How it Works: Drive up Food Prices By Demanding Biofuel, Then Blame Global Warming.

<<another long post – but again, it’s worth it: this is important. It reveals how global warming alarmists are responsible for the rising food prices they blame on global warming>>

Sometimes you don’t know who’s worse: the global warming alarmists, banging the pan with their latest prediction of impending doom, or the mainstream media who seem to not only let them, but positively help them,

For years, for years, the warmists banged on and on about the need to switch from taking oil out of the ground to renewable sources, such as ethanol, derived from corn. They got their way. The American Congress mandated that a certain amount of fuel must come from corn ethanol, come what may.

And what happened? What do you think would happen? The mandate meant that vast quantities of perfectly good corn was diverted from the world’s food supply and turned into ethanol for what even environmentalists now admit were “very marginal” gains:

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has said he made a mistake promoting first generation corn ethanol during his presidential campaign in 2000.

Gore says he was more concerned with garnering votes from farmers in Tennessee and Iowa than with what was best for the environment.  A clean energy enthusiast, Gore says corn ethanol is not a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.  The process of converting corn into ethanol is highly energy intensive and also requires using a food crop for fuel.

Gore contends corn ethanol is negatively impacting food prices and that there are better biofuel solutions to be developed and supported

The energy collective. Al Gore Says Supporting Corn Ethanol Was A Mistake.

Everyone knows this has been a total disaster. Reuters now reports that a quarter of America’s corn harvest now goes to making ethanol with totally predictable consequences on world food prices. A child of five could’ve predicted this scenario.

So should we be surprised that the latest Worldwatch press release warns that overpopulation and global warming are to blame for rising food prices?

Our early 21st century civilization is in trouble. We need not go beyond the world food economy to see this. Over the last few decades we have created a food production bubble—one based on environmental trends that cannot be sustained, including overpumping aquifers, overplowing land, and overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide,

The challenge is to quickly reduce carbon emissions, stabilize population, and restore the economy’s soils, aquifers, forests, and other natural support system

Worldwatch Press Release: “When Will the Food Bubble Burst?”



Reading this, you’d think it was global warming and overpopulation to blame for rising food prices. And that’s exactly how it’s been reported. Most newspapers and media get the majority of their stories from the major news wire services like AFP or Reuters. they don’t have the resources to check stuff out properly and rely on the wire services to do this for them. Here’s how Reuters reported it:

The rapid surge in staple food prices in 2008 that sparked global riots and sent millions into poverty is back. Now, researchers say that because of global warming and trends in population, these dramatic price movements in the food economy are likely here to stay.

Reuters. On the Frontlines of a Warming World, 925 Million Undernourished People.

On the second page of the news wire, Reuters does get around to mentioning other factors, but as an afterthought. As you can tell from the title and the opening paragraph, the  article pins rising food prices on overpopulation and global warming.

But elsewhere on the Worldwatch website, far away from the press release for easy consumption, is the full report on rising food prices. Still as alarmist, but buried halfway down the report, barely visible, is the truth:

The combined effect of these three growing demands is stunning: a doubling in the annual growth in world grain consumption from an average of 21 million tons per year in 1990-2005 to 41 million tons per year in 2005-2010. Most of this huge jump is attributable to the orgy of investment in ethanol distilleries in the United States in 2006-2008.

Earth Policy Institute. The Great Food Crisis of 2011

Even Worldwatch has to admit this fact. It’s not global warming and overpopulation that has driven food prices up but biofuels. But you wouldn’t get this information from the press release, you have to actually read the report for that.

Food riots in Algeria, food riots in Haiti. People dying. People starving. And why? Because of the insane push for a “sustainable” alternative to petrol, one that even Gore admits was a damn stupid idea, driven by politics not science.

And don’t think this is coming as a surprise. Three years ago the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food slammed the drive for biofuels as a “criminal path” that was leading to hunger, starvation, rioting and death:

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 28, 2008 (ENS) – The United States and the European Union have taken a “criminal path” by contributing to an explosive rise in global food prices through using food crops to produce biofuels, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food said today.

At a press conference in Geneva, Jean Ziegler of Switzerland said that fuel policies pursued by the U.S. and the EU were one of the main causes of the current worldwide food crisis.

Environment News Service. UN: Biofuel Production ‘Criminal Path’ to Global Food Crisis’.

That’s right – the “food crisis” of rising food prices in 2008 was caused by pointlessly diverting food into fuel, exactly the same as now. The reports blaming overpopulation and global warming are smokescreens. The vast majority, the overwhelming majority of the rise in prices is due to perfectly good food being pointlessly turned into fuel that benefits (hardly) anyone and costs taxpayers a fortune.

So, let’s spell it out. Here’s what’s happened:

1) Gore and other global warming cheerleaders push for biofuels

2) America and EU mandate targets for biofuel use.

3) Quarter of corn production goes to fuel use, prices skyrocket.

4) NGO’s issue report blaming global warming and overpopulation.

5) The media repeat this line without investigation or even reading the report properly.

And these are the people who believe that they know how to save the world. Who are demanding a total reorientation of everything. How we eat, live, work, travel – everything. They’ve driven up the price of food in a way even the UN calls “criminal” and then they turn around and say its global warming and overpopulation.

But then, that’s how it works.

21 responses to “How it Works: Drive up Food Prices By Demanding Biofuel, Then Blame Global Warming.

  1. The doubling of grain production in just 20 years is impressive! That is a comfortable outpacing of population growth.

    Even Barry O’bama got in on the act of criticising biofuels.(Though “there’s no doubt that biofuels may be contributing” is hardly pushing the boat out.)

    However, once in the Oval Office a concerted push for more biofuels was undertaken.

    Obama ploughs $1.8bn into US biofuel industry makeover

    Obama signs tax pact; ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel credits restored

    There has been a steady procession of nations starting using biofuels and then ratcheting up the proportion their public must use. This keeps demand increasing so supply cannot keep up.

    They don’t want cheap fuel. They don’t want cheap food. They don’t want low taxes. They don’t want much privacy or liberty. They can only argue against those things because they are insulated from the effects of their decisions.

    • i wasn’t aware that President Obama had been supporting biofuels to this amount. Thanks for taking the time to post those links.

      It’s pretty shabby, isn’t it, when a policy that pushes up food prices leading to hunger and starvation (as witnessed by the food riots in algeria and elsewhere) is funded with taxpayer money in the US and Europe. Then, when the entirely predictable consequences emerge, they blame global warming and overpopulation!

      Even the UN calls the idea “criminal” and yet still they continue.

  2. In the world of cAGW,this makes perfect sense.
    After all, it is us humans who cause global warming, so it is our fault that we need biofuel and that therefore others go hungry … which, in their world, is ok, because people starving to death (or, like here in the UK: freezing to death) has to be good for the planet. It reduced the population, see, so it must be good.

    Note that it is always other people’s death which is good – they, of course, never need to die …

  3. So even Gore admits that he got it wrong.
    We all make mistakes and now that we know better we can stop turning food into fuel.
    That is happening, isn’t it? Our governments are now reversing out of the biofuel mess and workIng on measures to turn food into food as it used to be.
    At least I hope that this happening. It’s one thing to be ruled by idiots, we’re used to that.
    But not genocidal idiots!

    • NO it is not happening the POTUS and Congress and EPA have allowed the higher use of ethanol in gas from 10% to 15% which means more corn is needed for this process in turn means corn producers make more money which in turn means their votes!

  4. The warmists have become what they fear – a global catastrophe.

    This is Pascal’s Wager territory isn’t it? You must however assume the CAGW supposition is correct in order to make it work: The climate apocalypse will cause food and fuel prices to rise. Wrenching changes in the way society works are the only way to prevent the climate apocalypse. Wrenching changes in the way society works will also cause food and fuel prices to rise. There is nothing to be lost in *causing* the food and fuel price rises by pushing through the changes in society – the increased costs were going to happen anyway.

    At least, that might be how they are convincing themselves it is a good thing. The issues of buying political support, making off like a bandit and being utterly unaccountable to the voting public are also at work.

  5. Take the recent study that blames global warming for red deer on the Scottish island Rhum are rutting two weeks earlier than normal. It was reported on the BBC web site.

    Now the effect of global warming we are told is that the hot temperatures will get hotter and cold temperatures will get less cold. There should be a rising trend at both extremes – temperatures are shifted upwards.

    Now the Met Office maintains a weather station on the neighbouring island of Tiree. It has records of maximum and minimum monthly temperatues that go back to 1930.

    This study of deer goes back to only the start of 1970. Does Met Office data support the claim that deer are rutting earlier because of global warming?

    It appears it does. The data clearly shows that right across this period there has been an increasing trends in maximum and minimum monthly temperatures right across the seasons.

    …. but, an it is a big but, if you look at the data dating back to when records began in 1930 there is no increasing, or decreasing trends in maximum and minimum monthly temperatures, none what-so-ever.

    All you claim in this study is that changes in red deer behaviour are due to adaption to natural climate variability. It was just as warm in the 1930s and 1940s as it was in the 1990s and 2000s.

    • That’s an interesting observation. I think it shows that a lot of the problem with the idea of catastrophic global warming (as opposed to the basic physics of the greenhouse effect) is that confirmation bias plays a huge part as does inferring causes and trends from very scanty and unreliable information.

      If the shoe was on the other foot, the people currently cheerleading for CAGW would be screaming this at everyone.

      Thanks for the informative post.


  6. Pingback: Drive up Food Prices By Demanding Biofuel, Then Blame Global Warming. | The Digital Glebe

  7. Not forgetting the subsequent destruction of “eco” rainforest and other natural habitats driven by the profits and subsidies. Even in the US that jump from 21 – 41 million tonnes involved clearing virgin land to grow the biofuels.

    Why even the UK Guardian noticed, so it must be serious, but one suspects that their readership kinda glossed over the link between transferring food production to fuel and the food shortages.

  8. Worldwatch Institute still exists? Oh, big fun! Second best to Ehrlich! (if you have a penchant for lunatics like i do…) 😉

  9. Let us not forget it is these same green advocates that are denying farmland vital water supplies due to bogus wildlife concerns. Just another way of creating a man made spike in food prices by turning some of the most fertile and productive farmland into a dustbowl.

    Hmmm…….strange…….is it me or does it seem that the Malthusian environmentalists that were predicting food shortages and a need for population control back in the 70’s have finally gotten the “green powers that be” forcing this very scenario in an effort to facilitate a desire they share. A desire being vocalized, with ever increasing brazenness, for a totalitarian society.

  10. I’m saddened by your observations Grayman that our political idiots are now turning into political, genocidal idiots by ramping up their efforts to turn food into fuel by 50%.
    Is it they they are happier to be seen as loyally “Acting under orders for the Greater Good” and reap the laurel leafs of a job-well-done recognition or are they just soft-spoken assassins of the weak and terminally disadvantaged?
    IMO they are as guilty of murder as those who refused succour to little Fiona Nantume and the 49 others of the doomed 50 in her orphanage who paid the ultimate cost of unnecessary death via DDT deprivation because of raised liberal eyebrows that decided their ultimate fate.
    And this is civilisation and you are civilised libertarians? If you can handle the self-loathing then here’s a link about Fiona and her little dead chums.

    Click to access Driessen-GreenslieAfricansdie.pdf

    Enjoy it psycho-killers. If malaria doesn’t kill them then maybe the last half- hour of the trip to Bali may just turn them  
    to worm food before the mozzy bites!
    RIP Fiona, 1996-2005
    I weep for Fiona. Do you,

  11. Apologies about the friendly-fire damage in my rant. It was directed to the fourth-Reich tofu-tanglers who rarely inhabit this forum, and not at the humanists who bring much-needed clarity to an increasingly societal confusion of illogic with homicidal certitudes.

  12. rusureuwant2know

    Part of it is that they want “energy independence” as well – the problem is there’s no such thing – as someone else has noted we can’t have energy independence any more than we can have athletic shoe independence…

  13. The Guardian gets realistic!

    Online news service promotes false climate change study
    EurekAlert! carried a study with unfounded global warming claims that the planet would warm by 2.4C by 2020
    In an email, Gavin Schmidt, a Nasa climatologist wrote: “2.4C by 2020 (which is 1.4C in the next 10 years – something like six to seven times the projected rate of warming) has no basis in fact.”

    First they start the ”fire” then panic when they know that such a claim will soon be falsified and make their side look foolish, alarmist and wrong.

  14. All claims of higher temperatures in the near future are based on the assumption that the past warming trend will continue, with help from our friendly GHG CO2. Unfortunately for the alarmists climate is cyclic and as such has reached the top of the cycle and temperatures are heading down. Oceans are cooling according to the Argo data sets and it is the oceans that carry heat round the globe creating climate. CO2 has nothing to do with temperature or driving climate, Despite rising CO2 levels temperatures are slowly falling. But insisting that the trend is correct we have all the poor decisions that forced biofuel production and forced up food prices to levels that only the rich can afford.
    God save us from rabid environmentalists.

  15. As fine an evisceration of some of the enemies of civilisation as I’ve seen in a while. My less well written effort here:
    The UN with the European Commission collaborating is at the root of the drive to needlessly reduce CO2 emissions of which biofuels are just another in the litany of disasters.

  16. “How it Works: Drive up Food Prices By Demanding Biofuel, Then Blame Global Warming.”
    They said countless time that they want to reduce the size of their human cattle. What a better way than starving them to death! Reduce food aviability enough and they will die-off by deseases and malnutrition. And with the must of serving propagenda! What a good deal!

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