The real victims of the global warming scam…

… are the poor:

Now, it turns out that wheat held steady and rice declines slightly, so the increase is due mainly to maize (corn).  The biggest exporter of maize is the US, and this past year, 40% of the US maize crop went to ethanol rather than into food.  That’s 40%.  So, yes, food crops have decreased due to global warming; viz., the hysteria over it has diverted food away from the mouths of the poor into the gas tanks of the well-to-do in order that they may feel really good about their moral superiority.  

There’s an accompanying graph at the link that paints the picture.

Bottom line… the poor are being victimized by the caring parishioners of the Church of Chicken Little.  Think about that the next time you see the ethanol stickers at the pumps.

H/T Mark Shea.

Shortlink:

Posted by on March 9, 2011.
Filed under Environment, Evil, Global Warming.
I blog more regularly at my own place where plain thoughts are delivered roughly. My about page gives you more on who I am.

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  • Steve

    I am getting damn tired of the line that we are turning food into fuel. Most of the corn raised in the US is not destined for human consumption in the first place. It goes to poultry, hog and cattle feed. Which, after the starch is removed in creating ethanol, goes to livestock feed as dried distillers grain. The protein and minerals are still there available for livestock. SO NO WE ARE NOT TURNING FOOD INTO FUEL.

    Furthermore, the price of grain has very little to do with the price of food. A 16 ounce box of corn flakes has 12 cents of corn in it at my elevator’s curent posted price of $6.67 per bushel of corn. A 16 ounce loaf of bread has 11 cents of wheat in it.

    The real reason food prices are higher is because energy prices are much higher and this administration has decided to print money like there’s no tomorrow greatly reducing the value of the dollar.

  • JLawson

    And I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad (for certain values of ‘bad’) if it weren’t that getting ethanol from corn to add to gasoline is so blasted energy-inefficient, and the plants need subsidies just to stay in business.

    We burn food for transportation when we could be drilling for oil. It makes no sense.

    In the meantime, DC is STILL stalling on approving drilling requests. I’m all for caution, but there’s caution and then there’s delaying for political purposes. And I’m thinking they’ve gone way beyond the ‘delay for caution’ part of things.

    (In an unrelated joke, Salazar, when told the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota were producing way beyond expectation, asked if there were some way to get them moved offshore in the Gulf of Mexico so he could get them shut down…)

  • JLawson

    SO NO WE ARE NOT TURNING FOOD INTO FUEL.

    Raise crop to be turned into ethanol = taking food and turning it into fuel, unless you want to argue that somehow the leftovers from the distillation process are more nutritious than the raw grain…

    And there’s other side effects. Remember the Law of Unanticipated Consequences waits for no man… or is always waiting, depending on your point of view.

    On Feb. 9, March corn futures jumped 3.6% to $6.98 a bushel. On the same day, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, was quoted as saying in defense of the Obama administration’s ethanol policy: “I think there is enough corn for food, for feed, for fuel and for export.” On the same day, an unknown but corresponding percentage of the world’s poorest people lost the ability to afford food.

    When government-subsidized production of ethanol began a decade ago, corn prices had been hovering around $2 a bushel for many years. An additional $1 per bushel government deficiency payment barely kept grain farmers in business. A pro-ethanol agricultural economist predicted that ethanol demand would cause corn prices to rise a dime or two per bushel.

    President George W. Bush set a 10-year goal of replacing 15% of gasoline with biofuels – most of which would come from corn ethanol and, if attained, would use most of the corn grown in the United States.

    It does not require a degree in economics to conclude that a dramatic new demand for corn would dramatically increase the price of corn.

    Thirty percent to 40% of the U.S. corn crop is used for ethanol. Corn prices are roughly 350% above historic levels and futures have increased 93% in the past year, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

    Now, printing dollars like they’re toilet paper is another matter, and likely is causing additional problems on the world market. Something’s gotta give – I don’t know what, or where – but as others are fold fo saying “What can’t go on… won’t.”

  • Jim Addison

    If ethanol is worthwhile, why do we block cheaper, cleaner sugar cane ethanol? We could import all we want with no subsidy required.

    Ethanol subsidies are transfers of wealth from taxpayers to Big Ag.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Jay Tea

    Steve, pay very close attention:

    What you are calling a “lie” is that the grains are used as FOOD for animals, most of which are then used as FOOD for humans. It’s still food, just one step removed from food for humans.

    Got it?

    J.

  • WildWillie

    I know how to reduce oil consumption by 21% right away. Make it mandatory for all liberals to use bikes, electric cars and/or walk. There. Partially solved. Oh! Wait. The left wants us to do that while they fly around and tell everyone we should.

    Steve, your logic in this argument and your definition of a “lie” is wanting. ww

  • Hank

    As I’m sure most know, it isn’t the results that matter, it’s the intention.

    So if the poor suffer more, that’s the price “others” will have to pay for these great idealistic ideas that never affect those proposing and supporting them.

    Side note: For another example, see San Fran and low-flow toilets.

  • Bill Singer

    Agree with Steve and Jim, heartily. The overabundance of corn will always be diverted mostly to livestock feed, even if ethanol were not a byproduct, and even if ethanol were sourced from sugar cane. And Barry’s campaign promises to replace foreign oil with biofuels appear to have been fatuous puffing. Butanol can be derived from sugar beets, combusts at a rate which is similar to that of gasoline and hence can be used directly by internal combustion engines without converters.

  • Bill Johnson

    I never wanted that ethanol anyway – less energy per volume. well, I used those little cans of it – you know, gas line de-icer? That shouldn’t take 40% of our corn.

    My cars were built to run on gasoline. that’s a specific chemical compound that does not include ethanol.

    Perhaps we could subsidize ADM just a little less this year?

  • Roy

    The corn is being used to buy votes in the Midwest and Plains states instead of feeding the poor.

  • liberalnitemare

    Liberal debate theory -
    If its capitalized, it must be true.

  • epador

    #10 says it all

  • Caesar Augustus

    Two related points are worth mentioning:

    1. Iowa being the 1st state to cast delegates for president is a bigger sham than corn Ethanol itself. For not only is corn Ethanol a giant, taxpayer-funded subsidy to ADM and Monsanto it’s a self-perpetuating subsidy, given that every politician with national ambitions has no choice but to kneel at the throne of corn Ethanol every four years.

    2. For a real primer on how leftism as policy affects the poor look at the millions of poor people who’ve died of malaria in undeveloped countries since left-wing academics succeeded in browbeating the cessation of DDT as a pesticide.

  • TexBob

    The Global Warming Flat Earth No Growth Red Diaper Doper Babies could give a rats ass about the poor. They love the idea of diverting food away from people as some would starve, hence depopulating their precocious idea of utopia.

    These people, just like the NEA represent a bigger threat to American society than any muslim terrorist.

  • 914

    We burn food for transportation when we could be drilling for oil. It makes no sense.

    Were talking liberal greed here. It doesn’t ever make sense. Just feels good to pretend they are GOD.

  • mpw280

    Steve, Jim and Bill, using subsidized corn for ethanol means that farmers will plant more corn because they get better prices for it. Substitution means that increased corn acreage comes at the expense of acreage used for soybeans, wheat, rice, oats and other crops. Therefore higher subsidized corn prices raise the prices of the other grains to compete for acreage. As to the idea that corn isn’t food, BS, tortillas, corn flakes, corn meal, corn syrup, starch products and as animal feed for all livestock so yes it is food unless you are vegan and don’t consume corn related products like margarine. In addition the fact that Brazil converts much of its sugar crop to ethanol now means that if there are any problems with other countries sugar crops it is prone to spiking higher as there are few stocks to cushion a decrease in crop sizes.
    Granted the printing of money like toilet paper and global crop problems have made the problem larger but the use of corn for ethanol raises the base price from which these price shocks start at. So because there are much smaller excess stocks of grains prices react much more when anything goes wrong with any other grain exporters like Australia, Russia, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Argentina. mpw

  • Constitution First

    Please understand aside from equipment that is specifically labeled “flex fuel” or “E85″, your engine is NOT designed to burn alcohol, in fact if you read your owners manual, you violate your warranty by burning it. So that $30,000 outboard engine(s) on your boat are not covered, your $50,000 airplane engine is not covered, your $100,000 antique T-bird is at grave risk. Further, every lawn mower, chain saw, snow blower, motorcycle, generator… everything that burns gasoline is in the process of being destroyed by burning an unauthorized fuel. READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL!

    Now tell me again why this crime against my property continues on unopposed?

    If your blood isn’t boiling yet, may I remind you this lie was fabricated to prevent Global Warming.

  • 914

    I’m sorry that all of these precautions are to none avail. I look out My window and see 3 feet of Global climate warming.

    Refuse to buy it and refuse to send these lunatics to Washington.

  • jim m

    The other lie is that all electric vehicles are emission free. But they have to produce that electricity somewhere and in most cases that electricity is produced using fossil fuels and sent through a distribution system that is inefficient and lossy.

    If China were to convert today to 100% electric vehicles the increased electric power plant demand would increase their annual carbon output by 300,000,000 tons.

    The left never looks beyond the surface at what they are proposing. They never look at the unintended side effects. Just like in the example of Rachel Carson’s bogus science above, they do not look to see what will happen if you remove access to DDT.

    The truth is that they don’t care. They succeed in controlling other people’s choices and other people’s lives and that’s what they really want.

  • iwogisdead

    To top it off, it takes 6 units of energy to produce 1 unit of energy from ethanol.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050329132436.htm

  • Steve

    Now that I have some time to get back to this I’ll try to address some of the issues mentioned above. Let me start out by stating I do not approve of the continued government subsidy on ethanol. It may have made sense in the 90′s and early 00′s but cash corn has been above $3 since 2006. With that being said let me address some of the above issues as it’s apparent that most, if not all of you have no experience in agriculture.

    #3 JLawson Of course the distillers grain is not the same as raw grain. As I stated, the starch has been removed. The grain retains its protein content which is what is wanted for animal feed as we are trying to put weight = meat = protein on these animals. We simply don’t need that much starch or you wind up with fatty meat.
    I’m not sure where your article came from but the second paragraph is very deceiving if not an outright lie. The loan price on corn is $2.03=/- a few cents every year. If the price is hovering around $2 as stated there is not going to be a $1 LDP. It will be the difference between the loan price and the current local cash price. Looking through my records back to 1996 the highest LDP I ever received was 40 cents in 2005. To generate a $1 LDP the cash price would have to be $1.03 and the lowest price I ever received for corn in that time frame was $1.77 in 2001.
    I believe the reason for the futures jump on Feb. 9 had to do with the Chinese signing a contract in Chicago which tripled their corn imports.
    If corn prices are 350% above historic levels then their idea of the historic level is $1.90. My ground will sit idle or be farmed by someone else to lose money on before I plant at that income level. My inputs have also gone up by a factor of 4.

    #5 Jay Tea Thanks for proving my point. It is still food except most people when they hear we are turning food into fuel think of HUMAN food and there is no food byproduct.

    #10 Roy I can’t disagree with you on the votes buying but like I said above it may not work for them much longer if cash prices remain strong. Also, farmers only represent about 4% of the population.

    #13 Caesar Ausgustus I couldn’t agree more.

    #16 mpw280 You missed my point that the by product is still used for animal feed. As for your comment about subsidized corn prices taking away acreage for other food grains I see you know very little about agriculture also. The 2 major crops that corn competes with for acreage is soybeans and cotton. Most wheat and barley is grown in the high plains where corn won’t survive without irrigation. Oats are grown further north where the season is too short for corn. I cannot comment on rice as I have no experience with it.
    You might want to check on what goes into your margarine. There may be some corn oil in it but I doubt it is very much as corn is only about 4% oil while soybeans are about 44% oil

    #17 Constitution First Unless those engines were built over 20 years ago you are correct. Anything built after around 1990 is designed to burn a 10% ethanol blend and will not be damaged by using it.

  • JLawson

    Steve – got it from here. http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/117616108.html

    However, it sounds like you have much more expertise in this than I do, so I humbly bow and stand (or sit) corrected.

  • Idahoser

    The only thing worse than progressives getting away with their leftist policies is:
    Republicans pushing leftist policies.
    I would rather lose the election and have another four years of Zero than to select a Republican who will give us exactly the same policies and claim my blessing for it.

    When I can find it, I pay a little extra to get ethanol-free gasoline. Your area may have some available, see http://www.pure-gas.org

    ANY gas-powered vehicle will run better and get better mileage and last longer without the ethanol, and I feel better sticking the finger at algore.

    Animal feed is food, steve. Claim all you like that you oppose it, but you’re arguing for it.

  • mpw280

    Steve I see your knowledge is flawed, as acreage movement isn’t just from corn to beans or cotton, think displacement, as corn takes up more of the center of the pool beans and other crops move out to less productive areas and displace other crops. Farmers are now growing crops on land that has been hay acreage for years, why?, could it be that as prices increase more marginal land is just profitable enough to make it work. Even that marginal land is of limited size though. As to your knowledge of wheat, it can be grown in most every state, even Texas grows winter wheat. In terms of feed rations, high corn prices are making other non-typical feed substances being brought into the feed mix as corn and ddgs are too expensive. We haven’t even touched on the waste water that making ethanol causes, that is a discussion that will come soon as irrigation to grow corn in some areas drops the water tables on even the deep aquifers and using up to 11 gallons to make every gallon of ethanol will eventually cause severe problems in some mid-western states. On your arrogance that only you know the industry, I have been in it my whole working life and do quite well at it, though I don’t get subsidy checks for growing corn or any other crops. mpw

  • Stan

    Hyper

    I am getting damn tired of the line that we are turning food into fuel. Most of the corn raised in the US is not destined for human consumption in the first place. It goes to poultry, hog and cattle feed. Which, after the starch is removed in creating ethanol, goes to livestock feed as dried distillers grain. The protein and minerals are still there available for livestock. SO NO WE ARE NOT TURNING FOOD INTO FUEL.

    Corn is used in just about everything we eat. The cereal that you eat for breakfast, the sweetener that is used in your soda and the whiskey that you drink. Hell corn byproducts are even used in the manufacture of cars. Corn is the main staple in the fattening of cattle in the feed lots. How else do you think that cows get fat? It is definitely not the air that they breathe or so-called cow farts.

  • Stan

    Ooops I meant Steve.

  • boqueronman

    I’m late but a couple of points anyway:

    1. The late, lamented Hummer has less damaging total environment impact than a Prius. A study a few years ago analyzed the entire mining, production, assembly and distribution process – as well as fuel consumption. The Prius’ very negative impact comes from the mining and disposal of highly polluting nickle in the batteries, which, for this and other reasons, requires that prior to sale the Prius, at various stages of production, must be shipped all the way around the world. Carbon footprint, anyone!

    2. When discussing the Luddite environmentalists (oxymoron?) impact on world food supplies and prices, one cannot overlook the hysterical European campaign against genetically modified foods. Science is making valuable advances in developing new strains of more drought and pest resistant foods which will improve yields on marginal lands. Unfortunately, the EU has banned food imports from countries that permit the use of such hybrid seeds, even if the harvests are restricted to local consumption. Therefore, many, if not most, African nations have been forced to reject these improvements in order to retain important export markets. The impact now is still not dramatic since the genetic improvements are just now beginning. But unless the anti-science environmentalists are defeated the gap between actual and potential food output will surely widen. And, most definitely, the real victims are the world’s poor.