Hunger on the Rise Worldwide; Biofuels to Blame
As I noted in a recent column on the perils of ethanol and other biofuels, using food for fuel is wrought with difficulties. One of them is hunger, which is on the rise throughout the Third World, largely due to biofuel production. As a result, discontent is brewing, food riots and hoarding are becoming the norm, and governments are finding themselves facing an increasingly hostile and hungry populace.
An International Herald Tribune article (linked at Drudge) spells out the
looming disaster in startling detail (emphasis added):
"It's the worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years," said Jeffrey Sachs, the economist and special adviser to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki Moon. "It's a big deal, and it's obviously threatening a lot of governments. There are a number of governments on the ropes and I think there's more political fallout to come."Over at Investor's Business Daily Editorials, cartoonist Michael Ramirez captures the cruel consequences of the biofuel craze with today's (4/18) cartoon, as well as an earlier one for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.
Indeed, as it roils developing nations, the spike in commodity prices - the biggest since the administration of Richard Nixon - has pitted the globe's poorer south against the relatively wealthy north, adding to demands for reform of rich nations' farm and environmental policies.
But experts say there are few quick fixes to a crisis tied to so many factors, such as strong demand for food from emerging economies like China's; rising oil prices; and the diversion of food resources to makebiofuels.
But all of this comes too late, it seems, to stop the momentum. The environmentalists let the genie out of the bottle, and politicians and business interests have run with it. Chances are, when this is all said and done, the "climate crisis" will look like a picnic.