Tag: World food price crisis

Beating the Dead Ethanol Cow

We’ve been over this and over this: corn ethanol is a disaster. It’s fiscal sinkhole, an environmental fiasco and an engineering nightmare. It tears apart cars, encourages monocropping and raises food prices. And it is net energy loser. Libertarians, environmentalists, most conservatives, engineers and many liberals have found agreement on this one topic: corn ethanol needs to go.

You would think that with the worst drought since the Dust Bowl sending food prices through the roof and pushing livestock farmers to the brink of bankruptcy, the EPA might … oh, maybe not abolish this boondoggle once and forever … but at least delay it long enough for the American farmer to recover.

You would, of course, think wrong. Despite crop yields being down 30% and 40 fucking percent of corn now going to engine-destroying, air-polluting, energy-consuming ethanol; despite the possibility that we will have no corn reserves next year in case another drought hits, the EPA has stood with Big Ethanol.

They are not going to be satisfied until every pig in the midwest is butchered, every farmer goes bankrupt and starvation erupts in the world. In All the Trouble in the World, P.J. O’Rourke noted that very few famines happen because of a lack of food. They are almost always created by incompetent or misguided governments (see my earlier post on starvation in Mao’s China or read up on the Irish Potato Famine). Are we facing another man-made an utterly preventable famine?

God, I hope not.