Monday, October 29, 2012

"The Ethanol Election Delay" Wall Street Journal

"This sentiment did not trickle down to the EPA, which is less concerned with feeding the world than feeding the ethanol lobby and buying Farm Belt electoral votes. The EPA will now rule on the hunger issue post-election."

Monday, October 15, 2012

"UK must push world into tackling food crisis by making biofuels history" Alert Net

"Clare Coffey, Policy Advisor at ActionAid UK said: "UK Agriculture Secretary Owen Paterson should rally his fellow ministers from around the world into ditching damaging biofuel mandates.

"It is within our power to eliminate one of the chief drivers of global food price hikes. We must protect the world's poorest and put food before fuel once and for all," Coffey added."

"Food scarcity: the timebomb setting nation against nation" The Guardian

 "Food is the new oil and land is the new gold,"  (Lester Brown)
"Brown has been backed by an Oxfam report released last week. It calculated that the land sold or leased to richer countries and speculators in the last decade could have grown enough food to feed a billion people – almost exactly the number of malnourished people in the world today. Nearly 60% of global land deals in the last decade have been to grow crops that can be used for biofuels, says Oxfam."

"EPA may slash use of ethanol in gasoline as corn crop wilts" NBC news (The Bottom Line)

"the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast a sharp decline in farm grain output predicting next year’s global corn stockpiles will 5.4 percent – to the lowest levels in 39 years.  The USDA warned that only 23 percent of American corn crop yields are in “good” or “excellent” shape compared with 70 percent last year.
That sent prices for corn spiraling upward.  Hatch and others are hoping that by at least reducing the potential demand for corn stocks for fuel use demand prices may level off – which could, in turn, prevent a spiral driving up overall U.S. inflation rates."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New report by Timothy A. Wise (Tufts University) and ActionAid

"It is clear that
the promotion of biofuels by the US, the EU and
other countries has played a major role in creating the
food crisis. Without decisive action on the part of
these global actors to eliminate mandates and
incentives that encourage the unsustainable
production of industrial biofuels, the crisis will
continue with no end in sight."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"US corn ethanol fuels food crisis in developing countries"

Timothy A Wise is the Policy Research Director, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford. OP-ED

"The US and other Northern governments can stop fuelling the food crisis with reckless biofuels expansion. The US can waive the RFS mandates to allow tight markets to adjust in a year of drought. It can join the European Union in reconsidering its mandates. It can halt the increase in blending targets to 15 per cent.

On World Food Day, October 16, the FAO will convene an emergency meeting on the food crisis in Rome. Disgracefully, the G-20 group of economically powerful nations declined to convene its own emergency meeting, with a US spokesperson saying that "agricultural commodity markets are functioning".

Global leaders should take a strong stand in Rome against biofuels expansion, endorse the use of food reserves to cushion markets in times of drought, demand rules to end financial speculation on food commodities and restrict the land grabs that are driven largely by global demand for biofuels.

It's time we put food before fuel and people before cars."

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Biofuels and the food that’s going up in smoke" The Telegraph

"The competition drives up food prices – it has been partly responsible for recent abrupt increases that have driven scores of millions into hunger – and has helped stimulate a spate of land-grabbing in the Third World. Oxfam reported this week that an area of land eight times the size of the UK had been sold off over the past decade – and that two thirds of the deals appear to have been struck for the growing of biofuels. Often small farmers are thrown off the land, to join the destitute and hungry. "

"Standoff at Pump Over New Fuel: Ethanol Lobby vs. Station Owners" Wall Street Journal

"The U.S. ethanol industry's latest push to expand is off to a slow start, with many gas-station owners wary about a new gasoline blend containing 15% ethanol."

"The push-and-pull over E15 is part of a wider debate over using corn-based ethanol as motor fuel, a discussion that attracted renewed focus this summer when a drought drove up corn prices to record levels, pinching livestock producers that use corn in feed. Several states in August asked the EPA to waive the federal mandate that calls for using increasing amounts of ethanol in gasoline."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Can Riots Be Predicted? Experts Watch Food Prices" NPR

"While the drought is causing the current spike in food prices, prices have also been on a steady, long-term trajectory upward. So what's behind that trend? NECSI's model has fingered two key suspects: speculation and the conversion of corn to ethanol. (More on that later.) Even without the drought, Bar-Yam says, food prices were headed toward the riot zone by early next year."