Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Global warming hysteria - a boon for the ethanol and other biofuel enterprises - has boosted demand for crop-based fuels worldwide. This now threatens to reverse a half century of gains not only against world hunger, but also in holding the line against conversion of undeveloped land.

The cost of food has jumped over 10 percent in India over the past year, and 6 percent in China, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is partly due to the diversion of corn to biofuels.

Meanwhile, European demand for biofuels to replace gasoline is fueling plans for massive clearing of rainforests for palm-oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Ironically, much of the hysteria over global warming is itself fueled by concerns that it may drive numerous species to extinction and increase hunger worldwide, especially in developing countries. Yet the biofuel solution would only make bad matters worse on both counts.

Law of the unintended strikes again.