The Ethanol Debate

Maybe Fidel and Hugo aren’t so dumb! Stanard Schaefer in Counterpunch points out that the ethanol binge already has driven corn prices through the roof and, now wrapped in the Bush (and most Democrats’) free trade mantra, promises to earmark corn in the developing world for export, thus, removing land from the production of food.

“There are other potential problems,” he says. “In Indonesia, ancient forests are being burned up to make room for oil-palm biofuel. They’re already digging up the rainforests in Brazil to plant soybeans that will be used in NutriSystem microwavable food packages designed to help fat Americans lose weight. As demand for ethanol increases to be equal to current oil consumption, it is almost guarantees forests will be dug up in the Global South to plant more sugar cane, since after all that is where it grows best. How then can ethanol be called carbon neutral when it will increase deforestation, when its promoters such as BP are notorious human rights violators, when companies such as BP are under a grand jury investigation for spilling 267,000 gallons of oil in Prudhoe Bay?”