Why It’s Wrong to Agree with the Malthusians about Ethanol
by Robert Zubrin (Pajamas Media) Rising food prices are the result of rising oil prices, not a growing market for ethanol.
…There is not a fixed amount of grain in the world. Farmers produce in response to demand. The more customers, the more grain. Not only that, but the larger the potential market, the greater the motivation for investment in improved techniques.
…Not only that, but in part because of the impetus of the expanded ethanol program, another doubling of yield is now in sight, as the best farms have pushed yields above 300 bushels per acre. As a result, in 2010, the state of Iowa alone produced more corn than the entire United States did in 1947. Of our entire corn crop, only 2 percent is actually eaten by Americans as corn, or 12 percent if one includes products like corn chips and corn syrup.
These advances in productivity do not only benefit the United States. America’s farmers are the vanguard for their counterparts worldwide. New seed strains and other techniques first demonstrated on our most advanced farms, subsequently spread to average farms, and then go global, thereby raising crop yields everywhere. READ MORE and MORE (Advanced Biofuels USA) and MORE (Renewable Energy World)