Dickson Despommier gives four answers: the Malthusian, the Darwinian, the Smithian, and his own. Dickson Despommier:Well, if I were Malthus I’d give you that answer of course. My name isCharles Darwin, I’ll give you another answer. In fact, if I was AdamSmith I’d give you a third answer. Well, I have too many answers foryou. The mechanical era has sort of obviated the need for doomsdaypredictions with regards to out of control populations because everytime it appeared that we couldn’t do anything more, we could dosomething more. So we had the first green revolutions which I justtalked about. The second green revolution came when it became obviousthat if you don’t start fertilizing the ground with fertilizers, withfood supplements I should say, and if we don’t start trying to get ridof the competitor species, mainly the weeds with herbicides and alsothe pests that want to eat this crop, that we can outgrow to profusionas a result of the invention of dynamite by the way. Yeah, because itallowed us to clear the fields of all those rotten little trees that wehad to get rid of. So too bad, because we can use those trees again. Wenow find ourselves in another dilemma where we think the populationwill peak, and the food supply will dwindle, so we’ll be once againinvolved in a Malthusian mind game. I don’t believe that for a minute.I think that that whatever problem is presented to the human species,we’ve got such a big cerebral cortex we can solve it if we all agreeto. And that’s the issue. Do we want to solve the next problem to usherin the third green revolution? The second one was all of thosepesticides, herbicides and fertilizer things, plus not geneticallymodified foods but certainly highly selected foods, and in fact, if youlook at our foods today […]
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