NewEnergyNews: THE REAL HUNGER GAMES

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, October 18:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Can California hit 1.5M zero-emission vehicles by 2025?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Corporate demand pushes new generation of utility green tariffs

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    THE REAL HUNGER GAMES

    Hunger Games; The rich world is causing the famines it claims to be preventing.

    George Monbiot, August 13, 2012 (UK Guardian)

    “…You should by now have heard about the famine developing in the Sahel region of West Africa. Poor harvests and high food prices threaten the lives of some 18 million people. The global price of food is likely to rise still further, as a result of low crop yields in the United States, caused by the worst drought in 50 years. World cereal prices, in response to this disaster, climbed 17% last month…

    “We have been cautious about attributing such events to climate change: perhaps too cautious. A new paper by James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, shows that there has been a sharp increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers…Between 1951 and 1980 these events affected between 0.1 and 0.2% of the world’s land surface each year. Now, on average, they affect 10%...Both the droughts in the Sahel and the US crop failures are likely to be the result of climate change.”

    “…Biofuels are the means by which governments in the rich world avoid hard choices. Rather than raise fuel economy standards as far as technology allows, rather than promoting a shift from driving to public transport, walking and cycling, rather than insisting on better town planning to reduce the need to travel, they have chosen to exchange our wild overconsumption of petroleum for the wild overconsumption of fuel made from crops…40% of US corn (maize) production is used to feed cars…

    “…The European Commission admits that its target (10% of transport fuels by 2020) will raise world cereal prices by between 3 and 6%...[W]ith every 1% increase in the price of food, another 16 million people go hungry…By 2021, the OECD says, 14% of the world’s maize and other coarse grains, 16% of its vegetable oil and 34% of its sugarcane will be used…[though when all impacts are considered] biofuels produce more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels…Even second generation biofuels, made from crop wastes or wood, are an environmental disaster…The combination of first and second generation biofuels – encouraging farmers to plough up grasslands and to leave the soil bare – and hot summers could create the perfect conditions for a new dust bowl…”

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