Monday, April 2, 2007

Don't Be Biofooled


About a month ago, I highlighted the dark side to the biofuel boom. Earthside has also highlighted a couple articles that further suggest that biofuel is not the panacea it is made out to be. Bottom line is that the effects of this much hyped "green" revolution are already being felt in the form of higher prices for grains (primarily corn and wheat), leading to strained budgets for the world's middle classes and desperation for those in poverty. Not only are those loaves of bread and tortillas going up in price (I do the grocery shopping for our family - trust me: I've noticed), but the prices of milk are going up significantly. Milk? Yup. Turns out that dairy cattle are primarily put on a corn diet. Corn costs go up, so do costs for milk or any product using milk as one of its ingredients.

Not only that, but as Monbiot's article points out, the rate of deforestation is increasing with negative effects not only for any living creature relying on those specific habitats (think extinction of species such as orangutans) but also will lead to a more rapid release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Aside from those sufficiently well-to-do who might squeeze out a few more years of happy motoring in their SUVs, the rest of the planet loses.

Note, the image (found at Earthside), isn't necessarily the easiest to read, but it does give some idea of the cost of biofuel.

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