Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ethanol may cause food shortage

So this is the dark side of corn-based ethanol:

"Resorting to biofuels is likely to exacerbate world hunger," they said. "Several studies by economists at the World Bank and elsewhere suggest that caloric consumption among the world's poor declines by about half of one percent whenever the average prices of all major food staples increase by one percent."

To which I say, it's a bad thing, but the price of corn in the world market shouldn't matter. We over-produce it already. It's not the great crop people think it is, and it shouldn't be eaten as much as it is. It's got a much lower nutritional value than wheat. It's just easy to grow. It's the kind of food that will keep starving people alive, but starving. Besides which, as the demand for corn goes up, farmers will just plant more corn. I'm not sure that the demand on corn for ethanol will actually cause a shortage. We'll just have to see about that.

In the short term, we can also just subsidize farmers to overproduce more corn than we already do, so that shouldn't be too much to ask. If we want to end world hunger, the answer isn't simply to produce more cheap, bad food.

The truth is that we need to approach world food supplies in a completely different manner. Controlling the number of people on this planet is easier than trying to make all our resources go further. I guess most people don't want to hear or say that we shouldn't all just have as many kids as we want, but that's the plain truth. There's an absolute limit to what this planet can produce, and we certainly don't need to reach or exceed that limit.


unkawill said...

Let's start the population control genocide with all of the self-loathing American hating socialist's and then we can move on to the Muslim Fanatic's.

Nat-Wu said...

Population control doesn't involve killing anybody. Everyone on the planet can have one child and the population will still shrink. But there are plenty of people who already don't have children. Not everybody who has ten kids wants ten kids either. Handing out free condoms all over the world would probably make a sizable dent. Sex education throughout the world would make another. But most importantly, raising the living standards of people always causes a decrease in the rate of population growth. Look at all of the industrialized nations and you see that.

From your ignorant statement, I don't know whether you agree with me or not, but either way you're still an idiot. Be part of the solution or shut the fuck up.