The disastrous cyclone Nargis, and the destruction in Burma, or if you prefer, Myanmar, which I don’t prefer, is setting in motion a crisis reaching far beyond the tens of thousands of people who have died or are missing and the hundreds of thousands more who are homeless or threatened by disease. More than one million people are directly affected by the fallout from the storm.
Food shortages and the rising prices of food suggest chaos and hunger around the world.
Burma was supposed to begin exporting its rice harvest this year, counted on by neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who now face an increased shortage and the price of rice is expected to sky rocket. It has just about tripled since the beginning of 2008, smashing the budgets of food-aid programs.
World Vision, the large U.S.-based disaster relief agency, told the Wall Street Journal they may be forced to cut back by a million and a half people who would benefit from their programs, out of 6-million usual beneficiaries.
And we have the craziness of subsidized bio fuels in the US.
Corn and soybean prices continue to rise because of the demand for ethanol.
Thirty million American farm acres will be used for ethanol production this year, subsidized by tax payers and consuming almost 1/3rd of the US corn crop, less than 3% of our petroleum consumption, and making greenhouse gas emissions worse.
Did you know that to make one gallon of ethanol requires the use of 1700 gallons of water and expends about a half dollar in tax credits?
Farmers are so keen to climb on the King Ethanol bandwagon, driven by environmentalists and politicians, they are encouraged to cut down forests and clear wilderness to create new croplands.
Remember the environmentalists telling us that corn-based ethanol will cut back on greenhouse gas? That was totally untrue.
Just the opposite is true. The Wall St Journal reports that corn-based ethanol will nearly double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.
The fact is that turning crops into fuel drives up the price of food and increases atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Time magazine, on the other side for so long in practically all they report, in their recent cover story, “The Clean Energy Myth” said just that.
Gee, said the Wall St. Journal, if Time feels that way can that other superficial and politically irresponsible rag Vanity Fair be far behind? The adjectives are mine, not theirs.