The price of food goes up because supply can’t meet demand, much like oil. The only difference is, if the price of oil goes up, the price of gas goes up, and one can choose to use less gas, and use alternatives. When the price of food goes up there aren’t any alternatives. The wealthy, of course, can pay more, but the less well off don’t have as much flexibility.

One of the more dramatic headlines in the last couple of days has been the rising price of corn, a result of ‘climate change’ hysteria. It is the fault of a world so willing to goose-step into line with frantic and ridiculous leftists who worship Al Gore as they pander to his non-existent and yet implacable enemy.

Skyrocketing corn prices hit ethanol profits

The continuing surge in the price of corn, which is punishing households with higher food prices, is cutting the profits of American ethanol producers and playing havoc with an industry that was blamed for causing the grain shortage.

The price of a bushel of corn soared above $6 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last week, pushed higher by news that American farmers were planting less corn…Expensive corn is hurting the livestock industry, which in turn will raise the price of meat, Rich Feltes, senior vice-president of commodity research for MF Global, said. “Hog producers are liquidating sows, the farmers are operating in the red,” he said.

The skyrocketing cost of corn is rebounding on the ethanol industry, which is taking an ever larger proportion of the US corn harvest to manufacture road fuel.

Yeah, this man looks like he knows what’s healthy for the rest of us.

This is what we get when the world engages in what Hilary Clinton most recently brought to our attention–Mythomania, a psychiatric term describing individuals who make up fantastical stories and convey then as if they really exist or have happened. You think Hillary’s Bosnia airport story was bad? Al Gore and the Climate Change Hysterics are no better, the only reason they haven’t been so handily exposed is because God and Nature don’t have cameras and YouTube to defend the truth of their matter.

All this courtesy of the Leftists who insist the world will be better off if we find ‘alternatives’ to Big Oil. Yes, now at the expense of Starving People. Geniuses.

Clear-thinkers regularly decry the Fabulist agenda of Climate Change moonbats like Al Gore and his minions, as we point out not just the absurdity of their agenda but also its dangerousness. I suppose it’s meant to be made more difficult as were told that “climate change” is murdering polar bears, puppies, kittens and doves, but I for one was even more astounded by the Time Magazine cover story from a couple of weeks ago that actually declared The Clean Energy Scam. Instead of pointing to Leftist Climate Change pygmies as they should, Time now manages to place all the blame on ‘politicians and corporations.’ In fact, at no point in their story about how biofuels are a dangerous problem, does Al Gore’s name get mentioned once.

…Propelled by mounting anxieties over soaring oil costs and climate change, biofuels have become the vanguard of the green-tech revolution, the trendy way for politicians and corporations to show they’re serious about finding alternative sources of energy and in the process slowing global warming. The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade.

But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.

Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.’s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn’t exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.

We can thank Al Gore for this, as well as leftist agitators, and yes, politicians on both sides of the aisle who do not have the vision or courage to reject the nature contradicted, increasingly silly, and regularly debunked claims of global climate catastrophe.

The real folly and disaster is that of mankind thinking it knows all, kmows better, and has more influence and power than Mother Nature herself. Eventually she reminds us, to our great peril.

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8 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. GenRach says:

    Fantastic blog. I have just been educating myself with regards to the fuel issues and this has been a great jumping off point for me. I know to some that economic topics are often dry, but my friends as I have come to find out, we refuse to learn at our peril. And, more importantly, the mythomaniacs will use it to our peril. Thanks Tammy!!

  2. Dave J says:

    Ethanol subsidies managed to do what even a decade ago would’ve been thought economically impossible: drive overall food prices higher for the first time since the repeal of the British Corn Laws in the 1830’s.

    Ethanol is RETARDED. It takes more energy to grow corn and refine it into ethanol than it produces. Something that has negative efficiency like that can only even exist if it’s subsidized. And because farmers get huge handouts for it, they stop growing the crops that a free market would justify: the price of wheat has also gone up, as wheat fields get turned into corn fields to make more ethanol. If wheat and corn are both more expensive, then so is animal feed, and thus so is all meat. This is at least as big a price factor as the price of oil in transporting it all.

  3. Talkin Horse says:

    I’ll argue strongly that we need to be thinking terms of renewable energy that doesn’t depend upon hostile foreign suppliers. Domestic oil production has peaked, so we’d better either be searching for alternatives or prepared to become ever-more dependent upon the kindness of OPEC. But, as always, the devil is in the details. As I understand it, corn-based ethanol is a boondoggle; a huge, wasteful subsidy to organized agribusiness lobbyists. Cellulosic ethanol has better prospects of eventually doing more good than harm.

    The oil crisis of the moment will abate. A high price scares up new suppliers that would otherwise have sat on the sidelines (unless, of course, Mrs. Clinton succeeds in passing her threatened profit-seizing taxes, in which case prospects of new supplies will immediately dry up). Also, a recession will reduce consumption so supplies won’t be as tight. So things will improve until the next crisis a few years down the road. That’s why we’ve got to stay focused on the problem…even when it seems to have retreated.

    The irony is that the high cost of gas is, in the long term, a self-solving problem. The dearer the commodity is, the more people will use it wisely. The boom in gas-guzzling SUVs came about as a result of cheap gas. That’s human nature. The politicians that tell us they can reduce gas prices without encouraging a jump in consumption are being unrealistic. They think they can micromanage us into submission, but they’ll merely make a mess of things, as micromanagers always do.

    In my utopian dreams, I’d like to see an economy that is powered by solar energy, distributing electricity for fixed power and hydrogen for mobile needs. But in the meantime, we’ll be struggling.

  4. St. Thor says:

    “Alternative fuels” is just more “pie in the sky in the great by and by” BS sold by con artists at Archer Daniels Midland and 100 Senators and 435 Congresscritters. The problems with ethanol as a source are well known and pointed out in the previous comments. The problem with solar or wind power is that the technology necessary for either or both of them to replace our current reliance on coal and petroleum doesn’t exist and won’t for decades.

    There is, right now, a source of energy from alternative fuels that is capable of replacing coal and oil–nuclear. France and Japan are 80% nuclear powered. We should, right now, be starting a massive nuclear program to meet the same percentage for the US. There is no reason for the excessive red tape needed to cut through to get a nuclear plant built, except as pablum for the idiot environazis. Congress and the President could, if they were serious about the problem of energy, cut through the red tape by eliminating duplicating regulations and taking jurisdiction over such plants away from the federal courts.

    One other significant point beyond Congress’s starving people in third world countries by its buying into ethanol BS with subsidies and tariffs–the high price of oil means that middle eastern countries with whom we are at war for their sheltering and supplying terrorists, are getting the wherewithall for their terrorists supporting activities from us. In short we are killing our own troops with IEDs and bullets bought by terrorists through our craven caving in to prices set by dictators, petty kings, and tyrants. New anti-war slogan: Ho Ho, Hey Hey, Enviros, how many troops did you kill today?

  5. Paper_Tiger says:

    Two things:

    Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors:

    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

    I’ve been advocating this solution for about 3 years now. PBNRs can be used to a) provide cheap, safe, electrical power and b) crack steam thereby releasing oxygen (released into air) and hydrogen (to fuel fuel-cells). One of the biggest expenses of Hydrogen fuel-cell cars is the cost of hydrogen – PBNRs reduce that cost.

    We’re going to have to retool our infrastructure for the new ‘fuel’. We may as well do it right the first time instead of half-stepping with ethanol.

  6. pat_s says:

    It strikes me as peculiar that in light of all the doomsday scenarios predicted as a consequence of climate change, not much, if anything, is being done to prepare for the expected reality. All our efforts are toward mitigating global warming by reducing CO2 levels.

    Now, there’s a warning from Dr. James Hansen (Climate target is not radical enough) that the target for CO2 levels of 550ppm set as a goal by the EU and believed to be very stringent, is not nearly enough. We must reduce levels to 350ppm if “humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed”. If he’s right, the best efforts of Al Gore and all the other climate scaremongers would not prevent the end of civilization.

    Now, for the sake of argument, if Gore and the alarmists are correct about anthropogenically caused global warming, what if there is only a 10% chance the proposed proactive CO2 reduction efforts are not met or they are not sufficient. Shouldn’t we already be building dams and levees and starting to build new cities for population relocation? According to Dr. Hansen all the ice on the planet will melt causing the sea level to rise 250 ft. Are we to wait until Atlantic City is just Atlantic before we take steps to save civilization?

    Instead, it’s all about money. Money invested in Al Gore’s company that invests in other companies that are working really hard to find something or other that might help somehow. Money in the form of fines on economic activity. Money transferred to developing countries which will of course be harder it. Is remaining carbon neutral, as the likes of Al Gore and John Edwards claim to do while living in their mansions, really as good as actually reducing your carbon footprint by lowering your standard of living and moving to a smaller mansion?

    No, the scaremongers don’t want physical monuments built to remind generations of the biggest swindle of all time. Nor do they want to divert any money away from their pockets. They will green their pockets, have a grand time jetting around the world, and leave the ensuing economic disaster for others.

  7. Dave J says:

    “…cut through the red tape by … taking jurisdiction over such plants away from the federal courts.”

    I was with you right up until you said that. Do you think handing this over to the STATE courts would make things better? Or do you actually think that Congressional repeal of federal court jurisdiction actually makes an issue beyond all judicial review, despite the fact that the state courts have an independent duty to apply federal law?

  8. St. Thor says:

    Let’s start by being intellectually honest, Dave J.
    1) “cut through the red tape by…” is a separate, distinct, and independent clause from “taking jurisdiction over such plants away from the federal courts.” The two clauses are two distinct suggestions, and are not dependent on each other. So stop arguing like some leftist, totalitarian Democrat and treat suggestions honestly

    2) Assuming, only for purposes of argument, that you are correct that an abstention doctrine will not be enforced by the states, the states will have to decide federal law, and the Supreme Court of the US has original jurisdiction of such cases–see Article III, Section 2 of the US Constitution. So, a) the state body with authority to handle such questions initially will be the local Public Utility Commission, or similar state executive authority, not the state’s courts; b)any state court that decides an appeal contrary to the Supreme Court’s reading of the law had better make ready for the federalized National Guard; and c) if you can’t figure out how to make the state a party to any of this type of litigation, I will be glad to show you how.

    Finally, the new federal procedures on class actions have done wonders for the commonweal, and state courts haven’t moved in to take over former federal cases. Getting rid of one blockade, even though there are others in existence, is still helpful. Don’t try to make the hypothetical perfect the enemy of good. Again, stop arguing like a totalitarian Democrat.

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