Hysteria and panic...History has taught us that these two things often lead to suffering, and the current global warming hysteria is no different. Part of our "avert disaster" strategy includes diverting food crops into biofuels which has contributed to a growing global food shortage. Granted, there are many factors at play in this, but one can't ignore the fact that more biofuel means less food. It's a simple inverse relationship. Here is the latest commentary from Fox News' junk science expert, Steven Milloy:
Food riots caused by rising food prices have erupted around the world. Five people died in uprisings in Haiti, perhaps the first of many casualties to come from the fad of being "green."
Food riots also broke out in Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ethiopia. The military is being deployed in Pakistan and Thailand to protect fields and warehouses. Higher energy costs and policies promoting the use of biofuels such as ethanol are being blamed.
"When millions of people are going hungry, it’s a crime against humanity that food should be diverted to biofuels," an Indian government official told the Wall Street Journal. Turkey’s finance minister labeled the use of biofuels as "appalling," according to the paper.
Biofuels have turned out to be a lose-lose-lose proposition. Once touted by the greens and the biofuel industry as being able to reduce the demand for oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels have accomplished neither goal and have no prospect for accomplishing either in the foreseeable future.
The latest research shows that biofuels actually increase greenhouse gas emissions on a total lifecycle basis. Add in that taxpayer-subsidized diversion of food crops and food crop acreage to fuel production has contributed to higher food prices and reduced food supply, and biofuels turn out to be nothing less than a public policy disaster.
The situation is not likely to get any better any time soon, as cutting the farm subsidies and tariffs on sugar cane-based ethanol imports that have fueled the ethanol craze seems to be yet another third rail of U.S. politics. Biofuel proponents hope the reliance on food crops to produce biofuels is temporary, and they point to a future where non-food biomass (such as corn stalks and grasses) is used to produce so-called cellulosic ethanol. But in addition to the fact that the technology for producing cellulosic ethanol on a cost-effective basis is nowhere near ready for prime time, the greenhouse gas footprint of cellulosic ethanol likely will be far worse than that of corn-based ethanol.
It’s one thing to transport relatively compact corn kernels to be processed into ethanol; it’s quite another to transport bulky biomass. The bulk problem would require a multitude of cellulosic ethanol plants to be built around the country — a project that could be quite costly and difficult to locate given the phenomenon of NIMBY-ism and the problem of plant emissions making it more difficult for states to comply with federal air quality standards.....