Cockburn’s cockamamie slur on Norman Borlaug

Don Boudreaux over at CafeHayek is outraged at an off-the-wall, gratuitous attack on Norman Borlaug in Alexander Cockburn’s latest diatribe appearing in the Nov. 5 issue of The Nation. Cockburn’s lead sentence in his article attacking Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award reads as follows:

Line up some of the more notorious Nobel Peace Prize recipients, such as Kissinger, and if you had to identify the biggest killer of all it was probably Norman Borlaug, one of the architects of the Green Revolution, which unleashed displacement, malnutrition and death across the Third World. If the Kyoto Accords were ever implemented, and they never will be, the net impact on greenhouse gases–99.72 percent of them natural in origin–would be imperceptible, but the devastation to Third World economies and life expectancies would rival that caused by Borlaug’s seed strains.

I’m outraged too. I suspect that Cockburn is up to his usual shock ’em tricks, but that’s no excuse to defame this truly great but modest man who is credited with saving over a billion lives through dramatically increasing crop yields in developing countries. See Borlaug’s biography when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. CEI’s blog has 9 posts about Norman Borlaug.