Saturday, January 22, 2011

Corn Meal Mush

There's a diagram I want to make sure that I discuss in the Sustainability class on Monday. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, as reported in this morning's Wall Street Journal, since 2006 the proportion of US corn acreage devoted to ethanol production has gone from about 20 % to about 39%. This is madness. This is a totally artificial, politically motivated demand shift driven by the now discredited idea that ethanol was some kind of "green fuel." And the unintended consequences are prices increases for a basic foodstuff. Economic inefficiency plus a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. What's not to dislike?

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