Tuesday, June 03, 2008

FACTBOX-World biofuels production and its impact

Click on the headline for more. Being a neutral news source, Reuters just gives the facts without the fucking outrage I have on the subject.
The following are facts about biofuels production as world leaders meet in Rome this week to discuss the global food price crisis.

* The most important biofuel is ethanol, a substitute for gasoline, which is mainly produced from grains and sugar crops.

* The two largest producers of ethanol are the United States and Brazil although there is also growing production in the European Union.

* The U.S. makes ethanol from corn, a crop for which it is by far the world's largest producer with output more than twice that of nearest rival China.

* Ethanol makers will use 4 billion bushels, one-third of this year's projected U.S. corn crop, to produce the fuel during 2008/09, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated earlier this month.

* Corn prices have risen sharply during the last two years and currently stand at more than $6.00 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade compared with about $2.50 in June 2006.

But don't forget. Taking that much food out of the market couldn't possibly have any affect on the goddamn prices. I'm afraid you're just imagining that.

Note: Headline links to source.



Blogger Jess Wundrun said...

It's such a huge mistake to be putting so much into the use of corn as fuel.

As it is, we've got too great a monoculture based on corn and fewer and fewer seed varieties, patented hybrids and GMO's as it is.

But then, corn manufacturers (I almost said growers, but that would lead to confusion between those who farm and ADM, Cargill etc.) have a huge and very powerful lobby. They've managed to insert corn into about 90% of the food consumed by Americans.

Another thing this always reminds me of are the right wing scoffers who think Malthus and the population bomb were ridiculous and silly examples of scientific reasoning gone awry.

Yet, if you consider how much human activity on the planet is only artificially sustainable for a limited time, you can see that we've already passed the red line on human population.

6/03/2008 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger SPIIDERWEB™ said...

You are correct on all counts.

Corn tortillas, corn oil, cream corn, corn fritters, whole kernel corn, corn on the cob. The list goes on and on.

Malthus made two or three mistakes, but they were understandable for his time.

1. People would reduce the numbers of children they have either through concern, selfishness or by government directive (China).

2. People would get more affluent and thus use more of the earth's resources such as land for growing crops.

3. Meat, which was easily sustainable at one time would account for a huge consumption of feeds and grains for animals.

Yes, we've populated far beyond what earth can sustain.

Soylent Green come to mind?

And now we're using water faster than earth can produce it.

I always hate sounding like a doomsday sayer, but the future looks pretty bleak.

6/04/2008 07:15:00 PM  

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