Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Going Green Hurts The Poor

Have you been to the grocery store lately? It's freakin' crazy. And here's why.
As if a bear market, credit crunch, energy crisis and city financing emergency were not enough for one year, experts say the world is now facing down the barrel of the worst catastrophe of all: famine.

The very idea that the modern world could run out of food seems ludicrous, but that is the flip side, or cause, of the tremendous recent increase in the cost of raw wheat, corn, rice, oats and soybeans. Food prices are not escalating because speculators have run them up for sport and profit, but because accelerating demand in developing nations, biofuel production and poor harvests in some areas have made basic foodstuffs truly scarce.

In energy circles, folks who warn about the beginning of the end of cheap fossil fuels talk about "peak oil" as a point we have dangerously and expensively crossed. Likewise, you can now add "peak wheat" to your political and investment lexicon. And it's a lot worse.
But don't expect the Cult Of Green to tell you this.

Story
Credit: Master Of None

5 comments:

R said...

Not quite sure how you can lay this mess on the door of 'the green conspiracy'.
All I see in the article is that it is getting harder to produce enough food for an ever-increasing world population, when there is some conflict on how or if, the whole world can eat when there's some competition for resources between people and every american's pet 'SUV'.
If the 'green devils' figure in this at all, it's in warning that YOU can't have your diet of grease and ethanol as well as your car/truck/armoured personnel carrier's diet of oil and ethanol.
So maybe 'stop shooting the messenger'

...or maybe world oil prices will return to palatable levels, and massive reserves of oil, enough to last forever will appear if you pretend none of it is happening... I mean now that 'the leader of the free world' showed those evil oil-hoarding towel-heads 'who's boss' everyone should get what they want, as much as they want, and it should cost very little.
I'd suggest a 'war on the environment' to appease the folks at RWRM, but that war's been done before.

OK folks, how do you produce enough food for the world, and fuel to run it as well?

It's easy to declare something to be wrong, but much harder to identify a superior solution.

Indian Chris said...

The Green Conspiracy? I like that. I'm going to use that the next time I talk about The Cult Of Green.

The Great Green Conspiracy.

R said...

'the green conspiracy'
"I like that. I'm going to use that the next time I talk about The Cult Of Green."
It's yours if you want it!
(I thought you'd appreciate the phrase)

The Great Green Conspiracy - 'Greens' are the new 'Reds'... they secretly mean to destroy our way of life... before long they'll have us all driving solar-powered Skoda's!

Indian Chris said...

'Greens' are the new 'Reds'... they secretly mean to destroy our way of life... before long they'll have us all driving

See, you've misjudged me once again. I'm all for going green. Get us off oil and clean up the environment. I just don't like having it shoved down my throat, as is their tactic. Don't yell at me that I'm killing the planet, speak to me about getting off oil and creating a cheaper energy source.

R said...

"See, you've misjudged me once again. I'm all for going green."
No offence intended... just a bit of fun. Yes, I was responding to something you'd written, but I kind of meant it as a general comment... just to see who'd bite (I was actually thinking about JohnK, I thought it might appeal to him).

As for the 'green rhetoric', I find it helps to tune all 'sides' of the issue(s) out. The various environmental issues have become so confused/abused/twisted/intertwined and manipulated for purposes of so many vested interests..

"I'm all for going green. Get us off oil and clean up the environment."

Maybe you're right about me misjudging you, or well maybe it's that all I'm seeing is you responding to the hype/hype-merchants - and only the 'pro-environmental' hype merchants... A bullshit artist is bullshit artist, regardless of how you dress them up...
So have I misjudged your stance/response to environmental issues?
I have an opinion about most environmental issues (normally each on it's merits), but I'd have to say those that publicly most closely represent the view that I hold on any one issue are normally as 'full of it' as the next guy.

I don't know, for something you support, you certainly have a lot of negative things to say about those advocating "Get[ting] us off oil and clean[ing] up the environment"... and are conspicuously quiet about opposing arguments.

"speak to me about getting off oil and creating a cheaper energy source."
Ethanol's one of those; not a great one, but contrary to the OP, ethanol from sugar is a viable fuel in many parts of the world (tho I can't see US considering importing sugar ethanol from down south). For example, in the 'top end' of Australia the successive governments have been trying to get the Aborigines 'off petrol' and onto ethanol for years... and there's even talk of them using it in cars as well! - and while those who are familiar with issues of 'petrol sniffing' in the Aboriginal communities might find that joke in poor taste, Ethanol would/is working here.
The problem is that's just another carbon-based fuel to burn - if you have to re-tune/redesign/re-tool, then why not 'do it properly', rather than some half-baked solution that's easy on the motor companies?