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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Orphans of the Corn: Stop the Massacre

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Friend, fellow blogger and Grizzly Groundswell contributor, J.G. at Hoopy Frood Dude posted the following story that in the end summarizes the failures of government. The truth of the article is painful but forces one to see that seldom does government consider the future consequences of their actions:
Just a few days ago I gave my rant about biofuels, and included an article by Arnaud de Borchgrave. As it looks, neither Arnaud's or my article were far off track. Actually, they were pretty dead on. That Biofuels were of particular fault in the economic and humanitarian crisis being felt around the world.

As it looks, the failed mandate by Congress to eventually replace fossil fuels with biofuels such as ethanol, are causing problems the world over. It's hit such a point that the World Bank has called on the G7 to increase emergency food assistance as 33 countries around the world are facing civil unrest due to high food prices and shortages.

And the way it's coming out, the proponents of biofuels are to blame. Period. Elizabeth Stuart, a spokesman for the Oxfam anti-poverty group has said, "’Half of the increase in the demand for major food crops was due to the move to biofuels,’ she said. ‘These have dubious environment benefits, and by driving up prices, are crippling the lives of the poor. ... The [World] Bank, with other international institutions and the G7, must come up with a joint plan to tackle this crisis.’”

Even the U.N.'s Right To Food independent expert Jean Ziegler has called for the five year moratorium on biofuel production to come to a halt as the growing practice of converting food crops into biofuels is "a crime against humanity.'' I normally don't put much stock in the U.N. But when it involves humanitarian problems, I at least lend ear to it. Then make my decisions.

Not only is it the subsidization of corn (and other food staples such as wheat, sugarcane, rice, etc.,) to be used for biofuels that's hurting the poverty stricken areas. But the increased fuel and energy costs to simply deliver it has added to the burden. Lawrence Kudlow (a former Reagan economic advisor) has said, “…The continued decline in the value of the dollar … has permitted the global commodities boom (energy and corn) to leak into higher U.S. inflation. Bulging commodity costs have depressed the profits of non-financial domestic businesses...”

All this goes to show a few things; First is, there's NOTHING that the government can't screw up. Second is, these are all things that government could have prevented by not getting involved, from the ethanol mandate to increasing the money supply. Thirdly, less (smaller) government allows for less interference. And lastly, it proves yet again the government which governs least, governs the best.
Thank you J.G. Although there is nothing new under the sun, government actions and / or inactions still continue to boggle our minds with its failures. Instead of focusing on providing more corn and other food products to fight world hunger, liberals would instead have us focus on converting these crops to operate our vehicles. Instead of using these crops to sustain life, they would have consume them materially on ourselves. Why? Because liberal do not value human life. Their definition of nature includes land, water, plants and all animals except for humans. To liberals, humans are the problem. Starving a few hundred millions is not as important to them as keeping the caribou from ever seeing an oil pipeline and is not as important as building a few more refineries in the Unites States. I could continue but then it would get even more depressing and you get my drift.

Tags: America, biofuels, crisis, government, government failures, Humanitarian, Starvation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:00 PM - Post Link


Blogger Bill Smith said...

Check out The Foundry - Morning Bell: Government Is the Problem on Food and Energy Prices:

Food riots have forced the collapse of the government in Haiti. People are dying in food lines in Egypt. The U.N. warns that food stocks for 450,000 Cambodian children is set to tun out in 30 days. Rising hunger is contributing to instability in Afghanistan. In India, even the gods are going hungry. After more than 30 years of declining hunger, suddenly, this year soaring commodity prices are causing hunger worldwide. The poor are are suffering the most.

Some are blaming the food crisis on droughts in Australia and growing demand for food in Asia. But this can’t be the first time inclement weather has affected food production over the last 30 years, and Asian demand has been growing for a generation as well. More and more people are realizing that well-intentioned government efforts to combat global warming are behind the cause of the “silent tsunami” of hunger. The Washington Post reports today:

This year, about a quarter of U.S. corn will go to feeding ethanol plants instead of poultry or livestock. That has helped farmers like Johnson, but it has boosted demand — and prices — for corn at the same time global grain demand is growing. … And it has linked food and fuel prices just as oil is rising to new records, pulling up the price of anything that can be poured into a gasoline tank.

The link between government ethanol mandates for fuel and worldwide hunger has some scientists calling for a change in policy. The AP reports today:

Some top international food scientists on Tuesday recommended halting the use of food-based biofuels, such as ethanol, saying it would cut corn prices by 20 percent during a world food crisis. The three senior scientists with an international research consortium pushing a biofuel moratorium said nations need to rethink programs that divert food such as corn and soybeans into fuel, given the burgeoning worldwide food crisis.

These scientists are only half right. The answer to problems caused by government ethanol mandates is not government bans on ethanol. Instead we need to be looking to get government regulation, restrictions and subsidies out of the energy and food sectors. Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson looks at politician pandering on gas prices and advises:

The truth is that we’re almost powerless to influence today’s prices. We are because we didn’t take sensible actions 10 or 20 years ago. If we persist, we will be even worse off in a decade or two. The first thing to do: Start drilling.

It may surprise Americans to discover that the United States is the third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We could be producing more, but Congress has put large areas of potential supply off-limits….

Although production from restricted areas won’t make the United States self-sufficient, it might stabilize output or even reduce imports. No one knows exactly what’s in these areas, because the exploratory work is old. Estimates indicate that production from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge might equal almost 5 percent of present U.S. oil use.

If Congress is serious about both reducing energy costs and carbon emissions while not causing further economic pain both here at home and abroad, lawmakers should abandon all carbon cap-and-trade plans. As the ethanol mandate disaster shows, environmental regulations increase costs — and those costs are inevitability felt hardest by the poor.

Like Samuelson suggests, we need to develop our own energy supplies if we are serious about lowering gas prices and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Congress also needs to remove the barriers preventing new nuclear plants here in the United States. France already receives 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy and other European countries are also adopting this clean, safe and carbon friendly energy source. . . [Read More]


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