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The Great Biofuel Famine

Message Christopher Calder
How many deaths per gallon are you getting in your SUV?
Using United Nations global poverty statistics as a base, it is now clear that United States and European Union biofuel policies will significantly contribute to the early, avoidable deaths of between 10 and 20 million people in the year 2008 alone. Only a post-disaster assessment by future scientific studies and historians can give a more exact figure for the body count of The Great Biofuel Famine, which may continue for many years to come. Of the earth's 6.66 billion residents, 4 billion live in poverty, and those at the bottom of that group are already very skinny and without sufficient food to be able to function normally. The biofuel famine will push millions of those poorest families into the clutches of death, thanks to our leaders turning mountain's of food into biofuel.
When humans don't get enough food to eat over a prolonged period of time, their immune systems get stressed and weakened, and they become vulnerable to common illnesses which the well fed can easily fight off. That is the main, indirect way that a lack of sufficient food kills people, but many will die of direct, emaciating starvation as well. Even in the "wealthy" USA, the homeless, veterans, the disabled, the elderly, and all those living on low fixed incomes are going to have a tough time surviving our new "GREEN" policies, which John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama currently support.
World leaders attending the recent Progressive Governance Summit in England heard testimony from experts about the growing global food crisis and the destructive impact of turning food into fuel. Former US President Bill Clinton spoke frankly at the meeting, stating that "What's really hurting the food markets is America moving into ethanol. People there are moving into corn and you have pasta riots in Italy related to what some people are doing in farming in America." The USDA states that by the end of May, US wheat supplies will be lower than at any time since 1948 because so many wheat farmers switched to growing corn for biofuel. This spring, US farmers are planting more wheat but less corn, so next year corn prices will be even higher, with devastating effects on food prices around the world.
Biofuels are a dead end technology that can only lead to more human misery, hunger, and environmental destruction no matter what biofuel crops we grow. Two years ago the price of corn was only $2 bushel, but expanding ethanol production has pushed corn prices up to over $6 a bushel today, which raises the price of chicken, eggs, beef, and diary products, as corn is our main animal feed. In the year 2007, the USA alone turned enough corn, soybeans, and rapeseed into biofuels to satisfy the yearly caloric needs of over 250 million people. The World Bank states that staple food prices have increased by an incredible 80% in the 3 year period from 2005 to 2008, and that 33 nations now face political instability as a result. There have been food riots in at least 20 different countries, even in wealthy Italy. In Haiti, some of the poor have resorted to eating cookies made of mud, and Haitian food riots are beginning to look more like outright revolution.
There is no safe way to make biofuels in sufficient quantity to have any significant positive effect on our economy. Objective, industry independent studies show that ethanol from cellulose (switchgrass, wood chips, crops waste, etc.) will never be cost effective. Affordable biodiesel fuel from algae is a pipe dream that has wasted research money since the 1970s. Making ethanol from corn takes so much natural gas, coal, and oil to produce that it is not energy efficient, and certainly not worth the disastrous environmental and human life destruction it causes.
Respected scientific studies have shown that biofuel production is torture for wildlife and the biosphere, and speeds global warming faster than using ordinary gasoline, so what justification is there for biofuel production at all?
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Christopher Calder is an advocate for world food supply security with no financial interest in any energy related business.
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