Corn and Ethanol - unintended consequences in the USA

Kim Du Toit read the excellent Rolling Stone article on the scam that is Ethanol and had a few things to say about it himself...

Pure Corn
Howard points me to this artice in, of all places, Rolling Stone magazine, which eviscerates the "ethanol is good" line once and for all.

Because RS is mostly a magazine written by Manhattan pinkos, the main thrust of the article is not one I'd have chosen:
Our current ethanol production represents only 3.5 percent of our gasoline consumption -- yet it consumes twenty percent of the entire U.S. corn crop, causing the price of corn to double in the last two years and raising the threat of hunger in the Third World.

Frankly, I'm not concerned about feeding the Third World, because well-fed Third-World children grow up and go on to have even more Third World children requiring feeding.

I am more concerned about this foolishness causing ripple effects in other markets, as I've noted before on these pages. To whit:

1.) Expensive corn means expensive food products right here in the U.S. of A. (Never mind the Starving Third World, because they're not paying for it anyway.) Expensive food means serious inflation -- the kind which bites people more than inflation of, oh, T-shirt prices. This should be a major concern to anyone not named John Edwards (who can afford to eat cake to escape high bread prices).

2. Expensive corn also means expensive cattle feed -- necessary during our snowy and frigid winters -- which means, of course, more expensive meat and dairy products later. (Meat is less expensive now, of course, because canny farmers are slaughtering cattle to escape high feed prices later in the year, which is also why dairy prices are high right now and will go higher still later in the year.)

He talks about some of the consequences and then closes with this observation:

I've never been a worry-wart about the economy. But I see some extremely troubling signs on the horizon, and they're being caused by these frigging eco-loons. The "credit crunch" is small potatoes�it�s likely to be of short duration and can be addressed by fiscal policy, at least somewhat.

But if all our corn is going to be forced into cars' gas tanks, we are facing a shit-storm of monumental precautions. Because as much as I say "let the Third-World Pore & Starvin Chilluns starve", the plain fact of the matter is: we won't -- which means that corn prices here will be forced even higher.

I know that all this has a Chicken Little sound to it, and it's not my style, generally. The fact that I am so worried about this should make people at least think about the coming situation.


January 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Depot
Ice Age Now
Jennifer Marohasy
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Next Big Future

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on August 10, 2007 8:06 PM.

1998 was the warmest year on record. Not so fast... was the previous entry in this blog.

Google Earth - online forum is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9