“You’ve heard of Live Aid? Well, this is Drive Aid,” an ardent young man says, as he approaches London pedestrians. “Greedy people in developing nations are eating huge amounts of food that could easily be turned into biofuel to power our cars. African acreage the size of Belgium is being used for food, and we’re saying it should go to cars here in the UK. Can we have your support?”
Londoners reacted with disbelief and outrage, the ActionAid UK video shows, and refused to sign his mock petition. The amusing stunt drove home a vital point: Biofuel programs are turning food into fuel, converting cropland into fuel production sites, and disrupting food supplies for hungry people worldwide. The misguided programs are having serious environmental consequences, as well.
Why, then, can’t politicians, bureaucrats and environmentalists display the common sense exhibited by London’s citizenry? Why did President Obama tell Africans (many of whom are malnourished) in July 2009 that they should refrain from using “dirty” fossil fuels and use their “bountiful” biofuel and other renewable energy resources, instead? When will Congress pull the plug on Renewable Fuel Standards?
Ethanol and other biofuels might have made some sense when Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and established mandates (or “standards”) requiring that refiners and consumer purchase large quantities of ethanol and other biofuels. Back then, despite growing evidence to the contrary, many people thought we were running out of oil and gas, and believed manmade global warming threatened the planet. But this is not 2005. Those rationales are no longer persuasive.
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