Dec 18 2007

Food vs Fuel? It’s All About The Total Consumption

Published by at 10:15 am under All General Discussions

Lot’s of reports out the world’s food supply is dwindling due to everything – except the obvious. You can read some of the latest head lines here and here. The UN and other lefties are denying their energy policies could be impacting food supplies, but it is a lame and misdirected argument. I can only note the title of one guy being quoted in the second article: “Emmanuel Jayet, an agricultural commodities and biofuels analyst at BNP Paribas SA in Paris”. The fact is humans are voracious consumers of two things constantly, their entire life: Food and Fuel. We need food to fuel our bodies and we need energy to fuel our tools and shelters and to acquire more food!

When food came from one source (primarily grains) and fuel came from another (oil products) then there was no competition. And in fact in the 1970’s there was a concern about feeding the world and advancements in agriculture came to the rescue and increased food production. The problem is those production increases are just about tapped out, or are increasing very slowly (only so much blood you can squeeze from a turnip you know). In addition, the world’s population has been chewing up any margin in food production increases as they have happened. So now we are tapped out in terms of increasing production of food – as admitted in this article from last year:

D.H. Pai Panandiker is an economist at the RPG Foundation, a New Delhi research organization. He says falling agricultural productivity in the last decade has raised fears that India will no longer be able to grow enough food to meet the needs of its billion-plus population.

“In the past six years there has hardly been any improvement in agricultural production,” Panandiker says. “The buffer stock, which was created out of the surplus agricultural production that we had earlier…was 64 million tons in 2002. That buffer stock has come down to nearly 18 million tons. So both the stock as well as the production have come down very drastically.”

The situation was dramatically different three decades ago. In the 1970’s, high-yielding varieties of grain helped usher in a “Green Revolution.” Production of staple foods multiplied, making it possible for food production to stay ahead of population growth. India’s agriculture was hailed as a success story.

The problem is now we have a new competition introduced for food – ethanol. Now the experts can deny all they want there is a connection, but there is. The food productivity gains of the last 30 years were able to produce a surplus margin that allowed us to weather bad years. We had the reserves in yearly production and massive food storage facilities to handle down turns. But some liberals got the bright idea the Ethanol from fuel would be ‘greener’ (when in fact it produces the same pollutants in cars as other gas and diesel fuel mixtures). Those surpluses which gave us margin to fight starvation now go into the much more profitable fuel production path.

Consumption of food and fuel were known to rise as the population does. And there are known downturn years in food production. But what no one on the left thought about was their mythology about ethanol burning cleaner would end up taking food out of the food pipeline. And now they know – but won’t admit it! Classic liberal fantasies hitting the world of reality.

One response so far

One Response to “Food vs Fuel? It’s All About The Total Consumption”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    EUReferendum had a post a month or so ago that looked at the requirements the EU had placed on them for percentage of biofuels that have to be reached by mandate and calculations based on current production rates showed that in ten years the entire crop base in England would have to be 100% dedicated to biofuel production with none left over for food usage.