American Elephants


Secret World Bank Report: Biofuel Caused Food Crisis by American Elephant

Add rising food prices, riots and hunger to the long list of casualties of “environmentalists”:

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body. [read more]

As we have noted before, in addition to causing high food prices, shortages, hunger, and suffering, they are much worse for the environment and they are driving species to the brink of extinction. If you haven’t already, call your federal representatives and demand that the government stop subsidizing biofuels. And contact your local governments as well: if they are anything like mine, they are using biofuels in government vehicles in an effort to be “green.”

And keep this tragedy in mind when politicians tell you they want to do something to stop global warming.



Fueling Famine: The Biofuel Disaster! by The Elephant's Child

Food Protests in Mexico

We 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 Indonesia to make way for palm-oil plantations to feed Europe’s demand for biofuel. In Haiti, five people were killed in protests last week over a 50% rise in the price of food staples in the past year. People are going hungry.

Inflated corn prices encourage farmers to divert more acreage to corn which means they plant less soy and wheat, which drives up the price of those commodities. According to the Washington Times, the aggregate price of wheat, corn, soy oil and soy meal in the U.S. will be $61.7 billion higher in the 2007-2008 crop year than it was in 2005-2006.

Our Congress is promoting famine in the third world because they can’t be bothered to seriously study what they are doing with their subsidies.

If famine and hunger and food riots will not move people to action (and millions of deaths from malaria didn’t seem to bother anyone enough to authorize the use of DDT), there is some news that may spur action.

Drought conditions in parts of Australia and New Zealand where malting barley is grown may mean that Beer will be in short supply, may be more expensive, and may taste different. In the US, hops will be in short supply due to fungus problems, or perhaps to more land being turned over to grain production. Perhaps a shortage of beer will spur letters to Congress.



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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