HUNGRY FOR CORN: Record snowfalls natonwide, temperatures falling worldwide, and "climate change" concerns have reached epidemic proportions. . . Well I think that is enough for now. The more you know about this whole climate change debate the more confusing it becomes. It’s not whether we go green. It’s not whether we have a sustainability plan; it is the fact that the ramifications of solving the problem by certain means may lead to unintentional consequences that none of us really want to contemplate.
For example, I was reading several articles over the weekend -- some of them from a conservative point of view and some from a more left-leaning, pro-climate change perspective -- and over and over these articles were citing UN reports about how the ever increasing demands for bio fuels (ethanol) were straining the world food markets. The use of millions of acres land for crops such as wheat, corn and rice are stretching world grain markets. This in turn is causing shortages and the price of food to rise; in some cases food prices are up 30% to 40%, especially in Third World countries.
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), drought and high food prices in much of the world along with the diversion of cereal grains to bio fuels, along with the high cost of production in the western nations, will likely reduce grain production for food by most of the world’s producers, despite the fact one billion people worldwide are already going hungry.
With more and more local, national, and world governments passing legislation that demand greater use of biofuels, the strain on the world's food supply may become overwhelming. As we all know, our industry is very energy dependent, which means we rely on low fuel prices and abundant supplies to make us profitable. I also know through conversations with those in the industry that most of us want to do the right thing. But this controversial issue is creates a scenario where the right thing may become a deadly fact for the worlds hungry. Is there a solution out there that makes better sense? I don’t know. What I do know is that the whole discussion has given me a moment of pause.
This is an excerpt from the UN News Centre: The Food and Agricultural Organization also forecasted further increases in the use of cereals for bio-fuel production with a total of 104 million tons, up 22% from the 2007-08 estimated level, representing almost 5% of world cereal production. The U.S. alone is expected to increase production of bio-fuels to about 93 million tons, which is up 19% from the 2007-08 level.
— Jae Morey is vice president of business development with CheapLimoRates.com. He writes two separate blogs that focus on the limousine industry. “LIMO-U” is a blog that is educational in nature and covers numerous topics about how to use limousine services for various events and other industry related topics. His blog “The Limo Lane” is about all things limousine with topics that are of interest to limousine operators and customers of the industry.
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