It’s an inconvenient truth that across the world valuable cropland is being converted from growing food to growing biofuel. The croplands are being converted with government subsidies, and we are about to learn a very harsh lesson.
Lester Brown, director of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, said yesterday that land turned to biofuels in the US alone in the last two years would have fed nearly 250 million people with average grain needs. “This year 18% of all US grain production will go to biofuels. In the last two years the US has diverted 60m tonnes of food to fuel. On the heels of seven years of consumption of world grains exceeding supply, this has put a great strain on the world’s grain supplies,” he said.
The rising price of energy has decreased supplies of food in two ways: it’s made fuel crops more attractive and it’s made export and transport of food staples such as wheat, corn, and rice both more expensive and less appealing.
The outcome? We have breadlines in Egypt, we have spiraling food staples cost, and not enough food, which means people will be starving to death later this year. Yes, we passed a tipping point Al, and it was much closer and more easily seen than the one you spoke of in your movie.
Food production and commodities combined with free markets have kept famine at bay across most of the world since the early 80’s. The fact is that modern famines are created by government policies, or strife which interdicts transport. The Somalian famine was due to civil war against Islamists, and the Bangladesh famine was due to failed governance.
Any country can feed its people no matter how dense the population if they can farm at the level that 16th century Japanese peasants were capable of, this demonstrated in “A Step Further Out” by Jerry Pournelle. In the modern world with cheap transport and modern agriculture there’s simply no excuse for Famine, but I fear we’ve passed that point and that we will see some people starving to death this year. Continue reading “Gore Lied People Died!”
The product of your creativity belongs to you, and you are by law entitled to profit therefrom. In a cut ‘n paste world where sampling and remixing are the norm those lines become blurred. This however looks egregiously wrong to me if it’s true: [see update below, the Youtube vid could be a scam. – editor]
“We totally refute their claims, and there are two facts that make it easy to disprove them,” said the band’s spokesman Murray Chalmers.
“First, on the night in October when the band say Chris Martin was watching them, he was actually working at the Air Studio in London, and we can prove that. Second, even if he had been at the gig, Viva la Vida was written and demoed seven months before the night in question, so it couldn’t possibly have been copied.”
Since there aren’t suits flying this ends up being either coincidence, a smart publicity scam, or … something. Look for more of the same in the future, as melodies can sometimes come to several people completely isolate from each other.
Who is WE? WE is Anti-Nuclear Activists and Energy Stasists
In the series of articles titled “Gore Lied, Peopled Died” and others on global warming here I outlined and demonstrated how Kyoto and other global warming initiatives create energy and food poverty worldwide which leads to starvation, high infant mortality, poor sanitation, increased prevalence of disease, hunger, and limited futures for the world’s middle-class and poor. All of that’s easily demonstrable with UN data and newspapers showing past and current food and fuel crunches. Now it’s time to dig into who the people in Al Gore’s Global Warming group really are — a surprising mix of strange bedfellows.
My brand of high-energy environmentalism runs counter to consensus on both sides, and it gores everyone’s political Ox as we will see when we delve into who “WE” is.
The Wall Street Journal outlines how the weather this spring is likely to impact food inflation here:
The heavy rains and flooding will have national, and even global, consequences through rising food prices. The rains have further delayed planting for this year’s corn crop, with perhaps as many as three million acres lost for the year. Some farmers may be able to plant soybeans instead, if the rains let up, but others may simply file for federal crop insurance for lost acreage.
The price of corn futures climbed well past $7 a bushel last week, to new records. Higher corn prices will in turn pass through the entire food chain to meat and dairy products and anything that relies on feed grain. There’s little that can be done about freakish weather, but that’s all the more reason for policy makers not to create artificially high prices with bad policy.
Corn prices would inevitably spike amid this supply shock, but that spike is far higher this time because prices are already higher than they should be due to ethanol subsidies and especially the Federal Reserve’s inflationary monetary policy. Corn was only $4 a bushel as recently as last August, but by April had hit $6. You can’t blame that on the weather.
President Karzai of Afghanistan threatened to attack if Pakistan does not clean up there act in regards to cross border terrorism and not just tolerance of Jihadis, but in some quarters outright support. You can read it at the Daily Times:
KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened on Sunday to send Afghan troops across the border to fight militants in Pakistan.
He told a news conference that Afghanistan had the right to self-defence, and because militants crossover from Pakistan “to come and kill Afghans and kill coalition troops, it exactly gives us the right to do the same”. “Therefore, Baitullah Mehsud should know that we will go after him now and hit him in his house,” he added.
“And the other fellow, (Taliban leader) Mullah Omar of Pakistan should know the same,” Karzai continued. “This is a two-way road in this case, and Afghans are good at the two-way road journey. We will complete the journey and we will get them and we will defeat them. We will avenge all that they have done to Afghanistan for the past so many years.”
Update: Bill Roggio has more on the latest predator strike inside Pakistan Saturday that might have been targetting Baitullah. Also note that Pakistan has alluded to a combined arms capability of using unarmed drone guided missles remotely fired from their Helicopter gunships and that some predators do take off from Peshawar. UPDATE II: Another Shia mosque has been attacked by TTP or AQ forces, this time in Dera Ishmael Khan. The Takfirists are trying to further the work of inciting the 4th Fitna that they started much earlier in Iraq, and Parachinar. I think people everywhere are wising up to their ways, and we will not see a world-wide Islamic civil war as they desire. This along with the recent kidnapping of 16 Iranian border guards is a shift in strategy, they hope to regain the popularity they are losing by shifting the front to one more popular.
This is an important update to an article I posted Friday the 6th, it appears that the “Hezbollah” or Qods force operatives captured are the agents that planned and executed the Karbala attack. You might remember this from early last year — the US compound was raided in a sophisticated attack that included fake US uniforms and knowledge of the compound’s layout.
The Four US soldiers captured were subsequently murdered and mutilated, one died in the initial attack and others were wounded. So now we have the perpetrators, who in the meantime acting as agents of Iran, have been supplying explosive formed projectiles (EFP’s) to the Shia miltias and causing other mayhem.
The Karbala attack, along with the EFP report I did back in ’06 are tied together now. Both are terrible but somehow this gives me the sense that things are truly getting better in Iraq and it’s a bit of closure over both reports. The Iranian Quds forces have operated with impugnity until now in a large part due to sympathy from the local Shia population. Something has now turned that around.
RIght Wing Nuthouse has the details of the original Karbala attack here, and Bill Roggio has the latest on this important capture here.