Biofuels behind food price hikes: leaked World Bank report - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Biofuels behind food price hikes: leaked World Bank report

Biofuels behind food price hikes: leaked World Bank report - Yahoo! News

LONDON (AFP) - Biofuels have caused world food prices to increase by 75 percent, according to the findings of an unpublished World Bank report published in The Guardian newspaper on Friday.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 11:41 AM
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And this comes as some sort of surprise? To whom?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
And this comes as some sort of surprise? To whom?
To George Bush
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by drewprof View Post
To George Bush

Bush unaware? Balderdash. What could ever lead you to such a patently ridiculous conclusion?

Oh yeah. I almost forgot.....


YouTube - President Bush doesn't know the price of gas
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 01:00 PM
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There was a related editorial in this month's Car and Driver magazine. I think it was Patrick Bedard's column (and if you read him, you know he's a bit of an extremist/conspiracy theorist) and it was more focused on Ethanol as a specific biofuel, but the thrust of the piece was this: biofuels aren't as responsible for the high price of food as some people would have us believe. In his specific case of ethanol, the most compelling argument is that ethanol is made from field corn that livestock consumes, not the sweet corn that people eat. The commodity being converted to fuel isn't being taken out of someone's mouth to go into a gas tank somewhere. I can't recall who is sources were off the top of my head, but he is always good about crediting where he gets his info from.

Now I'm usually pretty skeptical of the things that Bedard says, mainly because it is him who says them. However, he brings up a few good points that have to make you question how much of the food price increase is due to biofuels and how much of it is due to the *perception* of the influence of biofuels. Much as with the crude oil market, I'll bet a lot of this price increase is driven by speculative investments/hedge funds.

Q, I think it was you not too long ago that posted an article on the runaway commodities trading scene, and how it was channeled through London to avoid more stringent regulation. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing was happening here with food.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 11:22 AM
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The Problem With Biofuels, Skyrocketing Food Prices Have Caused Some To Rethink The Wisdom Of Using Crops For Fuel - CBS News
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The Problem With Biofuels
Skyrocketing Food Prices Have Caused Some To Rethink The Wisdom Of Using Crops For Fuel

LONDON, July 12, 2008

(CBS) It seemed like a good idea at the time. Use corn and other crops, instead of oil, to make fuel. It's renewable and causes less climate change because a lot of the carbon produced in burning it is reabsorbed as the new crop grows.

Governments and industry loved the idea so much that the European Union decided fully 10 percent of fuel should be made this way in the future, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

Then reality hit.

"[The] overall conclusion was that we really needed to slow down on biofuel production and use because all the new evidence shows there are some potentially harmful effects," said Professor Ed Gallagher, author of the Report on Biofuels.

A new European study shows that producing biofuels is helping drive up already skyrocketing food prices, some of which have effectively doubled in the past few years.

"We shouldn't be taking agricultural land and growing biofuels on it," said Nick Goodhall of the UK Renewable Fuels Agency. "In that sense, of course, if we are displacing food then that means it has got to come from somewhere else. So one can easily see why there might be an effect."

There was always going to be a relationship between what biofuels burn and what they stuff costs. But nobody really anticipated how much of an effect biofuels would have on the production and the price of food. It's caused a serious policy rethink.

Europe will now slow down its switch to biofuels and look for other new technologies instead.

Another problem is that refining some crops, like corn, into fuel can produce more greenhouse gases than simply using gasoline in cars in the first place. As can cutting down rainforests to grow sugar cane, for example. It's what scientists call bad biofuel practice.

"Bad biofuels, as they are known, are exactly that," said Goodhall. "They don't help anything and, in fact, can make problems worse."

Biofuels once seemed like a quick fix, but may have just been a detour on the road to a sustainable energy policy.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 01:59 PM
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Who would of thunk, Big Ag and Big Oil have jacked their prices to the ceiling, even with the Republicans in power. How could this have happened?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 04:38 AM
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What other earth shattering, eye opening news will they come out with next? When it comes to anything having to do with the econonmy the World Bank and Jayhawk must get the same news letter, both o them should complain as it seems they are getting that thing delivered about 12 to 18 months late............
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 05:27 AM
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What a load of crap, in the 80's we were under a grain mountain due to over production, and the price feel though the floor, there are huge huge tracks of land that were growing grain that have since been left idle ( take a look at Russia's grain cut backs, a very typical reaction to over supply ). It's not a case of can't it's a case of won't, this is far more profitable.
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