American Elephants


Another Black Spot on Al Gore’s Record by The Elephant's Child

Al Gore

Al Gore has a lot to answer for. He didn’t really understand the science that he rushed to popularize with fear-mongering about rising sea levels and a dying earth. Bureaucrats, with little understanding of the science, rushed to legislate to prevent “global catastrophe”.

When the buzz among the cognoscenti reaches a certain level, the pressure to do something becomes difficult to resist. And buzz often comes in forms of preconceived notions and oft-repeated slogans such as “big oil” or “addiction to oil”,”renewable energy”and above all “biofuels“.

A liberal Congress quickly fell victim to the common liberal delusion, as David Horowitz once said, that good intentions, earnestly expressed, are good policy. “Big oil” is obviously evil (gas prices are too high and they are making too much money). Forgotten in the haste to do something is the realization that nothing moves in this country that is not powered by petroleum. So of course they provided vast subsidies for ethanol, made for the most part in this country from corn.

But there are consequences. The U.N. World Food Program is preparing to ration food aid for the world’s hungriest poor. The richest countries are burning food in their automobile gas tanks. The mandates for biofuels by the wealthiest countries have doubled and tripled world food prices in less than three years. WFP costs are rising by millions of dollars each week, but donations aren’t keeping pace. The Program is trying to feed 70 million people, but can’t afford to meet their commitments.

Three years ago, the price of corn was $1.86 a bushel, now it is over $5.00. You have probably noticed rising prices in your grocery. Corn is not only in most cereals, but as cornstarch, as a sweetener, a thickener is found on most shelves. At the meat counter corn is in most animal feed. In paste form, it is in the drywall.

Pakistan says it will reimpose food rationing. China’s food inflation rate is 18.2%. In Yemen prices of staples have nearly doubled and at least a dozen people have been killed in food riots. The poor in much of the Third World spend over 60% of their income on food. It is expected that American farmers will plant 30% more corn this year than last, directed to the higher prices they receive for subsidized biofuel.

But ethanol delivers less energy per gallon than gasoline. Studies suggest that it pollutes more, and can only be used in engines specially designed for ethanol. Demand for better food is growing as millions of Indians and Chinese enter the middle class.

The EU is committed to provide 10% of its transportation fuel from biofuels, grown both in Europe and in Indonesia and Thailand; and they are unwilling to consider that burning food crops in our gas tanks has anything to do with high food prices.

The most extreme environmentalists hope to eliminate — from a good portion of the human life on this planet — to all of it. They have told us so often enough. So there is a little more to their refusal to allow drilling in proven oil fields in Alaska and in coastal waters than many people realize.


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And here is another black mark:

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jU6qItzJ1GYKP8nH0U2vO6ggZlag

US corn biofuels will expand Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’: scientists

VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) — A planned increase in US ethanol production from corn would spell environmental “disaster” for marine species in the Gulf of Mexico, said a co-author of a science study published Monday.

A boost in corn production will worsen the Gulf’s so-called “dead zone,” an area with so little oxygen that sealife suffocates, said Simon Donner, a geographer at the University of British Columbia in Western Canada.

“Most organisms are not able to survive without enough oxygen,” Donner told AFP. “All the bottom-dwelling organisms that can’t move away are probably going to die, while fish will migrate if they can.”

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Comment by The Red Pill

Thanks, I hadn’t seen that. I’m a little suspicious of most studies that come from computer model predictions of the future, with some justification. There are several articles today on the mysteries of ocean warming as measured by in-place robots. See Planet Gore at NRO, and Sweetness and Light.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

[…] have warned about the dangers of subsidizing ethanol production. We have spoken of food riots in Mexico, and Egypt and Vietnam. Orangutans are being killed in […]

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Pingback by Fueling Famine: The Biofuel Disaster! « American Elephants




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