NY Sun Food Crisis Starts Eclipsing Climate Change Worries
Gore Ducks, as a Backlash Builds Against Biofuels
The campaign against climate change could be set back by the global food crisis, as foreign populations turn against measures to use foodstuffs as substitutes for fossil fuels.
...One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food.
...Ethanol was initially promoted as a vehicle for America to cut back on foreign oil. In recent years, biofuels have also been touted as a way to fight climate change, but the food crisis does not augur well for ethanol’s prospects.
“It takes around 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol,” Mr. Senauer, also an applied economics professor at Minnesota, said. “It’s not going to be a very good diet but that’s roughly enough to keep an adult person alive for a year.”...
NRO Let Them Eat Ethanol?
Behind the food fight.
It seemed like such a painless solution. It fits on a bumper sticker. In fact, I saw one yesterday: “Don’t burn fuel. Grow it.” The EU adopted a goal of producing 10 percent of its fuel for road transportation from biofuels by 2020. The U.S. government (cheered on by the agriculture industry and environmentalists) adopted a mandate of 36 billion gallons of biofuel production by 2022 — a five-fold increase over 2006 levels amounting to 28 percent of the U.S. grain harvest. Congress and the president joined hands to pass this feel-good legislation just when, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, new data were demonstrating that biofuels cost more energy than they save. “…When the hidden costs of conversion are included, greenhouse-gas emissions from corn ethanol over the next 30 years will be twice as high as from regular gasoline. In the long term, it will take 167 years before the reduction in carbon emissions from using ethanol ‘pays back’ the carbon released by land-use change.”
Newsweek Sounds Good, But ...
We can't afford to make any more mistakes in how to 'save the planet.' Start by ditching corn ethanol.
...Even hybrid electric cars aren't a clear plus. If your outlet gets its juice from the standard U.S. electricity mix (half of which is generated by burning coal), hybrid electrics emit half the greenhouse gases as standard gasoline cars. But if your utility burns dirty coal inefficiently, hybrid electrics are worse. If you plug in at night, when most people do, you'll also be using more coal-generated electricity. Perhaps the greatest folly, in time lost and dollars wasted, has been the push for ethanol to replace gasoline. In the United States, almost all ethanol comes from corn. When you tote up the carbon emissions caused by clearing land to grow corn, fertilizing it and transporting it, corn ethanol leaves twice the carbon footprint as gasoline.
The greenwashing doesn't end there. Only half of all hybrid vehicles on the U.S. market are more fuel-efficient than their non-hybrid versions, researchers at the Union of Concerned Scientists find: some models pair a big gas-guzzling engine with hybrid technology in a way that enhances only performance, not fuel economy, explains UCS's David Friedman. "Don't assume that because something's a hybrid it's better for the environment," he says (though the Prius is). The Web site fueleconomy.gov sorts out the true greens from the impostors. ...