5.23.2007

The Bad Side of Biofuels

I've read a bunch of little blurbs about the hazards of ethanol based fuel in the past, but I thought this article summed up the points pretty well. You should check it out.

After doing that here is another article about more details on how ethanol based fuels are increasing the cost of food.

Now I'm not a proponent of corn based foods, but I do think that it's ridiculous to have poor people starving because wealthy people want gas for their cars. Gas that makes them feel like they're helping the environment even though it's likely that many biofuels are hurting the environment (note that some future alternative biofuel sources may be environmentally friendly).

I think the American government should move its corn subsidies to more healthy foods (read fruits and vegetables). Then poorer Americans could afford healthier diets. How common is corn in our diets? Most soda is basically liquid corn sugar. Most processed foods have corn sugars added (the iconic twinkie is made of mostly processed corn). Seriously look at the labels of the food you're buying and if you don't buy mostly whole unprocessed foods you will find that corn is in most things. Most animals raised for meat are fed corn so even the prices of beef/chicken/pork are lowered by the subsidies our government gives for growing corn.

Arg! This whole topic gets me depressed. I think I'll go and eat some cantaloupe for breakfast. That will cheer me up!

2 Comments:

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Roger said...

The world is also running low on fresh water. There's plenty for drinking almost everywhere, but most of our water is used for irrigation, and it doesn't make sense to waste it irrigating for fuel.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Roger said...

For the most part I'm against government subsidies, but food is special. The free market can take care of almost anything. If there's a widget shortage, widget prices will rise- but running out of food is a serious problem. It's not like running out of anything else at all. I'd rather have subsidies for extra food which is thrown away in good years so that when the bad time comes, we're sure to have enough. I consider that to be a matter of defense- maybe the defense department should pay for it.

 

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