Propaganda Alert: Biofuels and Food Shortages
Also, not one of the myriad articles, blog comments, and suchlike I've seen mentioning biofuels as one of the causes of the problem (if not the primary cause, which I find extremely hard to believe) mentions the Ug99 wheat blight, a new, emerging strain of wheat rust to which every major wheat strain in commercial production is vulnerable, and which has been devastating wheat crops in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The most populous regions in the world are losing most of their wheat crop to Ug99 (the "breadbasket" area of Africa has been especially hard-hit), and demand is spilling over -- people have to eat, whether they're eating wheat, corn, rice, or other staples. Given that, I'm calling bullshit on the biofuels scare tactics.
That absolutely reeks of propaganda, for three reasons. First of all, it's easy to enforce the petroleum status quo if you can say to people, "Oh, the hippies with their biodiesel are the reason you're now paying two and a half bucks for bread, and why half of the world is starving." Secondly, since corn ethanol in particular is being heavily subsidised by the US government, you can pretty much tell that EISA is a straight-up Bush Administration gift-with-a-bow-on-top to Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto, and other big agribusiness players. Thirdly, it's easy to discredit biofuels if you make them synonymous in most people's minds with inefficient, wasteful, high-maintenance products like corn ethanol -- in many people's minds, reinforcing ideas like that leaves no conceptual space for other alternatives. So if corn ethanol = biofuels, and corn ethanol sucks, then biofuels suck, right? After all, it wouldn't do for the energy plutocrats in the Bush Administration to have people know that the most efficient way of doing biofuels is using no-till, low-maintenance, fast-growing crops like switchgrass... (Good thing the Manitoba government is a bit smarter and less evil than the Bushies.)
What an impressive hat trick.
h/t Bark Bark Woof Woof for the idea.