The Green Revolution

U.S. National Public Radio broadcast a story about the failure of the “Green Revolution” in India on this morning. See

Around 1970, I published an article in The New Republic leveling the same criticisms about the Green Revolution that Daniel Zwerdling made in his piece. [I don’t remember what issue it was in. Maybe someone can locate it for me] Some of that material appeared in Farming for Profit in a Hunger World.

Later, in the 1970s, I debated Norman Borlaug, the so-called father of the Green Revolution in Santa Barbara. He did not show, so he participated through some sort of phone line. He is sincere in his belief, but did not seem particularly concerned about the problems that I mentioned, including overreliance on fertilizers, pesticides, groundwater, and credit. Nor was he interested in concerns about water rights being concentrated among large landholders. My speculations about why Rockefeller interests would be so enthusiastic about the Green Revolution were beyond the pale.


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