For those anxious to assign blame, the U.S. biofuels industry has made a particularly juicy target. With US$6 billion worth of annual subsidies going into the ethanol industry, critics say, the dream of making America more energy independent has inverted an equation that held for millennia — namely, that you increase food production by putting more energy into it (in the post-industrial age, energy means tractor fuel and nitrogen fertilizer). Now, farmers are being blandished with government money to convert food into energy. Pimentel, the Cornell agricultural scientist, has dubbed it the "biofuel boondoggle": fully 20 per cent of the U.S. corn crop went into creating ethanol last year, yet it provided only one per cent of the country's fuel needs. "So it's not making us energy independent at all, and it's driving up the price of everything else," he says. "You're taking corn away from feeding livestock, and sure enough, here in the States, the price of meat, milk and eggs has gone up 10 to 20 per cent. The price of other grains that you can use as substitutes is going up, because they're in short supply, too."Read the whole story and remember--this is not some wacko, survivalist website but, rather, a mainstream publication.
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