IPCC flips over biofuels

Growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, IPCC admits in dramatic U-turn.

The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, The Telegraph can disclose.

A leaked draft of a UN report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse.

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55 Responses to IPCC flips over biofuels

  1. Rabz

    Misanthropic greenfilth idiocy – the direct cause of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of third world peons.

    How long since Goklany published his original paper on this topic? I remember this topic first being examined back in about 2008.

    So, what else are these loathsome, utterly deranged morons wrong about?

    Oh that’s right, everything.

  2. politichix

    Agree Rabz but such a dramatic change in opinion without the usually obfuscation and excuse making is quite revolutionary. Could this be the beginning of the end or perhaps the end of the beginning.

  3. politichix

    Haha Rabz, your name auto-corrects to Arabs!

  4. rickw

    One of the greatest advances of recent times was the advent of the use of coal and then oil for fuel. The end of using timber for fuel (bio-fuel) ended competition between fuel and food production for the very first time in human history.

    The radical Environmentalists have of course been working hard to put fuel back in competition with food by promoting and mandating bio-fuels. This of course has had immediate impacts for the poorest people on the planet, the price of food became equal to the cost of fuel minus processing and transportation costs for it to be used as fuel.

    Africa as usual has been hardest hit, that unfortunate place where the dumb ideas of Europe really hit the ground.

  5. Ant

    So, given that rational people have been saying this for years, year upon year, who amongst those who pushed this “green” lunacy resulting in poverty and death in some of the world’s poorest communities is going to jail?

  6. Combine Dave

    Are you sure the main reason they are now opposing biofuels is because of the human cost, or because it allows us to continue on with business as usual, burning bio-petrol and enjoying our sleep internal combustion driven SUVs?

    Similar to how the Greens demand we close all gas/coal plants and yet equally (if not in a more crazed manner) demand that nuclear power be banned forever and all nuke-plants across the world shut down.

    The crazies have even became mainstream in business focused Taiwan, with protests against free trade and nuclear power.
    - http://www.dw.de/anti-nuclear-protests-in-taiwan-draw-tens-of-thousands/a-17483190

  7. Biofuels are one of the most appalling examples of crony capitalism ever seen. Not only do they exist solely because of taxpayer support, but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.

  8. Alfonso

    So the modelling of ethanol as a biofuel was a disaster.
    Milne’s dissembling is going to be a treat.

  9. Baldrick

    So the scientific consensus of the IPCC was wrong re biofuels and governments world-wide have wasted billions on subsidies.
    Now we just have to wait for the scientific consensus to admit that other renewable energies are the stuff of fractured fairy tales.

  10. cant wait for eco-protestors to start chaining themselves to bio-fuel facilities in the same way they attack coal stations.

  11. Roger

    Combine_Dave,
    I’m convinced the Greens are the Khmer Rouge of the present day, wanting to take Western society back to Year Zero. Hopefully one day, when sanity returns, they will be held to account.

  12. sabrina

    Can you provide a link to the entire report please, so the context of their opinion becomes clear.
    DavidL – biomass for biofuel does not have to compete with food crops. Having said that, there is long long long way to go for the second or third generation biofuels before they can survive without subsidy.

  13. Poor Old Rafe

    There is stuff on line that tells chapter and verse on the displacement of subsistence farmers and forests to generate biofuel, along with estimates of the tens of thousands of deaths per annum as a result. I don’t have the stomach to find and post the links.

  14. Poor Old Rafe

    On the Greens, I had an interesting short conversation with Gary Johns this morning, contemplating the prospects for a replay of the 1950 split in the ALP to get away from the unions and the greens. I suggested that there is a problem of infrastructure – in the 1950s the DLP had the Catholic groups of workers organized by Santamaria and others to provide funds and bodies to run campaigns. Gary said nowadays the Greens have all the infrastructure courtesy of state funded NGOs that they have infiltrated, so there are more Green policy officers on environmental issues employed at our expense than both the major political parties can muster.

  15. Rabz

    … the increase in biofuels production over 2004 levels would push more than 35 million additional people into absolute poverty in 2010 in developing countries. Using statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Indur Goklany estimates that this would lead to at least 192,000 excess deaths per year, plus disease resulting in the loss of 6.7 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) per year.

    BTW, Goklany has been associated with the IPCC since its inception. Good on him for calling out this preposterous, murderous idiocy.

  16. Rabz

    there are more Green policy officers on environmental issues employed at our expense than both the major political parties can muster.

    Fire. Them. All.

  17. egg_

    nowadays the Greens have all the infrastructure courtesy of state funded NGOs that they have infiltrated, so there are more Green policy officers on environmental issues employed at our expense than both the major political parties can muster.

    Explains their influence on the presentation slant on ‘our’ ABC.
    It’s way overdue to push Aunty further down the privatisation path through advertising and cutting Govt funding.

  18. Combine Dave

    David,

    If petroleum oil became scarce (no sign of that yet), and biofuels were able to stand on their own two legs without gov support, would you still oppose them?

  19. rickw

    The fundamental reason that biofuels are uncompetative is the amount of energy required to produce them.

    The amount of energy required to collect the raw material is often significant.

    Once you have the raw material you then have to process it to make it useable. On the whole, bio-fuels are relatively unstable, effectively they go rancid, the more rancid they become, the less energy they contain (oxidising reactions are occurring) and the more handling issues there are as the oxidising reactions tend to turn them into a solid.

    As a consequences of these factors, you typically need to do some sort of processing such as hydroprocessing in order to significantly improve the stability of the fuel. Hydropressing is particularly energy intensive, in typicaly refinery operations, hydropressing is only done where it is absolutely necessary, usually to improve thermal and oxidation stability.

    At the end of this, what sort of fuel do you end up with? Well the problem is that even then you don’t quite end up with a normal fuel. The fuel you end up with tends to have a relatively narrow range of hydrocarbon molecules with very few trace elements, as compared to your typical crude oil derived fuel. This can lead to a significant amount of operational problems in real engines, cold start performance and lubricity are often issues in particular.

    Industry often has significant issues with the fuel / lubricant / engine interactions that occurr even with crude oil derived fuel. However, these are rarely headline grabbing and the general public often has little appreciation of the technical problems.

    In short, the economics don’t add up, and there are significant technical issues that can impact on reliability.

  20. Ant

    Gary said nowadays the Greens have all the infrastructure courtesy of state funded NGOs that they have infiltrated, so there are more Green policy officers on environmental issues employed at our expense than both the major political parties can muster.

    I reckon that infiltration is most severe in local government.

    The number of leftist greens in every council in Melbourne and its outlying areas is alarming. They have a stranglehold on planning and development and funding and any number of other council activities as they busy themselves emptying your pocket to run with their radical agenda.

  21. Token

    Biofuels are one of the most appalling examples of crony capitalism ever seen. Not only do they exist solely because of taxpayer support, but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.

    It is in the league of the most dangerous man imposed disasters ever created.

  22. Combine Dave

    rickw,

    Once oil becomes scarce (and I mean this in terms of the long long term), what’s our alternative fuel source for private travel?

    Hydrogen? Electric cars powered off the grid (grid supplied by nuclear)?

  23. will

    there are more Green policy officers on environmental issues employed at our expense than both the major political parties can muster.

    Fire. Them. All.

    All in government or government funded or charity tax deductable taxpayer funded organisations, all with the same agenda, all pushing politicians in one direction.

    Taxpayers are forced to fund zealots to destroy their wealth and society.

  24. Ubique

    Hydrogen is not a fuel. It is merely an inferior way of storing and transporting energy.

  25. will

    Once oil becomes scarce (and I mean this in terms of the long long term), what’s our alternative fuel source for private travel?

    Hydrogen? Electric cars powered off the grid (grid supplied by nuclear)?

    Hundreds of years into the future, who knows what technology will be available?

  26. sabrina

    Hundreds of years into the future, who knows what technology will be available?
    Thorium based nuclear, solar water splitting could be some. I don’t think there will be one silver bullet, it will most likely to be a mix as usual, depending on the location of the countries.

  27. Bruce of Newcastle

    Hydrogen?

    Not hydrogen. Free hydrogen from every car would make ATM’s extinct. A lot are exploded already using stolen acetylene.

    And think of the fun all those people with long beards would have with such a wonderful explosive on tap.

  28. Ant

    Did the carpetbaggers pushing biofuels base their arguments on “settled science”.

    What happened with that? Oh yeah, another one bites the dust.

    Remember, never question “settled science”, coz it’s science and it’s settled. Capeesh!?

  29. brc

    Once oil becomes scarce (and I mean this in terms of the long long term), what’s our alternative fuel source for private travel?

    Hydrogen? Electric cars powered off the grid (grid supplied by nuclear)?

    I mean this sincerely, it is not my problem. Nobody gave a toss about me one hundred years ago, and I don’t give a toss about someone living in 100 years time. The only thing that I care about is not bequeathing them a socialist, authoritarian state. If we leave them a country that still values freedom and free enterprise they will figure something out. It won’t be biofuel though, simple physics takes care of that, unless they somehow work out how to crack the atom in a corn kernel and get all the E out. Most likely development is increased energy density of storage of electrons, but hey, they mug fugu out something else. My ancestors sure as apples didn’t see the Internet coming.

  30. Rob MW

    “………but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.”

    Unadulterated bullshit. I thought that the bullshit only started when one actually took up one’s position in Parliament, but definitely not before. Patients is a virtue Mr Leyonhjelm, you have 6 years to bullshit all you like, no need to test your skills before 1 July !!!

    Most biofuels are either made from food waste, by-products of processed agriculture production or from low grade grains suitable only for livestock production (i.e – stock-feed corn, low grade or damaged barley, low grade or damaged wheat etc…..etc)

    The only argument that can be made about: – “………but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.” – is in the amount of agricultural land set aside for the production of livestock feeds.

  31. Ant

    Agree with brc. Human ingenuity and enterprise will figure it out – provided that we don’t all become serfs.

    Just two decades ago the idea of a smart phone didn’t exist – except perhaps in the minds of a handful of bright nerds squirrelled away in Silicone Valley.

    What brought ideas like that to fruition and, more importantly, to commercial market viability was human endeavour and the profit motive.

    It didn’t happen through altruism, and it sure as hell didn’t happen because a big government.

  32. rebel with cause

    Biofuels have been disastrous for the poor through a number of mechanisms. They have driven up the price of staple foods (40% of US corn production goes into biofuels) both directly, and indirectly through land use change (production out of food and into biofuel). Some countries such as the Philippines also introduced minimum ethanol content requirements that increase the cost of fuel. This has disproportionately affected remote communities that rely on fuel generators for electricity.

    Of course renewable energy subsidies also disproportionately hurt the poor, but I’m not expecting to hear the IPCC come out against those. Makes a big difference if the beneficiaries are farmers compare to trendy green tech investors.

  33. entropy

    Rob MW, it would depend on the type of biofuel.
    Biofuel derived for sugar cane is marginal on GHG be fits once its production life cycle is taken into account. Anything grain based is really government mandated subsidy for no GHG benefit at all. It doesn’t make sense unless you are the carpet bagger that hopes to make money from it.
    But I would say that palm oil based biofuels, to the extent it removes land from food production in third world countries, would definitely be taking food away from the poor. Of course there may also be virgin rainforest that is cleared for those palm plantations, but that is merely yet another irony that is lost on the greenies.

  34. Rob MW

    “Biofuels have been disastrous for the poor through a number of mechanisms. They have driven up the price of staple foods (40% of US corn production goes into biofuels) both directly, and indirectly through land use change (production out of food and into biofuel).”

    What’s this…….bullshit alley or what ??

    (Source)

    Corn: The United States is, by far, the largest producer of corn in the world, producing 32 percent of the world’s corn crop in the early 2010s. Corn is grown on over 400,000 U.S. farms. The U.S. exports about 20 percent of the U.S. farmer’s corn production. Corn grown for grain accounts for almost one quarter of the harvested crop acres in this country. Corn grown for silage accounts for about two percent of the total harvested cropland or about 6 million acres. The amount of land dedicated to corn silage production varies based on growing conditions. In years that produce weather unfavorable to high corn grain yields, corn can be “salvaged” by harvesting the entire plant as silage. Additionally, corn farming has become exponentially more efficient. If U.S. farmers in 1931 wanted to equivalently yield the same amount of corn as farmers in 2008, the 1931 farmers would need an additional 490 million acres!

    According to the National Corn Growers Association, about eighty percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production. The National Corn Growers Association also reports that each American consumes 25 pounds of corn annually. The crop is fed as ground grain, silage, high-moisture, and high-oil corn. About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods that are either consumed directly (e.g. corn chips) or indirectly (e.g. high fructose corn syrup). Cornhas a wide array of industrial uses including ethanol, a popular oxygenate in cleaner burning auto fuels. In addition many household products contain corn, including paints, candles, fireworks, drywall, sandpaper, dyes, crayons, shoe polish, antibiotics, and adhesives.

  35. Rob MW

    “It doesn’t make sense unless you are the carpet bagger that hopes to make money from it.” – yep, I’m with you……..fuck free enterprise……. better to have some arsehole tell producers what to grow, when and who they can sell their produce to/sarc

  36. rickw

    Combine Dave,

    No, the answer isn’t a rickshaw!

    If oil becomes scarce (you cannot believe how far away that is!), then the price goes up, then existing and proven technologies becomes viable. Those existing and proven technologies are generally variations on the Fischer Trosph process. Essentially a process to manufacture synthetic hydrocarbons, albiet not a particularly efficient one.

    The FT process can be applied to any source of carbon (such as coal or biomass). The process was invented in Germany in WWII after oil became inaccessable to them. They manufactured Aviation Fuel and Ground Fuels using their vast coal reserves.

    FT process liquid fuels are only manufactured today by Sasol in South Africa, the origin of this being that sanctions imposed on SA in the past made this economically viable.

    The bottom line is that liquid fuels are here to stay for most applications, regardless of whether or not the source of those liquid fuels is tradition crude oil. There are even quite efficient processes that allow you to go from heavier to lighter hydrocarbons eg. convert Liquified Natural Gas to petrol and kerosene etc.

    In every single instance in human history, changes in energy source have been driven not by any edict or necessity, but rather because people found something better, technology and invention always finds a way. eg. the stone age didn’t end because they ran out of rocks.

  37. ugh

    When we are talking about taking food out of the mouths of the poor we are talking about Africa, SE Asia et al @Rob MW – you know, poor countries, not corn production in the richest country in the world FFS.

    Biofuels have demonstrably increased the price of staple foods around the world. In the US that is of zero consequence because the country itself is so rich by global standards. Talk to a farmer in Uganda living hand to mouth (which I actually have done) and then tell us from your comfy chair with access to electricity, running drinkable water, a healthy food supply and the internet how it makes no difference to the genuinely poor on this planet.

  38. rickw

    Rob MW,

    The production of corn in the US seems to be one of the most heavily subsidised agricultural products in the world. The impact on food prices is negligible in the developed countries, but can be severe in third world countries, particularly if they are within reasonable transport distance and if domestic production is limited (eg. Europe V Africa).

    You might also note that no one was seriously interested in biofuels, until Governments started providing subsidies and mandatory targets. ie. there was no serious money to be made, and there still fundamentally isn’t.

    The key issue is that Governments shouldn’t be actively distorting markets, particularly for no good reason.

  39. Eyrie

    Rob MW the market for corn derived ethanol as a gasoline additive is entirely government mandated.
    So pull your head in.

  40. rebel with cause

    Rob I’ve followed your link and tried to find evidence for the claim that 80% of US corn production is used as animal feed. I could find none. The source document from the National Corn Grower’s Association (p.12) says 30.8% (3465m bushels) goes to ethanol, 39.5% (4450m bushells) to feed and 8.4% export (950m bushels). I’d say 30% of production into ethanol represents a significant distortion of the market.

  41. Libertarian Yank

    That fuel made from corn was a good idea was obvious from the beginning in the US. A subsidy was applied to encourage more corn growth. Subsidies and tax breaks were provided to companies to build new ethanol refineries. Then food prices go up. All the while, a significant amount if not more carbon dioxide was released in the process to create this ‘green’ fuel than what it saved in the autos. We have to really think about establishing policy the puts the greens in bed with big industry (ADM and others). The scientists in the IPCC had to know this wouldn’t work but it was a tool to achieve more power through the virtual enslavement of the populace.

  42. Rob MW

    “Talk to a farmer in Uganda living hand to mouth (which I actually have done) and then tell us from your comfy chair with access to electricity, running drinkable water, a healthy food supply and the internet how it makes no difference to the genuinely poor on this planet.”

    Hey ‘ugh’ – here’s an idea, how about you talk with (not “to”) an Australian farmer instead…….and…. um…….that would be me.

    Yes indeed I have a comfy chair, intermittent mains electricity and a 40kva generator back-up supply and which is one of 3 that I have set-up and paid for in my business, I do have drinkable water from a bore that I had drilled to (1,100 feet) and paid for myself and is one of 9 bores. Yes I do have access to healthy food and most particularly to home grown meat and vegetables and I do have access to the internet via two-way satellite.

    My last year’s food and fibre production was somewhat less than average and I am pleased to inform you that not one (1) kilo of my production was purchased for the domestic market, it all went to export. That is, 130 metric tonnes of Merino wool was purchased at auction by Chinese and Italian mills, 500 metric tonnes of sheep-meat, purchased either on property or at auction by our local processor, who then exported the product to mostly to the Middle East. My Wheat harvest was about 50% below average and came in at about 2,500 metric tonnes and consisted of 100% bread and biscuit wheat and I sold the lot to exporters for contracted destinations.

    My food and fibre production is produced by 4 family members and 3 full-time employees, some very expensive and large machinery, and on a wing and a prayer.

    I hope that we can agree that I and my business is not a charity and that my and my family’s contribution does in fact make a small difference to at least someone on the planet, however and here’s the thing, how many “Kilos” of food and fibre did you produce for someone that even remotely look poor or for that matter your friendly poor Ugandan farmer ??

    Fucking “Talking” to the poor don’t feed or cloth em’ mate, and your pure sanctimonious bullshit will feed and clothe even less.

  43. Rob MW

    “Rob MW the market for corn derived ethanol as a gasoline additive is entirely government mandated.
    So pull your head in.”

    So what do you want me to do with my very small non-mandated (US purchased) bio-diesel (muck-around) plant ?? I use fresh Canola oil from Canola that I grow myself. Now explain to everybody how many poor people can sustain themselves, or even get fat, on Canola oil.

    Fuckwit.

  44. Rob MW

    “Rob I’ve followed your link and tried to find evidence for the claim that 80% of US corn production is used as animal feed.”

    Can I suggest that you get in contact with the “United States – Environment Protection Agency” and ask them………….I mean it’s their sources that form their report and data. The link clearly identifies the US – EPA.

  45. davefromweewaa

    Rob,
    Do you have a problem with using corn to feed animals ?
    After all, the best way to make chick peas taste good is to feed them to a lamb then eat the lamb.
    Same goes for corn, don’t you think?

  46. Rob MW

    “Rob,
    Do you have a problem with using corn to feed animals ?”

    Dave – Cattle I don’t have a problem but with sheep, yes I do. Corn, for whatever reason, seems to interfere with lactating ewes to the point that their lambs start to malnourish. Lupins on the other hand do the opposite with the ewes and their lambs and they bring sheep from store condition to fat fairly quickly, but like Chickpeas, they taste like shit.

    Nothing makes Chickpeas taste good although the sub-continent just love em’ so I guess you will have to ask the Tigers and the other assorted man-eaters over there.

    No comment on the taste test for corn although it is hard to distinguish the difference in the grain from the one that gets eaten to the one that clogs the sludge pump.

  47. rebel with cause

    Rob – I’ve checked their sources and they are flat out wrong. The corn growers themselves say that 30% of production goes to ethanol. It’s hardly surprising that a government agency wouldn’t have a clue about agriculture though is it?

    If you’re producing biofuel without subsidy then all power to you. Nobody here objects to that. What is being objected to is using taxpayers money to fund biofuel production – where is the public benefit in that?

  48. nerblnob

    Fossil fuel reserves will decline gradually, not drop off a cliff. Alternatives will emerge. The alternatives will emerge by people seeking the best forms of energy, not by working to a forced “anything but fossil fuels” narrative.

    The decline of liquid hydrocarbons is a lot further off than people think. Deep water exploration has barely scratched the edges of the continental shelves. The world has absorbed a 4x increase in oil prices in the last ten years and barely broken stride. There is plenty more room for efficiency in usage and production.

    Exploration and development of new reserves would still make money at 20x the current cost. Something cheaper might well come along and replace it, but it won’t have to wait until the oil runs out or gets over $2000/bbl. Innovation doesn’t work like that.

  49. Eyrie

    Rob MW, I was talking about the gasoline additive market in the US. So why don’t you take your biodiesel and shove it up your arse. After that you’ll be less full of shit.

  50. ugh

    “Hey ‘ugh’ – here’s an idea, how about you talk with (not “to”) an Australian farmer instead…….and…. um…….that would be me.”

    So you’re just a self interested farmer arguing for the continuation of agricultural subsidies across the globe then @Rob MW – explains a lot. So sorry your mains electricity is intermittent, but I’m talking about people who don’t have access to electricity, or the money to buy generators, let alone access the internet.

    “how many “Kilos” of food and fibre did you produce for someone that even remotely look poor or for that matter your friendly poor Ugandan farmer ??”

    I did volunteer work at a Ugandan village, much of that time was spent working on common farmland. Hard to tell how many kilos were produced as a result of my contribution, but I can tell you these farmers definitely don’t calculate their production in f***** metric tonnes – talk about out of touch sanctimonious bullshit.

    On the other hand I can tell you that precisely none of your production found its way down there – like many people in Africa they didn’t have the money to buy the produce of Western farmers, even if it were available. If they want meat they have to go hunting. But congratulations on doing your part to fight global poverty by supplying vital wool to the people of Italy, and for feeding the richest oil nations in the world.

    Now would you care to actually address the point that biofuel subsidies and mandates have increased the cost of basic staples in Africa, making it even more difficult for the poor to feed themselves?

  51. ugh

    “Exploration and development of new reserves would still make money at 20x the current cost. Something cheaper might well come along and replace it, but it won’t have to wait until the oil runs out or gets over $2000/bbl. Innovation doesn’t work like that.”

    Exactly right @nerblnob. It may even be an existing fuel source made economic by rising prices. Look at shale oil – when oil was $20 a barrel everyone laughed at using such an expensive process to get oil, nowadays with higher oil prices its viable and mainstream.

  52. Rob MW

    “Nobody here objects to that. What is being objected to is using taxpayers money to fund biofuel production……………..”

    That’s really good that “…..nobody here objects to that……” and that would include me because if you and the rest of the “here” go back and have a look at the only (single) point that I raised (@ – #1238226, posted on March 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm) you will see that at no point have I argued in favour of, specifically, ‘Mandated Ethanol’ usage or any subsidies associated to its production.

    My original comment which went to the second part (not the first part) of David Leyonhjelm’s comment at (#1238014, posted on March 25, 2014 at 9:30 am). I had assumed that the “here” mob would have seen, or at least understood, this single point but alas, misdirection occurred nearly immediately. So to “Eyrie” shove that up your arse and to the sanctimonious nutter ‘ugh’; What would you have me do to increase the “…….these (Ugandan) farmers definitely don’t calculate their production in f***** metric tonnes……..” ??

    I’m sure that you (ugh) working and talking with them has done an almighty job at achieving many more ‘metric tonnes’ of food and fibre for these poor farmers in the form of food aid and other band aids. Have you given any thought to the reasons why these poor farmers are actually poor ?? Would it have anything to do with domestic/civil wars and political/personal corruption, and if it has in your belief, then how exactly does that have anything to do with ‘mandated subsidised ethanol’ in America ?

    Here’s my original comment you pair of fucking morons: (reading is easy, just start at the top…..oh…and don’t forget your phonics)

    Rob MW – #1238226, posted on March 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    “………but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.”

    Unadulterated bullshit. I thought that the bullshit only started when one actually took up one’s position in Parliament, but definitely not before. Patients is a virtue Mr Leyonhjelm, you have 6 years to bullshit all you like, no need to test your skills before 1 July !!!

    Most biofuels are either made from food waste, by-products of processed agriculture production or from low grade grains suitable only for livestock production (i.e – stock-feed corn, low grade or damaged barley, low grade or damaged wheat etc…..etc)

    The only argument that can be made about: – “………but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.” – is in the amount of agricultural land set aside for the production of livestock feeds.

  53. Rob MW

    “Rob – I’ve checked their sources and they are flat out wrong. The corn growers themselves say that 30% of production goes to ethanol. It’s hardly surprising that a government agency wouldn’t have a clue about agriculture though is it?”

    Rebel – Probably correct but the point is, and I hope that I can make this clear, that: – “Most biofuels are either made from food waste, by-products of processed agriculture production or from low grade grains suitable only for livestock production (i.e – stock-feed corn, low grade or damaged barley, low grade or damaged wheat etc…..etc)

    Let me put that another way; it is that the ingredients that go to make most biofuels are not fit for human consumption in any event or circumstance. The argument about taking food from the poor falls flat on its face right there and only leaves the argument about the amount of land set aside, by farmers the world over, for the production of stock-feeds in leiu of the same land being used for the production grains and meat fit for human consumption.

    For example, in the US Corn is grown using 2 distinct variations: The first variation are the very high yielding varieties of Corn that are grown very specifically as a livestock feed, used in feedlots, drought reserves and the like and is also the variation most used in the production of ethanol.

    The second variation are the lower yielding varieties of Corn that are grown very specifically for human consumption, sweet corn varieties and the like, and this variation is not used in the production of ethanol.

    I would be very surprised that if taking food from the poor meant that they (the poor) should eat food that is only fit for livestock. This brings me to the point that I originally made:

    “The only argument that can be made about: – “………but they take food out of the mouths of the poor.” – is in the amount of agricultural land set aside for the production of livestock feeds.”

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