EU going cold on biofuels. Too late for tens of thousands of third world victims.

Good news from Jo Nova on a move for the EU to scale back subsidies for biofuels, one of the most damaging and stupid of the climate scams.

Biofuel deathwatch.

The consequences from our increasing use of ethanol have not received much press.   A report by Dr. Indur Goklany, writing in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Volume 16 Number 1, Spring 2011), estimates that at least 192,000 excess deaths and 6.7 million additional Disability-Adjusted Life Years lost to disease have been caused by using food crops to make ethanol for fuel. These deaths have been mainly in third world countries where the rise in price of food staples or the loss of availability of food puts people over the edge. In these cases, being green is fatal.

Goklany’s report cited two studies using World Bank and World Health Organization data. Both studies covered 90% of the developing world’s population and “both indicate that higher biofuel production increases global poverty, even in the longer term.” See the full study here: http://www.jpands.org/vol16no1/goklany.pdf .

Well done warmies and Green fanatics!

When will the US reconsider their plans for a Green Pacific Fleet?

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21 Responses to EU going cold on biofuels. Too late for tens of thousands of third world victims.

  1. Rabz

    Rafe,

    As I have noted here before, there is a person who comments on this blog who has strenuously denied that the misallocation of arable land to cultivation of crops for biofuels has not lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths of third world peons.

    He is an annoying, agrarian socialist idiot.

  2. Rabz, I remember being hauled over the coals on this one too.
    Who was it?

    Drag the Greens in front of the World Court for crimes against humanity.

  3. Rabz

    Winnie,

    For his own sake, he shall remain unmentionable…

  4. Dexter Rous

    Hum, that’s all very well, but if the Goose does up the duty on diesel, I’ll bet that many farmers (and I) will produce our own fuel from one or other non mineral source.

  5. One of the nice things about a fiscal crisis is that there is less money for subsidising things like biofuels.

    I have a piece about this recently myself here.

    The ethanol industry consumes about 40pc of corn produced in the US, up from around 14pc in 2005, and has contributed to a big rise in corn prices.

  6. cohenite

    Grow your own energy, and starve; just about sums up the illogical and irrational outlook of the greens and the whole AWG bullshit.

  7. cohenite

    Grow your own energy, and starve; just about sums up the illogical and irrational outlook of the greens and the whole AWG bullshit.

  8. Chris M

    Well done warmies and Green fanatics!

    You assume human deaths concern these people.

  9. Keith

    Not only grow your own energy and starve, also lock up arable land in the name of carbon sequestration, shoot Ugandan and Kenyan farmers in the name of EU carbon permits. Not only taking the food crop for energy use, but also deny the use of land for food crops at the margins. It’s a holocaust, brought to you by green communism.

  10. Jannie

    I’m not so sure. Subsidising biofuels is plain cargo cult madness, but are the resulting high grain prices necessarily such a bad thing, even to the huddled masses in the ‘third world’?

    I mean, they have land and sunshine and water and farmers there too, and inexpensive labour. There are UN agencies falling over themselves to provide loans for seed grain.

    I have read that the greatest causes of third world starvation and barriers to third world development have been the existence of agricultural subsidies in the EU and US. That argument posits that the resulting low grain prices – and perhaps some dumping- discourage third world farmers from producing volumes suitable for export (which implies a domestic surplus). So high grain prices should encourage more third world production. Ceteris paribus etc.

    I am not so sure. Maybe somebody with a better grasp of the economics could cast some light.

  11. I have read that the greatest causes of third world starvation and barriers to third world development have been the existence of agricultural subsidies in the EU and US.

    Subsidised food exports are a factor but declining due to WTO rules. Wars and civil strife are far more significant. Affordability is the big problem.

    That argument posits that the resulting low grain prices – and perhaps some dumping- discourage third world farmers from producing volumes suitable for export (which implies a domestic surplus). So high grain prices should encourage more third world production.

    Starvation and malnutrition arise because food is not affordable, not because it can’t be grown locally. Local farmers may be rendered uncompetitive by subsidised exports, but those who suffer are the ones who have to buy food (farmers or not).

    So when the price is raised because of diversion into biofuels (which are subsidised), it becomes unaffordable.

  12. brc

    Jannie : while locking out producers from important markets and EU/US agricultural subsidies are an important problem, ultimately you miss the point.

    It doesn’t matter where the food is grown – if a shortage worldwide is caused by burning the crop in sacrifice to Gaia (which is what bio-fuels are) – the price goes up. Then it doesn’t matter if it’s a farmer in Kansas or East Africa – they will sell their produce at the going rate. So even if a local African farmer managed to start growing his corn, he would just sell it at the going rate – which many of his customers would be unable to afford.

    A large amount of corn grown in the USA helps feed Africans even if they don’t actually eat any US corn. That’s because global markets price commodities around the same value, no matter where it is grown.

    A common mistake is to think of African village tribes with maybe a small subsistence plot, but in reality, many African cities are very large places with a lot of people in a small area – and those need feeding with industrial-scale agriculture.

    Of course African food production could be higher – but the socialist policies of many African countries have put paid to that – Zimbabwe used to run a massive Agricultural surplus, but the policies of Mugabe ended that pretty quickly.

    Certainly much of the trigger points for the ‘Arab Spring’ were shortages of food caused by prices spiralling out of control. Many governments subsidies basic calories like grains for the population – and when they can’t do that anymore due to US money printing and bio-fuel caused shortages, well, the results are predictable. When you can’t feed your family at all, there’s not much left to do but go and cause trouble.

  13. Bill

    One good thing about recessions and fiscal crises, is that they do force some rational decision making.

    Dont be too surprised if the EU is tilting those windmills next.

  14. Jannie

    DavidLevonhjelm
    Cheers, I follow that, and more or less agree, though I may not understand.

    I do get it that the diversion into biofuels makes the resouce unaffordable to some, but the high prices will lead to increased production everywhere, no? It becomes profitable to utilise unused prime land, and to use marginal land as well, local strongmen like Mugabe permitting.

    I can see why its so popular to build models predicting the climate in 100 years, its a lot easier than than making predictions about the economy next year. (And subject to less scrutiny).

    brc
    I probably do miss the point, but I intuitively understand that taxpayers subsidies are going to have some unintended consequences on prices and consumers. And yeah, a hungry man is an angry man, but a starving man does not have the energy to cause the likes of Mugabe a lot of trouble.

  15. brc

    >but the high prices will lead to increased production everywhere, no?

    Yes, it will (and does).

    Witness the increased amount of clearing of Amazon forest for biofuel production – an actual environmental outcome rather than the hypothetical one of reducing global temperature by 0.0001 degrees in 100 years time.

    >taxpayers subsidies are going to have some unintended consequences on prices and consumers

    Exactly. By subverting the normal market price, the subsidies paid for bio fuel production keep biofuel production high, but don’t move food supply.

  16. JC

    This is what biofuels cause.

    Haitians eating cookies made of dirt.

    Algore, Bob Brown and tubbie Milne should be forced to eat them. They are literally monsters.

  17. Uber

    This is just a bit more colateral damage for the Greens, like all the jobs they’ve destroyed. As if they’d care.

  18. johno

    Rafe

    You missed the best bit. Dr Goklany made the point that the death and lost DALYs

    exceed WHO’s estimated annual toll of 141,000 deaths and 5.4 million lost DALYs attributable to global warming. Thus, policies intended to mitigate global warming may actually have increased death and disease in developing countries.

  19. “You assume human deaths concern these people.”

    I assume that at some stage, the rest of the world will realise that these Leftists actually intend for brown people to die? And not just one or two, but in their millions?
    The Greens think that mankind is a plague on the planet, a defilement of their Goddess Gaia. They are as mad as.
    Can anyone point me to a policy that doesn’t involve the suffering and death of humans as its end result?

  20. Two Bob

    Biofuels that will play a role in our future energy needs must have certain attributes. There are a few that come readily to mind.

    They must significantly abate greenhouse gas emissions relative to fossil fuels. They must not impact global food supply by using feedstocks produced from arable farmland. They must be scalable so that biofuel production can reach meaningful levels. They must be based on non variable feedstock supply. They are not necessarily the cheapest.

    It is important for Australia that the biofuels that come to the fore have such attributes. Biofuels from the conversion of grain do not meet these attributes. Second generation biofuels such as cellulose ethanol and algal biodiesel have the potential to do so.

    Currently we are federally subsidising and in NSW, mandating, generic or nonspecific ethanol. No consideration is taken of the attributes of ethanol produced from different feedstocks or production methods. This lack of ethanol differentiation is not leading us to the biofuel future we need.

    The problem can be set out as follows.

    Currently the ethanol subsidy encourages the cheapest and most easily produced ethanol, that produced from grain. Ethanol such as that produced from cellulose may not be as cheap to produce but has preferable attributes. The subsidy may have to be raised to bring cellulose ethanol economically into production. This in turn will make grain ethanol production, with less desirable attributes, even more profitable, expanding its production, using even more arable farmland, impacting global food supply for little benefit.

    This consequence of subsidising and mandating generic ethanol creates a vested grain ethanol lobby demanding unwarranted support that drains public and political goodwill. This hinders the R&D support of the preferred cellulose or second generation ethanols.

    The way forward for biofuels in Australia is obvious. Support for biofuels must be differentiated on the basis of preferable attributes. Subsidising and mandating grain biofuels is a road to nowhere, subsidises and grants to second generation biofuels are essential ASAP.

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