NYT blames food crisis on “climate change,” hides plea to reduce government mandated burning of food for fuel

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Even the UN is not biased enough towards climate alarmism for the New York Times, which yesterday bowdlerized a joint statement on the present food crisis from three UN food organizations.

The UN statement is divided into short term and long term concerns. Included in the latter is “climate change,” which the Times dutifully quotes, and it quotes the UN’s long term solutions:

Low-income countries that rely on agricultural imports should invest in safety-net programs for the poor, they recommended. They also urged countries to bolster local production.

But the reason for the urgent joint statement is the short term concern—the immediate food crisis—in response to which the food organizations urge a very specific and immediate policy change that goes completely unmentioned in the Times report, despite it’s being endorsed by a whole further alphabet soup of food and policy organizations. Here is their joint appeal:

Lastly, we also need to review and adjust where applicable policies [are] currently in place that encourage alternative uses of grains. For example, adjusting biofuel mandates when global markets come under pressure and food supplies are endangered has been recommended by a group of international organizations including FAO, IFAD, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, WFP, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. That recommendation, made to the 2011 G20 summit in Paris, still stands today.

When crop failures threaten famine, STOP REQUIRING EVERYONE TO BURN FOOD AS AUTOMOBILE FUEL, at least temporarily. Okay, so they used more subtle language and they put this appeal at the end of their short statement, not the beginning, but this is the primary recommendation from all of these groups and publicizing it is the primary purpose of the UN’s joint statement. It is the only part of their statement that responds to the immediate crisis that the joint statement was issued to address, but the implied criticism of current green mandates—that they make no allowance for simple humanity—is apparently too heretical for anti-journalist Annie Lowrey and her anti-editors at the Times.

It’s not like people don’t know that government is mandating and subsidizing the burning of a huge amount of food as fuel, something that is regularly urged and lauded in the Times itself. Even the retro-grade Scientific American took note last year that more of the U.S. corn crop now goes to ethanol production than to any other use, and even an NYT reader can figure out that if you burn it you can’t eat it.

Still, to the green religionist, any mention of a possible downside to “green” biofuels is off-message. The job of the “green” journalist is to suppress all such contra-indications, even when the world’s food organizations are crying out en masse for the merest accommodation of poor people’s needs, so when the greenie gets a chance to report on that outcry, she hides it. Yes, this is journalistic malpractice, but green must be protected from any possible aspersion/correction as it drives full speed into a pole. These people are flat insane.

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81 Responses to NYT blames food crisis on “climate change,” hides plea to reduce government mandated burning of food for fuel

  1. GlynnMhor says:

    Oh lordy… just stop subsidizing biofuels, and let the people themselves (ie-market forces) decide to what extent the people want to burn it, eat it, or feed it to cows and then eat them.

  2. Harold Ambler says:

    The Times is less moral than it imagines itself to be. Food for fuel is a sin just about all of the time, certainly now.

  3. William McClenney says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Shmicko says:

    This is the sort of moral myopia that occurs when you substitute an ideology for the concerns and thoughts of real people. Apparently the left-liberal intelligenstsia are as infatuated with power and control as they ever were in times past- their anti-democratic record speaks for itself- recently they have merely transfered old methods to the new great green cause

  5. _Jim says:

    OMG … don’t these ppl understand ANYTHING!!??

    Economics (subsidies for ethanol artificially changing the price), energy (as in energy balance, efficiency and our sources thereof), agri-business (farm subsidies et al), politics (the MANDATING of the use ‘oxygenates’ like ethanol w/o consideration of the effects and esp. in light of our present economic situation) … is the ‘Newspaper of record’ that totally clueless?

    Or, have they ‘drank the koolaid’ and the emperor is truly fully clothed in their view?

    (The comments, questions above are all rhetorical, mandating the new use of the following tag:)

    /RHETORICAL (i.e. and IOW: “RHETORICAL COMMENT NOW ‘BOOLEAN-ED’ OFF”)

    .

  6. MattN says:

    I just got back from the grocery store, and I’m having trouble seeing any evidence of a “food crisis”. Fact is, we throw enough food away from spoilage to feed a small country…

  7. Chad says:

    You may have seen another New York Times article, “The Baffling Nexus of Climate Change and Health” by Dylan Walsh. A rare fungus in 2004 along the Pacific Northwest and West Nile virus outbreak this year are of course, a result of climate change. Experts stated in a different article on the 2004 fungus that it may have been carried by imported trees and plants. Of course the New York Times did not mention this. Are these articles sole purpose to angry up the blood?

  8. even an NYT reader can figure out that if you burn it you can’t eat it.

    Actually you can, or at least animals can as this Reuters report explains.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/us-usa-ethanol-farmbankers-idINBRE88413O20120905

    It also highlights the significant risks to the banking system that biofuels have caused.

  9. DocMartyn says:

    I really wish I didn’t have to say “I told you so’, but I did.
    Next year is going to be very hard on the worlds poor. There are going to be revolutions all over the place.

  10. Rick Bradford says:

    Perhaps there would be more food to go round if there were just one UN food agency rather than three….

  11. bubbagyro says:

    If someone would pay me $50 to burn my hamburger, I would do it and buy lobster instead. That is the current status of subsidizing biofuels. It doesn’t even touch the issue of water wastage for the fermentation processes. We are not just burning coal, but also flushing our drinking water down the drain. Of course, if someone paid me enough to flush drinking water down the drain…

  12. bubbagyro says:

    I meant “burning corn”. We should be burning coal, of course.

  13. otsar says:

    The brewing of ethanol for fuel does not consume all of the corn feedstock. The leftovers DDGS are used in animal feed. It contains the the leftovers form the yeast that is high in vitamins, it contains kernel oils, etc. The starches and sugars are what is converted into ethanol. DDGS is used in dairy, and poultry feed and has partially replaced soy where it is available at a lower price.
    The corn that is used for ethanol and feed is not the type of corn that you can buy at he supermarket for human consumption.

  14. Paul Penrose says:

    MattN you ignorant smuck,
    Of course there is not a food shortage in the US (or other “1st world” nations). What you don’t seem to realize is that we have been supplying many of the poorer nations with food from our surpluses. Now we are burning much of that surplus, causing shortages (and higher prices) in those nations that are dependent on us. Open your eyes and your heart man!

  15. Maus says:

    “… the New York Times, which yesterday bowdlerized a joint statement …”

    Sorry, I don’t see it. Of necessity journalists summarize; if they did not we’d have no need of them and would simply print press releases in toto. There’s an economic argument to be had about central planning, price fixing, subsidy, and such with regard to which resources acquire which prices in which economies and what effects that has on the use of those resources. Within that, and without regard to climate change, there’s little unexpected in that the UN solution is not less central planning but less ignorant central planning. For which the UN statements presented both by the Times and yourself demonstrate that even the UN can trip over the self obvious from time to time. Even when the only choices are ‘more ignorance’ and ‘less ignorance’ within some scope.

    In a broader sense, the only polities that can waste time navel gazing about what plant food might do to the rain are precisely those that have no pressing socioeconomic issues about acquiring and distributing people food. So it’s hardly shocking that the Fireball Earth set would attempt to sign-off on the recommendations of the Feed The Poor set within the UN.

  16. Jim Clarke says:

    Wasn’t Stalin guilty of the same thing: holding on to a terrible idea that caused people to starve to death, as opposed to acknowledging his mistake?

    If the Green Movement does not want to be viewed as mass murderers by history, they really need to stop acting like unintelligent communist dictators.

  17. Lew Skannen says:

    Imagine a situation where a farmer planted a field of maize. He had to run the 140hp diesel tractor over the ground a couple of times to prepare it. Then he had to plant the seed and the energy intensive fertiliser. He had to run over the ground a couple more times with a sprayer and a bit of nitrogen fertiliser. Eventually a nice tall crop of maize is standing. Nice fat juicy cobs of corn.

    Then the whole lot is gathered up and trucked off to a huge coal fired power plant. The entire crop is then burnt along with a few hundred thousand tons of coal that day.

    Would anyone be outraged if this was contrasted with the usual pictures of starving Africans?

    What I have described is actually MORE efficient than what is happening. In reality a lot more energy goes into processing the crop into alcohol and the energy in the alcohol is a lot less than would have been realised from burning the whole crop.

    So bad as the above scenariou appears, reality is even worse. Yet somehow the picture of nice clean ethanol being poured into a ‘low-emission’ bio-fuel vehicle is the pinnacle of green goodness.

  18. Allan MacRae says:

    I have been publicly commenting on the folly of corn ethanol for over a decade.

    Here is a recent sample:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/05/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-57/#comment-1054427

    Time to End the Fuel Ethanol Mandate

    Re: the Forbes article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/31/the-ethanol-mandate-drought-only-compounds-inherent-catastrophic-consequences/

    With corn prices increasing to over $8 per bushel, it is surely time to end the ridiculous fuel ethanol mandate in the USA (and Canada). Almost 40% of the huge US corn crop is used for corn ethanol.

    This food-to-fuel folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, causing great suffering to the world’s poor – now poor AND HUNGRY.

    This ethanol policy was energy-nonsense from the beginning – but now it is causing increased world hunger.

    Oh, sorry – I forgot that these hungry people are all poor, so they don’t matter, apparently.

    Apologies, Allan

    Allan MacRae, P.Eng.
    Calgary
    ________

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/24/epas-e-15-ethanol-plan-rammed-though-wont-work-in-many-cars/#comment-967790
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/29/canada-yanks-some-climate-change-programs-from-budget/#comment-939257

    Excerpt:

    In North America, our greatest folly has been corn ethanol. Now, almost 40% of the huge US crop is used for corn ethanol – about 130 million tonnes per year of corn goes into our gas tanks, forced into gasoline by government mandates. This folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, at great cost to the world’s poor.

    Grid-connected wind power, solar power and corn ethanol all require huge life-of-project subsidies to survive, and would go bankrupt the minute these subsidies cease. Many of the subsidies are in the form of mandates – forcing power companies and gasoline suppliers to include these costly and counterproductive enviro-schemes in their products, at great expense to consumers.

    The radical environmentalists have been remarkably effective at forcing really foolish, costly and counterproductive schemes upon Western society. The backlash, when it comes, won’t be pretty.

    When you hear the term “green energy”, it’s not about greening the environment – it’s all about the money.

  19. Ian H says:

    The more extreme greens are not at all shy about stating their belief that that the world would be much better with a smaller population. Perhaps they see starvation as a feature and not a bug in their program.

  20. _Jim says:

    otsar says September 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    The brewing of ethanol for fuel does not consume all of the corn feedstock. The leftovers DDGS are used in animal feed. It contains …

    And the GROWING of that ‘ethanol for fuel’ doesn’t utilize any prime growing land or water and doesn’t require any resources to plant, cultivate, fertilize or harvest and ‘silo’ til needed either … nor ‘incentives’ from the government to ‘enable’ that ‘science and economics’ project …

    </SARC> (IOW: ‘SARCASM’ TAG BOOLEAN-ED OFF)

    .

  21. eyesonu says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    September 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    =============

    You sum it up nicely.

  22. Brian H says:

    Well spoke. From stupid assumptions, stupid actions grow. Which must be stupidly rationalized.

    Eventually, Reality Stomps.

  23. ken Methven says:

    The language of the press release demonstrates the trepidation with which the subject is raised in green bureaucratic circles. You can see how your average journalist would have difficulty analysing the point, and writing about it. But then, if they did understand it, they would ignore such heresy. /sarc

    Wherever there is a mandate (i.e. force) there is distortion. That distortion was no doubt recognised, anticipated and debated in regards the ethanol policy, to nil effect.

    Consider the probable distortion in mandatory policies as you vote.

  24. eyesonu says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    September 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Partial quote:

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/05/us-usa-ethanol-farmbankers-idINBRE88413O20120905

    It also highlights the significant risks to the banking system that biofuels have caused.

    ==============================

    Thank you for the link.

    That Reuters article by Christine Stebbins has more holes and BS in it than could be addressed in a blog comment. It would be fun to have it post as a leading article on WUWT.

    On thing I would agree with not explicitly stated (Reuters) is that the farm bankers see a farm bubble and want to ride it. That bubble will be the next banking crises when it ultimately bursts and will be indirectly the result of government ethanol mandates. Then we can hear the “too big to fail” argument again.

    ELIMINATE the ethanol mandate now! Forget about suspending it.

  25. otsar says:

    _Jim says:
    September 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    You are absolutely correct!
    It is beyond stupid and immoral to be using prime agricultural land to grow motor fuels. I just wanted to point out that the corn is not entirely consumed and that the corn that is grown is feed corn.
    These are the distortions that happen with politicised centrally planned economies.

  26. Schitzree says:

    Around ten years ago many farmers here in Indiana converted their wood burners (wood burning stoves and furnaces) into CORN Burners. They did this because at the time the price of corn was so low it was cheaper to burn it for heating then gas or wood (and on the farm the price of wood is enough gas to run the chainsaw and logsplitter, and your own sweat equity) the reason the price of corn got so low was becaus

  27. eyesonu says:

    Actually in my post above (8:20 pm) I should have reflected on the quotes referenced in the article (Rutgers) more so than the article itself.

  28. Schitzree says:

    Around ten years ago many farmers here in Indiana converted their wood burners (wood burning stoves and furnaces) into CORN Burners. They did this because at the time the price of corn was so low it was cheaper to burn it for heating then gas or wood (and on the farm the price of wood is enough gas to run the chainsaw and logsplitter, and your own sweat equity) the reason the price of corn got so low was because we in america have gotten really good at growing corn, among other things. Now that the price has gone up, mostly because of the ethanol mandates, most are converting back to wood.

    The thing is, from the farmers perspective it doesn’t matter what the corn is used for, as long as someone can pay for it. So it dosn’t matter if the Ethanol mandates are cut or not, unless there is some program set up to buy the exess corn and ship it to where ever the famine is.

    ‘Cause otherwise, even with all this here ‘global warmin’ it still gets awful cold here abouts come winter.

  29. Carl Brannen says:

    This is not news. The greenies quit supporting ethanol as soon as it became successful. They’re against industrialization, factory farming, even if it’s “green”. Their definition of “green” is wilderness areas where no motor vehicles are allowed to go. If any other technology starts ramping up they’ll be against it too. They sued to stop solar power from being developed in the California desert. Soon enough they’ll start complaining about wind farms if they’re not already.

  30. Skiphil says:

    Stunning (but not surprising) — the NY Times article is the epitome of journalist negligence and malpractice. They omit all discussion of the role of bio fuels and make it seem as though the entire current, immediate issue is about heat, drought, and a “natural” supply shortage.

    It is not as though they neglected one minor distant factor, they purposely omitted THE key factor that could still affect market supply and prices in the coming months, IF the insane federal policies on biofuels were reversed or at least suspended.

    Once again the NY Times and major media show they are biased propagandists and not objective news providers.

  31. Schitzree says:

    Well, that wasn’t the worst I’ve screwed up trying to make a post, but it was still a doozy. Don’t know how I managed to post half of it the first time.

    [Reply: in internet time, no one will remember your mistake, or who made it, in 48 hours... ~dbs, mod.]

  32. P Wilson says:

    Food crisis?

    William Hershcell, the 18th century astronomer was though mad when he made the connection between grain price and sunspots. The more sunspots, the lower the price since warmer temperatures produced more and superior crops, whilst low sunspot periods led to an increase in th eprice of grain, as cool temperatures led to fewer and feebler crops..

    Yet he was thought rather mad, though he was right

  33. davidmhoffer says:

    I wonder why they wring their hands at the thought of CAGW reducing the food supply when their solution to prevent it is reigning in CO2 emissions. Just how much food do they think we can provide on a global basis without fossil fuel to plant, cultivate, fertilize, harvest, process, store, refrigerate, and transport the food? Cut transport alone out of that chain and 3/4 of the earth’s population would be starving within 48 hours.

  34. Allan MacRae says:

    eyesonu says: September 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you for your kind words. In 1998 I briefly took over management of an oil company that also owned an ethanol plant in Wyoming. Despite good management and huge state and federal subsidies, it only broke even. I know a little about the corn ethanol business. We had great people and they worked really hard, but it was just the wrong business.

    I recently sent something like this to one of our more intelligent Canadian senators:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/18/mcintyres-talk-in-london-plus-the-uks-tilting-at-windmills-may-actually-increase-co2-emissions-over-natural-gas/#comment-1060666

    I have widely publicized this information for about a decade, so it should not be news to anyone who follows the subject.

    I have long believed that corn ethanol used for motor fuel, and grid-connected wind power and solar power are energy and economic nonsense.

    I wrote these conclusions in articles published as early as 2002.

    My point is that this information is not new and it has been clearly stated in public forums such as this one many times before, for about a decade.

    The fact that it has been routinely ignored is, I suggest, a measure of the utter incompetence and corruption that pervades the entire subject of energy and the environment.

    But I digress – my immediate concern, which I apologize for carping about yet again, is the use of 40% of the huge USA corn crop for gasoline additives. Due to the drought this season, corn now costs over US$8 per bushel – and corn is a staple for many poor people in the Americas.

    This situation is simply wrong – it is a monstrous ethical and humanitarian failing, and our leaders in the USA and Canada should have the courage and integrity to end the fuel ethanol mandate immediately.

  35. Allan MacRae says:

    One further point that I first looked into a decade ago:

    [Excerpt]

    Since then I’ve learned that the vital Ogallala aquifer is dropping at an alarming rate in some locations, due to excess withdrawal of water for irrigation – much of it for corn ethanol.

    If the environmental movement truly had the interests of America and the world at heart, they would abandon their fascination with wasteful, inefficient corn ethanol, wind power and solar power, and focus on real environmental problems like vital groundwater conservation.

    However, if one analyses their actions, it is clear that the “greens” are not interested in the environment or the wellbeing of humankind. Rather, the environment is merely a convenient smokescreen for their far-left political objectives.

  36. Neil Jones says:

    It is caused by climate change, if they didn’t believe in climate change they would be turning corn into “fuel”, ergo climate change is the cause.

  37. Spector says:

    Of Course, “End of Growth” Canadian economist Jeff Rubin would blame the food crisis on the rising cost of carbon-based energy, as most of our food is grown, packaged and delivered using energy and chemicals from petroleum.
    .
    He says, in effect, that the people managing our economy have failed to recognize that we have an energy supply problem and like pilots, who increase their angle of attack at maximum altitude, they are risking a fatal stall. The huge national debt that we have accumulated in the various stimulus efforts means that money from American taxpayers to repay this debt will increasingly allow foreign buyers to pay more for the world’s scarce resources than we will be able to afford.

    He has suggested that Canadian Oil may eventually go primarily to Asia because the ‘States’ will not be able to afford it.

    He talks of the possibility of $7 per gallon gasoline prices in the near future. He believes that the more difficult unconventional oil that we are about to tap will require triple digit per barrel petroleum prices to be recoverable. He freely admits that his whole thesis is based on this high extraction cost assumption for hard-to-get petroleum and other new carbon energy sources.

    [He is also saying that one of the advantages of eventual high energy prices is automatic amelioration of 'Global Warming,' -- one more example of how pervasive the CAGW concept has become among people who should know better. ]

    Jeffrey Rubin On Why High Oil Prices Stop Growth
    24:30 min

  38. Steve C says:

    The editor who chose to corrupt that story in that way is sick.

    It has long been a joke in journalistic circles that a journalist, when interviewing a politician, should continually ask him/herself, “Why is this lying liar lying to me?”. We are now way past the point when everyone reading, watching or listening to their biased output should ask themselves the same question, especially now there’s the internet to make the checking so easy.

  39. GeoLurking says:

    I have to agree with Neil Jones [10:35 pm]

    “climate change” is partially to blame… specifically the HYPE of “climate change” that relies on a wide ranging array of unverifiable data and potentially fraudulent activities by those peddling the scam.

  40. Bill Irvine says:

    The modern equivalent of the plea for bread – “Let them eat cake”
    Or in the UK “I’m all right, Jack”

  41. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @bubbagyro says:

    “…. It doesn’t even touch the issue of water wastage for the fermentation processes. We are not just burning coal, but also flushing our drinking water down the drain. Of course, if someone paid me enough to flush drinking water down the drain…”

    There’s actually nothing whatsoever wrong with flushing drinking water down the drain. It does not damage the water, which will happily return to you courtesy of the water cycle. It’s also far more efficient (of the order of two magnitudes!) to provide ALL your water as treated drinkable water from a central reservoir rather than run two separate systems for potable and non-potable water.

    Everyone on this Earth has a couple of cubic kilometers of water available to them, which will NEVER go away. The only question is how much you want to spend on infrastructure to provide it to a specific spot. And that’s an engineering and investment issue, NOT an environmental one. The scam of pretending that water is a scarce commodity is just plain wrong…

  42. It’s biofuels stupid!
    The real crime of our times the sacrifice of food to biofuels.

  43. David Gabriel says:

    This article scarecely merits mention in this context. You’re getting paranoid Anthony.

  44. ozspeaksup says:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/barclays-makes-500m-betting-on-food-crisis-8100011.html

    last year Glencorp made a motza by startting the russian wheat shortage going, by advising them to stop selling.
    they had stockpile enough for a year and some to sell.
    as for biofuels,
    the GMO corn is pretty inedible for humans, stockfeed at best, when desperate if you must.
    poor animals.
    GMO soy, not fit for man or beast
    be far bettwr to grow edible foods like wheat rye barley or oats, food n fodder.

  45. wayne Job says:

    Making ethanol from corn not so long ago would have brought the revenuers down on you.

    Now it is a green thing it is legal, tax it at the consummable alcohol level, your budget deficit would disappear. Add some flavouring and export it and your balance of trade would be fixed.

    Sitting on a gold mine of liquid and you are burning it in vehicles at a subsidised loss.

    Where are your yankee entrepeneurs ?

  46. Bill Marsh says:

    @MattN says:
    September 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I just got back from the grocery store, and I’m having trouble seeing any evidence of a “food crisis”. Fact is, we throw enough food away from spoilage to feed a small country…
    =============
    The ‘crisis’ is not here Matt. Did you happen to notice the price of an ear of corn? It has almost tripled due to the drought impacting harvests and the continued use of the same quantity as in other years for biofuel. This is a simple function of supply/demand and, while you may not have trouble paying the increase and thus see no ‘crisis’, the poor folks in developing nations (or non-developing as the case may be) cannot easily pay the increase and/or substitute a different, lower cost food source. This is in addition to the increase in the price of feed grain boosting the price of beef/pork as well.

    You’re not alone in this however. I was in the grocery store a few months ago and observed a lady lamenting the price of corn, “Why is corn so expensive now?” I offered that, in large part, it was because of the government mandated use of corn for ethanol, a gasoline substitute. I got a 1,000 mile stare in response. She seemed to prefer the explanation offered by another shopper … that it was ‘evil’ giant agribusiness gouging her (and everybody else) and the ‘solution’ was to have the government mandate the price of corn and/or strip ‘Agribusiness’ of its ‘excessive’ ‘exploitative’ profits.

    *sigh*

  47. more soylent green! says:

    MattN says:
    September 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm
    I just got back from the grocery store, and I’m having trouble seeing any evidence of a “food crisis”. Fact is, we throw enough food away from spoilage to feed a small country…

    Yes, we are very wasteful in this country. But grocery prices have gone way up in recent years, and it’s worse in other countries. The ‘Arab Spring’ began in part, because of frustration over rising food prices and food shortages.

    Keep in mind, we’re not the only country in the world. Despite the sorry state of our economy, Americans are so much better off than most of the world and we can better absorb price increases. Of course, paying more for A means spending less on B, C, or D, so if the price of food goes up, it suppresses economic growth and employment.

  48. Just an engineer says:

    Schitzree says:
    September 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm
    Around ten years ago many farmers here in Indiana converted their wood burners (wood burning stoves and furnaces) into CORN Burners
    ———————————————————–
    Please don’t post from ignorance, cornCOB is NOT corn!

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4596904_use-corn-burning-furnaces.html

  49. Schitzree says:

    For the record feed corn is perfectly edible if you get it before its dried out. Dad used to go out into the field every year about mid August and fill a 5-gal bucket with ears. Mom just rolled her eyes. It wasn’t bad as corn-on-the-cob, though not as good as real sweetcorn.

    I’ve heard that after it’s dried it can still be ground to make a servicable corn meal, but I don’t know anyone who has tried it.

    It also make perfectly drinkable White Lightning, or so I’ve been told.

  50. RobW says:

    But at the same time the UN Gang are putting regulatory hurdles in front of these poor country so they cannot use GM crops to increase their production. Right hand meet left hand!

  51. RobW says:

    @MattN says:
    September 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I just got back from the grocery store, and I’m having trouble seeing any evidence of a “food crisis”. Fact is, we throw enough food away from spoilage to feed a small country…

    Unless you are willing to share the blueprints for a Star Trek transporter system, the lack of local production in these poor countries will not be solved by waste in the developed world.

  52. Josualdo says:

    Ian H says: September 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm: The more extreme greens are not at all shy about stating their belief that that the world would be much better with a smaller population. Perhaps they see starvation as a feature and not a bug in their program.

    Of course it is, pretty much like soaring energy prices due to taxes and inneficient production methods, thereby killing people by cold and inability to move around to get jobs, food, etc, and impoverishing entire countries so that people fall into the previous traps; and “uneducating” as many people as they can so that they cannot question the media or anything. And all that while enriching the bankers.

  53. mikerossander says:

    ostar notes above that “The corn that is used for ethanol and feed is not the type of corn that you can buy at [the] supermarket for human consumption.”

    That is absolutely true and absolutely irrelevant. Number 2 Field Corn is not the same as sweet corn.

    It’s irrelevant because that IS the type of corn that’s fed to cattle, chickens and other feed animals. The diversion of corn is increasing the cost of meat. I don’t eat that type of corn directly but I do eat it indirectly. Perhaps the increase in cost of meat is not much of a factor in first-world countries but it is proving a significant hit to those at the margins.

    Note: You and I also eat great quantities of that type of corn post-processing – that is, after being converted to ingredients such as corn-starch, high fructose corn syrup, corn meal and a host of other products.

    Second and probably more importantly, that corn is growing on land that is no longer available for alternative crops like wheat, rice, vegetables and the many other plants that we DO eat directly. When farmers are incented to shift their production away from food crops and even further toward industrial production, the supply of food-crops generally goes down and prices go up.

  54. jimlion says:

    @ Bill Marsh You’re not alone in this however. I was in the grocery store a few months ago and observed a lady lamenting the price of corn, “Why is corn so expensive now?” I offered that, in large part, it was because of the government mandated use of corn for ethanol, a gasoline substitute. I got a 1,000 mile stare in response.

    And you are both wrong.

    How many times do those of us in the industry have to tell you that the price of an ear of Sweetcorn (edible/foodstuff) and commercial corn (inedible/processor commodity) has zero economic relationship. Sweetcorn is grown on a tiny fraction of the arable land and the acres grown are tightly regulated by the players in that market (ie. Del Monte) because of longstanding experience on the problems and displacement of overproduction (elastic supply/ inelastic demand).

    Discussion on the public policy aspects of Biofuels/Ethanol is fine and healthy, but this continuos strawman arguement that we are burning food is complete nonsense. Do you burn crude oil in a car’s gas tank? No, it must be processed first into a usuable form. Commercial corn is no different. Corn is a miracle crop because of the myriad uses it can be tailored to, ethanol production being just one, with the additional benefit of high quality livestock feed as a byproduct.

    In regards to the price of corn, let’s have some context. 35 years ago, corn traded around $2.60/bushel. The purchasing power of $2.60 in 1976 is roughly $8.30 today. So even with the runup in corn price this summer, we are still below parity with the price of corn a generation past. In addition, many producers will not enjoy or take part in this latest recovery in price because: A. Drought reduced yield, in some cases to zero. B. Market analysts were predicting sub-$5.00 corn and many producers prepriced a heavy percentage of their 2012 production.

  55. more soylent green! says:

    otsar says:
    September 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    The brewing of ethanol for fuel does not consume all of the corn feedstock. The leftovers DDGS are used in animal feed. It contains the the leftovers form the yeast that is high in vitamins, it contains kernel oils, etc. The starches and sugars are what is converted into ethanol. DDGS is used in dairy, and poultry feed and has partially replaced soy where it is available at a lower price.
    The corn that is used for ethanol and feed is not the type of corn that you can buy at he supermarket for human consumption.

    So farmers used to have a bunch of unwanted corn sitting around, rotting in the silos or just left in the fields? No?

    Yes, it’s a different crop, but the artificial, distorted market has caused farmers to put marginal land into use, divert extra resources into producing corn, use extra fertilizer, water, etc.

    It’s the same story whenever government policy interferes with the market. Resources that could be better put to use elsewhere are diverted; everyone else pays higher prices for everything else.

  56. Rob says:

    This article mischaracterizes both the NYT article and UN report. Read them yourself – follow the links. The UN report first mentions the problem of climate change in it’s 2nd paragraph and then repeatedly throughout the report. The paragraph about biofuel quoted above is the 18th paragraph and the only mention of fuels in the article.

  57. Alec Rawls says:

    The corn that gets turned into ethanol is “field corn,” which is also used as animal feed. Jimlion seems to be claiming that with field corn, we can have our cake and eat it too, that we can take the energy out of it by processing it into ethanol, and still have it be provide “high quality” nutrition to animals.

    Jimlion calls this a “miracle,” and if it were true it would indeed be a miracle. I can see the ethanol byproduct being a good source of protein, but not calories, which are pretty much all removed, right? It might be a good source of calories per quantity, but then the quantity that comes out of ethanol production would have to be vastly reduced from the quantity that goes in. Something has to give here. There are no actual “miracles” producible by man.

    Maybe Jim can link the exact numbers. Whatever efficiencies there are to ethanol production should be front and center. Corn with the calories removed sounds like good HUMAN food. But in no case should ethanol ever be mandated or subsidized, both on general principle (because mandates destroy the efficiency and flexibility of markets, as seen in the present food crisis), and because ethanol is an absolutely ROTTEN fuel for many vehicles, especially anything that gets stored unused for significant periods.

    To satisfy an utterly fraudulent eco-alarm, together with the subversion of the public interest by corn-state corruption, millions of engines are getting destroyed every year at untold cost and inconvenience. What I wouldn’t give to be able to leave my old-timey RV fueled up for the winter with straight gas instead of E-10. Is this a free country anymore? Throw the corn-commies out!

  58. mikerossander says:

    Dodgy Geezer above said “Everyone on this Earth has a couple of cubic kilometers of water available to them, which will NEVER go away.”

    First, that’s not really true. According to the UN Water Statistics, the total volume of water on earth is 1.4 billion cubic kilometers. With a world population of just under 7 billion, that works out to 0.2 cubic kilometers each.

    That’s irrelevant, though, because (and this is more than just potable/non-potable), only a few percent of that total volume is fresh water. Sea water is essentially unusable for either direct consumption or irrigation. (Yes, it can be desalinated but not in any economically feasible scale.) Worse, the majority of that freshwater is inaccessible, for example, being concentrated in remote areas like the Amazon river basin. I’ve seen reliable estimates that say as little as 0.007% is accessible for human use. That puts us at about 14 cubic meters each.

  59. Alec Rawls says:

    Rob claims that “This article mischaracterizes both the NYT article and UN report.” He claims that the UN report mentions the problem of climate change “repeatedly.” False. It mentions it ONCE, the mention that I credited it with, and that the Times focused on. There is a further mention of droughts and floods as a cause of crop failure but there is no attempt to link droughts and floods with climate change, which was NOT the focus of the UN urgent statement.

    Yes, as I wrote, the joint call by 8 international food organizations to relax ethanol mandates comes “at the end of their short statement, not the beginning,” (how is that a mischaracterization?), but it is referred to at the very beginning. The “joint statement” is subtitled: “UN Agencies appeal for swift, coordinated action.”

    The only “swift, coordinated action” that is called for is reduction in ethanol mandates. There is no call for reducing carbon. No action re climate is contemplated. They state long term goals focused on social support for the poor and for small farmers, and they call for immediate backing off of ethanol mandates. That’s it. There is only one call for swift action, and it is stated as a coordinated call by 8 food organizations. Pretty hard to miss.

    I understand that greenies like reporter Annie Lowrey and commenter Rob read with a filter on their brains that ignores whatever does not support what they perceive to be their side, but in Annie’s case, this is journalistic malpractice. In Rob’s case, trollery.

  60. Silver Ralph says:

    So about 40% of US grain is used for fuel. And what percentage of fuel usage does this represent, one may ask? Not a lot, it would seem. Is this waste of good food in any way worth it?

  61. jimlion says:

    @Alec
    Here you go:
    http://www.ethanolrfa.org/pages/ethanol-facts-agriculture

    and for your old RV:

    http://ethanolrfa.org/page/-/RFA%20Gas%20Ethanol%20Blends%20and%20Classic%20Auto.pdf?nocdn=1

    To your point on storage, and this is completely anecdotal, my small engine guy at Ace Hardware is very hard on me about the lack of 100% unleaded available for small engine use. However, he is just as hard on the refineries that he believes are producing a lower standard fuel overall that even without the ethanol would not have the shelf life the fuels in the past had.

    As far as ethanol destroying millions of engines, more nonsense.

  62. Richard Patton says:

    I use this bumper sticker to educate other drivers about this issue: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/66343417/Ethonol.png
    I have had one or two people ask me where they can get it-unfortunately I have to say that I made it myself at Zazzle.com and don’t have any additional with me.

  63. mikerossander says:

    Just an engineer took Schitzree to task above with the assumption that the conversion of a wood-burning stove to corn is limited to the use of corn COBs as fuel. That is an unfair assumption. Many wood-burning stoves are pellet stoves. Use of feed corn in a pellet stove is a fairly easy conversion, though it does involve modifications to the feeder and different treatment of the ash.

    While I suppose some of the wood-to-corn stove conversions were cob-based, most that I am aware of were pellet to kernel.

  64. Zeke says:

    The local foods movement is another misdeed of misrule by the misinformed as well.

    A woman who is clever at feeding her family can purchase a bag of frozen vegetables from Wal Mart for 1.62 USD. The vegetables come from 3 continenents and include watercress, baby corn, sugar snap peas, and bell peppers, among others. This is wonderful and tasteful food for a home, and is provided for a good price. The local only movement would restrict diets and subject people to the vagaries of local crop failures and prices.

    Of course, the company who provides the frozen vegetable mix from 3 continents for such a low price has encountered harassment from unions, gov’t agencies, and lawyers.

    Wonderful column by Rawls.

  65. Kevin Kilty says:

    otsar says:
    September 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    …The corn that is used for ethanol and feed is not the type of corn that you can buy at he supermarket for human consumption.

    It is what goes into cornmeal and corn chips.

  66. Schitzree says:

    Just an engineer on September 7, 2012 at 7:41 am said:

    Please don’t post from ignorance, cornCOB is NOT corn! http://www.ehow.com/how_4596904_use-corn-burning-furnaces.html

    Please don’t assume I’m ignorant. If I say corn burner I mean something that burns corn.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/monroe42.html

    A corn stove does not burn stalks or left-over cobs. It burns kernels, less than a handful at a time.

    http://www.cornflame.net/faqs.html#2
    Lots of info on corn burning stoves

    Not sure where you or ehow got your facts, but I can tell you from experiance that my stepdad’s corn burner burned actual corn.

    (in any disagreement between what a farmer’s done and what an engineer’s read, bet on the farmer ;)

  67. clipe says:

    Spector says:
    September 7, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Of Course, “End of Growth” Canadian economist Jeff Rubin…

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/12/15/dan-gardner-jeff-rubin-is-a-guru-you-shouldnt-listen-to/

    Jeff Rubin is an almost eerily perfect example of the sort of expert people should not listen to — but do anyway. The foundation of Rubin’s fame is a correct call he made a decade ago. At the time, oil prices were low and stable. Most experts were sure they would stay that way. But Rubin became convinced the world was approaching “peak oil” — the point at which oil production would cease to grow and the price of oil would soar.

    As Rubin predicted, oil prices started to climb in 2003. Up and up they went, to previously unimaginable highs. In the first half of 2008, oil topped $140 a barrel. Rubin and the few others who called the surge became media darlings.

    But in the summer of 2008, the price started to slide. In September came the financial meltdown. The global economy shuddered and the price of oil collapsed. By the end of the year, it was barely above $30 a barrel.

  68. clipe says:

    Everybody’s An Expert
    Putting predictions to the test.
    by Louis Menand December 5, 2005

    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/12/05/051205crbo_books1

  69. albertkallal says:

    +1 for Lew on the fact that you have a farm That is a limited and precious resource, and one that is for growing the food .

    You use water, you use fertilizer, you cause soil erosion, and a host of a million other things that a result of mechanized farming which is something of a very precious and very recent event in mankind in which we now have the means to feed everyone with relative ease.

    It is beyond galactic stupidity for anybody to stand here suggest that somehow the energy, the time, the efforts, and the resources of using precious farmland for growing food is somehow something that doesn’t count as land that is something we have for that of growing food to feed people!

    It is beyond stupid, and beyond any aspect of intelligent reasoned debate for anybody to stand here and suggest that somehow this resource, and the energy and Time &Resources to obtain that resource for growing food is somehow a resource that doesn’t count as something for growing food to feed people!

    The most confusing part here, is those attempting to come up with some type of intelligent logical explanation as to even considering this idea.

    Why is it when this debate comes up we have a few people, perhaps from the local circus, (or maybe the corn lobby???) or perhaps some unemployed drunken rodeo clown that shows up here and attempts to make some kind of “insane” intelligent case that such a land resource is somehow not something that can be used to grow food to feed people? I mean exactly how stupid do you want people here to be?

    In fact exactly how stupid you think people are in general?

    I am attempting to come with a “shred” of logical explanation how anybody can think that a PRECIOUS land resource for the growing of food is not somehow something that can be used for growing of food ?

    And some of the worst counter arguments that come up are even more beyond this galactic stupidity of burning fuel in vehicles. The one that came up last time was how we use our front lawns for growing the food? Well in fact that possibility does exist, and during the last word war this was encouraged and it was called a “victory garden”. So people were encouraged to take any space they had to grow extra food and vegetables.

    However we’re not really in a wartime economy, and I suppose if things did get bad enough, and we continue this road down the galactic stupidity of following the socialist and green programs, we’re going to end up like the socialist economy’s of Eastern Europe where the ONLY food you have is from your own garden. Eastern Europe was once the breadbasket of Europe until stupid socialism took over and their people began to starve and they could not grow enough food by adopting these socalist stupid ideas.

    Gee, following down the road of such stupidity such as suggesting that we use good land resources for burning fuel in your car while people go hungry is stupid, and worse such a road is a road to hunger for the people.

    I can only conclude that today must be that day then the local mental institution is giving out day passes because they’ve run out of medication for their people, and they Gotta let ‘em out for few hours to get some fresh air.

    There’s simply not the person of reason and thought that can come up with any reasoned intelligent debate as to why we should be using such precious land resources when we see headlines that apparently bad weather is causing food shortages!

    This is really not much different than saying we have spare electricity, so let’s throw away and use it for something other than what we need Electricity for. If you do that, you pretty rapidly wind up not having enough electricity, because you’re throwing it away without cause for concern. And in fact you look at places like California, they’re not building energy infrastructure, and thinking they have all the spare electricity they need and thus can now pursue stupid things like attempting to run their electrical system by building a bunch of silly windmills.

    There’s lame, and then there’s really stupid and people being irresponsible. In California, the result is now they have rolling blackouts, and worse they simply import electricity from coal burning states where they realize they actually need to generate something called electricity to keep up a decent standard of living.

    And of course if they respected electricity, then they would have a proper energy program in the first place, and the same respect and utilization of land and farming resources in a society for growing food to feed people is a precious and hard fought resource in our society that we must protect and keep is such. This is almost similar to those who fought in previous wars to give us our freedoms.

    And someone has to stop giving out those day passes to people who escape from institutions, are off their meds for few hours, and manage to somehow come here to WUWT to get away making some post about some nonsense about how we should be using great productive farmland to burn fuel in our cars.

    And, to be 100% fair, if some people do have extra corn to burn as fuel, then I respect that – but not a government program to force feed such a policy and use billions of tons of food in this process.

  70. Schitzree says:

    Thanks to mikerossander for backing me up.

    All right, here’s the thing. I’ve been living in the ‘big city’ now for over a decade, but I havn’t forgotten my roots or lost contact with my family and friends outside of town, so all this talk of corn really brought out the farmboy in me. And needless to say most farmboys don’t take kindly to being called ignorant. But after I calmed back down I got to wondering about Just’s corncob burners. I hadn’t heard of them before, but that didn’t mean they wern’t out there. So I went back and reread the ehow article he linked to.

    Purchase corn cobs to be used as fuel. Many farmers have left-over cobs after feeding their livestock. Many farmers use all or a portion of their corn cobs in their own furnaces, but many have excess cobs for sale. Generally cobs are 30 to 50% less expensive than wood. Corn processing plants and animal feed stores also often carry corn cobs for sale.

    My problem with this statment is this. The combine’s used to harvest feed corn don’t collect the cob. The kurnel is shelled in the combine and the cob is blown out the back with the rest of the chaff. It never leaves the field. Now I assume with sweetcorn it’s different, since it isn’t dried out and hard when harvested, but I don’t know. Everyone I know grows feed corn, soybean, and maybe some winter wheat. The only sweetcorn we ever grew was in the garden.

    . And since corn cobs produce four times the heat of an equivalent quantity of propane and cost less, the savings in heating bills can be tremendous.

    Do not burn corn cobs in a traditional wood-burning stove. Corn cobs produce far more heat than wood and they can damage a traditional wood-burning stove or furnace.

    Both of these are true of burning corn kurnels, but I don’t see how they can be true for cobs. Corn cobs are light, with a low density. The kurnel is were all the suger is stored. If the cob held any we would be useing IT to make ethanol.

    I’m sure you could burn corncob, but I can’t see you getting any more energy out of it then from any other plant waste. Mind you, I don’t know that for sure. Has anyone any experiance with a corn cob burner? I’d love to hear from someone with actual knowledge on this if you have.

  71. gringojay says:

    Cobs manually shucked of kernels are set out on side of roads by families in piled up gunny sacks where my tropical farm is. Piled high lorries of middlemen circulate regularly post- harvest to buy cob sacks for cash & resale to feed processors. One poultry feed use for hammer milled maize cobs is as mixing agent for feed supplements (ex: lslurry made up from feed elaborators’ dry stock of choline chloride).
    Roasted maize on the cob is seasonally popular with people. People on the go can be seen with a half eaten ear. Despite sparse local refrigeration & plastic costly that cob holds remaining kernels for finishing off later on.

  72. bikedude says:

    jimlion’s reply above is interesting (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/06/nyt-blames-food-crisis-on-climate-change-hides-plea-to-reduce-government-mandated-burning-of-food-for-fuel/#comment-1073253). If most of the corn is grown as livestock feed, then this problem again boils down to people in industrialized nations eating too much meat. If we cut down on our consumption of meat, more food could be grown.

    Somehow I doubt any one of you guys would be willing to make that sacrifice. I certainly won’t! (In fact, next week I am driving to my local farmer to buy 64 kg of beef)

    Also the argument of using excess food in the west to supply developing nations needs to be carefully thought through. Free food means the local farmers in those countries will be unable to make a living. Reports show that the end result is heavily reduced farming and a greater dependency on our “generosity”.

    This is obviously not a good situation. I’d also like to point out that the price of fuel is quite high at the moment. There seems to be a connection between food prices and prices of fuel, and that connection is hardly ethanol.

    BTW: Ethanol is a wonderful fuel. It burns clean and allows for higher compression (though I admit it would be difficult to achieve higher compression in an engine also designed for normal gasoline). Some engines will even offer more kick in the pants when run on E85 (e.g. the Saab 9-3, the 9-5 OTOH was tuned to preserve more E85 rather than increase the power).

  73. Zeke says:

    “If most of the corn is grown as livestock feed, then this problem again boils down to people in industrialized nations eating too much meat.”

    The farmland used to grow the corn is the issue. That is what is being wasted and is distorting the food supply and prices (alberkallal, above comment) Commodities speculators also do their fair share of damage, and there are others here who have mastered that part of the equasion.

    “Reports show that the end result is heavily reduced farming and a greater dependency on our “generosity”.”

    And everyone knows, the UN prefers our generosity in cash.

  74. bikedude says:

    Zeke, I have two questions:

    1) Is jimlion correct when he says that most of the crops used for fuel is actually used for feeding livestock? (and that the wasteproducts from that is what ends up as ethanol)

    2) Do you propose we reduce the production of livestock feed? Should we all consider becoming vegans?

  75. Zeke says:

    No. The corn-based ethanol mandate draws one-third of the corn supply away from other uses.
    The ethanol mandates of the NFS also draws land away from competing crops. This all needlessly raises the prices for livestock and retail food world both domestically and world wide, with the poorest being the hardest hit.

    The farmland used for ethanol mandates is properly used for wheat and corn and other grains, which animals and humans eat. Extra production can be stored for contingency situations and even used as aid.

    Fuel for vehicles can be located in ANWR and in huge quantities off shore in the continental shelves.

  76. Zeke says:

    correction: This all needlessly and arbitrarily raises the prices for livestock and retail food both domestically and world wide, with the poorest being the hardest hit.

  77. jimlion says:

    @Bikedude
    1) Is jimlion correct when he says that most of the crops used for fuel is actually used for feeding livestock? (and that the wasteproducts from that is what ends up as ethanol)

    I did NOT say that!
    Jeeez guys, this is not rocket science.

    1 bushel corn = 56 pounds
    Approximately 39 pounds starch per bushel converted into 2.8-2.9 gallons of ethanol leaving
    17 pounds of Dried Distillers Grain (DDGs) used as animal feed

  78. jimlion says:

    @AlbertKallal,
    (and I worked with a Kallal from Jerseyville,)

    “And someone has to stop giving out those day passes to people who escape from institutions, are off their meds for few hours, and manage to somehow come here to WUWT to get away making some post about some nonsense about how we should be using great productive farmland to burn fuel in our cars.
    And, to be 100% fair, if some people do have extra corn to burn as fuel, then I respect that – but not a government program to force feed such a policy and use billions of tons of food in this process.”

    So you want to restrict using farmland only for growing food…..hmmm……ok fine. So what do you propose we do with all the surplus that will inevitably result,—- and the grain price collapse that will ruin thousands upon thousands of farming operations forcing them into bankruptcy—which will cause a downward spiral of farmland values, wiping out billions in asset values—Agricultural supply/equipment companies embark on a brutal downsizing/merging path to survive destroying millions of jobs and depressing an already fragile U.S. economy.

    Don’t think that would happen? It already has–it was called the ’80s, and my family lived through it, although many did not. The mid-80′s agricultural economic collapse’s cause can be shown to have many contributors, but the trigger was undisputably one event—when that peanut farmer- president Carter put a grain embargo on the then-Soviet Union in 1979, because of their invasion of Afghanistan.

    All you Malthusians out there, wringing your hands about the coming food crisis and our inability to feed a growing world, do not have a clue how productive we are today, and that we have only touched the surface on the potential for the future. Direct consumable foods (ie. vegetables/fruits) are grown on a mere small fraction of the arable land availiable in the U.S. Without Ethanol and the RFS, our cereal grain production capacity far outstrips our consumption and is getting better(or worse) after every growing season. We had a drought this year—so what. Market forces are distributing where the grain needs to go and higher prices are incentivising farmers around the world to go into hyperdrive to meet the perceived demand. Next year, we will more than likely be awash with surplus grain and lower prices—and I, or some of my collegues will be out in D.C. argueing that an increase in the RFS mandate is warranted.

    Agriculture will feed the world. Hunger is caused by lack of economic activity–which has been discussed on these pages many times. Over 90% of the world population lives on less than $2/day, that’s why there’s hunger. And the true perversion lies with the Grist.com/Motherjones/greenpeace/WWF–scumbags that think fewer humans is better. With their “save the world” policies whether it be global warming cap&trade, carbon tax or the policy du jour, they and their “useful idiots,” like Lisa Jackson, are perpetuating on the planet a genocide that is already making Mao, Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot’s efforts look amatuerish by comparison.

    That’s what really at stake here. That’s why WUWT and the other folks standing up against economic tyranny in the form of “environmental protection” is so so important. Thank you Anthony for all your efforts.

  79. Spector says:

    RE: clipe: (September 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm)

    Spector says:
    September 7, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Jeff Rubin is an almost eerily perfect example of the sort of expert people should not listen to — but do anyway.

    I have seen that one too. He also appears to be among those that you might call ‘professional peak oil’ writers and speakers, such as Dr. Chris Martenson or ‘The Party is Over’ Richard Heinberg.

    I do not think we should look forward to being like the ‘happy Danes’ paying 33 cents per kilowatt hour.

    But resources do run out — nobody is advocating a ‘dig-baby-dig’ solution for the financial problems in the once golden state–even with gold at an all time high. I think our huge national debt puts also us in a competitive disadvantage is world competition for the resources we use. Your tax dollars have been committed for use to help someone else eventually buy the gasoline that you may not be able to afford. That is why the national debt could be denominated in barrels of oil going somewhere else.

    The eventual future looks quite bleak unless someone like Dr. David LeBlanc or Kirk Sorensen can develop a safe, high-efficiency, liquid-fueled nuclear reactor or perhaps if a company like Star Scientific in Australia can develop a practical fusion reactor.

    I do not believe that ‘Natural Power’ alone can support modern population levels–perhaps one of the driving factors behind the unrest that has erupted all over the world recently is the energy-cost-related, increasing cost of food among those who least can afford it. I suspect that sky-rocketing prices for carbon power will hit the third world first and hardest.

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