Friday, April 25, 2008

Gore Conveniently Silent on BioFuels & Food Crisis

With prices for rice, wheat, and corn soaring, food-related unrest has broken out in...Haiti, Indonesia, and Afghanistan...There is even talk that governments could fall if they cannot bring food costs down...One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food...“I don’t think anybody knows precisely how much ethanol contributes to the run-up in food prices, but the contribution is clearly substantial,” a professor of applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota, C. Ford Runge, said. A study by...the International Food Policy Research Institute, indicated that between a quarter and a third of the recent hike in commodities prices is attributable to biofuels...Ethanol was initially promoted as a vehicle for America to cut back on foreign oil. In recent years, biofuels have also been touted as a way to fight climate change, but the food crisis does not augur well for ethanol’s prospects...“It takes around 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol...roughly enough to keep an adult person alive for a year.” Mr. Senauer said climate change advocates, such as Vice President Gore, need to distance themselves from ethanol to avoid tarnishing the effort against global warming. “Crop-based biofuels are not part of the solution. They, in fact, add to the problem. Whether Al Gore has caught up with that, somebody ought to ask him,” ...Mr. Gore was not available for an interview yesterday on the food crisis....Food Crisis Eclipsing Climate Change, Josh Gerstein, The New York Sun, 4/25/2008

Yup. Mr. Gore was unavailable for what is increasingly the most inconvenient truth at all, that Green fads don't solve problems. An ecology, local or global, can't be examined in terms of any given fix without taking into account the consequences. If the DDT ban catastrophe is any indication, very few leading ecological thinkers seem able to conceive of problems and solutions in an ecological fashion.



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