Tag Archives: Oil prices

Does Oil Cause Indirect Land Use Change?

I’ve been paying a lot of attention recently to new analyses attempting to model carbon emissions from indirect land use change, which is the conversion of land needed to maintain an international balance of supply and demand for agricultural crops, an effect that is heavily determined by crop prices. These new analyses raise a question about the existing assumption that oil has zero effect on land use change. Tim Searchinger, the lead author of one Read More >

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A Tale of Two Studies

Don Mitchell of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group has released an official version of his analysis of biofuels’ impact on the rise in global food prices. An early version of the study was leaked to the Guardian in London on July 4. Mitchell attributes 70 to 75 percent of the increase in food commodities prices to “biofuels and the related consequences of low grain stocks, large land use shifts, speculative activity and export bans.” Read More >

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Purdue University Weighs In on What’s Driving Food Prices

The Farm Foundation recently released a report prepared by Purdue University agricultural economists on the forces driving food price increases. They conclude that higher food prices are the result of the complex interaction of global changes in supply and demand for commodities, the depreciation of the U.S. dollar, as well as growth in production of biofuels. According to the authors, these factors have combined to rapidly raise demand for U.S. grains beyond current production, leading Read More >

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Chemurgy Is Back with a Vengeance

The Economist recently published two stories that succinctly make the case for continuing to reduce our reliance on oil. The more recent story outlines the use of industrial biotechnology for plastics, and another earlier story details research and development of biotech fuels that go beyond ethanol. In “Better Living Through Chemurgy,” reporter Vijay Vaitheeswaran compares today’s industrial biotechnology companies with the chemurgy movement of Henry Ford, who sought to make cars and fuels from agricultural Read More >

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More Biofuels Bashing

Exactly a month ago, Roll Call newspaper revealed that the Grocery Manufacturers Association had launched a PR campaign to roll back U.S. biofuel policy. GMA is once again on the offensive, releasing an industry-funded study that blames biofuels for higher food prices, ignoring the rapid increase in the price of oil that is driving up the costs of agricultural production and increasing demand for alternatives. Kraft Foods sponsored the recent study by Keith Collins, Ph.D., Read More >

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