Saturday, March 5, 2011

The reverse of UN’s disastrous "oil for food" program: Ethanol uses 40% of US Corn Crop

Yet another example of bad science (amongst other things) leading to bad policy.

Global Food Prices Jump To Record Level Because of Higher Corn Prices – or the alternate title: Cornholing the future

From The UN FAO - corn prices were the biggest driver of this trend

There’s lot of gloom and doom being pushed, trying to link food prices to climate change by the usual howlers. As shown above, food prices surged to record levels in February despite February wheat and rice prices being essentially flat. Yet, February corn prices are up significantly even with 2010 being the 3rd largest U.S. corn crop ever. Why? Well part of the reason is that our cars now have a mandated, growing and voracious appetite for corn based ethanol.

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. writes:

When certain information proves challenging to entrenched political or ideological commitments it can be easy for policy makers to ignore, downplay or even dismiss that information.  It is a common dynamic and knows no political boundaries.  Global Dashboard catches the Obama Administration selectively explaining the causes for increasing world food prices:

“The increase in February mostly reflected further gains in international maize prices, driven by strong demand amid tightening supplies, while prices rose marginally in the case of wheat and fell slightly in the case of rice.”

“In other words, this is mainly about corn. And who’s the biggest corn exporter in the world? The United States…And where is 40% of US corn production going this year? Ethanol, for use in US car engines.”

So here we having wailing and gnashing of teeth by the usual suspects over global food prices, and they are using this as an example of the supposed “climate change drive food prices” link. Of course there isn’t any link in this case. It’s the corn stupid.

The simple solution: stop burning food for fuel, drill for more oil, work on alternate energy system that actually might work, like thorium based nuclear power.

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