Biofuels Starve the Poor

Posted by: Mike Kremer

Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/24/08 05:53 AM


BioFuel production is based upon the cultivation of oil rich plants
Goverments are paying farmers to cultivate these crops, which after processing, approx 6% are added to gasolene and diesel products.
The world price of a barrel of oil is about $115 and rising.

The net importers of petroleum products are saving thousands of
Dollars per month, at the expense of the 3rd world poor, who are finding the price of their food has risen so high, that over 80% of their income is now going on food just to keep themselves alive.
Starving and undernourishment has become so bad in parts of Africa, that children have become so undernourished and just a step away from starvation that they cannot attend school.

Before Bio-crops took over, people used to eat two bowls of grain per day, they are now only eating one.
Not only that but food prices are rising world wide, the hoarding of rice and other grains by unscupulous dealers are affecting everyone.
Noticed the price of bread and pasta lately?

Bio-fuel crops are a crime against humanity, in my opinion.
They also indirectly pollute the air with the extra vehicles they fuel.
Trying to keep the price of fuels down at the expense of the 3rd world is evil.
The U.N cant do any more than issue a token amount of free grain to the starving as it gets reported in the press. Publicity or guilt?
Selling ones body for a bowl of grain, and a dose of Aids, is the biggest crime of all.
Money is no good to a starving person if there is no affordable food to buy.
This problem I'm writing about is not going to go away, until Bio-planting is banned, just you wait and see.
Posted by: paul

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/24/08 09:04 PM

I just heard on the news that cosco/china is limiting the amount of rice that you can buy.

this is an important point to ponder.

I have expected this as soon as the war started and have been wondering when the news would start to carry the news on food shortages.

we are not there for any other purpose than to guarantee the flow of oil , and we fall in line with the other major powers that also depend on the oil from the region.

I am afraid that if this oil price increasing continues there will be a point reached that will demand that the major powers just move in and take what they need to survive as nations.

the oil price increase is what caused the food price increases

the really spooky part here is that we the U.S. would not be capable anymore , due to our already stretched to the limit war on terror. if that is what you choose to believe that it is.

and the largest nation that really is dependent on the oil to continue to support its massive economic growth is china.

and who could stop them if they decided to go after it?

and one more thing to think about...

we buy most of chinas products ... if we loose our ability to buy there products because we are having to spend it all on gas and food , then would that be a initiative for china to move in that direction?

BOO !!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/24/08 09:22 PM

Hello Kremer,

It is interesting you brought this up. In the area I live in, about 70 miles from where I live an etheyl alcohol plant was to be built. The public voted the plant down, in other words it is not going to locate there now. The argument is a you mentioned the price of corn going up and raising the price of groceries. We had a Korean company that wanted to locate in our industrial park for bio-diesel which was made from soybeans, and it was my understanding a special type of soybean was only good for bio fuels. I live in an agricultural area and corn per bushel has really gone up, I believe it was running about $2.75 per bushel here for eons, not much change since the depression. Now, I know farmers that have sold corn last fall for well over $4.00 per bushel. And may I add the cost of seed and fertilizer have gone up also.

I am in the middle of the road on this, I can see your point which is the same argument here in the US. I was in favor of the bio-diesel and alcohol for economic reasons, we need the jobs, the farmers need the increased income and hopefully it would be a defining factor in the price of fuel and save some resources. It is a tough one to call. I really don't know enough about some of the 3rd world countries to sound off. But,
I would like to inject into this that the UN should put some of these 3rd world dictators and war lords on notice. I don't think the US should do it, I don't think England or Australia should do it or any of the Western countries. We all pay money to the UN and I feel that should be their job, to stabelize these countries to the extent they can. It is a complicated problem and I don't mean to try and simplify it, but the best place to start is the beginning. I am with you though, my heart goes out to these people.

take care
odin1
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/25/08 01:15 AM

Was it not the idea that the bio-fuels would be less polluting? If this is not so maybe the whole scare will in fact resolve itself as anti-pollution legislation will perhaps stop this latest venture. Also I distinctly remember that the idea was also to use waste, for example from sugar canes after the juice was extracted was one mentioned in Oz. If bio-fuel could be extracted from bio-waste this would be better, even though the polluting thing would still be a problem I suppose.

It seems totally unethical in a hungry world to produce food to fuel a car!
Posted by: odin1

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/25/08 01:47 AM

Yes, I believe so Ellis. Anyway that was my understanding. There are also some vehicles that the manufacturers here in the US have warned the public against using. Ford and Lincoln have warned against using the ethyl fuel mixture with gasoline for two reasons:
1) fuel mileage
2) engine damage
now I am repeating this from a good friend that was told this at a Lincoln dealership. If it was a lie, he told it.

Best Regards,
odin1
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/25/08 08:39 PM

I say let's convert our corn, sugar beets, and sweetgrass into fuel, and that the United States Government should open more prime land for the cultivation of this produce so it won't effect the world's food supply. I would like to point out that I don't think the corn which would be used for fuel would be the same corn that is served to humans. Here in Vermont most of the Farmers grow a plant called cow corn which looks just like like regular corn except it is less tastey and has a strange texture. This corn when it matures is chopped up and then stuffed into silos so the cows can eat the entire plant. I htink the cow corn was specifically engineered to grow in areas like Vermont which have a shorter growing season then other areas and it is also designed to be more nutitionally complete for the cows.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/25/08 09:49 PM

Hello Rallem,

Like I said in an earlier post, we had a Korean Company that wanted to buy some land and a shell bldg. in the industrial park
to produce bio-diesel fuel. The soybeans were not edible, but produced a lot of oil. We produce a lot of soybeans here but they are not that kind. So, you're probably right, the corn used to make ethyl could be a type not eaten and not really effect the price of edible corn or beans. Then, you have the argument that the available farmland would be used to grow bio-fuel instead of food. But, I think we need to get government and business together to iron out these wrinkles and come up with something that is good for everyone, and that is easier said than done.

best regards,
odin1
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/26/08 01:06 AM

Solar energy anyone?
Posted by: odin1

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/26/08 02:01 AM

Sounds like a bargain to me !

odin1
Posted by: paul

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/26/08 02:26 AM

Quote:
Solar energy anyone?


I am installing my first solar heated / water heater this summer.
and am building my first solar collector to connect to my water heater.

I expect that the electricity that was used to heat my water with will only be needed on cloudy days.

also I intend to install a circulation pump to circulate hot water from the water heater to heat my house with this next winter.

also I will be installing a ground water cooling system this summer.

hopefully these improvements will reduce my energy footprint and save a few hundred dollars to boot.

I am not removing any of the already installed heating or cooling equipment , only adding heat exchangers , a few collectors and a better water heater that has three inch insulation vs the normal 1/2 inch insulation.

hopefully everything goes well and I wont end up soaking the attic with water from a missjudgement.

I believe that this is a start , and a good one , in the war on warming.

well not really a start , I started when I changed ALL the light bulbs in the house to the CFL bulbs , and switch them off when not in use...




Posted by: odin1

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/26/08 02:45 AM

Sounds like you've decladed war on high energy cost.
odin1
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/27/08 01:41 AM

I am a proponent of Solar power, but I think the best bet is a combination of solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biofuels so that no one source of power can ever hold us for hostage again.
Posted by: odin1

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/27/08 03:56 AM

I agree, and I wish that politics, and greed could be taken out of the equation of energy. I wish for one time that someone in government would set down with the experts in energy, economics and consider the good of the people rather than the status quo.
You know we could come up with an energy plan I really believe that would set us free from opec and the money mizers with the oil companies. I believe it could be done without disrupting the worlds economy, and would be friendly to the 3rd world nations. We stay on a roller coaster ride with oil. But you know government is government, beuocrats are beuocrats what else can I say. He that has the gold - makes the rules.

extremely depressed,
odin1
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/27/08 04:38 AM

Quote:
He that has the gold - makes the rules.


We the People have the gold.

together or one at a time , it will be us that will make the necessary changes to the energy problem.

buy a CFL bulb each month if thats what it takes.

each time you do anything to help it helps.

I used to have to change a light bulb every month at least.
since I have started using the CFL bulbs several months ago I havent had to change any.

and according to the box it will be 5 years until I will need to change a bulb.

hopefully by then I can change to the LED light bulbs that are being experimented with that only use a portion of the electricity that a CFL bulb does.

and they are supposed to last even longer.




Posted by: paul

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/27/08 04:43 AM

I thought something was wrong when I had to type in the verification code to the post above. LOL

its getting late.
I forgot I was logged out.

Posted by: odin1

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/27/08 04:53 AM

I'll take your advice Paul.
Thanks,
odin1
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/28/08 09:25 PM

Hi Odin,
I think the Government is working on this important issue, and while I will agree with you that they're doing this a little late and a little too lack luster in effort, but I will disagree with you about the Government needing to get out of the picture, because in my opinion one of the most important jobs of any Government is the management of its natural resources.

I know that it may seem like the Government is not doing a very good job with the situation we're in, but I would like to point out that we may not have the scope of the "Big Picture," and there may be tactical reasons for our Government and just about every other Western Government for allowing its citizens to become addicted to Middle Eastern Oil. I think that reason is to use up all of their oil and pay those people what prices they ask for within reason so if a war does occur it will be us with most of the remaining oil reserves to draw upon.

Here in the United States we still have lots of oil which we have not yet drilled for, both on land and off shore and the reasons for our not drilling in these regions is because of the price of drilling in those regions being too high for a profit, and I think for tactical purposes as well because with recent technical breakthroughs the predicted cost of drilling in these areas should drop drastically. That takes care of the economic and tactical reasons for our current energy situation in my opinion but it does not address the environmental impact our current energy policies have, and for that I haven’t an answer, but I think the Government is aware of a need for change and is doing something about it. I just hope they are quick to coming to a solution, but I am doubtful.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/29/08 01:06 AM

Hello Rallem,

I agree with you

"I wish for one time that someone in government would set down with the experts in energy, economics and consider the good of the people rather than the status quo."

It is going to have to be done through legislation. Government should sit down the experts and consider all the factors-economics , natural resources and environment. One big reason the government should be involved in national security. We need to stay out of conficts and wars concerning energy. We need to have the energy to let a flourishing ecomonmy flourish.

Something that really bothers me about energy is this. A very smart man told me one time and I will never forget it, he said
"we fuss and fight over energy, when the whole universe is nothing but energy". That makes a lot of sense. Right now there is too much money, and too many groups fighting amongst themselves to sit down and do what is right for everyone.
I'm like you, I will have to see it to believe it.

Best Regards,
odin1
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/29/08 01:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
Hello Rallem,

I agree with you

"I wish for one time that someone in government would set down with the experts in energy, economics and consider the good of the people rather than the status quo."

It is going to have to be done through legislation. Government should sit down the experts and consider all the factors-economics , natural resources and environment. One big reason the government should be involved in national security. We need to stay out of conficts and wars concerning energy. We need to have the energy to let a flourishing ecomonmy flourish.

Something that really bothers me about energy is this. A very smart man told me one time and I will never forget it, he said
"we fuss and fight over energy, when the whole universe is nothing but energy". That makes a lot of sense. Right now there is too much money, and too many groups fighting amongst themselves to sit down and do what is right for everyone.
I'm like you, I will have to see it to believe it.

Best Regards,
odin1


I know htis is going to sound cold and callous, but I disagree with you about us having to stay out of wars, because I honestly feel as though that may be the best of the four possible ways of over population protection and it will lead us to a fifth way which is space exploration.
Posted by: odin1

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/29/08 01:55 AM

Well," there will be wars and rumours of war", - that has been true up to now, and it doesn't look like it is going to change any time soon. This is all the more reason to build the "gravity amplifiers" as was discussed in "exotic propulsion systems" and explore the galaxy instead of killing one another. There is no telling who has been killed in wars that could have found a cure for cancer, or designed that exotic propulsion system to take us to the stars. Maybe even someone with a viable plan to change Venus and Mars and make them habitable.

Best Regards,
odin1
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/29/08 05:43 AM

[/b]There ought to be come way the majority that wants fuel, and sees that we can't convert enough corn, soybean or saw grass into biofuel to be able to override the few stubborn eco-geeks that won't let us get it out of the arctic and the continental shelf and solve this mess. We need some new refineries, and some atomic energy plants, and some low emission coal plants that they won't even allow to be demonstrated. I say, shove them aside, and just do it. They don't have to use it, if yjey don't want to, but I bet they will.
Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/29/08 07:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
[/b]There ought to be come way the majority that wants fuel,............> We need some new refineries, and some atomic energy plants, and some low emission coal plants I say, shove them aside, and just do it. They don't have to use it, but I bet they will.


Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer


Even more importantly, the poor need cheap food.
There have been food riots due to food shortages. Hunger is producing food riots in many parts of the World right now. Bangladesh, Agentina India Kenya, Egypt, Ivory Coast, and other african countrys.

As far as I can see and read, its the increase in the price of oil that is getting all the blame? How come?
You can't blame higher transportation costs, can you? That would be ludicrous. Since at worst it would put just a few $'s more on a truck load. A few pence per bushel?

You can't blame the richer countrys for eating more food, can you? Haha.
Bad arguement, the rich dont eat more bread and rice, but go for the more exotic foods to eat.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gjwsTPw8Hf7Ucvwr7YJfhmzcjaCg

At least she not afraid to speak her mind, bucking all the opposition...and here again:-

"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."

Of course grain hoarding exacebates the problem, but you cant blame worried people for that.

In fact its very difficult to find any one putting even at least part of the blame on bio-fuels, which are produced largely from non edible plants, like Elephant grasses, Soya, sugar cane, and palm oil are all being grown to produce Ethanol.
Their growth is increasing. Why?
Well lets face it the farmer gets well paid for growing it, cutting it, and dragging it over to the site for the Ethanol Co to collect it.

The farmer does not have thresh, sort, clean, and inspect his crop any more.!!!!
Just grow it dump it and get paid, ....easy peasy, to my mind.

Absolute ideal and easier conditions for the farmer and well as those Goverments who blame global warming, and drought, and high oil prices
Well just wait, there has to be some changes made. I think bio-fuel crops will have to be regulated very soon.

Starving people will at least force the hand of a Goverment in saying what food crops should be grown.
They can do that, but the starving people have no say in increasing the output of crude oil, ....only cars seem to have that power.



Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 04/29/08 09:14 PM

I was watching a television show on the History Channel about 12/21/12 and the end of the world and according to the mayan people they said the world world will end in flood where half the people will starve and the other half will will have plenty. Maybe the United States will decide to stop exporting food to the rest of the world and start making its own biofuel so I can once again afford to drive my big diesel hungry truck. smile
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/08/08 09:42 PM

It has been reported that the actual making of ethanol creates more carbon dioxide than the production of gasoline from petroleum which could be a real hit to the environmentally friendly aspect of running on gasohol, except here in the United States of America refineries are now producing gasoline with no carbon dioxide being released into the air because they now trap all of the CO2 and pump it underground after they compress it into a liquid so it would get out more petroleum oil from the porous grounds of Canada. I see no reason why this process could not also be used for the distilleries which will make our ethanol. And perhaps this increase of liquid CO2 to pump into the ground of Canada and possibly off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean which could lower the cost of our petroleum based fuels. I would like to mention that I find it odd that the production of ethanol is dirtier than the production of gasoline when the very reason today’s gasoline is cleaner than the fuel of the 1980s is that we are now adding a 10% ethanol mixture to the gasoline.

It has been brought up that the United States of America converting its corn crops into fuel rather than food will starve the rest of the world, but I would like to point out that the Corn product used for making the ethanol will probably be a “cow corn,” which is edible but not very tasty, and is specifically designed to grow very quickly in the northern climates like Vermont which has a shorter growing period and the plant is designed to be more nutritious for the cows who eat the entire plant and not just the ears. How will this prevent the world from starving, some might ask, and I think the answer is that this type of corn will probably be grown in northern farms where farmers already grew the plant to feed to their cows in the winter time and who now no longer have any cows, and it will probably be grown in areas where sweet grass is already growing so no or very little land which is now being used for “food corn” will be lost to the production of fuel.

Lately it has been told to me by a local farmer that the price for a bushel of corn has rose from $2 to $4 so for this reason many farmers in this area are now growing corn to catch some of this money, so I will guess that the price of food corn will rise the same price. I think some people will have a conniption over this rise in food costs for the poor of the world, but the way I see it is they have no problem charging us $100. + for a barrel of oil so why should I care if we charge them the same for a bushel of corn?
Posted by: samwik

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/09/08 07:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer
You can't blame the richer countrys for eating more food, can you? Haha.
Bad arguement, the rich don't eat more bread and rice, but go for the more exotic foods to eat.
Mike, many of these "exotic" foods require a four to seven-fold increase in the grain/feed needed to raise the increasingly popular meats.

A discussion about the wisdom of Biofuels has arisen on the climate change thread, "Zealotry...."
I'll just re-post some of the information from...
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=25763#Post25763
(beginning of biofuel discussion)
...
Quote:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=25975#Post25975
Actually, 70-90% of the "food crisis" is due to factors other than biofuels.
Increased variation of weather leading to declining harvests, esp. Asia & Australia (2007).
Increased demand (population).
Increased demand for higher quality food (higher up the food chain -requiring more (4x - 7x) feedstock/grains).
Increased costs of transportation.
Increased costs of fuel and fertilizer.
Increased hoarding (market speculation, commoditization of foods as gold/oil/etc.).

..source: http://www.c-span.org/videoarchives.asp?CatCodePairs=,
Originally Posted By: House Republican Policy Committee Roundtable on Biofuels & Food Supply

The House Republican Policy Committee hosts a roundtable discussion on biofuels and the world's food supply. While some researchers believe biofuels account for more than a quarter of rising food prices, others look to growing demand in China and India.
5/5/2008: WASHINGTON, DC:

Quote:
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
"We will have time to reach the Millennium Development Goals – worldwide and in most, or even all, individual countries – but only if we break with business as usual."
~United Nations Secretary-General
=
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Note especially, MDG numbers 1 & 7.
Solutions for either of these (any of these) should not conflict with the others.
Does this sound reasonable?

Posted by: redewenur

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/09/08 08:54 AM

I haven't looked closely at this topic, so prepare for nonsense. Anyway:

Rallem: "I find it odd that the production of ethanol is dirtier than the production of gasoline when the very reason today’s gasoline is cleaner than the fuel of the 1980s is that we are now adding a 10% ethanol mixture to the gasoline."

- Yes, it does seem odd, but maybe 10% results in a particularly clean combination which, on balance, reduces the gross CO2 - but maybe not, as we don't have the relevant data here (yet).

Rallem: "I think the answer is that this type of corn will probably be grown in northern farms where farmers already grew the plant to feed to their cows in the winter time and who now no longer have any cows"

- Whatever they've been growing, they've surely been contributing to the food supply, either directly or indirectly, right? Even "cow corn" is part of our food chain.

Rallem: "but the way I see it is they have no problem charging us $100. + for a barrel of oil so why should I care if we charge them the same for a bushel of corn?"

- True, wealthy oil exporters and developed nations won't starve whatever the cost, but what of the not so rich? Recently, there's been turmoil in the rice market due to policy changes by major rice exporters. This has hit poorer rice importing countries most severely.

Climate changes will probably require some shifts in crop production, and population growth will call for the most efficient use of land for food supply, to meet the needs not only of the rich export market, but also the poor. I imagine that failure to meet demand could result in, let's say, a lack of harmony - or to put it plainly, an increase in war and terrorism. So, is using perfectly good arable land for biofuels a sensible idea?
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/09/08 07:26 PM

redewenur wrote:
Quote:
Rallem: "I think the answer is that this type of corn will probably be grown in northern farms where farmers already grew the plant to feed to their cows in the winter time and who now no longer have any cows"

- Whatever they've been growing, they've surely been contributing to the food supply, either directly or indirectly, right? Even "cow corn" is part of our food chain.


Believe it or not, but not too long ago Vermont had more head of cattle than it did people, and now that is not true any more. Many of the farms which grew cows either for dairy or for meat have gotten out of the business because they have aged and their children didn't want to take over the business, or it just wasn't profitable anymore. When those farmers stopped raising cows they also stopped growing the "Cow Corn," because it was not necessary, but now even though they don’t have any more cows to feed, many farmers are going back to growing “cow corn” so they can get ethanol money for it. Well, the farmers who didn’t sub-divide their land to contractors are doing this.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/10/08 03:00 PM

Thanks for the info, Rallem. So they'll probably stick with that until they switch to switchgrass!

http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/misc/switgrs.html

Looking down the road, McLaughlin believes switchgrass offers important advantages as an energy crop. "Producing ethanol from corn requires almost as much energy to produce as it yields," he explains, "while ethanol from switchgrass can produce about five times more energy than you put in. When you factor in the energy required to make tractors, transport farm equipment, plant and harvest, and so on, the net energy output of switchgrass is about 20 times better than corn's." Switchgrass also does a far better job of protecting soil, virtually eliminating erosion. And it removes considerably more CO2 from the air, packing it away in soils and roots.
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/14/08 08:06 PM

I read a report comparing corn to the grass and sugar beets as far as making ethanol, and I believe each crop had its advantages, but I thought corn won out by the slimmest of margins.
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/14/08 08:30 PM

Rallem, have you got a link to that article?
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Biofuels Starve the Poor - 05/14/08 09:14 PM

No, it was not read online and I cannot remember where I got it from. I think a friend told me about the article and showed it to me and I am seeing him tomorrow so I will try to ask if he remembers the article.