It may have helped keep gasoline prices lower in the world's wealthiest nation, but a growing band of influential critics say it has also contributed to higher food prices in the world's poorest countries. So far, the only sure beneficiaries from the ethanol promise have been the investors clever enough to get into the industry early and the corn farmers who have enjoyed a lucrative new market for their grain.It is often asserted that environmentalists also supported biofuels, though it is hard to find any links that show them doing it. If they did, I suspect it was some years ago. Does anyone know?
In short, the story of ethanol is a cautionary tale of the unintended and costly consequences that can arise when the interests of politicians and influential industries collide.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The great biofuels disaster
There is a good Financial Times article by Kevin Allison and Stephanie Kirchgaessner on the failure of biofuels to live up to what was their promoters claimed for them: