Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bio fuels

UN expert says biofuels are a crime against humanity.
well ok he said htat converting food stocks into biofuels are a crime against humanity because they push up the cost of food out of the reach of poor people. But there is no need for the caveat.

1) Almost any food can be used to create energy - that is why we eat them ourselves, worse yet any land that is good for food is also good for biofuels.

2) Worse still as I explained some years ago - there is not enough farmable land on earth to provide all of our energy needs into the future via biofuel.

3) food has a demand profile that means that even a very rich person only wants to eat a certain amount of food. energy has a very different profile.

4) there is currently a little more food on earth than is required to prevent widespread starvation as long as the market operates fairly well. But not a hell of a lot more and this is achieved via a bit of over farming and over fishing. I sat through a PHD thesis presentation explaining that.

the bottom line is that food prices will continue to rocket upwards as long as we encourage biofuels. poor people within the first world and in the third world will be priced out of the market for all sorts of food in part because there will fundimentally not enough of it to go around. that would drive all sorts of behaviour - such as wars over farmland.

This could easily become a disaster to make global warming look like a walk in the park.


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