February 6, 2009

Science catches up to common sense: food not fuel

With world grain stocks precariously low several years and an increasing number of people going hungry worldwide, common sense would indicate the disaster implicit in converting more of our diminishing farm land to fuel crops.

Unfortunately, we are not ruled by common sense, so a little science if you please. (I hope we don't have to thank the oil industry for this).

Biofuels Ignite Food Crisis Debate

ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2009) — Study highlights problems linked to converting crops into biofuels Taking up valuable land and growing edible crops for biofuels poses a dilemma: Is it ethical to produce inefficient renewable energies at the expense of an already malnourished population?

David Pimentel and his colleagues from Cornell University in New York State highlight the problems linked to converting a variety of crops into biofuels. Not only are these renewable energies inefficient, they are also economically and environmentally costly and nowhere near as productive as projected. Their findings are published online in Springer’s journal Human Ecology.
Read the whole article in Science Daily

And go on over to La Vida Locavore to read Jill Richardson's take on the battle of the pro and anti ethanol camps in Washington.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

It is just not feasible to use at all. Here in the States with the decline of farms and farmers in a bad economy it would still leave us relying on foreign growers or a dread of government owned farming to fill the need. Every country needs to be self reliant for their needs to ward off blackmail by foreign countries but they will have to find other ways.

anne said...

yes I'm with you, but where is the source of the blackmail. US imports most of its manufactured goods and exports key food crops (corn, rice, soy) produced with great debts (subsidized by taxpayers) that it dumps on poor countries - then demands free access to the resources.
I don't think its foreign countries blackmailing, its corporations.
Its corporations I figure we gotta watch out for.