BURKE, Va. (Christian Examiner) -- Around the turn of the nineteenth century, a well-respected scholar and political economist proposed that, in nature, as populations increase in size geometrically, the populations eventually outstrip their food supplies, which only increase arithmetically. The concept was and still is employed to argue "limits to growth," especially in human populations. No wonder environmentalists believe the number one environmental hazard is a burgeoning global population!
The problem is that the population-to-food conundrum—proposed in 1799 by Thomas Robert Malthus—was soon roundly routed by technology, a technology used to great advantage many times since the early 1800s.
One person especially astute at using technology—in particular, genetic engineering—to feed many souls was Norman Borlaug. Mr. Borlaug was a devout Christian whose desire to help the needy was put into practice by starting a true "Green Revolution" in agriculture. His impressive accomplishments included developing genetically unique strains of wheat and rice to raise crop yields by as much as six-fold.
A few days after Mr. Borlaug died at the age of 95, the Wall Street Journal editors commented on September 13, 2009, that the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner "showed that nature is no match for human ingenuity in setting the real limits to growth. ... Borlaug showed that a genuine green movement doesn't pit man against the Earth, but rather applies human intelligence to exploit the Earth's resources to improve life for everyone."
Today, more than two hundred years since Reverend Malthus staked his mistaken claim and mere decades since Mr. Borlaug dramatically repudiated Malthus, people everywhere are in potentially better standing than ever to take care of their neighbors around the world. "Potentially" is the key word, because inept and oppressive governments and misguided policies are on the list of reasons why, even with food supplies worldwide sufficient to feed the global population for well over the past century, so many are still severely malnourished and even starving to death.
What can an individual do to help strengthen a world weakened by paltry and imprudent secular "fixes" to serious human and environmental challenges?
A prayerful consideration of how you might contribute to a more respectful stewardship of the world, especially its human inhabitants, is a first step to getting involved in reasonable, Christ honoring efforts to a safe and healthy environment for all. The Cornwall Alliance Day of Prayer for the Environment and the Poor, scheduled for March 25 and led up to by 25 days of prayer, offers an easy start to giving meaningful attention to this very important issue. A helpful guide to prayer can be found by just clicking here.
Anthony J. Sadar, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, is a supporter of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic's Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books).