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Ethanol Subsidies Starve Poor Kids


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Ethanol subsidies starve poor kids

The Free Liberal

by Fred E. Foldvary


"Land for growing food has always competed with land used to grow

plants with other uses. Farmers who grow cotton could instead grow

grains or fruits. Also, forest land has the alternative use as food

crop land. These trade-offs are called opportunity costs. The economic

cost of farmland is the value of the forests and wild grasslands that

would otherwise be there. Likewise, the opportunity cost of a forest

is the value of the land if used for housing, crops, and grazing.

Recently a new opportunity cost has arisen, as crops such as corn and

sugar can be grown for fuel rather than for food. This would not be

harmful if not for government subsides for ethanol made of corn. The

U.S. federal government subsidizes ethanol production at 51 cents per

gallon. Farmers who used to grow corn for animal feed or human

consumption now sell crops to biofuel distilleries. One-fifth of

American grain is used for ethanol. Food prices almost doubled from

2005 to 2008, while the price of corn has tripled from $2 to over $6

per bushel." (04/22/08)



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Are you stomping the environment flat?


by Ronald Bailey


"Are you an ecological bigfoot? Various environmental groups now offer

websites where you can supposedly find out. The site provided by the

folks at Redefining Progress informs me that if everyone on the planet

lived my lifestyle, we would need the resources of 6.5 Earths to

supply everyone. I took the test again, this time selecting all the

ecological choices, including living a 500-square-foot apartment

filled with second-hand furniture in a large apartment building heated

with biomass, using electricity generated by solar panels, equipped

with low flow toilets and showers, buying all my food at farmers

markets, planting my own garden fertilized by compost from my food

scraps, eating a vegan diet, recycling all my paper, plastic,

aluminum, glass and electronics, owning no car, never flying and

traveling no more than 2,000 miles by bus or rail each year. If

everyone lived like that we would only need 0.93 earths to accommodate

everyone." (04/22/08)



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Is organic food really healthier?


by Deborah Rich


"Don't ask the US federal government whether there are any health

benefits to eating organic food. It won't tell. No mere coincidence,

then, that no pictures of farmers or farms (or fertilizers or

pesticides) appear in the USDA food pyramid logo. The federal

government encourages the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, and

grains, but stops short of evaluating the farming systems that produce

these same foods. An apple is an apple regardless of how it has been

grown, the USDA food pyramid suggests, and the only take-home message

is that we should all be eating more apples and less added sugars and

fats. But this message may be too simplistic." (04/23/08)



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Where's the food?

Independent Institute

by Alvaro Vargas Llosa


"In the 1830s, Richard Cobden and John Bright started a campaign

against the protectionist laws that were keeping food prices high in

Britain. After sustaining abuse for many years, they persuaded the

government in 1846 to repeal the infamous Corn Laws, a move that

helped usher in a long period of prosperity. I have been thinking

intensely about these 19th-century heroes lately. The world needs a

new Anti-Corn Law League, the movement they founded, if it wants to

put a stop to the madness of escalating food prices and save millions

of people, from Haiti to Bangladesh and from Cameroon to the

Philippines, from starvation." (04/23/08)



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Very true, and the whole thing about ethanol being a green fuel is absolute bullshit.

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I heard switch grass got a better return than corn as biofuel. Anyone know anything about that?

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Guest Net Eng
I heard switch grass got a better return than corn for biofuel. Anyone know anything about that?


Switchgrass is much better Google Knows All


Here in Michigan our beloved <ack> state government is doing all it can to promote corn growth for biofuel. I thinks it is unwise to use food crop for fuel. That sort of competition will eventually cause problems in general (especially when switch grass is better all the way around for biofuel).

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Maybe I should get a farm. Produce large amounts of switch grass. And then start manufacturing electric generators made according to the Mighty Engine desing: http://www.angellabsllc.com/resourse.html. Just an idea. :shrug:


Here's the MYT engine, running: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itl9ipaIJ_o...feature=related (Warning! It's loud!!!)

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