Tag Archives: Food and Fuel

Uncontrollable Forces

Two editorials in the New York Times this week have claimed that rising oil prices are “uncontrollable forces” and “not anyone’s fault.” (See The World Food Crisis, 4/10/08 and Grains Gone Wild, Paul Krugman, 4/7/08). The implication is that biofuel policy in the United States IS controllable – and eliminating use of food crops for biofuels will allow U.S. grains to fill markets throughout the world. This scenario ignores the effect that oil prices have Read More >

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TIME Magazine's Journalism Scam

Or How TIME Eliminated Fairness In Reporting As a former reporter and scientist I read Michael Grunwald’s recent story in TIME, The Clean Energy Scam with a certain amount of dismay. The New York Times calls Michael Grunwald, “a talented Washington Post reporter.” However talented Mr. Grunwald may be, in this story he has broken one of the key tenets of journalism — tell the whole story, not just the part you like. For when Read More >

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Tell the Real Story

A growing chorus of media reports have commented on recent dramatic rises in food prices across the world: Food Prices Rising Across the World — CNN.com Rising Grain Prices Panic Developing World — Washington Post United Nations Says Millions At Risk From Soaring Food Prices — Bloomberg Nearly all of these articles identify biofuels production as the leading cause. But a cursory glance at grain production statistics reveals that biofuels – certainly in the U.S., Read More >

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British Government to Study Indirect Impacts of Biofuels

Last week, Britain’s Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) launched a series of studies of the indirect land-use impacts of biofuels, following a lecture by Princeton’s Tim Searchinger, lead author of “Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land Use Change” published in Science in February. The RFA intends to publish a draft report in May, prior to negotiation of EU-wide biofuels targets to 2020 in Brussels later this year. Britain is set Read More >

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Indirect Land Use Thoughts

Dear Colleagues: I have spent a lot of time the last few weeks trying to think through the indirect land use change (ILUC) issue. I have divided my thoughts into two questions that I am asking myself: 1) are we in fact currently able to estimate these changes with any degree of confidence?, and 2) if we could estimate such changes, would it be a good idea to base policy on those estimates? My current Read More >

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