Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scientific American: Intoxicated on Independence: Is Domestically Produced Ethanol Worth the Cost?

"The CBO estimated that ethanol contributes as much as 15 percent to the recent rises in food costs. And that's not just the case in the U.S. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization noted in a 2008 report during the last food crisis that the increase in demand for sugar and corn for biofuels was "one of the leading factors behind the increase in their prices in world markets which, in turn, has led to higher food prices." In fact, the International Food Policy Research Institute has called biofuel subsidies in rich countries the equivalent of a tax on food"

"And then there are the environmental impacts, both direct and indirect. For example, fertilizer runoff from Midwestern corn fields promote algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico that, in turn, create vast oxygen-deprived "dead zones". "

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