If you were not persuaded by the purely emotional case for corn, prepare yourself for the hyper-logical case made by former Senator Tom Daschle in the September/October 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. He says the food vs. fuel debate is a myth, that 95 percent of corn is not even used for food and most goes to feed live stock. Daschle believes there is no increase in the price of chicken, pork etc. due to the price of corn. Why? You can still make feed from ethanol coproducts (link is to pdf). In fact, for certain animals that feed is more nutritional.

Daschle says the market will adjust and has already increased supply. Biofuel plays a central role in responding to climate change, he says (remember, Daschle sits on the board of cellulosic ethanol company Mascoma). The predicted increased ethanol costs do not account for various schemes like carbon trading to support biofuels. Fossil fuel prices are also increasing, so it's likely that ethanol will be competitive far sooner than ten years from now as production
processes become more efficient. There is reason for Daschle to be optimistic. In 1980, he heard the same food vs. fuel debate. After decades, doom sayers like Lester Brown were proven wrong.

Below the fold is a video of Tom talking about energy policy and biofuels. He says things have changed from ten years ago. People are increasingly starting to look at these policies as having impacts on countries all over the world, realizing this is no longer a local issue but a national security issue. We have to have a better understanding and become supportive of the changes that need to take place.

[Source: Foreign Affairs]


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