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Saturday, 23 January 2010

One quarter of US grain crops fed to cars - not people, new figures show

As if we need anything more to tell us the world is out of sync with nature - the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami, the bush fires in California and Australia, the global flooding. Couldn't this be Mother Nature's way of saying, there's a lack of balance as we are taking too much from the oceans, using too much of the land for agriculture, mining too many of the world's precious fuels and minerals? When is it going to stop? When is enough going to be enough?

I read this with interest namely that "One quarter of US grain crops fed to cars - not people, new figures show". Now if you didn't think so before you have to admit tat when you read this something goes through your mind? What about all the starving people who live on a dollar a day in sub Saharan Africa, in places so poor like Bangladesh and many other places. Wouldn't it make more sense to ship that food out to those people who really need it? And where does the seeds from the crops go? To make bio fuel for all those huge Hummers,SUVs and gas guzzlers that the Americans have been using for years which at the same time as they cost so much to produce one litre of gas, pollute the air with their spent exhaust gases.

"The 2009 figures from the US Department of Agriculture shows ethanol production rising to record levels driven by farm subsidies and laws which require vehicles to use increasing amounts of biofuels.

"The grain grown to produce fuel in the US [in 2009] was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels," said Lester Brown, the director of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington thinktank ithat conducted the analysis."

That's so scary; so many people who could have been fed with this food instead being consumed in such a wasteful way.

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