Upon reading Graham Turner’s follow up work to The Limits of Growth and several related branches from that, I was led to a lengthy report by Raj Patel titled, “The Long Green Revolution.” Like many who even half pay attention to global food issues, I've heard of Patel and upon just a bit of examination of his writing as an activist author, he caught my more undivided attention with his deep acumen of economic, agricultural, historical and sociological interconnectedness especially as it relates to agriculture.
In the work referenced above published in The Journal of Peasant Studies in 2012, Patel convincingly makes the case that the Green Revolution didn't really end in 1970 but rather has been a continuous and evolving force to today. Nonetheless, some of influence from various sectors are calling for a New Green Revolution. In his refutation, Patel details the misguided and sordid origins of the Green Revolution and through supportive research of others, demonstrates the misinformation, misremembering and outright lies that promulgated the Green Revolution upon the entire world and most egregiously upon poor or landless peoples whom could least afford the forces at play.
If you are looking to understand the deeper economic, political and social factors of what governments and corporations – and most surprisingly, philanthropic foundations – have done to propagate and foster the Green Revolution, this paper is a must. It’s no light reading and I found myself having to reread paragraphs due to the complexity of language and topic. But, frankly, this is an eye opener. One might not agree with everything that Patel purports, but he does provide some insights here that are worth noting.
One giant takeaway for me: I used to view one-time U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz (or at least his policies) as one of the greatest evils upon this planet. I've come to learn that Mr. Butz doesn't hold a candle to the crimes to this planet and poor people that the Rockefeller Foundation has committed.