to biotechnology, farm chemicals and nitrogen fertilizer”—straight talk from billionaire Bill Gates at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines October 15th, says Dennis T. Avery in the October 24th Environmental Views.
Gates could have said with equal truth that the same environmentalists, by demanding organic-only farming, are risking the future of the planet’s wildlife. The world will need more than twice as much food by 2050 to feed a peak population of 8 billion affluent humans and their pets. Gates believes we should get that additional food from higher yields on the 37%t of the earth’s land area we already farm, not by threatening massive numbers of wildlife species by clearing more land for low-yield crops.
Gates has thus delivered the most important speech on food and the world’s future since Dr. Norman Borlaug accepted his 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Borlaug’s “miracle wheat” had made him the symbol of the original Green Revolution, which tripled yields on the world’s best cropland through scientific research after 1960. Dr. Borlaug spent the last years of his amazing life trying to extend the Green Revolution to
Now, Gates has committed more than $1 billion of his personal fortune to improving crop yields in
The eco-activists have claimed that organic-only farming could provide all the food needed—but only if humanity became vegetarian. Otherwise, there’s a severe global shortage of cow manure and “extra” land and water to plant vastly more nitrogen-fixing green manure crops. However, history tells us that only a tiny percent of humans voluntarily choose to be vegetarian.