Putting food in our Fords…

Update: I noticed on my Feedjit that I got a bunch of visitors from CNN.com today. I think the blogs section below the story linked to this page at some point today.

Maybe using corn to produce gas for our cars isn’t such a great idea. Check out CNN’s headline today. Personally I’m pro-nuclear power – and ultimately using electricity from nuclear to power our cars. I grew up a few miles from a nuclear power station in South Africa and it was by far the cleanest industrial site around – compared to things like an oil refinery a few miles away that gave many kids down-wind from it asthma attacks. Sure radioactive waste is scary, but only because it doesn’t leave the power plant via a smokestack and go somewhere else so we can pretend it doesn’t exist. France has 59 nuclear reactors and they have so much power that they export it. We’re stuck back in the stone age digging up coal and pumping it into the air to make electricity – that is when our corporations aren’t gaming the power grid and providing rolling blackouts.

CNN) — Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world’s attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.

 

 

art.bangladesh.afp.gi.jpg

 

Bangladeshi demonstrators chant slogans against high food prices during weekend protests.

“This is the world’s big story,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

“The finance ministers were in shock, almost in panic this weekend,” he said on CNN’s “American Morning,” in a reference to top economic officials who gathered in Washington. “There are riots all over the world in the poor countries … and, of course, our own poor are feeling it in the United States.”

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said the surging costs could mean “seven lost years” in the fight against worldwide poverty.

“While many are worrying about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs, and it is getting more and more difficult every day,” Zoellick said late last week in a speech opening meetings with finance ministers.

3 thoughts on “Putting food in our Fords…

  1. The one of the biggest reasons behind the rise of food costs (if not the biggest) is the cost of oil/petro products (fertilizer, production, transportation). Add to that, some massive bad crop output… then after all that, you can start looking at impacts of plant based biofuel production.

    Future of biofuels is cellulose based tech, but hasn’t come to pass yet.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jeremy – interesting. My wife who has been a vegetarian for 16 years reminds me of this from time to time. The environmentalist in me wants to follow in her footsteps. I do eat a lot less meat than most but am not veggie (yet).

    Something else that bugs me about massive corn production is the impact it has on our rivers via runoff and irrigation. I’m a fly fisherman (catch and release) and I spent the weekend fishing a small isolated eastern Washington (state) creek. Even though it was in a desert it was completely surrounded by farmland and suffers from agricultural runoff which is getting worse. The problem won’t be there for much longer – there’s currently a plan on the table to dam the area for irrigation which will destroy the creek and the trout in it.

    Mark.

  3. The corn used for ethanol production is feed corn, which is not used for human consumption, only farm animal consumption. You may argue that the feed corn is using agricultural space that could be used to produce a human food crop, but then I ask you to consider all the land used for animal feed. Less than 10% of the energy in the animal feed, humans receive from the meat; ie it takes more than 10X more land to produce the same about of calories from meat as it does food crops. Raising livestock meat is a very inefficient process, takes up land that could be used for food crops, not to mention other negative effects on the environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.