Norman Borlaug – Nobel Peace Prize “Green Revolution”

Norman Borlaug recently passed away, and has perhaps saved millions of lives by improving food crop productivity. Fifty years later, a tremendous amount of science has been done since then. The Green in Green Revolution might not be appropriate any more.

Contributions to science can to be viewed as non-political and amoral. But there is a polarization and politicization of organic and “industrial” agriculture. My opinion is that the fundamental issue is sustainability. I think the course correction for industry still needs to be sustainability (economic, environmental and social)

If you are into agriculture – (food sources in general) – the video below is an interesting interview with Norman’s neighbors on the impact of chemical farming on soil and sustainability.

As a technologist from rural Maine, I like to keep in touch with ecology/agriculture topics. (my post at hacker news )

Amazon: from cloud computing to cloud forest

Cloud computing. A great idea, unlocking new markets, new opportunities for internet startups to have access to computing scale and power. Head in the clouds? Like clean electric cars, the electricity still comes from somewhere. Maybe the cloud isn’t puffy and white – it might just be black.

At a recent O’Reilly Ignite Boston, Tim O’Reilly gave the company spiel, mixed with a little extra enthusiasm and praise for technologists – a population thought of as family at O’Reilly, if not flock. The latter half of the talk uncovered the motivation for the emotion. Reminding me of Dennis Hopper Californian dramatics, he pleaded to do something that mattered. What mattered? The environment and education. Work on that, do something that matters.

Mr Big O. recounted ( or perhaps therapeutically re-lived what could be interpreted as post traumatic stress disorder) a meeting with the chief researcher for still partly secret International Report on Climate Change of a UN agency. Tim’s question was on humanity’s chances of surviving. The answer given: “we’re fucked”. Don’t trust the UN? So thinks the pentagon too.

Even if climate change isn’t “real” – the game still has to be played out because just maybe we are heading to the land of FAIL. Yes, Fuckdom. Not fuckdom like, “hey, I like to scare people”, but fuckdom like inheriting the worst code you’ve ever seen which depends on closed source. There’s a better chance of climate change being a big problem than you’ll ever succeed significantly in a start up. Personally, I want to maintain the legacy app called Earth….

Well, so speaking of startups, try out CO2 Stats. Simply place a widget like Google’s analytics on your site. measure C02 emissions based on available data about the servers and the clients (that’s you). Optionally you can have them automatically purchase carbon offsets for you, or, as in the case of this site – advertisers pay for your … gasses.  

And if you don’t like C02stats – do you have a better idea?