Is this a parody?
I myself believe in the sanctity of life. But the market has its own logic, and if we’re going to live with it, we must make the most of its choices.
An extreme case in point would be the Green Revolution, the introduction of modern technology in Third World agriculture in the 60s and 70s. Just for the sake of illustration, let’s give momentary credence to the most pessimistic figures and suppose that between 1970 and 1990, the number of hungry folks in the world excluding China did grow by 11%, and that the Green Revolution had something to do with it. Let’s even throw Bhopal into the mix, since the factory there made components for pesticides.
Would this be acceptable risk from our viewpoint? The answer is clear when you notice, on the one hand, that the Green Revolution was essential to modern agribusiness, being its most profitable experiment ever; and that, like climate change and other huge trends, the Green Revolution belongs to a type of risk case in which scientists do not all agree on the source of problems caused, or whether they even exist. Unless the precautionary principle comes to dominate government once again, there is little actual risk in such cases–especially interesting now at the dawn of the new “Green Revolution.”
Thanks, Andy. I think.