Biofuel bollocks

When fuel and food compete for the same resources, and there is a shortage, then you wouldn’t be able to find a single economist who would tell you that prices would not be affected for fuel, food or both as they compete for inputs.

The only way to solve that would be to regulate the market, and nothing good can come of that either.

Bioenergy produced from crops does not threaten food supplies, researchers funded by the US government, World Bank and others say in a report, dealing a potential blow to critics of the country’s biofuels program.

There is no clear relationship between biofuels and higher prices that threaten access to food, as some prior analysis has suggested, according to the research partly funded by the US Department of Energy.

“There may not be as tight a link as people think” between commodities prices and food security, Siwa Msangi, a co-author of the paper and senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, said in an interview on Tuesday.

Environmentalists and others have long argued that the increased use of ethanol, produced from corn in the US and sugarcane in Brazil, threatens global food security, which the World Health Organisation defines as “access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food”.   Read more »

A good example why subsidies are rubbish

Subsidies are dumb, they distort the market and in general encourage that which should not be encouraged…like biofuels.

Five years ago, rural America was giddy for ethanol.

Backed by government subsidies and mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns, providing farmers with a new market for their crops and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of this corn-based fuel blend.

Those days of promise and prosperity are vanishing.  Read more »

How Biofuels are Damaging

Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Biofuels are bollocks and have contributed to the large prices increase of basic commodities like corn as farmers ell corn for ethanol rather than for food…the biofuel companies paying a lot more per tonne than food processing companies.

Governments in many economically advanced countries heavily subsidize the production of biofuels. The justification of such subsidies is often that biofuels are a comparatively “green” source of energy. However, the evidence suggests that biofuels may in fact create significant environmental problems. Examples discussed in the paper include:

  • The production and use of biofuel may actually produce more greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels, when factoring in direct and indirect land-use change and nitrous oxide emissions from the production process.
  • The agricultural intensification necessary to maintain corn-ethanol feedstock can contaminate water systems with excess nutrients from fertilizer run-off. This can harm marine ecosystems and harm local anglers.
  • Biofuel production requires the use or large amounts of water. The irrigation required to grow feedstock on marginal land as production expands can strain freshwater stocks.

“The biofuel industry is thriving in North America due to generous government subsidies,” Merkley writes. Although these subsidies are intended to benefit the natural environment, Merkley argues that they may be having the opposite effect. “At the very least, the research referred to in this paper should give governments pause before they continue to use taxpayer money to fund their environmentally destructive biofuel pipe dreams.”

All energy production has an economic, social and environmental cost. Although biofuel production is widely seen as a “green” source of energy, the evidence presented in this paper suggests biofuel production can cause significant environmental damage.

Obamas into "fisting"?

Obama-mania has taken on bizarre qualities. Witness this CNN snippet where an “expert” in relationships lauds to us all that the Obamessiah and his missus are into “fisting” in a big way.

As Boing Boing points out: “Our well-lubed commenters are probably correct in guessing that the Fox analyst [snort] means “making happy-fun terrorist fist-jabs in the air” when she says “fisting.” This just makes it funnier.”


The Big Fakery

Much has been made in the Jihad-enabler part of the blogosphere about Israel moving people from one building to another then bombing them on purpose. Sounds terrible doesn’t it? Except if Israel were the ethnic cleansing, genocidal maniacs that Bomber et al portray them as then why bother shuttling people around simply to kill them, why not just shoot them where they are;

Hugh Fitzgerald at JihadWatch explores all the “independent” commentators, UN spokemen etc that are lined up to put a fake face on the situation in Gaza;

What we are observing is La Grande Montatura, the Big Fakery, Fakery of every sort being “mounted” in Gaza by Hamas, and aided and abetted by those Westerners who have a long record of being viciously anti-Israel. These include Mads Gilbert and another Norwegian doctor, both of whom have been on record as approving of the 9/11/2001 bombings, and have been tireless workers in the vineyard of the most extreme left-wing, and now nicely antisemitic, groups. And CNN and the egregious BBC do not tell listeners about what they are on record as having said, what their background is.

Nor do they tell us about the kind of people, the non-Arabs that is, who are involved. And almost everyone in place is an Arab working for any U.N. connected organization in Gaza, but you would hardly know this from the solemn interviews with John Ging and suchlike, who provide a facade, for the uninformed, of presumed, but in truth utterly phony, “objectivity.” Why, just a few days ago, at 9:10 a.m., on the BBC, there were broadcast the most transparently absurd charges — such as that the Israelis “deliberately” coaxed innocent civilians out of their apartments, and then “deliberately” placed them in a single building, and then “deliberately” shelled that building. Yes, how true, we have 60 years of familiarity with how the Israelis conduct war, and how they treat Arab prisoners, and of course this corresponds — doesn’t it? — to everything they have ever done. And of course we also have 60 years of noting what the Arabs do when they make war on the Jews of Israel, and the scrupulosity with which they try always to avoid causing harm to civilians, and the way they treat any Israeli, soldier or civilian, whom they take prisoner. In all this they are truly a model for how to behave, as the U.N. will be the first to tell you.

Then there is the farce over the “bombing” of the school;

Well, let’s start with the “school” business. It is as irrelevant that the building is used for a school as it is that Lee Harvey Oswald fired on Kennedy from the Texas Book Depository. What counts is that the building was not being used as a school at the time. That’s one. The second is that the Israelis did not “attack the school.” They fired near the school, at those who had fired at them. This caused secondary explosions, I gather, from within the school, and what could explain that other than the storing of weapons? And we should further note that we have been told that “women and children” were “among” the victims, but just as we were told that there were 40 dead and then, later, 30 dead, we still don’t know.

How about the United Nations, i

ncreasingly shown to be hopelessly corrupted and anti-semetic;
The other morning I listened to the BBC speaker, voice dripping with hostility and sarcasm whenever he interviewed someone willing to offer the Israeli view, deeply respectful when someone came on, with the “U.N.” label attached — a label that means, at this point, not merely not a guarantee of objectivity, but almost certainly a guarantee of the reverse: of complete bias, hiding behind the camouflage of those initials “U” and “N.” The BBC was featuring someone connected to the U.N., to some human rights part of it (it hardly matters what phony succursale it was), speaking of how the Israelis had done this, or done that, cold-bloodedly ordered people out of their apartments, and then into another building, only to then shell that building. Now a moment’s thought tells anyone, or should, just what an absurd charge this is. For if the Israelis were cold-blooded killers, they wouldn’t bother moving people from one place to another, apparently unharmed, but would just kill them where they were. And if the Israelis were cold-blooded killers, then why would they spend such an enormous effort phoning up every individual phone in Gaza? And no one denies that they have done this, not even Hamas, not even the “U.N.” Nor would they have leafletted Gaza warning civilians to leave certain areas. Why, for god’s sake, the Israelis even warned members of Hamas that their apartments would be bombed. It is known, for example, that that Hamas cleric who was killed had received the warning, but had wanted to die as a “martyr” and to take his whole family with him, and even insisted that they remain (at least one family member chose not to do so).

Doesn’t that tell us all we need to know about the efforts Israel is making to minimize civilian casualties? Hasn’t Israel always done so? Doesn’t it have a long record that we can look at, to see that that is so? Conversely, do not the Arabs have a long record of staging things, of making una montatura (a most useful Italian word), of recycling corpses? See Jeffrey Goldberg’s testimony of how he saw, on previous occasions in Gaza, Hamas people unwrapping a dead child’s body, and taking it here and there, for yet another ghoulish photo op in yet another site, in order to multiply in the public’s mind the number of victims.

Yes indeed, they are nice folk those Hamas terrorists, were it not for blogs like Little Green Footballs, JihadWatch or indeed my own blog the world view of what is happening in Gaza would be formulated by the terrorists themselves or worse the United Nations.

CNN stands by faked video

Little Green Footballs is driving the case against CNN of the faked video. A video that doctors and medics here in New Zealand have also commented on and declared it fake.

Yet CNN is standing by the video despite the building evidence to the contrary. At first they ignored the furore, then they yanked the footage and now it is re-instated with the following explanation;

Responding to accusations that the resuscitation efforts of Mashharawi’s brother appeared inauthentic, Martin said that, based on his years of reporting from Gaza, doctors often go through such efforts even with little hope that a patient can be saved.

Further LGF has discovered even more disturbing links between the Norwegian Doctor and the “independent” yet on the Hamas payroll cameraman.