Biofuels starve poor people

Biofuels are often touted by the batty greenies as the saviour of our planet. The reality is far worse than their wooly headed thinking:

As Lester Brown – president of Washington’s Earth Policy Institute – has long pointed out, biofuels pit the hungry against relatively affluent motorists in competition for crops. Unsurprisingly, the drivers are winning. Forty per cent of the US corn crop now goes for fuel, not food, while the land used to grow biofuels for Europe alone could instead be used to feed 127 million people.

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.

And all this may actually accelerate climate change. Studies show that most – if not all – biofuels cause lower emissions of greenhouse gases than the petrol and diesel they replace. But these do not take into account the indirect effects of displacing food production: as farmland is given over to producing fuel, cultivators move elsewhere to fell forests or plough up peatlands, emitting carbon dioxide as they do so. By some estimates, these emissions could, by 2020, be equivalent to putting over 25 million more cars on the road.


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  • conwaycaptain

    The crops it takes to make one fill up of Bio Fuels will feed someone for a year.
    This is all the Greenie codswallop. Wind Farms, Disaster, Biofuels, Disaster Electric Cars cost more to make and cause more pollution in production Disaster.
    Now we have the Greenie Schoolboy going on about the Rena and we need separation zones on the coast, Bollocks.
    Reason Rena went aground was the fact that over the last 20-30 years the profilieration of poorlly trained people from 3rd world countries with dodgy certs that in many cases are bought!!!
    Separation Zone s were bought in for ares of high traffic desnity such as N Europe, Japan, Malacca Straits, Red Sea etc etc.
    Solution start training people properly as they sued to/

  • Stuarts.burgers

    In the late 70’s with the Oil Shocks there was a movement in NZ to get behind a Bio Fuel system to say money. Only problem was that some bright spark worked out we would need to convert all our dairying areas into crops and the money saved was less than we got front dairy exports.
    So the world could go Bio Fuel be who feeds the starving maybe if we had GE Crops for food and Bio Fuel it would work. Look at the problems in Asia with the increase in Palm Oil crops and the Orang-outangs.

    Batty Greens

  • LesleyNZ

    Interesting – cassava the staple crop in the pacific islands and in Fiji is one that is being used as a biofuel. China being one of the markets who want cassava for a biofuel.

  • 2ndAmendment


    sounds like a best reason ever to press on hard with biofuel production!

    • Travis Poulson

      Obviously not a Labour voter :)