U.N. plagiarizes W.C. Varones

Two months ago, we wrote that ethanol will destroy the environment:
Ethanol is terrible for the environment. It’s driven up corn prices, not just in the U.S., but in Mexico and Central America. This will immediately cause the clear-cutting of remaining rainforest to plant the now immensely profitable corn crop.

I’ve traveled through Central America. It was bad enough seeing subsistence farmers cutting down the rainforest to clear land to feed their families. Ethanol demand in the U.S. will make the clear-cutting much faster and more far-reaching.

What about using Brazilian cane sugar instead? Perfect. They’ll clear-cut the Amazon rainforest.

You think burning gasoline causes CO2 levels to increase? That’s nothing compared to what chopping down the Amazon will do.

Law of unintended consequences. Learn it.

Now comes the U.N., never content to let five concise and complete paragraphs stand, to say the same thing in a 60-page paper.

The Guardian summarizes:
The global rush to switch from oil to energy derived from plants will drive deforestation, push small farmers off the land and lead to serious food shortages and increased poverty unless carefully managed, says the most comprehensive survey yet completed of energy crops.
"Unless carefully managed" means we need to hire armies of new U.N. bureaucrats to micromanage biofuel development, I presume.


Anonymous said...

That's exactly what we did in the early part of the last century... the government encouraged a massive expansion of agricultural expoitation in the Plains, and it eventually gave us the Dust Bowl. Looks like we're back on that same destructive path.

Let the market decide, and we avoid these environmental perversions.

J said...

Great to read an article that keeps in mind the large disadvantage this search for new energy has for the forests. New energy sources is not the solution, because the real problem is our addiction to consumption. We shouldn't just focus on cleaner energy, but on using less energy by consuming less useless products.

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