Economist: Climate Change=Higher food prices

corn.gifAccording to Merrill Lynch commodity strategist Francisco Blanch: High oil prices, a desire for energy security, and regulations designed to reduce carbon emissions, have prompted governments to favour ethanol as an alternative to petrol as a motor fuel.

-in Brazil, they use sugar; the price of it has skyrocketed.
-in America, corn; the price has doubled, and soybeans are being replaced by corn as the crop of choice for many farmers.
-in Australia, wheat prices are up because of drought.
-all of the above are fed to cows and pigs, so meat prices are going to rise.
-as food prices rise, so does inflation, leading to possible higher interest rates and a slowdown in global economic growth.

The Economist continues in this cheery vein: " As most experts agree, it is simply not plausible for America to gain energy security by switching from oil to corn-based ethanol. There is not enough agricultural land available. Nor is it clear that ethanol is really that much greener, given the energy needed to produce it. Ethanol is popular because it appears to be an easy option. It does not require higher taxes or rationing, it keeps the farmers happy and it makes the government look like it is doing something. Alas, dealing with global warming is likely to be more painful. ::Economist

Tags: Ethanol


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