Few people have contributed more to humanity than Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution that has saved the lives of uncounted millions of humans. So when he's worried about the epidemic of stem rust disease that is devastating the world's wheat crop, I'm worried, too. The United States under Bush was initially playing a positive role in this crisis, but, unsurprisingly, the Bush Administration's usual behavior took over:
But more recently, the administration has begun reversing direction. The State Department is recommending ending American support for the international agricultural research centers that helped start the Green Revolution, including all money for wheat research. And significant financial cuts have been proposed for important research centers, including the Department of Agriculture’s essential rust research laboratory in St. Paul.
This shocking short-sightedness goes against the interests not only of American wheat farmers and consumers but of all humanity. It is tantamount to the United States abandoning its pledge to help halve world hunger by 2015.
If millions of small-scale farmers see their wheat crops wiped out for want of new disease-resistant varieties, the problem will not be confined to any one country. Rust spores move long distances in the jet streams and know no political boundaries. Widespread failures in global wheat production will push the prices of all foods higher, causing new misery for the world’s poor.
Really, is there anything these Republican conservatives do any more that DOESN'T causes devastating damage to the world?