Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Biofuel Insanity

The amount of grain, be it corn in the U.S. or wheat in the EU, that it takes to create enough biofuel to fill up one tank of gas is substantial. And of course, this is grain diverted from food and feed stocks. Thus, it should have been obvious to a casual observer that setting massive targets for biofuel production would have serious repercussions for the world food supply. And in a text book demonstration of the law of supply and demand, it has sent food prices skyrocketing. Now we learn that this is a surprise to many of our legislators. One can only marvel at their utter vacuity.


This from an exceptional post by Dr. North writing at his blog, EU Referendum:

. . . CNN . . . blandly tells us: "Those battling global warming by promoting biofuels may unintentionally be adding to skyrocketing world food prices …".

Er … to meet the ten percent biofuels quota for the UK would require, according to our estimate, 14 million tons of wheat, against a total production of 11 million, all but one of which is used for food production.

And, as we pointed out last year, the conversion of European grain lands to growing wheat for petrol is going to raise its cost of food.

Multiply that world-wide and you have, in broad terms, the best part of 130 percent of global grain production devoted to producing ten percent of the global demand for automotive fuel. And these people didn't realise that it would raise food prices?

Did these people actually think you could siphon off the greater part of global agricultural production and it would have no effect on food prices? These people promoted such a policy without realising it would have that effect? What did they think … that they could just go to the supermarket and buy some more food to make up for the shortage?

What do these people do for brains? Do they keep them in glass jars in their bathrooms, for occasional use . . .

Read the entire post. And on our side of the pond, while there are some things that Bush has gotten right, his economic policies - inclusive of his embrace of biofuels - have just been horrendous.

1 comment:

Dinah Lord said...

The world's foodstocks shrink and now the Greenies stand around, wringing their hands and shrieking...

Do they even realize that corn grows in the ground?

If it wasn't so serious it would almost be funny.