Ecoscript 14

14 Hekstra The Green Revolution

This paper challenges widely held ideas (World Bank, UNDP,
FAO), that even a growing world population could be fed many
times over (Cornucopia) by increasing capital and technology
investments in agriculture (Green Revolution). The fat is that
fertile soils are lost more rapidly than new arable land is
being gained. Monopolization of the seeds trade by chemical
industries furthers both the erosion of genetic resources and
unsustainable energy-intensive farming. Loss of self-reliance,
ecological instability and societal disruption is greatly
increased, in particularly in the Third World. A strategy that
combines conservation with development is needed to preserve
the world's genetic diversity in order to meet future climatic
and substrate opportunities.


1. Introduction 1
2. Cornucopia and ecological and power realities 3
2.1 Maximum food projections 3
2.2 The world of reality 4
2.3 Earlier ecological warnings 7
2.4 The myth that sharing of power should pave the
way to survival 7
2.5 The other side of western supremacy 8
2.6 Should population be controlled before giving equal
access to resources 10
3. Destruction of essential life-support systems and
processes 12
3.1 Land loss 12
3.2 Erosion 12
3.3 Desertification 13
3.4 Irrigation 14
3.5 Shifting cultivation and agroforestry 15
3.6 Wetlands cropping 15
3.7 Affection of productivity and diversity by air
pollution 16
3.8 Impact of water and soil pollution on productivity 17
4. Green Revolution and the seeds of the earth 18
4.1 The Green Revolution's addiction to agrochemicals 18
4.2 Preservation of the world's crop genetic variability 21
4.3 The agribusiness' seed gamble 22
4.4 Plant breeders' rights (PBR) and similar patents 24
4.5 The bias of yield uniformity and of getting farmers
back to the company 25
4.6 The agrochemical bias 25
4.7 Recommendations from "Seeds of the Earth" 26
5. Preservation of the World's genetic resources 27
5.1 Wild gene pools of crops, pharmaceuticals and
their associated organisms 27
5.2 Losses of tropical moist forests 28
5.3 Conservation of timber and fuelwood; reforestation 29
5.4 Biosphere reserves 31
5.5 World Conservation Strategy 31
5.6 World Charter of Nature 32

References 34