APFN - ALERT: Coming Collapse of the Human Population

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ALERT: Coming Collapse of the Human Population
Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:16

The Biofuels Scam, Food Shortages and the
Coming Collapse of the Human Population

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 by: Mike Adams (see all articles
by this author) | Key concepts: biofuels, biofuel and food shortages
NaturalNews) It was one of the dumbest "green" ideas ever proposed: Convert millions of acres of cropland into fields for growing ethanol from corn, then burn fossil fuels to harvest the ethanol, expending more energy to extract the fuel than you get from the fuel itself! Meanwhile, sit back and proclaim you've achieved a monumental green victory (President Bush, anyone?) all while unleashing a dangerous spike in global food prices that's causing a ripple effect of food shortages and rationing around the world.

I think politicians need to spend less time bragging about their latest greenwashing schemes and more time studying The Law of Unintended Consequences. Because while growing fuel on cropland initially sounds like a great idea, any honest assessment of the total impact leads you to the inescapable conclusion that biofuels are largely a government-sponsored scam. With a few exceptions (see below), biofuels produce no net increase in energy output, and they cause food shortages while creating strong economic incentives for the destruction of the very rainforests we desperately need to stabilize the climate!

And now we're just starting to see the early signs of the economic and social insanity that has been unleashed by this foolish pursuit of biofuels around the world: Food rationing in Sam's Club stores in the U.S., rapidly-rising prices on bread, rice and corn, and price spikes at cafeterias and restaurants that depend on these staple ingredients. The price of rice has tripled globally, unleashing riots in Haiti and Bangladesh, and the United Nations has issued warnings that millions of people around the world now face starvation because they can't afford to buy food. Americans are even starting to hoard food once again, after years of avoiding basic preparedness measures. (One benefit to all this, however, is that farmers are actually getting paid decent prices for their crops now, after years of operating on the verge of bankruptcy...)

Most biofuel efforts are a sham
Not all of these price spikes are due to the conversion of croplands to biofuel fields, but much of it is. As a result, it's suddenly becoming obvious to nearly everyone that the pursuit of biofuels, as currently structured, is a grand greenwashing hoax. It doesn't produce more fuel than it consumes, and it drives up food prices to boot!

Now, there are biofuels programs that really do work. The growing and harvesting of sugar cane in Brazil, for example, provides an 8-to-1 return on energy investment. But even that pursuit is tarnished by claims of unsafe work environments and massive environmental pollution (the sugar cane fields are burned before being harvested, a process that releases massive amounts of CO2 into the environment).

The only truly promising biofuels technology available today is based on microalgae. Feed CO2 to a vat of algae, and you can produce biofuels cheaply and responsibly, without destroying the environment. But these programs are only in experimental phases. Nobody is producing biofuels on a large scale from algae farms (not yet, anyway).

And that leaves the great American breadbasket: The corn and wheat fields. It is here that food is now being displaced by crops grown for biofuel processing. So where a farmer used to grow corn as a food source, he's now growing it to sell to a biofuel processing facility which turns the corn into ethanol. Obviously, the laws of economics come into play here, meaning that every bushel of corn used for biofuels production means one less bushel of corn available for food. Factor in the laws of supply and demand, and you can see that the more crops we use for biofuels, the higher the prices will rise for food.

Politicians, it seems, have no understanding of economics. They need to study the basics as they are presented in Henry Hazlitt's Book, Economics in One Lesson, which is a Libertarian-oriented guide that explains basic economics to anyone willing to learn. Economics is focused on the study of human behavior, or more precisely, consumer choice. Now, it seems, consumers are about to be faced with a choice they never wanted to have to make: Should I buy fuel, or food?

In other words: Do I want to drive my car, or do I want to eat?

You can have fuel or food, but not both
Under a biofuels-focused agricultural policy, the same limited resources (soil, sunlight and water, essentially) can be used for only one thing at a time. You can't use the corn twice, obviously (you can't eat the corn and process it for biofuels at the same time), so you've got to make a choice: Will you grow the corn for fuel, or for food?

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