August 28, 2007

Biofuel or Food

From the Guardian: The Looming Food Crisis. The article examines the cost of using food for fuel.
While this may be marginally better for carbon emissions and energy security, it is proving horrendous for food prices and anyone who stands in the way of a rampant new industry. A year or two ago, almost all the land where maize is now being grown to make ethanol in the US was being farmed for human or animal food. And because America exports most of the world's maize, its price has doubled in 10 months, and wheat has risen about 50%.

The Guardian is alarmist, especially later in the article, but there's a grain of truth in what they say (no pun on "grain" intended). Paying top dollar for grain to convert it into fuel raises the price and lowers the availability of food -- and it doesn't offset Carbon Dioxide very much, if at all.

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